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utting Together
our Own PC
from Aix to Zip
There is nothing like building
your own PC. Get advice to
make your journey down tha
road a little less bumpy

of al
necessary to use TTL or CMOS -logic
integrated circuits, when
discrete- transistor logic
circuits can do the job

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izmo News

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Vol. 15, No 10

Popular Electronics A GERNSBACK


31 Putting Together Your Own PC-
f rom Aix to ZIP
There is nothing like building your own PC. Here is some advice
on determining the selection of each major component in your
computer, as well as some of the pros and cons of the many deci-
sions you must make -Rafael Avila

Page 31

45 Exploring Transistor Logic

Discover why it is not always necessary to use TTL or CMOS -logic
integrated circuits -when discrete -transistor logic circuits can do
the job -Steve Weiss

P R O D U C T R E V I E W S Page 45

14 Product Test Report

Samsung DVD905 Digital Versatile Disc Player

21 Gizmo
Sharp MD -X8 Minidisc Minisystem with Internet Audio
Capability, RadioShack Optimus PRO -LS3 Indoor /Outdoor
Page 21
Speaker System -plus Gizmo News

POPULAR ELECTRONICS (ISSN 1042-170-X) Published monthly by Postmaster: Please send address changes to Popular Electronics,
Gernsback Publications, Inc. 500 Bi- County Boulevard, Farmingdale, NY Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 338, Mount Morris, IL 61054 -9932
11735. Periodicals postage paid at Farmingdale, NY and at additional mail- A stamped self- addressed envelope must accompany all submitted manu-
ing offices. One -year, twelve issues, subscription rate U.S. and possessions scripts and /or artwork or photographs if their return is desired should they
$24.99, Canada $33.15 (includes G.S.T. Canadian Goods and Services Tax be rejected. We disclaim any responsibility for the loss or damage of man-
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orders payable in U.S. funds only, International Postal Money Order or wise.
check drawn on a U.S bank. U.S. single copy price $499. Copyright 1998 As a service to readers, Popular Electronics publishes available plans or
information relating to newsworthy products, techniques, and scientific and
by Gernsback Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Hands -on Electronics
technological developments. Because of possible variances in the quality
and Gizmo trademarks are registered in U.S and Canada by Gernsback
and condition of materials and workmanship used by readers, Popular
Publications, Inc. Popular Electronics trademark is registered in U.S. and Electronics disclaims any responsibility for the safe and proper functioning
Canada by Electronics Technology Today, Inc. and is licensed to Gernsback of reader-built projects based upon or from plans or information published
Publications, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. in this magazine.

O C T O B E R 1 9 9 8 Popular Electronics
Larry Steckler, EHF, CET,
C O L U M N S editor -in -chief and publisher

Edward Whitman, managing editor
12 Net Watch Julian Martin, editorial advisor
Robert Young, technical editor
E -Mail for Free! -Konstantinos Karagiannis
Evelyn Rose, assistant editor
Teri Scaduto, assistant editor
Debbie Cybula, editorial assistant
18 Scanner Scene Alex Bie, contributing editor
Joseph J. Carr, K4IPV,
Great Diversion With Triple Conversion -Marc Saxon contributing editor
Marc Ellis, contributing editor
Jeffrey K. Holtzman,
49 Multimedia Watch contributing editor
Don Jensen, contributing editor
Cameras, Cards, and CD -ROMs -Marc Spiwak
Konstantinos Karagiannis,
contributing editor
Charles D. Rakes, contributing editor
52 Ham Radio Marc Saxon, contributing editor
QRP DXing and Boatanchors -Joseph J. Carr Marc Spiwak, contributing editor
Ruby M. Yee, production director
54 Think Tank Ken Coren, desktop production director
A Different Type of PIN -Alex Bie Melissa Giordano, desktop production
Kathy Campbell, production assistant
58 DX Listening Andre Duzant, art director
Russell C. Truelson, illustrator
Theresa Lombardo,
circulation manager
60 Antique Radio Gina L. Gallo, circulation assistant
Radio Repair for Dummies -2 -Marc Ellis REPRINT DEPARTMENT
Christina M. Estrada, Reprint Bookstore


62 Circuit Circus Gernsback Publications, Inc.
500 Bi- County Blvd.
Light it Upl- Charles D. Rakes Farmingdale, NY 11735
FAX: 516- 293 -3115
President: Larry Steckler
67 Computer Bits Vice -President: Adria Coren
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Microcontrollers VI -Jeff Holtzman
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D E P A R T M E N T S Advertising Sales Offices

listed on page 94
Composition by Mates Graphics
4 Editorial Cover by Loewy Design

6 Letters AB ABC
66 New Products AUDITED

69 Popular Electronics Market Center Since some of the equipment and circuitry
described in POPULAR ELECTRONICS may

94 Advertising Index relate to or be covered by U.S. patents,

liability for the infringement of such
94A Free Information Card patents by the making, using, or selling of
such equipment or circuitry, and suggests
that anyone interested in such projects
2 consult a patent attorney.

The U.S. Government
always knows exactly
what time it is...do you?
New clock from Arcron uses radio signals from the
U.S. Atomic Clock in Colorado to display the precise
time, within a billionth of a second.
by lake Prine

These days, timing is every-

thing. Between meetings
and appointments, dead-
lines and conference calls,
my schedule requires that I
know the time down to the
minute. Even on weekends, I've got Little
League games to coach, shows to tape and
planes to catch. If I'm late, I'm sunk. The desktop and the wall model come
problem is that it's hard to be prompt if with a one -year manufacturer's
my clocks aren't correct. Even digital limited warranty and Comtrad's
clocks can be inaccurate. Power out- risk-free home trial. If you are not
ages, dead batteries, time changes...any of completely satisfied, return your pur-
these can cause a clock to be inaccurate. The chase within 90 days for a full, "No
next thing you know, you're strolling into that Desktop Alarm Clock Questions Asked" refund.
important conference...an hour late. Now
there's no need to worry, because advanced An easy time. 1 he most accurata cloc k in Now Available: "Atomic" Wrist Watch
radio technology has produced a clock which the world is of no use if it is difficult to oper-
gets the time directly from the U.S. Atomic ate. The Arcron Atomic Clock is engineered in Take the world's most accurate timepiece
Clock in Fort Collins, Colorado, the standard Germany using the latest scientific technolo- wherever you go. This analog watch takes
for time- keeping the world over. The Atomic gy. It comes in two styles, the wall clock and advantage of the same technology as the
Clock by Arcron is the most accurate, reliable the executive desktop model. Both are Atomic Clocks so its internal receiver auto-
and convenient timepiece you can buy. designed to be functional and easy tc use. matically synchronizes the precision Swiss
The most accurate clock on Earth. The desk clock's display features the exact movement to the exact time. The antenna is
Every morning at 1:00 a.m., this "smart" clock time (in hours, minutes and seconds), month iidden inside the casing, making it rugged
tunes in to the radio time signal emitted by and date, or you can choose to display any and comfortable to wear. It is shock- and
two U.S. or world time zones. It features a water- resistant, and
the U.S. Atomic Clock in Colorado and auto-
sleek, European design, and, at only eight t features a hard-
matically resets itself to the exact hour,
minute and second. The U.S. Atomic Clock is ounces, is the perfect travel clock. II also has ened mineral lens
accurate to ten billionths of a second per day. dual alarms, perfect for couples, and one - and an elegant
Using molecular technology, it measures the touch illumination for nighttime viewing. eather strap. Now,
vibration rate of atoms -a constant -to cal- The handsome wall clock comes with or an affordable
ibrate time. This means that the clock devi- temperature and humidity gauges. After Price, you can own
you install the batteries, a watch that's more
ates less than one second
over a one million year watch the hands spin at 20 precise than the
period! The Atomic times their normal rate, most expensive
until the clock has adjust- watch in the world.
Clock even adjusts auto-
matically for daylight ed to the pre-
Atomic Wall Clock $99 $8 sale
savings time, so you Every morning at cise time. Both
the executive Atomic Wall Clock (wood grain). $99 $8 S&H
don't have to remember 1:00 a.m., this
to "spring for- "smart" clock desktop and Atomic Desktop Alarm Clock $99 $8 S &H
ward" or "fall tunes in to the the wall model Atomic Wrist Watch $199 $8 S&H
Please specify black or white face when ordering.
back." This clock is radio time signal have an inter-
the only atomic emitted by the nal antenna for Please mention promotional code 2769 -13599.
clock with an inter- U.S. Atomic Clock superior recep- For fastest service, call toll -free 24 hours a day
nal calibrator that
creates "intelli-
in Colorado and
tion sensitivity,
withoat unat- 800-992-2966 ru'IIIL
gent" adjustments resets itself to tractive wires. To order by nail, send check or money order for the total
the exact hour, amount including S&H. To charge it to your credit card,
based on the latest The time to

enclose your account number and expiration date.
l comtrad
signal readings. minute and sec- buy is now!
ond. The U.S. Virginia residents only please add 4.5% sales tax.
The desktop model Act now and
is the only clock Atomic Clock is you can own
accurate to ten
that will not lose
time with low billionths of a
the world's
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power or when you second per day. timepiece. Both
2820 Waterford Lake Dr., Suite 102 3
Midlothian, Virginia 23113
change its batteries. the executive

Accredited B.S. Degree in
Computers or Electronics
by studying at Home
Grantham College ofEngineering
offers 3 distance education programs:

B.S.E.T. emphasis in Electronics

B.S.E.T. emphasis in Computers
B.S. in Computer Science
The Appliance Operator
1 i
In this month's issue, our cover story deals with
OrElectronics Workbench Professional 5.0
`included in our B.S.E.T curriculums
putting together your own PC -at least the first
part-the pros and cons of the selection of the
-Approved by more than 200 Companies, necessary components. But you might ask, so
VA and Dantes, (tuition assistance avail.) why bother? The cost savings are not as great
For your free catalog of our programs dial as they used to be. can go down to my local

computer store, or mail -order house, and pick

1- 800 -955 -2527 up the whole computer system without knowing
http: //www.grantham.edu a blessed thing about motherboards, CPUs,
DIMMs, SIMMs, expansion slots, and RAM.

GCE Nevertheless, the most compelling reason to

put together your own system from scratch is
that it will give you an education that only such
Your first step
to help yourself a hands -on experience can provide. You can do upgrades, modifications, and
better your future! repairs much more easily, and that's where the big savings come in.

Years ago, when finally upgraded my CW- novice ham -radio equipment, the

Grantham College ofEngineering choice of many was to build equipment from a kit. Enter the era of Heathkit,
34641 Grantham College Road Johnson, Eico, and countless other domestic kit manufacturers that, most unfor-
Slidell, LA 70460 -6815 tunately, have since gone out of business (it's a shame). The HeathkitSB301 and
SB401 receiver and transmitter I finally built was my pride and joy. It took me
The pro months to put them together, but they were built to exacting standards with such
pride and workmanship, unmatched by mass -produced standards. Fortunately
station for people was not the type who expressed the "I want it now" attitude, so prevalent with
today's youngsters -and did not mind the time I spent reading the manual,
care about the weather

rereading the manual, and only then soldering the wires. In fact, many of the DX
hams later worked (especially in the "Iron Curtain" countries), used "home -

brew" equipment, which is at least an order of magnitude harder to put together

than a kit. These dedicated radio amateurs had to scrounge up the parts, punch
the chassis, and determine their own wire harnesses -all without the aid of the
superb Heathkit manuals and pictorials.
OPTIONS Money -wise, by building my Heathkit equipment probably saved about 25% over

AVAILABLE4 similar equipment with comparable features from other manufacturers, which
came wired, tested and ready- to -go. Nevertheless the "real ham" looked down
Davis Instruments has a complete line of weather stations upon the "appliance- operator" ham, which was the term for operators who simply
affordable enough for home and hobby use. Connect the
bought their rigs, turned on the power, cranked the knobs, and went on the air.
station to packet radio using shareware program available
on Davis' Web Site and BBS. Although 25% in cost was (and still is) a considerable savings, the main reasonI

Features Include: put together my own ham equipment, was that afterwards I was not afraid to open
Inside & Outside Inside Humidity Instant Metric up the rig, put in modifications, troubleshoot (which am happy to say did not
Temps Wind Chill Conversion
Mad Speed & Outside Hum. &
occur often over the 22. years I actively used the Heathkits), and put in any
Directo 1

Highs & Lors

Dew Point Option improvements which came along. The same reasons exist today for putting
Rainfall Option
Optional PC
together your own PC. Appliance operators may be in the majority, but although
Time & Date
in the minority, those who build their own PCs experiment, explore, and in the
For more information and process, learn.
a free catalog. call

1- 800 -678 -3669

M -F 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time
FAX 1 -510-670 -0589
WC and VISA One -year warranty
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Davis Instruments
3465 Diablo Avenue, Hayward, CA 94545 -2778 www.davisnet.com
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200V, 700V 16MB of RAM
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DC voltage: 200mV, 2V, Electronic 8 to 15VDC expandable included
20V, 200V, 1000V
AC & DC current: 20pA,
temperature Power consumption: 8mA to 68MB
22000pA0, 2mA, 20mA, 200mA, control from 3.5 floppy
Size: 2.5 "L x 2.41N x1 .2''H
200 F to drive, 240MB
Resistance: 20052, 2KS2
20K, 200K, 2M, 2M52
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Part No. Description
147555 MK101 mini kit $11.95
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Input impedance: 10M
Auto zeroing One -year warranty Includes tip Universal Battery CD -ROM
MacOS 7.5
Part No. Product No. 1 -4 5 -9 Part No. Product No. Price Charger/Discharger Includes
27115 M3800 $39.95 $35.95 35351 XY960 $129.95 Charges current from keyboard and mouse
Jameco 51 Piece Tool Kit Analog Display 15mA to 750mA Video, SCSI, printer,
An assortment of the selectable modem and stereo speaker ports
most essential tools for Soldering Charges both Ni -MH Price
Part No. Description
maintenance and repair Station and Ni -Cad batteries 154245 25MHz Quadra 610 $319.95
jobs. Black vinyl
Temperature: Usable battery voltage:
covered case features
removable pallets, a 300 F to 850 F 1.2/2.8/3.6/4.8 /6.0/7.2/ DEC Writer 95 Printer
combination lock and a Protects against 8.4 /9.6VDC Windows 95 Compatible
cushioned, black plastic handle. voltage spikes Part No. Description 1 -9 10 -24 Impact dot -matrix with 24 wire print head
Size; 12.51 x 17.5 "W x 3.5 "H Part No. Product No. Price 147598 K7300 bat. charger $19.95 $17.95 Epson and IBM emulation character set
Weight: 11.0 lbs. 114569 XY1683C $89.95 13 fonts built-in
Part No. Description Price 10 LED Mono VU Meter Kit
Includes sheet
26681 51 piece tool kit $99.95 Combo Soldering/ Instant visualization of
feeder, manual
Desoldering Station and audio signal levels
2.5" High 6 -Digit Clock Kit Easy hook up to
and drivers
(Windows 3.1
Bright Desoldering Station a LINE level
2.5" high & 95)
XY968D: (LOW input)
6-digit Weight: 14.0 lbs.
Digital signal source
displays atec'.s74.'fwtyKr. Size: 15.9"W x
(red) Special input (HIGH 12.6 "Dx5.4 H
Centigrade input) is provided, Part No. Description Price
Can be viewed from over 50' away
read out 151618 DEC writer 95 $74.95
12 hour or 24 hour display switch which allows direct
XY968D/ connection to a speaker output
Fast and slow set switches
486 Motherboard
Time hold control switch Frequency range: 20Hz to 30Hz Socket type 3
AntiClog/ -9 10-24
Safe low input voltage: 9VAC Part No. Description 1
Award BIOS
Kit PC board size: 17.5 "L x 3.5 "W Energy Saver 147643 K4304 VU meter $16.95 $14.95
Vacuum pump Supports 25- 133MHz; 486SX/
Part No. Description Price
activated "on
Flashing LED Kit DX/DX2/DX4 CPUs
105507 Digital clock kit $59.95
demand" For applications such Three PCI and
Jameco ABS Speedy Boxes using finger tip switch on desolder handle as model constructions. 3 ISA slots
Will not crack or split 128KB cache on
when drilled or Spike control feature Adjustable flashing speed
board, expandable
punched. PCB mount - Part No. Product No. Wt.(Ibs.) Price by potentiometers.
n all four
ng slots othe to 256KB
125508 XY960 13.1 $349.95 Operating voltage: 9VDC
sides and lid has a lip Built-in WO con-
for precision fit (adds 0.4" 125516 XY999SDA 18.1 449.95 Part No. Description 1-0 10 -24 troller supports
height). Complete with four screws and lid.
All sizes below are for interior dimensions.
SMD Tweez Iron 147580 MK102 mini kit $6.95 $6.25 two IDE connectors
Maximum Voice (4 devices), FDD, 2 serial ports, l parallel
Black ABS plastic
50-99 efficiency port (SPP /EPP /ECP) mode
Part No. Size (L"xW"xD ") 1 -9 10 -49
18921 3.1 x 2.0 x 0.9...$2.25 ceramic heat- Activated Kit Part No. Description Price
$1.95 $1.59
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18905 7.5 x 4.3 x 2.3 3.49 2.95 2.49 B w/
Max. temp.: 760 F UL approved Adjustable sensitivity
Jameco Solderless Part No. Product No. Wt.(Ibs.) Price Operating voltage: 104 -Key Ergonomic Keyboard
Breadboards 137031 TWZ226 1.0 $69.95 8 -15VDC with Trackball
Low static plastic 20773 Part No. Description 1 -9 10 -24
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Nickel plated clips designed changeable
to withstand up to 5,000 insertion cycles Soldering Station Electronic Cricket Kit pointing
Part Contact Size Temperature
Number Points L x W 1-9 10 -49
Sounds like a cricket device
94457 100 6.5 x 0.4
when it gets dark! from
$2.49 $2.25 500 -800 F
20600 400 3.3 x 2.1 4.95 4.49 Operating voltage: trackball
Protects from
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20669 630 6.5 x 1.4 5.49 4.95 Adjustable cricket (included)
Power: 45W at
20722 830 6.5 x 2.1 7.95 6.95 Extra wide built -in
650 F UL listed effect, tone and light
20757 1,360 6.5 x 3.1 11.95 10.95
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20773 1,660 6.5 x 4.3 17.95
Part No. Product No. Price Part No. Description 1 -0 10 -24 Part No. Description Price
20790 2,390 6.9 x 5.8 22.95 20.49
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SIP UPDATE lug of S2 for proper displays. at Pin 2. Pin 8 will be at +1.6V, and
For those of you who plan on order- I also felt that the readers might be -400 A will flow through C11, causing
ing additional Single Inline Pin (SIP) interested in a detailed description of it to discharge with IC3's output now
module-types, described in the August the oscillator section operating theory. ramping down in a negative direction.
1998 feature article "Surface -Mount Integrated circuit IC1 (a Linear Tech- When IC3's output reaches -1.0V, the
Audio Modules," Sescom Inc., supplier nology LT1016) is a ultra -fast com- process starts all over again.
of these SIPs, informed us that addition- parator with differential inputs and Thus, you can expect to see the fol-
al test equipment, such as an audio complementary TTL outputs. In the lowing waveforms at the frequency
oscillator (low distortion), an audio volt- schematic, you will note the matched selected on the following pins: 1.6V
meter (reading to less than 10 mV), a loading of both outputs -which essen- square wave at pin 7 and pin 8; 1.0V
distortion analyzer (reading to less than tially causes current to flow from one square wave at pin 2; and 1.0V trian-
0.1%), and/or an oscilloscope (reading output through both loads to the other gle wave at pin 3-all located on IC1.
to 5 -mV levels) may be required for the output- without flowing through the The time period of the waveform is
following modules numbers: SIP -8, SIP- reference bus. At this load of about 3 determined by the formula: T = (C x
9, SIP-15, SIP-16, SIP-17, and SIP-23. mA, the TTL output levels are about V) /, where C = .05 F, = 400 A and

This is necessary to adjust these mod- +3.5V (high) and +0.3V (low), when V = 4.0V (the total voltage excursion of
ules for optimum performance after referred to ground. the triangle wave.) Thus, T = 500 sec,
assembly. Consult Sescom, when or- To be able to use this circuit to drive and f = 1 /T = 2000 Hz.
dering, to determine what auxiliary test integrator IC3 (the LM6361 op -amp), a Hope this all helps our readers!
equipment may be required for your bi -polar output is required. Thus, IC2 Skip Campisi
module(s). (the LF351 JFET) is configured to pro- S. Bound Brook, NJ
We recommend ordering their VHS vide a low- impedance reference at a
video tape "Sescom Soldering," (de- point 50% between the TTL levels, or OUR READERS REPLY
scribed on page 34 of the feature) in about +1.9 volts. Referred to this In response to G.L's "Haves &
order to learn how to assemble and level, the outputs are now 1.6 volts. Needs" letter (July 1998) asking about
handle these tiny surface -mount com- Resistors R3 (200 ohms) and R4 (330 "White's Radio Log," a publication which
ponents. -Editor ohms) provide positive feedback to pin listed all the AM and FM stations in the
2 of IC1. The 1.6V from pin 7 is U.S., the following online Web site is
VENDOR UPDATE applied to this divider and reduced to /
a good source: http. /www.inforamp.net/
The address of the source for more 1.0V at pin 2. This is the reference -funk/page2.html. believe the original

information in the "SCANeR and level for the tri -wave amplitude. "White's Radio Log" ceased publishing
TRACS" feature (July 1998 -page 43) Now let's assume that you have in the early 1980s.
has been changed to French selected 1.0 kHz full -scale, with capac- K. A.
Technology Press Office, One East itor C11 (.05F) selected via S1, and Eau Gallie, FL
Wacker Drive, Suite 3740, Chicago, IL resistors R8/R14 at x2 for maximum
60601. The telephone and Fax num-
ber listed in the article are the same.
- frequency on that scale. When power is
applied, IC1 will be in either of two pos-
sible states: pin 7 low with pin 8 high, or
A listing of all the FM broadcasting
stations in North America, entitled "FM
Atlas and Station Directory" is available
vice - versa. Let's start out with pin 7 from Universal Radio, 6830 Americana
AUTHOR'S COMMENTS high. The output at pin 7 will be +1.6V, Parkway, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068; Tel.
ON E.Z. SIGNAL - and +1.0V appears at pin 2, the non - 800 -431 -3939, Web: www.universal-
GENERATOR PROJECT inverting input. Thus, the outputs are radio.com. They also have available a
I noticed an error that crept into now latched. Pin 8 is low at -1.6V, and similar AM station listing, "National Radio
"Build an E.Z. Signal Generator," (July this voltage appears across the series Club AM Radio Log."
1998 issue), which may cause a prob- combination of R9 and R10, which is D.S.
lem for the builder. On page 64, in the equal to about 4000 ohms when cali- Piscataway, NJ
"Setup and Calibration" section, the brated. Now we have about 400 1,LA
text correctly advises connecting the flowing through capacitor C11, charging In response to George Wroe's
x10 scope probe ground clip to the it in a linear fashion. The output of IC3 "Haves & Needs" letter (August 1998)
+1.9 volt bus. However, the text incor- then ramps up in a positive direction. asking about programming a radio /tape
rectly states: "...check the output As the output of IC3 is connected to recorder like a VCR, his VCR can be
waveform of the circuit." This implies pin 3 of ICI, the inverting input, when used to accomplish this. Since a VCR is
that the probe is connected to the out- the ramp voltage reaches +1.0V, ICI's essentially an oversized cassette re-
put jack. It should read that the probe outputs reverse their states. Pin 7 will corder, only what is applied to it will be
6 has to be connected to the common now be at -1.6V, and -1.0V will appear recorded. All Mr. Wroe needs to do is

use an RCA -RCA patch cord from his know the method they use to modulate build a high -voltage power supply, but
stereo tuner's output to the audio input their carrier and the code arrangement I'm stuck on the hook up of a fly -back
of his VCR. Then remove the 75 -ohm used to control the clock. Do any of the transformer. I salvaged one from an old
coax from the VCR and set record start Popular Electronics readers have any IBM monitor, with the part number
and stop times as usual, ensuring that information on this? I would like to know MSH1FCT31. There are 13 pins at the
during the programmed times, the what I can do to get this clock operat- base, and three wires-two at the top
receiver is turned on and set to the ing. There may be other people out and one at the base. have not been I

desired station. Playback can then be there who are having a similar problem. able to find any information on this part,
made through the stereo by using the Bob Dinlocker and have no idea how to hook it up.
AUDIO our terminals from the VCR and 815 Shaw Avenue Can any readers can provide a diagram
the Aux/PHONO connection on the stereo. Lansdale, PA 19446 of this part or any easy way of hooking
If Mr. Wroe only has a radio with a it up to a power supply?
headphone jack, the same procedure HAVES & NEEDS Karl Jondahl
can be used with the appropriate patch I have enjoyed reading Popular 305 Roger Street
cord. If a headphone jack output is Electronics since 1994. started to I Glasgow, MT 59230
used, some test recordings will have to
be made to ensure that the audio pre -
amp is not being overdriven. Without a
stereo system, playback can be made
using the 75 -ohm coax to the television
(just like playing back a recorded
video). Although no video is recorded,
audio playback should be as good as
any standard cassette. I have used a
VCR in this manner to record my band,
by furnishing audio from our mixing
made easy
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Many students have a good understanding of electronic theory but still have difficulty exception of a problem with the stereo -
in recognizing the vast number of different types and makes of electronic compo- FM mode. The manufacturer could not
nents. The Parts Gallery has been designed to help overcome this problem; it will supply a shop manual or even a
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Most of you reading this have itomrnil The World's FrEE WohIlm.ed
- k mud - Netncape RPM
noticed a growing problem with 6t Ed yiew o cmmumcetor bolo
your home's "family" PC. As more peo-
ple in the household begin to use the Back Reload
3 ,14
S.och O. PriM
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machine, more and more requests for

personal Internet accounts start coming
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W kdsm j Lookup j
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in. No matter how you try to explain that

no two people can be online at a time
with one machine anyway, and that
;' - The Microsoft Network -

sharing an account is a perfectly natural
solution, you'll hear complaints like:
tram Microsoft
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ing my e- mail!"
Or, perhaps: 1h.
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"But, Mom, can never figure out
FREE r IbNru Caro+uriow
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Good arguments, but not every ISP Easel
supports multiple mailboxes for one
account. And as you start to do the math
in your head, paying an extra $20 a
month for each household member can
really add up. How do you satisfy each
family member's need for an e-mail
address without breaking the bank? Hotmail, run by software-giant Microsoft, is one of the true conveniences found on the Web. Sign up
Simplc get free e-mail! for a free e-mail account, and access it through any Web browser.
No, we're not talking about free
Internet accounts. You'll still need a that most people have become used to to cut down on expenses.
dialup account with an ISP to take ad- it. Do you really mind ads in magazines? One of the nicest features of the ser-
vantage of that glorious Web whose Most people don't. I've bought certain vice is that ycu don't have to pretend to
praises we've been singing since this magazines just for the ads, especially be different people to get more than
column's inception. However, the solu- when shopping around for a good price one free e- mailbox for yourself. Hotmail
tions here will make sure you have e- on something. lets you have multiple accounts, and,
mailboxes galore and still be able to So if you can handle the aforemen- get this, check them simultaneously.
pay your mortgage. tioned drawback and don't mind a Setting up an account doesn't take
Two of the solutions we look at are slight delay in receiving your e-mail very long. Simply point your browser to
accessed through your machine's Web (it's not quite as fast as a standard the site, answer a few questions, and
browser (hence the definite need for a POPS e -mail account), this month's you're set. Each time you visit the site
dialup account). One of the free column may save you a fortune. from then on, simply enter your login
providers' offerings will only work and password, and your mail will be
through the use of a proprietary soft- HOTMAIL exposed to your eyes only.
ware package, and you have to dial in It's no surprise that one of the most Those who are familiar with e-mail
to the company's own access nodes. popular free e-mail providers, Hotmail, software will find that many popular con-
For those who don't want anything but is a spawn of the world's largest soft- venience features are supported in
e -mail (perish the thought!), you'll find ware company. Microsoft has created a Hotmail. For starters, you can "cc:" mes-
this free solution the coolest of all. wonderfully easy -to -use and efficient sages to up to 20 different addresses.
What's that you say? Do we sense service. Regardless of what some critics This ensures Hotmail is a great solution
a clich coming our way? Yes, you're and the government might say about the for even business applications.
right, you'll never be able to get a meal company in general, Microsoft has, in We were surprised to see that you
at noon without paying for it in some our book, done no wrong with this site. can send and receive attachments.
way. You will have to put up with a But don't take our word for it, take a This is a feature we wouldn't have
minor inconvenience when enjoying glance at the numbers. More than five imagined was available to Web -based
free e-mail: Advertising. million people use Hotmail regularly. We e -mail, but it is. The only limit is that a
Is it really an inconvenience, though? even know of quite a few small busi- file coming in or going out can't be larg-
12 Advertising is so common on the Web nesses that use accounts with Hotmail er than 1 MB.
Juno freu Internet E-mail Service Netsenpe _DX
Speaking of file size, Hotmail lets you
file Edit OW so Communicator help
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you to backup old e-mails to a disk (and
how much old e-mail do you really need
to keep, anyway ?). Free Internet Email Service
Something we should point out about
this service and the other Web -based Welcome to the Juno
one that we'll get to later is that you can What I Jima

access your e-mail from any computer la It Really hect

Web Site
that has Internet access and a browser. C I See id

This means that even if you don't have Who IJeneleprt h7 To find out more about
FAQ About Jam America's free Internet e -mail
a laptop, you can still travel and find a
Jam Neme service, click on one of the
business center or even public library Arms Numbers topics to the left.
and stay in touch with the world. Technical Sampan
As with any e-mail account, in a mat- Mwenishy on Juno Or. to get a free copy of the

target of junk e-mail. It's inevitable

people and companies sell e-mail
ter of days you'll find yourself to be the taamrt Jam
Mx at Jana
Juno.. software, click the
button below marked Get
Juno Now.
addresses to direct marketers as fast as
they can get them. To help you sort out uno lets you have free e-mail access even if you don't have Web access. While the company's Web
some of the junk, Hotmail provides you site lets you download its proprietary dialup software, you can also call up to get it.
with customizable filters. If you know
that a particular e-mail address sends Welcome to Yahoo. Mort Nelscape _ X

you nothing but junk, automatically get ENe Edn ymv, o ommvnrcelor

rid of messages coming from it -a nice Reload

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We've hinted at it, and a few of you
were probably intrigued by the idea. Want Mail? Sign Up for yahoo! Mail. It's Free!
Totally free e-mail, no Net account
required. Even if you have an account, new user? Click here to Learn More!
though, Juno might still provide the SIGN UP NOW Get your own Yahoo! e-mail address.
best solution for you. Let's say you It's free. It's easy.
already have a Yahoo! ID? Access e-mail from anywhere.
have two PCs in your home, and you're YAHOO!
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You'll be registered with all of Yahool's
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you have to logoff so she can dial in, Sign In
right? Not with Juno (we won't touch on
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Juno provides a free download of its
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(the diskette, including shipping, costs After visiting the most popular indexing site on the Web, Yahoo!'s free e -mail service is only a click
$8.82). Once the software's installed, away. Yahoo! Mail even lets you access other POPS accounts, making this site truly worthy of its
you have to go through a slightly ardu- e.rclama!orI name.
ous setup procedure. Composed of
more questions than a standardized To access the service, you'll have to software is that e -mail is automatically
test in school, the setup is Juno's way choose from one of 400 phone num- stored on your PC. That means there's
of making you do its ad -sales staff's bers. Odds are in your favor that you'll no limit to how much e-mail you're
demographic homework for them. On find one that is a local phone call. If not, allowed to keep in your inbox. This
the positive side, once you're done you can always read and compose e- makes Juno much more like a "normal"
mail offline, only letting the toll charges e -mail account.
telling the service all about what makes
you really you, chances are that a good add up while you're sending and receiv- On the flip side, it has a limitation
majority of the ad banners you'll be ing (which you may be able to do in that we just can't fathom. The soft-
stuck looking at will at least have under a minute). ware's on your machine, there's no
A benefit of the Juno service and (Continued on mg(' 30) 13
something to do with your interests.

Samsung DVD905 Digital STEPHEN A. BOOTH

Versatile Disc Player

Samsung wasn't in the first wave
ashore when Digital Versatile
Disc (DVD) players were launched in
April 1997. The South Korean electron-
ics giant elected to design and build its
own player, rather than source one
from Panasonic, Sony, or Toshiba, as
most other brands did. By sitting out
the early innings, Samsung could study
market evolution and develop features
that would differentiate it from the corn -
petition. Besides, there was no great
advantage to being first, as there was-
n't a great deal of DVD software avail-
able to stimulate player sales. By the
time you read this, about 1000 DVD
titles will be available for sale or rental. method that enables direct -broadcast matrixed on the digital stereo sound-
Although DVD players can be found satellite (DBS) TV systems, such as track.
for as little as $299, Samsung's
DVD905 stakes out the high ground
above $700 -where Sony has enjoyed
- DSS and Echostar, to send so many
high -resolution video channels down to
a TV- set-top box.
Where DVD leaves laser -disc audio
in the dust is the number of sound-
tracks it can hold -up to eight in differ-
great sales success for full- featured, DVD and DBS video have about the ent languages, and as many subtitles
high- performance players. Samsung's same horizontal resolution (480 lines) for translation. In practice, though,
DVD carries a $749 sticker and a fea- as most relatively new TV monitors. discs now sold in the U.S. usually carry
ture that is found nowhere else: RGB- Compare that to about 425 lines for only English, French, and Spanish dia-
type component video outputs that laser disc, 330 for a live NTSC broad- logue and subtitles. It can be different
mate the player to high -end video pro- cast, and 240 for VHS videotape. Its elsewhere in the world. (We'll explain
jectors and monitors. Behind its distinc- vertical resolution is also about 480 why shortly.)
tive pewter- finish, anodized -aluminum lines, which is converted within the The new format is called digital
faceplate is another feature that desig- player from progressive to interlaced "versatile" disc for good reason. Its
nates high -end DVD players: built-in scanning for display on NTSC televi- current manifestation is DVD "video"
decoding for the format's Dolby AC -3 sions (or PAL/SECAM, where appropri- for prerecorded movies. Eventually,
Digital Surround soundtracks. ate). For the record, the DVD players in there'll be DVD "audio," an improve-
computers retain progressive scanning ment on CDs by virtue of higher -reso-
DVD EXPLAINED for display on non -interlaced PC moni- lution sampling rates and discrete
Multichannel digital audio is one tors; but when connected to TVs (rather than multiplexed) multichannel
standard feature of the DVD format. But through the PC's video -out jack, the recording. Meanwhile, PCs with DVD -
digital video is what differentiates it from image is converted to interlaced scan- ROM (Read -Only Memory) already
all that's come before. In case you ning that TVs can display. have arrived -the MPEG- compressed
missed the hype, here's some back- Like the laser disc, DVD can carry all equivalent of today's CD -ROMs. Here's
ground on DVD. Unlike 12 -inch video manner of supplemental information where DVD's roughly 5- to 18- gigabyte
laser discs, which store images in ana- about the program, and it is capable of (GB) capacity can really be exploited.
log format along with a digital sound- various special effects including freeze - Recordable DVD is just emerging in the
track, DVD is all digital. It is a laser -read frame, slow- motion, random access to DVD -RAM (Random Access Memory)
optical disc that's the same size as a indexed "chapters," and more. It shares format, though storage is currently limit-
compact disc (CD), but is capable of with laser disc the new Dolby AC-3 ed to 2.6 GB per disc side.
compression levels that yield a capaci- Digital Surround, by which the sound- Generically, the DVD format can be
ty of from 7- to 27 -times greater than track is output as six discrete channels, single -sided or dual- sided -and dual -
the roughly 650- megabyte limit of including a subwoofer channel. For less layered on either side. The latter feat is
music CDs or computer CD -ROMs. elaborate home-theater systems, DVD achieved by instructing the laser pickup
DVD uses the MPEG -2 compression also carries analog Dolby Pro Logic (through on-the -disc coding) to shift its
14 method -that's the same compression Surround -whose four channels are focus below the topmost layer of bits
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and bumps (with two -way mirror type virtually ruler -flat, maintaining sharp-
reflectivity) to a subterranean level with ness to the extent of the DVD format's
sufficient reflectivity to bounce the inherent resolution. Meanwhile, as you'll
ones- and -zeroes back. see in the accompanying charts and
At the time of this writing, there are graphs, the SIN2 pulse and bar mea-
dual -sided and dual -layered discs for surements indicate there's no significant
movie DVDs, but no dual -sided dual - overshoot or undershoot in the way the
layered discs (e.g., not both). There's player handles the relative timing of
little need for that. Most movies fit well chrominance and luminance compo-
within the 2 -hours and 15- minutes nents. When it comes to color purity, the
capacity of a single DVD side. Mean- Samsung DVD905 is perfect. As the
while, most Hollywood studios are vectorscope shows, every color's dead-
The SIN2 Pulse and Bar measurements indicate
issuing their movies on a single DVD on: There's no shift in phase, and no
that there's no significant over- or under -shoot
in both pan- and -scan (4:3 aspect ratio) under- or over -saturation.
in the way the player handles the relative timing
and "original wide -screen" (read "let - of chrominance and luminance components. The unit's video signal -to -noise ratio
terboxed" of whatever ratio -16:9 or is very good, as measured through the
1.85:1 or even wider Panavision) for- composite -video output jack. You won't
mats. They come either as dual -sided find any analog video source with a
or single -side, dual -layer. If it's a dual - measurement this good. It might have
sided disc, you have to flip the disc scored even better had we taken the
manually because, at this time, there reading through the player's S -video or
are no DVD machines that automati- component RGB video outputs. Each
cally reverse the optical pickup to play type sends luminance information to the
the flip side of the disc -an old feature monitor separately from the color, while
in analog laser disc players. component video refines the process by
When buying a DVD player or discs, further splitting the red, green, and blue
you ought to know that both hardware signals. At this time, few mainstream
and software are regionally -coded for home TVs have component input jacks,
use together in different parts of the and even for those that do, the industry
world. That means that a disc meant to When it comes to Color Purity, Samsung's has yet to settle on standardized con-
be sold in one geographic region won't DVD905 is perfect-every color's dead -on; nectors. S -video is more commonplace,
work on a player designated for use in i.e., there's no shift in phase, no under- or over- although still not universal. Composite
another area. For example, the U.S. is saturation. video remains the common denomina-
Region 1, and players and discs sold tor for all TV hookups.
here are clearly so marked. If you send EVALUATION Regarding stairstep linearity, this test
friends in Ireland or Mexico a Region 1 As in our earlier report on Pana- measures how well the player resolves
DVD, it won't output any video (only sonic's DVD player (November 1997), different shades of gray. The results are
audio) on their respective, Region 2 we used the Sony DVD test disc (HLX- acceptable and might have been better
and 4 players. Ditto if you bring home 4001) for this report. When a more chal- if the measurements at each stage were
some Japanese animation or Hong lenging industry- standard test disc either closer to 0%, or more consistent
Kong martial -arts movies on those becomes available from an indepen- in their degree of deviation.
countries' DVDs -they won't compute dent producer, we'll try it. Meanwhile, In most aspects of digital -audio
on your U.S. Region 1 machine. we've added one measurement from performance, measurements for the
The reason for splitting the world into the "DVD Spectacular" disc (DV7001) DVD905 were very good to excellent.
six regions is to protect the movie indus- by Delos International. The results represent performance for
try's distribution schedules. Frequently, A particular track on the disc tests the two -channel PCM linear stereo
a Hollywood film is released later else- for any video -signal leakage into the tracks, not the six -channel Dolby Digital
where in the world than in the U.S. -by DVD's audio soundtracks. At just 210 Surround or four -channel analog Dolby
which time Americans can obtain a microvolts, we found that the video Surround.
videotape (and now DVD) of the movie. leakage from Samsung's player had no The frequency response showed no
By regionally- coding the DVDs, audi- noticeable effect. As in the past, the lab audible deviation through the audible
ences elsewhere won't have access to used the CBS CD -1 test disc, which range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz-off just
the movie on video before it's shown in has been the industry standard for test- insignificant fractions at the extremes.
theaters in that region. ing CD players for many years, to mea- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) was
The reason the soundtrack is play- sure the DVD player's digital -audio likewise negligible. As for the S/N ratio,
able on any region's machines is be- functions. dynamic range, and channel separa-
cause the DVD format was designed to Having said that, let's look at the tion, they're acceptable, but not the best
be backward -compatible with music numbers generated by the Advanced that the format can support. As stated
CDs. Every DVD player is also a full - Product Evaluation Laboratory, our earlier, the DVD905 has no significant
featured CD player -older CDs have to independent testing facility in Bethel, CT leakage of video that could adversely
be playable on the same machine as that performs the measurements. The impact the audio signal.
16 forthcoming DVD audio discs. player's frequency- response output is It's possible that audio performance
would be better in the Dolby AC -3 CONCLUSION
Digital Surround mode, because each of In hands -on evaluation of the
the multiple channels carries a discrete DVD905 with a selection of DVD
digital signal that's isolated from the movies, the player performed as
other, compared with the multiplexed left promised. Its illuminated remote con-
and right channels for analog stereo. trol is a thoughtful touch, as people
The DVD905 has a built -in decoder for usually watch TV in subdued lighting.
Dolby digital, so you can send the six And as in many recent Samsung prod-
output channels directly to a six -channel ucts, the onscreen menus are easy to
amplifier, and then onto five speakers understand and navigate.
and a subwoofer. If your home -theater DVD is still a relatively new format,
setup is limited to a four-channel Dolby though, with features that continue to
Du' DVD905's Shtirstep Linearity la measure- Pro Logic amp or to conventional stereo, evolve. So, if you're thinking of buying
ment u( how well the placer resolves di/frrent you'd simply connect the designated a player, it's best to focus on electrical
.hctde tif ,rurl is utreptuhle. leads for these from the DVD player. performance compared with conve-
nience features. Performance is impor-
tant because your financial investment
actually goes beyond the hardware.
Until a large DVD rental market devel-
All electrical measurements were performed by the Advanced Product Evaluation ops-it hasn't yet, though it's in the
Laboratory using the Sony HLX -4001 test disc for DVD -video performance, the CBS CD- cards-you'll be buying DVDs at $20
1 standard test disc for digital -audio performance, and the Delos DV7001 test disc for to $30 each. Rentals notwithstanding,
video -noise leakage to the audio signal.


you'll probably buy some DVDs any-
way as keepers for your home library
those movies which you've always
Model: DVD905 Digital Versatile Disc Reference Level (0 dB, kHz):

Player 2.14 volts admired and know you'll play time and
Price: $749 Frequency Response: time again.
20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0.1 to -0.2 dB With optical discs, your investment
Signal -to -Noise Ratio ( "A" Weighted): won't lose resolution over time, as is the
94.5 dB
Frequency Response case with magnetic tape. Consequently,
Dynamic Range ( "A" Weighted):
(Measured with a multiburst test signal) buy the best -performing DVD player
Video Output 88.8 dB
Frequency you can afford to get the most from your
Total Harmonic Distortion
(MHz) (dB)
Ref. 0 dB @ kHz, including noise:
1 DVD collection.
0.50 0.00
0.009% For more information on the Sam-
1.00 0.00
2.00 -0.06 Channel Separation sung DVD905, contact Samsung Elec-
Ref. 0 dB @ 1 kHz
3.00 0.00 tronics America, 105 Challenger Road,
83.9 dB (left channel)79.0 dB (right channel)
3.58 0.00 Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660; Tel. 201-
4.20 -0.06 ADDITIONAL DATA 229 -4000; Web: www.sosimple.com, or
Random Access Time: circle 100 on free information card.
SIN2 (squared sine -wave) Pulse & Bar 0.75 seconds
(Used to observe relative chrominance to Scan Time:
luminance delay and gain 2.8 seconds
Power Requirements:
20 watts
Color Purity
Dimensions (H x W x 0, inches):
(Signal displayed on vectorscope as phase -
4-3/4 x 16 -1/2 x 13 -1/2
angle relative to color reference-burst
10 -1/4 pounds
Video Signal -to -Noise Ratio
(Luminance, 10 kHz to 4.2 MHz) FEATURES
Level Video Output DVD video player (MPEG -2)
(IRE) (dB) Video CD player (MPEG -1)
100 51.0 Music CD player
Dolby AC -3 Digital Surround decoder (6
Stairstep Linearity
Dolby Pro Logic Surround mix -down (4
(Measures how well the player resolves
different shades of gray)
PCM linear stereo mix -down (2 channels)
Step Video Output
Composite (2), RGB, and S -video outputs
( %)
Audio phono -jack outputs (8 total) "If there is a Micisusoft scandal, will it he
1 -5 ,..
Optical digital audio- output known as 'Gates,Gate'
2 0
Direct digital audio-out (bypasses internal
3 -4
AC -3 decoder)
4 -4 Front panel variable- brightness display
5 -6 Illuminated multifunction universal
remote control

Great Diversion With Triple MARC SAXON

Qne of the ticklish problems that designated exclusively for airline com-
traditionally disturbs scanners pany air/ground use are spaced at 25-
is interference and image frequencies. kHz intervals between 136.5- 136.975
RadioShack's PRO -2041 desktop (and MHz (i.e., 136.5, 136.525, 136.55,
mobile) scanner fights back with its 136.575 MHz, etc.).
interference -reducing triple-conversion
circuitry. Not that triple- conversion scan- TRAIN SCANNERS
ners have never before been seen, but A reader in Kansas asks about the
it's a feature normally reserved for those odd data signals he often monitors on
priced at the high end. The PRO -2041 457.9375 MHz. We wondered too, but
signs in at a shade less than $300, recently learned that this is a popular
which we'd say is a good price for such frequency used nationally by many
a unit. freight railroads for so- called EOTMs
The PRO -2041 has 400 memory
4 44:
...es 4
444 (End -Of -Train Markers). Personnel in
slots arranged in 10 banks. There are the engine dial up a certain code num-
10 priority channels, plus 10 additional ber on EOT control equipment. This
monitor memory channels that allow The triple -conversion circuitry of Radio Shack's number matches the code number of
you to temporarily store frequencies PRO -2041 desktop (and mobile) scanner fights the EOT unit located at the rear end of
discovered in searches before you immlfrrence -(t feature normally rescued ,thr the train and activates the device. This
transfer them into the permanent mem- high-priced units.
device then transmits certain digital
ory. The Auto -Store feature allows you data that can be viewed on a screen in
to store new frequencies easily and 408.00 MHz will be replaced by 164.45. the engine cab. Data sent might advise
rapidly, even preventing the duplication 173.375, and 173.9125 MHz. when the brakes release, show the
of stored frequencies. Stored frequen- New York City Police Department's brake pipe pressure, tell whether or not
cies may be automatically arranged in highly complex communications system the end of the train is moving, etc. EOT
consecutive order to facilitate scanning was recently reshuffled, and there's an safety equipment is required because
at the maximum speed of 25 chan- entirely new frequency plan. You can modern freight trains no longer have
nels /sec. It searches at 50 steps /sec. check it out on your computer at: red cabooses, wherein once rode an
There are 17 preset ranges for www.radiotech.com /nypd.htm. Some of employee who provided this informa-
searching, or you can set up your own the many notable new features include tion. The general opinion is that hobby-
ranges anywhere within the PRO - several local Staten Island special chan- ists can't decode these digital data
2041's generous tuning range. This nels being simulcast with their citywide transmissions.
range is 29 -54, 108 -174, 380-512, counterpart channels, including traffic
and 806 -960 MHz (minus the cellular and the Special Operations Detachment MILITARY MONITORING
bands, which cannot be restored). Note (SOD). Someone once observed, "Monitor-
that this includes the VHF aeronautical In Mansfield, MA, police set up on a ing is where you find it, so don't be afraid
band. new frequency of 159.675 MHz. Joining to search." How true! A reader in the
This unit includes a power supply them there are several other MA towns National Capital area decided to see if
for AC operation, but you can also use like Oxford, Holden, Dartmouth, and activity might be found in the seldom - ,k
rn it with an optional DC vehicle power Bellingham. reported federal band lying between the
cord. The PRO -2041 is the closest to An Internet user reminds monitors high- frequency edge of the 2 -meter ham
RadioShack's top -of -the line desktop that even though it didn't receive much band (at 148 MHz) and the low- frequen-
scanner, and yet it costs $100 less. hobby publicity, a few years ago the cy edge of the commercial VHF band (at at
i That alone makes the scanner worthy
of consideration by serious monitors
VHF aeronautical band was expanded
beyond 136 MHz and now extends to
150.80 MHz).
What a pleasant surprise when

z with a keen eye towards a good deal. 137 MHz. There's air traffic control plenty of communications were found Jar-
activity on these expanded frequencies; on 148.68, 148.93, 148.95, 148.98, e
ro CHANGES IN also (on certain frequencies) you can 149.00, 149.05, 149.0875, 149.10, st
FREQUENCIES hear airline company communications, 149.15, 149.30, 149.35, 149.40, 149.53, if
The EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel similar to what many have long enjoyed 149.54, 149.65, 149.84, and 149.875 if
Emissions Lab in Ann Arbor, MI, is monitoring, between 128.825- 136.525 MHz. These signals were from Navy, Air ice
18 changing frequencies. The frequency of MHz. Other expanded band channels (Continued on page 30) speci-
35 shown.
BILITY. From Sharp Electronics
Corporation, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah,
NJ 07430 -2135; Tel: 800 -
GOSHARP; Web: www. sharp -usa.
corn. Prices: MD-X8, $799.95; AD-
AJI Digital Sound Card, $299.95.

What do you do when you want to

tune into a favorite talk show or listen
to some music? Where do you go to
preview the latest music releases?
Until quite recently, the answers
For more details on music and
other audio delights available on the
today's trend toward streamlining
several of which are used for comput-
would have been pretty straightfor- Internet, see the accompanying arti- er connections.
ward. You'd have turned on your radio cle, "Netmusic." Here, we'll show you The front panel is divided into two
or CD player and taken a trip to your one convenient way to save the music distinct sections. The larger one (span-
local record store. You probably you download and to play it back ning about 71/2 inches across) is on the
wouldn't have thought to turn on anywhere, anytime, with CD -like left side and is finished in light gray. To
your computer -even if it's equipped quality. the right is a 2 -inch wide, darker -gray
with a CD -ROM drive and satellite Sharp's MD-X8 Computer Network portion. The left side is home to the
speakers -for the sole purpose of MiniDisc (MD) Mini-System is not MD player/recorder, tuner, and CD
listening to music. your typical bookshelf stereo. The MD- player. The front - loading MiniDisc
These days, however, there is X8 is designed to allow direct record- compartment occupies the top spot,
literally a whole world of music, as ing of Internet audio to MiniDisc, surrounded, clockwise from the right,
well as other audio programming, using an optional digital sound card by the COMPUTER NETWORK, MD gecr, MD
available at your fingertips-if those and connecting cable to link the stereo RECORD, CD EDIT, CD TRACK SELECT, MD -MD
fingertips happen to be resting on to a laptop or desktop PC equipped EDrr and POWER buttons.
your PC's keyboard and that PC is with a PCMCIA Type II slot. The CD player is found on the bot-
connected to the Internet. On -line Before we probe its Internet capa- tom portion. Three separate drawers
music marts offer audio snippets of bilities, however, let's take a look at are stacked vertically, each with an
new releases, tempting you to buy the how the MD -X8 performs as a stereo. OPEN /CLOSE button to its right. Above
latest CDs without leaving your desk. It's a good -looking, compact unit, with the CD trays are controls for the tuner.
Don't want to spring for the whole an odd mix of futuristic and old -fash- Below them are a row of connectors:
disc? Some web sites let you purchase ioned styling. The MD player /recorder, headphone jack, auxiliary input (and
single tracks for as little as 99 cents tuner, and three - drawer CD player, aux input level control), mic jack (and
each. You can listen to FM, AM, and and its 80 -watt (total power) amp are volume control), and PC and key-
shortwave radio stations from around housed in a single 91 /2 -X 11- 7/16 -X board jacks.
the globe, and even tune in to scanner 121 /2-inch unit finished in two con- The darker gray (right) side of the
frequencies on -line. Want to keep up temporary shades of steel gray. Two main unit features a vertical array of
with your alma mater's sports teams? speakers (7 -13/16 X 113/4 X 11 -1/16 controls. From top to bottom, there are
Tune into college radio stations for inches) feature silvery-gray grilles on MD PLAY /PAUSE and MD STOP buttons; the
live, real -time broadcasts of games. wood -grain boxes that look somewhat VOLUME control; 3D SURROUND, X -BASS,
Sample the music of struggling anachronistic against all that metallic and EQUALIZER buttons; a "multi con-
unknowns, or visit the web sites of gray. The other throwback to yester- trol," whose up, down, left, and right
big -name bands. For a more literary day's components is the large number arrows are used for a variety of func-
experience, you might want to down- of controls and inputs found on the tions; an ENTER button; three CD PLAY
load books -on -tape. front panel -a distinct contrast to buttons (one for each tray); a SINGLE 21

button that will play all three
PLAY /PAUSE be used for MD APMS selections. in most modern audio systems -is its
discs in a row; and a crop button. Repeat and random modes can be used built -in timer. Particularly in light of
The front panel's most prominent in conjunction with APMS. the unit's MD recording capability,
feature is an LCD that measures a When it comes to recording, the whether the source be standard radio
whopping 5'/2 X 2 inches and is back- MiniDisc format is light -years ahead or Internet broadcasts, including a
lighted with a lemon -yellow glow. It's of cassettes, and not just in sound timer allows you to timeshift record-
easy to read the display from across a quality. Each digital disc contains a ings. For instance, there's a show called
room, even without switching to table of contents (TOC) of information Hour of the Wolf that airs on a local
quadruple -size characters, which is an on track numbers and recording areas. non -commercial radio station at the
option. In standard character mode, The player/recorder is able to read ungodly hour of 5:00 on Saturday
there are four lines showing disc name that information, and act upon it, for morning. We enjoy the sci -fi short sto-
and track titles; in extra -large mode, instance, to automatically locate the ries that are read, as well as the musi-
only the disc name is displayed. `Big- point at which a recording can begin cal selections played. With the MD -X8
screen" graphics indicate changes in and to keep track of (and inform you we can set the timer to record the
the pseudo -surround settings and of) the remaining recordable time show, and listen to it on a portable MD
illustrate discs being loaded. The LCD before you begin recording. Track player at our leisure (on the train, in
also displays menus for the unit's MD- numbers are automatically inserted the car, or while walking). Time-shift-
editing and timer functions. when recording on a MiniDisc. With ing is similar to setting a VCR Using
Physical set up for strictly audio digital recordings (from CD, DAT, or on- screen menus, you select timer
use is a simple matter of connecting MD), track numbers correspond to record, enter the start and stop times,
the two speakers and AM and FM those on the original recording. With the source, (and for radio recordings)
antennas to the main unit's rear analog sources, a pause of more than the station preset number. By setting
panel. Other rear -panel connections 1.5 seconds is seen as a space between the MD-X8 to mono long -play mode,
include analog input and output tracks, and numbers are assigned we were also able to tape "As I Please,"
jacks, optical and coaxial digital accordingly. which comes on at 6 AM. (In LP mode,
inputs, and phono input jacks, allow- we could record a maximum of 148
ing you to hook up video gear and /or minutes.)
other audio components. The front - Unfortunately, the timer can be
panel PC and keyboard inputs simpli- programmed to record only one event.
fy computer connections. Although the MD -X8 knows what
Once the keyboard is plugged into date it is, the timer doesn't understand
the front -panel terminal, it can be used
just as if it was connected to a
PC-almost. First, not all the keys will
The on -screen Sharp MD Controller.

If you're sitting at the computer

dates. You have to set the timer and put
the unit in timer standby which, like
in early VCRs, puts the entire stereo
be functional. You can use all the num- within arm's reach of the MD -X8, temporarily out of service.
ber and letter keys, as well as the space and you've got the remote control on When recording from CD to MD,
bar and the enter, shift, and delete keys. hand, most of those features are the easiest method is called One -Touch
Most, but not all, of the punctuation redundant. But when it comes to Editing. Load the CD, insert a MiniDisc,
signs are available for use. Only the left recording from the Internet, and edit- and press the co-To -tutu button, and the
and right arrows will work. ing /titling Internet or any other disc will be copied, track by track. For
Both the MD and CD players offer a recordings, this is the way to go. If custom recordings, the MD-X8 allows
host of playback features, including you're familiar with working in the you to record single tracks, a series of
audible fast forward and reverse, direct Windows environment, you'll have no tracks that appear in succession on the
track selections, and an automatic pro- trouble erasing, moving, or dividing CD, or a selection of tracks that have
gram search system that finds the tracks; or creating MD labels. been programmed using APMS. You
beginning of each track. Automatic When you use the MD-X8's MD can enter track titles, artist name, and
programmable music selection (APMS) portion to record programming from the like with either the on- screen key-
is used to select specific tracks to be the built -in radio, the entire recording board or a PC keyboard.
played on a MiniDisc or compact disc. is considered a single track. It is possi- MD -to -MD recording can be done
For CDs, APMS selections can be made ble, however, to divide the recording by connecting a portable MD player
using either the remote control or the into two tracks, perhaps to separate to the MD -X8. To make a straight
main unit; only the remote control can two different performers in a live con- copy, press the MD -TO -MD EDIT button,
Gizmo is published by Gernsback Publications,
cert, or back -to -back talk shows. and the audible and text information
Inc., 500 Bi- County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY
When recording talk shows, you can will both be copied. The copy- protec-
11735. Senior Writers: Christopher Scott and double the disc's recording time by tion scheme known as SCMS will not
Teri Scaduto. Copyright 1998 by Gernsback selecting monaural long -play mode. allow you to copy from MD to MD if
Publications, Inc. Gizmo is a registered trade - One of the most convenient features the original MD was digitally copied
22 merk All rights reserved. about the MD-X8-one that's lacking from a CD, however.

Many of the MD -X8's features are and settings are accessed via pull - PC is as easy as putting the MD-X8
commonly found on bookshelf Mini - down menus from the Media Player's into synchronized record mode and
Disc systems, either because they're tool bar. For example, you would select playing the music you want to record.
standard to the MD format, or because "open" from the file menu to open a Once a recording is made, the MD
their inclusion simply makes sense. file, and then use the play button to Controller simplifies editing functions,
SRS 3D sound, a pre -programmed begin playback. too. The PC keyboard (plugged into the
equalizer with six modes (flat, heavy - Of course, you're going to need computer, not the minisystem) can be
1, heavy-2, vocal, soft -1, and soft -2), some files to open before you can start used to enter disc and track names.
and X-Bass low-frequency enhancer playing them. Where can you find The printer can then be used to output
are all standard fare on good book- them? Well, you can go out to a com- a hard copy of the MD label you've
shelf systems. As we go to press, how- puter or musical instrument store and created, which is a definite improve-
ever, the MD -X8 is the only MD buy MIDI files on disk. You can also ment over trying to hand -print the
recording system to offer the PC con- find floppies and CD-ROMs that have names of all the songs that fit on an
nectivity that makes recording audio MIDI data on them packaged as sup- MD on a label small enough to be
from the Internet a snap. plements in computer magazines. But affixed to the disc!
Such recordings require the pur- by far the greatest variety and selec- The MD -X8 is a niche product that
chase of the optional AD -AJ 1 digital tion can be found on the Internet. The falls within a market niche. MiniDisc,
PCMCIA (PC -Card) sound card and next article in this issue of "Gizmo" while continually making inroads, has
cable. Also required is a computer tells you what's available, where it can not yet gained mainstream status. It has
running Windows 95, with a PC -Card be found, and how to get it. found its greatest acceptance among
Type II slot, a Pentium processor run- Once you've got it, what can you do young, on- the -go consumers. Internet
ning at 75 MHz or better, at least 12 with it? Well, with the MD -X8, you audio has a long way to go before it
megabytes of memory, a hard disk can record it to MiniDisc to enjoy at even becomes noticed by the average
with 2 megabytes or more, and a 1.44 - home or on the road (if you also have consumer so far, its biggest fans are
MB floppy drive. a portable MD player). The AD -AJ1 computer -savvy young men. We sus-
The sound card drivers and the MD software serves a second purpose: It pect that there are a lot of college kids
controller are found on the included turns your PC into a controller for the out there who would love to get their
diskettes. The software must be in- MD -X8. The on- screen MD Controller hands on the MD-X8 with its digital
stalled before the hardware is connect- application can be used to turn on the sound card accessory kit. The question
ed. The sound card is inserted into the MD -X8, activate all MD playback is, can they afford it? Luckily for Sharp,
PCMCIA slot, the included cable con- functions, adjust the volume and the mini- system can stand well on its
nected to the card's 15 -pin terminal, recording levels, display the disc and own, even without the Internet option,
and then the cable's other end is track names and playing /recording so its appeal should be widespread.
plugged into the MD -X8's PC civr input. time, and control recording and edit-
Because the sound card is Windows ing functions. Netmusic
95 plug - and -play compatible, instal- The on- screen MD Controller has a Tune into a world of audio program -
lation went smoothly on our Compaq large display that indicates disc and ming--via the Internet!
laptop. Once the drivers had been track names, track numbers, and play-
installed and the card inserted, the ing /recording time. It offers a mixer,
computer was able to download music volume control and level meter, STOP,
I I 1

from the Internet. The MD -X8 can PLAY /PAUSE, IT/REV, REC, and APSS (Auto
record anything you can hear with Program Search System) controls; and
your computer, including music stored a RECORDING MODE button, for selecting
in WAV or MIDI files, streamed audio stereo or mono LP mode. Clicking on
from a RealPlayer, MPEG -2 and -3 the snvcxxo REC button puts the MD in
encoded recordings, audio from a PC the recording standby mode, so that it o-
game or from a CD played in your CD- will immediately start recording when
ROM drive, and input from a comput- music begins playing. Pressing the
er microphone. The soundcard con- AUTO MARK button instructs the MD -X8 cocc

verts the audio into a SPDIF digital sig- to record as a single track all of the -o

nal that can be recorded on the songs played by the computer. The roc We are firm believers in the individ-
Minidisc. EDIT button is used when you want to ual's right to freedom of choice but
The type of file is selected from write to the MDs TOC, and MD LABEL is are well aware that most of the things
the on- screen Multimedia Properties used to create labels for the MD cur- we do in our lives are prescribed, or
menu. Playback is controlled with an rently in the player. proscribed, by various factors. The a
on- screen Media Player, which fea- Pressing the on-screen ACCESS but- society we live in, our socio-economic 8
tures controls similar to those found ton puts the MD -X8 into its Computer position, our level of education, our
on CD or MD player. Other options Network mode. Recording from the religious affiliation, our government, 23

and our families all strongly influence That figure is bound to rise sharply
the choices we make. We're well over the next few years. Consider a few
aware, if not always on a conscious more stats: More than 26,000 Web
level, of the role those institutions play sites already use audio; Yahoo! adds
in shaping the way we decide to live. 31 new music sites every day; 34% of
But there's another strongly influ- the sites visited by people surfing from
ential factor in all of our lives: the their homes are music related; David
technologies that are available to us. Bowie's Telling Lies single was down-
Of course, as technology opens new loaded 450,000 times in one week, by
doors, old ones are slammed shut. Just r.r c.:.,.. d.. people in 87 different countries; and
try to get to the store by horse -and- Illetilla91I14t6.44-411h;ealgliaLai1 ;.aa more than 15% of U.S. broadcast radio
buggy today. Unless you're living in Many interns music sites are for-proti t vn line
stations have an on-line presence. One
Amish country, cars have effectively record stores, such as CDNow. artist and composer, Todd Rundgren
erased that option. And how about (www.tr- i.com) is trying to sell his
that box of 51/4 -inch diskettes you forthcoming album in a unique way
have lying around? You won't find a and solely over the Internet.
computer that's compatible, except at
flea markets or garage sales.
If we had to name any one tech-
Want to get in on the Internet audio
action? It's not difficult, and unlike
getting in on the ground floor with
nology that is most dramatically alter- other audio formats -it probably
ing the way people work, play, and won't cost you a thing.
interact today, we'd have to say it's the There's a good chance you already
Internet. Its impact has yet to be fully have just about everything you need:
determined, but even in its formative a multimedia computer, with sound
years, its scope is remarkable and card, speakers or headphones, and a
growing by the minute. Need to The RealPlayer can be used to stream audio modem with a minimum speed of
research a term paper, article, or a from a variety of sites, including Oz FM 28.8 kbs; an Internet connection; and
company that will be interviewing (www.ozfm.com). a Web browser. The one remaining
you for a job? Log on, search, and "component" is an audio player
you'll be inundated with information. cdnow.com and order CDs. If you that-get this-is completely free of
Want to network with working moth- want to penetrate the legally question- charge. The audio player is actually a
ers, shortwave enthusiasts, stamp col- able world of bootleg music swapping, software utility. It can be contained in
lectors, quilters? There's a chat group however, it will take some time and a Web browser or it can be a stand-
out there waiting with open arms. effort to locate the sites and to be alone application.
Need to make airline reservations, admitted. We won't delve into that Several services have players avail-
check the weather in Des Moines, find murky arena, but will focus on the able to be downloaded and installed,
the lyrics to an old Steel Eye Span above-board, legitimate sites that are which is a mixed blessing. There's a
song, play a game of Scrabble, locate a offering a huge variety of music, talk, lot of choice, but it can be a daunting
copy of a video, an out -of-print book,
or the latest CD? Try the Web.
One thing the Internet seems des-
sports, and other programming over
the Internet usually with the intent
of turning a profit.
task to learn the lingo and determine
which is best for your listening style
and tastes. But since money, for once,
tined to change is the way we produce, In 1997, more than 30 million is no object, you can try out each one
distribute, buy, and listen to music. Americans used the Internet, either and use the one you like best, or keep
Taking advantage of today's multi- at home (about 60 %) or at work. several installed for when you might
media home PCs, webmasters have According to a W W W User Server sur- need them.
been creating sites enhanced with vey from the Graphic, Visualization, All of the audio available on the
graphics and sound. It stands to rea- and Usage Center, the average Internet Net is, of course, in the form of digi-
son that a mainstream on -line music user is 35.2 years old with a mean tal data. The difference isn't in the
store would offer audible samples of average household income of $58,000. data per se, but in the encoding and
the discs it's trying to sell. It's also not More than half of those surveyed have delivery methods.
surprising that today's young, com- college or advanced degrees, 33.41% The two most popular types of
puter -savvy music fans would try to are women and 68.7% are men. Internet audio delivery are via stream-
see just what they could get away with Another poll, conducted by Dataquest, ing and in file formats. Streaming
in terms of copying and distributing found that the most popular uses of audio is transmitted in close to real
bootleg audio over the Net. the Internet were research /education time. Packets of compressed audio data
The world of Internet audio in- (42.4 %) and surfing (30.5 %) -and are sent to your computer, pass
cludes both those extremes, and every - that only 0.5% of respondents spend through a buffer (to minimize any
24 thing in between. Anyone can log onto time using real -time Internet audio. interruptions caused by Net conges-

website features the company's own technology for
AT &T's
t` Li
..e Kn.,kw,

Ar `
i.Mrm.n wt

downloading audio files.

tquw hacks on aria rwr0
www.audible.com The site offers downloadable audio books, courses, and rllr
Kt. rare
u+ u awan' """",..o<
conferences. The company (Audio Web) also sells a device
that records the programming from your hard drive so
you can listen to it in your car.

www.audionet.com This Internet radio network features music, audio books, rri boa* e,.

sports talk, and the BBC. S *81,ailAligijAil

.tt._1A&1:drt i va .+,r:: muu.
The tracks and discs on sale at the Liquid Audio
www.cdnow.com Four years ago, twin brothers just out of college started this site can be downloaded directly to your hard
virtual music store that's now making millions each year! drive.

www.davidbowie.com David Bowie is one of many popular musicians with his er.tbLV.rar.Q
own web site. (Try www. "yourfavoriteartist ".com and !^L I t weN u
21.. is= ._ LIQUID AUDIO
maybe you'll get lucky!)

www.hardradio.com The world's #3 audio site and largest online music station, Aaao

this site offers 24 -hour, commercial -free music sample, i-1-R:, I? r

news, reviews, concerts, and online chats.

www.iuma.com The Internet Underground Musicians Archive site offers

(or ttyhttp: // works by independent artists.
rd 4.,... ara
www.liquidaudio.com Here's where to get the Web's most popular file- format ./ti A1142r4 'r1 1sl>L..l,t..lalli a m F',

audio player. lue LiquidMusicPlayerCD strcarus music,

allowing you to preview the music that's for
Home of Shockwave, an audio streaming system that sale.
integrates with Macromedia's Director multimedia
authoring program. is RealNetwork's RealAudio (www.
realaudio.com). An estimated 30 mil-
www.musicblvd.com This online music emporium is run by N2K (www.n2k.com), lion RealAudio players have been
a company that would like to see electronic delivery supplant installed, and the RealAudio Web site
physical media. Music Boulevard offers more than 200,000 titles. is among the top 10 most -visited sites.
There are more than 450,000 hours
www.musicmaker.com Go to this site to create your own custom CDs, with prices
beginning at $9.95 plus shipping costs.
of live audio content available over
the Net every week. All different sorts
www.reatcom Start here and download your ReaiPlayer 5.01 of Web sites incorporate RealAudio
files. You can find music to suit just
www.rockttnpolis.com Here's where to find rock -n-roll. about any taste, as well as sporting
events, and radio broadcasts from
www.thedf.com Tune into any of this sites 60+ channels of non -stop music. around the world, static -free, and just
If you hear something you like, link to CDNow to buy it! plain free.
The RealAudio player is available at
www.towerrecords.com The music retailer giant has a commanding online presence
www.realaudio.com; the latest version
as well.
is RealPlaver 5.0. Downloading and
www.unc.edu This classical music site offers many links to other sites. installing it is a simple matter of fol-
lowing on- screen instructions. After
the file is downloaded, you close all
tion), and are played back. It's some- than that of streamed audio, but down- open browser windows, launch the
what like listening to a radio or CD: loading files doesn't offer the immedi- installation file, relaunch the browser,
Turn it on and music plays. When ate gratification of real -time listening. and you'll be ready to start listening
Internet audio is sent in a file format, It's also possible to download MIDI (or, to be more accurate, to start look-
such as .au, .wav, or .aiff, the data is files, and there are some CD- quality ing for something to listen to -which
reduced to allow quick transmission, digital audio files available to be down- we'll get to soon). The RealPlayer itself
the files are downloaded completely, loaded to your hard drive-or record- offers controls similar to those found
and then they can be played back at ed to cassette, CD -R, or MiniDisc. on a CD player, with the addition of
any time. The fidelity is generally better The leading streamed audio format a viewing screen that can display 25
PLAY, STOP, PAUSE, PF, and REV buttons. sites in the box on page 25, but it's by
And, like the RealPlayer, it also offers a no means all -inclusive.
viewing window, with a row of but- We decided to dive right in and
tons beside it, from which you can start surfing. On our first expedition,
choose to see displayed such options
as lyrics, cover art, track listings, and
promotional materials. Finally, the
we located a great site that provided
real -time audio -music, news, you
name it-from radio stations around
Liquid MusicPlayer CD has buying the world -Great Britain, India, Italy,
buttons-click on one to purchase the France, and about a dozen more. Any
,w track, and on the other to buy the recent immigrant would enjoy listen-
Wied *.FI ^114-w
entire CD. ing to the sounds of home while work-
You can find all sorts of interesting radio pro-
Liquid Audio's intent is to serve as a ing or playing on a computer. And the
grams on the Net, including Pacific Radio's
link between the consumer and the site provides a convenient way to hear
"Democracy Now!".
world of commercial music produc- news from other countries, something
tion. Right now, the commercial end that is sadly lacking on most American
promotional material, album covers, consists primarily of small, indepen- TV and radio news programs. Un-
lyrics, and the like. dent labels, but Liquid Audio is vigor- fortunately, at that point we were just
The technology behind the ously pursuing partnerships and playing around; we did not jot down
RealAudio player is scalable across var- alliances not only with more main- the URL, and we have not been able to
ious bandwidths. What that means to stream record labels and artists, but locate the site again!
you is that, regardless of your Web also with powerhouse Microsoft, Real- In our attempts to do so, however,
connection (14.4 -kbs modem or T1), Networks, and the American Society we did come up with another good
you can receive audio programming in of Composers, Authors, and Pub- one: a shortwave radio page on the
real time. That's not to say that you'll be lishers (ASCAF). Liquid Audio recently Southwest Missouri State University
hearing the same thing over a 14.4 -kbs announced plans to integrate support site (www.smsu.edu.contrib /library/
modem that you will over an ISDN or for Microsoft NetShow 3.0 and to sup- resources/swave.html). That one
better connection. The audio quality is port the Microsoft Advanced Stream- offered links to shortwave radio sta-
directly proportional to the speed of ing Format, or ASF, which will allow tions just about everywhere. We
your connection. With our 28.8 -kbs music encoded for the Liquid Music tuned into the BBC's Science in Action
modem, the sound was decent. When System to be streamed by any ASF- program, and heard stories about
the music began skipping due to over- compatible system. Liquid Audio also "gene detectives" who were tracing
crowding on the Net (actually, pausing plans to make available a new Liquid the migrations of early humans, a
to wait for the buffer to fill), we were Music Player media datatype for telescope powerful enough to see
advised to switch to a 14.4 -kbs speed, RealNetworks upcoming RealPlayer men walk on the moon, and "identi-
and the drop in sonic quality was dras- G2. So, in reality, it's not a matter of ty- challenged neutrinos."
tic. We wouldn't want to spend much choosing between file format and It's both fun and frustrating to
streaming audio-the lines between
time listening to music with such low
resolution. For sampling new bands,
however, or listening to international
the two are fuzzy, at best.
Liquid Audio uses streaming audio
search out Internet audio sites. We
experienced frequent problems
everything from a site not recogniz-
radio broadcasts, RealAudio was fine, to allow you to preview music that ing that we had downloaded the latest
even at the lower data rate. you might want to buy. For instance, version of the RealAudio player to
Liquid Audio (www.liquidaudio. we logged onto liquidaudio.com, audio dropouts caused by Net conges-
corn) is to the distribution of file -for- clicked on What's New, and learned of tion. We got "object not found" and
mat Internet audio what RealAudio is a CD set called Jimi Hendrix: The BBC "This server has reached its capacity
to streaming-the premiere Web site. Sessions, which consists of digitally for the requested URL" messages. But
In preparing music to be downloaded, remastered TV and radio perfor- we kept on going and found some
Liquid Audio employs a suite of tech- mances recorded between 1967 and good stuff for our efforts.
nologies, beginning with music mas- 1969 for the BBC by the Jimi Hendrix Will the Internet supersede other
tering and software encoding, adding Experience. We were able to preview ways of buying and listening to music?
Dolby Digital noise reduction tech- a few of the songs, view photographs Not anytime soon, as far as we're con-
nology and watermarking tools to and video (played at a very slow frame cerned. There's been a lot of talk about
thwart would -be pirates and encryp- convergence -the merging of home
tion technology There is also Liquid
MusicServer software, which delivers
rate) of Hendrix and his band, and
read the lyrics as we listened.
There's a plethora of music and
computers with home entertainment
but so far the PC seems to be staying
the audio files to your computers, and other audio program out there, but put in the study, the TV and stereo in
a Web -music player called the Liquid finding what you want to hear can be the family room. Will there come a day
MusicPlayer CD. It resembles a CD a bit of a struggle. We've provided a when everyone has an Internet con-
26 player in that it provides the familiar list of several popular Internet audio nection in every room of the house?
from under the deck. The manual rec-
ommends using 18 -gauge speaker
wire for runs of up to 25 feet and 16-
gauge wire for longer runa
The second story of our home
( /office) is cantilevered out two feet
beyond the first floor, creating an
overhang that was ideal for sheltering
the PRO -LS3s. A large deck spans most
of the back of the house, with 6 -foot
lattice privacy fences on the sides. We
mounted one speaker at ear level
(when sitting) in each of the two cor-
ners formed where the deck meets the
house, about 24 feet apart. We used
the corner placement to boost the bass,
and the speakers were well under-
neath the cantilevered overhang.
The manual recommends using one
pair of speakers for every 200 -400
When wireless, portable PCs become retreat indoors, close the windows, square feet of space. In a larger area,
small and cheap enough to compete for and turn on the air conditioner to you tend to get hot spots of loud sound
listeners with the Walkman and the car avoid hearing a simultaneous medley near the speakers when you turn up
stereo? Perhaps. But for now we're just of that inescapable song from Titanic, the volume loud enough so that it's
glad to find a new place to search for something unintelligible from Busta audible over the entire space.
interesting radio broadcasts, hear new Rhymes, and "Don't Sleep in the Even in our less- than -ideal mount-
bands, and shop for CDs without drag- Subway," the Optimus PRO -LS3 ing locations, the Optimus speakers
ging a three -year -old through Tower Indoor/Outdoor Speakers arrived performed admirably, and we have no
Records. from RadioShack. We decided to hesitation recommending them for
stand our ground, and see if they outdoor use. We tended to do most of
Outdoor Listening could help us reclaim our outdoor our listening at low to moderate vol-
aural environment. ume levels to preserve neighborhood
OPTIMUS PRO -LS3 INDOOR/ The PRO -LS3 speakers have a harmony, and the background music
OUTDOOR SPEAKER SYSTEM power- handling capability of 75 watts provided by the PRO-LS3s was pleas-
(Cat.No. 40- 4079). From Rado- nus and are said to be able to handle ing whether we were lounging on the
Shack, A Division of Tandy Corp- peaks of 150 watts. Each speaker's 11- deck or doing the ubiquitous yard
oration, 700 One Tandy Center, X 7- X 6 -inch cabinet houses a 5 -inch work. For parties, we could crank
Fort Worth, TX 76102; Tel: 800 - polypropylene woofer and a 1/2 -inch them up with equally pleasing results.
THE-SHACK Price: $200 /pair. ferrofluid- cooled tweeter. Designed We feel a bit bad about contribut-
for indoor or sheltered outdoor use, ing to our neighborhood's noise pol-
We love to spend time outdoors in the cabinets are weather resistant to lution level -but, hey, if you can't
our yard in the spring, summer, and protect them from the elements, but beat 'em ...
fall, puttering around the garden, they're not waterproof. When used
reading a book, or just hanging outdoors, they should be placed in a Gizmo News
around. The sounds of the wind protected spot.
rustling through the maples, birds call- Set up can be a breeze or a real Sega Pins Its Hopes on Dreamcast
ing, squirrels chattering -it's pPArrful heRc Arhe, depending on where your
and relaxing. source is located. There's nothing Sega Enterprises Ltd., whose Saturn
Who are we kidding? Here on tricky about the supplied mounting game player was trounced in the mar-
Long Island, whispering winds and brackets, and hanging the speakers is a ket by Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo
singing birds get a lot of competition. straightforward affair. Running the 64, has announced plans for a next-
There are lawn mowers and leaf wires can be difficult, especially if the generation system. The new system, to
blowers; airplanes, auto traffic, and source equipment is on the other side be called Dreamcast, is based on
the Long Island Railroad rumbling by; of the house. In our case, we snaked it Microsoft's Windows CE opera
kids fighting or playing, but shrieking from the living room down through system, which provides an open,
in any case; and their parents yelling the basement, out a hole drilled in the expandable architecture. Three other
at them to be quiet. basement wall (for a previous outdoor - big -name partners have contributed to
Then, just when we were about to equipment installation), and back up Dreamcast: Hitachi provided a cus- 27
G IZMO database.
NEC designed Web sites were surveyed, memo the h are older than 1 e,
tomized SH4 processor; efforts to encourage the
engine; that "industry's sites would have to inform
the PowerVR2 3 -D graphics from voluntary adoption of the most basic web was being
sound enginee came that information
and the practices have fallen parents from their children.
also features collected
DRAMs, short oinformation hat is needed to protect "The FTC's survey shows that
64- megabit synchronous consumers." a variety of
CD -ROM drive, and an
internal Web sites surveyed, only many Web sites collect
the children, but that
33.6 -kbs modem. any notice of their infor- information from mean-
mean -
en- 14% provide take steps to provide for
NEC is phicsg that its motion- collection practices, and only few from parents in
which phicess the n
a comprehensive privacy ingful involvement "That's why
3 million Z% provide
p process," said Pitofsky.
which can process more than twice the policy Of the 212 children's sites, the P leg-
second -about identifiable the Commission is recommending
polygons "personally in con-
,s arcade games-and 89% collect
, directly from children, isation that will put that parents
of today's information" is collected
of 200 million information
boasts a pixel -fill rate and less than 10% provide some
P ixels r second, will attract the of parental control for
e fromtheir f
manufacturers. their kids The has developed a privacy
noticed, gathered from (www.
strategic information four information web pag page called About
Bellfield, ]YEC's multimedia The report noted where consumers can find
pointed out that "are widely ftc.gov),
business unit manager, Dream- ractice
practice principles about how to protect
that game titles written for as essential to that information
will also run on a PC "or other their privacy online and off.
heecollecn n, use, and dissemination
platform." information are conduct- Drives to Outsell
pr ce its XG 32e of personal
is positioning and in a manner consistent DVD-ROM
capable ed fairly DVD Players?
bit embedded RISC processor, with consumer privacy interests."
adaptive differential are notice, According the British market
of 64-channel four principles Ltd.,
pulse code modulation, as
the next- Those
and security research firm Strategy Analytics of
choice, access, few years, shipments
sound sours s
of Web over the next
format is backward
backwa "The Commission's survey to DVD -ROM drives
will far outpace
successor. The XG industry efforts
sites tells us that video players. The
compatible wan MIDI. pt
adoption of these those of DVD
u hard- encourage voluntary forecast shipments of less
What does all that souped P principles has not met with great suc- company million DVD players P y in the
the gamer? Excellent than one
ware mean p cess," said FTC chairman Robert U.S. and European s in
W are neces- combined
phics and sound pros ets
image - processing capa- Pitofsky. "More incentives regularion and over the next two years, 400 -MHz-
Dreamcast's to encourage self- with
bump sary
bilities include fog, anti-Abasing, alpha to ensure consumers that their per-
emergence of PCs well as
mapping, environment mapping, will be protected and -faster processors, as will
effects, both sonal information online marketplace MPEG -2 decoding software,
blending, and spectacular 16.8 online. In fact, the sales of millions of DVD -
in real -time and interactively, in is unlikely to reach its full potential prompt same time
VGA resolu-
million full colors, with
tion. To further sweeten the deal, Sega until consumers
are confndentt thatt ROTheivet
are in place to
nh DVD hinges on
a PDA-like adequate the said
will offer Visual Memory, the protect their personal informati P market," id Strategy.
with homes y
accessory that will connect The FTC recommends legis ration
achieving modest suc-
memory video is
controller to serve as backup for protecting children's privacy "DVD its potential is limited. By
showing but
and as a personal viewer, laws that would cess,
that other players can't online, calling for millions of home-PC buyers
information one require Web sites that are ROM
see in games with more than
be children and that collect pe sonal
player. Visual Memory also can children better DR OM." Mercer notad
portable gaming identifying information from not pact
used as a stand -alone and under provide actual fsrm`,kill encourage the development
machine. to the parent and to obtain P f DVD -ROM versions as enhance-
Dreamcast will make its Japanese hi cases where thatrnfotact which will
debut in N ove tuber but
won't be consent.
someone o co menu to CD -ROM titles,
late 1999. tion would allow "edutain-
available in the States unril and d h
when the nnfor eventually lead to improved
the child off line, offering full- motion,
tion is to be public Po sied or dis-- ment" and games d -D phics.
Cpnsunle2''s ptllme ma con- full - screen video, and 3
o Fly closed to third parties, Parental the expe t ales of
Strategy Analytncs expects
ftiVcGy rei uired before
Trade sent would be la ers in this country to level
According to the Federal units a year until
a privacy foot ertheaInternet
a -mail addresses colected ooff at about 500,000
'so Repor on the site D
to Congress on (such as to enter a contest),
them the ( nthin ten y rears), llowg the it i le
The FTC's Report and give
of a three- must notify parentshave the address format to replace VCRs.
Privacy' Online, the result to
28 year study in which
more than 1400 oppo rtunih'

ive a `Friend
Year of
t IHlectronics
`Fun this Cli ristmas.
Does fighting the crowds at Christmas short-cir- SAVE MONEY...A great gift to receive, Popu-
cuit your holiday fun? Don't blow a fuse this lar Electronics is also a great gift for you to

project- oriented electronics -

year...for the friend who shares your love of
or a youngster
The Special Holiday Rate saves you
$41.89* off the newsstand price on each gift.

interest -
who may need only a spark to ignite a life -long

give a gift subscription to Popular
You can save another $41.89 *when you start or
extend your own subscription at the same time.
It's our "thank -you" for sharing Popular Elec-
tronics with a friend at Christmas.
Popular Electronics readers get the know how
they need to build exciting, educational, and Send no money, unless you prefer. We'll be glad
useful projects like these...a professional -qual- to bill you in January, 1999. Just take a brief
ity home -security system...an autoranging fre- moment to go over your gift list and make sure
quency counter...a nine -band shortwave re- you haven't forgotten anyone who might ap-
ceiver...a radio -controlled car...a telephone preciate the many benefits of Popular Elec-
scrambler...an aviation receiver...and even a tronics. Then write the names on the attached
robot! Gift Certificate and mail it back in the postage -
paid reply envelope ... we'll take it from there!
PLUS...Gizmo, our honest and straight- shoot-
ing review of the latest consumer -electronics Your friends will receive a handsome gift an-
gear...Market Center, featuring mail -order nouncement card signed with your name just
merchants that are ready to help you in all your before Christmas. And all through the new year
hobby activities...articles and columns cover -
ng every aspect of the electronics hobby
including antique radio, shortwave listening,
- they'll remember and appreciate your thought-
ful gift! So don't blow a fuse...take it easy and
enjoy the holidays. Give Christmas gifts of Pop-
ham radio, computers, scanners, circuit de- ular Electronics!
sign, and more!

Popular Electronics
- 'Basic sub rate 1 yr/$24.99,

3 A A
NET WATCH up to 3 MB of data on the Yahoo! smack in the middle of the 46-MHz cord-
(continued from page 13) Server -not bad at all. As with Hotmail, less telephone band. Crazy, but not
customizable filters are available, so quite as weird as it seems. For a great
Web interface, yet you can't send and you can cut down on which messages explanation, check out the "Editorial"
receive attachments. Isn't that odd? But you receive in the first place. section that you can access at www.crb-
still, free is free, and for some people, How do you sign up? We give, in books.com. Good stuff and scanner
Juno will provide a nice way to interface "Hot Sites," the URL for the standard links there, too!
with the digital world, yet not shell out Yahoo! page. Click on the Yahoo! Mail
any cash to do so. link to sign up. The reason we didn't BITS `N PIECES
provide a direct URL is that Yahoo! Ever see those electronic monitoring
YAHOO! MAIL made it (probably intentionally) impos- ankle bracelets worn by prisoners who
No we're not just making an excla- sibly long and full of symbols. The com- serve their time confined to their home?
mation about the word "mail." Yahoo! pany wants to increase its site traffic, If the prisoner strays outside the bound-
Mail is a Web- based, free e -mail service after all, and making you visit its base aries of his home, the loss of the ankle
from the Web's most popular site- index- site first is a good way to do so. Of bracelet's radio signal on a receiver
ing presence: Yahoo! This company course, one extra click is no big deal, placed in the home causes it to notify
wants you visiting its popular page as and if you want, you can bookmark the police. The confidential frequencies
often as possible, and has found anoth- actual e -mail site the first time you visit. used by most of the electronic monitor-
er way to keep Web surfers coming Well, guess that about does it for
I ing prisoner bracelets are 168.898,
back on a regular basis. this month. Until we meet here again, 168.922, and 314.40 MHz.
Like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail can be send me e -mail with your new free Did you see the film Tornado? How
accessed from any machine that's con- account here at netwatch @comports. about that two -way radio system used
nected to the Web and has a browser corn, or a traditional USPS letter to by the tornado chase vehicles? If you
installed. However. it's not a clone of Net Watch, Popular Electronics, 500 live in Tornado Alley (the Midwest,
Hotmail. There are a couple of features Bi- County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY Kansas, Oklahoma, or Texas), punch
that make Yahoo! Mail stand out. 11735. frequency 165.4375 MHz into your
For starters, the site you use to scanner. It's the primary repeater fre-
access your mail is directly linked to SCANNER SCENE quency used by the tornado -chase
Yahoo!'s popular Four11 directory (continued from page 18) teams from the National Severe Storms
lookup engine. This can be handy if you Laboratory. The repeater is located in
forgot an e -mail address. If you know an aircraft, providing coverage over a
the address and details of the person Force, Marine Corps, Air National wide ground area. Another channel is
you want to get in touch with, then why Guard, MARS, and Army Engineers 163.10 MHz, which is for direct car -to-
not keep track of him or her digitally? units. Monitoring in LSB and USB car communications.
Yahoo! Mail provides a secure person- modes also netted satellite activities on Keep in touch with us! Our e -mail
alized address book that makes it easy 149.91, 149.94, 149.97, 149.98, and address is: Sigintt@aol.com. Or, write
to bring your contacts with you, without 149.99 MHz. to us at Scanner Scene, Popular
actually carrying them. Readers from all areas keep report- Electronics, 500 Bi- County Blvd.,
Now, let's mention a really incredible ing hearing two -way military traffic Farmingdale, NY 11735.
feature: You can access non- Yahoo! e-
mail accounts! That's right, if you have
a standard POP3 account, Yahoo! will
allow you to check it and send mail
through it. The convenience of this fea-
ture alone makes Yahoo! Mail worth the
advertising you'll have to put up with. p\\a 0/r
Currently you can send or receive up o.
to three attachments of 500K each in \oll 01,1
any e -mail message. The site claims 42)%
that in the future this size may increase. ID

As for regular e -mail size, you can store


www. hotmail. corn

www.juno. corn
Yahoo! Mail 0/0
www. yahoo. corn
30 "Be care/id up there-you just cut the LAN cable..!'
Building your own PC has never
been easier and less expensive
than it is today. Here is some advice
on determining the selection of each
major component in your computer, as
well as some of the pros and cons of the
many decisions you must make.

!though advances
the persoral com-
puter appear to be
reaching consumers at a
breakneck pace, the knowl-
edge reeded to b'i!d your
own PC is not as complicated
as the engineering behind
the latest developments in
compu -er hardware. it fact,
building your owr coriputer
has never been easier than it
is today. It has also never
been less expensive How-
ever, those are not fre only
reasons to build your own
campui-er.WiT the price of a
fully loaded system urder
$1cr.r, :Te savings are not
wh , , ;u ed to be. The

' om ?,elllinq reason to


build c ur owri iystem from

scratch. is that itonetvitie you
an edjcatior:.o y -tach a
hands -on expe ie a can
provide. By learnt, e tech-
niques involved. uilding a RAFAEL AVILA
PC, you can do upgrades
and repairs much more easi-
ly, and that's where the big
savings come in.
You may decide that a
simple 'eplacement of the
motherboard and CPU is ail
that is needec All ale' com-
ponents from your old system 31

may still be usable. If this is the case,
individual component. Another
you can bring your computer up to ACRONYMS
benefit is that you don't have to AGP Accelerated Graphics Port
current cutting -edge speeds for worry about whether the compo-
less than one -quarter of the price BIOS-Basic Input Output System
nents will work together. For exam- CD -ROM-Compact Disc -Read Only
of buying a new system. ple, one of the most embarrassing Memory
This article provides commentary mistakes an amateur PC builder CPU-Central Processing Unit
and step -by -step instructions on how can make is to order a mother- DIMM-Dual In -line Memory Module
to put together your own computer board that doesn't fit the case. DMA-Direct Memory Access
quickly and easily. Each major com- Make sure that the two are com- DSVD-- Digitaf'Simultaneous Voice and
ponent in the computer is dealt with patible. On the other hand, a good Data
individually, and some of the pros kit vendor will already have done EDO-Extended Data Out
and cons of the many decisions you EIDE- Enhanced Integrated Drive
that for you. Often these vendors will
must make are addressed. do not I also offer 90 -day depot warranty, I/O- Input/Output
recommend any specific make or besides telephone support. There ISA-Industry Standard Architecture
model. However, at the end of each are a few other similar considera- ISDN-Integrated Services Digital Network
section, have described the exact
I tions to take into account, which ISP-Internet Service Provider
make and model that chose forI we will get into later. While we are MIDI- Musical Instrument Digital Interface
the construction of my system. This on the subject of compatibility, let's PC- Personal Computer
ensures that Popular Electronics start there -with the case, or chas- PCI-Peripheral Component Interconnect
readers are able to see what did I sis, as it is sometimes called.
PnP--Plug and Play
and to create their own up -to-date, RAM Random Access Memory
SCSI-Small Computer System Interface
powerful, working PC. Case and Power Supply. Cases and
SDRAM-Synchronous Dynamic Random
power supplies are most often sold Access Memory
In The Beginning... Let's assume together as a unit. While they can SIMM-Single In -line Memory Module
that you are starting out with noth- be purchased separately, it is usually SVD- Simultaneous Voice and Data
ing, nada, zippo! Here are the corn - less expensive and less troublesome SVGA-Super Video Graphics Adapter
ponents you will need: to buy them together. UDMA- Ultra- Direct Memory Access
Case and Power Supply Case -When you choose a case USB- Universal Serial Bus
Motherboard or any other computer component, VGA-Video Graphics Array
CPU it's a good idea to think ahead. XGA- Extended Graphics Array
ZIF-Zero Insertion Force
RAM Consider not only the amount of
Hard Drive desk or floor space available for the
Floppy Drive and CD -ROM case, but also think about how you where space is not a concern. It
Video Card will be using your system in the may also be okay for a person who
Sound Card /Speakers future. Will you require many periph- foresees the need to add on many
Modem eral components, like a modem, a peripherals, as AT cases often come
Keyboard and Mouse sound card, or a scanner? Usually, with ample expansion slots. For
Monitor the more peripherals you intend to those who have limited space and
Printer, Scanner, etc. install, the more expansion slots you little need to add peripherals, there
The first decision you need to will need. Your case, therefore, is the more compact "baby -AT"
make is whether to buy a kit or to should have enough bays to case design.
pick and choose each of the major accommodate the number of ex- However, by the time this article is
components. Many companies sell pansion slots for the components printed, there may be no choice at
kits or bare -bones systems that you you want to install. Keep in mind that all. Improvements, like better power
can assemble yourself (companies your choice of motherboard also and port connectors, can be found
such as CDW, Micro Warehouse, hinges on the number of peripherals in the newer ATX design, which is
TigerDirect, et al. -see Vendor List). that will be added, and it must have quickly replacing the ATs and baby -
The only disadvantage to a kit is an appropriate number of expan- ATs. The ATX is more efficient with its
that you may be limited to the sion slots for your needs. use of space, and it often accom-
hardware sold by the vendor. Choosing among the most popu- modates more ISA and PCI slots for
However, this is usually not a prob- lar case models is fairly simple, a greater number of peripheral
lem, as the better kit vendors allow because there are only two that fit components. It is also the design to
you to swap hardware from among most people's needs: the AT (and which most computer hardware
the products in their catalog, as baby -AT) and the ATX designs. While manufacturers seem to be switch-
long as you pay the difference in the overall size of the case can be ing. In addition, most ATX cases can
price for more expensive items. In either mini, mid, or full, the AT and accommodate any AT, baby AT, or
addition to the valuable package - ATX categories dictate the position ATX motherboard, leading to fewer
deal savings you get, there are of expansion slots, mouse, video, ser- logistical problems.
other advantages to buying a kit ial and parallel ports, and most Power Supply -Your choice of
from a good hardware vendor. One importantly the mounting holes. The power supply is also fairly simple. The
is that kits are generally very inex- AT design is generally larger, older, choice depends on the amount of
32 pensive compared to buying each and more appropriate for use internal hardware that you intend to
add to your system, like extra hard AT or ATX dimensions. board that has both slots.
drives, floppy drives, CD -ROMs, tape Now that you have matched No matter what type of memory
or disk-backup drives, etc. The more your AT or ATX motherboard to an your motherboard accepts, it must
power- hungry internal hardware appropriate case, the next question match the actual memory modules
you wish to add, the more power you must ponder is, "What kind of you purchase. Older SIMMs come in
you will need. Because the price per physical performance do want
I two forms -non-parity and parity.
watt is very cheap, it's always better from my system ?" Speed and other However, newer motherboards are
to opt for more. Most fully loaded qualities do not only depend on the equipped to handle faster EDO
systems require no more than 200 to MHz value of the CPU, but also on SIMMs and faster still SDRAM memo-
260 watts. However, some voracious such factors as cache, bus speeds, ry modules. Be sure the mother-
systems, like those with dual proces- and quantity and type of RAM. board you choose can handle the
sors and many peripherals, can eas- Cache -Cache on the mother- RAM modules you chose.
ily gobble up 300 watts or more. One board refers to an area of memory Expansion Slots -A similar con-
important thing to remember is that where the CPU can temporarily store sideration in selecting a mother-
a faulty power supply can literally fry data for very quick access. Most board hinges on whether or not you
some of the most expensive and motherboards today come with at will be installing older peripheral
irreplaceable pieces of hardware least 512 kilobytes (kB) of cache. components, like those you may
in your system. Therefore, choose a However, the newest motherboards have cannibalized from an older
brand new power supply. designed for Pentium Il processors system. If you are buying new
In purchasing the hardware for may take into account that Pen- peripherals, like tape drives, a scan-
my system, I decided to go with tium Its have a quite sizable on -chip ner, a MIDI -sound card, a modem, a
a package deal from a mail cache -eliminating the need for video -input device, etc., your choic-
order catalog company called cache on the motherboard. es may be somewhat easier than if
TigerDirect, for some of the major Bus Speed- Performance also you intend to install older devices.
components. Tiger allowed me relies heavily on the system bus You would simply opt for a mother-
to choose a case, a power sup- speed. Bus speed can be thought of board with expansion slots that are
ply, and a motherboard from as the rate at which the CPU com- mostly, if not all, the faster PCI vari-
their catalog as a package. municates with the rest of the sys- ety. On the other hand, you may be
Purchasing this way was less tem, through the motherboard. The able to achieve excellent function-
expensive than shopping for higher the system bus speeds, the ality and acceptable performance,
each individual component, faster your computer will work. while saving buckets of cash, by
and it gave me the flexibility to Currently most motherboards come using older ISA -type peripherals,
choose from a variety of com- set at 66 or 75 MHz. However, at such which require ISA expansion slots on
ponents. As for the other major low bus speeds, the newest 400- and the motherboard.
components, described in the 500-MHz Pentium systems would be Let's assume you've decided to
following sections, I decided to restricted to performance typical of take the middle ground. You have
purchase them individually. current 300-MHz systems. To accom- some old ISA hardware you wish to
In my system, TigerDirect's ATX modate the latest Pentium Il proces- use and some brand new PCI hard-
six-bay case comes with a 235 - sors, motherboards now have sys- ware you expect to purchase. You
watt power supply. The six -bay tem buses that run at 100 MHz. must now make a judgment call as
(six expansion -slot bays) feature RAM -Without getting into the to how many of the older type of
helps to alleviate my anxiety over technicalities of how RAM (Random ISA expansion slots, and how many
running out of expansion slots. Access Memory) actually works, it of the newer type, PCI, expansion
Another feature that sold me on will suffice to say that it is required in slots you want.
this case was its three full and great quantities for the manipula- Whenever possible, you should
two half-height external-drive tion of large files. And more is always opt for PCI components over ISA.
bays and one internal-drive bay, better (see the detailed section on PCI components can exchange 32
allowing me to install almost any RAM that follows). to 64 bits of information at a time,
arrangement of drives. My recommendation is to select while their ISA counterparts can only
a motherboard capable of accept- send or accept 16 bits per parlay.
Motherboard. The motherboard, as ing a variety of technologies. For On the other hand, with some com-
its name implies, is one of the most example, almost all of them sold ponents you may not notice a dif-
important components of a PC. today are capable of using SIMM ference anyway. For example, a 28.8
Accordingly, your selection of the (Single In -line Memory Module) kilobytes per second (kbps) or faster
mother of all computer compo- RAM. The newer DIMMs (Dual In -line internal modem, hooked up to a
nents should be undertaken with Memory Modules) are faster, which standard non -ISDN phone line, will
great care. As alluded to earlier, the is why they are slowly replacing only be able to transfer data at a
dimensions of your motherboard SIMMs. Most motherboard manu- maximum of about 28 kb, due to the
should fit those of your case. facturers are including both SIMMs bandwidth limitations of common
Correctly matching a motherboard and DIMMs slots, so that their cus- copper telephone wires. Limited at
and case is a very simple task, tomers can use one or the other or 28 kbps, an ISA 16-bit transfer will be
because most makes come in both both. Your best choice is a mother- able to transfer a signal equally as 33
fast as a 32 -or 64-bit PCI card. In my
experience, the difference in perfor-
mance, especially on the Internet, is
entirely negligible. If you know that
faster phone line (e.g., ISDN) service
is too costly, and is likely to remain so,
an older ISA internal modem may
be right for you. Otherwise, it is
always best to view your future sys-
tem with optimism and opt for a PCI
Another component to consider
in selecting a motherboard is the I/O
controller. Short for Input /Output
controller, this device enables your
computer to communicate with var-
ious data storage and retrieval
devices, like tape drives, and CD-
ROM and hard disk drives. There are
really only a few popular I/O con-
ventions by which most disk drives The MicroStar MS -6111 is an ATX motherboard, which is designed to work with the Pentium 11 CPU
operate, EIDE (Enhanced Integrated and accepts four DIMM SDRAM memory boards.
Disk Electronics) and SCSI (Small
Computer System interface -pro- popular among home PCs, and they replace the EIDE technology. It is
nounced "skuay "). Enhanced IDE are also somewhat more expensive. called Ultra -DMA (UDMA), and it is
technology took the older IDE con- When purchasing a motherboard, considerably faster than the exist-
vention and removed the controller make sure that there is an onboard ing conventions. While EIDE has a 16-
from the actual hardware device. EIDE controller and at least one EIDE megabyte per second (M bps) trans-
EIDE technology uses an IDE -con- socket. Otherwise you will have to fer rate, UDMA has a 32- Mbps-trans-
troller built into the motherboard to use an expansion card I/O controller fer rate. For those who always want
run the hardware. The result is much to connect your hard drive and CD- to stay on the cutting edge, the
better, faster, performance. Let's limit ROM. This would take up valuable UDMA is an absolute necessity on
this trade -off to EIDE I/O controllers expansion slots. the motherboard. However, going
and devices because, although It is important to mention a new with UDMA means spending a bit
slightly faster, SCSI devices are less design trend that experts predict will more for the motherboard, as well as


ASUS TX97 /TX97 -X 4 EIDE 3 -168 DIMMs AT or $145
2 Floppy ATX
2 Serial
1 Parallel Port

Tyan TOMCAT IV 4 EIDE 8 -72 SIMMs AT $179

Dual 2 Floppy
2 Serial
1 Parallel Port

Super-Micro P5MMA 98 4 EIDE 4 -72 SIMMs ATX $135

2 Floppy 2-168 DIMMs
2 Serial
1 Parallel Port

TigerDirect Al 3-MB 21 B 4 EIDE 4 -72 SIMMs ATX $209.99

2 Floppy 2 -168 DIMMs
2 Serial
1 Parallel Port

34 Table 1. Motherboard Comparison Chart

for the UDMA devices. Luckily, some up to 254-serial devices, I would out of four possible orientations in
UDMA- equipped motherboards have no problem. the ZIF socket. Be aware that if you
accept either UDMA or EIDE devices Shopping around for the best have chosen a Pentium II CPU, you
in the same socket you can upgrade value is somewhat tricky, because must purchase a Pentium II mother-
from EIDE to UDMA devices. there are so many components to board with a Slot -1 CPU slot. Like-
MicroStar manufactured my keep track of. The data in Table 1 wise, if you have purchased a CPU
choice of motherboard-their may come in handy when compar- designed to fit into a ZIF socket, your
model MS-6111. This is, of course, ison- shopping for motherboards. motherboard must come equipped
an ATX Slot-1 motherboard, so it Please note that by the time this with a ZIF socket. (Please note that I

fits nicely into my ATX case, and article is printed, prices will surely use the term ZIF socket loosely here,
also allows my power supply to have changed dramatically. You meaning that the socket must be
snap right in with no problems. would do well to use Table as a 1 designed to accept the Pentium
Designed to work with the guide for filling in the data you col- CPU. Not all Pentium and Pentium -
Pentium II CPU, this motherboard lect from vendors and manufactur- like CPUs truly require zero force for
is equipped with a Pentium II ers. Note that although all the insertion.)
Slot-1, which holds the Pentium II motherboards in the chart seem to For those willing to venture
CPU. It has four sockets, ready to match fairly well, the least expen- beyond the confines of Intel's wide
accept four-DIMM SDRAM mem- sive ones are missing features that CPU selection, there is much to be
ory boards. the more expensive ones have. It is gained by purchasing competitive
Another important feature of up to the buyer to determine processors (not the least of which is
this motherboard is the pres- whether or not those features are a hand -full of greenbacks). Most
ence of three -ISA and four -PCI worth the extra money. people don't know this, but Cyrix/
expansion slots. Since I will be IBM, AMD, and a small number of
using some older components, it CPU. With the advent of Intel's other CPU manufacturers have
is comforting to know that I have Pentium CPU, the general look of
11 been quite successful at eliminat-
plenty of available ISA slots. And motherboards has once again ing compatibility problems, so that
I still have four PCI slots for my changed dramatically. Until very they now provide excellent substi-
newer devices. Furthermore, this recently, CPUs occupied a distinct tutes to Intel products, at significant
motherboard has one Accel- square socket called a ZIF (Zero savings.
erated Graphics Port, slot, AGP, Insertion Force) socket (see mother- RAM. Measured in bytes, with cur-
which holds an AGP video card. board section). Pentium Ils, however, rent systems requiring 16 megabytes
AGP video cards are superior to have now been placed on a card or more, RAM is used by your corn-
older video cards, which were which fits into a CPU slot, called Slot- outer to load program instructions
primarily of the PCI variety. The t, which is similar in appearance and store running files. The larger the
newer video cards, based on to the SIMMs and DIMMs slots. In programs and files one is working
AGP technology, can transfer addition to taking up less space with, the more RAM one can expect
528 Mbps, which is ten times on the motherboard, the new design to use. Thankfully RAM is recycled
faster than a regular PCI video makes it impossible to misalign the when a particular program no
card. CPU upon installation; older CPUs longer needs it, so we do not have to
Onboard dual- channel device could be installed in three incorrect continuously fill up with RAM -like
controllers allow up to four EIDE
devices, or the newer faster Ultra
DMA devices like hard drives,
CD -ROMs and some tape drives.
In addition, there is an onboard
floppy -drive controller, which
can handle 5.25- inch and 3.5-
inch floppy drives, including the
most popular 1.44 -MB drive and
the newer 2.88-MB drive.
Several attributes that have
not been described, but are
nevertheless good to have on a
motherboard are an Intel 44LX
chipset, and an AMI BIOS, with
plug- and -play (PnP) support
and two Universal Serial Buses
(USB). USB allows you to add up
to 127-serial devices on each
serial port. Therefore, in the future
if I wanted to add 254 printers,
scanners, or any combination of The new Intel Pentium H is the latest 400 -MH: MMX "speedhurner" CPU.

we do with gasoline in our cars! able manufacturer called PNY ty is a major concern when it comes
However when almost all of the RAM Technologies to ensure the prop- to choosing a hard drive. If your
is used or occupied by the data or
er functioning of both boards. motherboard is equipped with an
code of program(s) running on the Beware of some very inexpen- EIDE controller, you must choose an
system, the computer must wait until sive RAM boards, I've purchased EIDE- compatible hard drive. Like-
more memory is recycled and avail- quite a few duds that worked at wise, if your motherboard has a
able. Without enough RAM, this wait- as little as one half capacity. UDMA controller, you must choose
ing time can make even the fastest
a UDMA -compatible hard drive.
systems seem extremely slow. Thus, it Hard Drive. When searching for a Fortunately, many of the newer
is always good to have plenty of hard drive, there are several charac- UDMA hard drives are backwards
RAM available. To ensure this, most teristics you should look at to suit your compatible. That is, they are capa-
PC builders are advised to have at needs. They are capacity, seek time, ble of working with EIDE controllers.
least 16 MB of RAM. However, with and compatibility with your system. This is good news for anyone look-
the increased popularity of RAM - When it comes to capacity, size ing to purchase a new hard drive
thirsty, multimedia applications, it is definitely counts -don't let anyone for an older motherboard.
recommended that at least 32 MB convince you otherwise. The larger Measured in milliseconds, the
of RAM be installed into the SIMMs or the hard drive the better. Although hard drive access time, also referred
DIMMs slots on the motherboard. On having six or more gigabytes (6 GB) to as speed, is the time it takes a
almost all modern motherboards, of hard disk space may seem exor- hard disk drive to locate and
both SIMMs and DIMMs must be bitant, it isn't. You always seem to find retrieve a sector of data. Naturally,
installed two boards at a time. yourself needing more space, as the lower the access time, the faster
Therefore, if you wish to have 32 MB programs continuously increase in the hard drive. Access times for very
of RAM, you must purchase two 16 size. A small note of caution for any- old hard drives were in the range of
MB boards. Keep in mind that DIMM one thinking about cheapening out 100 to 85 milliseconds. Thankfully
memory runs much faster than SIMM on a small, less than -GB hard drive.
1 such dinosaur parts are no longer
memory, and your allocation of RAM To comfortably hold and use only available. Currently EIDE hard drives
to either DIMMs or SIMMs slots should ten of the most popular Windows 95 generally have seek times in the
take this into consideration. If speed applications, like Office 97, Corel teens, while the newer UDMA hard
is most important to you, then you will DRAW, Microsoft Access, etc., your drives have seek times of less than
want to purchase more DIMM mem- system can easily eat up over 500 ten ms. In actuality, there is a small
ory for your available DIMM slots. megabytes, without saved data files. but noticeable difference between
Two 32-MB SDRAM DIMMs Your data files will gobble up even the EIDE and UDMA hard drives.
boards were deemed satisfacto- more hard -drive space. Depending on what your needs are,
ry for the applications I intend to As with every other component a less expensive EIDE drive may be
run on my system. I chose a reli- described in this article, compatibili- satisfactory.
For my system, I purchased the
Western Digital, 6.4 GB, UDMA
hard drive. It has a seek time of
less than 9.5 ms, and a transfer
rate of 33 MB per second. The
price was $230, from TigerDirect's

Floppy Drive and CD-ROM. A flop-

py drive and a CD -ROM are two
components that are essential for
the setting up of your computer.
Whereas in the past, only the floppy
drive would have sufficed, nowa-
days such giant operating systems
as Windows 95 and applications
such as Office 97 are installed from a
CD requiring that your system have
a CD -ROM. While advances in com-
puter technology have accelerat-
ed for the last decade, floppy drives
have essentially remained the same.
A standard 1.44-MB, 3.5 -inch floppy
drive will allow for the installation of
Pictured here is Seagate's Cheetah 9LP hard drive, which has the fastest average small programs and transfer and
seek time of any
Winchester -type disc drive, as low as 5.2 msec during read operations. storage of small amounts of data.
The drive also delivers top
36 performance with sustained data transfer rates reaching over 20 Mbps.
Most motherboards have an on-

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board floppy drive slot, which
attaches a floppy drive to a built -in
controller through a small ribbon
cable. Since driver software is re-
quired to run a CD -ROM, you will
need to install such software with
the aforementioned floppy drive.
For those anticipating running older
programs or shareware software, a
51/4 -inch floppy drive may also be
CD -ROMs, unlike floppy drives,
have followed the industry's trend
towards becoming faster. Only Mil 10001411 WWI NO
seven or eight years ago, CD -ROMs
were at the x and 2x speeds,

while today the current CD-ROM Video or graphics accelerators allow full -motion video playback, fast 3 -D and 2 -D graphics, 16.7
speeds are at 100x, While this may million colors (1280 X 1024), and up to a 200 -Hz refresh rate.
be good for some high -end graph-
ics applications, the 24x CD-ROM comes with 4 MB of RAM. number of voices in a sound card is
suffices for most home applications. Through Tiger Direct, this video - important to those who take their
These CD-ROMs are usually of EIDE graphics card was $89.99. PC's sound seriously.
technology and connect to the MIDI input and output is a great
motherboard's EIDE slot through an Sound Card/Speakers. There are a feature of many multimedia appli-
EIDE ribbon cable. great number of features that have cations. Short for Musical Instrument
1 chose a Mitsumi standard been incorporated into sound Digital Interface, this is an electronic
1.44 MB, 3.5 -inch floppy drive, cards, and your choice of features format for defining the specific
which sells for between $20 -$30 will affect the price. Thus, sound sounds that certain instruments
in almost any computer-sellers' cards come in many flavors. Among make. It allows for far more com-
magazine. As for the CD -ROM, I the most important characteristics pact storage of musical data. In
chose Creative Lab's Sound- are the transfer rate (the rate at order to convert such data into
blaster Vibra 24x for approxi- which the card actually communi- analog signals that can be played
mately $ 110. cates with the motherboard), and on your system's speakers, your
whether it supports duplex technol- sound card must be MIDI -capable.
Video Card. The latest technology in ogy, whether it supports wavetable Also important for musicians is the
video cards is the accelerated synthesis, and whether it is MIDI - reverse of this application. That is,
graphics port. AGP -video cards are capable. Let's first get into some some musicians require a sound
superior to older video cards, which definitions. card that is capable of translating
were primarily of the current PCI bus Transfer rate is very important analog sound from a microphone or
and ancient ISA bus varieties. The when it comes to sound cards, other input device into MIDI data.
newer video cards, based on AGP because large amounts of informa- As far as speakers are con-
bus technology, have transfer rates tion go into the generation of small cerned, the more watts, the more
10 times faster than regular PCI amounts of complex music and power you have when the volume
video cards. At up to 528 -Mbps sounds. As mentioned in the mother- Is increased. Choosing speakers is
transfer rates, AGP cards are much board section, the architecture of like looking for a good stereo sys-
better for multimedia applications, the card, PCI, ISA, etc., determines tem. You can get monaural -types,
movie players, and 3 -D video the rate at which the card can trans- speakers with woofers and tweet-
games. The all- important transfer fer information. Better sound cards ers -just about any combination
rate is a primary indicator of perfor- will be of the PCI variety, meaning that could whet the appetite of an
mance; the higher this number is, that they can transfer information 32 audio aficionado. Since most corn -
the better performance you will see. bits at a time. Some estimate that ISA puter speakers come with built -in
Another factor in the performance is sound cards transfer data at 25 to 50 audio amplifiers, which require a
the amount of RAM the card itself percent of the speed of PCI cards. source of AC /DC power to oper-
holds. Just like RAM on the mother- Wavetable synthesis is very impor- ate, make sure your speakers come
board, more is better, and many cur- tant for more discerning listeners, with an AC adapter. Also make sure
rent PCI and AGP cards allow you to because it allows the sound card to they are magnetically shielded.
add more RAM if you need it. Four to draw from a set of previously defined For $29.99, I chose the Hi -Val
eight megabytes is sufficient for sounds or voices. This technology, Wave32 sound card, which uses
most common applications. previously used only by those in the 32 -bit PCI technology. It is MIDI -
For my system, I purchased the music industry, plays digital samples capable and has a wavetable
ATI Technologies XPERT XL, which of actual musical instruments. The synthesis with 32 voices. The desk-
40 uses AGP -bus technology and result is a more realistic sound. The top speakers consisted of a

col that a modem employs to
transfer data. The ITU -T (Internation-
al Telecommunication Union -Tele-
communication Standards) group,
defines standards for modem pro-
tocols. Manufacturers configure
their modems to accepted ITU -T
protocols. (Though there are
The protocol for 14.4K- modems is
called V.32bis. It is somewhat anti-
quated, but it does the job for 14.4
kbps transmission. With more modern
28.8 -kbps designs, a new protocol
called v.FC became the accepted
11111111.. 111111111111111 i 11111111 standard. Here's where things get
messy. The advent of 33.6K- modems
saw the birth of the V34 protocol,
Most of the newer sound cards use wavetable synthesis to digitally produce up to 128 instrument which, as one might expect, handles
sounds, 132 percussion instruments, and 3 -D sound-like a whole orchestra from your computer! speeds up to 33.6 kbps. However,
some manufacturer's 28.8K- modems
pair of JBL loudspeakers, model installed into an expansion slot. For are upgradable to newer protocols.
Media 100, which have a maxi- computer systems, which have no Therefore, some 28.8K- modems have
mum audio output of 6 watts available expansion slots and no actual speeds of 33.6 kbps.
(12-watts stereo), a frequency available COM- ports, a modem If the thought of a 28.8K -modem
range of 75 Hz-20 kHz, a 3 -inch cannot be installed -much less an operating at 33.6 kbps is a little
low-frequency woofer, a -inch 1 external modem. For internal mo- confusing, then consider the latest
high -frequency tweeter, and, of dems, all that is required is an avail- generation of modems, the 56K-
course, an AC adapter. Cost able expansion to hold the modem modems. There are a number of
was $49.99 each. card (which is then identified by the protocols, some of which have not
system as a COM-port). A system been accepted or endorsed by
Modem. With the growth in popu- with no available expansion slot, but the ITU- T,(and none of which have
larity of the Internet and the World which has an available COM -port, reliably lived up to their 56 kbps
Wide Web, the importance of a can only use an external modem. designation). The protocols are K56
modem cannot be understated. For the most part, though, internal Flex, x2, and V.90, which is sched-
Anyone who has any practical (or modems are more economical, as uled to win ITU -T endorsement by
impractical) use for a computer can you can generally get better perfor- the end of the year. Unfortunately,
benefit from the wealth of resources mance for less money. limitations of analog telephone
available through a modem. As one Before choosing your modem, a lines restrict transmission, causing
would expect, the modem has ex- little history lesson is in order. Kilobytes most 56K- modems to automatically
perienced many technological ad- per second is the name of the drop down to the highest compati-
vances over the years. As a result, game, when it comes to modems. ble protocol, which is usually V.34 at
there are a number of things to con- Thus, it is not difficult to track the 33.6 or 28.8 kbps. It should be noted
sider when choosing a modem. recent technological advances in that only a pristine analog signal,
The first thing is whether or not modem design and protocol. Just a with no noise, will allow the 33.6
you wish to use an internal or an few of years ago, circa 1990, (which kbps transmission. People who pur-
external modem. Aside from the is several generations in computer chased 56K- modems may find that
issue of desk space, there may be advances!) 14,4 kbps, or simply 14.4K, their analog line is so noisy that it
some physical limitations that will was considered a comfortable only allows for 28.8 kbps transmis-
push you toward one or the other. If speed for a modem. (Anyone who sion. It would be best for buyers to
you are considering an external uses the Internet a lot can tell you try out a variety of modems on their
modem, you will need to make sure that there is no great speed for a own telephone line to see if it can
that you have an available COM- modem, as anything shy of instan- actually handle 33.6 kbps rates.
port. Most motherboards come with taneous is still not fast enough.). To add to the confusion, limita-
an onboard COM -port. However, However, this number does not tions on transmission rates over tele-
some systems either do not have a ensure that a modem will always phone lines are unequal between
COM -port, or have only a single operate up to its corresponding sending and receiving. That's be-
COM -port, which is devoted to kbps rate, nor does it limit the speed cause a modem sending over an
another device. In such circum- at which a modem will operate. analog line must perform an ana-
stances, one would have to install There are other factors that limit or log-to- digital conversion, which in-
an additional I/O board that has a enhance the actual throughput of herently introduces noise. This noise
COM -port. Such a board must be a modem. One factor is the proto- effectively brings the transfer rate 41

down to less than 35 kbps. However, }PNG RN :'R-1'
most of the larger Internet service
providers and net server, are directly
I nked to the nation's telephone
infrastructure, which is entirely digital. . _
Thus, an analog -to-digital conversion
on the server side is not necessary, muuummu- _

and noise can theoretically be elim-

inated. Without noise, a 56K -modem
can theoretically receive data at
64,000 bps, which is accomplished
by sampling at 8 bits per sample mul-
tiplied by 8000 samples per second.
Unfortunately, the protocols and
FCC regulations require that some of
those bits be used to convey infor-
mation about the transmitted infor-
Iililminim a 11111111

mation itself, and not convey true

data. Thus transmission rates are
The Amquest/KDS 56K modern is a fidly compatible, hardware -controlled 56K modem, based on
effectively reduced to about 53
the legendary Rockwell Flex 56 technology. The modem features full duplex speakerphone, voice,
kbps even on the receiving end. data . Fax, SVD, Caller ID and V.80 video- conferencing capability.
Only time will tell which technology
will come out on top. For now, if you mice and keyboards, the issue of a five -pin DIN connector, as most
know you can get a great deal on the Windows 95 keyboard must be ports are of the PS /2 variety. Don't
a 33.6K -modem it's probably your addressed. The Windows 95 key- worry; a simple "five -pin DIN to PS /2
best bet. board is no different than any regu- adapter," available through any
By the way, if you have an ISDN lar PS /2 keyboard, with one tiny computer parts vendor, will make
(Integrated Services Digital Network) exception, the Windows 95 key. This almost any keyboard work with a
telephone line, your digital 56K- key is a nice feature for some PS /2 keyboard port. In addition,
modem will operate at 56 kbps or Windows 95 applications, although older motherboards may come with
very close, because there is no con- entirely unnecessary. Any Windows no onboard PS /2 mouse port.
version necessary between digital 95 key function can be achieved Makers of such boards expect that
and analog lines. through other keystrokes. Thus, if the the user can easily install a mouse
Since almost all PC modems are keyboard you are considering pur- through a serial port. Currently, mice
Fax- capable, we won't get into the chasing comes with this feature, it's can still be purchased with serial
technicalities of Fax versus non -Fax worth having as long as you are not port connectors for just such circum-
capable modems. If you want to be paying any extra money for it. If your stances. A serial -port mouse can be
able to Fax from your PC, make sure keyboard is missing the Windows 95 readily identified by the nine -pin
that you acquire a Fax modem. key, you certainly should not lose connector, which has two rows of
As previously mentioned, it's a any sleep over it. parallel pins. If the motherboard you
good idea to take an inventory of Most PC motherboards come have chosen has no mouse port, yet
the ISA and PCI devices and avail- with an onboard PS /2 mouse port you have acquired a PS/2 mouse,
able expansion slots in your system. and an onboard PS /2 keyboard not to worry. Just as there are DIN to
Make sure that if you are purchasing port. The PS/2 connector, which is at PS /2 adapters, there are also serial
a modem on a PCI card you have the end of the cable attached to to PS /2 adapters, which will allow
an available PCI slot for it. the mouse or keyboard, is circular you to connect your PS /2 mouse to
1purchased a plain and simple with six pins arranged concentrical- your system through a serial port.
U.S. Robotics 56K internal Fax ly inside the perimeter, For the easi- One additional note on key-
modem with DSVD and speaker- est installation of a mouse and key- boards and mice: Some of these
phone for $60. It supports V34 board, one simply needs to make devices come in unique shapes
data transmission at 33.6- and sure that both the keyboard and and sizes, the most popular of
28.8 -kbps, and is backward com- the mouse have PS /2 connectors, which are ergonomically designed.
patible with ITIJ T V.32bis stan- and that the motherboard has a Some people love 'em; some hate
dard at 14.4 kbps. PS /2 port for each. While these are 'em. The best advice is for you to try
certainly the easiest types of key- out any non -standard mouse or
Keyboard and Mouse. Selection of boards and mice to install, you may keyboard you are interested in,
a mouse and keyboard is fairly sim- still come across an old mouse or before you purchase it.
ple because these two input keyboard that uses a serial port con- As you might have guessed,
devices follow a set of rigid conven-
tons -
at least when it comes to
most current motherboards and sys-
nection. Some not -too -old mother-
boards also come with a DIN port
for the keyboard, even though it
the components I have chosen
are a standard PS /2 mouse and
a standard PS/2 Windows 95 key-
42 terns. Before we get started on may be rare to find a keyboard with board. Both are made by PC

Concepts, and sell for $14.99 and When purchasing a monitor,
$19.99 respectively. VIDEO STANDARD RESOLUTION other factors to take into account
are specifically screen size, dot
VGA 640 x 480
Monitor. Over the years, there have pitch, and refresh rate. To some
SVGA 320 x 200 people, like artists and designers, as
been many improvements made to
computer monitor technology. How- 800 x 600 well as people who enjoy video
ever, for the past ten years, a com- 1024 x:768 games, screen size is very impor-
mon standard, called Super Video 1280 x 1024 tant. The important thing to remem-
Graphics Array, or SVGA has domi- XGA 640 x 480 ber is you always want to get the
nated the computer industry. The most out of what you pay for.
1024 x 768
SVGA standard is very similar to its Therefore, do not take screen size
predecessor, the VGA standard, Table 2. Video Standards and their Maximum alone into account. For example,
which unlike any prior standards, Resolutions 14 -inch and 15 -inch screen size
uses an analog rather than a digital monitors both come in 800 x 600
signal. VGA's analog technology video standards and their maximum pixel resolution. While the picture on
appears to have been a great idea, resolutions. Note that on XGA and such a 15 -inch screen is slightly larg-
since almost all subsequent stan- SVGA monitors, you are given a er, it still has the same resolution and
dards, including SVGA, and XGA choice of lower resolution and more will only yield a slightly larger and
(Extended Graphics Assembly), are colors or higher resolution and fewer equally less defined image.
basically improvements on the same colors. You should choose whichever Therefore, for most people, there
theme. Most important have been best matches your budget and is little to be gained by the extra
the improvements made to resolu- needs. The resolution is given as inch. However, jumping to a 17 -inch
tion and the number of colors a number of pixels x number of pixels, monitor, with a higher resolution of
monitor is capable of displaying and a pixel is the smallest element 1024 x 768 yields a larger image
simultaneously. Table 2 summarizes that can be drawn on a screen. that is more defined. Larger and
more defined still are the 21 -inch
monitors with resolution of 1280 x
1024 or better.
Because we are speaking strictly
of color monitors, each pixel consists
of a red, a blue, and a green dot,
which, theoretically, can be illumi-
nated in varying combinations to
produce every color of the rainbow.
Dot pitch is often used to describe
an aspect of the definition or resolu-
tion of a monitor. Dot pitch is the size
of the red, blue, and green dots on
a screen that make up a pixel. The
smaller and closer together these
dots are, the sharper the image usu-
ally is, so a smaller millimeter dot
pitch is always more desirable. Dot
pitch values of current monitors
range from 0.28 mm to 0.24 mm.
For the more discerning "com-
put-o- phile," there is another feature
of monitors that is also very impor-
tant, the refresh rate. The refresh rate
is the rate at which the monitor
repaints the entire screen. With the
advent of multimedia, movie -view-
ing capabilities, and some of the
newer high -tech 3 -D video games,
this feature has become far more
important. One may have the
fastest CPU, the highest bus speeds,
the most RAM possible, and the best
video -graphics accelerator card,
The ViewSonic GS771 monitor presents sharper crisper images across its 17 -inch screen. but a monitor with a slow refresh
Exceptionally clear and bright colors are provided with its 0.27 -mm true -dot pitch, which is matched rate will make your computer's mov-
with its 1024 X 768 resolution (maximum resolution of 1280 X 1024), and 87 -H: refresh rate. ing images look as choppy as an 43
FOR MORE INFORMATION old Keystone Cops film. Most current
monitors have refresh rates ranging
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Micro Warehouse from 60 to 95 Hz. High -end monitors,
One AMD Place 1720 Oak Street which may be used for videography
P. O. Box 3453 O. Box 847
or other uses, may have refresh rates
Sunnyvale, CA 94088 Lakewood, NJ 08701 as high as 135 Hz or higher.
Tel. 800 -538-8450 Tel. 800 -311 -4815
These features of monitors can
Web: www.amd.com Web: www.warehouse.com
be found in a wide range of com-
American Megatrends Inc. binations, some may be as small as
Mitsumi Electronics Corporation
6145 -F Northbelt Parkway 12.9 inches, selling for about $150,
Norcross, GA 30071
5808 West Campus Circle Drive
Irving, TX 75063
while others may be as large as 21
Tel. 800 -828 -9264 inches, for over $1300. Once again,
Tel. 972- 550 -5701
Web: wwwmegatrends.corn the needs of the user must be
Web: www. mitsumi.com
Amquest /KDS weighed against the cost of higher
470 East Paces Ferry Road PC Concepts, Inc. performance. With literally hun-
Atlanta, GA 30305 511 Fifth Street, #B dreds of monitors on the market,
Tel. 404 -264 -5700 San Fernando, CA 91340 there is surely a monitor for every-
Web: www.amquest.corn Tel. 818- 837 -9495 one's needs and budget.
Web: www.pcconcepts.com For my system, I chose the
ASUS Computer International
6737 Mowry Avenue ViewSonic, model GS771, which
Mowry Business, Bldg. 2 PNY Technologies has a 17 -inch screen, a resolution
Newark, CA 94560 200 Anderson Avenue of1280 x 1024, dot pitch of 0.27
Tel. 510- 739 -3777 Moonachie, NJ 07074 mm, and a refresh rate of 66 Hz.
Web: www.asus.com Tel. 800- 234 -4597 Cost was $429.99.
Web: www.pny.com
ATI Technologies, Inc.
33 Commerce Valley Drive East
Printer, Scanner, etc. Well, by this
Seagate Technology time you should have a good idea
Thornhill, Ont.
920 Disc Drive just what your computer system will
Canada L3T 7N6
P. O. Box 66360
Tel. 905- 882 -2626 consist of, and possibly where you
Scotts Valley, CA 95067
Web: www.atitech.corn are going to order it. But are we
Tel. 408 -438 -6550
Web: www.seagate.corn
now through? NO -not by any
means! This is only the beginning.
200 N. Milwaukee Avenue
The next logical step is to get a
Vernon Hills, IL 60061 TigerDirect, Inc.
Tel. 800 -350 -4239 8700 W. Flagler St., 4th Floor
printer, so you can print out all those
Web: www.cdw.com Miami, FL 33174 files, data, letters, and so on. But the
Tel. 800 -888 -4437 wife wants a scanner so she can
Creative Labs, Inc. Web: www.tigerdirect.com scan in all the great family photos
1901 McCarthy Blvd.
for greeting cards; and the kids
Milpitas, CA 95035
Tyan Computer Corporation want you to put in a new video
Tel. 800 -998 -5227
Web: www.soundbiaster.corn 1753 South Main Street camera and a video -capture card.
Milpitas, CA 95035 But what about Fax -capability,
Cyrix /IBM Tel. 800 -998 -5227 DVD -ROM drive, a removable stor-
P.O. Box 850118 Web: www.tyan.com age drive, an uninterrupted power
Richardson, TX 75085 supply, voice -recognition capabili-
Tel. 800 -340 -7501
U.S. Robotics /3Com ty...? The list of peripheral or auxil-
Web: www.cyrix.com
Great American Site iary computer equipment is end-
Hi -Val, Inc. 5400 Bayport Plaza less. The only limitations are your
1300 East Wakeham Avenue Santa Clara, CA 95052 knowledge, and money (that's
Tel. 408 -326 -5000
Santa Ana, CA 92705 cash, not cache) in your pocket-
Web: www.3com.com
Tel. 714- 953 -3000 book. We, at Popular Electronics,
Web: www.hival.com can help with the former limitation,
ViewSonic Corporation by presenting information on these
Intel Corporation 381 Brea Canyon Road
5200 N.E. Elam Young Parkway topics in our monthly columns, such
Walnut, CA 91789
Hillsboro, OR 97124 as Multimedia Watch, Net Watch,
Tel. 800- 888 -8583
Tel. 800 -321 -4044 Web: www.viewsonic.com Computer Bits, Gizmo, Product Test
Web: www.intel.com Report, etc., or in our special feature
articles. Unfortunately, only you can
JBL Western Digital
8105 Irvine Center Drive
provide the money to purchase
80 Crossways Park West
Woodbury, NY 11757 Irvine, CA 92718 these peripherals!
Tel. 516- 496 -3400 Tel. 800 -832 -4778 Having guided you through the
Web: www.jbl.com Web: www.wddcom purchase of the necessary compo-
44 (Continued on page 48)
Why resort to using TTL
or CMOS -logic integrated
circuits when discrete - transistor
logic circuits will do?

Certainly, no one disputes STEVE WEISS low-voltage applications, they have

the value and usefulness one drawback. The average gate
of logic gates when it threshold is usually about one volt.
comes to performing or initiating menter, and they do not perform And with a current-limiting or pull -
various functions within many cir- below their specified limits (usually down resistor connected to the
cuits. Logic gates are very useful for about 2.5 volts DC). A battery -pow- gate, the available voltage can dip
a variety of reasons. They come in ered project may only have room below the recommended operat-
handy during those times when a for one 1.5 -volt battery. So what do ing conditions of the FET.
processor is not desirable for a pro- you do? Transistors can substitute On the other hand, a bipolar
ject. At other times, the lack of the nicely for most logic gates. Usually switching transistor requires a mere
proper programming tools pre- only a couple of transistors are 0.6 to 0.7 volt to turn on, thus giving
cludes the use of a programmable needed for any given logic gate, such transistors an advantage in
logic device. And then there are and only one transistor is necessary very -low voltage, single- battery
those times when the available volt- for a standard inverter. applications. In addition, most off-
age is insufficient to drive TTL or the -shelf FETs (i.e., those available in
even CMOS ICs. That's especially FETs or Bipolar? Which is the best bubble packs at your local elec-
true when it comes to battery-pow- choice for low- voltage logic cir- tronics retailer) are generally more
ered devices. cuits-Held -Effect Transistors (FETs) or expensive than bipolar transistors. In
Of course, there's always the bipolar transistors? FETs have the fact, for the cost of a couple of FETs,
alternative 3 -volt logic. However, advantage of having an extremely you can usually purchase a bulk
they are not always readily avail- low "on" resistance. They also require pack of bipolar transistors. Further,
able to the hobbyist or experi- low gate-turn -on current. But in very handling FETs requires much more 45

A) functions as an inverter.The oper-
ation of an inverter is such that as 01
long as no bias is applied to the R1 2N3904
100K base (point A) of the transistor (Q1), 1K

it remains at cutoff, so its output at

point B is high or at logic (close to
V +), R2 2N3904
However, when an appropriate 1K

bias is applied to the base of Q1,

Fig. I. One of the least complicated transistor
the transistor turns on, pulling the TRUTH TABLE

applications is shown here. The switch, which output of the circuit low or logic 0 A C R3

can be viewed as being normally open, can be (near ground potential). The transis- o o o

used as an inverter. tor, Q1, is a 2N3904 general -purpose o o

bipolar transistor, which is generally o o
v+ used in low-power switching and
amplifier applications. Any similar
R2 transistor (such as the 2N2222, Fig. 3. Two or more switching circuits can be
AO 2N4401, etc.) will do. The values of combined to form basic logic, building blocks.
R1 and R2 were chosen for a bal-

B ance of minimal current drain and

commonality. All resistors used in the
Here a pair of switching transistors (setup in a
buffer configuration) is used to form an avo gate.

examples are 114 -watt, 5% units. The
supply voltage can range any-
where from 1.4 to 6 volts DC. Note R1
that by moving the output terminal 100K
Fig. 2. Here is a variation of the Fig. 1 switch- and the load resistor to the emitter
ing arrangement. By moving the output termi- 01
of the transistor, the circuit becomes
nal and the load resistor to the emitter of the
a buffer.
transistor, the circuit becomes a buffer amplifi-
er (also known as a voltage follower). Figure 2 shows the schematic dia-
gram of a similar switching arrange-
ment -this one known as a buffer R3 2N3904
attention than bipolar transistors.
FETs are very susceptible to dam-
amplifier, or voltage follower. Note
that the only difference between this B-- 1K

age due to static and overall exper- circuit and the one in Fig. is that the
imental abuse. A fun, productive load resistor and output terminal A C
evening of experimenting or design- have been moved from the collec- o o
ing can be destroyed by blown tor of the transistor to its emitter. o
parts -not to mention the mental Moving the load resistor and output o
anguish of troubleshooting. terminal to the opposite end of the 0
transistor also "flips" its operation. That
Switching Transistor Basics. For is, with no bias applied to the input of
the following examples, bipolar NPN the circuit, the circuit's output is low; Fig. 4. Shown here is a variation of the circuit
transistors are used -they're inex- but when a bias of sufficient magni- in Fig. 3, along with its truth table. By relocat-
pensive and do not require special tude is applied to the input of the cir- ing the output (point C) of the circuit and the
handling. However, proper precau- cuit, the output of the circuit goes load resistor to the collector of the upper tran-
tions should be taken when hooking high. (That's just the opposite of what sistor (QI), the circuit becomes a NAND gate.
up your circuit so as not to cause The same effect can be achieved b feeding the
occurs in the previous circuit.)
output of the atvo circuit to an inverter.
damage to the device or its support
components. Note: Although our cir- Logic Gates. Figure 3 is an example
cuits are built around Bipolar Junc- of how a pair of buffers (similar to signal, while all other input combi-
tion Transistors (BJTs) exclusively, the that shown in Fig. 2) can be com- nations produce a logic-low output.
circuits could have just as well been bined to form a simple two -input When the output of the Fig. 3 AND
based on FET technology. AND gate; the truth table for that gate goes high, it hovers at just
One of the least complicated gate is also shown. The truth table below V +. That's because of the
transistor applications is the lowly shows what the output should be voltage drop across.the two transis-
switch. Figure shows a schematic
1 for all possible input combinations. tors (Ql and Q2). However, even
diagram of the transistor switch. The The input to the circuit is applied to with V+ at 1.2 volts DC, there is suf-
switch can be viewed as being nor- points A and B, while the output of ficient potential to drive another
mally open or held low, depending the circuit is taken from point C. transistor.
on how it's used in an application. Note from the truth table that there Figure 4 shows a variation of the
The simple switching arrangement is only one set of input conditions circuit in Fig. 3, along with its truth
46 shown in Fig. (with its input at point
1 that produces a logic -high output table. By relocating the output
0 1
+V +V
R1 2N3904



o o o

Fig. 5. A simple OR gate can be formed by com- +V

bining the individual buffer circuits in an
arrangement like this one.

(point C) of the circuit and the out-

put resistor to the collector of the
upper transistor (Q1), the circuit
becomes a NAND gate. Since both
Q1 and Q2 must be turned on in
order to pull the low side of Rl to
ground, the voltage drop at output ADDRESS
C is negligible.
If more than two inputs are
required for the transistor-AND or
transistor -NAND gates, more than two Fig. 7. The basic digital -logic circuits --.ND, NAND, OR, NOR, and inverter-can be combined to form
transistors may be used or stacked more complex circuits capable of performing more sophisticated operations. Here three inverters
in the configurations shown, to form and a pair of NAND gates combine to form a I-of-2 demultiplexer circuit.
three -, four-, etc., input AND Of NAND
gates. However, V+ should be in-
creased proportionally to compen- circuit is also shown. With either work.
sate for the voltage drops of the input A or input B pulled high, the Figure 7 shows a -of-2 demulti-

individual transistors. output of the circuit at C is high, but plexer that is comprised of three
Figure 5 shows another type of because of the cascaded transis- inverter and two NAND circuits. That
logic circuit called a two -input oR tors, the voltage drop is close to type of circuit can be used to steer
gate; the truth table for the oR -gate half of a volt. Once again, with the data to one of two outputs. The one
values shown, there is sufficient volt- bit "address input" is used to select
age and current available to drive the desired output: either ouTPUT1 or
the next transistor gate. OUTPUT2, while the DATA input is where
The next gate on our "hit the information that is to be steered
2N3904 parade " -a two -input NOR gate, is applied to the circuit. The circuit
1K along with its truth table -is shown performs best when the data rate is
in Fig. b. The relationship between OR kept below 10 kHz.
R3 and NOR circuits is similar to the rela- The operation of the circuit is sim-
1K tionship shared by the AND and NAND ple. Information is applied to the
gates. All gates shown can provide DATA input, causing it to turn on,

TRUTH TABLE sufficient drive to operate at least inverting the input data. If the
A B C one or more additional transistor ADDRESS input is low (grounded or no

o o gates. signal is applied), the output of Q1 is

o o forced high (inverting the address
o o Transistor Logic Circuit Examples. signal). The high output at Q1 's col-
o Now armed with the most-common lector divides along two paths. In
digital circuits, what do you do with the first path, the output of Q1 is fed
them? Well, anything you would do to the base of Q5 (one leg of a two -
with standard TTL or CMOS gates, input NAND gate), causing it to turn
Fig. 6. Shown here is a variation of the circuit in
but without the supply-voltage limi- on, effectively "enabling" the NAND
Fig. 5-a two -input NOR gate. The relationship
between OR and NOR circuits is similar to the tations. The following are a few gate comprised of Q4 and Q5.
relationship shared by the AND and NAND gates. examples of transistor-logic gates at At the same time, the high out- 47

OUTPUT inverters (one of which is biased via Such devices can save enor-
a feedback resistor, R2, which puts it mous amounts of real estate on a
into the analog region). The third board, without any difference in
inverter (Q3) -which provides the performance compared to their full -
complement to the oscillator out- sized counterparts. Transistor arrays
put -was added to square off the are available in quad packs, in 14-
output. To adjust the operating fre- pin through -hole, or surface -mount
quency of the circuit, the value of Cl packages. They generally have a
can be raised or lowered. With the suffix before their number value
component values shown, the out- denoting arrays. For example, a
put signal has a frequency of 2N3904 NPN transistor in a quad
approximately 7 kHz with V+ at 1.5 pack would be listed as a MPQ3904
volts DC. from Motorola. SIP and DIP resistors
Our final circuit, see Fig. 9, is an RS come in virtually any value, and are
Fig. 8. Timing or clocking applications can also latch, which is composed of two available in three different configu-
he satisfied by combining inverters to form NOR gates. Resistors R3 and R4 were rations- networked (called dual -
oscillator circuits, like the one illustrated here. changed to 1k-units to insure a row termination), common bus, and
healthy output drive at the Q and Q isolated.
put of Ql is fed to the input of outputs. The truth table for the RS For most projects, the isolated
another inverter (Q2). The output of latch is shown next to its schematic type is recommended. Isolated inte-
Q2 (after going through a double diagram. Those are just a few grated resistors make it easier to use
inversion) is low. That low is fed to examples of the many reliable, low - the leftover resistors in a package if
the base of Q7 (one leg of a sec- voltage, digital, logic -gates circuits they are not connected to anything
ond NAND gate, comprised of Q6 that can be fabricated from dis- else. It is usually OK to mix transistor
and Q7), effectively disabling that crete transistors. types within a circuit. However, it is
NAND circuit. Under those condi- suggested that the designer stick to
tions, any information applied to Too Many Parts. All of those low - one type throughout the entire pro-
the DATA input appears at ouTPUTI If, voltage logic circuits can be used
ject (i.e., if you build a part of a gate
on the other hand, the signal to solve a lot of problems-but, with a 2N2222, use that type for the
applied to the ADDRESS input is using such circuits in quantity can rest of the gate). The reason is that
pulled high, the opposite occurs. create another problem. If the pro- different types of transistors may
That is, the Q4/Q5 NAND gate is dis- ject you are designing has a lot of have slightly different characteris-
abled, while the Q6 /Q7 NAND gate is gates, the number of components tics. One may have a slightly higher
enabled, causing any information can grow quite large, gobbling up or lower average beta than anoth-
applied to the circuit to appear at precious real estate. One solution er, or perhaps a higher or lower base
OUTPUT2. to that dilemma is to use transistor turn on threshold. It is also less
Our next circuit, shown in Fig. 8, is arrays (plastic -encapsulated multi- expensive to purchase a bulk pack
an example of a simple clock gen- ple transistors) and SIP (Single Inline of a particular part.
erator (better known as an oscillator) Package) resistors in place of the Keeping with the practice of
that is comprised of three standard discrete components. using consistent components will not
only increase the success of your cir-
cuits, it will also increase the overall
satisfaction of the entire project.
R3 R4
1K 1K
(continued from page 44)
02 I 1K Q4 Q3 nents, you are invited to compare
2N3904 2N3904 2N3904 2N3904 and shop, keeping in mind that
there are many compatible moth-
s0-Mh erboards, hard drives, CPUs, etc.,
which have not been mentioned
TRUTH TABLE here. Please feel free to investigate
R s Q Q
the merits of these other compo-
o o o o nents, insuring that they are com-
o o patible with one another. Join us for
o o
the next issue of Popular Electronics,
o where we will guide you step by
step through the assembly of your
system, and the loading of neces-
48 Fig. 9. An RS latch, like the one shown here, can be formed from a pair of NOR gates. sary software.



Qlympus America has done it is specially designed to be faster and to

again. In its quest to domi- work more intelligently with digital cam-
nate the digital photography market, eras. Its intelligent capabilities, such as
Olympus has introduced yet another power management, are hard to see
great piece of digital imaging equip- immediately. However, I've seen a
ment. The latest product is the Olympus demonstration that showed how a digi-
D -340L Digital Camera, a small, but tal camera was ready to take another
powerful digital camera. picture much sooner using Lexar mem-
The D -340L is packed with innova- ory than with the memory that came
tive features. Its maximum resolution with the camera.
The Olympus D -340L Digital Camera has a
is 1280 x 960, and it can focus to as Digital cameras generally take sev-
maximum resolution of 1280 X 960, and it can
close as four inches, take up to ten focus to as close as four inches. It can also he eral seconds to process and store an
shots automatically in half- second connected directly to Olympus' P300 Personal image before they can take another
intervals, electronically double image Photo Printer. picture. And Lexar's "Digital Film" defi-
size, create panoramic images, and nitely makes cameras work quicker.
more. Like all Olympus digital cam- lens composition. The D -340L weighs The SmartMedia memory is available
eras, the D -340L can be connected only 9 ounces and measures 5 inches in 4 -, 8 -, 12 -, 16 -, 24 -, and 32- megabyte

directly to Olympus' P300 Personal wide by 2.6 inches high by 1.8 inches capacities. Prices range from $59.99
Photo Printer, a digital photo printer deep. A built -in lens shield doubles as (for the 4 -MB capacity) to $179.99 for
that makes album -sized prints that I a power switch. the 32 -MB version.
can't rave enough about. You have to Other features include a flash with
see the prints to believe them. red -eye reduction, force -fill flash, auto- BONNIE & CLYDE
I recently spoke about Olympus D- matic low -light and back -light mode, I recently received a sample graphics
500L, a digital camera with all the bells and force -off to accommodate all light- accelerator card that is unlike any other
and whistles one could want, plus 1024 ing conditions. The D -340L includes I've ever seen. As you probably already
x 768 resolution. With its built -in motor- four AA Alkaline batteries, a strap, seri- know, the AGP (Accelerated Graphics
ized zoom lens, about the only com- al cable for Mac and PCs, video con- Port) bus is starting to take off on the PC
plaint could come up with concerning
I nection cable for TV or VCR, Adobe platform -most new PCs have an AGP
the D -500L was that it wouldn't fit in a PhotoDeluxe image- editing software, graphics card. The problem facing con-
jacket pocket. But the new D -340L does InMedia Slides & Sound multimedia sumers in need of a new graphics card
fit in my pocket, and it has an even presentation software, and panoramic is whether or not to buy the PCI
higher maximum resolution, 1280 x image- stitching software. The D -340L (Peripheral Component Interconnect)
960, than the D -500L. has a street price of $699. card they need for their system today, or
The D -340L also has a video output Olympus also sent me a sample of to upgrade their motherboard as well,
to connect to a TV or VCR for large- its optional FlashPath, a 3.5 -inch floppy - and go with an AGP card. Jazz
screen image viewing or storing images disk adapter for SmartMedia memory Multimedia's The Outlaw 3D-Bonnie &
on videotape. A 4 MB SmartMedia card cards. SmartMedia cards slide into the Clyde is a unique solution for people in
is included, and the memory is special- adapter, which looks like a conventional that situation. It is the first graphics
ly formatted to allow panoramic stitch- floppy disk, and holds two thin button accelerator to feature both a PCI and an
ing of multiple images. The memory will batteries. The floppy -disk adapter, along AGP bus in a single card. One side of
hold between 9 and 60 images depend- with the included software, lets users the card has a PCI connector and the
ing on the image -quality setting you transfer images from their camera to other side has an AGP connector -you
select. any computer that has 3.5 -inch floppy flip it over and move the card bracket to
While the camera does not have an disk drive. I've never seen anything like the other side to use either interface.
actual zoom lens, it has a digital tele- it before! Bonnie & Clyde is available with 4 or 8
photo /wide -angle mode that provides MB of SGRAM (Synchronous Graphics
the functionality of a zoom lens in a LEXAR MEDIA Random Access Memory), and it's
sleek point- and -shoot camera. Inside is DIGITAL FILM based on Rendition's Verite 2200
an all- glass, 5.5 mm, f 2.8 wide -angle While I'm on the subject of digital chipset, which delivers good 2 -D perfor-
lens with macro -mode, equivalent to 36 cameras and their memory, I might mance for business applications and hot
mm on a 35 -mm camera. The cam- mention the SmartMedia cards avail- 3-D graphics for games. The card offers
era's built-in 2 -inch color LCD display able from Lexar Media. While they look resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 with
automatically activates in the telepho- the same as any other SmartMedia 65,000 colors at a 75 -hertz refresh.
to /wide -angle mode for through -the- memory, Lexar's version of the memory Bonnie & Clyde has a suggested retail 49

WHERE TO GET IT or peels off than if the plastic under-
Acer Peripherals, Inc. side gets scratched. Disc drives can
1911 Lundy Avenue often read through scratches and
San Jose, CA 95131 nicks, and sometimes the damage can
800 -369 -6736 be polished out. But the disc is ruined
www. acerperipherals. corn for good if the data -bearing metallic
CIRCLE 60 ON FREE upper coating gets damaged. I've seen
it happen to both factory and record-

Enroule Imaging able discs.

953 Industrial Ave., Suite 111
Palo Alto, CA 94303 NEW SOFTWARE
800 -946-0135 I've been using some pretty amazing
www. enroute. corn Jazz Multimedia's The Outlaw 3D- Bonnie & software that's also amazingly simple to
CIRCLE 61 ON FREE Clyde fritures bnth u /'C/ and nn AGP bus in a use. Enroute Imaging's QuickStitch
INFORMATION CARD hrgle coal. Rased on Rendition's Verite 22(X) software, bundled with digital cameras
ehipset. it'.c prefect far this transitional stage from Olympus, Nikon, and Ricoh, lets
Hasbro Interactive between PCl and AGP graphics. me turn multiple digital images of wide -
50 Dunham Road
angle scenes into a single, large image.
Beverly, MA 01915
flatbed scanner with a SCSI (Small Not only does it produce panoramic
978- 921 -3700
Computer System Interface). This is all images, the technique effectively
www. hasbro- interactive. corn
most people need in a scanner, and it's increases the resolution of a digital
INFORMATION CARD one of the most affordable flatbed units camera by allowing multiple images to
I've come across. It has a street price of form a single, larger one. All you have
Jazz Multimedia under $300. The unit scans quickly and to do is select a group of image files
1040 Richard Ave. produces sharp, vivid scans. It also in- that you want to stitch together,
Santa Clara, CA 95050 cludes all the software you need to go then the software shows preview
408 -727 -8900 along with a scanner, such as image - thumbnails of them. You drag and drop
www. jazzmm. corn editing software and OCR (Optical the images onto a 4 x 4 grid in the posi-
CIRCLE 63 ON FREE Character Recognition) software that
INFORMATION CARD tions they should be in. From there the
lets you turn scanned documents into software does its magic, stitching the
Lexar Media, Inc. editable text. images together.
47421 Bayside Parkway Acer's CD -6206A is a 6x Read /2x Now Enroute Imaging has intro-
Fremont, CA 94538 CD -RW drive. This is one of the next - duced QuickStitch 360, which automat-
510- 413 -1200 generation CD recorders that can ically combines overlapping photos into
www.lexarmedia. corn record, erase, and rerecord data on panoramic images up to 360 degrees.
CIRCLE 64 ON FREE special blank CDs. It's also compatible You can output the images to a graph-
INFORMATION CARD with regular CD -R (Compact Disc - ics file or QuickTime VR movie, and
Read) blanks. The drive has a street then pan around the scene or zoom in
Olympus America price of under $300, so it's a bargain in for greater detail. QuickStitch 360 auto-
Two Corporate Center Dr.
the CD -RW arena. Disc -mastering soft- matically previews images, balances
Melville, NY 11747
ware is included with the drive. exposure, and stitches the images
800 -347 -4027
www olympus. corn Speaking of recording on CD, I together. QuickStitch 360 offers auto-
CIRCLE 65 ON FREE received a sample recordable CD- matic or manual exposure and contrast
INFORMATION CARD ROM-a blank disc, but not a re- correction, automatic cropping, choice
recordable one-that ends people's of output resolution, and correction for
Ricoh Electronics, Inc. concerns about the permanency of ghost images. QuickStitch 360 has
One Ricoh Square data stored on recordable CD -ROM. suggested retail price of $69.95.
1100 Valencia Avenue Unfortunately can't prove it works for
New from Hasbro Interactive
Tustin, CA 92780 over 200 years. I'm talking about the comes the Tonka Garage CD -ROM.
714 -566 -2500 Ricoh Platinum CD -R, a blank CD This game lets children design, build,
designed with higher than normal pre- and customize their own Tonka vehi-
cision and a life of over 200 years. It is cles. Once the vehicle is running, it's
designed to have a low block -error off to the gas station and then on to
rate; high resistance to light, heat, and the test track. There's also a junk yard
price of $149. humidity; and is optimized for recording to explore, where kids can demolish
speeds up to 8x. Street price for this vehicles, put them in a crusher, and
ACER PERIPHERALS CD is around $1.99. melt them down to make new parts.
I received some new peripherals A patented outer coating on the Of course there's a paint shop, a
from Acer Peripherals, Inc. recently, one Platinum discs protects against peel- showroom, and a printing center
a scanner and the other a CD- ReWrite ing and other damage. That's impor- where kids can print out decals, ID
(CD -RW) drive. The Acer Scan 610S is tant because it's much worse if the badges, and more. Tonka Garage
50 a full- featured 600-dpi, 16.7 -million color upper coating on a CD gets scratched costs $29.95.

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Ham Radio
QRP DXing and Boatanchors JOSEPH J. CARR, K4IPV

I n the late 1950s, when first started I

I in ham radio, we didn't have a lot of

money and paper routes didn't pay a
whole lot. So had to find a lot of clever
ways to get on the air. On the advice of ALL THE OSL CARD
my ham -radio mentor (Mac Parker, OPERATORS
W411), put what money did have into

the receiver, rather than the transmitter.

As a result, managed to locate a war

surplus Hallicrafters SX -28A for $140

(which was a lot more money in 1959
than it is today!).
My antenna system included a pair
of half wavelength, more -or -less, hor-
izontal dipoles. One was cut for 40 10 kHz
meters, which meant that could also I

use it on 15 meters. The other was Fig. 1. The key to DX success: Find the frequency where the successful operators are transmitting-
cut for 20 meters. did experiment I
not the frequency where the DX station is transmitting.
with other types of antenna, but those
dipoles were the mainstay of my
operations because of suburban lot power) operating. This month, we will Huge numbers of less skilled oper-
restrictions. discuss a little about QRP, and in sub- ators pile onto the DX stations transmit
There is one thing that characterizes sequent months, we will look at some frequency, creating a huge "pile -up."
all of the transmitters I owned in those simple kit -built equipment that can be There is a tremendous cacophony of
years-low power output. My first trans- used for QRPing, mountain topping, or stations calling the rare DX station, but
mitter was a single tube homebrew job other low -power ham activities. getting no reply. Clark told me that his
that used a 6AG7 tube in a crystal- oscil- Vic Clark, W4KFC, was also an method of operating on DXpeditions
lator configuration. I built it from plans in early mentor. Vic was one of the big was to set his receiver on the narrow-
an old ARRL Handbook with the help of DXers in ham radio of that era, and a est passband suitable for that mode
W411. It worked, "sorta." The next trans- mainstay of the Potomac Valley Radio (e.g. narrower for CW than for SSB).
mitter was a Heathkit DX -20 (50 -watts Club (one of the principal contesting He would then work the stations that
CW, no AM), followed by a real power - and DXing clubs). He later became fell into the center of his passband at
house-a Heathkit DX -35 (90 -watts President of the American Radio Relay his designated DX split frequency.
CW, 65 -watts AM). also used an E.F.
I League. Vic used to pick me up at the What are the practical effects of this
Johnson Viking Adventurer, which ran house and take me to radio club meet- method? Having a lot of power into a
50 -watts input from an 807 power - ings. He showed me a few things about high -gain beam antenna is always an
amplifier tube. DXing that helped both high -power and advantage. But when the receiver
Golly day, was in ham heaven after
I low -power operators. selectivity skirts are relatively sharp, the
graduating from high school and start- One of Clark's ham activities was advantage of the high power is dimin-
ing work in a radio repair shop (I didn't DXpeditions. He would go to some ished if your transmit frequency is not
go to college until was 23 years old).
I I remote DX site (like Swan Island in the matched to the other operator's receiv-
was able to buy a B &W Model 5100, Caribbean) and, in a short period of er frequency (simplex operation). The
which ran 180 -watts CW, 120 -watts AM time, work as many stations as he practical benefit goes to the operator
and 180 -watts PEP on single sideband. could. He taught me a method used by who zeroes in on the DXer's receiver
I also picked up a ham -band -only re- DX stations -they often answer sta- frequency, rather than his transmitter
ceiver, a National NC -303. Although it tions that are on a different frequency frequency.
worked quite well, missed that of SX-
I than they transmit on. Figure 1 shows Listening on a frequency that is
28A (and am still looking for one for my how this works in practice. The DX sta- around 10 kHz higher, or lower, than
collection) with its general coverage tion transmits on the frequency indicat- the DX station's transmit frequency will
abilities. ed by the heavy dark line, but listens put the unsuccessful responding sta-
The reason for this rambling per- on a frequency about 10 -kHz higher, tions outside the passband of the DX
sonal history is to establish my creden- or lower, than the transmit frequency station's receiver. Only those operators
tials for a topic that we will deal with in (often this practice is called split -fre- who zero -beat the receive frequency of
52 future columns -QRP (ham talk for low quency operation). the DX station are successful.

So how do you zero in on the other the human ear drops off rapidly below
DX station's receiver frequency? After 40 Hz, so even if the receiver has a
all, receivers don't emit a signal that can lower frequency response than usual,
be zero -beat. The solution is to listen your ears do not.
before transmitting and find the location So what's the solution? The most
of the stations who are working the DX accurate frequency measurement
station. Once you locate those signals, occurs when the zero -beat condition
then zero -beat stations on that frequen- occurs, i.e. when the difference fre-
cy, not the DX transmit frequency. quency ft - f2 = 0. There is a relatively
Some big DXers use two high qual- simple solution to this measurement
ity communications receivers in their problem if the receiver has an S- meter.
station. One will undoubtedly be the An interesting condition will be noted on
receiver section of their transceiver, the S -meter when f, - f2 0. The needle
while the other will be a high quality on the meter will begin to bobble at a
SWL receiver (or the receiver section RECEIVER S -METER slow rate (Fig. 2) that is equal to the dif-
of another transceiver). They use the Fig. 2. Making accurate zero -beat measure- ference frequency. That means you can
"other" receiver to keep track of the DX ments requires minimizing the swing of the S- adjust the reference frequency to mini-
station's signal, and the receiver inside meter needle as the two signals come together. mize the bobble rate, i.e. try to make
the main transceiver to listen to the sta- the needle stand as steady as possible.
tions that are successful in making the tone to about the same frequency as Ifirst saw this method when a friend
contact. the tone coming out of the receiver, of mine competed in the ARRL Fre-
then you are on the same frequency quency Measuring Test back in the
PRACTICAL (probably). Experiments show that the early 1960s. He had a very large
ZERO -BEATING human ear can separate two tones Hickock vacuum -tube voltmeter that
A lot of hams talk about "zero -beat- within 50 Hz, which is certainly with- had originally been made for classroom
ing" frequencies. So what does that in requirements. use. The pointer of the meter was about
mean? In the pure technical sense, it The fly in the ointment is that you nine inches long, so any bobble at
means adjusting a frequency source so have to be on the same side of the the end actually swung over a relatively
that it has zero difference compared incoming RF. A superhet receiver with large distance even though the arc
with another source. The process of a BFO /PD can be set to either side of angle was small. He connected the volt-
heterodyning between two frequencies, the frequency and still put out the same meter to the receiver automatic gain
f, and f2, produces both sum (f1 + f2) beat note. For example, suppose your control (AGC) line, which is essentially
and difference (fl- f2) products. In zero - receiver has a 9 -MHz (9000 -kHz) inter- what the typical S -meter reads. The fre-
beating, we are concerned with the dif- mediate frequency (IF). A BFO set to quency measurer could then count the
ference product. If, for example, one 9001 kHz will produce a 1000 -Hz beat needle swings over a known period
signal (f1) is at 7001 kHz, and the other note. But so will one set to 8999 kHz. of time, and then use that frequency
(f2) is at 7002 kHz, then the difference is Fortunately, whether you have a vari- to adjust the value read from the het-
7002 - 7001, or 1 kHz (1000 Hz). If you able or fixed BFO/PD, it is usually fair- erodyne- frequency meter. In another
listen to the beat note, then you will ly easy to ascertain which side of the IF column, will cover the details of het-

hear a 1000 -Hz tone. the injection is on-and adjust your erodyne- frequency measurements.
In practical zero -beating, you adjust transmitter frequency from the same
the procedure to the job at hand. In CW direction. Of course, if you use a trans- CALLING ALL
operating, for example, you should ceiver this is done for you. In months to BOATANCHOR FANS!
adjust your own transmitter frequency follow, we will look at simple QRP The "BoatAnchors" Internet mailing
so that it produces the same tone beat transmitters and receivers-and in list is devoted to the discussion of vin-
note as the station you are listening to. such equipment you might not have tage communications equipment, fond-
The reason is that the beat frequency that luxury. ly referred to as "Boatanchors" (which is
oscillator (BFO) or product detector The other situation where you will where the name comes from). The cen-
(PD) in your receiver will beat against zero beat is when accurately measuring tral theme is vintage amateur radio
the raw CW signal (which sounds like a the off -the -air frequency of an incoming equipment using vacuum -tube ( "firebot-
"thunka thunka thunkitty thunk" when signal. The usual method is to use some tle") technology. After all, "real" radio
the receiver is set for AM), producing accurate frequency source, and then operators know that "real" radios glow
the familiar beat note. zero beat it against the incoming signal. in the dark. But they have been known
Most amateur radio operators go for Unfortunately, there are two built -in limi- to drift into discussions of such things
a received beat note of 400 to 1200 Hz tations that might make it difficult to as entertainment boatanchors, anten-
for most comfortable listening. Unfor- home in on the actual frequency. First, nas, telegraph keys, classic electronic
tunately, if the other station is using a communications receiver audio sections or radio books and radio history.
narrow CW filter (e.g. 270 Hz), then usually have a 300- to 3000 -Hz fre- I recently signed up with Boat-
zero beating on the BFO /PD beat note quency response. The response of the Anchors because of my intense inter-
will put you outside the passband of his audio amplifiers tends to drop off below est in radio history, and collecting
or her receiver. And that means no 300 Hz, making it difficult to accurately antique ham radio receivers and tele-
OSO. But if you set the beat frequency see a zero beat in that region. Second, (Continued on page 57) 53

A Different Type of PIN ALEX BIE

n our continuing review of semicon-
connection. Electrons are forced to
ductor components, we come across leave the P -type region and flow into
another familiar device that finds multi- the external connection, creating holes.
ple uses in a number of electronic cir- These holes migrate across the P -type
cuits: namely the PIN diode. The PIN INTRINSIC LAYER region and enter the intrinsic region.
diode is widely used in radio -frequency The holes combine with electrons from
circuits, since their construction enables the N -type region allowing further holes
them to perform well as switches and as and electrons to enter the intrinsic
attenuators. Apart from this, the PIN region. The overall effect of this is that
diode is also used in high power recti- a current flows in the circuit.
fiers, where its structure also enables it A One important characteristic of the
to withstand high voltages. PIN diode is that once it is forward
PIN diodes were first developed in biased it follows a very linear charac-
the early 1950s in high power rectifiers. teristic, being virtually resistive in
The first technical papers on their oper- nature. Unlike a normal PN junction
ation appeared in 1952, but it was not diode, there is virtually no distortion or
until 1958 that they started to be used rectification.
in radio- frequency and microwave There is a key frequency in the oper-
applications. ation of the PIN diode, which we will call
fo, or cutoff frequency. At frequencies

Diode Sandwich well below fo, the PIN diode behaves as

The PIN diode consists of an intrin- an ordinary PN junction diode. The RF
sic, or un -doped layer, of semiconduc- signal on the diode is rectified and con-
tor sandwiched between P- and N -type Fig. 1. There are two major structures for PIN siderable distortion of the input signal
layers. It is the intrinsic layer that gives diodes: the planar configuration shown in (A) occurs. In the vicinity of fo, the diode
the diode its unique properties. This and the mesa fabrication of (B). begins to behave as a linear resistor
layer has a low concentration of carri- with a nonlinear component. At fre-
ers (holes or electrons), and as such N+ -type substrate. The outside layers quencies well above fo, the diode
has a relatively high level of resistivity. are then protected with a layer of oxide. appears essentially as a pure resis-
Normally the intrinsic layer is quite nar- For high -frequency operation, the tance whose value can be controlled by
row, typically between 10 and 200 pm. mesa structure is better because the a DC or a low-frequency control signal.
On either side of the intrinsic layer, the layer thickness can be controlled more As shown in the plot of Fig. 2, the diode
P -type and N -type semiconductor accurately. This enables the intrinsic resistance decreases almost Iineai y
material are normally heavily doped layer to be made very thin. In addition with increased bias current.
(referred to as P+ -type layers and N +- to this, levels of capacitance can be
type) layers. Hence the name: Positive - reduced and surface breakdown are PIN Diode Usage
Intrinsic- Negative, or PIN developed less of a problem. PIN diodes can be used in several
for this device. areas. For amateur radio purposes,
The diodes are manufactured in two Operational Characteristics they are widely used as RF switches.
main forms-planar and mesa as The intrinsic layer performs a vital When PIN diodes are forward biased
shown in Fig. 1. For the planar struc- part in the operation of the PIN diode. they can be considered as a short cir-
ture, a substrate of heavily doped N- It has virtually no carriers (holes and cuit, although there is actually a small
type (N +) substrate material is used. A electrons) of its own, and at low levels loss. When they are zero or reverse
layer of intrinsic material is then grown of bias the carriers do not enter this biased, they act as an effective isola-
onto this and the heavily doped P -type layer. As a result, no current flows. tor. For increased isolation, use is
region (P +) is diffused into this layer. Under reverse bias conditions, the made of two or more PIN diodes in a
For the mesa structure, the intrinsic and layer of depletion and the capacitance series /shunt arrangement.
P+ areas are grown in layers onto the between the P- and N -type regions In the reverse -bias or zero condition,
remains almost the same. Under for- their capacitance is comparatively small
("What is A... ?" series by Ian Poole,
ward bias conditions, a current starts to because of the thickness of the intrinsic
G3YWX, reprinted by permission from
Practical Wireless, Arrowsmith Court, flow. The potential causes electrons to layer. This makes them superior to ordi-
Station Approach, Broadstone, Dorset enter the intrinsic region. Further elec- nary diodes whose capacitance is high-
54 BH18 8PW, England.) trons enter the N -type region from the er because the depletion layer (the
and operate far more quickly. Other than in RF applications, at
10K - Diodes for use in the switching frequencies well below cutoff, PIN
applications must be high -power vari- diodes find uses as high -power recti-
1K - eties capable of carrying a few amps fiers. PIN diodes used in these appli-
1 oo - when forward biased and high voltages cations normally have a wide intrinsic
in the reverse -bias condition. The actu- layer, and this increases the reverse
lo - al specifications are naturally depen- breakdown of the diode.
dent upon the power being transmitted. In next month's column, we will
PIN diodes are also used in volt- continue our "What is a ... ?" series as
0.01 0.1 1 10 100
age- controlled variable RF attenuator we examine a widely used semicon-
devices. They act as variable linear re- ductor device -the familiar light -emit-
Fig. 2. A typical plot of RF resistance versus sistors, controlled by the level of bias, ting diode or LED. Now let's get to the
bias current of a PIN diode. and as a result they can be incorporat- readers' circuits.
ed into circuits to control the level of
attenuation. With careful design, the PUMP CONTROLLER
impedance of the attenuator can be A friend of mine, who owns a small
maintained within reasonable limits over pump (Little Giant), asked me to build
the range of operation. At radio frequen- an electronic pump -controller, which will
cies, the diode appears almost as a be placed in a small cavity. I designed
F--j pure resistance, whose resistance value this controller around a 555 timer IC
Cl can be varied over a range approxi- and other components (see Fig. 4).
L2 mately 1- 10,000 ohms by a direct or When water reaches the probes, pin
low- frequency control current. When the 2 of IC1 goes low, triggering the timer;
current control is varied continuously, pin 3 goes high and stays high for as
the PIN diode is useful for attenuating, long as the time -delay potentiometer,
Fig. 3. A simple RE switching and attenuator leveling, and amplitude modulating an R1, is set above a triggering value.
circuit using PIN diode, DI. Note its linear rela- RF signal. When the control voltage When this trigger value is reached, the
tionship to the bias current. is switched "on" and "off," or varied in IC switches the control voltage on the
digital steps, the device is useful for solid -state relay (SSR), tying its output
layer around the junction which is switching, pulse modulating, or phase pins together to provide power to the
depleted of holes and electrons be- modulating of an RF signal. A typical 117 -volt receptacle, S01, which pow-
cause it is reverse biased) is not as RF switching and attenuator circuit ers the pump. Time delay on this circuit
thick. As a result, PIN diodes are often with PIN diode, D1, is shown in Fig. can be set from 1 to 90 seconds. The
used as transmit -receive switches in 3. Common inexpensive PIN diodes full -wave bridge rectifier is a standard
transceivers. Here they are superior to are the Motorola MPN3404 or the 1A, 50 PIV -type (such as RadioShack
electromechanical relays because they Hewlett Packard HSMS3800- HSM3900 part 276 -1146), and the transformer,
are more reliable, mechanically rugged, series -just to name a couple. T1, is a 117 volt to 12 volt, 1A, step -
down type. This circuit has been work-
ing over two years without a problem.
117V AC i -Jiri Stuchlik, Edmonton, Alta., Canada

Nice circuit, Jiri. The SSR should be

selected for your particular circuit appli-
cation, but I am sure the RadioShack
part 275-310, which is rated at 3A,
125V, with a 1.2 VDC trigger voltage
would be a good general-purpose
relay to start with. As per our reader's
comments in the September "Think
Tank" Mailbag --don't forget to use
stainless steel -type metal for the
water -immersed probes.

This circuit was originally designed
to replace the side -tone circuit (using
the 555 timer, IC2) in Fig. 4 of the
"Electronic Keyer," in the January 1998
"Think Tank" column, page 73, but as
you will see it has other uses.
Fig. 4. This neat circuit is used as an AC controller for a water pump inserted into power outlet SOI:
however, any device. which depends upon probes in a conducting medium to work, can be used in The new circuit (Fig. 5A) results in a
its place. more realistic and pleasing tone than 55

the original design with the 555 chip. Recently, noticed that when turned
I I shown in Fig. 6. simply rectified the I

This design is based around a National on the light in my daughter's room prior alarm signal and applied it to the con-
Semiconductor LM4861 M audio power to awakening her in the morning, she trol pins on the solid -state relay. All
amplifier IC, using a phase -shift oscilla- would start to move around a little bit. I components except the solid -state
tor network consisting of capacitors am aware that hearing- impaired people relay are mounted on a 5 -lug tie -point
C3 05 and resistors R1 R3. Capacitor are very visual, so started to wonder if
I RadioShack part 274 -688. Number 4
C2 serves as input coupling and R4 a flashing light might awaken a hearing - hardware is used to mount the tie -point
serves as overall feedback for the
amplifier. Nominally the values of
impaired sleeper. I found that I could
awaken my daughter by turning th
and the solid -state relay to t
the al.
r ;
C3 05 should be in the 6800 -pF to room lights on and off r.. idly. .T1,R;k
0.01 -F range, while R1 R3 are me to consider InQli .
J .

around 10 k. If you want to adjust the

oscillator frequency, change the phase -
shift oscillator components-use small
alarm clQc vbp; f)
external 4igh143 sequence' with
sating alarm.
on an
s* e0r,91*
s pet
" 1011;4344f7
value capacitors to raise the frequency, I didn't Idre a Chi ntelic of tf pocauso had ma:. I

or larger value capacitors to lower the RadioShac c alarm clack 14o ror, .j . Radq$h4gk part 10-1004 bastikt
frequency. Their values can be deter- was easy to find Ow alarm apeeltQr and switch wQUld Qdgo .t Ooefpdt t : `
mined from the equation its associated wires. Using an ,gecillos Tie ie gI6W F rp'n'
scope, I was able to determine that the alarm clock to add all the circuitry rind'
f = 1 /27rRC speaker was driven by a pulsating alarm the switch. For the lamp socket, I used
tone (as opposed to being a self -con- a pendant cable with a 117-VAC recepy.
where R = R2 = R3, and C = C3 = G4 14S,A4rklakit, *WO.?
= C5. Make sure these components sating.velta srsqujrgj; ,N9,4 l..c .T tqsQ h'- e
are as close to each other in value as justt.finnd a way to use this tone to coatrgl
1:94195*rll '04M s.P
spy r.
possible. Use good quality mica capac- a .,., .. -
- Xhe, t1,1.74,Vi .,Fircurtfy4.44,
itors, if available. This task turrted out.to,be.very' easx. course, de.00l w oniheolaral c jk
In Fig. 5B, the circuit is converted I found an A solid -state relay. (SSR).in unless it is.disconncte from 1.17 -VA ;'
into a code -practice oscillator. Replace the RadioShack catalog (Part 275-310). lined
transistor 01 and resistors R5 and R6 A DC current of around 30-50 mA will To operate, plug a damp into. the'
of Fig. 5A to use this stand -alone oscil- cause this solid -state relay to switch up 117-VAC receptacle and ensur that,
lator circuit. to 3 amps of current at 117 VAC. the switch on the lamp is turned on.
-Craig Kendrick Sellen, Waymart, PA The circuit I finally came up with is Now, just set the alarm as usual. If yop

Fine addition to an originally good

circuit. Craig was wondering if any of 013

our design buffs would be interested in 1K

modifying his phase -shift oscillator OUTPUT
100 OF TI
design with a Wien- bridge or twin -tee
oscillator configuration-and compar-
ing the performance. By the way, we R19 10K

checked with National Semiconductor, Cl

and although the LM4861M IC is not 2N364

that common, it is available from their

major distributors. C2

" R<

10K C3 CI

How can a hearing- impaired per- FOR KEYER MODIFCATION ONLY

son be reliably awakened by an alarm A

clock? This is a problem that I've BV DC

struggled with for a number of years R7


because my daughter is hearing im- CODE PRACTICE OSCILLATOR


paired. And, while she hears fairly well OF


when she has her hearing aids in and

KEY R5 01
on, she obviously doesn't wear her 2.2K 2N390S
aids when she sleeps. Since she suf-
fers from a severe -to- profound hearing Fig. 5. These interesting circuits use the versatile LM486IM audio power amplifier IC. In (A) the IC
loss in both ears, even the "Super- is used in a modification to a previous Popular Electronics electronic keyer circuit (January 1998,
Loud" alarm clock from RadioShack "Think Tank ", and shown shaded). This circuit results in better tonal qualities for the generated
(part 63 -741) did not have the ability to side -tone. In (B) the oscillator is now used in conjunction with the LM4861M IC and provides an
56 wake her up. independent code -practice oscillator, which can be used to upgrade your CW skills.
r T1
for a club or as "electronic postage"
prepaid for a year.
You will, as a new subscriber, have
PL1 a free "trial" subscription for about four
weeks, which should give you plenty of
time to look us over and make up your
mind, as well as time to get your sub-
scription in and processed. If you find
the information and fellowship here
useful and you want to do your part to
ensure the continuation of "Boat -
Anchors," you will find the address for
sending your subscription fee in the
"Welcome" message.
Like nearly all decent list servers, the
BoatAnchors people have a "terms of
service" or "Netiquette" in place. Each
subscriber must understand that the
subscription does not give one the right
to be disruptive on the list. Failure to
obsen!e mmn courtesy and consid-
erpEipl -falls 0.e feNevci subscribers or
.4. 'grey 41-a lit modification of an existing RadioShack alarm clock to provid --,pulsing of.. st y ng,-wsy aff intp non -BoatAnchor
xopics will result -in your suspension or
n external light, The ofiginal circuitry is'shown in clor. ..

dismissl,from the list, without recourse.

Exercising gdod judgment and polite
behavior will result in a most satisfying
experience and an opportunity to buy,
sell or trade vintage tube equipment and
parts, and locate assistance from skilled
engineers and experts in restoration.
If you would like to try out the
BoatAnchors list, send the list owner a
simple e-mail. It should include your
real name (your e-mail address will be
in the headers) indicating you under-
Front view of the RadioShack "Super- Loud" alarm clock showing the AC receptacle for the lamp,
stand the basics of polite societies such
and the lamp -controlled push -button switch on the top right-hand side. In the top view you can
as exists on the BoatAnchors list, and
plainly see the added push -button switch for controlling the lamp, independent of the alarm.
they will subscribe you for a trial period.
Note that the BoatAnchors e-mail list
want to turn on the lamp at any time, novel uses for the circuit such as you is a "closed" list, and only subscribers
use the new lamp switch mounted in described. Perhaps some enterprising may post. They have taken many steps
the alarm clock. manufacturer will incorporate such a to remove, block, and otherwise keep
The flashing lamp worked beyond feature into their product! "SPAM" off the list. As part of that effort,
my wildest dreams. It reliably wakes they subscribe to the "RBL" real -time
up my daughter very quickly. As a mat- database of SPAM sites, and block all
ter of fact, it seems to wake her up mail from those sites. Should your ISP
(continued from page 53) become a "blocked" site, you will not be
faster than our audio alarm clock is
able to wake up my wife and me! If you able to send mail to the list administra-
are hearing impaired, or know of graph keys. received information from
I tors, and you will not be able to post to
someone who is, try this simple modi- Jack, W4KH, the BoatAnchor Mailing the list itself. Your only recourse is
fication to this commercial alarm clock. List Archiver/Owner, and pass it along through your ISP, in encouraging your
You (or they) will be impressed as to to you. ISP to change whatever is causing
how well it works! The members of the list have the site to be blocked. We do maintain
-Phil Salas, Richardson, TX agreed among themselves to help a secondary address at w4kh@hotmail.
defray the costs of the list and its distri- corn, which should remain open for
That's a handy upgrade project with bution, through annual subscriptions, e -mail in case mail is blocked by
a happy ending, Phil. It's great when beginning 15 March 1996, with a mod- "theporch.com." Contact BoatAnchors
you modify a standard tem and est annual fee. People on the list feel it at: listown @jackatak. theporch. corn. I

enhance it with features that makes its is worth the effort and the fee to per- can be reached by snail mail at P. O.
performance even more useful. I am petuate the BoatAnchor's way of being, Box 1099, Falls Church, VA, 22041, or
sure that many of our readers can find and generally regard the fee as "dues" by e-mail at carrjjr?aaol.com. 57

New New Guinea DON JENSEN

uick! What is the second largest

1;1 island in the world? The answer
is New Guinea. (The largest, by the way,
is Greenland). Now that the prime DX
season of Fall is upon us, it's time to Lorengau
begin hunting those tough -to -hear sta- Kavieng
tions that may have eluded you during
Wewak Rabaul
the warmer months, when atmospheric
noise and static obscured the weaker Mount Nagen
signals. And one particularly tempting Kund ewa Madang Kmbe
target country for SWLs is the island Metida Goroka Kieta
nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Lae
which shares the world's number two
island-size record with Indonesia. There Ke.ema
are a surprising number of domestic SW Motu Popondetta
Port Moresby
broadcast outlets in PNG, none of them
easy to hear, but most of them some- Alotau
times audible in North America at this
time of year, given favorable reception A map showing the locations of sonie of Papua New Guinea's National Broadcasting Corporation
conditions. (formerly Commission) shortwave stations.
Papua New Guinea has an inter-
esting history. In the 1880s, when interior of this island of jungle and the Pacific." After a period of inactivity,
European powers were busily grabbing jagged mountains that are, in truth, little the National station again has been
chunks of overseas territory as colonies, removed from the Stone Age. In colonial heard on both 4890 and 9675 kHz.
one prime bit of real estate was the very days, Australia established shortwave The National station has 100 -kilo-
large, lush island just north of Australia. services at Port Moresby, the capital, watt transmitters; the other stations use
To resolve conflicting colonial claims by and at a number of small communities, 10- kilowatt units. Recent reception sug-
imperial Germany, Great Britain, and both on New Guinea itself and on some gests that the former and a number of
Holland, New Guinea was divided into of the outlying islands, such as New the latter probably are running less than
three parts. Britain, New Ireland, and part of the peak power. The best time to hear any
The entire western half went to the Solomons group. of Papua New Guinea's NBC stations is
Netherlands, and now it is part of With independence, nearly a quar- during the last hour or two before your
Indonesia known as Irian Jaya. The ter century ago, these SW outlets and local dawn.
rest was split between England and some additional stations became part The other NBC shortwave stations
Germany. The southern quadrant, of the island's National Broadcasting are targeted to local and regional audi-
known as Papua, went to Great Britain, Corporation (NBC) of Papua New ences. Located throughout the Papua
and, after the turn of the century, to Guinea. The NBC shortwave chain in- New Guinea -half of the big island are:
Australia. Germany wound up with the cludes some 20 stations. However, Radio Eastern Highlands at Goroka,
island's northeast section, and a num- Papua New Guinea is, after all, a Third on 3395 kHz; Radio Western Highlands
ber of nearby small island groups. World nation with limited resources, so at Mt. Hagen, on 3375 kHz; Radio
When Germany lost World War I, its some of these stations are frequently Southern Highlands at Mendi, on 3275
New Guinean territories were mandat- off the air for various periods of time. A kHz; Radio East Sepik at Wewak, on
ed to Australia to administer. In the recent check showed no sign of at least 3335 kHz; Radio Sandaun (Radio West
mid- 1970s, the entire eastern half of six of them, apparently shut down at Sepik) at Vanimo, on 3205 kHz; Radio
the island gained independence as least temporarily. However they may Northern at Popondetta, on 3345 kHz;
Papua New Guinea. be back on, while others have gone Radio Central at Boroko, on 3290 kHz;
Even today, there still are parts of the silent, by the time you read this. Radio Western at Daru, on 3305 kHz;
The key station, though not neces- Radio Madang at Madang, on 3260
CREDITS -Rich D'Angelo, PA; J. Findlater,
sarily any more reliable than the local kHz; Radio Milne Bay at Alotau, on 3365
CA; Bob Hill, MA; Fred Kohlbrenner, PA;
David Krause, OH; George Maroti, NY;
outlying outlets, is the National station kHz; Radio Morobe at Lae, on 3220
William McGuire, MD; Ed Newbury, NE; Jay at Port Moresby, which targets the kHz; Radio Gulf at Kerema, on 3245
Novello, NC; Denis Pasquale, PA; Bob entire population as well as serving, kHz; Radio Enga at Wabag, on 2410
Raymond, NH; Terry Wolf, OH; Dan according to announcements, as "the kHz; and Radio Simbu at Kundiawa, on
58 Ziolkowski, NY. Voice of Papua New Guinea throughout 3355 kHz.
On the outlying smaller islands of vastly improved signals. The frequency In the meantime, here are some
Papua New Guinea are Radio East is 15170 kHz, Look for this one with SW targets to tune for:
New Britain at Rabaul, 3385 kHz, and local Tahitian and French program- ALBANIA -7160 kHz, Radio Tirana
Radio West New Britain at Kimbe, 3235 ming-with French news, a satellite is on this frequency with political news
kHz, both on New Britain island; Radio feed from Paris, on the hour-until 0600 and identification in English around
New Ireland at Kavieng, 3905 kHz, on UTC, when it switches to all French, the 0245 UTC.
New Ireland; and Radio Manus, at AM and FM domestic France -Inter net- ICELAND -5055 kHz, Riksutvarpid,
Lorengau, 3315 kHz, on Manus Island work, also fed by satellite. the national broadcasting service in the
in the Admiralty group. capital of Reykjavik transmits here in
CHILE TODAY Icelandic. It was noted with a sermon at
PIDGIN PROGRAMMING A new station, which should be fully 1834 UTC, with a parallel transmission
More than 30 ethnic languages are operational by now, Radio Vision on 9275 kHz. These transmissions uti-
heard on the local and regional sta- Cristiana promises to do for Chile what lize the upper sideband mode. The sta-
tions, and some English programming longtime religious broadcaster HCJB tion also has been heard on 11402 and
also is aired, especially on the National has done for Ecuador -make an other- 13650 kHz, around 1950 UTC.
outlet station. But a particularly interest- wise not -so-easy South American SW LATVIA -5935 kHz, Radio Latvia
ing language used by many of the NBC country a simple catch. in Riga has been heard with English
stations is Pidgin -formerly known as Like HCJB, Radio Vision Cristiana is language programming until sign off at
Pidgin English -which is understood in a Christian radio station. Two years ago 2135 UTC.
many parts of PNG. the British religious organization, MEXICO -9705 kHz, Radio Mexico
Pidgin began in the 19th Century as Christian Vision acquired a series of International has an English program
a radically simplified version of English high powered 1 00-kilowatt shortwave called "Antenna Radio Summary," at
used by European traders to communi- transmitters, formerly used by the 0415 UTC, followed by English news
cate with the diverse native peoples of Chilean government Radio Nacional de and identification.
New Guinea. Eventually, it evolved into Chile, long off the air. After applying for NIGERIA-7255 kHz, Voice of
a real and separate language with its a license to broadcast from Santiago, Nigeria in Lagos has English program-
own vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Radio Vision Cristiana began testing on ming from after 0500 UTC until 0700
"Harim program bilong olgeta pipal one frequency, around 21550 kHz, ear- UTC, when the schedule switches to
ikam long NBC." lier this year. French. Programs include news and
This identification announcement, Chief engineer Andrew Flynn, who rock music with an African beat.
put into something more like English formerly was assigned to another PAPUA NEW GUINEA -4890 kHz,
would be "Hear him program belong all Christian Vision shortwave outlet in the National station is logged here at
together he come along NBC, or, more Zambia, southern Africa, said that pro- 0920 UTC, in English, relaying a pro-
freely translated, "Listen to the pro- gramming in Spanish will be directed to gram from Radio Australia. This was
grams for everyone from the National listeners from Mexico to southern South followed with local news and popular
Broadcasting Corporation of Papua America, with Portuguese programs for music.
New Guinea." a Brazilian audience. It seems likely PHILIPPINES-9670 kHz, Radio
In Pidgin or the King's English, that's that there also will be some English, if Veritas Asia, a Roman Catholic SW
good advice for any SWL! only identifications. outpost in the Philippines, is heard at
In time, Radio Vision Cristiana will 1200 UTC with programs in the Lao
PACIFIC PARADISE use more and different frequencies. To languages, preceded by an English
Long a favorite station of many DX check on this, you can e-mail the sta- identification.
listeners, the Societe Nationale de tion at vozcrist @interaccess.cl or check SUDAN -9200 kHz, Republic of
Radio Television Francaise d'Outre out its Web: www.christian- vision.org /. Sudan Radio operates on this frequen-
Mer shortwave outlet on Tahiti has had The mail address is Radio Vision cy around 1900 UTC. It has been heard
a rocky couple of years. RFO, for short, Cristiana, Box 490, Santiago 3, Chile. with long programs in Arabic, with men-
had an old and truly unreliable short- tion of the Sudanese city of Omdurman.
wave transmitter near Papeete, capital DOWN THE DIAL TURKEY -7300 kHz, Voice of
of French Polynesia. When it was on Why not drop a note with details on Turkey has Turkish music and a folk-
the air, and usually it was not, reception the interesting SW stations you've lore program in English after 2330
was very poor. come across. Be sure to include the UTC.
This was a shame, too, since the time and frequency and some notes on UGANDA -3340 kHz, Radio
programming, often wonderful island what you heard, particularly if you liked Uganda is noted here from around
music with its pulse- racing Tahitian or disliked the programming. Send 0400 UTC with lively African highlife
drumming, was among the most exot- along any questions you may have music. At 0420 UTC it was heard with
ic- sounding to be heard on shortwave. about SWLing, in general, or about par- English news on another frequency,
It was enough to send your imagina- ticular stations or countries broadcast- 4976 kHz.
tion winging across the thousands of ing on shortwave. I'll try to answer them UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -15395
blue ocean miles to this paradise. for you. kHz, Dubai's SW outlet is observed
The good news, though, is that RFO The address is: Don Jensen, do DX signing on with Arabic programming,
seemingly has a new transmitter and Listening, Popular Electronics, 500 Bi- music and recitations from the Holy
again is being heard with regularity and County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735. Qu'ran, at 1500 UTC. 59

Radio Repair for Dummies -2 MARC ELLIS

Last month, I began a series on be "welded" by corrosion. Use a gen-

basic antique radio repair. It is tle rocking motion to loosen the con-
aimed at those of you who are either tacts, and then ease the plugs out little
new to the hobby or who are just by little.
beginning to think about working on Your next job is to clean all of the
some of the acquisitions you have electrical contact points in the radio.
been collecting. plan to present strate-
This includes tube and plug pins, tube
gies to use to return many sets to work- and plug socket contacts, and surfaces
ing condition, even if you don't yet have where tube shields mate with each other
a lot of technical expertise. or the chassis. Spray a good brand of
Before going on, need to mention
contact cleaner/lubricant on the pins
that the discussion so far is slanted and contacts; then gently work the tube
towards AC sets (the ones that plug or plug in and out of its socket several
into the wall socket). Though much of times. Examine the pins carefully, and
what has and will be said also applies Make sure your set is fitted with all of the
use fine sandpaper or steel wool to
shields it was designed to have. If necessary,
to the earlier battery models, I'll add remove any remaining corrosion. Also
find replacements on a ' junker" chassis.
some specific tips for them at the end spray the mating surfaces of the tube
of the series. shields, as well as their chassis con-
In our first installment,I discussed cal "bantam" -type bulbs were fitted, tacts, following up again with light sand-
some basic tools and resources that when necessary, with simpler cylindri- ing or light cleaning with steel wool.
should be on a restorer's workbench. cal shields-usually one -piece -which Each of the controls in the radio will
Then a first inspection of a radio to be slipped over the glass and made contact require individual attention. For poten-
restored was done, using no tools but with the chassis as already described. tiometers such as the volume and tone
eyes and ears to search for clues to The still later baseless miniature tubes controls, use the extension straw on
component failures and other prob- were also fitted, when necessary, with your aerosol cleaner can to squirt the
lems. Finally, it was time to begin actu- similar shields. solvent inside the metal cover. You can
ally working on the radio-doing an Tube shields prevent electronic usually squirt through the crack where
initial clean -up and removing the tubes. feedback and other undesirable inter- the cover wraps around the terminal
actions that can take place in sensitive strip. Then work the control back and
TUBE SHIELDS circuitry carrying radio- frequency ener- forth through its full range several times
To continue on the subject of tubes, gy. The shielding system installed by so that the solvent will have a chance
it's important to bring up the often - the radio's manufacturer must be kept to cut though any deposits on the wip-
neglected subject of tube shields. If intact, otherwise the set may squeal, ing contact or resistance element.
your radio happens to be equipped with motorboat, or develop some other type Treat all switches the same way.
metal tubes, which are self -shielding, of annoying and difficult -to- correct Band switches usually have open con-
you won't have to worry about this. But oscillation. tacts, which make it easy to apply the
sets with glass tubes will almost invari- If your radio has some shielded cleaner. Also be sure to clean the tone
ably have tube shields installed at cer- tubes, note the fittings installed on the control, station selector, and other
tain critical locations. chassis to contact the shields. Then switches. Enclosed slide- switches, if
Tube shields may be straight and see if such fittings are installed in other present, can be handled just like poten-
cylindrical. Or, in the case of the tubes locations currently without shields. If so, tiometers: Find a crack around the
with "double dome" (type -ST) bulbs, the you'll need to replace these. "Junker" switch terminals through which to squirt
shields may be made in two halves radios obtained at flea markets are your enough cleaner to do the job. Also look
shaped to the contours of the glass. best source. for wiping contacts on the tuning capac-
Locked together with a snap ring, the itor, spray them liberally with cleaner,
halves snugly enclose the bulb. Re- ELECTRICAL CLEANING and work the control through its range
gardless of design, the shield must Once the tubes and shields are several times.
make contact with one or more "wipers" removed, check to see if there are any
mounted on the chassis so it can be other "plug -in" components such as TUBE TESTING
effectively grounded. It may also have a loudspeakers, loop antennas, and pilot- "But don't have a tube tester," you

separate "hat" piece to cover the top of lamp assemblies. Cautiously remove say. "I'm just getting started!" Well
the tube. the plugs, being careful not to force that's the point. You don't have to worry
60 Later tubes with the small cylindri- them in cases where contacts seem to too much about testing tubes. It's
amazing how rare it is for a tube prob-
lem to be bad enough to stop a set
from working. Even a set with one or
more tubes rated as "weak" on a good
tester will often run just fine, pulling in a
good selection of stations with no trou-
ble at all. Of course, a tube that does-
n't light (open heater) will definitely
silence any radio.
If your set is transformer -powered
and has glass tubes, you can easily
spot an open heater. When you are
ready to turn on the radio for the first
time, just observe it in dim light and
make sure all the tubes glow. If the set
Behind almost every knob on the set you are restoring will he a potentiometer or switch in need of
has metal tubes and will not operate,
cleaning and lubrication.
you can feel the tubes to see if one is
not heating up.
You could also use the "ohms" scale wings to keep your radio from operat- month's column). Connect your multi -
of your multimeter (lowest resistance ing. It will also provide insurance meter (on an AC range appropriate for
range) to check for continuity between against short circuits that can lead to 115 volts) across the line where it enters
the filament pins of each of the tubes. failure of other components that are the radio.
Your tube manual will tell you which very difficult to find replacements for, With the radio's power switch in the
pins they are. Recommendations about such as power -, IF -, or output- trans- "off" position, plug in the extension cord.
multimeters and tube manuals were formers. Such capacitor replacement, Your multimeter should read the normal
made in last month's column. which will be discussed in the next line voltage. Turn on the power switch
The AC -DC radio, as described in installment, is well within the capabili- and observe the meter reading. If it
last month's column, is quite prone to ties of even a neophyte restorer. drops to less than about 50 volts, try the
open- heater tube problems. The circuit However, if the radio is not one of next highest wattage bulb. The idea is
design is such that the heaters glow the showpieces of your collection, and to start up the set at a very low voltage
brightly, operating on more than their will be turned on only occasionally, it's to give the long- disused electrolytic
rated voltage, for a few seconds after not unreasonable to consider a test power- supply filter capacitors a chance
the radio is first turned on. Because of with the existing capacitors. Providing, to "re- form." "Forming" is the process by
this, heater failure is much more com- of course, that you've found no burned, which the thin layer of electrolytic paste
mon than in transformer-powered sets. melted, or charred components in your between the layers of foil in the capaci-
And there's an additional complica- initial inspection. Most people won't tor, under the action of electric current,
tion. Since the heaters of AC-DC sets want to expend the time or the materi- builds up its insulating properties.
are wired in series, the failure of one als to put every set in their collection in On a more sophisticated work-
heater will cause all to go out -just like top working order. bench, start-ups on old sets are done
with an inexpensive Christmas light set. If you discovered a brittle or broken with a continuously variable autotrans-
In a way, this simplifies troubleshooting. line cord during your initial inspection, former such as a Variac. This allows
If the tubes refuse to light when you are now is the time to replace it. As was the line voltage to be built up slowly
ready to power up the set for testing, discussed last month, replacing a line and gradually to facilitate the forming
the problem that caused the set to fail is cord that contains a voltage- dropping process. However, this cruder method
likely to be a burned -out heater. Use resistance element (present as a third will work reasonably well.
your ohmmeter to find out which one. asbestos -covered wire) is beyond the When you get near a value of 50
Never fail to ohmmeter-check and scope of this series. It will have to be volts, carefully remove the probes from
(if necessary) replace the pilot light on covered in a series on more advanced the AC line and reset your multimeter
an AC -DC set. For reasons we won't troubleshooting. Now is also the time to to the 250 -volt DC range. (About a 500 -
explore right now, operating some AC- correct any corroded or loose grounds, volt range if you are dealing with a
DC sets with a burned -out pilot light or other questionable connections, you transformer -powered set.) Connect the
can lead to premature rectifier tube may have found during the inspection. negative probe to chassis ground and
heater failure. Before starting up your set, find an the positive probe to one of the rectifier


extension cord in good condition and cut
one of the two parallel wires. Connect
heater -socket contacts (either one).
You should read a small DC voltage
perhaps 25-50 volts.
If the radio you are trying to coax the free ends to an ordinary lamp sock-
into life is one that you plan to use or et. Screw the lowest wattage bulb you If not, the rectifier tube heater may

demonstrate frequently, you should have available into the socket and plug not be receiving enough voltage for the
strongly consider replacing all of the the radio into the cord. The lamp will be tube to conduct and provide DC to the
paper and electrolytic capacitors with in series with the line and the radio filter caps. Try a somewhat larger light -
new ones. This will eliminate a lot of when you plug the extension cord into bulb wattage and see what happens.
problems that could be waiting in the your isolation transformer (see last (Continued on page 65) 61


This session, the Circus is going to mum output at 880 nm) is aimed at the
spotlight circuits using a very 5K input window of the TSL245 (that's the
+5V DC
interesting and unique infrared light -to- FREQUENCY
small domed -bulge on the front of the
frequency converter integrated circuit. SQUARE -WAVE IC), with a spacing of about half inch.
The TSL245 IC, manufactured by Texas 3
The IR pair must be housed in a
Instruments, converts light intensity to R1 TSL245 light-tight enclosure. This step is very
frequency without any additional corn- 5V P -P
important, because any outside light
50 kHz -500 kHz
ponents or circuitry. 'SEE TEXT that reaches the photodiode will inter-
A pictorial and functional block dia- fere with the circuit's operation. The cir-
gram for the TSL245 is shown in Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Just apply sonie IR energy from the LED
cuit's lowest operating frequency is
Inside the three -legged CMOS chip is a and a square-wave output will result.
limited by the minimum amount of light
silicon photodiode, encased in a visi- that reaches the photodiode. In total
ble -light cutoff filter, along with a cur - PARTS LIST FOR THE LIGHT -
darkness, the circuit's output frequency
rent-to- frequency converter. The output VARIABLE SQUARE-WAVE can be less than 1 Hz. The circuit's low-
is a true 50% duty cycle square -wave GENERATOR (FIG. 2) est operating frequency occurs when
with frequency directly proportional to IC1- TSL245 infrared R2 is set to its maximum resistance
the light intensity hitting the photodi- light -to-frequency converter, integrated value and the LED's light output is at its
ode. The photodiode responds best to circuit (see sidebar) lowest level.
infrared light in the wavelength range LED1- Infrared light- emitting diode The square -wave generator circuit
of 800 nanometer (nm) to 1100 nm, but (Mouser part 512- QED223; Tel. 800-
may be modified to operate in the audio
is not blind to visible light (4000-7000 346- 6873), or similar
R1 -150 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
frequency range by increasing the
nm). (The TSL230 and TSL235 value of R2 to a 10k resistor or 20k
devices have a response range in the
R2- 5000 -ohm potentiometer
potentiometer. If the circuit fails to oper-
visible spectrum- Editor). The device ate at low frequencies, temporally
operates on a single supply source of LIGHT-VARIABLE SQUARE - remove power from the IR LED and
2.7 to 6 VDC with low power consump- WAVE GENERATOR check the output frequency. If it is
tion (5 mW) and is TTL compatible. Our first circuit, see Fig. 2, is a vari- above 50 Hz, there is a good possibility
(Since this device is rather unusual and able- frequency square -wave generator that outside light is reaching the photo -
may be difficult to find at your local that covers the frequency range of 50 diode. Shine a bright light at the circuit
parts store, the sidebar lists several kHz to about 500 kHz, using the poten- and check for a frequency increase. If
suppliers-including the author-who tiometer R2 as the frequency control. An no change occurs, the housing is light -
have this part available -Editor.) infrared (IR) LED (with specified maxi- tight. If an increase occurs, locate the
light leak and provide cover.

BODY DIMENSIONS Our next circuit, Fig. 3, places the
APPROXIMATELY TSL245 in a light- seeking circuit that
3/16 x 3/16 INCHES produces an audible output tone in
response to the level of IR -light hitting
the IC. Even though the IC has a built -
GND 2 in IR filter, additional filtering must be
Upn 3 used for the circuit to operate in the
A audio frequency range in normal ambi-
ent light. A suitable IR filter can be
made from the unexposed and devel-
oped ends of 35mm, or similar type,
film. The film ends will be very dark
B and may be stacked in as many layers
as necessary over the front of the IC
for the circuit to produce a 2- to a 8-
Fig.!. The unusual TSL245 light-to-frequency integrated circuit is illustrated in A. while B shows a kHz output tone in a room with normal
62 functional block diagram of the converter. light. The number of film layers used
(FIG. 3)
C1, C2-0.1 -F, ceramic -disc capacitor
C3- 0.001 -F, ceramic -disc capacitor
C4, C5- 100-F, 25-WVDC, electrolytic
IR LIGHT ICI -TSL245 infrared light -to- frequency
FILTER converter, integrated circuit (see sidebar)
IC2 -LM386 audio power amplifier,
integrated circuit (NTE823, S9210,
or equivalent)
R1- 100,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R2- 5000 -ohm potentiometer
SPKR1 -4 -ohm speaker
Miscellaneous -IR light filter material, etc.

Fig. 3. This fun- circuit produces an audio output whose pitch is proportional to the light falling
ICI- TSL245 infrared light -to-frequency
converter, integrated circuit (see sidebar)
PLASTIC PIPE LED1- Infrared light- emitting diode
TSL245 (Mouser part 512- QED223; Tel. 800-
346- 6873), or similar
R1- 10,000 -ohm potentiometer
R2- 470 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
TO CIRCUIT IN Miscellaneous -plastic pipe, etc. (see text)
FIG. 3
much ambient light enters the plastic
pipe, try painting the outside with a
flat -black paint.
R1 R2

*SEE TEXT Our next circuit, Fig. 5, adds a pho-
totransistor to the basic circuit in Fig.
3, turning it into a simple light- operated
Fig. 4. Add this tube with an adjustable LED -to -IC positioner, and you have an electronic trombone.
Theremin. For those not familiar with
this term, a Theremin is an unusual
will set the circuit's maximum operat- ELECTRONIC -TROMBONE musical instrument that is played with-
ing frequency. The lowest output fre- CIRCUIT out touching or contact; merely waving
quency will depend on the minimum Let's get into the music -making your hand near the circuit changes the
amount of light allowed to reach the mood and take a look at the circuit in pitch and volume of the output.
IC's photodiode. Fig. 4 -add it to the light- seeking dr- The phototransistor, 01, is connect-
Here's how the circuit operates and cuit in Fig. 3, and you have a fun elec- ed in a voltage- divider circuit between
what you can do with it. The ambient tronic- trombone circuit. The TSL245 is the output of ICI and the input to IC2.
light impinging upon IC1 causes the mounted in one end of a piece of 1/2- The ambient light level on Q1 sets the
TSL245 to produce an output, which is inch plastic pipe facing toward the pitch output level (when Q1 is dark or
coupled through C1, R1, and R2 to the opposite end. The area behind IC1 covered, this minimum light level sets
input of an LM386 audio power amplifi- must be sealed to prevent light from the maximum tone output). Light varia-
er IC. C3 bypasses the higher frequen- entering around the backside of the tions on IC1 determine the volume of
cies to ground. The amplifier drives a integrated circuit. The TSL245 con- the output level.
small 4 -ohm speaker. If you want to nects to the circuit in Fig. 3, as IC1. An Separate Q1 and IC1 by about ten
change the output frequency, wave IR LED is mounted in one end of a inches and use one hand to control the
your hand over the TSL245 and the plastic tube that snugly slides into 1/2- volume and the other for the tone.
reduction in light will lower the oscilla- inch pipe. As the LED moves in the Adjust potentiometer R1 for the best
tor's output frequency (or pitch). Block direction of the TSL245, the output fre- volume operating range. If too much
all of the light you can with your hand or quency goes up, and as the LED light is getting to the phototransistor,
any opaque object, and the tone will moves away from the IC, the frequen- place some IR filters over it, and adjust
drop to it lowest frequency. If you're cy drops accordingly. The oscillator's the number of filters for the best
musically inclined, try varying the light frequency range is set with poten- high /low pitch operating range. A simi-
level with your hand and see if you can tiometer R1-adjust it to operate with- lar procedure may be required for the
play a simple tune. in the audible frequency range. If too control of volume determined by IC1. 63

+5V DC
isolation between the high- impedance

L R1
saw -tooth waveform output generated
at IC3's pins 2 and 6, and the low input
resistance of the IR LED. As the volt-
50K age across capacitor C6 increases, the
Ici current through LED1 rises, producing
more light that in turn causes ICI's out-
put frequency to increase. The sweep
generator's frequency is set by R4, the
square -wave output frequency range
is controlled by R5, and the amplitude
R2 5 +
Q1 5K4 by R6.
C3 This audio -sweep generator can be
SPKR1 used to plot the output curve of an
audio filter, response of an amplifier to
'SEE TEXT a square -wave input, and in any other
Fig. 5. This unusual circuit functions as a light-operated Theremin musical instrument. Varying the test arrangement that requires this type
light upon the phototransistor and ICI sets the pitch and volume, respectively, of the output. of signal. Also there is a fun side to
using this circuit. You can play around
with the settings of potentiometers R4
THEREMIN INSTRUMENT (FIG. 5) Our next entry, see Fig. 6, places the like a number of different electronic
C1- 0.1 -F, ceramic -disc capacitor TSL245 in a light- driven audio -sweep siren circuits.
C2, C3- 100 -F. 25 -WVDC, electrolytic generator circuit. The IR LED and
capacitor TSL245 are located about 1/4-inch apart AUDIBLE LIGHT
C4- 0.005 -F, ceramic -disc capacitor face -to -face and housed in a light -tight COMPARATOR
IC1- TSL245 infrared light -to-frequency enclosure. Our last design for this visit is an
converter, integrated circuit (see sidebar) The circuitry following IC1 is essen- audible light comparison circuit shown
IC2 -LM386 audio power amplifier. in Fig. 7. This circuit operates some-
tially the same as was used in Fig. 3,
integrated circuit (NTE823, SK9210,
but in this circuit we're supplying a what like the old beat -frequency metal
or equivalent)
varying IR light source to control 101's locator's circuits that were popular in
Q1 -IR phototransistor (Mouser part 512-
QS0723; Tel. 800 -346- 6873), or similar output frequency. IC3, a 555 IC oscilla- the 1960s. The two TSL245 outputs
R1- 50.000 -ohm potentiometer tor /timer, is connected as a low -fre- are connected together through two
R2- 5000 -ohm potentiometer quency oscillator circuit operating at 10k isolation resistors and then through
SPKR1 -4 -ohm speaker about 1 Hz. Transistor Q1 is connected a common 10k mixing resistor. The
in an emitter -follower circuit that offers mixed signal output is tied to the high


+5V DC
25K C7
LED1' Cl
3 1

47052 220K
+5V DC I

2N3904 001



Fig. 6. In this circuit, the TSL245 IC is configured to produce an audio sweep generator-complete
64 with frequency, range, and amplitude controls.

same output frequency. The circuit is
+5v DC now in the zero -beat mode of operation,
R1 and no output tone will be heard. Place
a filter between each of the TSL245s
and the IR LED, and any difference in
the two filters will be indicated by the
'LEDI audio output tone.
R5 It looks like we're about out of
light at this Circuit Circus visit -so tune

in next month at the same time for

more circuitry.

(continued from page 61)

When you do succeed in measuring

some voltage at the tube pin, let the set
Fig. 7. Here two TSL245 ICs are arranged in an audible light compa,ator circuit. Any difference in sit in that condition for five or ten min-
light upon the photodiode area of these ICs will produce a notable audio signal from the speaker. utes. Then try yet a larger bulb to in-
crease the voltage still more -allowing
the set to operate at the higher level for
GENERATOR (FIG. 6) COMPARATOR (FIG. 7) If your old filter caps decide to fail,
Cl, C2- 0.1 -F, ceramic -disc capacitor C1- 0.01 -F, ceramic-disc capacitor shorting out the power supply, the light
C3- 0.001 -p.F, ceramic -disc capacitor C2, C3- 0.1 ceramic -disc capacitor
-1.1.F, bulb in the extension cord should sud-
C4, C5- 100-11F 25 -WVDC, electrolytic C4, C5- 100 -F, 25 -WVDC, electrolytic denly increase in brilliance, warning you
capacitor capacitor of the problem and absorbing power
C6, C7- 10 -F, 25 -WVDC, electrolytic IC1, IC2 -TSL245 infrared light-to- that would otherwise be destructive to
capacitor frequency converter, the set. Then your only recourse would
ICI-TSL245 infrared light -to- frequency integrated circuit (see sidebar)
be (at the very least) to install new filter
converter, integrated circuit (see sidebar) IC3 -LM386 audio power amplifier,
capacitors. But if no shorts develop, dis-
IC2- LM386 audio power amplifier, integrated circuit (NTE823, SK9210, or
equivalent) connect the extension cord, plug the
integrated circuit (NTE823, SK9210, radio directly into your isolation trans-
or equivalent)
LED1- Infrared light- emitting diode
(Mouser part 512 -QED223: Tel. 800- former, and tune around. Your set may
IC3-555- oscillator /timer, integrated circuit
346- 6873), or similar now be alive!
(NTE955M, SK3564, or equivalent)
R1- 470 -ohm, 114 -watt, 5% resistor Come back next month for the
LED1- Infrared light- emitting diode R4- 10,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5%
R2, R3, final installment in "Radio Repair for
(Mouser part 512 -QED223; Tel. 800- resistor
346- 6873), or similar
Dummies," when we will talk about giv-
R5, R6-5000 -ohm potentiometer ing your radio a complete recap job.
Q1- 2N3904 general -purpose NPN SPKR1 -4
-ohm speaker
transistor (NTE123AP, SK3584, or
R1-470 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor end of the 5k volume -control poten-
R2-220,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor tiometer. Capacitors C1 and C3 filter
R3- 2200 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor out the high frequency signals that are
R4- 50,000 -ohm potentiometer above the hearing range. If the two
R5- 25,000 -ohm potentiometer TSL245s are receiving the same light
R6 -5000 -ohm potentiometer intensity from the IR LED light source,
SPKR1 -4-ohm speaker LED1, their output frequency will be
very close, and the difference frequen-
SOURCES FOR THE TSL245 IC cy from the mixer will be low and easi-
Charles D. Rakes ly heard coming from the speaker. If
P. O. Box 445 something partially blocks the light
Bentonville, AR 72712 from either of the light detectors, the
Please send $2.80 per device to output of the partially blocked IC will go
cover part plus shipping down in frequency, and the resultant
audio -output pitch will go up in fre-
Newark Electronics
quency by the same amount.
Tel. 800 -463 -9275
The circuit may be used to compare
Equivalent part number:66F4572
and match various types of light filters.
Wyle Electronics Initially position the IR LED so both of
Tel. 800 -414 -4144 the TSL245s are receiving the same "What do you think, Marvin, does that void the
light input level-this will produce the warranty ?" 65

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(Continued on page 68)

Microcontrollers VI JEFF HOLTZMAN

L et's continue our exploration of

Atmel Corporation's AVR series
of microcontrollers. In this issue, we'll
Then we're ready to recycle:
What's the difference between shift and
rotate? When you shift, you stuff a 0
into one end of the register, let whatev-
look at implementing precise timing Now let's examine the code. First we er is in the opposite end of the register
delays. For a sample program, we'll load register 16 with $FE, which as we fall off into cyberspace, and move
create a scrolling display that sequen- just saw will turn on the right -most LED. everything else over one position. By
tially lights each LED on the Atmel Then we set the carry flag, delay for half contrast, when you rotate, you don't
development board for a precise peri- a second, shift the bit, and continue. stuff anything at one end or let anything
od of time. First we'll discuss the shift process, and "fall off." Instead, it's as if we connect
The entire program is shown in then the delay. one end of the register to the opposite
Listing 1; occupying only 22 bytes of Why do we set the carry bit? Where end through the carry flag of the CPU.
code, it's deceptively short and simple. is the shift instruction? What does That last point is important. That's why
Conceptually, what the program does "rol" do? we set the carry flag at the instruction
is shift a bit through a register, light the labeled LOOR. Doing so ensures that
corresponding LED, wait half a second, SHIFT VS. ROTATE we shift a 1 into the low bit of r16.
shift. light, wait, and loop. As a matter of fact, we're not actual- For the test program, we chose to
The first few lines of the program ly shifting the bit, we're rotating it. rotate left. If we used the instruction
are three assembler directives, that tell
the AVR assembler which chip it is
assembling for, and where in the chip's LISTING 1
Bit Rotation Test Program for Atmel AVR Microcontrollers
code -execution space to start assem-
bly. Then come several lines defining
.device AT90S1200
user -friendly names for the output port .cseg
(B), and timing -loop constants. ILC is .org 0
the Inner Loop Constant, and OLC is
the Outer Loop Constant. .equ DDRB = $17
Program execution begins at the line .equ PORTB =$18
labeled RESET. The first two lines there equ OLC = 0 ; outer loop count for delay routine
set up Port B for output by writing all 1s .equ ILC = 156 ; inner loop count for delay routine
to the data -direction register. The value
RESET: Idi r16, 255
255 decimal equals the value $FF
out DDRB, r16 set port B for all outputs
hexadecimal and the value 11111111
binary. Idi r16, $FE ; initially enable just the lowest bit
We use register 16 (r16 in the list- LOOP: sec
ing) as the container for the bit -shifting out PORTB, r16 ; turn on one LED
process. Whenever we want to light an
L ED, we must write a 0 to the corre- Idi r17, 5 ; wait 0.5 sec
sponding bit of the output port. So to LP1: rcall DELAY
light a single LED, what we do is load dec r17
the shift register (r16) with one zero brne LP1

and seven ones. To start the process

rol r16 ; rotate the bit
rolling, we load the register with $FE,
cpi r16, $FF if all bits not set
which is 11111110 in binary. In other brne LOOP , ... continue
words, we turn the right -most LED on dec r16 ; else set just the lowest bit
first. Then we continue shifting the zero rjmp LOOP ; loop forever
leftward, as follows:
11111110 DELAY: Idi r22, OLC delay for 1/10th second
11111101 DL1: Idi r23, ILC
11111011 DL2: rcall DUMMY ; waste 7 cycles
11110111 dec r23
brne DL2
dec R22
brne DL1
10111111 DUMMY:ret
01111111 67

TABLE 1 How do we know how long an expecting it to return unscathed, is ...
instruction takes? We get the number well ... not the safest type of coding. If
Basic Equations of clock cycles from the data book. Of we changed the delay loop to include
course, the actual amount of time some arithmetic instructions, the carry
Ici = 10 x (ILC 1) + 9 taken depends on the frequency of the flag could easily be affected.
Ico = ((Ici + 4) x (OLC 1)) + (LCI + 3) clock. If an instruction takes one clock I'm going to have a contest. Who-
clks = Ico + 8
cycle (as do most AVR instructions), ever can come up with the cleanest,
time = clks /f
and if the clock runs at 1 MHz, then the shortest, most flexible, most accurate,
Example time for one instruction is simply safest cycle- flipping AVR delay routine
t=4x106 is going to achieve everlasting fame in
ILC = 156 1 x (1/106) = 1 sec the pages of this magazine. Send your
OLC = 256 entries directly to me-and don't worry
Ici=10x(156-1)+9 In our case, the clock on the Atmel about the interrupt problem discussed
Ico = ((1559 + 4) x (256 1)) + (1559 + development board runs at 4 MHz, so below.
3) = 400,127 the single- instruction time is
clks = Ico + 8 = 400,135 INTERRUPTS
time = clks/f = (400,135)/(4,000,000) x /106) = 4 sec
4 (1 Another thing to consider is inter-
rupts. We're not dealing with interrupts
Calculating time delays can he tricky, hut it So what's the total time for the loop yet, so we don't have to worry about
helps if you break things down into chunks as beginning at DELAY? As shown in them. However, take a minute to con-
shown here. /LC and OLC are constants; Ici Table 1, it is a smidgen over 1/10 sec- sider what would happen if an interrupt
stands for Loop Count Inner, and !co stands for ond (0.100003375 to be exact). That's occurred in the middle of the DELAY
Loop Count Outer. accurate enough for our purposes, but loop. Depending on how much time it
it might not be in all cases. For exam- took to service the interrupt, the delay
"ror," what do you think would have ple, a real -time clock display would could be seriously affected. For exam-
happened? Bingo! The bit, hence the gradually run faster and faster. ple, like the return from subroutine
lit LED, would move right. Do we gain ( "reti ") instruction, a return from inter-

anything by doing a rotate instead of a MAKING IT BETTER rupt ( "reti ") takes four clock cycles. The
shift? That's for you to find out! The code as shown works, but it AVR chips have built -in timer counters.
could be better. First, there's an easy The AVR chips have power -down and
DELAY way to squeeze four bytes from the sleep modes. Hmmmm...
Depending on the needs of your routine. Second, setting the carry flag See you next month and send your
application, producing precise time just before calling a subroutine, and delay- routine entries to jeff@a ingeninc.
delays in this type of device can be corn.
tricky. The technique used here is about VENDOR INFORMATION
as simple as you can get, but you lose NEW PRODUCTS
several things in the process. Basically Atmel Corporation (continued from page 66)
we just get the CPU to spin its wheels, 2325 Orchard Parkway
waste time, do nothing. It works like San Jose, CA 95131 as magnified 2x on the camera's LCD
Tel. 408 -441 -0311
this. Look at the line of code labeled screen. In the editing mode, users may
Web: www.atmel.com
DELAY. choose to delete, protect, or transfer
Part Numbers:
The routine uses two registers, r22 images between the camera and a PC
AT90S1200-16PC is the 16 -MHz 1200 in a
and r23. One (r22) holds an outer loop 20-pin DIP package. or printer.
count; the other (r23) holds an inner AT90S8515 -8PC is the 8 -MHz 8515 in a The camera has automatic white
loop count. First we load the loop count 40 -pin DIP package. balance, adjustable exposure control
registers with constant values; we'll ATMC000100 is the evaluation board. ( 2 steps), and manual shutter control

show how to calculate the values between 1/7.5 to 1/1000 frames per
momentarily. At the point labeled DL2, Arrow/Schweber Electronics second. The DSC -F1's camera lens
we start decrementing the inner loop Tel. 800 -833 -3557 and flash are located on the upper por-
count register (r23). Each time r23 goes tion of the camera body, and they pivot
to a value of zero, we decrement the to allow shooting in a variety of angles.
Web: www.avrone.com
outer loop count register (r22). Finally, It includes a wide -angle lens, as well as
when it hits zero, we return to the call- DonTronics a macro setting that focuses as close
ing routine. Web: www.dontronics.com as three inches from a subject. The
Note the instruction: "rcall DUMMY." camera sells for $499.
What it does is call a "routine" that sim- Marshall Industries For more information, contact Sony
ply returns. In other words, we just Tel. 800 -833 -9910 Electronics, Inc., Information Tech-
waste time. We could insert NOP (no Web: www.marshalLcom nologies of America, 3300 Zanker
operation) instructions, but they take Road, San Jose, CA 95134; Tel. 800-
only one clock cycle apiece. By doing Pioneer Standard Electronics 352 -7669; Web: www.sony.com /image.
Tel. 216- 587 -3600
the dummy call /return, we use seven CIRCLE 82 ON FREE
Web: www.pios.com
68 clock cycles in only two bytes of code. INFORMATION CARD

Supplement to Popular Electronics
PoPillar ctmnicS October 1998

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Remote control Built -in 150MHz
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No Soldering Required SG -9200 Analog No counter 5119.95

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Model 2125A with delayed sweep 20MS /s Sampling Rate S -1345 $569
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AC. TVH. TVV and line Coupling S-1360 5749 Component Tester DS-203 20MHz $695
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Analog with Delayed Sweep Analog / Digital Storage

Compact low profile despn S -1340 $475
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/ S -1330 $439
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1.05GHz Serles
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BK2630A '2595 B &K Precision Multimeter Specials Disturbance indicator
Accurately measures capacitance, resistance and 50,000 court
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inductance. 0.025% DCV
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FETs, SCRs and darlingtons.
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0.2Hz to 20MHj
AM & FM modulation
2MHz Sweep Function Generator
Burst Operation Digital Multimeter
External Frequency
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counter to 30MHz
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10MHz B &K 0017 5309
$399 0 -30V @ 3A, 15V @ 1A, 5V @2A
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DMM -22 ($89.95): 4000counb, bar graph, Freq,
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Built-in delay line Lade input,CH I output Auto track, serial parallel Current regulation <0.2% 100ponnt program(PPS ser) Sne/Squ/rii/pulsefRamp
Z-axis mput,CH I output 1000V, 20A, 0.5 %accu
TV eyes., trigger level Comt volt, current mode PS: 2 analog or I digital disp 5Opoint program(PPT ere.)
TV syn., trigger level loci FC -8016G ($239.95) DM-1848($339.95) 33A dgt
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DM- 11155($649.95) 51/2 dgt
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top 582.00 (AD. maw NOON owner. as of air
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DIAGNOSTIC CUBES FOR ALL CONVERTERS! The Electronic Experimenter's Journal
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Call 800- 577 -8775
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BAS C We handle NEW equipment ONLY - Don't trust last ye ,,r's OBSOLETE and UNSOLD stock!
ELECTRICAL HOURS: Monday- Saturday 9 -5 C.S.T.
SUPPLY t It is not the Intent of R F S. W. to defraud an pay tetvnton operator an
Refs to Sales
vr_ rill not rsslst
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any company or individual in dortnq the same

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CIr3CtF_ t r?EE INF(;NrAgli'H .pFli

Check Out bs/t/ve Photo ResistP Sens/tizre
Printed Circuit Bawds
What These pre- sensitized printed circuit
boards are ideal for small produc-
tion runs. They provide high resolution
We and excellent line width control. High
sensitive positive resist coated on ioz.
Haue opper foil allows you to go direct from
your computer plot or art work layout. No
To Offer: S/np/e- S/obd, 1cw
need to reverse art.
Foil on Paper Phenolic Subs ttete PRICE EACH
CAT NO 1 10 50
Fantastic OMM Other/11 PP101 100mm x 150mm/3.91" x 5.91" $2.55 $1.90 $1.70
Don't let the price fool you. This meter is a digital PP114 114mm x 165mm/4.6" x 6.6"
multimeter designed for engineers and hobby- 2.98 2.45 1.98
ists. Equipped with 5 functions and 19 ranges.
PP152 150mm x 250mm/5.91" x 9.84" 5.40 3.98 3.60
PP153 150mm x 300mm/5.91" x 11.81" 6.15 4.48 4.10
Each test position is quickly and easily selected Our PP1212 305mm x 305mm/12" x 12"
with a simple turn f the FUNCTION /RANGE 12.78 10.65 8.52
selector rotary switch. Best S/ng/e- S/drd, 1os CooperFal/onF/blerg/eesSubstrate
Rubber Boot Offer PRICEEACH
Display 3 -1/2 Digit LCD, 21mm Figure Height
Ever 1 50
with Automatic Polarity
on a GS101 100mm x 150mm/3.91" x 5.91" $ 3.90 $2.98 $2.60
Overran de indication: 3 Least Signifi-
cant Digits lank GS114 114mm x 165mm/4.6" x 6.6" 4.80 3.49 3.20
Temperature for Guaranteed Accuracy: GS152 150mm x 250mm/5.91" x 9.84" 8.69 5.98 5.78
23 Ct5 C RH <75 % GS153 150mm x 300mm/5.91" x 11.81" 10.20 7.20 6.80
Temperature Ranges: High GS1212 305mm x 305mm/12" x 12" 18.88 15.73 12.59
Operating: 0 C to 40 C (32 F to 104 F) Quality Double-Skied, bas Copper Fo//onF/beig/essSubstrate
Storage: -10 C to 50 C (14 F to 122 F) Fu11 Sized PRICE EACH
Power: 9V Alkaline or Carbon -Zinc
Low Battery Indication: BAT on Left of
LCD Display
1900 any qty
GD101 100mm x 150mm/3.91" x 5.91" $ 5.07
GD114 114mm x 165mm/4.6" x 6.6"

10 50
$3.68 $3.38
4.29 3.99
Dimensions188mm long x 87mm wide x Resistance (n) GD152 150mm x 250mm/5.91" x 9.84" 10.47 7.39 6.98
Range: Resolution' Accuracy'
33mm thick
2000 100m2 GD153 150mm x 300mm/5.91" x 11.81" 11.95 8.69 8.30
Net Weight: 400g 01212 305mm x 305mm/12" x 12"
20000 152 22.09 18.35 14.68
DC Voltage (DCV) 20K52 100 t(1.2 %rdg+2dgts)
Range: Resolution: Accuracy: 200KO 1000
200mV 100pV
2000mV 1mV
2000KO 11(.0 Exposure System
(1%rdg+2dgts) 20MO 10K52 t(2 %rdg +l0dgts)
20V 10mV Just place your presensitized board and artwork
Maximum Open Circuit Voltage: 2.8V centered under the exposure fixture. Place the
200V 100mV
1000V 1V
Diode Test convenient acrylic sheet over the board and
Maximum Allowable Input: 1000V DC Measures forward voltage drop of a artwork to hold everything in place. Turn on light.
or Peak AC. semiconductor junction in mV test cur- Voila! Exposure takes about 5 minutes. Kit includes
Current (DCA)
Range: Resolution: Accuracy:
200A 100nA
rent of 1.5mA Max.
Measures transistor hFE.
one fluorescent tube, stand and acrylic weight.
2000A pA x(1.2 %rdg +2dgts) Frequency Range: 45Hz -450Hz

Maximum Allowable Input 750V rms

Exposes boards in about 5 minutes!
20mA 10pA Convenient acrylic sheet to hold board in place during exposure
200mA 100pA (1.2%rdg+2dgts) Response: Average Responding. Cali-
10A 10mA brated in rms of a Sine Wave. (12.5" x 8.5 ")
Overload Protection: mA Input. 2A/250V AC Voltage (ACV) Fluorescent light fixture with plastic cover designed to aid in
fuse. Range: Resolution: Accuracy: proper light refractions for even exposure
200V 100mV t(1.2%nig+l0dgts)
750V 1V
CAT NO DESCRIPTION 416 -X Fluorescent Exposure System
PRICE $31.95
9300G Rugged High Quality DMM with Rubber Boot $19.00 416 3 Extra Replacement Fluorescent Tube 16.95

Positive PhotofabrIcat/on Kit Etch/n0yTank This handy etching system

Make your own PCB's will handle-PC boards up to 8' x 9 ", two at a time.
Ideal for etching your PCB's! System includes an
Kit includes the basic items needed to air pump for etchant agitation, a thermostatically
fabricate pre- sensitized printed circuit controlled heater for keeping etchant at optimum
boards (does not include artwork). Also temperature and a tank that holds 1.35 gallons of
included is a basic process guide to assist etchant. A tight fitting lid is also supplied to prevent
the user in the basics of exposing, developing and etching a PCB. evapora .n when system is not being used. Typical etching time is
All items fit conveniently in the plastic development tray, and a reduced to 4 minutes on ioz. copper board!
tight fitting lid is included for handy storage. Additional
recommended supplies for fabricating PCB's are: exposure bulb, REDUCES CAT NO DEscRpTION PRICE
etchant tank, eye protection, art-work, paper towels. ETCHING TIME! 12-700 Etch Tank System $37.95
Kit Includes Deve %erThis product is used as the developer
1each 3 "x5" pre- sensitized single sided PCB on our p sltive photo- resist printed circuit boards.
1each 4 "x6" pre- sensitized single sided PCB Includes instructions. 50 gram package, mixxeess with

6 "x6" pre- sensitized
500m1 developer liquid
single sided PCB
new! 1- water, makes 1 quart.
1 each 500m1 ferric chloride etching liquid
P06DEV Positive Developer $ .95 $ .80
2 each foam brushes $ .50
1 each
plastic development tray
rubber gloves
Etching Chem/ca/s/Ferrrc Chloride
A dry co entrate that
mixes with water to make pint 1
1 each instruction sheet of etchant, enough to etch 400 sq.
inches of 1oz board. PRICE EACH
416-K Photofabrication Kit ER-3 Makes 1 pint
$27.95 $3.50 $2.75


It's chock full of all types of electronic equipment and supplies.
We've got I.C.'s. capacitors, resistors, pots, inductors, test
1911 602-464 -2485 equipment, breadboarding supplies, PC supplies, indus-
51" 602 -464 -5824 FAXI trial computers, data acquisition products, personal
computers and computer parts, plus much, much more. FAX
WE ACCEPT: us your name and address or call 800 -811-
5203, eat. 5, to leave a message on our catalog request line.

Color Weather Proof Bu//et Camera CCD Dome Camera with Audio
B &W DOME camera with integrated microphone. Ideal security
1/3" CCD with removeable rotation capable
system application. 12 VDC operation.
mounting bracket
new! ior
Image Device. 1/3" interline transfer CCD
Image Sensor: Interline transfer CCD 1/3" Picture Elements: EIA= 542(H)x492(V)
format 2:1 Interlace
512(H)x492(V) ixels/NTSC Scanning System:
Effective Pixel: Internal
512(H)x582(V) pixels/PAL Synchronization System:
2 : 1 interlaced Horizontal Resolution: 380 TV Lines
Scanning System:
Sync System: Internal sync Sensitivity: Under 0.3 LUX
Sync Pulse: 15.734KHz +1 %(H)/15.625KHz Electronic Iris (linear): EIA = 1/60 -1/100,000 sec
+1 %(H) Video Output: 1.0vp -p, 75 ohm
59.94Hz +1%(V)/ 50Hz +1 %(V) S/N Ratio: More than 50dB
Sub-Carrier 3.57 MHz +30ppm Power Supply: 12V DC (x20 %)
Resolution: 400 TV lines (H) Gamma: r=1
S/N Ratio: More than 46dB (typ) Power Consumption: 110 mA max
Gamma Characteristics: 0.45 Operating Temp.: -10C - +50 C
Min. Illumination: 1LUX(F1.210IRE) Operating Humidity: RH 95% Max
Video Out: Composite video signal :
1.0V p-p Weight:
Applied Lens: 3.6mm -92 , 4.3mm -78
White Balance: Auto white balance
Electronic Shutter: 1/60 - 1/100,000 SEC(N) 1/50 - AI /EE/Flicker Less/Mirror Image: Jump soldering selection
1/100,000 SEC (P) oc-a twat :rto Audio Pick -up Sensitivity: -60dB (0dB =1 V /uber)
Power Supply: DC 12V + 10% Audio Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
ICUIgg Audio S/N Ratio: More than 40dB
Power Consumption: 240mA (typ)
Lens: 4mm (78 or 92 degree) F : 2.0 . rto oornrt :aa Audio Output Level: 1Vp -p /600 ohm
Ambient Operating Temp: -5 deg. C +40 Deg. C Dimensions: 87 x 55.5mm PRICE EACH
Ambient Storage Temp: -10 Deg. C +50 Deg. C RH 95% 5

Dimension: 2 1/8" (L) x 1 1/4 (D) WDDB-6500 B &W Dome Camera $144.00 $129.00
Weight: 3 oz. PRICE EACH
CAT NO DESORPTION 1 5 1/3" CCD Board Cameras
WDB-5407S Color Water Tight Bullet Camera $299.00 $269.00 Available with PINHOLE LENS with AUDIO: STANDARD LENS with AUDIO:
underwater use
(water tight for outdoor use, not suitable for sustained and STANDARD LENS with INFRA -RED and AUDIO. These are the world's
smallest commercially available CCD board cameras'
CCD Bullet Cameras st
World's Stnaire st 9 w Board Cameras
Available with standard or pinhole lens. Virtually new./ Specifications
indestructible bullet shaped casing. This sleek B&W
camera can be mounted on walls or ceilings along > - ' Image Pick -Up Device
Picture Elements
1/3" CCD area Sensor
EIA= 512(H) x 492(V)
narrow corridors or virtually any location for virtually any surveillance Pixel Pitch EIA=9.6UM (H) x 7.5M (V)
application. 0.5 lux minimum illumination with 380 lines of resolution. Scanning System 2 :1 Interlace
Even includes a built -in electronic iris for automatic light Scanning Frequency EIA=525 lines, 60 field/sec (II) 15.750
compensation. KHz x 60 HK
Features Resolution 430 Lines
Extremely low power consumption Minimum Illumination 0.03LUX
S/N Ratio 45DB
No blooming, no burning 4.3mm standard, 5mm pinhole
Lens Mounting
0.5 LUX minimum illumination Video Output 1.0 VP- P/7500HM composite signal
CCD area image sensor for long camera life Power Requirement 8 -12 VDC (9VDC standard)
Ultra small size allows for simple application and installation Power Consumption 100mA WDS-1006
Built -in electronic auto iris for automatic light compensation Operating Temperature -20C -+ 70 C RH 95% Max
Ultra compact camera Storage Temperature -40C -= 85 C RH 95% Max
Specifications Audio Pick-Up Sensitivity -60 DB (0DB = I B/UBAR. 1 KNZ)
Image Pick-Up Device: 1/3" CCD area sensor Audio Frequency Range 20 Hz to 20KHz
No. of Pixels: EIA = 512(H) x 492(V) Audio S/N Ratio More than 35DB
Pixel Pitch: EIA = 9.6uM(H) x 7.5uM Audio Output Level 1VP -P /600 OHM
Scanning System: EIA =525 lines, 60 field/sec Dimensions
Sync System: Internal sync WDP -2000 30mm (H) x 30mm (W)
H . Resolution: 430 TU line
400 TU line WDS -2005 30mm (H) x 30mm (W)
V. Resolution:
Usable Illumination: 0.5 Lux F1.6 WDI -4000 44mm (H) x 30mm (W) PRICE EACH
S/N Ratio: More than 48dB CAT NO DEBCRPTION 1 5
Gamma Characteristic: 0.45 WDP -2000 1/3" B&W Pinhole Lens with Audio $89.00 $77.00
Video Output: 1.0 - 1.1 up -p 75 Ohm 89.00 77.00
Electronic Shutter Time: EIA=1/60 - 1/50,000 sec WDS -2005 1/3' B&W Standard Lens with Audio
Lens F No. Focal Length: STD 1.6 Open / 4.3mm(78 deg) Pinhole: 4.3 fixed/
WDI -4000 1/3" B&W Infra -RED with Audio 89.00 77.00
2.Bmm(91.4 deg) WDPH-55BW Plastic Housing Option for B &W Board 13.00 12.00
Power Consumption: DC 9V (8 -10V), 110mA WDS -2005 ONLY)
Operational Temp.: -10 deg - +50 deg C RH95% max
Cameras (WDP -2000 &
Storage Temp: -20 deg - +60 deg C RH95% max
Dimensions: STD : 22mm(W) x 22mm(H) x 38mm(D) Pinhole:
Weight 35g
22mm(W) x 22mm(H) x 30mm(D)
$129.00 CIRCUIT SPECIALISTS, INC. 800- 811 -5203
Standard Lens Version $144.00
129.00 602- 464 -2485
WDB-07P Pinhole Lens Version 144.00
SINCE 1971 602- 464- 5824(FAX)
WDP -07S /water Standard Lens Weather Proof 169.00
XYTRONICS transformer and only 24 Vac voltage
ESDSafeSo/deringStatIons I 132 is used to drive the heating element.
ESD Safe. Exceeds all soldering
Auto -Temp 136ESD & Auto -Temp 137ESL Standard Tip equipment military specifications
Meets applicable military standards regarding electro static sensitive
ESD safe featuring Ceramic heating element and state of the art devices for critical applications.
Lock -Out Feature: Constructed with
P. T. C. sensor to ensure accurate temperature performance a lock -out feature to allow
Features supervisors only to set and lock
Fine Tune Temperature from 150 C (300 F) through 450 C (850 F) without ^
specific soldering temperatures.
unnecessary tip or heating element changes. 137 ESD w/ Digital RIO Accomplished via alocatedspecial sized
Precision *Tip Tern re" accuracy Is mastered to within x3 C (6 F) using state allen head screw on the
of the art circuit technology and a built-in P.T.C. sensor located at the top
o each front panel.Superlor High Insulation ceramic heater provides insulation rated over
100Mohms at 750" F. Optional SMD Tip Series for re -work applications. Range of
ceramic heater shaft for fail safe accuracy.
Fast Heat Up & Reeovsry A long life Japanese made ceramic heating element Interchangeable Tips Available for maximum system flexibility.
facilitates fast heat up, fast recovery and exacting temperature control with SEE wwdiclomFOR
working temperature is attained in about 45
minimal overshoot. Heat -up time to REPLACEMENTIRONS ANDSMDTIPS,
seconds.Sptks Free Circuit. "Zero voltage switching and fully grounded design PRICE EACH
meets military application standards for protection of electrosensitive devices
against line transience and voltage spikes. Tip leakage is less than 0.4 my or 0.5 CAT NO DESORPTION 1 5
ohm resistance.Extsrnal Calibration Port A calibration port is located on the face $99.00 $88.00
of the unit thus temperature adjustments are quick and convenient. 136ESD Electronic Temp Controlled ESD Safe
Lightweight Soldering Iron. Ergonomic mini handle that stays "cool ". Handle Soldering Station
assembly cord is made from silicone rubber that won't be damaged when coming 129.00 114.00
137ESD Electronic Temp Controlled ESD Safe
into contact with high temperature irons.
soleted Power Unit. The power unit is isolated from the AC line by a high quality
Soldering Station w! Digital Readout 91

The latest High Tech
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Our latest catalog offers a HUGE
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Build your own Descramblers for Cable and Sub-
waukee, WI 53202. (414) 860 -1471.
bug/phone tap detectors, voice scription TV. Instructions, schematics for SSAVI,
disguisers, locksmithing tools, Gated Sync, Sinewave, $12.95, $2 postage.
CABLETRONICS, Box 30502PE, Bethesda, MD
vehicle tracking, wireless video, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES 20824.
and much more. Wholesale /retail.
We will not be undersold. EASY WORK! EXCELLENT PAY! Assemble Prod-
ucts At Home. Call Toll Free 1-800 -467-5566 ext.
Catalog $5.00 or
$400 WEEKLY ASSEMBLING Electronic circuit CB Radio Modifications! Frequencies, kits, high -
SPY OUTLET boards/products from home. For free information performance accessories, books, plans, repairs,
PO Box 337, Buffalo NY 14226 send SASE: Home Assembly -PE Box 216 New amps, 10Meter conversions. The best since 1976!
(716) 691- 3476/(716) 695-8660 Britain, CT 06050 -0216. Catalog $3.00. CBCI, Box 31500PE, Phoenix, AZ

CABLE TV SECRETS www.cabletvsecrets.com
or $9.95 Box 527 Pataskala, OH 43062.
CARL 256-259 -0361.

SA Compare to Cable CONFUSED ?? Descramblers. Will explain all your

options, all makes and models avl. Dealers are wel-

come. Open 6 days 9AM till 7PM EST, Toll Free#
(888)238 -0967. ROYAL ENGINEERING INC.
Universal Box is here now.
New Computers and parts at wholesale prices.
www.techass.com Toll free 1- 877-tec -hass. We
will ship all parts and computers.
CABLE TV Descramblers. One piece units. Pio-
neer 6310's, Scientific Atlanta 8580's, DPV7's and MISC. ELECTRONICS
others. Lowest prices. Money back guarantee.
Precision Electronics Houston, TX 1-888 -691- FOR SALE
8-739-4879 1010 Frontier Dr.
18- 739-5231 Fergus Falls, MN 56537 4610. FANTASTIC Self running motors, generators and
Coll Now 800 -500 -9275 WHOLESALE and volume pricing. Boss units anti -gravity. Free information. Energy Research,
www. ,kyowon. cos, OSkyvisioTi and Seemores compatible with all systems. Box 1514 Jackson, CA 95642.
C.O.D. Call and compare prices 1 -888- 762 -2253. RF TRANSISTORS AND TUBES. 2SC2879,
Rates: Write National, Box 5, Sarasota, FL 34230
Bewildered about descramblers? Call for fast
friendly explanation on your cable needs.
MRF454, MRF422, 2SC1969, 2SB754, SD1446,
3- 500ZG, 3CX3000A7, 4CX250B, WESTGATE
Same day shipping or shipping is free. Tech. 800 -213 -4563.
support with all orders. Call Toll free 1 -888-
ments from Insurance Settlements, Annuities, and 221 -8365. Global Electronics M -Sat. 9am -8pm.
Class Action Awards. We also buy Owner Financed PLANS -KITS -SCHEMATICS
Mortgage Notes. Call RAP Capital at 1 -800-338 -5815, LOOK no further for converters and accessories.
Ext. PE500. Best picture lowest prices. Buy direct and save. HEALTH COMPANY is selling photocopies of most
MONEYMAKING OPPORTUNITIES Superior Technologies 1- 888 -922 -0671. Healthkit manuals. Only authorized source for
HOME ASSEMBLERS EARN $15 -835 Hourl Send
stamped envelope: TRDLPE, 1317 Pine, Apopka, FL UNIVERSAL cable converter. 6 month warranty. copyright manuals. Phone: 616 -925 -5899, 8-4 ET.
GHOST Electronics (414- 617 -0724) No Wisconsin ELECTRONIC PROJECT KITS: 49 McMichael St,
sales. Kingston, ON., K7M 1M8. $3.00 catalog. www.gkits.
LONG AGO RADIO. Over 7000 old radio programs
available on cassette/CD's. Free sample catalog: Toll CABLE TV EQUIPMENT & ACCESSORIES. corn. QUALITY KITS.
free 1-877-Long-Ago, www.longagoradio.com Wholesalers Welcome! 30 Day Moneyback Guar-
DVD PLAYERS for a $1.00. Send cash only non- refund- antee! Free Catalog! PROFORMANCE ELEC- MONITORS MADE SIMPLE. Learn to repair com-
able, plus 2 unused 328 stamps for more information puter monitors! Case studies, illustrations, parts
to: D. Jimenez, P.O. Box 624, Yuma, AZ 85366. TRONICS, INC. 1- 800 -815 -1512.
sources, manufacturers included! 136 pages, soft -
THERAPY MAGNETS - How they enhance healing and CABLE TV Signal Eliminator - Powerful, user
relieve pain. FREE audio tape: 888-554-9144. cover, $19.95 + $2.50 shipping. Order today!
tunable filter for removing severe interference OR Send check or money order to Pikes Peak Press
unwanted channels! Eight models, for channels 321 W. Henrietta Ave. P.O. Box 1801, Woodland
(2-3)(4-6)(7- 13)(14- 17)(18 -22)(23 -29)(30 -36)(95- Park, CO 80866. (719)687-1499.
99). Each $30, add $4 S/H. Quantity discounts.
Money back guarantee. Visa, Mastercard or check. CATALOG: Broadcasting /micro transmitters,
COD $5 extra. Website http: / /starcircuits.com /tv amplifiers, antennas. Start your own radio station
filter. Star Circuits, PO Box 94917, Las Vegas, NV books. Audio, TV, Ham, CB, Surveillance, Science
89193. 1- 800-433 -6319. projects and more. www.panaxis.com PAN -COM
Intl, PO Box 130 -10, Paradise, CA 95967.
CABLEBOX descramblers, activators, testchips.
RS -232 Instrumentation chips /kits. Pocket Test-
Low prices. All questions welcome. Toll free (888)
bench. Rapid construction protoboards. Oricom
205 -6987. MCNisa/COD. E.B. INTERNATIONAL.
Technologies, (303)444 9776, www.sni.net/- oricom.
Free Cable Descramble Plans. For Details Write:
Sierra Publishing, 909 E. Yorba Linda Blvd., Suite
H -181, Dept PET, Placentia, CA 92870. SATELLITE EQUIPMENT
FREE TV CABLE CATALOG. Revolutionary new
products. Converters, Full viewing boxes, Gold FREE CATALOG - Satellite TV /GPS -DIY. Technical
or Silver, that do all boxes. Open 7 days a week. Books, Installation Videos, Computer Analysis
1- 800 -676 -6342. Software www.baylin.com 800 -843 -2425.
SKYVISIONI Your Satellite Home Entertainment
Source. Best values: DBS and C /Ku -band equip-
ment, including 4DTV. Most complete selection:
Parts-Tools- Upgrades -Accessories! Free Discount
Buyer's Guide. Call 800 -543-3025. International
218-739 -5231. www.skyvision.com.

DSS Hacking: How to construct and program smart

cards, with pic16C84, PCB layout, Complete DSS
system schematics, $16.95. Software $25. T shirt
with "DSS Smart Card" PCB layout on front, $12.95.
CABLETRONICS Box 30502PE, Bethesda, MD
20824. *
1- 800 -543 -3568
ncludes Cross -Reference for:
Video Heads " Camcorder Batteries
w /order
$5.00 value

rsAVE 5100o's
The Nationwide
for cable


TV equipmen

1V Cable

* Telephone Batteries' Flybacks Magic
Open Every may
" PLUS: "NEW" Semiconductor
Cross -Reference Information
SECURITY Systems and Surveillance Camera CONSOUO/ITED
Equipment. Do it yourself and save. Camera's, E L E C T R O N I C S
705 Watervliet Ave
Monitor's, VCR's, Motion and Glassbreak Detector's,
PO Box 20070
Control Panel's, Siren's, more. www.a1security.com. Dayton, OH 45420-0070
Visit us on the WEB!
TEST EQUIPMENT http: //www.ceitron.com CALL NOW!
Wmba Beer 9utMU enw
30 Day
Check our web site for greater savings. MEGA EIECTROf1ICS Trial!
Large assortment of used test equipment for sale. Low pricing now on -line!
Request catalog or visit our website. Stevenson e -mail: cei @ceitron.com
1 -800- 676-6342 yea Mc COD

Equipment Company 609-888 -2846 Fax: 609-

888-2847 http: / /www.stevensonlabs.com.
IWATSU 5711 O- Scope, 100MHZ $1200 OBO.
The Pocket Pro rammer
HP547A Current Tracer $650 OBO. HP Thinkjet PROGRAMMERS 129.95
The portable
a?- that uses the
seisms. printer port of
your PC
instead of a
BUY where the dealers buy. Guaranteed lowest internal card.
price. Starting at $39.99. Descrareblers for all CALL ADVANTECH LABTOOL 599 EETOOLS SIMMAX
Easy to use software that programs
systems, makes, and models. Dealers welcomed,
650 EETOOLS ALLMAX + 359 MOD -MCT- EMUPA/R EIElprom, Flash & Dallas Ram. 271C)/
quantity discounts. Call now 1- 800-586 -9920. 409 EETOOLS MEGAMAX 279 MOD - MCT-EMUP/R 28(C)IF1/291CIIFI/25 series from 16K to 8
Megabit with a 32 pin socket. Adapters
available for MCU's 874X, 875X, Pic, 40-

Pin X 16 & Serial Eprom's, PLCC, 5 -Gang
165 XELTEK ROMMASTER II 89 EPROM 1G TO BMEG and Eprom Emulator to 32K X 8.
INVENTORS: Free information package and ini- 479 MOD -MCT -EMUPA 129 EPROM 4G TO BMEG
tial phone consultation. Attorney JP Halvonik, 739 STAG ORBIT -32 250 EPROM 8G TO 8MEG Same Name, Address & Phone N for
Washington DC area 800- 876 -6670. 13 Years - -.. Isn't it Amazing 7
4eMrmwar Intronics, Inc.