March 2013

This month’s highlights

Lightning Detector

This portable handheld design warns users with a visual and audible indication of the possible risk of lightning strikes. It’s a special form of radio receiver that detects the radio-frequency pulse from a lightning strike within range, and generates a warning tone to alert you. The early warning is valuable for ramblers and walkers, golfers and outdoor workers and is reassuring to carry in locations where shelter is restricted. The article includes safety advice about what to do when caught in a storm.

Semtest (part 2)

This PICMicro-based design will test a wide range of active components, including LEDs, diodes, BJTs, MOSFETs, SCRs and more. You can even run tests on IGBTs and triacs. Menu-driven LCD display, multi-configuration ZIF connections connect to all common device pin-out styles. The circuit details are described in detail this month. The free PIC software is available in our Library (February 2013).

Digital Spirit Level

This electronic version of the traditional bubble spirit level is an inclinometer that provides a crystal-clear digital display of the angle of any flat surface in 0.1° increments.

A MEMS accelerometer chip, as found in the latest smartphones and tablets, is at the heart of the circuit. A PIC-based project, free source code is downloadable from our Library.

  This design includes a surface-mount chip, some soldering skills are required.

Interplanetary Voice

This megaphone-style digital sounder bender uses a special audio chip to transform your voice into something that even the most distant aliens would recognise (possibly anyway).

A robotic/ alien sound transformation is now just a click away thanks to this entertaining constructional project.

Jump Start

Jump Start – design and build circuit projects dedicated to newcomers and younger students following courses in schools and colleges. This month we  dip into the world of analogue circuitry, helped by Circuit Wizard simulation and measurement software to investigate basic principles.

Also in this issue of EPE

  • Everyday News – HDMI protection compromised? Barry Fox reports.
  • Techno Talk – if you thought a 3.5mm stereo connector was standardised, we highlight some electrical differences of multipole types commonly used today.
  • Raspberry Pi – more fruity fillings are investigated with Pi upgrades and software tips on offer in this specially written feature.
  • PIC n MIX – How to increase speed and save power – more practical tips for PIC enthusiasts.
  • Circuit Surgery  – our column of readers’ questions provides an in-depth investigation of flip-flop triggering and related aspects of discrete logic.
  • Practically Speaking – more handy workshop hints and advice for the constructor.
  • Ingenuity Unlimited – readers’ own circuit ideas – this month, an electric blanket controller.
  • Net Work – the Internet column – introducing our new website, our Pocketmags edition and how BT Fon resells consumer wireless broadband.

March 2013 files for download -

  • Digital Spirit Level

Printed Circuit Boards

We supply PCBs for all our projects going back to 2013.

New PE service – Programmed PICs

Buy programmed PICs for most of our projects.

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