October 2021

This month’s highlights

Mini Wi-fi LCD Backback

This BackPack has a multitude of uses thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi networking connectivity. The list of things you can do with it is endless! The Mini Wi-Fi LCD Backpack has a D1 Mini Arduino at its heart and includes a 3.5” colour touchscreen LCD, remote (OTA) programming, prototyping breakout space and 4MB flash memory. It’s ideal for many home automation applications but will find other uses such as displaying current time or weather patterns on a compact, self-contained desktop module.

USB Super Codec (Part 2)

In last month’s issue we introduced our new USB SuperCodec sound card project, which boasts superb recording and playback performance. By adding some inexpensive software it can form a highly advanced audio signal analysis system. In this month’s instalment, the sophisticated circuitry is described. Full constructional details and testing procedures will be published in Part 3 next month.

 A spreadsheet for component suppliers is also provided on the Silicon Chip website at  https://bit.ly/pe-oct21-codec

High-power Ultrasonic Cleaner (Part 2)

This large and powerful ultrasonic cleaner is just the thing for cleaning bulkier items such as mechanical parts and delicate fabrics. Last month we described its features and principles of operation, so this month we turn to the practical aspects of construction, looking at assembling the printed circuit boards. Testing and troubleshooting tips are included.

High voltage! Approx 100V AC appears across the transducer – handle with care. Follow the safety instructions clearly printed in the article.

Colour Maximite 2 (Generation 2)  (Part 1)

Back in 2019 we published a project that described the original Colour Maximite computer, a simple stand-alone BASIC-enabled retro-style computer that just needed some standard peripherals connecting.  It was quite an old design dating back to 2012, so now we are pleased to introduced an updated (and tweaked V2) version officially called the Colour Maximite 2 (Generation 2)

The CMM2 (G2) uses a 480MHz Arm Cortex processor and has 32MB additional RAM, VGA up to 16 million colours, a built-in BASIC interpreter, USB, stereo sound  and many extra software and hardware features that will appeal to a coder, gamer or enthusiast who appreciates high performance and specification in a device having such a tiny footprint!

Audio Out
A question of balance (Part 2)

Continuing our analysis of preparing and handling balanced microphone pre-ampliers and XLR cables. Practical aspects with plenty of photos are included this month.

Also in this issue:

  • The Fox Report – Barry describes precisely why the NHS Track and Trace app is unfit for purpose – and who’s responsible (and who isn’t even answering Emails about it)
  • TekkiePix of the Month – the Sony Data Discman. Barry Fox unearths another technical flop from the annals of his photo news archives. https://tekkiepix.com/stories
  • Techno Talk – did a model railroad club kickstart today’s ‘maker’ movement by inventing computer hacking 60 years ago?
  • Net Work – watch out for fake ‘CE’ marks on equipment and the new UKCA mark too
  • Max’s Cool Beans – Flashing LEDs and Drooling Engineers (Part 20) – suggesting a wooden business card with NFC, and more steps on the road to implementing an awesome LED display having 45 tri-colour LEDs.
  • Circuit Surgery – an in-depth explanation of electrical protection circuitry, starting with those all-essential fuses and overvoltage suppression devices.
  • IoT Cricket Part 2: working with Node-RED and Raspberry Pi. How to start building your very own home automation system using a battery-powered Wi-Fi sensor with a IoT Cricket module.
  • KickStart Part 5: getting to grips with EMC. Grounding, shielding and filtering out the effects of electromagnetic interference in your projects

In next month’s issue:

Eight festive LED Christmas decorations; checking out low-cost Mini Digital Volt/  Ammeters; USB SuperCodec (Part 3);  Low-cost, high-precision Thermometer Calibrator.  Contents may be subject to change at the last moment.

October 2021 files for download - 1021-DL.zip

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