June 2021

This month’s highlights

Touchscreen Wide-range RCL Box – Part 1

This ‘intelligent’ piece of test equipment will be invaluable for prototyping and testing circuitry. It’s not only a capacitance and resistance substitution box but offers inductance as well, accessible via a colour touchscreen.  Features 1Ω – 10MΩ, 10pF-10µF, 100nH to 3.3mH RCL manual selection and, uniquely, it can automatically sweep through value ranges.  The project is Micromite V3 BackPack with a 3½” LCD colour touchscreen, programmed in BASIC.

This month the circuit is described in its entirety and construction will be shown in next month’s issue. (The Micromite V3 BackPack was described in our August 2020 issue.)

Surface mount components are used throughout and good soldering skills are needed to complete this project successfully.

Roadies’ Test Signal Generator

Here’s a compact and rugged signal generator ideal when setting up PA sound equipment at gigs or other locations. It’s powered by a single 3V cell and is built to withstand the ‘roadie’ environment’. The oscillator generates a 440Hz sinewave at an adjustable 0-1.2V RMS. Single-ended or balanced output via a 6.35mm jack socket. Auto power on-off.

Both traditional through-hole (above, right) and surface-mount (above, left) versions are described.

Concreto Speaker System

This is a bookshelf speaker system with a big difference! Comprising a full-range speaker and separate sub-woofer built into cement ‘breeze’ block’ type material, the Concreto Speaker System performs far above its size (and weight!) and offers an amazing experience for its size and cost. No tweeter or crossover network are needed. The project has a low build cost and full constructional details with diagrams and photos are supplied in this interesting feature. A must for audio enthusiasts everywhere!

IoT Cricket

A superbly-written new series introducing the Internet of Things (IoT), majoring on the brilliant new ‘Cricket’ IoT board produced by Cambridge-based Things on Edge. Cricket is an ultra-low consumption, battery-powered IoT module that does not require any type of hub.  We’re super-excited about this series and readers will soon be able to get an end-to-end IoT system of their own up and running in no time! Part 1 this month introduces some basic set-up, super-slick MQTT and HTTP protocols and more. Check this issue too for a special PE money-saving voucher that you can use at www.thingsonedge.com/product-page/wifi-cricket

Make It with Micromite (Part 29):
Internet connection with an ESP32 Wi-Fi module (Part 2)

This chapter continues to explore the topic of Wi-Fi connectivity and a practical example of extracting real-time weather data from the Internet.

Max’s Cool Beans: Flashing LEDs and Drooling engineers – Part 16

Max evolves his Game of Life simulator, played on his 12×12 array of multicolour ping-pong balls, and there’s more coding tips and tricks for pseudo-random number generation.

Also in this issue:

  • The Fox Report – some recent practical experiences of trying to access local ‘healthcare’ services in Britain
  • Barry Fox’s Tekkiepix Pic of the Month – the inventor of stereo and WW2 radar pioneer: EMI’s Alan Blumlein. More at https://tekkiepix.com/alan-blumlein
  • Techno Talk – is an advertised ‘Home Voltage Optimiser’ all it’s cracked up to be? And more new eco-friendly developments
  • Net Work – the rise of ‘hybrid’ working, some notes on SmartMedia and MicroSD memory, and space news from Mars and a space satellite tow truck
  • KickStart: Making sense of Inductors. How to design and realise inductive components (coils) in a wide range of electronic applications. With some practical examples and on-screen simulation guidance.
  • Audio Out – A microphone preamplifier (for Vocoder) In Part 2, Jake Rothman completes the design outline and then embarks on the project’s practical constructional aspects.
  • Circuit Surgery – this month, our in-house surgeon looks at the basics of transformers and introduces the ways of simulating transformer circuits in LTspice.

In next month’s issue:

Touchscreen Wide-range RCL Box – Part 2; Ol’ Timer ‘lazy’ clock; Low-cost, high precision Thermometer Calibrator; Infra Red Remote Control Assistant.

June2021 files for download 0621-DL.zip

  • Touchscreen RCL Box
  • Roadies' Sig Gen a/w
  • Phase Shift Osc
  • Transformer Spice
  • Weather demo
  • Cool Beans
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