Circuit Cellar Ink 113
December 1999

Table of Contents


Steve Meyst

Task Manager

Managing Managing Editors


Harv Weiner

New Product News

  • Qik Start 17 PIC development module from Diversified Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc.
  • MEMKey keypad encoder from Solutions Cubed
  • Stepper Motor Prototyping Kit from Mosaic Industries, Inc.
  • TH-03 thermistor-to-PC converter from The Saelig Company


Reader I/O

Letters to the Editor


Carl Huben

The Poisson Network

A One-Way Architecture for Data-Collection Applications

The technique described here could cut the cost, complexity, and power consumption of every sensor. An unusual approach to data collection? Perhaps, but with Carl as a guide, you can go from network basic to concept implementation in one sitting.


Note: Carl Huben has passed away; see INK 115 Reader I/O.


Donald Blake

PDF, PDF HTML, HTML Being Cool is Easy

A Temperature-Sensing Control Device

Skip the expensive sunglasses and red sports car. According to Donald, all you need is a microcontroller, an X-10 temperature sensor, and some interfacing software to control a fan to stay cool on a hot summer day.

Download: Blake.ZIP


Randy Heisch

Thermoelectric Micropower Generation

An Alternative Power

In this project, Randy mixes new technology (a thermoelectric cooler) with some old technology (fire) to create an alternative low-power generator. It may not be the solution to today's increasing power demands, but if things get real dark on January 1, it might come in handy.

Note: Additional notes by S. Premena in INK 115 Reader I/O.


Lloyd Paul Verhage

PDF Asimov II

Getting a Near-Space Project Off the Ground

Though not as glorious as a space shuttle mission, each flight for the Kansas Near-Space Project is certainly exciting. Prepare for liftoff as Paul goes through the pre-flight checklist for a trip to the stratosphere via weather balloon.

Download: Verhage.ZIP

Note: Circuit correction by Mike McQuade in INK 115 Reader I/O.

Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • COM-1450 PC/104-plus Ethernet adapter from Eurotech SpA
  • Model 5660 ISA digital I/O card from Octagon Systems
  • Graphics Client StrongARM SBC from Applied Data Systems, Inc.
  • MiniModule/VFP-III PC/104-plus display module from Ampro Computers, Inc.

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

Parallel Port Interfacing

Join Ingo as he cruises the ins and outs of using the standard parallel port interface found on your PC. This tour gives you the basics on the different implementation modes as well as how to connect devices to the port.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

HTML Applied PCs

Thin Is In, Clients, Servers, and Systems

Anyone who's seen the latest palmtop systems can attest to the fact that computers are getting smaller. Fred looks at a new idea for making systems even tinier -- running apps on a remote server via some slim software.


Rob Walker

And the Winners Are...

Design99: a world of opportunity for the design engineer.

Here are the top winners of Circuit Cellar's eleventh design contest, Design99. These projects explore the 68HC908GPxx family of flash memory microcontrollers from Motorola.


Mark Balch


High-Definition TV, Part 2: MPEG-2 Transport and ATSC Data Infrastructure

MGT, PMT, VCT... As Mark shows us, there's now much more to TV signals than just NTSC. In the second article of this series, he takes us through the details of HDTV's signal and its data structure.


Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Without Acceleration, Part 2: Good (and Bad) Vibrations

In part 1, Jeff constructed his portable 3-D accelerometer. In Part 2, he adds a radio packet controller for data transmission and other hardware refinements that make the design more usable.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Test Driving a Merced with Pins

Ready or not, IA-64 architectures are headed down the pipeline. You won't find a Merced in your Timex this century, but Tom points out many new features that may be there in the next.


HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / January Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

Reading Between the Lines

Circuit Cellar Online

Michael R. Smith
Todd Turner
Steve Alvey

PDF HTML Voice Recognition Controlled Sailboat

Speech-Recognition Control Aids Disabled Sailors

For his engineering design project at the University of Calgary, Todd and his team created a prototype for a voice-recognition system that enables quadriplegic sailors to independently control a Martin 16 sailboat. Batten down the hatches for a storm of information about this practical and resourceful project.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jamie Pollock

PDF HTML Building an Embedded Timing System

Although development systems are robust and have a great diversity of hardware and software, a few applications and some wire wrap can go a long way. Jamie used an MC68HC11 series microcontroller to design a timing system that will fit into even the tightest of budgets.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jeff Loeliger

PDF HTML RC Servo Control via TPU

If you've ever wanted to control RC servos without any additional hardware, then pay attention to this project because that's just what Jeff has done. By designing a time processor unit (TPU) function, he provides an easy-to-use interface and puts some of the fun back into servo control.

Download: Loeliger1.ZIP Loeliger2.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Perrin

PDF HTML Considering the Details

The Basics of Thermocouples

This month, Bob sets out to shed some light on the mysteries of the thermocouple by explaining hot junctions, cold junctions, and dissimilar metals. As usual, he provides enough circuits and information to get you ready to design a thermocouple into your next project.

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Defects for Sale

Although it might not be the best slogan to put on your next batch of business cards, if you design custom hardware and software, defects (bugs, failures, etc.) are a reality of every project. According to George, the key to staying in business is understanding your ability to "design", find, and repair defects.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

The Captain is Back

Captain Zilog is back! Armed with the new eZ80 and Z80S183, he returns to wipe out 20 years of somewhat lackluster performance by Zilog. As Tom explains, these new chips certainly have the potential to boost Zilog. Stay tuned to find out more about the Captain's return.

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.
FTP Directory for INK 113
Follow this link to order a copy of INK 113

<<< Ink 112

Ink 114 >>>

Main Index

Author Index