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Jon McPhalen

Jon's Articles

XBee Beyond the Basics
Column: The Spin Zone
November 2017
It’s time to step up your XBee game from “transparent” mode to API connection mode.

Stepping Up to Help Friends
Column: The Spin Zone
September 2017
Exploring the use of stepper motors on the Parallax Propeller.

A Block On the Old Chip
Column: The Spin Zone
July 2017
BlocklyProp is a fun and easy way to build a Propeller program — piece by piece — using blocks.

Cooperative Multitasking in PASM
Column: The Spin Zone
May 2017
Running multiple tasks in the same cog of the Parallax Propeller.

Readdressing Smart Pixels
Column: The Spin Zone
March 2017
Today, smart LEDs are everywhere, and come in a variety of styles. It just might be time to have a look at my pixel driver and bring it up-to-date with new choices such as the SK6812RGBW.

Making Menus
Column: The Spin Zone
January 2017
The user interface on any system is important — especially the menus.

Strings & Things
Column: The Spin Zone
November 2016
Working with strings in the Spin language for the Parallax Propeller is not as hard as you might think.

Game Time
Column: The Spin Zone
September 2016
Game countdown timer for use in applications like escape rooms.

The Key to the Code
Column: The Spin Zone
July 2016
Matrix keypads are very useful for stand-alone embedded projects.

Simple. Practical. Propeller.
Column: The Spin Zone
May 2016
Designing your own custom templates for programming the Parallax Propeller is the way to go.

More Hot & Sticky — Temperature And Humidity Measurement With The DHT11 Sensor
Column: The Spin Zone
March 2016
If you haven't explored humidity and temperature measurement due to the higher cost of precision sensors, the DHT11 is an inexpensive gateway to a lot of fun.

Some Like It Hot
Column: The Spin Zone
December 2015
Temperature and humidity monitoring using the SHT11 module.

May the G-Force be with You
Column: The Spin Zone
October 2015
Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges. Unless, they’re Parallax’s new hackable Conference types complete with a three-axis accelerometer.

Flame On, Dude!
September 2015
Give your Jack-o-lantern (or whatever props you may be using) some cool faux flames this season.

Fun with Charlieplexing
Column: The Spin Zone
August 2015
Learn about this method of LED control that takes advantage of a processor’s ability to manipulate the pin state.

Tag ’Em, Danno!
Column: The Spin Zone
June 2015
Passive RFID tags are very popular devices for access control, and now they’re affordable.

Can We Talk? Again?
Column: The Spin Zone
April 2015
This month’s project goes through setting up a simple command language for controlling the Propeller through a serial interface.

Load and Go!
Column: The Spin Zone
February 2015
Discover a way to selectively run multiple applications that wouldn’t normally fit into 32K of memory.

Putting a Button On It
Column: The Spin Zone
December 2014
Think there’s not a lot to say about implementing buttons into your electronic projects? Guess again.

Propeller Reanimator
Column: The Spin Zone
October 2014
Bring your Halloween (or any holiday) props to life with the magic of circuits and code using the Propeller.

Getting Fancy With LANC
Column: The Spin Zone
July 2014
Focus in on what can be accomplished with a LANC port, the Propeller, and a camcorder.

Oh, Say, Can you I2C?
Column: The Spin Zone
May 2014
Sometimes programming aficionados assume concepts that are simple to them are understood by everybody when, in reality, they are not. I2C is one of these topics. Get up to speed on this protocol so you can spin circles around fellow enthusiasts.

More Shifty Business
Column: The Spin Zone
March 2014
Expanding quadrature encoder inputs using the 74x165.

Shifty Business
Column: The Spin Zone
January 2014
Sometimes the simple tried-and-true solutions are overlooked because of the ever-increasing sophistication of microcontrollers. Case in point: shift registers.

Digging Into Dynamixels
Column: The Spin Zone
November 2013
Learn the inner workings of these drivers, so you can use them to make your own projects move.

Full Color With One Wire
Column: The Spin Zone
September 2013
LED manufacturers are creating some pretty cool products these days, and with just a little bit of programming, you can have a lot of fun with them.

Sounding Off With WAV Files
Column: The Spin Zone
July 2013
Learn how to play audio with the Propeller, while it’s doing other functions.

A QuickStart to Propeller Fun
Column: The Spin Zone
May 2013
This low cost platform should be a part of every hobbyist’s arsenal.

Pick a Card or ... Abort!!!
Column: The Spin Zone
March 2013
Learn how to make the best use of the abort coding feature to create programs with robust error handling.

New Life for an Old LCD
Column: The Spin Zone
January 2013
The displays we’re looking for specifically use the Philips PCD8544 matrix LCD driver/controller.

Make Magic Candles with the Propeller
October 2010
Discover a cool way to safely simulate flames for all your holiday displays.