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March 2006

Nuts and Volts Magazine

20 I/O Pin Data Acquisition Board

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Features

Leaving The Cradle

In 1911, Russian space pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky famously wrote, “The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.”


Resistors: Types And Applications

An ohm is an ohm, right? Not so fast — there are many different types of resistors. In this article, you'll learn about the common types of resistors and their special characteristics.



Projects

Build The Sound Lab Mini-Synth Sound Synthesizer

Audio/Video

This article will show you how to build a very cool analog sound synthesizer. You will learn about analog sound generation, have a great project building experience, and have hours of sound synthesizing fun. I would say that the difficulty of this project is somewhere between an intermediate and advanced level.


Build This Cool Interface To Work With Your Exercise Bike

Health

One form of low impact exercise is an exercise bike, however, as with any exercise, we are more likely to do it on a regular basis if we can stay motivated. As a software and hardware developer, I decided to create an interface to one of my exercise bikes. Before I started, I set out with a few requirements.


20 I/O Pin Data Acquisition Board

Circuits

Easily Incorporate the Power of Your PC Into Any Project



Columns

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Wading The BS1 Debug Stream
For those of you that have been around for a long time, or have taken the time to go back through past issues of this column, you may remember that Scott Edwards tackled this subject back in October of 1996. Scott was able to [correctly] deduce most of the aspects of the BS1 DEBUG stream through empirical observation. I have the advantage of working “on the inside” and, after spending an hour chatting with our compiler engineer, it’s my intent to show you how to use the BS1’s DEBUG output in you

Q&A
by TJ Byers
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
More Fun With Freescale’s Microcontrollers
All of the MC68HC908MR16 groundwork was done in the previous installment of Design Cycle, and we’ve got plenty of new MC68HC908MR16 stuff to cover this time around. So, be sure to download all of the MC68HC908MR16 C project files I’ve provided so you can follow along live and in real-time with the text and new MC68HC908MR16 projects I’m about to present. I’ll stop flapping my jaws so we can get to work. Let’s begin by bringing up the MC68HC908MR16’s RS-232 serial port.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
PIC-to-PC Communication
This month, I want to address one form of PIC-to-PC communication using serial RS232 format, and you get this one for free (excluding the magazine subscription fee).

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2006
Events, Advances, and News

Let’s Get Technical
by James Antonakos
A Good Listener Requires A Good Talker
Alright, those are hardly as dramatic as “Watson, come quick! I need you!” but they are just as satisfying because they are the third and fourth things my new speech board said to me. To find out what the first two phrases were, read on.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
A Martian Near Space Launch
I’ll address three factors in this month’s column. The first is the surface winds and their effect on filling and launching a weather balloon. The second factor is how the atmospheric composition and pressure on the surface will affect the initial volume of a weather balloon. The last factor is how atmospheric pressure changes with altitude. This factor is important because it determines the maximum altitude that a weather balloon will reach before bursting.

Departments

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine in New Products
New product reviews

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine in News Bytes
In a bit of corporate euthanasia, Sony Corporation has announced the cancellation of its four-legged robotic pet program — Aibo. As part of a major restructuring plan aimed at thwarting its waning fiscal fortunes, Sony will formerly cease production of this lovable, albeit costly, robot dog in March 2006.