Circuit Cellar Ink 126
January 2001

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

The Year in Review


Harv Weiner

New Product News


Reader I/O

Letters to the Editor


David Penrose

The Geo-Sentry

A System with Brawn

Looking for a monitoring system that's all ears? Post the Geo-Sentry on watch and listen up as David covers the design details of his Design2K-winning project that senses ground vibrations and displays events on a fluorescent display screen.


Lloyd Paul Verhage

A Class Act

Making Your Own PCBs

School's in session as Paul shows us what it takes to desgin and etch your own printed circuit boards. If you're looking for a way to avoid the expense of using a custom board house, the "fab lab" approach may be just the solution for you.


George Novacek

Designing for Reliability, Maintainability, and Safety

Part 2: Digging Deeper

Having covered the consequences of not making your design safe and reliable, George is ready to get up to his neck in the details of the hot tub controller application. Relax, turn up the jets, and get ready to toast the success of your next design.

Download: novacek126.ZIP

Embedded PC


Harv Weiner

Nouveau PC

  • Neptune-P3 Pentium SBC with Ethernet from Adastra Systems Corp.
  • GENE-4310 Geode-based multimedia SBC from AAEON Technologies Inc.

Embedded PC


Ingo Cyliax

Real-Time PC

A Cup of Java, Part 2: Standard Java in Real-Time Embedded Systems

If last month's article just got you percolating, satisfy your Java craving with the second part of this series as Ingo delves into some of the domestic issues (e.g., threading and garbage collection) of working with Java in embedded systems.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Rabbit Season, Part 5: A Board You Can Afford

In true rabbit fashion, this project has resulted in quite a proliferation of articles. But Fred's got one last hop for the Rabbit dev board project. The jump to Internet connectivity was as simple as a twitch of the nose.


Mike Baptiste

Embedded Living

What's New on the Home (Automation) Front?

This month, Mike trades in his design tools for a pair of walking shoes and hits the show floor, bringing us a report from the latest home automation show. From lighting systems to water sensors, the next generation of HA has arrived.


David Tweed


Fundamentals of Second-Order Systems, Part 1: Where it All Began

Understanding second-order systems isn't a mystery, but with so many options and applications, it's hard to get an understanding of the principles. So, Dave kicks off this series by explaining some of the basics.

Download: tweed126.ZIP


Jeff Bachiochi

PDF HTML, HTML From the Bench

Where's Waldo? Pinpointing Location by Interfacing with a GPS Receiver

Jeff's not really looking for a character with a red and white hat, but with today's GPS receivers, pinpointing locations is only getting easier. Carmen Sandiego, beware!



Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update

Sweet Sixteen

A low-power, flash-memory MCU from Texas Instruments? That was enough to catch Tom's attention. Despite a few skeletons in the closet, TI looks like it may be ready to jump into the MCU field.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / February Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

Electronic Evolution

Circuit Cellar Online

George Novacek

PDF HTML High-Temperature Electronic Design

Part 1: What Are Your Options?

Design options for temperatures beyond 125C have been scarce in the past, but this month George shows us that there are ways to get around the technical problems and risk and still create state-of-the-art designs. Electronics from the common to the complex can benefit from finding new alternatives geared for elevated temperatures. If you're successful, the result could be simpler designs that are more robust, economical, and reliable.

Circuit Cellar Online

Matt Meerian

PDF HTML Monitoring the Revolutions

A Pedal Cadence Counter

Staying physically fit is a way of life for most today. To get an optimum workout, Matt creates a design that combines two of his favorite hobbies, electronics and mountain biking, to reach the ultimate workout goal. By combining low-level programming with high-level language, you can tailor the cadence barometer for whatever activity suits your interest. Any way you cut it, you can gauge for accuracy while doing the exercises you enjoy.

Download: c0101mm-code.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

Fred Eady

PDF HTML An S7600A/PIC16F877 Journey

Part 1: Laying Out the Tools

Depending on the tools of the trade as well as the skill of the craftsman, Fred embarks on an Internet engine journey this month. As he takes you through this series, you'll see the end result of a functional Internet communications device that speaks many languages and interfaces. Laying out the tools seems a good place to start. Skill is sure to follow.

Download: c0101fe-code.ZIP c0101fe-code.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

Ingo Cyliax

PDF HTML Learning the Ropes -- FPGA & CPLD

Designing with VHDL

Once something becomes mainstream, you better think about jumping on board. Such is the case with hardware description languages (VHDL) for designing FPGAs and CPLDs. Even if it's new to you, Ingo explains that Xilinx's WebPack makes digital design understandable. The benefits far outweigh the chore of having to learn the language. And, because it's at no cost to you, what more could you ask for?

Download: c0101lr-code.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Behind the Scenes, A Comprehensive Look at ColdFire

George puts on a stage show of sorts with this installment, as he explores the PC/Internet combination and, in particular, Motorola's ColdFire processor. Taking its place as a standard CPU model, the ColdFire design is outlined on Motorola's web site, where all manner of datasheet and manual information is made available. If you're still not convinced that the needed support is there, the addition of an extensive discussion group should seal the sale for you.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Being Merry with USB

Tom tries to stay positive as he reminds us of the familiar grief of the three-finger salute (Ctrl + Alt + Delete) and the agony of rebooting. Negativity aside, he looks for solutions to his problem of two printers on a single parallel port in everything from calling tech support to calling an exorcist. A USB interface helped to remedy the situation.

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

David Tweed

What's Your Engineering Quotient?

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

Circuit Cellar Online

Jenn Belmonte

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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