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December 2010

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Build Your Own Harry Potter Style Wizard Dueling Wands

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Features

A Quick Tour of the 16-Bit Micro Experimenter Module

There's a lot of cool stuff to be done with the Experimenter board we introduced to you a couple months ago. So, let's take a look at several of the important subsystems and apply some working applications.


Enhanced User Interface for the 16-Bit Micro Experimenter

Enhance the Experimenter user interface with a rotary encoder using the PIC24F timer peripheral set and its interrupt capability.


Explore USB with WinUSB

Learn how to program and access Win USB devices with this introduction to the firmware and applications. You can use it in your next project that utilizes USB.


The Projects of Prototype This!

Joe Grand takes a closer look at the electronic aspects of his different builds from the popular Discovery Channel show Prototype This! This month, get behind the PyroPack


The Projects of Prototype This!

Take a closer look at the electronics aspects of the different builds from the popular Discovery Channel show Prototype This! The first project is avrsimon - a modernized version of the popular memory game.


Reading and Writing an EEPROM Using the Arduino

When faced with a dilemma of unavailable programmed replacement chips and the prohibitively expensive cost of a commercial programmer, the Arduino platform came to the rescue.


Making the DEFCON 17 Badge

Joe’s annual commentary of what it took to pull off another innovative design for the badge of a very unique event.


Oscilloscope Probes and Probing

Do you get erratic results with your oscilloscope? As you start probing higher and higher frequencies, do the results get increasingly odder. Let's address the reasons for that strange behavior and construct an Active Probe for about $25.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Fuel Cell Polarization States and Efficiencies.


Pulse Operations with the 16-Bit Micro Experimenter

Time to add more tools to your Experimenter board! This month, we’ll look at the digital pulse capture and generation capabilities.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Fuel Cell Basics.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Introducing the WindPitch Wind Turbine.


The Projects of Prototype This!

Joe Grand takes a closer look at the electronic aspects of his different builds from the popular Discovery Channel show Prototype This! This time, it’s the wristband GPS transmitter.


The Projects of Prototype This!

Joe Grand takes a closer look at the electronic aspects of his different builds from the popular Discovery Channel show Prototype This! This month, go deep with a virtual sea adventure.


Become a Wiz with Wireless Ethernet Devices

in The Design Cycle

This month, we are going to design and construct the first device of the next generation of embedded wireless Ethernet devices. While we’re at it, we’ll also lay the groundwork for incorporating Microchip’s 16-bit line of microcontrollers into future Design Cycle projects.



Projects

Versatile Digital Alarm Clock

Digital Electronics

Who says you can't control time? This project gives you lots of features and styles to choose from so you can customize your timepiece to your heart's content.


Build the VEX Two-Digit Scoreboard

Nuts & Volts Special

Follow the construction of this unique scoreboard that you can add to any of your own projects.


Implementing a Data Logger with the 16-bit Micro Experimenter

Microcontroller/PIC

As we build on our Experimenter board, this time we'll add a stand-alone data logging application.


Thermoelectric Powered Sunflowers

Home Automation

This summer, create a nice evening ambience using a thermoelectric generator that gets its power from the sun.


Build the Self-Locking Box

Electronic Gadgets

Design your own RFID-controlled box that only you can open.


Garage Parking Assistant

Say goodbye to your teenis ball on a string! Now you can park your car in the garage easily and electronically with this cool device!


Build This Indoor Shooting Range

Electronic Gadgets

Now you can do target practice in the privacy of your home using photon bullets with your own gun.


Make the PLL Frequency Synthesizer with PIC Control

Audio/Video

This project describes how to build a frequency synthesizer — a device which generates a stable waveform at a user-selected frequency. Frequency synthesizers are handy test instruments for digital circuits, and can also be used for audio signal generators or radio frequency mixing applications. This project is easy to build, easy to use, and a great way to learn more about how phase-locked loops work.


Make the SmartStat-Plus

by Tom Fox
Digital Electronics

This MCU-controller digital thermostat will mlnitor your furnace and AC filter, and let you know if there's a problem.


Using a 128x64 Graphics Display with Your 16-Bit Micro Experimenter

Microcontroller/PIC

In the Feb ’10 issue, we introduced you to the new Experimenter Module. This time, we’ll show you how to add an LCD display that allows you to have graphics and text at the same time.


Make the Bike Blinker Plus

Electronic Gadgets

As a cyclist, not only will you be more visible at night with this handy gadget that fits into your helmet, you’ll also know the air temperature!


Build the Shazam!!

Light up the eyes of trick-or-treaters this year with lightning bolts and thunder claps which are hidden within a photo frame.


Shake, Rattle, and Roll Vibration Monitor

Electronic Gadgets

There's a whole lotta shaking goin' on, and now you can keep track of it.


Turn A Broken Laptop Into A Digital Picture Frame

Give an old laptop a new life by turning it into a digital photo gallery.


Wireless Trailer Taillights

Build a set of wireless taillights that you can use on any trailer.


Piezoelectric Film Speaker

Audio/Video

Experiment with this unique piezoelectric material to see what kind of audio sounds you can produce with film and a little voltage.


Flower Power

Nuts & Volts Special

You too can power a device from a set of potted plants! However, in this case, the cells of the battery draw their energy directly from the plants, rather than from an electrochemical process.


Put a Temperature Sensor in Your Next Arduino Project

Microcontroller/PIC

This particular application is for a compost monitoring device, however, you’ll learn ways to incorporate Dallas temperature sensors into your own Arduino builds.


TouchTone Phone Controller

Circuits

This circuit offers the ability to control multiple AC devices using a TouchTone phone and off-the-shelf wireless transmitters.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Nuts & Volts Special

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Experimenting with the WindPitch Wind Turbine.


Build a Jumbo LED Digital Thermometer

Digital Electronics

Although the original usage for this device was for a fish tank, home beer brewers, hydroponic gardeners, amateur weather watchers, or folks interested in energy management will appreciate the easy-to-read temperatures.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Automotive

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Build the Telematics Car.


Make Magic Candles with the Propeller

Electronic Gadgets

Discover a cool way to safely simulate flames for all your holiday displays.


Is Your Garage Door Open?

You’ll never have to wonder again with this handy device.


Build Your Own Electronics Test Fixtures

Setting up test fixtures your for components will help you sort through your junk box quickly and speed your projects along.


Build the WatchPuppy

by Jim Sky
Computer Related

Keep your unattended computers working in the event of a software crash with this device that can reboot your modem, router, or other networking device when needed. You can also use the WatchPuppy as a remote monitoring device for temperature or voltages. This is an open-ended project that can be expanded to meet your specific needs.


Build a Low Voltage Insulation Tester

An easy modification allows a low tech analog ohmmeter to detect insulation faults that a high tech digital ohmmeter fails to find.


Wizard Dueling Wands

Electronic Gadgets

Your kids will think you’re a wiz when they’re able to recreate their own Deathly Hallows with these unique dueling wands.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Build a three-phase AC wind turbine.


Program Small Devices With Big Abilities

Programming

Learn how to use the .NET Micro Framework in your projects.


Implementing a File I/O System for the 16-bit Micro Experimenter

Microcontroller/PIC

Add even more capability to your Experimenter by integrating a PC compatible file I/O.


Phreak Out with the BASIC Stamp 2

Programming

Remember the old days of hacking/phreaking with your cell phone? Well, you can revisit those times (or try them out for the first time) in a fun, legally safe environment.


Experiments with Alternative Energy

Nuts & Volts Special

Learn the fundamentals of renewable energy through this educational series. This month: Experimenting with the Whirlybird Wind Turbine.



Columns

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
Lighting Up the Season — Again!
I like this time of year. The air is clear (even in Los Angeles!), the mornings are crisp, and the evenings are brightened with holiday decorations that illuminate the insides and outsides of homes everywhere. My home is somewhat small, so my lighting projects are, too. Small doesn't make me wimpy, though, and my little 12-channel lighting board for the Propeller Platform is designed to be tough enough for applications that go way beyond LEDs.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Topics covered include a humongous hybrid, the world's first USB 3.0 RAID drive, text-to-speech handheld, plus other stuff.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Topics covered include the destruction of the universde, Mac upgrades, a three-axis gyroscope in a single package, plus some other stuff you'll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2010
Topics covered include Maxwell’s demon is discovered, affordable night vision, new ’scopes are introduced, butterflies are not free, plus some other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Return of the memristor, home for Mac orphans, new Class-D audio amps, plus some other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Solar airplane takes flight, what’s old is new again (think Commodore 64), compact AC/DC power supplies, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Artificial black hole created, your own teleprompter, talking with pedal power, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
The return of the Nixie, molecular bot walks and decides, IBM tweaks Microsoft, laser generates bursts of nothing, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Wastewater that produces electricity, custom gaming computer, 2.5-D images by Christmas, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
A new approach to solar, a new battleground in hacker wars, the world’s smallest 64 GB SSD, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Topics covered include glitter power, an entry-level server, Psystar throws in the towel, plus some other stuff you'll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Topics covered include the fastest graphene transistor, turning your HDTV into a videophone, a flytrap that eats cesium, plus some other stuff you’ll find interesting.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
TechKnowledgey 2010
Touchable 3D TV, free dupe remover, another win for relativity, plus other stuff you’ll find interesting.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
What’s New in Home Networking?
Home networking with wireless and wired technologies.

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
SIRCS, Propeller Style!
SIRCS is a pulse-width modulated protocol transmitted over an IR beam that is primarily used in the consumer electronics arena (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, etc.).

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
Spinning Up Fun With Encoders
While we’re on the topic of expanding inputs with just a few I/O pins, I’m also going to show you how to apply an old trick to this new processor.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Experimenting with Commercial Wireless Modules
Wireless everything. That is what I am seeing more and more. Practically every electronic product these days has some kind of wireless component or function to it. That’s why it makes sense to learn more about wireless.

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
Propeller Time
The Propeller’s architecture gives us the ability to be fairly precise about timing without much effort, and I thought it was time we delve into that a bit. Timing, that is.

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Introducing Tex and Rex: The IR Twins
In this month’s column, we’re going to re-visit the infrared realm, but this time we’re going to take a different approach and develop two very simple IR boards — each of which serves only one specific function. Rex will be our IR receiver and Tex will transmit IR signals to Rex.

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
The Joy of Joysticks
The first joysticks, of course, were simply made up of switches pressed by a plate connected to the stick.Then came analog joysticks which were built up with two potentiometers mechanically linked at a 90-degree angle; one pot for each axis. The original PC joysticks were easy to connect to microcontrollers without hacking. With the proliferation of USB ports, though, analog joysticks changed their interface and are no longer microcontroller-friendly. Darn ...

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Thumbs Up for the Vinculum-II Toolchain.
The Vinculum-II embedded dual USB host controller takes all of the hard work out of interfacing and controlling USB devices. In this case the Vinculum-II goes one step further to save us both money and time.

The Spin Zone
by Jon Williams
Basic Propeller Programming
If y ou've been waiting for BASIC to play with the Propeller, your wait is over!

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Programming the MAX7219 LED Display Driver
This month, we’ll experiment with three different programs for our display and one for our 28X1 master processor. First, we’ll try out a simple program to count from 0 to 9999, and then we’ll throw in a little “zero-blanking” for good measure.

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Introduction to the PICAXE-18M2 Processor
As promised, in this month’s Primer we’re going to take our first look at the new PICAXE-18M2 processor. If you read the brief “teaser” of new 18M2 features that I included in the previous installment, you already know that it’s an impressive processor, to say the least.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
A Count down timer, large clock, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Low voltage warning, alternator regulator, magnetic questions, Geiger counter, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Neon lamps and LEDS, generator voltage regulator, PC board current capacity, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
A cheap strobe, thermometer repair, re-using old transformers, solar light, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Christmas tree lights, clock oscillator schematic, noisy audio, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Power supply, mystery component, convert DC meter to AC, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Irrigation timer, video switch, plus the MailBag.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Hum detection, Video buffer, LCD backlight, game clock, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
High voltage sine wave, obscure battery, black body heat source, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q&A
Attic fan control, seven-segment LED help, a timer project, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
Lightning protection circuit, fan control, op-amp tester, plus more.

Q&A
by Russell Kincaid
Q & A
A doorbell light, soldering iron timer, revisiting the countdown timer and large clock, plus more.

Fundamentals For Beginners
Potentiometers
These experiments were provided by GSSTechEd.

Fundamentals For Beginners
Resistors
These experiments are provided by GSSTechEd.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 19: A Simple Terminal
Selecting a serial port and getting user input. Part 2

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 21: Breadboarduino
Let's bust up the Arduino and reconstruct our own version from the pieces. Part 21

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Using the AxMate Power and Programming Adapter
In this month’s installment of the PICAXE Primer, we’re going to construct a simple “AxMate” adapter that provides all the necessary breadboard connections for powering and programming a PICAXE project.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 24: AVR Memory - Part 2 — EEPROM
AVR Memory — Part 2: EEPROM Part 24

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 18: Graphical User Interfaces
A deeper look into communications between the Arduino and a PC Part 1

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 20: Arduino Voltmeter
Build an Arduino voltmeter and meet the FT232R Part 3

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Shuffling The TCP/IP Stack
This month, in addition to shuffling bits in the Microchip TCP/IP stack, we’re going to perform some soldering iron surgery.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Taking USB Downstream
Up to this point, we’ve been working our USB device magic on an upstream connection to a USB host. The time has come to take on USB host responsibilities and originate a downstream connection from the Type A USB connector of a USB host we will design and assemble.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
A Universal Micro Design
When I’m not writing, I’m soldering. With that, I figure most of you are not looking down the sights of a soldering iron as much as I am. So, instead of subjecting you to soldering up my SERVO-inspired experimental micro-SD card interface, I decided to design a simple and super-low-cost microSD interface card that you can build on your bench.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Still Rockin’ the microSD Card
took a while, but paper punch cards finally bit the dust. Good old RS-232 is in the rocking chair, as well.These days, thanks to the microcontroller industries’ hardware refinements and ready-to-run library code, putting a USB portal online is just as easy as building an RS-232 interface.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 26: AVR Memory - Part 4 — Writing to AVR Flash!
AVR Memory — Part 4: Writing to AVR Flash! Part 26

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Using the MAX7219 LED Display Driver
Using the MAX7219 LED display driver for any PICAXE project.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Q & A about Digital Radio
Crystal radios are just a simple diode demodulator for amplitude modulation (AM) signals. Typically, crystal radios are built to receive local AM broadcast stations. And while those stations still exist, that might not be the case in the future.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Shortwave Listening: What it is, how to do it, and what to buy.
Once the vacuum tube came along, radio really took off and stations sprung up around the world. Even with a simple radio, you could hear local and far away stations.Today, there are still many of us who like to do this. The activity is shortwave listening (SWL) and it is both fun and a challenge.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
ZeroG Goes USB
The ZeroG - PIC24FJ128GA006 Trainer project sparked quite a bit of Nuts & Volts reader interest.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Bringing a USB-to-UART Protocol Converter to Life
Did you know that Microchip offers a USB 2.0 to UART protocol converter? It’s called the MCP2200.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
The Design Cycle
Making a mesh of things.

Fundamentals For Beginners
Photocells
These experiments were provided by GSSTechEd.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 27: AVR Memory - Part 5 — Bootloaders
AVR Memory — Part 5: Bootloaders Part 27

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 28: Gettin’ A Little Shifty
Learning about and using shift registers Part 28

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
SuperPIC to the 32-bit Rescue!
I also have the latest version of the MPLAB C32 Compiler for PIC32 microcontrollers which supports all of the new SuperPIC features. I don’t know about you, but having all of this development stuff in front of me says “Build something!”

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Gettin’ Jiggy with the Vinculum-II Hardware Design
Heat up your soldering iron. It’s time to forge some solder, silicon, ceramics, plastic, metal, and fiberglass into an electronic instrument capable of transferring our ideas to a piece of silicon we know as the FTDI Vinculum-II. The first order of business is to pick up where we left off last month.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Crystal Clock Oscillators: The Heart of All Communications Products
If you look inside any electronic product today, there are a few circuits and components that are common to all of them. For example, every product contains at least one microcontroller that runs it. Another circuit that you will see — especially in communications products — is a crystal oscillator or clock. This circuit generates precise timing signals that control everything else — including that microcontroller. In communications gear like radios, that crystal is the source of the exact opera

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 29: SPI and the AVR Butterfly DataFlash
Creating some AVR software and hardware SPI function libraries. Part 29

Fundamentals For Beginners
How a Speaker Works
These experiments are provided by GSSTechEd.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Go Nuts with the Kadtronix USB HID API Library
The Kadtronix USB HID API Library was initially designed to support Visual Basic 6 and Visual C++ 6.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Sun Sensor for Data Collection
The sun sensor presented here is just the ticket for data collection that's sun sensitive. So this month's article discusses a design I developed for near space use.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 23: AVR Memory - Part 1 — Introduction
AVR Memory — Part 1: Introduction. Part 23

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
They Came From Outer Space!
Atoms from another star and possibly from another galaxy are detectable right here on earth.What are these mysterious rays and how are they detected in near space?

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 25: AVR Memory - Part 3 — Program Memory In A Flash!
AVR Memory — Part 3: Program Memory In A Flash! Part 25

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
Implementing an ADC Keypad
This alternate approach only requires a single ADC input to decode a 12- or 16-key matrix keypad, so it’s suitable for use with any 08M-based project.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Build a Near Space Infrared Telescope
Parallax has made available an inexpensive infrared thermometer that makes it possible to measure the temperature of an object just by looking at it. In this month’s article, I’d like to share how I used this thermometer to design a simple infrared near space telescope that measures the temperature of the sky during a near space mission.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
The Canon Hacker Development Kit
A simple script can give a Canon camera its own intervalometer while more complex programs allow a camera to vary settings like zoom, f-stop, shutter speed, and exposure time while it’s taking pictures. A big thanks goes to Mark Conner and the folks on the GPSL Yahoo! groups for making me aware of this fantastic camera system.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
The Canon Hacker Development Kit — Part 2.
Last time, this column introduced CHDK and how to load it on a camera’s SD card. Locking the SD card makes it bootable on a Canon camera and that allows you to write simple scripts that automate features of Canons that aren’t otherwise available.This month’s column discusses the syntax of the uBasic scripting language so you can begin writing your own scripts.The next article will cover when I gave a NearSys BalloonSat flight computer control of a Canon camera running a remote script.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Open Communication
Update On the Mobile Wireless Products We All Crave.

Smiley’s Workshop
by Joe Pardue
Smiley’s Workshop 22: Busy as a BeAVR
Let's take a look at the BeAVR (Breadboard enabled AVR), an open source design concept for AVR hardware and software. Part 22

Fundamentals For Beginners
How an SCR Works
Just getting started in electronics?

Fundamentals For Beginners
FUNdamentals For Beginners
How a PNP Transistor Works

Departments

How a Capacitor Works
in Fundamentals For Beginners
The function of a capacitor is to store an electrical charge. In this circuit, we will watch an LED slowly dim as the capacitor discharges.

What a Diode Does
Just getting started in electronics? Try these simple demos to illustrate electronics principles and how components function in actual circuits!

Tech Forum
Visit our monthly Tech Forum with Questions and Answers from readers of Nuts & Volts Magazine

Tech Forum
Visit our Tech Forum for your Reader-To-Reader Questions and Answers.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
by Bryan Bergeron
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Good Things Come With Small Packages
by Bryan Bergeron
A good friend drops by your place and, knowing that you’re an electronics enthusiast, asks for help with a new handheld gadget that suddenly stopped working.

Truth in Specifications?
by Bryan Bergeron
A recent book project of mine revealed manufacturers were either intentionally or unintentionally misleading consumers with product specifications that were confusing, incomplete, or simply false.