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November 2008

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Have A Merry PIC-MAS!

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Features

The Altoidimeter

Do you wonder what altitude your model Cessna made it to on that last flight? Need to know how high up the face of Half Dome you’ve climbed? Wonder how far down it is to the swirling Pacific as you hang glide over Torrey Pines? Sounds like you’re a candidate for a Zlog miniaturized recording altimeter.



Projects

Microprocessor Controlled Wood Stove Part 2

In Part 1, software and closed loop theory for the wood stove temperature controller was covered. This article will detail the actual hardware of the controller and how everything interacts.


Microprocessor Controlled XMAS Tree

Christmas is a great time of year for many of us and provides a great opportunity to share our gifts with one another. Over the years, we have seen a few designs for electronic Christmas Trees, and we created our own design to make as gifts for friends and family alike.


Holiday Lights Revisited

Even if you don’t share my enthusiasm for “blinky lights,” you’ll find some interesting nuggets of wisdom from my school of hard knocks to boost your next construction project.



Columns

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2008
Events, Advances, and News

Personal Robotics
by Vern Graner
ROBOBENCH : Putting the CrustCrawler AX-12+ “Smart Arm” To Work
It’s inevitable. When working on a project at your workbench, at some point you’ll wish that you had a third hand. When you’re holding together two parts that need to be soldered or you need a screwdriver but you don’t want to take your eyes off of some small parts to reach for it, an extra hand would be awfully uhm ... “handy.”

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
SX/B 2.0
About four years ago, Ken Gracey — the crazy cat who runs Parallax — decided that it would be a good idea to provide a free BASIC language compiler for the SX microcontroller family. The BASIC Stamp had been around for some time and there were a lot of power users — myself included — that would benefit from such a beast. The goals were pretty simple: Make it PBASIC-like (though not necessarily source compatible), easy to use in the SX-Key IDE, and allow it to be a useful learning tool...

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.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 4: Teaching a Butterfly to Talk
More C syntax, a bit about libraries, and teach your Butterfly to talk. Part 4

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Moving Past The 2X16 LCD Display
Does your microcontroller project need to convey a bit more information than a standard 16 x 2 LCD can handle? If so, one of the best ways to establish a data communications session between a microcontroller-based deviceand human eyes is to pipe the human-to-device and device-to-human chatter through an RS-232 connection that you establish between the microcontroller’s USART and a personal computer’s serial port...

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Near Spacecraft Recovery Systems: Part 2
LAST TIME, we sewed a parachute canopy, so this month we’ll add the shroud lines and spreader ring to complete it. Then, we’ll wrap up with an electronic recovery device that you may want to add to your parachute. Are you ready?

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Getting Started On Your Holiday Gift List
With the holidays looming, I wanted to pass along a holiday shopping list that you can pass on to your loved ones who don’t have a clue what to get for you.

Departments

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