Circuit Cellar Ink 116
March 2000

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

Hitting the Green


Harv Weiner

New Product News

  • V.23 Modem Evaluation Kit from Scenix Semiconductor, Inc.
  • DAS 100 low-cost data acquisition system from Fire Wind & Rain Technologies LLC


Robert R. Severson

Applied USB: A Cookbook Approach

Developing a project that interfaces to a USB port isn't as straightforward as parallel or serial-port interfacing, but according to Rob, the opportunities are worth the effort. Read on to learn why USB will be the port of the next generation of PCs.


Bob Brown
Michal Tamborski

Flash Forward

Implementing Downloadable Firmware via Flash Memory

If you're going to use flash memory to simplify firmware upgrades, you'll need to design your system from the beginning with this in mind. Listen in as Bob and Michal explain some of the problems and solutions that come with flash memory.


Jan Gray

PDF HTML, HTML Building a RISC System in an FPGA

Part 1: Tools, Instruction Set, and Datapath

To kick off this three-part article, Jan's going to port a C compiler, design an instruction set, write an assembler and simulator, and design the CPU datapath. Get reading, you've only got a month before your connecting article arrives!



Jeff Stefan

Killing Bugs in Your PalmOS

Debugging with State Machines

You've written an application that uses the serial port on your Palm Pilot, but when you try to launch the app, nothing happens. If this situation sounds familiar, pay close attention as Jeff reveals an old embedded-systems programmer's trick.

Download: stefan.ZIP

Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • PCI-5500 PCI data acquisition board from ADAC
  • VNS-786 PC/104-plus Pentium single-board computer from Adastra

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

A Matter of Time, Part 3: Synchronizing a PC to a Time Signal

There are ready-made solutions as well as totally home-grown approaches available for most engineering problems. As Ingo concludes this series, he shows us that sometimes it makes sense to adopt a mixture of both.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Getting the Databoot

Not only is DOS still alive, but as Fred shows us, Arcom and Datalight have teamed up to provide a great deal of functionality in a hidden ROM-DOS partition that is Kryptonite-resistant and ready at a moment's notice.


Mike Baptiste

Throw Away the Key!

An iButton Lock System

You know the routine: put the key in the lock, try to open the door, realize the key is upside down... Mike came home with his hands full one too many times, so he set out to add an iButton lock system to his home automation setup.

Download: baptiste.ZIP


Tom Bishop


Rapid Gratification with FPGA Design, Part 2: Quicker and Better Design

Tom covered the FPGA background information in Part 1, now it's time to take a detailed look at the design process. It's all here, everything from designing functional blocks to simulation and debugging.


Jeff Bachiochi

PDF From the Bench

In Theory and Practice, Part 2: Clock Adjustment and Digital Filters

Those of you who've been around a while will recall the HAL project. This month, with the assistance of a digital filter, Jeff converts the concept into a standalone unit.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

SoC it to Me

System-on-Chip technology works well if you've got the budget and the manpower to forge the chip. But, Tom has found an alternative that makes SoC technology available to the masses.


HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / April Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

Y2K Phooey

Note: Additional comments by Bill Schweber in INK 119 Reader I/O.

Circuit Cellar Online

Vinit Nijhawan

PDF HTML Roaming About

Wireless Connectivity for Mobile PCs

With all of the advances in wireless technology, it's no wonder that wireless communications is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. In this article, Vinit takes a look at some of the various public wireless network technologies available today.

Circuit Cellar Online

Shawn Arnold

PDF HTML Designing a DSP-Based RAS Server

Part 2: Implementation

Last month Shawn got us started with some background information on RAS servers, now it's time to put that knowledge to work as he shows us how to implement a RAS server using a DSP-based system.

Circuit Cellar Online

Stuart Ball

PDF HTML A Well-Lit Sound Check

Understanding the PC's MIDI Interface

Is your soundcard MPU401 or MIDI compatible? If you think it is, but aren't sure what that means, then you definitely want to listen up. Stuart explains some of the details of working with and understanding MIDI, and then shows you how to build a MIDI adapter (complete with LEDs) for a soundcard.

Circuit Cellar Online

Noel Rios

PDF HTML 87C51 Programmer Adapter

Programming the good-old 87C51 is easy when you have a dedicated or universal programmer, but such devices aren't free. That's why Noel used an EPROM programmer, crystal, logic IC, and a few other parts to make this simple, inexpensive adapter for programming the 87C51.

Circuit Cellar Online

Ingo Cyliax

PDF HTML Learning the Ropes -- FPGA & CPLD

Design Downloading and Debugging

Last time, Ingo designed a simple bi-colored LED project. Using CPLDs and FPGAs is much easier when you understand how they work, so this month he gives us some information on flash-memory based CPLDs and SRAM-based FPGAs before explaining how to download and debug your design (even if it is just a blinky LED project) in a Xilinx FPGA environment.

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Embed This PC, Part 3: Emulator to Application Testing

Now that George has explained some of the requirements for embedding a '486, it's time to get things going and start testing. Before he's done with Part 3, you'll have a simple design, some startup code for the emulator, and a project.


Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Analog PLD Anyone?

We're in the middle of the digital revolution, but according to Tom, 1s and 0s will never overthrow the world as we know it. After all, the world as we know it, is analog.

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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