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TGI: The TEENSY Graphics Interface

The February and March 2018 editions of Nuts & Volts featured my article detailing the Arduino Graphics Interface (AGI) project which described a general-purpose hardware and software platform that could draw graphical objects onto the face of any analog oscilloscope. A reader challenged me to see if the AGI concept and software library could be ported to the newer and faster TEENSY 3.6 processor. This article describes the new and improved TEENSY Graphics Interface project that implements a fully operational “CRT Clock” as a working demonstration of a TEENSY based graphics platform.

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Mass Confusion: The End of the Kilogram as We Know It

This November, in Versailles, France, representatives from 57 countries are expected to make history. They will vote to dramatically transform the international system that underpins global science and trade. This single action will finally realize scientists’ 150 year dream of a measurement system based entirely on fundamental properties of nature. The International System of Units — informally known as the metric system — will change in a way that is more profound than anything since its establishment following the French Revolution.

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Can You Trust Your Voltmeter?

Sometimes I wonder which of my portable digital voltmeters I can trust — the B&K, Fluke, or Amprobe. Usually, they’re pretty close but it bugs me not knowing whether they are right on the nose. Fortunately, these days, there are a number of very accurate voltage reference circuits that you can build or purchase for a few dollars.

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Build the MIDI Replay Stomp Box

The MIDI Replay stomp box is a powerful configuration and recording device for keyboard players, based on the wonderful MIDI protocol: the standard musical language of over 30 years. 

This article explores the design challenges of this real-time system and covers topics such as task scheduling, buffers, parallel computing, dynamic memory management, response time analysis and menu system design.

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Build an Analog-Style LED Clock — Part 1

Driving LEDs using the lowest possible pin-count is a common challenge for folks creating projects with microcontrollers. Complementary LED drive, also known as “Charlieplexing”, allows a large number of LEDs to be controlled with a relatively small number of I/O pins.  This fun digital LED clock project is a hands-on example of how Charlieplexing can be used to stretch your “pin budget”!

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Working with High Voltages

There are lots of circuits for generating high voltages out there, but what about the “gotchas?” Learn how to be safe and smart when working with these potentially dangerous types of projects.

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The Edison Cell

With the wild fluctuations in fuel prices over the last few years, world concern over global warming, and simply the idea of creating new and more sustainable technologies, immense interest and progress has developed recently in the world of battery development.