Everything for Electronics

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November 2018

Nuts and Volts Magazine


Features

10 Awesome Raspberry Pi HATs You Need to Try

Whether you’re building your own electronic drum kit or measuring distance with a 3D scanner, a HAT can give your Raspberry Pi exactly the functionality you need.


Keep Your Home Secure with Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi can be the foundation of a great DIY home security system.


Rebuilding a Tektronix THS7X0 Portable Oscilloscope Battery Pack

One of the best portable devices on the electronics bench over the last two decades is the Tektronix THS700 series. Here’s how I was able to replace the dead batteries in my oscilloscope at minimal expense.


Light Bulbs, LEDs, and Circuit Junctions

Take a look at some specific electrical properties of both light bulbs and LEDs, and use them to discuss junctions in DC circuits


Enhance Your Debugging Tool Suite

Combining logic analyzer decoders with an embedded software Manchester encoder creates yet another tool to enhance your debugging and diagnostic skills.


Replacing The 555 With A PIC — Part 4 — A Digital Analog

This forth article discusses the more complex circuits. from 555 Timer IC Circuits by Forrest Mims.


Review: Zeppelin Design Labs — Altura MIDI Theremin

Play a theremin with a little help from a kit.


Super Simple Projects for Learning Soldering and More

Super Simple Projects for Learning Soldering and More


Measuring Resistance with the Mentor’s Friend

Measure resistance with the Mentor’s Friend using a simple RC decay circuit and algorithm.


The Arduino Graphics Interface — Part 2

Part 2 — Software Concepts and Support Library


Ready Player 2: CC3200 Wi-Fi & IoT MCU — Part 1

Working with CC3200 Launchpad and Code Composer Studio (CCS).


Amigo Color BASIC — The Missing Manual

Here’s is additional data to add some zest to your Amigo adventures!


Understanding Ohm’s Law with a “Trick” Question

Stimulate thinking about Ohm’s Law with these “trick” questions.


Can You Trust Your Voltmeter?

You can easily build or buy a perfectly good IC voltage reference and set your mind at ease about the accuracy of your meters.


Setting Up the Raspberry Pi 3

A learning tutorial for the Raspberry Pi 3 on a stick.


Replacing The 555 With A PIC — Part 5 — A Digital Analog

This is the final installment that looks at the circuits from the book, 555 Timer IC Circuits by Forrest Mims, which were not covered in any of the preceding four articles.


How Does Electricity Know to Light Up a Light Bulb?

POSER #1: How does electricity know to light the bulb while leaving everything else dark?


DIY Biotech: Harnessing Bacteria for Fermentation

The first installment in a series of DIY Biotech articles.


Meet the Microbitx:  A Simple to Build, Yet Challenging All-Band Transceiver Kit

The eagerly anticipated Microbitx transceiver kit is not without its own set of problems.


Get ASCII Data from PS-2 Keyboards

Convert PS-2 key codes to corresponding ASCII values.


TGI: The TEENSY Graphics Interface

Building a new version of the Arduino Graphics Interface with a TEENSY 3.6 processor.


FPGAs for the Hobbyist: NTSC Shield

Design a video shield for Embedded Micro’s Mojo V3 FPGA Development Board.


Practical Ideas for Portable Magnetic Loop Antennas

A simple setup for a magnetic loop antenna.


Mass Confusion: The End of the Kilogram as We Know It

The metric system will be changing in a way that is more profound than anything since its establishment following the French Revolution.


Ready Player 2: CC3200 Wi-Fi & IoT MCU — Part 2

Working with CC3200 Launchpad and Code Composer Studio (CCS) — Part 2



Projects

Build the IoT Sump Pump (or Pretty Much Anything IoT)

My goal for this project was to design a device that will monitor the sump pump water level in my basement and text me if the water level gets too high.


Create an LED Sign Controller

The step-by-step approach in this tutorial gives you what you need to know to make an LED display sign of your own with a customized controller.


The Arduino Graphics Interface — Part 1

Part 1 — Design Concepts and Hardware Fabrication


Build an Analog-Style LED Clock — Part 1

Part 1 - The test circuit, using Charlieplexing to individually control 182 LEDs with only 14 I/O lines, and reading four pushbuttons by connecting them to the LED matrix with a handful of other discrete components.


Build a Customizable Musical Doorbell

Select from among eight different tone sequences from a single doorbell switch, or up to four doorbell switches, each with its own tone sequence, for different doors/locations.


DIY WeMo for Home Automation

Use WeMo to wirelessly turn lights on and off from the comfort of your couch.


Build A MIDI Lyre

MIDI-enable a lyre to create a simple elegant instrument that anyone can play.


Build the MIDI Replay Stomp Box

The MIDI Replay stomp box is a powerful configuration and recording device for keyboard players, based on the wonderful MIDI protocol: the standard musical language of over 30 years.


Build an Analog-Style LED Clock — Part 2

Part 2 - Finishing the circuit, making the printed circuit board, building the clock, and how the software works.


Build a Custom Weather Gauge — Part 2

Explore Internet connected digital & analog displays with this custom weather gauge platform.


Build a Basic Audio Distortion Analyzer

Construct a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) analyzer that’s easy on the wallet.


Build Your Own Funky STEAMPUNK Display

Using 1” high seven-segment electromechanical displays (EMDs) in projects.


Speaker Protection and Muting with an Optical Coupler

Build this optically-coupled speaker protection circuit when using homebrew or vintage amplifiers.


Build a Continuity Tester

Go old-school with this custom design of a continuity tester.


Build a Musical Laser Rainbow Machine

Make liquid light with lasers and music.


Build A USB Cable Continuity Test Jig

Build a simple test jig that will make it easier for you to quickly check the continuity of a four-conductor USB cable.


Build a MIDI Autoharp

Build a MIDI controller in the form of an autoharp instrument.



Columns

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Raspberry Pi Zero Flight Computer — Part 3
Finishing up the Raspberry Pi near space flight computer.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Ham Radio Put to Work
Ham radio is a fertile source of inspirations!

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (03.2018)
Questions about targeted dunking, sensor inversion, and training a train.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Events, Advances, and News (05.2018)
Information on current events, advances, and news in various technology fields.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (01.2018)
Questions regarding PIC sounds for a camera; going the distance with I2C; and analog flickering.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (07.2018)
Questions involving high voltage at a low cost; and N, P, or what?

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Filter Design Software
Conclusion of a short tour through filters and filter design.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Working with High Voltages
Avoid the “gotchas” when working with high voltage.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (05.2018)
Questions about a moisture monitor; IDE madness; and how to lever up with steppers.

The Spin Zone
by Jon McPhalen
Fun & Games with the Propeller
Repurposing code and components in Propeller projects.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Filter Basics: Stop, Block, and Roll(off)
A discussion on filter basics to give you a better understanding of how filters behave and are specified.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Antenna Supports: What You Need to Know Aloft
Questions about targeted dunking, sensor inversion, and training a train.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Total Solar Eclipse Near Space Flight Results — Part 2
More data discovered from the August 2017 Solar Eclipse.

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
Ham Radio in a Pinch
When disaster strikes, ham radio keeps working when other means of communication go down.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Smartphone App Programming for Remote Control
There’s almost nothing you can’t do with a smartphone. However, if you want to cook up something special for yourself using your iPhone or Android device, it’s advantageous to have tools that help you get your arms around smartphone app programming.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
ARMing a Postage Stamp-Sized LCD
ARM a Crystalfontz CFAL9664B-F-B1 graphic OLED display module.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Graphical LCD Programming with the Touch Display 4.3
Send those outdated serial port menu routines into the Recycle Bin and go graphical with CCS’ Touch Display 4.3 Development Kit.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (02.2018)
Questions about neutering the spray of a hand mixer gone wild and making a better baby monitor.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Events, Advances, and News (03.2018)
Information on current events, advances, and news in various technology fields.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
EasyPIC Fusion v7 Development Board Really Clicks with Cellular IoT
Cellular IoT on the cheap.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Raspberry Pi Zero Flight Computer
Exploring the Raspberry Pi as a flight computer for BalloonSat missions.

The Design Cycle
by Fred Eady
Go PICBASIC PRO with C
Think you can’t code in C because your first language is BASIC? Well, you are dead wrong.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Events, Advances, and News (01.2018)
Information on current events, advances, and news in various technology fields.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Events, Advances, and News (07.2018)
Information on current events, advances, and news in various technology fields.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Reader Questions Answered Here (09.2018)
Questions related to dealing with a constant hum and getting into brain control.

Q&A
by Kristen McIntyre
Electronics Q&A (11.2018)
Questions related to voice control; a heart rate sensor to use with an Apple Watch; disposing of lead-based solder; 75W vs. 100W LED lights; and waterproof sensors.

The Spin Zone
by Jon McPhalen
Programming in the Real World
My focus this time is on the counters, and how their flexibility helped me knock out a critical application in very little time.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Seven Common Ways to Generate a Sine Wave
There are literally dozens of ways to generate a sine wave. Here are some of the more popular methods you should be familiar with.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Killer Wi-Fi Now Available
An update on Wi-Fi: A closer look at the latest version, a summary of the problems, and a look at what’s in store for you.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
How Phased Array Antennas Work
Introductory tutorial on a special antenna type you need to know about.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Connected Cars are Coming
In the coming years, we will be seeing new wireless systems incorporated into every vehicle for improving safety and for aiding in the implementation of self-driving cars.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
The 2018 Great Plains Super Launch
The Great Plains Super Launch has really taken off!

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Raspberry Pi Zero Flight Computer — Part 2
Exploring the Raspberry Pi as a flight computer for BalloonSat missions — Part 2.

Departments

New Products (11.2018)
Voltage Measurement DAC Hat For Pi, Arbitrary Function Generators, Learn Electronics Crash Course, Flexres Oscilloscopes, Passive Voltage Oscilloscope Probes

Infrastructure Dependence
by Bryan Bergeron
Are virtual instruments making us too dependent on network providers?

Electronics Padawans
by Bryan Bergeron
Whether you’re a Padawan or helping one along on their journey toward the mastery of electronics, may the EMF be with you.

Degrees of Automation
by Bryan Bergeron
What’s your preference when it comes to electronic projects: handmade or produced by a machine?

The Boiling Frog
by Bryan Bergeron
The parable of the boiling frog is a metaphor that aptly describes many commodity electronics products.

Electronics as a Portal to Other Hobbies
by Bryan Bergeron
The electronics portal leads to many potential adventures.

DIY Biotech: The Ultimate STEM Track?
by Bryan Bergeron
The oldest maker activity on the planet — DIY Biotech, including genetic engineering and cell-based manufacturing — is poised to change everything.

Go Ahead — Play with Your Food
by Bryan Bergeron
Mixing electronics and food.