Circuit Cellar Ink 114
January 2000

Table of Contents


Steve Meyst

Task Manager

Random Thoughts


Harv Weiner

New Product News

  • Power Advantage 302 and 304 solar chargers from Fire, Wind, & Rain Technologies LLC
  • JSB-320 USB Opto I/O module from J-Works, Inc.
  • PS331 smart battery controller from PowerSmart, Inc.
  • POD32X2-60 ICE for Temic TS80C32X2 from Signum Systems Corp.


Duane Mattern

Synchronous Serial Communication

A PC Link to a SPI/Microwire Device

Duane had a project that needed microvolt resolution, so he requested Linear Technology's LTC-2400 eval board. Pay close attention as he comes up with a synchronous serial communications link using Win32 subsystem calls and C.



Tom Dahlin

PDF, PDF HTML, HTML Reach Out and Touch

Designing a Resistive Touchscreen

While working on a desgin assignment that involved an expensive off-th-shelf touchscreen interface, Tom began to consider rolling his own. Watch as he points out some of the tricks of working with resistive touchscreens.

Download: Dalhlin.ZIP


Robert Lacoste

Neural Stamp

A Low-Cost Neural Network Processor

Neural netowrks are no longer just an ideal research experiment for academia. In his Design99 award-winning entry, Robert clears up some of the mystery of implementing neural network technology in everyday applications.



Michael Howard

Embedded CAN Can

If you are looking for a networking solution and RS-485 and Ethernet aren't going to cut it, you might consider CAN, using Microchip's MCP2510. Follow Michael as he shows us some of the benefits of this standalone controller.


Mike Baptiste

Embedded Living

Tuning Up the HCS-II

A problem with most home automation systems is that they often take years to develop, so some parts may be out of date. Mike looks at the componenets of an HA system to make sure that old and new work together peacefully.

Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • SBC-MediaGX PC/104-plus computer from Arcom Control Systems
  • PCI-944 SBC with Pentium II from Teknor Industrial Computers, Inc.
  • Mariner C157 CompactPCI Pentium III CPU from General Micro Systems
  • Embedded BIOS On-Line Adaptation Kit from General Software, Inc.

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

A Matter of Time, Part 1: Accurate Timing and Frequency

All the talk about timing issues and the Y2K bug have Ingo thinking about the importance of keeping accurate time. Have a good time as Ingo kicks off this series with a look at crystal oscillators and some ways of synchronizing them.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

The Mockingbird Trial, PIC vs. 80188

Not the sequel to the Harper Lee classic, but Fret's account of fitting a PIC peg into an 80188 hole. The PIC17C42A can sing a variety of songs, Fred shows us how to reason when it's a viable replacement for the 80188.


Mark Balch


High-Definition TV, Part 3: DTV System Architecture

Now that Mark's given us some information on HDTV signal technology, it's time to look at the distribution and production aspects of this versatile new medium and just how it will benefit viewers.


Jeff Bachiochi

PDF From the Bench

Speed Racer, Virtual Speed with the SX

In the hustle of modern life, speed is essential. Jeff knows this. He thinks there is no time like the present to cover the inner workings of today's fastest microcontrollers.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Atmel Gets Tiny

Today's econo-MCUs are stripped down to the smallest size possible and yet loaded with enough features to satisfy plenty of applications. Not to be left out, Atmel introduces the ATtiny15 to the mix.


HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / February Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

It Starts with an Idea

Circuit Cellar Online

Art Eck

PDF HTML Serial Interface for Embedded Design

Choosing the right interface can greatly reduce the cost of a project, but the right one depends on what features would benefit your project. Art helps you negotiate the pros and cons of SPI, Micowire, and I2C. He'll help you decide which serial interface is right for your project.

Circuit Cellar Online

Rodger Hosking

PDF HTML VIM: A Powerful new Mezzanine

Have you ever noticed that the most popular standard mezzanine buses still fall short of meeting the needs of recently introduced DSP and RISC processors? Rodger presents Velocity Interface Mezzanine (VIM) as a viable solution to this I/O gap. Follow him as he takes us through VIM's three major elements -- the streaming parallel bus, the serial interface, and the control status interface.

Circuit Cellar Online

Noel Rios


How often have you wished you could preset your TV, radio, and lights to go on and off at particular times? Well, Noel has a multi-channel programmable timer to suit your needs. You could even use it to periodically recharge batteries.


Circuit Cellar Online

Ingo Cyliax

PDF HTML Learning the Ropes -- FPGA & CPLD

The Foundation Environment

Ingo continues his FPGA tutorial by looking at the design tools needed to begin designing with FPGAs and CPLDs. He'll get you started with Xilinx's Foundation environment.

Circuit Cellar Online

Bob Perrin

PDF HTML Considering the Details

Modular Instrumentation Design, Part 1: Defining the project

Bob starts a series on designing a system of modular instrumentation that better suits the needs of the measurement community. In Part 1, he defines the project and ground rules for the Application Program Interface (API). The end result of this series will be a complete, flexible, and practical controller design in the public domain.

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Embed this PC, Part 1: What's it all About?

George has been hounded to do an article on embedding a '486, but he gave every excuse in book to avoid it. Basically, he feels there are too many complicated issues. He hasn't changed his mind about the issues, but he's decided that those issue are reason enough to face the project. Frankly, we think he's out of excuses.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Atmel Gets Huge

Being involved with both print and Internet publications keeps Tom busy, but it also gives him a double-barrel opportunity to cover topics like Atmel's latest releases. Read on to find out why their new $20 8-bit MCU is much more than just an AVR on steroids.

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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