Everything for Electronics

Libraries and Headers in C: A Tutorial

If you’ve written a program for a microcontroller board such as the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or Propeller QuickStart, you have relied on software libraries that provide constants and functions.  Often, we use software libraries without thinking much about them.

When you start to write libraries, it takes time to read documents, follow directions, and experiment with simple functions. Fortunately, after you understand how to create libraries and header files for the software tools you use, you'll have a useful skill that can simplify programming tasks.

Even if you never create a library, you probably want to know how they work and what they contain. This tutorial provides information that gives you a good start.


More Tricks with Old-School Digital Clocks

Here are a few of the many possible variations on the general theme of discrete-logic digital clocks. If you have a few LED displays, counters, drivers, and simple logic, you can probably build a clock. Consult the datasheets of the ICs you choose to use, breadboard everything first, and have fun.


How Phased Array Antennas Work

Phased arrays have been used for years in military radars for long range detection of missiles. They’re also widely used in military and commercial aircraft radars and some satellites. These phased arrays are expensive, but today thanks to new technology and higher frequencies, phased arrays are smaller and more affordable making them practical for new wireless devices. This article is an introductory tutorial on this special antenna type you need to know about.


Filter Basics: Stop, Block, and Roll(off)

A casual observer might think that wireless systems consist primarily of filters connected by the occasional bit of circuit. Block diagrams of transceivers often include as many filters as any other function. This is true at the system level, just as it is at the circuit level — and many circuits behave in a filter-like way, whether intended to be a filter or not! That makes understanding filter basics important for wireless success.


Seven Common Ways to Generate a Sine Wave

The sine wave is a naturally occurring signal shape in communications and other electronic applications. Many electronic products use signals of the sine wave form. Audio, radio, and power equipment usually generates or processes sine waves. As it turns out, there are literally dozens of ways to generate a sine wave. Here are some popular methods you should be familiar with.


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.


Vacuum Tubes

For audiophiles, musicians, and ham radio operators, the soft glow of the vacuum tube filament is not only an indication of function, but a nostalgic trigger for memories of simpler times. Though they may have been outpaced by tiny transistors and integrated circuits, these workhorses still may have something to offer in many modern devices.

View More Articles