Circuit Cellar Ink 131
June 2001

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

In the Right Game


Rick Prescott

New Product News

  • MAX1773 power manager from Maxim Integrated Products
  • Virtual System Modeling for Proteus by R4 Systems, Inc.
  • WTDAC-M RS-232 to analog output module from Weeder Technologies
  • PCIX-993RP PCI video adapter card from Densitron Technologies


Tom Dahlin
Don Krantz

HTML Wireless Data Link

As part of U of MN's team of researchers and developers, Tom and Don are working on a miniature, self-contained robot. Their experience led to a short-range wireless data link design that you may modify for your own applications. So, get ready to scout for helpful details.



Stephan Goldstein

High-Performance Oscilloscope Amplitude Calibrator

If you're like Stephan, you probably have a closet filled with various used test equipment. Some work well, but others require time and effort to fix. In order to make these purchases more beneficial, Stephan designed a simple tool to test the products.

Note: Corrections in INK 133 Reader I/O.


David Smith

Under the Sea

A SCUBA Dive Monitor

It's June, and David is heading to the beach. SCUBA divers typically chart their dive data the old-fashioned way, with pencil and paper. But, engineers always look for a challenge, right? Combining his talents, David devised a submersible data logger that uploads to a PC.


Mariano Barron
Javier Martinez

Electronics Lab

When Mariano Barron and Javier Martinez teamed for the Design2K Contest, they used the opportunity to improve electronics education. Here they explain how they created a teaching tool that uses the best features of both microcontrollers and PCs.


Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

Working with a Player

Do miracles happen? When a company advertises a low-cost device that enables Internet connectivity for practically anything, Fred takes notice. When that product also promises not to require much code, he gets to work testing. And, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.



Rob Walker

HTML The Road to Success

Driven to Design Contest Winners

  • MultiProtocol Logic Probe by Robert Morrison
  • eZ-Stunt by Robert Lacoste
  • Data by Z-mail by Bruce Pride
  • DMX512 Dimmer by Charles Fricker
  • Vehicle Trip Recorder by Dave Filicicchia
  • The Mega-Keyboard by Phillip King
  • RF-to-X10 Data Converter by Philip Champagne
  • Steam Injection Control by Richard Prescott
  • RadioCommunications Controller by Gvozdev Alexandrovich, Aldashkina Ivanovna and Donchenko Grigorjevich


Ed Nisley

Above the Ground Plane

Can't Set Your Clock

Does bad reception ever interrupt your favorite songs on the radio? Would purchasing a bigger antenna or a few opamps solve all of the problems? Ed's been delving into the world of radio frequency transmission and has come to some interesting conclusions.


Note: Corrections in INK 133 Reader I/O.


Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Intelligible HUBbub, Ethernet Home Networking

Perhaps you think networks are solely for the office. Jeff's here to explain why he hooked up his home computers, too. While he's at it, he shares how to rig your own home network.


Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Power Tripped

California's recent power crisis has shined the spotlight on energy conservation. Often taken for granted, power isn't free nor unlimited. From the West Coast, Tom talks about the problem and fixes.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / July Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

Still Doing the Old Stuff Better

Circuit Cellar Online

John West
Mark Stachew

PDF HTML All Aboard the Clean Engine

Automotive Emissions and Onboard Diagnostics

As efforts are made to keep our environment pollution-free, automobiles are being put to the test with even stricter standards. To meet these emissions requirements, manufacturers have turned to more electronically controlled systems using sensors. Strategies are getting more complicated and require more control code. John and Mark see a future where automotive microcontrollers will start to look more like desktop systems in terms of bandwidth, "evolving faster than you can step on the gas."

Circuit Cellar Online

Robert Bowen

PDF HTML Porting MicroC/OS-II to the TS-2800 Embedded PC

As his designs started getting more complicated, and he found they were not reusable from system to system, Robert began to turn his focus to new development programs. Demonstrating the advantages of using an embedded PC and real-time kernel, he took advantage of open source programming tools and searched for a real-time executive. It all makes for more capability, complex I/O, and high-speed data acquisition.

Circuit Cellar Online

Ed Sutter

PDF HTML Using a Boot Monitor in Embedded Systems

Part 2: Building on the Basics

Last month, Ed got us started with the exception handlers in place and basic flash interfaces initialized. Picking up where he left off last month, this time around he starts the process of breaking away from just being a simple boot monitor. Moving forward, you can now overlay a format on the section of flash memory to be allocated to the tiny flash file system. The design goal is to provide a good amount of flexibility without overdoing it.

Circuit Cellar Online

James Antonakos

PDF HTML An Electronic Liteshow Display

Part 1: The Electronics Behind the Lights

James has a fascination with electronics, mainly flashing lights on and off. His LiteShow display of 384 lamps makes for an interesting article this month. By putting groups of lamps together, you can create letters, words, and graphics, all individually controlled by only three signals from the PC printer port. Working with some students, he shows them how to design their own version of a printed circuit board.

Circuit Cellar Online

Steve Ciarcia

PDF HTML Take My Computer, Please!

Part 3: 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

And the List Goes On... Putting Together Parts Lists

With promises of fame, George tries to entice you into submitting an entry to Trinity's Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest. But before you build that bot, you're going to have to buy the parts. It may seem like a daunting task at times, but whatever you do, you need the parts to do it. The simplest way to go about it is to create a list and a purchase order. From there, you can start cashing those winning checks.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

Escape to SF

The Embedded System Conference always provides a lot of food for thought, and Tom shows us that this year's event was no exception. Having outgrown San Jose, San Fran is now home to ESC, with a whole new wave of applications opening up. Voice recognition gear was probably the hottest item on the scene, along with web-enabling and listening chips. Will the spoken word replace keyboards? Watch and listen for the answer.

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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