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March 2015

Nuts and Volts Magazine


Features

Beyond the Arduino

Ready to cut the apron strings and discover what it’s like to work directly with a microcontroller? This series will help you down that road less travelled.


Give Your Sound a Boost — Amplifier Modules to Power Your Project’s Audio

Want to hear about a way to add sound to your project? Then, check out this review on a selection of low to mid power amplifier modules from Parts Express.


A Look at the 23rd Annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST!

So, what’s the big deal about a vintage computer expo in this modern world of Windows, Androids, and iPads? Not only does this event highlight the TRS-80 Color Computer, but it also showcases a unique fusion of old and new technology.



Projects

Build a Frequency Counter

Electronic Gadgets

Frequency counters have been around for years as a standard piece of test equipment in both commercial and hobby labs. If you need one for your workshop, take a gander at the one presented here.


A Cost-Effective Traffic Light Controller

Electronic Gadgets

This project spotlights how sometimes the good old fashioned way is the most efficient when constructing circuits.



Columns

Q&A
by Tim Brown
Reader Questions Answered Here (03.2015)
Find out how to fix burn marks on LCD screens and whether or not to go with CFLs or LEDs.

PICAXE Primer
by Ron Hackett
USB-to-Serial Adapters Revisited
Explore a hardware solution that allows you to use a wide variety of relatively inexpensive USB-to-serial adapter cables in PICAXE breadboard projects.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Oscillators
Every signal begins with an oscillator — which is a key element in ham radio to generate, mix, and extract the info from these signals. Let's see how to make an audio oscillator, plus learn about common RF types.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
New Short-Range Wireless Standards Target IoT Applications
Now, it is easier than ever to connect devices over the Internet with the features available in upgraded versions of Bluetooth and ZigBee.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
A Blueprint for Embedded Wi-Fi
Last month, we discovered that the Numbat Wi-Fi module on the Moray development board can take care of itself in the wild. However, you can’t Wi-Fi in the woods if you have to be attached to the USB port of a laptop. This month, we will replace the USB cable, laptop, and terminal emulator with a simple PIC microcontroller and some tricky CCS C code.