Everything for Electronics
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Build an Inexpensive Magnetometer

This article describes a Hall-effect based magnetometer that uses an inexpensive analog Hall-effect sensor, an Arduino, and LCD. The linearity of the magnetometer is surprisingly good when compared against a commercial magnetometer. This unit can be operated manually or make measurements under computer control, so we’ll use our magnetometer in a computer-controlled setup to measure the BH-curve of small sample of magnetic material.

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The Electric Brains of Yesteryear

In the 1950s and ‘60s, Popular Electronics and other magazines carried ads for strange looking machines called Geniacs and Brainiacs. The ads claimed they were “electric brains” that could play Tic-Tac-Toe and NIM. A while ago, I bought several sets on eBay and I would like to share my experiences of learning about them and my sometimes frustrating — but successful — efforts to get them to work.

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Take the Z80 Challenge

This project started out as a challenge to myself: Could I cram a full-featured Z80 microcomputer using DIP packages onto an ExpressPCB MiniBoard (3.8” by 2.5”)? Here’s what happened.

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Build a $6 Desk Mic

I certainly didn’t need another desk mic, but the prospect of building one from a $1 LED lamp and a spare mic cartridge was a project I could not pass up.

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Build an Instant Heart Pulse Sensor

In about 10 minutes and for about $6, you can display the blood flow through your finger. From this measurement, you can extract your heart rate, check for arrhythmia, and even modulate a red light to pulsate with your heart rate. Here’s how.

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Build a Lunch Box Jukebox

The Lunch Box Jukebox is a compilation of various projects to make a compact portable music, video, and game entertainment device with the Raspberry Pi Zero at the heart of the Jukebox Internet radio.

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Updating a General-purpose Programming System

Twenty years ago, I published an article in Nuts & Volts about designing a general-purpose programming system: the LP120. I’ve used the LP120 heavily for the last 20 years to support my eight-bit design hobby. It now has uploadable drivers and programming modules for many eight-bit micros, EPROMs, and GALs. However, things have changed since 2000. Back then, few microcontrollers had more than 4K bytes of program memory. Now, eight-bit PICs have up to 64K words of memory. Clearly an update to the LP120 was called for.

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