N&V January 2008

N&V January 2008
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  • Roll The Dice! by Marc McComb
    A few months back, one of the engineers at Microchip came up with a simple little design using a low-cost, Baseline PIC16F57 microcontroller (MCU). The idea used inexpensive parts such as LEDs and pushbuttons to create an electronic dice board, which the engineer nicknamed microdice, or “µDice.” A basic concept was used for the design — push a button and a value between 1 and 6 is displayed on seven LEDs connected to one of the ports.
  • Psychedelia II by Craig Lindley
    In the September 1969 issue of Popular Electronics Magazine, Don Lancaster presented a color organ which he called Psychedelia I that I thought was the coolest thing I had ever seen. A color organ — as you may know — is a device that splits music up into numerous frequency bands and modulates colored lights (typically one color of light per band) according to musical content. In honor of Don Lancaster (my electronics hero) I named this color organ, Psychedelia II ...
  • Basic Analog Power Supply Design (Part 2) by Gerard Fonte
    In the first part, we saw that there are three main components to an analog power supply: input power conversion and conditioning, rectification and filtering, and regulation. We examined the first two components and in this article we will examine the regulation aspect. We will concentrate on the basic three-terminal regulators that are cheap and easy to obtain ...


  • Build A High Power LED Strobe by Fernando Garcia
    Shed some new light on your next strobe circuit application.
  • Modification Of A Six Volt Lithonia Emergency Light by Clifford Chipman
    Never be left in the dark again with this reliable circuit.
  • Single Chip, Four Channel Datalogger by Dan Gravatt
    Use this inexpensive datalogger to sample analog voltages, convert them to digital values, and store the data in non-volatile memory.


  • Techknowledgey by Jeff Eckert
    Techknowledgey 2008
    Events, Advances, and News.
  • In The Spotlight by Marvin Mallon
    An Interview With Gary Johnston
    Managing Director, Jaycar Electronics.
  • Stamp Applications by Jon Williams
    The Power Of Networking
    For an actor attempting to make his way in Hollywood, the word “networking” takes on a whole host of meanings. It’s a crazy business, really, and what most of us find is that those with the same goals, e.g., becoming an established actor, are not abundantly helpful to each other (a few are downright malicious). So, “networking” — actor to actor, that is — is mostly bupkis in my book. Now, I do have a “Hollywood” network, but the only actors in it are very well established, if not particularly ...
  • Q&A by Russell Kincaid
    Reader Questions Answered Here
    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.
  • Getting Started With PICS by Chuck Hellebuyck
    PICKIT™ 2 Command-Line Option
    I have good news for all the users of Microchip Technology’s PICkit 2 programmer who want to use it with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) other than Microchip’s MPLAB® IDE. Microchip has released a DOS command-line option for the PICkit 2, and I’ve successfully used it with the MicroCode Studio IDE from Mecanique ( and microEngineering Labs’ PICBASIC PRO™ sample version ( ...
  • Personal Robotics by Vern Graner
    Robo Spin Art
    The venerable spin art machines popularized in the 1960s and 1970s created funky, psychedelic artwork many of us remember from the carnivals and county fairs of our youth. Simply put, “spin art” is created when paint is dropped on to a rotating paper, allowing centrifugal force to make streaks of color. The RoboSpinArt machine updates this concept by making spin art attractive to the so-called “joystick generation” of today while also adding on features to the original design.
  • The Design Cycle by Fred Eady
    Managing The Real World
    No matter how powerful a microcontroller may claim to be, a microcontroller by itself cannot do everything in a real-world, I/O-oriented embedded system. For instance, I don’t know of any microcontroller that can directly drive a one ampere resistive or inductive load directly from one of its I/O pins. That means if you’re working on putting together a microcontroller-based system that will interface to motors and relays, a great deal of your design time will be expended on the I/O interface ...
  • Near Space by L. Paul Verhage
    Near Space Applications Using The PICAXE Microcontroller (Part 2)
    The PICAXE-08 is a great microcontroller for small applications that don’t require a lot of I/O pins or memory. This month, we’ll look at two more small near space applications that are perfect for the PICAXE-08 and PICAXE-08M. The first is a programmable camera timer that replaces the standard 555 timer circuit used in most BalloonSats. The second is a cut down device that ensures the timely termination of a near space mission and the separation of the balloon’s fragments. So, let’s see what ...

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