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January 2007

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Build A Ring Flash For Micro Photography

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Features

Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks

ullam is the author of Hardware Hacking Projects For Geeks, an O’Reilly & Associates release (available at http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/hardwarehks, Amazon.com, and retail booksellers)...


Are Hybrid Cars Here to Stay?

The hybrid car is not new — Ferdinand Porsche designed the series-hybrid vehicle in 1898. Called the Lohner-Porsche carriage, the hybrid function served as an electrical transmission rather than power boost...


Sun Riders Ahoy at the Solar Cup Races

Five years back, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California opened Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir, a fresh drinking water reservoir...


iNterface Your iPod

With all the aftermarket products available for the iPod these days, it makes you wonder if you can’t hack into the iPod yourself and build your own iPod gizmos. Yes you can!


Getting Started With PICAXE Microncontrollers - Part 1

If you are relatively new to the world of programmable microcontrollers, the PICAXE line of processors is the perfect place to start.


HDTV Buyer’s Guide

So, after reading my last article on the end of analog broadcasting, you’ve decided to purchase a new Digital TV. A look around the electronics superstores, as well as smaller boutique, high-end AV stores reveals a multitude of choices...


DFT Basics

For some electronics hobbyists, the discrete Fourier transform, or DFT, is a feared and mysterious entity that is best left to the “experts” or those who practice in the field of digital signal processing (DSP) on a daily basis...


Floating Point Multiplication and Division Without Hardware Support

Using Horner’s method to provide floating point support on microprocessors or microcontrollers that don’t have support built in.


Getting Started With PICAXE Microncontrollers - Part 2

As promised, in Part 2 we will focus on interfacing the PICAXE-18X with a Hitachi HD44780-based LCD display. Finally, in Part 3, we will add a 12 or 16 key matrix keyboard and a piezo beeper to complete our I/O terminal.


Sonic Realism - Part 2

Why does recorded music sound different from the real thing? When we walk into a room, we instinctively know if the music or speech we hear is live or a reproduction...


Interfacing Standards: RS-232

These days, there are various common interfaces available. Choosing the best interface is not always trivial. Do you need an interface to store data or to control your robot?


Po’Man’s Thermal Modeling for PCB’s

Here at Po’Man’s, our motto is “Why pay big bucks for expensive tools, when there might be a cheap way to get the job done?”


Going Security Geek on Penetration by Ira Winkler

These hacks — called penetration tests — are done on purpose to show companies how much they stand to lose if they don’t patch their security holes. Penetration tests are used to try to compromise the security of computer systems...


USB For Projects On A Budget

If you have an idea for a device that communicates with PCs, the chances are good that the device will connect to the PC via the Universal Serial Bus (USB). You’re probably well acquainted with USB as the interface...


An Introduction To Solar Electric For Your House

I’m so bright, I generate my own electricity ... I need a T-shirt and a bumper sticker with that saying! I was designing a base and space station power generation system for a moon/Mars colony group, when a co-worker asked me to help design...


Add Audio Playback To Your Next Project

This article is all about utilizing audio files stored on a USB Flash drive in unusual applications. If all you want to do is listen to your favorite tunes, then that’s easy enough...


Access Flash Drives With A Microcontroller

USB Flash drives provide a handy way to store any type of information in a small package. The drives — also known as thumb drives and USB keys — seem ideal for use in data loggers and other microcontroller-based projects...


Prototyping with Surface Mount Components

Let’s face the facts: through-hole components are a thing of the past. Like the vacuum tube, they will gradually disappear from general use except for specialized applications such as those requiring high power (e.g., power transistors, high wattage resis


Lattice Wave Digital Filters

This article, and the accompanying design tool, were a result of my investigation into LWDFs which were just too cool to pass up.


A Logic Analyzer Tutorial - Part 2

Part 1 gave you an overview of logic analyzer basics. Now, let's concentrate on actually using this instrument. We'll examine some of its limitations and its numerous, powerful features that make it so useful in the lab.


Swift, Small, “Cell” Broadband Chip

The Cell Broadband Engine or Cell/BE processor consists of a “Power Processor Element” (PPE), which is the primary core that generally dictates the work of other cores on the chip...


Data Storage - Techniques, Problems, and Solutions

These situations highlight some very important issues in the field of data storage and getting to the answers can require a variety of information across several areas of technology. However, understanding these topics can greatly help you prepare...


Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 4

Practical digital NOR gate, EX-OR gate, and EX-NOR gate logic ICs. Part 4


Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 3

Practical digital NAND gate and OR gate logic ICs. Part 3


Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 2

Practical digital inverter and AND gate logic ICs. Part 2


Setting Up Dual, Flat Panel Monitors Under Windows XP

Here’s an easy way to set up a really cool and useful computer display configuration that will make friends think you’re a super-geek!


Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 5

Practical digital mixed gate and special-purpose logic gate ICs such as programmable logic, majority logic, and digital transmission gate types. Part 5


Fuse And Meter Savers

Here are three circuits which can save time and prevent frustration. They go well with “Don’t Blow a Fuse” by Ronald Newton (Nuts & Volts, August 2006, page 40)...


A Logic Analyzer Tutorial - Part 1

A logic analyzer — like so many electronic test and measurement tools — provides a solution to a particular class of problems. These include digital hardware debugging, design verification, and embedded software debugging...


Basic Analog Power Supply Design

It is always important to remember that the power supply — either for a particular product or as a general piece of test equipment — has the potential to electrocute the user, start a fire, or destroy the device it is powering....


Digital TV — Ready or Not, Here it Comes!

February 17, 2009 — a date that may not live in infamy, but nevertheless will witness a monumental change in the US television broadcasting landscape...


Create Your Own Exergame With The Hydra

EXERGAMES, typified by Dance Dance Revolution and the more recent Wii Sports compilation for the Nintendo Wii, encourage whole body movement over mere thumb flexing...


Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 1

Logic gate basics and a detailed look at practical TTL and CMOS digital buffer IC circuits. Part 1


The Nuts & Volts of Podcasting

Over the past couple of years, podcasting has emerged as one of the great new buzzwords of the Internet, bringing the same freedom to create personal audio and video productions as Weblogs did for text at the start of the decade...


Displays For All Occasions

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then moving pictures are surely worth many thousands of words. It is this great descriptive power of moving imagery that has made televisions so popular...


Sonic Realism - Part 1

The holy grail of high fidelity sound reproduction is to recreate the listening experience exactly. The listener shouldn’t be able to tell the reproduction from the original...


Introduction to 3D Scanning

Finally ... affordable 3D! Three dimensional (3D) scanning technologies have been around for several years but for most of us these have been unavailable. The very high costs and complexities involved have attributed to this...


RENO Air Races 2006

Have you ever noticed that national aviation events tend to pick up names based on where they occur? For example, the home-built Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA, http://www.eaa.org) fly-in, conducted annually in August in Oshkosh, Wisconsin...


Making Waves

This article will briefly examine a number of methods of creating sine waves, and other waves, from digital values.



Projects

Build A Better Mouse Trap

I moved out of the city years ago and now live in the country in an old farm house. We have three barns and suffer quite a bit of damage from the local mouse population. I have used several types of traps with varying amounts of success...


Two Barometric Pressure Systems In One

planned on building a wireless station this month but, due to several requests, I decided to show you how to build a couple of different standalone barometric pressure systems...


Build An X-10 Doggy Dish - Part 4

ast month, I gave you details on how to communicate with various X10 computer interfaces. This month, I had planned on showing you how to use each one of those interfaces with a microcontroller...


Build A Model Railroad Crossing Signal

Creating authentic looking models is a passion of mine. To enhance my model railroad setup, a realistic (but inexpensive!) crossing signal was just the ticket.


Field Programmable Intervalometer

I have always had an interest in animation and time lapse photography. With a digital camera, I found that making time lapse movies became fun and economical...


Vixen Lights The Way

Vixen doesn’t come with a traditional installer so I’m going to walk you through the steps to get it up and running on your Windows PC...


Control Your World With An X-10 Interface

In the first couple of installments of this series, we used a PC to take measurements and display the results from our 1-Wire sensors. The major drawback for building a PC-based weather station is that the PC has to be on all the time...


Environmental Sensors - Part 2

Last month, I introduced you to various anemometers that could be used in building your own weather station. In this article, I want to show you how to use additional sensors, but first I want to delve a little deeper into the 1-Wire interface...


Build a Remote Battery Bank Voltage Monitor

Everyone has heard the saying “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, that is what gave birth to this project.


Analog: Mixed and Matched

The device described in this article is both a 4:1 audio mixer and a 1:4 distribution system. Each of the input and output channels has its own volume control...


X-10 Interfaces - Part 3

Last month, we looked at interfacing your PC to various 1-Wire weather sensors. This month, we are going to dive head-first into home automation. I am going to show you how to use your PC to control lamps and appliances using the X10 protocol.


Catch the Wind

This is the first in a series of articles where I will take you into the world of building your own weather station and home automation system.


Build a Gaming Exercise Bicyle - Part 4

In this installment of Control Your World, I am going to show you how simple it is to use a microcontroller in this quest for control. While the project may look very complicated, it has been presented in such a way that anyone with even the slightest soldering skills should be able to complete the project...


Keeping Those Components Cool

Not long ago, I put together a project, housed in a plastic RadioShack box, which contained a component that could get hot enough to self-destruct in a closed box. I added a small cooling fan to the box, but the noise was excessive...


Garage Alarm

I have seen several simple alarm circuits in Nuts & Volts through the years, but this one is a little different in that it connects directly to popular lines of Genie garage door openers.


Flight Recorder For Model Rocketry - Part 1

Amateur rocketry is a well established activity that is currently divided into two main categories: high-power and model...


The Mux Mux Light Display

I needed a seven-segment remote display that received its data from RS-232, and I wanted it fast. Here’s a little project that can be built in a weekend and will give you four digits of information...


Pulse Speed Timer

There is a delay between when your heart beats and when the pulse is felt at your wrist (or elsewhere). This delay depends upon a number of physical factors, including the elasticity of the walls of the arteries...


Build a Wireless Weather System: Part 2

In this installment of the wireless weather station, I am going to show you how to build the Indoor Weather Satellite. Once assembled, we will run some tests with our PC interface satellite as shown in the network diagram in Figure 1...


A Test Bench Power Supply

A dual channel regulated bench power supply that you can build.


Charge All Battery Charger Switcher

Even the cheapest lead-acid battery will cost between $20-$30 to replace, not to mention the hassle of yanking it out, installing the new one, and then explaining all of the battery-acid holes in your clothing to the wife.


Flight Recorder for Model Rocketry - Part 2

Last month, we introduced you to the basics of model rocketry and outlined the hardware design of a compatible flight recorder. This article will describe the embedded software required to record and replay three channels of acceleration, and includes...


Build A Wireless Weather System: Part 4

In the last three installments, you built the three satellites shown in Figure 2. I showed you how to transmit and collect basic data...


Build a Wireless Weather System: Part 3

In this installment of the wireless weather station, I am going to show you how to build the outdoor weather satellite. Once assembled, we will run some tests with our indoor and PC interface satellites, as shown in the network diagram in Figure 1.


The Arbitrary Waveform Generator

There are many simple sine/square/triangle wave generators available to the hobbyist. But oftentimes, something more is needed when the commonly available waves just aren’t adequate. For these occasions, an arbitrary waveform generator is necessary...


Build A Flood Detection Alarm

Is there water in your basement? Or anywhere else it shouldn't be? This simple water detection alarm will alert you when it starts to happen.


The Digi-Log Clock

This clock project is a little bit different. It combines digital logic and modern electronic components with the traditional analogpositional display (almost).


Build a Wireless Weather System: Part 1

When I first started this series, I knew I wanted to build a wireless weather station. In no way could I have imagined how well the overall system would function, nor could I have envisioned its versatility. In this article, it all comes together...


Probing Cores

Build an Oscilloscope Accessory That Displays the B-H Curves of Inductor Cores


The Mysterious Magic Box - Part 2

This unique DIY construction project blends electronics technology with subtle magic and hand craftsmanship. This concluding part examines the theory of operation, installation and assembly, testing, and verification that the design works properly...


Wall-Wart-Less AVR Programmer User/Maker

This powerful tool now boasts new features that will make users and programmers lives easier!


Build A Ring Flash For Macro Photography

I initially became involved in macro —or close-up photography— as part of my job, which involves failure mode analysis of electronic circuitry. Be sure and read the sidebar for a discussion of why photographs of small objects are called Macro photography. With components becoming smaller and smaller,taking a decent photograph has proven to be increasingly difficult...


A Simple VHF Receiver

This project was inspired by another Nuts & Volts reader — a teacher — looking for a receiver project for his class. His requirements entailed a fairly simple receiver with a minimum of adjustments...


Tilt Lights

These simple-to-build tilt light projects were designed to please different members of the family.There’s a tilt flashlight for mom, a tilt emergency light for dad, a tilt curio box light for a little girl, and a tilt dump truck light for a little boy...


Beat the Heat with this External AC Controller

The summer of 2006 was brutal due to the heat and humidity. Air conditioning was needed to make it bearable. In my view, the need was greatest during the night when I wanted to sleep...


Holiday Lights

In recent years, more holiday lights have appeared in our neighborhood around Christmas. These are a combination of traditional strings and newer lawn displays, some with animation or inflated by electric fans, but all purchased from large retailers...


Bingo!

This project was inspired when I was playing BINGO with my friends. Somehow during play, the numbers that were called got mixed up, and there was confusion as to whether or not one of the players had actually won the game...


Build A .01% Accurate Voltage Reference

Okay, you've wired up the latest whiz-bang sensor to your processor-controlled project. The sensor has been connected to the 12-bit A/D and now the moment of truth...


Getting Started With PICAXE Microncontrollers - Part 3

Last month, we interfaced the 18X with a Hitachi HD44780-based LCD display. Now we are ready to add a 12- or 16-key matrix keyboard and a piezo beeper to complete our I/O terminal...


Two Axis Sun Tracker For Small Solar Panels

This project is designed to maximize the output from your existing panel by turning it to keep it pointing at the sun, and (hopefully) making the purchase of another panel unnecessary...


Build a Solar Thermal Water Heater Controller

When the controller for my solar water heating system died on a particularly cold night, and burst the pipes in the collector, it was time to design and build a new and improved version.


The Mysterious Magic Box - Part 1

This unique DIY construction project blends electronics technology with carefully planned hand craftsmanship. It is where the old world meets the new. Its delightful innovative twists will surely amuse you...



Columns

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Fiber Optics — The Invisible Communications Network You Use Every Day
The world has been rewired many times over the decades. Telegraph and telephone wiring came first. Then electrical power. (Yes, electrical power wiring actually came after the telegraph and telephone wiring. Doesn’t seem right does it?) ...

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Control Virtually Anything… Virtually
When the SX microcontroller was developed, the core philosophy was to create a chip fast enough and clean enough that most specialized peripherals could be made “virtual,” that is, created in code...

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Tesla Inventerd Radio, Not Marconi!
Okay, I am probably as guilty as you in believing that Marconi actually invented radio. But he did not and it has taken decades — actually, over a century — for the truth to come out. In fact, I am convinced that the truth is still not well known. Not to burst your bubble or anything, but here is the real story.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Positronium Observed in Lab
In case you’re not up on particle physics, note that when an electron meets its antimatter counterpart — the positron — this generally results in mutual annihilation and the release of a couple gamma rays...

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
DESKTOP SUPERCOMPUTER DEVELOPED

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Detecting Cancer with light, Another Step toward Fusion, Sun Introduces New Microprocessor, Software Enhances NASCAR, Name-Based Search Engine, and Audio Amp Driver Introduced

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Events, Advances, and News
Nanotechnologists at the University of California, Riverside (http://www.ucr.edu) have come up with a way to control the color of a liquid by applying a magnetic field..

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
The diamond anvil cell (DAC) has been around since 1958, when it was invented by Weir, Van Valkenburg, Lippincott, and Bunting at what was then called the National Bureau of Standards...

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
IBM (http://www.ibm.com) has announced the “first-ever manufacturing application of self-assembly used to create a vacuum — the ultimate insulator — around nanowires for next-generation microprocessors.” ...

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Chris Harriman of NetMedia
This month’s spotlight is on NetMedia, Inc., a Tucson, AZ firm that has been in business since 1993

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Mark Walsh
This month’s spotlight is on MCM Electronics, a division of Premier Farnell. The multi-national organization is a publicly held company listed on the London Stock Exchange...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Johan Smit
This month’s spotlight is on Electronics 123 whose headquarters is in Columbiana — a town of about 6,000 population located 78 miles southeast of Cleveland on the eastern edge of Ohio...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Mike Leo
Ramsey Electronics is a leading distributor of sophisticated devices for both the hobbyist and the electronic experimenter. Located just south of Rochester, NY, they serve this market both by catalog as well as online sales...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Paul True
The spotlight this month is on Linx Technology whose corporate headquarters is located in Merlin, OR, a small community northwest of Grants Pass. The privately owned company moved into this purpose-built facility in late 2006...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Inteview with Woolf Kanter of All Electronics
If you are looking for a wide variety of hobby and experimenter supplies, you just might want to do business with All Electronics Corp. This small, family owned and operated establishment is located in Van Nuys, CA...

Personal Robotics
by Phil Davis
Parameters On The Fly - Part 3
This month, I would like to wrap up the design and functioning of the Hand-Held Console by showing you the completed device and by posting the software online for all to use.

Personal Robotics
by Phil Davis
Parameters On the Fly - Part 2
Last month, I conceptually designed a hand-held console which would allow one to remotely change critical parameters in their autonomous robot. Since last month, I decided that I wanted to go into more detail on the software and some of the hardware...

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
In-Circuit Serial Programming
The advantage to ICSP is the ability to program the PIC in-circuit.Now this may sound familiar since this is the same feature I’ve promoted about using a bootloader in a previous column.ICSP and bootloaders are similar in function,but the difference is...

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Stamp Applications
Having been a part of the BASIC Stamp community since 1994, I’ve had the wonderfully-good fortune to meet a lot of experimenters, and — due to my exposure through Nuts & Volts and six years with Parallax — I’ve been asked to create a wide variety of projects. One of the most frequently requested, but that is not really practical with a BASIC Stamp, is a Pinewood Derby racing timer. Well, now that programming the SX is nearly as easy as programming the BASIC Stamp...

Personal Robotics
by Phil Davis
Personal Robotics - Part 2
Last month, I went over the process of constructing my homemade Motor Test Lab. Since then, I made a couple of changes to the basic design before using it to test a couple of motors. The first change I made was to add a block connector and a switch...

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
How Far Can You Go?
With the number of wireless standards, products, and applications increasing almost hourly, it is a rare day in which any of us will go without some wireless usage.

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Dimming The Lights Fantastic
Lamp dimming — specifically 120 VAC lamp dimming — had been on my mind for quite a long time, and this year I finally jumped in and tackled the process. It started with a four-channel device called the FC-4 that I designed for EFX-TEK...

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Peter Best Circles The Drain
Peter and I worked together on the EDTP Ethernet MINI C-to-PBP (PICBASIC PRO) conversion project that you have been reading about in this series of Design Cycle episodes...

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Large Digits on a 4x20 LCD
Driving a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) module has become very easy to do with the various PIC® microcontroller (MCU) options that are available...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Rewriting C In PICBasic Pro
The C programming language has grown like a creeping weed extending its branches and leaves out from the personal computer (PC) world and into the realm of the microcontroller...

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Rev It Up
For me, one of the most exciting aspects of working with the SX and programming it in SX/B is the ability to create accessory devices like last month’s animatronics controller...

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
C Language Introduction
In my April column, I did a speed-test comparison of various PIC® microcontrollers (MCUs) that were programmable in Basic, and then compared a Basic and C compiler. I made a mistake that affected the results...

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Using Google Earth To Chart A Near Space Flight Plan
After my near space mission with the Adler Planetarium in Chicago this summer, Mark Hammergren of the Adler introduced me to Google Earth. I had heard of Google Earth before, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it...

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Welcome To The Power Of PICAXE
Welcome to the first installment of PICAXE Primer, a column dedicated to “spreading the word” about the ease, power, and versatility of programming and project-building with the unique microcontrollers.

Q&A
by TJ Byers
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
PIC vs. PIC Speed Test
If you look through Nuts & Volts or surf the Internet, you’ll see lots of different Microchip PIC-based development chips and modules offering all kinds of different features...

Personal Robotics
by Vern Graner
The Ponginator
When we think of personal robotics, we usually think of personal as referring to size, i.e., a personal digital assistant or a personal computer. Things that usually are small enough to fit in a shoe box or at least fit on your workbench...

Personal Robotics
by Vern Graner
Evolution of a Roboticist
Recently, the good folks at Nuts & Volts asked if I would take on the monthly Personal Robotics column...

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Some Sensors for your Ballonstats and the Great Plains Super Launch
This month we’ll look at two sensors: a miniature near space weather station and a temperature sensor array. With these sensor arrays, your BalloonSat can chart environmental conditions from the ground to near space and measure the temperatures...

Q&A
by TJ Byers
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
PICAXE applications - Part 1
At one Boise Robotics Group (BoRG) meeting last year, Barry Nye, the Technology Guy at Hacker Middle School (Mountain Home, ID) and a founder of the BoRG, told me about a new line of microcontrollers that he had recently discovered...

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Sharon Shepard
This month’s spotlight is on Integrated Ideas and Technologies, Inc., a privately owned fabrication firm located in Coeur d’Alene, ID. The company operates two divisions internally with a staff of 22...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Neal Greenberg
This month’s spotlight is on Schmartboard™, a California organization located in the city of Fremont, situated north of San Jose. The principal product of the company is a cleverly designed prototyping board...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Mr. Ken Gracey of Parallax, Inc.
One of the leading suppliers of programmable microcontrollers is Parallax, Inc. The company is located in Rocklin, CA — a short commute from Sacramento...

In The Spotlight
by Marvin Mallon
An Interview with Wayne Thorpe
Mesa, AZ is home to one of the largest distributors of electronic equipment and supplies in the country. The 12,000 square foot facility of Circuit Specialists, Inc., houses the more than 11,000 items that they sell by mail order, as well as online...

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Near Space
This month, I have several topics to discuss. The nice thing about them all is that they can be expanded upon. So, expect to hear more about them in the coming months.

Personal Robotics
by Bryan Bergeron
Magnetic Inchworm
Continue reading to learn how to build a simple robot designed to travel over steel or iron surfaces — a magnetic inchworm — with a few servos, a pair of neodymium magnets, and an R/C system...

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Ordering Drinks Over The ‘Net
If you’ve been keeping up with Design Cycle, we’ve been implementing Internet protocol code with PICBASIC PRO and in the rush you have been exposed to a variety of the Internet protocols and the PICs they run under.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
LED Based Photometer
There’s a new sensor that I’d like to share with you this month that only requires a few LEDs and a resistor. Therefore, you probably already have everything in your junk box needed to build it...

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Livin’ Life On The SX28
It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been programming in one form of Basic or another for over 25 years now ... wow, that seems like a long time! I taught myself to program on the venerable Timex-Sinclair 1000, my first “real” computer...

Personal Robotics
by Bryan Bergeron
Biologically Inspired Robots
Developers of biologically inspired robots borrow from systems and methods found in nature with a goal of producing a more efficient, capable, or cost-effective robot than would be possible through traditional means...

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
HD Radio In Your Future?
I just finished testing Radiosophy’s new HD100 digital radio and was impressed enough to want to tell you about it. In case you are still in the dark about this radio technology, HD radio is the digital radio service that...

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2007
Events, Advances, and News

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Where’s Waldo?
It seems like the animation controller from May was a hit. I got a lot of very positive email and many readers have been creating derivative applications for controlling servos..

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
BasicATOM In-Circuit Debugger
If you’ve thought about getting started with PIC® microcontrollers (MCUs), you’ve probably seen the variety of available development tools, such as programmers, debuggers, and the Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Configuration Wizardry
If you’re standing up, maybe you want to take a seat. Last time, we started our indepth look at what makes the C8051F120 a premier 8051 drop-in solution. That Digital Crossbar stuff we looked at seemed mighty complicated...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
The Design Cycle
When Rabbit Semiconductor releases a development kit, you can be sure that the electronics within that development kit are aimed at helping you learn about the latest and most popular technology. If you really want to understand how something works,purchase an associated Rabbit Development kit.For instance, I learned about 802.11b by absorbing the contents of their 802.11b development kit...

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
16 Bits Equals Twice The Fun
Over the years,I’ve designed most of my really serious embedded projects around eight-bit PIC microcontrollers.As for the physical sizes of the eight-bit PICs I’ve used, I’ve done eight-bit microcontroller projects with the tiny six-pin 10F PIC devices...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
In The Shadow Of The 8051
I can recall making the “step up” to the eight-bit 8051 from the venerable eight-bit 8048 way back when dinosaurs still roamed the plains and valleys...

Personal Robotics
by Vern Graner
Evolution of the BoogieBot Mobile Platform
Music has been a big part of my life as far back as I can remember. I’ve played music in bands, composed and produced music, and (for a short time in the ‘80s) I even made my living playing in a rock band...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Working With Peripherals
All good things must come to an end and this month’s installment of Design Cycle will wrap up our look at the C8051F120 microcontroller.

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Writing Your Own Set Of Drivers
The Microchip folks offer a free TCP/IP stack that works very well with the PIC18F67J60. That sets Microchip up a notch in my book, as there’s nothing better than a semiconductor manufacturer that offers a free support firmware package for its products...

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Quick And Dirty Hockey Scoreboard
Once you learn how to control an LCD module, you suddenly see them all over the place and numerous ideas for LCD projects come to mind. Over the years, I’ve done many projects with LCDs...

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
The Near Space Ventures
Near Space Ventures is the webpage of an amateur radio high altitude balloon (ARHAB) and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) organization named CAPnSPACE. CAPnSPACE has developed a great website that I’d like to share with you th

Personal Robotics
by Pete Smith
Combat Robots Return to North Carolina
A few years ago, North Carolina was one of the best places to live if you were interested in combat robotics. There were two major events held each year in the state...

Personal Robotics
by Phil Davis
Personal Robotics - Part 1
Being an amateur roboticist, I am always looking for parts of varying kinds from which to build robots and, since most of the bots I like to construct are mobile, one of the major requirements are brushed DC motors.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
PICkit™ 2 Starter KIT vs. PICkit 2 Debug Express
If you’ve been reading this column on a regular basis, you will — no doubt — have realized that I’m always on the lookout for a better and lower-cost starter package, or at least programming solution...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Laying A foundation for PING
In the previous edition of Design Cycle, I described the steps that were necessary to “fool” your personal computer (PC) into having a conversation with the Ethernet MINI and the minimal driver code we had completed at that time...

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Cell Phones — 10 Pounds of Technology in a 5 oz Package
No other electronic product incorporates as much of the latest technology as a cell phone, and especially in such a small package...

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
MIMO 101: Next Generation Wireless Technology is Finding Its Way Into Most New Systems
In case you haven’t heard, MIMO means Multiple Input Multiple Output which — by itself — still does not explain very much. It is a relatively new wireless technique that makes use of two or more transmitters, receivers, and antennas to greatly improve...

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck, Dave Baker
Stocking Your Lab
One of the more common emails I receive involves recommendations on which PIC® microcontroller (MCU) should be stocked in the home lab.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
PICBasic Pro, Excel, and The Beginner
Good things come to those who wait. This is a common saying, but the real question is how long do I have to wait? Some would say it all depends on how you define a “good thing.”

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
8/14/20-PIN PIC® Microcontroller Family
Programming PIC® microcontrollers (MCUs) has been my hobby and sideline for many years. In fact, I started back when there were only five PIC MCUs to choose from. Now there are hundreds of different PIC MCUs...

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Using Ethernet Inside A PIC
This month, we’ll discuss the virtues of the new Microchip PIC18F67J60 and build up an Ethernet system based on the single-chip Ethernet engine.

Personal Robotics
by Phil Davis
Parameters On the Fly - Part 1
Whenever I build a robot, there are always variables and constants which need to be adjusted to make sure the bot does just what I want it to; the problem is, it’s usually a pain to change these. So, how can we make this better?

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
PIC12F675 Replaces The 555 Timer
If you have been fooling with electronics as long as I have, you will have seen a lot of changes throughout the years. I watched the birth of integrated circuits which led to op-amps and TTL or CMOS digital chips, and eventually to the microcontroller. Somewhere along the way, an eight-pin chip used by hobbyists all over the world was developed.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Hot Wheels Drag Race Finish Gate
On a recent trip to the local Kmart, I saw that Mattel had released a series of classic Hot Wheels sets similar to the ones you could buy when I was a kid...

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New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
JK microsystems introduces their Omniflash controller, which provides the user with a rich array of I/O devices seamlessly supported by a pre-installed Linux 2.4 kernel...

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
CCS is now offering PCD which is a low cost, quality 24-bit C compiler for PIC24 MCUs and dsPIC® DSCs. PCD is in the fundamental development period and now available for sale at http://www.ccsinfo.com/picc...

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

The Robot Controller That Does It All
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
Effiicient Computer Systems, LLC announces the BOTLOGIC Controller.

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New products review.

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
FREESCALE DESIGN CHALLENGE LOOKS FOR THE NEXT EIGHT-BIT KILLER APP

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
Gadget Geeks Get Their Own Search Engine, IEEE SETS NEW ETHERNET SPEED, and Make Your Existing Mobile

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New Program for SchmartBoard Advocates

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspective's blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspective's blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
In this issue of Nuts & Volts, we’re fortunate to feature several excellent articles, including Jeff Mazur’s introduction to digital broadcasting and Paul Kafig’s discussion of thediscrete Fourier transform (DFT). Both topics represent sea changes in the evolution of electronics, but through very different mechanisms...

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
The projects in this issue of Nuts & Volts address a range of interests, from rocketry instrumentation and weather, to thermal management and instrument calibration standards. Although the relevance of standards is most evident in Doug Malone’s article on building a voltage reference, each of the projects is a tribute to the necessity of standards in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of electronic circuitry and instrumentation...

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
As highlighted by several articles in this issue, green innovation — using energy efficient alternatives to fossil fuel and other methods of minimizing the release of carbon in the environment — has bubbled to the surface of our social consciousness. Increased gasoline prices at the pump, US military involvement in the Middle East, and maneuvering of political parties in preparation for the upcoming presidential election, have reinvigorated the green energy product and service industry..

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
With the recent rise in global competition for technology and manufacturing jobs, professional associations, labor organizations, and political groups in the United States have begun to emphasize the need for innovation...

How Do You Measure Competency?
by Bryan Bergeron
Do you consider yourself a competent electronics enthusiast?

Are You An Innovator?
by Bryan Bergeron
There is no one correct path to becoming an innovator. By mastering experimental fundamentals, you’ll be in a better position to innovate.

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
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