August 2020

This month’s highlights

Micromite LCD BackPack V3

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This upgrade has all the features of the V1 and V2 BackPacks, plus it supports both 2.8-inch and 3.5-inch touchscreen displays. Also included are optional extra memory, temperature, humidity and pressure sensors, an RTC, IR receiver and more.

Steering Wheel Audio Button to InfraRed Adaptor

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If you upgrade the radio or infotainment head in a car having push-button steering wheel controls, those controls may no longer work because aftermarket head units do not support them. This new adaptor lets you use many of those handy controls with a wide range of aftermarket head units. Suitable for resistance-switching type controls only, not intended for digital types. (Vehicle testing instructions are included in the article.) Easy to build, PIC micro based design. (Next month, we offer a car ‘radio head’ dimmer unit.)

Junk Mail Repeller

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This fun project is an adaptable sound recorder/ playback module that can store up to 11 seconds of audio. It uses a very cheap ISD1820 recorder module which is readily available on the Internet, complete with microphone and speaker. This article explores its operation and shows one use, triggering a voice clip when activated by a letterbox!

Class-D Stereo Plus Subwoofer Amplifier

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Unbelievable but true, this project uses a ready-assembled 2+1 50W amplifier module for about £7.50. Based on the latest Texas Instruments TPA3116D2 power IC, the boards come ready-made and will benefit from some modifications that just require some straightforward soldering. A Bluetooth-enabled version is examined as well.

Also in this issue:

  • The Fox Report – Barry Fox on how woeful tech sector PR avoids scrutiny from journalists
  • Techno Talk – Mark Nelson harks back to the era when mobile phone communications were foreseen
  • Net Work – the rise of video conferencing, Yubico 2FA security keys and more SpaceX news
  • Circuit Surgery – our in-house expert Ian Bell gives an in-depth overview of LTspice sources
  • Audio Out – Part 1 of a low-noise Theremin Power Supply
  • Make It with Micromite (Part 19):  programming the Micromite Robot Buggy LED ‘eyes’
  • Practically Speaking – Introduction to surface-mount technology (Part 3) – the evolution of SMDs and first steps in utilising them
  • Max’s Cool Beans – next stages in building a NeoPixel-powered array of 144 ping-pong balls (why wouldn’t you?)
  • Electronic Building Blocks – trying a 1-15V battery capacity tester sourced from the web.

Next month

An Ultrabrite LED Pushbike Light, The Micromite Explore-28, and three popular stepper motor drivers are described.

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August 2020 files for download - 0820.zip

  • Micromite BackPack V3
  • Steering Wheel Adaptor
  • Cool Beans – Part 5
  • Micromite Robot Buggy
  • Circuit Surgery
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