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The 555 for Today’s Projects

In 1970, Signetics engineer Hans Camenzind designed the 555 programmable timer chip. Fifty-three years later, it’s still going strong as the world’s largest selling integrated circuit. I’ll explain the inner workings of the 555 and help make you an expert on creating your own 555-based designs.


Using Analog Sensors with Microcontrollers: A Beginner’s Guide

This article provides introductory information about various types of electronic sensors commonly used with microcontrollers. The “ins and outs” of interfacing analog sensors to a microcontroller’s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) are presented.


Adventures in Battery-Land — Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed measuring project power needs, battery options, and showed ways to define and estimate battery service-hour life. While it’s no surprise that bigger batteries provide longer service life, Part 2 explores some ways to more efficiently use battery power to maximize battery life.


Finding the Outside Foil Lead

In years past, non-polarized capacitors would often have a striped end on the capacitor tube, or a stripe marking on the capacitor body indexing with one of the leads. The purpose of the stripe is evident if we look at some of the old “waxies” that were actually marked “Outside Foil End” on one end of the capacitor tube. So, why did that matter?  And does it still matter today? 


The Transistor Compound Pair

This article provides several low component count circuits you can experiment with, plus many interesting technical points to consider.


Adventures in Battery-Land — Part 1

In this series, I’ll describe my adventure into the land of alkaline batteries, This time, we’ll look at how to evaluate power needs, make battery choices, and predict battery service-life.


Nextion Touch Screen Display — Part 7

At this point, we have a Nextion touch screen programmer and an assembled and programmed PIC ignition timing controller. To wrap it up, we’ll install it on my son’s Manco go-kart to see how she runs.

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