November 2012

This month’s highlights

RFID Security System

An easy-to-build high security system that protects your home or car. Team it with an electric lock and you have a keyless security system as well.  Using a tiny RFID tag as an electronic key, this RFID control module has a relay output that can switch an electric door strike, a car’s central locking system, another alarm or just about anything you want. This is a high quality commercial project and at the time of writing a kits of parts  (updated version)  is available from

Hearing Loop Level Meter (Part 1)

Following the intense interest in our recent features on Hearing Aid Loop systems, this project offers an at-a-glance indication of field strength levels over a 27dB range, to help you set the correct signal level and minimise noise. Offering “A” weighting or Wide modes, it’s a compact battery-powered unit with LED bargraph output.

Brunning Software Easy USB & Telescope Driver Control

We examine Brunning Software’s Easy USB software, which claims to make the programming of serial USB communications applications between your PC and a PIC-based peripheral simple. We also consider a practical application, using this method in the development of an astronomical telescope drive system.

Digital Lighting Controller (Part 2)

Building and testing the master and slave units to create a mains lighting extravaganza. This Digital Lighting Controller is capable of sequencing  up to 32 channels of incandescent lighting and will flash, dim lights up or down and sequence them automatically to a soundtrack stored on an SD or MMC card. This month, the construction of the master and slave units is described

Jump Start

Our series for students, beginners in electronics offers you a Frost Alarm, just the thing for gardeners, fishpond owners and anyone who keeps a “weather eye” out for dropping temperatures.

Also in this issue:

  • Review: Picoscope 3406B, an impressive PC-based oscilloscope is tested by Robert Penfold
  • Max’s Cool Beans – Max muses about hoverscooters and a 3D World globe display.
  • Circuit Surgery – the Early Effect and Early voltage.
  • Net Work – the Internet column – extend your wi-fi range and troubleshooting wireless problems
  • Practically Speaking –  for the electronics constructor: identifying components
  • Techno Talk – harnessing the power of electronics to avoid traffic accidents or snarl-ups

November 2012 files for download -

  • Digital Lighting Controller

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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