Circuit Cellar Ink 137
December 2001

Table of Contents


Rob Walker

Task Manager

Looking Back


Rick Prescott

New Product News

  • StrongARM Integrated Development Platform from Accelent Systems Inc.
  • CY-21-LP driver for small motors from Cyberpak Company
  • PC/II+zT 586-class SBC from Megatel Computer Corp.


Bill Gatliff

Why Not GNU?

No doubt, one of the major selling points of the GNU family of development tools is their low cost. Beyond that, Bill shows us that the tools are effective solutions for a variety of embedded needs. Follow along as he covers the strengths and weaknesses of an option to consider.



Richard Soja

An Integrated PWM Light Controller

Part 1: A Light Controller

Like many great projects, this one started out when Richard decided that commercial offerings of nighttime riding lamps for bicycles were just too expensive. More than merely a bright idea, this project also included a battery charger and a host of other enhancements.


Rob Walker

HTML Design Logic 2001 Contest Winners

  • MPSLIC: A Single-Chip FPSLIC MP3 Decoder and Player by Geva Patz
  • Blueport by Molnar Zoltan-Istvan
  • Versatile Communications Card for Linux by Lionel Theunissen
  • UPSC4 by Robert Lacoste
  • AVR Audiometer by Amit Davjekar
  • Better Adders for the AT40K FPGAs by Vitit Kantaburtra
  • Slic-Stepping Debugger by Bruce Pride
  • An Elliptic Curve Public-Key Cryptosystem by Johan Thomas and Sven Janssens
  • GPS-GSM Mobile Navigator by Ma Chao
  • Robot Conversion Kit by Joseph Jones
  • Ethernet-Based Remote Audio Player by Mike Neufeld
  • FAT32 Hard-Drive-Based MP3 Player with 512 Bytes of SRAM by Pieter Conradle
  • Greenhouse Controller by David Collins
  • VFO Frequency Counter and PLL Stabilizer by Richard Hosking
  • PalmScope by Aaron McFarland


Wael Badawy

HTML Streaming Multimedia

The MPEG-4 Approach

To keep pace with ever-changing video standards, Wael gives us some details about MPEG-4 and how to get the most out of it. He covers everything from how the standard was formed to the file formats that are compatible. Anyone looking for the latest info won't be disappointed.



Gordon Dick

Does Your PIC Quack?

Adding Sound to a Training Device

There's always room for improvement. After Gordon wrote about his Quacker a few months ago, he continued revamping it. This month, he shares his newest modification, adding sound to the dog-training device. He's working with PICs again and adds ISD chips to the parts list.


Ed Nisley

Above the Ground Plane

UHF Wire Sculpture

Although antennas don't qualify as artwork, they are an essential part of any communication equation, especially radio communications. This month, Ed gives us a backgrounder on the ins and outs of antenna basics, as well as covering a variety of styles used today.



Kenneth Trussell

SatPoint Project

Design2K Contest Winner

Kenneth's SatPoint project probably won't resolve the mystery of UFOs, but it does make it easy to track satellites as they orbit above us. With the help of a Philips 87LPC764 controller, the SatPoint plots the course and points out satellites as they pass over your location.

Embedded PC


Fred Eady

Applied PCs

When Problems Strike Your PICDEM Project

When things go wrong, finding out where the problem is can be difficult. When it comes to straightforward user blunders, kicking yourself doesn't help. This month, Fred suffers setbacks but still manages to get Ethernet frames transferred using the RTL8019AS and a PIC.



Jeff Bachiochi

From the Bench

Desktop Status from NetMedia

Keeping track of people is challenging. A hardware and software solution from NetMedia might reduce the number of "away from their desk" messages as well as rounds of phone tag.



Tom Cantrell

Silicon Update

Ready, Steady, Go

Despite the recent dot.bomb economic trend, when it comes to "embedded Internet," it's business as usual. Tom's trip to the 2001 EIC resulted in assurance that the world of embedded continues to move forward.


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


Advertiser's Index / January Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML, HTML Priority Interrupt

Who's Really Organized Anyway?

Remember when the reason for having a computer was because it was supposed to make you more organized? The mountains of paper cluttering your life would dissolve and you would become more efficient. I can't speak for you, but with every new iteration of computing power and operating system, the mess around me gets deeper and deeper. I don't feel more efficient these days....

Circuit Cellar Online

Jack Dennon

PDF HTML Linux Drives Weeder I/O Boards

When using a product in the real world, unexpected requirements inevitably occur. Having total control over things helps when it comes to handling these requirements. Sound impossible? Apparently not to Jack, who shows us how to get the level of control we need by combining Linux with a simple homegrown device driver.

Download: jd-code.ZIP

Circuit Cellar Online

Don Powrie

PDF HTML Jump on the Bus

Taking a Look at the USB

Wanting to use the USB but lacking in the knowledge and experience necessary to create a device driver can cause some aggravation. When Don realized that there was a limited supply of information in this area, he had to come up with another solution. In this article, he takes us through that solution and shows us that a little knowledge goes a long way.

Circuit Cellar Online

James Antonakos

PDF HTML Image Processing Fundamentals

Part 2: Math, Math, Math

Rounding out his series on image processing, this month James takes us through several more operations in pixel manipulation. In doing so, he shows us that there's one sure key to extracting as much useful information as possible from an image -- mathematics. This article will have you wishing for more, and James promises to provide.

Circuit Cellar Online

George Martin

PDF HTML Lessons from the Trenches

Logic Design Revisited

This month, George takes two subjects that he's talked about in the past (Lattice Semiconductor's new design tools and A quad B converters using PALs) and combines them together. And, what did he come up with? Logic design for the more complex field programmable devices.

Circuit Cellar Online

Tom Cantrell

PDF HTML Silicon Update Online

A Play on Data

Tom admits that pigs might start flying before he changes his messy filing system. So, when he recently went looking for an article he wrote long ago, it got him thinking about something else that got filed away, never to be found again -- MiniDisc. It also got him thinking that maybe he's better off not trying to predict the unpredictable.

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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