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November 2009

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Laser Pointer Computer Link

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Features

Speaker Break-In

Is it necessary to break-in speakers for them to reach "full fidelity," or is it just a manufacturers ploy to get customers used to their speakers so they won’t return them?



Projects

Computer To Computer Link Using Laser Pointers

Establish serial communication between computers or microcontrollers over low power laser beams.


Phone Ring-A-Thing Control

Use your cell phone and this device as a receiver/decoder system to perform remote functions.


Experiements with Alternative Energy

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Build a Double Wide Sun Tracker.



Columns

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2009 | November 2009
Topics covered include tapping tree power, a dual monitor laptop, subminiature pushbutton switch, plus other stuff

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
Do It Up With DMX
Even if you’ve never heard of DMX512-A (DMX), chances are you’ve seen it in action.Where? At any large stage production. Concerts and plays are big users of DMX-controlled lighting.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
A Near Space Environment Chamber Update
Sometimes it’s difficult to leave things well enough alone. Occasionally, this is to my detriment as I can makes things worse off than they were originally.

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. Feel free to participate with your questions, comments, or suggestions. Send all questions and comments to: Q&A@nutsvolts.com

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Take An IO-Warrior Into Your Next Embedded Battle
We are all used to stuffing code into a microcontroller to enable our embedded applications.This month, the tables are turned.The microcontroller work has been done for us and we must perform some Bill Gates C++ coding to force bits back and forth across the USB pipe.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Eight-Pin Projects
I recently received a development setup that I found quite interesting, as it’s targeted at my favorite audience—the beginner market. It is called the CHIPAXE system.

Personal Robotics
by Vern Graner
Try, Try Again
My direct experience has taught me that nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Experience has also taught me that when things get complicated, a methodical and consistent approach is typically the best course of action.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 16: Arduino, Some Loose Ends
Tying up some Arduino loose ends before moving on. External Interupts, Arduino IDE Serial Monitor, Optical Isolation of Voltages Part 16

Departments

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