February 2016

This month’s highlights


Teach-In 2016
Introducing the Arduino (Part 1)

A brand new tutorial series covering the universally-popular Arduino general-purpose microcontroller board. Part One introduces the entry-level Arduino One, explaining its core features in a format that’s readable and easy to follow and ideal for microcontroller beginners.

Our tutors Mike and Richard Tooley also explain what to look for when buying a genuine Arduino. The IDE software is described step by step followed by practical examples of simple applications and an Arduino virtual simulator walk-through. Don’t miss this great new series dedicated to Arduino beginners!

Spark Energy Meter (Part 1)

A digital spark tester for ignition systems, this project has a standard HT sparkplug connection and displays energy levels up to 1,000mJ (millijoules).

Containing its own sparkplug for connecting to HT, it will work with spark repetition rates up to 700 per second, equating to 10,000 rpm in a V8 engine.

Discrete PCB design, full circuit details are included and construction is explained in Part 2 next month.

High voltage design suitable for skilled and experienced constructors

6-Digit Retro Nixie Clock (Part 1)

A traditional Nixie-tube digital clock display is brought right up to date with a 32-bit microprocessor and the addition of (optional) GPS-derived time setting to automatically determine the time zone around the world. Auto dimming of Nixie tubes and additional mood lighting supplied by blue leds. Date display, 7-day alarm and battery backup.

The circuitry is described this month and full constructional details will follow in Part Two. A complete kit is also available from Gless Audio in Victoria, Australia. Email David Whitby glesstron@msn.com

CGA-to-VGA Video Converter

Connect your old Amiga, Commodore 128, Microbee, Apple or Tandy CoCo 3 to any recent model LCD or CRT that has a VGA input. Uses a commercial video scalar board as part of the design. Just the thing for retro computing fans!

Art of Electronics 3rd Edition

Ian Bell reviews the latest edition of the world’s best textbook that offers an intuitive approach to microelectronics.

Audio Out

Practical volume controls and associated filter circuitry (Part 3). Some practical circuits are offered this month.

Also in this issue:

  • Interface – a column dedicated to PC users, BASIC printer port interfacing
  • Circuit Surgery – SMT ferrite beads and simulating them in LTSpice, a 5-page special feature
  • Techno Talk – how old technology still holds good today
  • Net Work – the latest developments in domain names, and installing an HP Envy wireless printer
  • PIC n MIX – managing and sharing software and utilising Git Hub
  • Max’s Hot Beans – prototyping the Cunning Chronograph, and the Simblee Bluetooth controller
  • Electronic Building Blocks – a pulsing timer module built on the cheap!

Next month

Teach-In 2016 – our Arduino Tutorial (Part 2); Modifying the Currawong Valve Amplifier; 6-Digit Retro Nixie Clock (Part 2); Spark Energy Meter (Part 2).

February 2016 files for download - 0216.zip

  • Nixie Clock
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