Circuit Cellar Ink 129
April 2001

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

One for the Money ...


Rick Prescott

New Product News


Reader I/O

Letters to the Editor

Design2K Contest Winner


Robert Lacoste


Part 1: A High-Performance DDS Generator

Robert designed his DDS-GEN project with hopes of saving money and still having a way to generate sine and square signals for testing purposes. Not only did the project meet his needs, he turned a profit by winning a grand prize in the Design2K contest!

Download: LacosteFig5.tif


David Ward

PIC This Lock

The days of carrying a separate house key, garage key, breaker box key, and such may be coming to an end. With David's digital combination lock, you can provide an added security feature to your home alarm system. The only hard part is remembering the combination.

Download: WardFig1.tif


George Novacek

A Sure Thing

Guaranteeing 99.99999% Reliability

If you're a gambler, play the lottery, but if you want to take the gamble out of project design, then listen to what George has to say. Performance guarantees are an important factor in avoiding costly retrofits or redesigns after you've already built the prototype.



Tom Napier

A Single-Chip PN Sequence Generator

Picking up where he left off last November, Tom takes us through the process of constructing a psuedo-random number generator, using only one chip, one crystal, and one selector switch. There are multiple uses for a programmable PN generator, and he'll show you those, too.

Download: NapierFig1.tif NapierFig4.tif


Noel Rios

Flash Gang Programmer for Microcontrollers

With the popularity, and not to mention the practicality, of designing flash memory into projects or using flash memory micros, Noel found a way to program multiple flash memory components at the same time and made using flash memory even easier.

Download: RiosFig3a.tif RiosFig3b.tif RiosFig3c.tif

Embedded PC


Rick Prescott

Nouveau PC

  • HOBO Carbon Monoxide Logger from Onset Computer Corp.
  • CV-M535E remote head video camera from JAI America, Inc.
  • ServoStar SC single-axis controller and driver from Kollmorgen

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Just Like in the Movies, Working with SBC-386EX-S

Taking a tip from a reputable source, Fred decided to go behind the scenes to find out if Arcom's SBC-386EX-S was going to be the box-office blockbuster that it looked like. With a great supporting cast of features and documentation, there's serious star potential here.


Ed Nisley

HTML Above the Ground Plane

Have You Seen the Light?

Anyone who spends a good amount of time on a bicycle knows that keeping yourself visible is an important part of keeping you (and your bicycle) in one piece. This month, Ed takes a look at high-intensity LEDs and how to construct a simple blinking safety device.



Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

See Through the FOG Using Fixed-Point Calculations, Fiber Optic Gyros

Yet another column from Jeff that starts with "I got this toy..." Read along this month and you'll see (again) how simple observations can lead to a better understanding of technology.

Download: BachiochiFig1.tif ftb129.bas


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Motor City MCU

As the importance of processing power extends beyond the world of the PC, the automotive industry is paying close attention to the shiny new racers rolling off the Silicon Valley production lines.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / May Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

An Embedded Future

Circuit Cellar Online

David Gonzales

PDF HTML Designing with the MMC2107

Isn't the goal always to design a complex system using a minimum amount of components? This month David discusses the key elements of a general-purpose microcontroller and their use in a real-time application. The peripheral and processor interaction is essential for collecting, processing, and outputting data and, subsequently, you can't fully appreciate this interaction without a review of the microcontroller functions. That's just the beginning.

Circuit Cellar Online

Walter Krawec

PDF HTML An HC11 File Manager

Part 1: Laying the Foundation

The best place to start following this series is at the beginning, when the foundation is poured. Building this project from the ground up, Walter takes us through the first part of using an HC11 file manager and shows us how to store multiple programs without having to memorize the addresses. Remembering all the addresses is better left to HC11 than the human mind's memory. Then you can let your mind wander to make your own project a success story.

Circuit Cellar Online

Fred Eady

PDF HTML An S7600A/PIC16F877 Journey

Part 4: Road Testing

Using his signature music analogies, Fred explores practical extraction or report language, also known as Perl. Just as Janis Joplin grew in popularity, so has been the journey of Perl, with its talent for encoding messages. We've gone from web services to the post office and it's always good to end a series with a little music. Cue the final song.

Download: c0401fecode.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

Yuri Magda

PDF HTML A Simple ADC on an LTC1286 Chip

Yury's been using the LTC1286 and now he wants to pass his knowledge on to Circuit Cellar readers. The analog-to-digital converter circuit designed on the popular low-cost chip has proved its benefits, like allowing the measurement of an input voltage in electronic circuits and consuming a low supply current equal to only 250 uA. Yury's circuit is straightforward, so get ready to easily soak up the design and details.

Circuit Cellar Online

Steve Ciarcia

PDF HTML SPECIAL FEATURE -- Take My Computer, Please

Retro Humor Ciarcia Style

Way back at the dawn of the microcomputer age, Steve Ciarcia was blazing a trail (sometimes literally) through the hardware and software issues of the era. At the request of many of our readers, we've brought back a series of articles, written by Steve, chronicling the design adventures of those early days in the Circuit Cellar. With Steve's new introduction, we kick off a journey back to an age of computing innocence (er, ignorance?).

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Structured Design, Part 2: Putting Theory into Practice

Revisiting a former project by Jeff Bachiochi, George continues with his use of Nassi Schneiderman flowcharts to develop a structured, manageable design. George originally intended to include case and switch constructs, so he picks up with that this month. So, allow him to put this structured vehicle in reverse and back things up a bit. The end of the road holds the tool to help isolate problems.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

DesignCon Fusion

Variety is the spice of life. This month, Tom takes us on a tour of DesignCon 2001 and shows us the way the medley of players is responding to the winds of change. As usual, there's great potential for what Tom describes as a high "neato factor," you just have to run with the times, or you run the risk of being left behind.

Circuit Cellar Online

Jeff Bachiochi

HTML Got Questions? Want Answers? Ask Us

Browse Q&As from other engineers or submit your tough technical questions to the ASK US team and let us help keep your project on track or simplify your design decision.

Circuit Cellar Online

David Tweed

HTML 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

Rick Prescott

New Product News

New Product submissions may be sent to Rick Prescott, 4 Park St., Vernon, CT 06066.
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