June 2013

This month’s highlights


This simple and cheap-to-build 4 channel audio mixer offers outstanding performance. It offers four configurable inputs suitable for a wide variety of audio sources, from mic or guitar up to CD decks or MP3 players.  Level and equaliser controls, 1M // 100pF input impedance. Complete PCB design ensures you can build this design with confidence.

PIC/AVR Programming Board (Part 2)

Do you frequently program microcontrollers with a serial programmer? Want to streamline the process so you can do virtually any microcontroller? This Programming Adaptor Board, in combination with an in-circuit serial programmer (ICSP) allows you to conveniently program most DIP 8-bit and 16-bit PIC micros as well as 8-bit Atmel AVRs – more than 450 devices in all. ZIF socket, 3.3V or 5V selectable, fuse protection for micro, compatible with PICkit3 and AVRISP MkII.

In Part 2, constructional details are provided followed by usage hints and tips. This is an advanced surface mount design using numerous SMD chips and very accurate manual soldering skills are needed.

Handy USB Breakout Box

This handy little gadget connects into virtually any USB 1.1 or 2.0 cable and simplifies the job of analysing signals with a ‘scope or checking the supply rail current or voltage. Just the thing for troubleshooting pesky USB projects or peripherals.

Converter for Neon Lamp experiments

An interesting article that describes the principles of classic neon bulb oscillators. These electrical legacies require typically a 90V d.c. supply which could be provided by old-style radio batteries but these are now obsolete. This feature article for experimenters describes some fundamentals and suggests a d.c. converter (circuit only) offering the requisite 90V or so from a 6V d.c. supply.

Jump Start

The penultimate project in our regular electronics educational series describes the design and construction of a simple AM radio receiver. Analysis of the circuit using Circuit Wizard software is also described followed by a retro take on a vintage radio design.

Also in this month’s EPE:


  • Techno Talk – ‘in-body’ electronic applications. Not for the squeamish!
  • PIC ‘n MIX – our popular periodic column of PIC enlightenment suggests a real-time clock and calendar (RTCC) based on the clock peripheral built into the PIC processor.
  • Circuit Surgery – our regular electronics clinic rounds off a marathon mini-feature on op-amp gain-bandwidth product, applying LTSpice along the way
  • Interface – the column for PC interface hints and tips lifts the lid on Visual Studio Express.
  • Ingenuity Unlimited – readers’ circuit ideas. This month, a birdbox TV system.
  • Max’s Cool Beans – Max digs through a techie junkyard and re-creates a retro Jetsons TV.
  • Net Work – the Internet column bids adieu to Dave Barrington, EPE’s Assistant Editor who retired this month.

June 2013 files for download - 0613.zip

  • IU Bird Cam
  • Bird Cam movie

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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