March 2024

This month’s highlights

Digital Volume Control Potentiometer

The traditional potentiometer is one of the few remaining ‘moving parts’ seen in modern electronics but the mechanical wear and tear suffered by carbon or wire resistance tracks, together with deterioration of the moving wiper contact, gives them a deserved reputation for unreliability and electrical noise. This project is a drop-in replacement using modern digital techniques which offers several extra benefits, including simple infra red remote control and mute, plus soft start-up. We offer a compact surface mount version as well as a through-hole discrete alternative. PIC micro powered.

Advanced SMD Test Tweezers (Part 2)

This astonishing piece of test gear will find a place in any advanced constructor’s toolkit. Our latest Advanced SMD Test Tweezers are a vast improvement over our earlier tweezer designs (October 2022 and May 2023 issues), offering more functionality, higher resolution measurements and a larger, higher resolution OLED display. More importantly, there are new measuring modes including an oscilloscope, voltmeter, I/V curve plotter and even a tone/ square wave generator is bundled in as well.

We hope our screenshots whet your appetite! This month, purchasing, assembly and calibration details of this superb piece of test gear are provided.

Active Mains Soft Starter (Part 2)

High start-up or ‘inrush’ current surges can be disruptive or even dangerous, causing damaging ‘brownout’ voltage dips, blowing light bulbs or tripping the circuit breaker when power is first applied. This super-intelligent Active Soft Starter overcomes this, by ramping up current slowly when power is first applied. This can also reduce the unnerving ‘kick’ you get from many power tools when they switch on. Rated for power tools up to 750W, the design has a 10A continuous rating and offers the constructor six startup rates from 500mS to 10S. PIC microcontroller-based, with source code downloadable from our website. Assembly, testing calibration and adjustment are covered in Part 2 this month.

Warning! Mains voltage is present throughout the circuitry.  Extreme care must be taken at all times to avoid accidental electric shock


Teach-In 2024 – Learn to use the ESP32

Ever since our very first issue of Everyday Electronics, November 1971, we’ve produced an acclaimed ‘Teach-In’ tutorial series that focussed on one particular topic or syllabus. This month we are proud to bring you our very latest Teach-In series that reflects modern techniques in electronic design and applications.  Teach-In 2024 is based on the remarkable ESP32 development board and our series assumes no previous knowledge of electronics or coding. The ESP32 is a well-established, low cost development board capable of fulfilling the simplest or the most complex applications, and it has become renowned as the starting point for a wide range of low-cost control and Internet of Things applications.

The ESP32 has exceptional connectivity including 2.4GHz Wi-fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet. It has a wide range of I/O features, with a built-in DAC, ADC, PWM and capacitive touch sensing, along with I2C, SPI and serial UART interface compatibility for good measure. Quiescent current falls to a few microamps in ‘hibernate’ mode so it can use negligible power. Coding can be based on the popular Arduino IDE environment.

This month the Teach-In author Mike Tooley gets to grips with all the basics and introduces some simple exercises in a series that is packed with practical advice, expert illustrations and theory. If you want to get into coding and smart applications, the ESP32 has plenty to offer so be sure to check out Teach-In 2024 as a great introduction to these feature-packed development tools.

Also in this issue

  • Techno Talk – Max lays bare the world of quantum physics (or maybe not).
  • Net Work – a key feature explaining what you need to know about forthcoming changes to web browser cookies, and there’s news of Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant, space program news and the author gets a spin in a Honda e:Ny1 BEV.
  • The Fox Report – uncovering some trading obfuscations perpetrated by certain online vendors.
  • Circuit Surgery – a special article on LTspice 17.1 and Frequency Response Analysis (Part 1)
  • Max’s Cool Beans – Max continues to work out at his Arduino Bootcamp in Part 15
  • Audio Out – Back to Buffers (Part 2) – concluding article describing the practical construction of a high-quality discrete buffer circuit.

Next month

Basic RF Signal generator; “Silicon Chirp” pet cricket; Automated Test Bench. Contents may be subject to change.

2024 files for download -


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