Circuit Cellar Ink 130
May 2001

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

Clear as Mud


Rick Prescott

New Product News

  • MCM-DXS STD bus CPU from WinSystems, Inc.
  • Series X25 rotary encoders for hazardous environments from Danaher Controls
  • Surface-mountable LED numeric display from Lumex, Inc.


Andrew Lillie

Measurement and Sensing with the MPC565

There's no question that the automotive industry has benefitted from the growth and development of the microcontroller. Engine control is one of the main automotive applications for today's micros, so Andrew shows us how controllers like the MPC565 do it.

Design2K Contest Winner


David Penrose

The Yard-Stick

With gardening season approaching, David needed a way to find out just how much space the flower beds took up. With a little help from a Philips LPC microcontroller, there was still plenty of time to measure the gardens and order the mulch before snowfall.



Andrei Chtchedrine
Yuri Kolokolov

Frequency Meter Metal Detector

Finding hidden treasure might not be what Andrei and Yuri had in mind for this metal detector project, but whether you're looking for the hardware to start a salvage company or just looking for an interesting project to build, this design is worth more than its weight in gold.



Gordon Dick

Ultrasonic Anemometry, Anyone?

When Gordon leaves extra space in a design for "future improvements" you'd better believe that additional features are on the way, it's only a matter of time. All it took was the mention of ultrasonic anemometry and he was ready to update his weather station project.


Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Return of the SBC, Multitasking Applications with SBC-386EX-S

Once again Fred is digging into an SBC offering from Arcom and once again he shows us that embedded doesn't have to be difficult. This performance has a cast that includes Borland C++, SuperTask!, Treck TCP/IP, and Paradigm's Remote Debugger.

Design2K Contest Winner


Robert Lacoste


Part 2: The Generator

Lucky for us it was a cloudy night in France when Robert was scheduled to write the second part of the article on his DDS-GEN project! Don't miss out as he covers everything from hardware selection to software design to prototype contruction this month.



Kenneth Baker

Behavioral Plant Simulation for Testing a Control Algorithm

Simulation can be a great tool for analyzing performance. However, unless you follow some basic principles, your model can become too simple to reflect real-world behaviors or too complex to be practical. As you'll see, somewhere in between is just right.



Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Taking a Cue from a Cat, Hardware Cleanup with :CueCat

Fact or fiction -- nothing is free and the Internet is getting harder to navigate. Jeff found a device that's freely distributed and can make navigating the Internet as easy as scanning a bar code.



Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

The Company Formerly Known as Scenix

What's in a name? In showbusiness a name (or at least what people call you) can be the catalyst for success, or disaster. This month, Tom peels off the Ubicom label to see how much Scenix is left underneath.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / June Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

Watch Out for the Bears

Circuit Cellar Online

Edward Steinfeld

PDF HTML Knock! Knock! "Who's There?"

Using UPnP to Respond to Inquiries

UPnP is an architecture of peer-to-peer networking of intelligent machines, appliances, wireless devices, and computers of varying form factors. Edward shows us that UPnP succeeds in answering such questions as what machines are on the Internet, how are operations controlled, and will the machines notify when they have a significant event? With the power of UPnP and the right tools, it can only be easy times ahead.

Circuit Cellar Online

Ed Sutter

PDF HTML Using a Boot Monitor in Embedded Systems

Part 1: Constructing the Platform

Beginning his series this month, Ed addresses the lack of enthusiasm for monitors. Whether you're a monitor champion or resister, you will benefit from looking at both sides of the equation in this article. Bootroms may be overrunning the monitors, but you can come up with a design that enhances the embedded system and endures for years to come. The reward is improvement in your current implementation, or renewed interest in monitor use.

Download: swdist

Circuit Cellar Online

Walter Krawec

PDF HTML An HC11 File Manager

Part 2: All of the Details

Picking up where he left off last month, Walter now takes on the task of building the full file manager. Taking us through the ins and outs of managing the development of projects on the processor and then sharing procedures among projects, you quickly realize how useful this project really is. It's always a good idea to get "all the details" before plunging in.

Download: c0501wkcode.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

George Novacek

PDF HTML Communications Protocols in Aeronautics

Airplanes are like one big computer network. To have a multitude of embedded controllers communicate with each other, what you need in the air is the same as what you need on land -- throughput and reliability. Still running strong after 30 years, ARINC 429 is the most popular communications protocol. Take your pick of any number of reasons for this, because it is well-defined, reliable, easy to implement, and inexpensive.

Circuit Cellar Online

Steve Ciarcia

PDF HTML Take My Computer, Please!

Part 2: 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. This month, it's chapter one from Take My Computer, Please!

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Analog System Design

George likes poking fun at Windows98, comparing it to a challenging computer game, but this month he turns his attention to an analog design project involving a custom car. Transducer interfaces and thermocouples became the topic of discussion for his article, along with noise and filtering. Get set for another analog endeavor as he takes us through the many considerations that come with the territory.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online


As Tom describes it, L.A. is the epitome of "sun and fun overdone." Still, the heart of the entertainment industry sells a lot of hardware. Sponsoring a group of local college students for the Robotica competition and supplying them with the necessary snacks, Tom goes behind the scenes to follow the trials and tribulations of "Noll." A steady stream of M&Ms can only help foster a kid's imagination.

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

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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