I can remember as a kid I used to build simple little transistor circuits that would activate a relay when someone touched the doorknob to my room. My “DO NOT ENTER” adventures were far more exciting than the circuitry involved. As I recall, the base of the transistor was hung out to dry and connected to the doorknob with a loop of wire. When someone (my pesky little sister, for instance) injected noise into the transistor base via the doorknob, the transistor would turn on and pass current...
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The Design Cycle 200806 (Xilinx CPLD Relaxation Oscillator Demo program)