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July 2015

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Hacking The Kill-A-Watt

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Features

Beyond the Arduino — Part 5

Please DO interrupt me! This time, take a look at how to handle interrupts in your Atmel AVR embedded projects, and how they can make your projects more efficient and easier to develop.


FPGAs for the Hobbyist

This tutorial will get you up and running with field programmable gate arrays — no prior experience required.


Reviving a Hi-Fi Classic: the Harman/Kardon A-401 Stereophonic Control Amplifier

Vintage stereo equipment just has a special sound and presence that are worth preserving. Follow along on a recent restoration of a 38 year old amp.


Power Sources: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

With few exceptions, every electronics project needs a power source. It’s what makes the electrons go round and round. However, not all power sources are created equal.



Projects

Modify a Kill-A-Watt EZ Power Meter for Low Voltage Operation

The K-A-Watt meter is designed to operate at full AC line voltage. Here is a simple modification that safely powers the Kill-A-Watt meter for accurate operation in the low (10%-20%) voltage regime.


An Ultra Modern Shortwave Radio

Communications/Radio

A simple circuit, a USB TV tuner, your computer, and some powerful (free!) software combine to make an amazing software defined communications receiver for around $25.



Columns

Q&A
by Tim Brown
Reader Questions Answered Here (07.2015)
Topics this month include: a CR18650 battery vs. cell charging; help with vintage PA amps; and GFI breakers.

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
PICAXE-PC Serial Communications Part 2
We’ll continue our exploration of hardware serial communication between a PICAXE and a PC.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Smartwatches Need Communications Too
The new Apple Watch acts as a peripheral device to your smartphone by utilizing multiple wireless links between the two devices.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
All About Ferrite
Rings, beads, cores ... find out exactly what ferrite is and what makes it ideal for a variety of uses in electronics.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Building a Multipurpose Communications Board
Clear your bench and tin your soldering iron. In this installment, we’re going to scratch build a multipurpose embedded communications board. While the soldering iron is cooling down, we’ll fire up the Microchip XC32 C compiler under MPLABX and bring our new garage-brewed creation to life.

Departments

Change the World
by Bryan Bergeron
Take your knowledge of electronics — whatever your level of expertise — and focus it towards solving a meaningful problem. Go ahead, change the world. I dare you!