Circuit Cellar Ink 108
July 1999

Table of Contents


Elizabeth Laurencot

Task Manager

Is the Head Screwed on Straight?


Harv Weiner

New Product News

  • Quik Start PICmicro Education Board from Diversified Engineering
  • MMT-51/251 SBC from Midwest Micro-Tek
  • TDS2020GDL GPS Datalogging System from Saelig Co. LLC


Silvio Tresoldi

PDF HTML Sniffing Robot

Robotic Odor Perception

Silvio's robot can perceive odor concentrations and follow a trail, which could be useful in situations where there are harmful gases or other toxic substances. Watch out, bloodhounds; this robot smells better than you!


James M. Conrad
Jonathan W. Mills

PDF A PC-based Controller for the Stiquito Robot

Small. Inexpensive. Easy to develop. The Stiquito meets all of these requirements. If you've never worked with one before, listen up as James and Jonathan explain how they made this little robot walk with a tripod gait. Simple.



Myron Loewen

PDF HTML Internet Appliance Interface

Internet appliances still aren't the most reasonable things out there. (Why pay hundreds more for a $20 toaster?) But, Myron uses a PIC and a 2400-bps modem to make an Internet interface that leads the way to less-expensive Internet appliances.


Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • GPIO-104 PC/104 module for analog and digital I/O from Scidyne
  • PCM-5894 PC/104 Pentium SBC from Emac, Inc.
  • BAT104-7AA PC/104 Battery Backup Module from Tri-M Systems, Inc.
  • Model 5811 PC/104 Pentium SBC from Toronto MicroElectronics, Inc.

Embedded PC


Jeanne Dietsch
William Kennedy
John Belanger
Kurt Konolige

PC/104 Takes a Ride

Embedding a PC in a Robot

When Activmedia Robotics was looking to improve the Pioneer robot, the number-one requested enhancement was an onboard PC. But how do you embed a PC on a mobile robot? The first task: catch up with the robot!

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

Astronomical Issues, Part 4: Digital Radio Software

T minus four, three, two, one! It's time to complete this series on radio astronomy! In this final installment, Ingo focuses on the host software and FPGA configuration so you too can tune in to radio emissions from Jupiter.


Note: Follow-up notes in INK 110 Reader I/O.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Easy DOS it

DOS is dead? Not according to Fred! In fact, he thought DOS was the most feasible solution to his recent project. Fred put some diagnostic and service routines behind a touchscreen interface, and DOS made it easy.


Michael Bading

Low-Cost Data Acquisition System

Michael uses a single-board 8-bit computer complete with its own OS and BASIC interpreter to create a data-acquisition system for under $1000. He did it in three months, too. And the best part is the one it lacks: no PC required.



Ingo Cyliax

Turn the Page

Pager Technology in Embedded Control

Low-bandwidth one-way communication that's wireless and cost effective is the big reason Ingo sees pagers being applied to embedded control applications. Tune in as he uses pager technology to monitor and send alarm conditions to pagers.


Note: Follow-up notes in INK 110 Reader I/O.


Glen Reuschling


USB Primer, Part 3: Low-Speed USB Host Controller

To wrap up our series on the Universal Serial Bus, Glen presents a two-part discussion on building USB hardware from scratch. This month, he lays the groundwork for putting together a USB host controller.


Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Demystifying LCD Muxing

As the number of LCD segments increases, so do connection problems. This month, Jeff takes an up-close look at multiplexing LCDs and the problems we're likely to encounter working on such a task.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Eye Candy -- Camera Chips

Electronic imaging has largely depended on CCD technology, but CMOS imagers are making huge strides these days. Tom looks at a few units capturing the low-resolution market, and boy, are they an eyefull!


HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / August Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

Circuit Cellar Online

Circuit Cellar Online

Steve Freyder
David Helland
Bruce D. Lightner

PDF HTML A $25 Web Server

"See the world's smallest web server." There are no age or height restrictions, but we're talking real excitement. Step right up and see how these guys put together a stand-alone web server that includes an Ethernet controller, real-time networking kernel, TCP/IP stack, and a PCB smaller than a business card.


Circuit Cellar Online

George Novacek

PDF HTML Testing 1, 2

Part 1: Enduring Challenges

According to George, product testing should be more like a torture chamber than a sound check. In this series, he explains how the value of extreme test routines is more important than the cost of those routines. Before this set is over, you will understand why not running electrostatic discharge, electromagnetic immunity, or power and operational shock tests can leave you singing the blues over smoldering electronics.

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Perrin

PDF HTML The Art and Science of RS-485

RS-485 has been around for a while and has quite a range of applications, but that doesn't stop some people from doing it wrong. If you're not too fond of homework, pay attention because Bob is going to share his notes on the RS-485 standard and explain what it takes to successfully implement an RS-485 network.

Circuit Cellar Online

Richard W. Fergus

PDF HTML Electromagnetic Radiation and Severe Weather

Unfortunately, not all severe storms turn out to be just a bad dream. So, if you're running toward the root cellar, you might want to bring Richard's electromagnetic radiation sensor so that you can directly monitor the severity and distance of approaching storms.

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Logging in the '90s, Part 1: Data Acquisition System

Rest easy all you spotted owl fans, George isn't headed for the old growth forests; he's headed toward the new market for data-acquisition systems. As desktop spreadsheet and data-graphing applications become more user friendly, the market for custom data-logging systems is becoming tighter. Join George as he takes a data-acquisition module, Visual Basic, and whittles down some code to form a general-purpose data logger.


Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Perrin

PDF HTML Considering the Details

Pedigree Protection, Watchdog Circuits

A motion-triggered recording of vicious canines may keep the average cat burglar off of your property, but it takes more than just the presence of a watchdog circuit to keep embedded-system failures at bay. Sit, stay, and listen while Bob explains how effective watchdog timers are implemented in hardware and software.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Something Happened on the Way to the Forum

Buckle up as Tom takes a ride down the microprocessor highway and visits the Embedded Microprocessor Forum. Come to a complete stop and listen as he discusses the latest in embedded microprocessors and even gives some insight as to what kinds of products will be crossing our paths down the road.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jeff Bachiochi

HTML Ask Us, The Engineer's Tech-Help Resource

Let us help keep your project on track or simplify your design decision. Put your tough technical questions in front of the ASK US team. In an engineering predicament? Read questions & answers from other engineers.

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Perrin

What's Your Engineering Quotient?

Test Your EQ presents some basic engineering problems for you to test your engineering quotient.

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Paddock

Resource Links

Each month Circuit Cellar's Resource Links provide helpful links and information on a variety of featured topics.

Circuit Cellar Online

Harv Weiner

New Product News

New Product submissions may be sent to Harv Weiner, 4 Park St., Vernon, CT 06066.
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