This month’s highlights
Teach-In 2014 – the Raspberry Pi (Part 1)
The Raspberry Pi is a British-designed single board computer that has taken the world by storm with over 1.5 million units sold. The credit-card size device has a USB port for mouse/ keyboard / wi-fi adaptor etc. and an HDMI interface for displaying on TV.
Teach-In 2014 is devoted entirely to getting started with this versatile little computer marvel, and Part 1 this month outlines the software and hardware requirements for setting up a Raspberry Pi system from scratch. It’s specially written for new-starters and will guide you step by step to help you program and use the Pi with confidence. A special section introduces the Python programming language. Don’t miss this essential series and see what the Raspberry Pi can do for you!
LED Musicolour (Part 1)
This sound-to-light LED light string controller is an easier-to-use version of the DSP Musicolour project (May – August 2010), with a nod towards the Digital Lighting Controller (Oct – Dec 2012 issues) too, the latter being very versatile but having to be skillfully pre-programmed with a desired lighting sequence.
This new version will drive up to 16 LED chains that respond simply to 16 individual frequency bands.
Higher volume levels in each of these bands causes the corresponding LED chain to glow more brilliantly.
A captivating sound-to-light display can thus be assembled easily and multiple units can be operated in tandem to power 32 or even 64 sets of LEDs. Input from any line source or use the built-in SD card to host .wav files instead, acting as an entirely self-contained sound & light controller. dsPIC33FJ128 controlled with free hex code downloadable from our Library. Perfect for Christmas lighting effects, store displays, parties and more besides.
High-temperature Thermometer/ Thermostat
This compact temperature controller utilises a K-type thermocouple with simple LCD display and can drive a relay to operate autoclaves, ovens, solder baths etc., or at the cold end, fridges and freezers.
The High Temperature Thermometer switches high-to-low or low-to-high. Measures -50°C to + 1200°C depending on the probe used. AD8495 based.
Simple Chess Clock (Ingenuity Unlimited)
A reader’s outline suggestion for a chess timer with source code available from our Library. For experimenters.
Computer error: reliable digital processing (Part 3).
An interesting round-up of fail-safe and fault-tolerant techniques that ultimately keep systems (and people) safe.
Also this month’s issue:
- Circuit Surgery takes some rotary encoder theory for an in-depth spin.
- Max’s Cool Beans re-discovers the ASR-33 teletype.
- Interface offers more on the Raspberry Pi I/O including the camera interface.
- Techno-Talk on the chemistry of crystal memory, and vehicle electronics hacking.
- Net Work describes trends in smartphone applications.