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NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SNARE SMUGGLERS

r NOVEMBER 1998

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CIRCLE 133 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
Vol. 69 No. 11

C NTENTS
NOVEMBER 1 9 9 8
ON THE COVER TECHNOLOGY
13 PROTOTYPE

31 A SOLAR- POWERED ROBOT BUG

you are a fan of science fiction, you know that the


If
literature is full of tales of robots. In most cases, those
-ea
New technology to catch smug-
robots are creatures that faithfully mimic the behaviors
of a living creature
Man. Well, while such
-
NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SNARE SMUGGLERS
glers, ultra small computers, a
lab on a chip, and more.

41 MBIUS CIRCUIT
robots are still science
fiction, robots them- N crams, It aisle, R MU
M pN, et aEalrfeEtrtrw
selves are very real
and have been for Robot
some time. Most are Bug
The current mirror, a basic IC
industrial devices that New technology
for cart c
dar mete en
building block, has some
perform repetitive MI More

tasks either under


Accidents
lenn voul

Mohan Circuit
'singubxtry
.a ne
-
interesting properties.
Skip Campisi
direct control of a ana now to ose it in you, next tlestge
45 FAST BUT FORGOTTEN
mon out el e- of ewe
person or by following
Get
most Molar meal !nixie
when gee Wilde
It's one of the
Speed Misr fear The fastest display
a set program. But wpRSpeed lege Adrrser
devices available,
there is another, more
yet few modern
interesting class of robot -the kind that reacts to its engineers have
environment just like simple creatures do. While such ever seen a
robots are a far cry from the robots of fiction, if human-
like robots ever become real, these robot creatures - -
sampling oscilloscope.
Tom Napier

including the subject of this month's cover story -will be No MORE ACCIDENTS
remembered as their early ancestors. David Williams - 48
Here's how engineers hope to
some day eliminate dangerous

-
intersection accidents.
Bill Siuru

As a service to readers, ELECTRONICS NOW publishes available plans or information relating to newsworthy products, techniques
and scientific and technological
NOW disclaims any
developments. Because of possible variances in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship used by readers, ELECTRONICS
based upon or from plans or information published in this magazine.
responsibility for the safe and proper functioning of reader -built projects
NOW disclaims any liability for
Since some of the equipment and circuitry in ELECTRONICS NOW may relate to or be covered by U.S. patents, ELECTRONICS
interested in such projects consult a
the infringement of such patents by the making, using, or selling of any such equipment or circuitry, and suggests that anyone
patent attorney.
Farmingdale, NY 11735-
ELECTRONICS NOW, (ISSN 1067 -9294) November 1998. Published monthly by Gernsback Publications, Inc., 500 Bi- County Boulevard,
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N O V E M B E R 1 9 9 8
BUILD TH I

Electronics
Now
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CIRCLE 150 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD

www.americanradiohistory.com
READERS' QUESTIONS, EDITORS' ANSWERS
CONDUCTED BY MICHAEL A. COVINGTON, N4TMI

frequency of oscillation. Note that over- caption built in, but in all the schematics I've
Long -Period Timer tone crystals will oscillate at their funda- looked at, the decoding is an integral part of
OIsthere any chip or simple circuit that can mental frequency; for example, 27 -MHz the master processing chip. Is there a chip that
be used as a reliable
delay (30 days) with good repeatability?
J. Z., Missisauga, Ont., Canada
-
timer for a long time CB crystals will oscillate at 9 MHz, and
most scanner crystals will oscillate around
18 to 20 MHz.
can easily be added internally to older sets so
that a decoder box doesn't have to be carried
around and connected to different sets around
the home? If so, where can I get information
ALet's see, 30 days equals 2,592,000 sec-
onds, which means you'll need to
on the chips and associated circuitry?
J.N.B., Denver, CO
-
count billions of cycles if you use a crystal Closed -Caption Decoder
clock oscillator. The cheapest way is to l'-ce been toldthat the chips fr decoding A It isn't simple and certainly isn't a mat-
use a microcontroller, which can count up TV closed captions cost about $5. 1 know ter of a single off-the -shelf chip. You
to any number by using multiple registers. all modern TVs are required to have closed- need a microprocessor that has access to
Each 8 -bit register can count to 255; each
time it rolls over, increment another reg-
ister, and chain registers together until +5V

you can count high enough.


S1 C3
Off-the -shelf long -period-timer chips RESET
also exist. The 4060 includes a crystal
oscillator and 14 divide -by-two stages so
that it can count to 16,384; it runs on sup- IC2 IC3
ply voltages from about 5 to 15 volts. The 4060 4060
74HC4060 is an equivalent device except RST V
16 J1z
RST V+
16
that it requires a fixed 5 -volt supply. Rl 10K
Three of those chips in cascade, con- _ 11
XIN 11 XIN 3
trolled by a 1.696 -MHz crystal, would X1
Q14 3----1 Q14 +. OUTPUT
produce a square wave with one cycle 1.696
every 30 days. Figure 1 shows a circuit MHz

using that approach. Unfortunately, we 101- V-


Cl, C2 R2
did not have a few months to spare, so we 22 PF 1 MEG
haven't tested it fully. You can get cus-
tom -made crystals from JAN Crystals,
PO Box 60017, Fort Myers, FL 33906, FIG. 1-THIS SUPER -SLOW OSCILLATOR produces a squarewave with a period of 30 days
(one cycle per 30 days). The crystal can be ordered from the source provided in the text.
and other suppliers.

+9 -12V
111 01 a.,
Crystal Tester 100K 2N3904
1 budding a test panel and would like
you (MPS3904)
_
ti to include a tester to
are good or not. Can you help?
Langley, B.C., Canada
-
tell whether crystals
R. B., X1
1-20 O
Cl
1000
PF
C3
1000
PF
MHz
l

AFigure 2 shows a classic Colpitts oscil- -1- C2


150
.J.- R2 D1
LED
TO FREQ.
lator circuit that will test crystals from = PF 1K 1N34 COUNTER
about 1 MHz up. The LED glows (not at
full brightness) when the crystal is oscil-
lating; for best results, use a low- current
LED. You can connect a frequency FIG. 2 -THE VERNERABLE COLPITTS OSCILLATOR can be used to test crystals from 1

counter across the LED to measure the to 20 MHz, and even higher. If the crystal is good (oscillates), the LED will light.
6
the video and sync signals and the ability
to generate its own video (for the letter- +5 -12V s
ing) in sync with what's coming in. The
only reason closed- caption decoding is
X1 ICI IC2
^ C3
0.1

4.9152 4060 4017


cheap to add to modern TV designs is MHz 11 16
XIN V+ V+
that they already have such a micro - 7
03 1LILL
processor for other purposes, such as dis- Cl, R1 60

'
14 1
] 014 CIJC 05
playing the channel number and setup C2
-
1

22 pF MEG 13 5 50Hz
o
menu on the screen. So the closed -cap- FIST CE 06
10 8 8 15
tion decoder isn't really a chip, it's some X1 V- V- RS

additional software in the chip that's


already there.
See our December, 1994, issue, pp.
FIG. 3 -THIS TWO CHIP CIRCUIT can be used to generate an accurate 50 Hz or 60 Hz
31 -43, for a closed -caption decoder that
clock signal using a standard microprocessor crystal.
sends its output to a personal computer
rather than the TV screen. See also
http://www.brouhaha.com/-eric/pic/cap-
tion.html for a circuit and the code for
closed -caption decoding with a PIC
microcontroller. AT $299.95,
NO OTHER DESIGN
Safe NiCd Discharge
found out by accident that letting a
WORKSTATION
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QI
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reverse polarizing a cell, which is what ...2,500 tie points with essemb/ Triple Power Supply
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with short circuit
protection
...sine, square.' triangle
would it be possible to discharge a battery ...plus TTL 8 TTL Logic
pack safely without reverse- charging any of Probe indicators

the cells?-J. A., via e-mail


Audio Speaker
A It's well known that if you charge a
NiCd battery a lot, but never dis-
charge it deeply, its performance will suf-
fer. On the other hand, if you discharge
the battery below about 1 volt per cell,
you risk reverse -charging and ruining
the cells that go dead first, since current
will still be flowing through them from
the other cells. Reo Digita(
Put sers
Leaving a battery pack alone is a good OVER $600 WORTH
OF WORLD CLASS
way to deep- discharge all the cells with- 1Wo BNC Connectors
Remainder
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of trainer now has FOR UNDER $300!
you've discovered, it takes a long time. a 3 YEAR warranty
Unfortunately, we know of no shortcut.
The PB -503 is a total design And a Triple Power Supply with potentiometers, audio experimenta-
When you leave the battery unused, each workstation. It has everything! fixed 5VDC, plus two variable 1.3 tion speaker...plus a lifetime guar-
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cell discharges through its own internal Instrumentation, including a func-
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CIRCLE 131 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
HOW TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT ELECTRONICS umn, August 1998, page 11. The key is
On the Internet: See our Web site at Electronics Now and many other maga- going to be getting the tape close enough
http://www.gernsback.com for information zines are indexed in the Reader's Guide to to an AC electromagnet. You might mod-
and files relating to our magazines (Elec- Periodical Literature, available at your public ify a video tape rewinder to spool the tape
tronics Now and Popular Electronics) and library. Copies of articles in other magazines past a bulk eraser. Driving the electro-
links to other useful sites. can be obtained through your public library's magnet with a frequency higher than 60
To discuss electronics with your fellow interlibrary loan service; expect to pay about Hz might also help. Apparently, video-
enthusiasts, visit the newsgroups sci.elec- 30 cents a page. tape erasing is surprisingly difficult; we'd
tronics. repair, sci.electronics.components, like to hear from readers who have built
Service manuals: Manuals for radios, TVs,
sci.electronics.design, and rec.radio.ama- tape erasers that work well.
VCRs, audio equipment, and some comput-
teur.homebrew. "For sale" messages are per-
ers are available from Howard W. Sams &
mitted only in rec.radio.swap and misc.indus-
Co., Indianapolis, IN 46214 (1- 800 -428-
try.electronics.marketplace.
7267). The free Sams catalog also lists
Many electronic component manufac-
addresses of manufacturers and parts deal-
Naue LCD, Want To Use It
turers have Web pages; see the directory at 1have a back -lighted 10.5 -inch- diagonal
ers. Even if an item isn't listed in the catalog,
http: / /www.hitex.com /chipdir /, or try address- LCD screen, a Sharp LM64C35P, from
it pays to call Sams; they may have a sche-
es such as http: //www.ti.com and http :/ /www. a deceased notebook computer. Can I connect
matic on file which they can copy for you.
it to a desktop computer as a monitor? Is a
motorola.com (substituting any company's
name or abbreviation as appropriate). Many
IC data sheets can be viewed online.
Manuals for older test equipment and
ham radio gear are available from Hi
pinout diagram available?
Navy
- B. M., U.S.

Manuals, PO Box 802, Council Bluffs, IA


Extensive information about how to repair
51502, and Manuals Plus, PO Box 549, AYou can get detailed information
consumer electronic devices and comput- about Sharp display panels from
Tooele, UT 84074.
ers can be found at www.repairfaq.org. /
http : /www.shatpmeg.com or by contact-
Replacement semiconductors: Replace- ing Sharp Microelectronics, 5700 N.W.
Books: Several good introductory electron- Pacific Rim Blvd. M/S 20, Camas,
ment transistors, ICs, and other semicon-
ics books are available at RadioShack,
ductors, marketed by Philips ECG, NTE, Washington 98607. Interfacing the panel
including one on building power supplies.
and Thomson (SK), are available through to a PC sounds like a challenging project;
An excellent general electronics textbook
most parts dealers (including RadioShack as you surmised, it doesn't take the video
is The Art of Electronics, by Paul Horowitz
on special order). The ECG, NTE, and SK signal from an ordinary VGA card, but
and Winfield Hill, available from the publish-
lines contain a few hundred parts that sub- instead responds to digital commands
er (Cambridge University Press, 1- 800 -872- from the computer.
stitute for many thousands of others; a
7423) or on special order through any book-
directory (supplied as a large book and on
store. Its 1125 pages are full of information
diskette) tells you which one to use. NTE
on how to build working circuits, with a mini-
numbers usually match ECG; SK numbers
mum of mathematics.
are different. MM5309 Substitute Found
Also indispensable is The ARRL Hand-
Remember that the "25" in a Japanese In August (pp. 12 -13) we lamented
book for Radio Amateurs, comprising 1000
type number is usually omitted; a transistor National Semiconductor's decision to dis-
pages of theory, radio circuits, and ready -to-
marked D945 is actually a 2SD945. continue the MM5369AA/N IC, which
build projects, available from the American
produces a precise 60 -Hz square wave
Radio Relay League, Newington, CT 06111, Hamfests (swap meets) and local orga-
from a 3.58 -MHz color TV crystal.
and from ham -radio equipment dealers. nizations: These can be located by writing
Figure 3 shows a substitute. Now that
to the American Radio Relay League,
Copies of past articles: Copies of past 4.9152 -MHz microprocessor crystals are
Newington, CT 06111; (http: //www.arrl.org).
articles in Electronics Now and Popular a standard item, all you have to do is
A hamfest is an excellent place to pick up
Electronics (post 1993 only) are available divide that frequency by 16,384 (= 214)
used test equipment, older parts, and other
from our Claggk, Inc., Reprint Department, and then by 5 to get 60 Hz. That means
items at bargain prices, as well as to meet
P.O Box 4099, Farmingdale, NY 11735; Tel: you can build a crystal -controlled source
your fellow electronics enthusiasts -both
516- 293 -3751. of 60 Hz with two chips, and if you want
amateur and professional.
50 Hz all you have to do is change one
connection. The output waveform does
A We're glad to hear from you again not have a 50% duty cycle, but that's no
Erasing Videotapes and glad to be of service to you at problem if what you're doing is control-
QThe last letter I wrote to your predecessor precise 50 -year intervals. We'll expect to ling a clock. To get precise frequency
magazine with a question was in 1948. hear from you again in 2048. control, make one of the capacitors CI or
You were most helpful. I have another question Seriously, for readers who may not C2 variable. You can use 74HC chips
I hope you can help me with. know it, Electronics Now is one of the (74HC4060, 74HC4017) if the supply
Do you have any ideas on construction of oldest electronics magazines in the busi- voltage is 5 volts.
a bulk eraser for video tapes? I don't want to ness; it was formerly Radio -Electronics,
wear out my VCR by running each tape and before that, Radio Craft. Our
through it just to erase. My collection ofyour founder, Hugo Gernsback, was a promi-
magazines goes way back before the invention nent advocate of new technology, and was Plated- Through Holes
of VCRs but I can't seem to locate a project of also a pioneer science fiction publisher. In the April issue, reader E. V, of
8 this type.-1. L. A., Mesa, AZ On videotape erasing, see this col- Toledo, Ohio, asked how to make plat-
Take "...includes schematics for the latest electronics
circuits from industry leaders..."

This Giant -Popular Electronics

Circuit a6rru,ycljdl
l

Library
nu

modal s4
r r

' r
J
i :
OF

For Only ENCYCLOPEDIA ,

$4"
when you join the $180.00
Value
A

Electronics
Engineers' ##
Book Club
The Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits
As a member of the
Volumes -3 by Rudolf E Graf 1

Electronics Engineers' Book Club... 2,344 total pages 3,490 total illustrations
you'll enjoy receiving Club bulletins every 3 -4
weeks containing exciting offers on the latest Hundreds of circuit ideas alphabetically
books in the field at savings of up to 50% off
the regular publishers' prices. If you want the
arranged-from Alarm circuits to Zero
Main Selection, do nothing and it will be crossing detector circuits!
shipped automatically. If you want another
Turn to this comprehensive circuit library for hundreds of project
book, or no book at all, simply return the reply
form to us by the date specified. You'll have at ideas...valuable troubleshooting and repair tips...and concise
least 10 days to decide. If you ever receive a pinout diagrams and schematics. Each volume contains more
book you don't want due to late delivery of the than 700 electronic and integrated circuits and covers 100+
bulletin, you can return it at our expense. Your circuit categories.
only obligation is to purchase 2 more books
during the next 12 months, after which you
may cancel your membership at any time. And ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS'
BOOK CLUB'
you'll be eligible for FREE BOOKS through our
A Division of The McGraw -Hill Companies, P.O. Box 549, Blacklick, OH 43004 -9918
Bonus Book Program.
OYES! Please send me The Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits -Vols -3 (5857863), billing me just
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according to the terms outlined in this ad. If not satisfied, may return the books without obligation and have
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P.O. Box 549, Blacklick, OH 430040549 Signature
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^a Phone: 1-614-759-3666
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tax will be added to all orders.
RPIF1198M
9

www.americanradiohistory.com
ed- through holes on a two -sided printed yahoo.com and typing the company's
circuit board. Several readers wrote to HP Calculator = name. Even better, there's a huge directo-
recommend various kinds of eyelets or ry of all manufacturers' ICs, indexed by
rivets. Brian M. Meyers of Greensboro, IR Remote Control? type number, at www.chipdir.com.
NC particularly recommends eyelet kits In the June issue a reader asked if a
available from T-Tech, Inc., 5591 -B Hewlett- Packard palmtop computer could
New Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA 30341, use its infrared output device to mimic
Tel: 770 -455 -0676, Web: http: / /www. the signals from a TV remote control. Writing to Q&A
ttech.com. One of their kits, the Reader Greg Stanforth, of Lexington, As always, we welcome your questions.
"Copperset," produces an especially KY, advises us that HP -48 calculators The most interesting ones are answered
faithful imitation of a plated -through definitely can; if the palmtops use similar in print. Please be sure to include plenty
hole. Eric Dod, of Sunnyvale, CA, hardware and software, they may be able of background information (we'll shorten
points out that all you really need to do to emit remote -control signals as well. your letter for publication) and give your
is put a wire through the hole and solder See Hewlett- Packard's FTP site, ftp: // full name and address (we'll only print
it on both sides. hpcvbbs.extemal.hp.com/dist/hp48g/co your initials). Write to Q &A, Electronics
mms, files ir_samp.zip and rem33bg.zip. Now Magazine, 500 Bi -County Blvd.,
Farmingdale, NY 11735. Ifyou are asking
about a circuit, please include a complete dia-
TV Headphones Revisited gram. Due to the volume of mail, we
Responding to the April column, Darkroom Timer Found regret that we cannot give personal
John H. Markell, of Sun City, CA, b, your April issue, a reader asked for replies.
points out that the best source of head- plans for a darkroom timer with red LED
phone audio for a TV viewer is a high - displays. My book, Build Your Own Home
fidelity VCR; it's designed to connect to Lab, published by Howard W Sams (Prompt THE COLLECTED WORKS OF
audio systems and has output jacks just Publications), contains a construction project MOHAMMED ULLYSES FIPS
like an audio tape deck. If you're using that should meet the requirements. It has a
#166 -By Hugo Gernsback.
the VCR as a tuner and don't need to range of 100 minutes with a one-second res- Here is a collection of 21 April
play tapes, look for one that has been
junked because of mechanical problems;
you may be able to get one for the ask-
timer or stopclock.
Janesville, WI
-
olution. The instrument can function as a
Clement S. Pepper,
Fools Articles, reprinted from
the pages of the magazines
they appeared in, as a 74-
page, 8h x 11 -inch book. The
ing. Even ordinary (non-high -fidelity) stories were written between
1933 and 1964. Some of the
VCRs usually produce better sound than A Thanks for writing. Readers should devices actually exist today.
TV sets. be able to order your book through Others are just around the comer. All are fun and
any bookstore (ask them to look it up almost possible. Stories include the Cordless
Radio Iron, The Visi-Talkie, Electronic Razor, 30-
in Books In Print) or by contacting the Day LP Record, Teleyeglasses and even Elec-
publisher at 800 -428 -7267 (800-428 - tronic Brain Servicing. Get your copy today. Ask
LCD Conductive Strips SAMS). for book #166 and include $16.00 (Includes ship-
ping and handling) in the US (First Class), Cana-
In the May issue, W. B. H., of da and Overseas (surface mail), and order from
Knoxville, TN, asked about a source of CLAGGK Inc., P.O. Box 4099, Farmingdale, NY
replacements for the special layered 11735 -0793. Payment in US funds by US bank
check or International Money Order. Allow 6 -8
conductive rubber strips used in a dig- IC Data on CD -ROM weeks for delivery. MAO5
ital multimeter to connect the LCD ['Where can I find data such as pinouts,
display to the circuit board. Edward circuit diagrams, and descriptions of
Mulvaney, of Pasadena, CA, advises us CMOS, TTL, and linear ICs? Is this infor-
that these are made by Fujipoly, 365 mation published on CD -ROM? -X. Y,
American Heart
Carnegie Avenue, Kenilworth, NJ Trenton, NJ Association
07033, Web: http://www.fujipoly.com- Fighting Heart Disease
nd Stroke
but the ones in your multimeter are A Yes. Most IC manufacturers now pub-
probably custom -made and the instru- lish data sheets on CD -ROM, and they
ment manufacturer is the place to give away the CDs or sell them for a small
Research
start. price. Among the most useful CD -ROMs gave him
Tom Pearson, of Ogallah, KS, says are those from Texas Instruments (P.O. a future
his Fluke multimeter has the same Box 655303, Dallas, TX 75265; Web:
problem-the conductive strips lose www.ti.com; Tel: 972- 644-5580) and
their connection with the circuit board National Semiconductor (Technical N
and/or display, and the display goes Communications Dept., MS 16 -300, PO
bad. But he doesn't have to replace the Box 68090, Santa Clara, CA 95052 -8090;
strips. Instead, he cleans them with a Web: www.nsc.com).
cotton swap moistened with rubbing Virtually all IC manufacturers also Support
alcohol, taking care not to get alcohol publish data sheets on the World Wide
into the LCD. Thanks to everyone who Web. You can locate any manufacturer by Research
10 wrote in! going to the search engine at www. 1 995, American Heart Association
EQUIP M (NT REPORT
EDWIN NC CAD /CAE SOFTWARE

Schematic Capture involves placing


parts on a snap -to page and making the
appropriate circuit connections. Com-
Design circuits from scratch to ponent outlines and pin-out data can be
finished product on your PC created by the user or pulled from the
with EDWin NC included libraries of parts. Connections
between components (the netlist) are
made by routing "smart" wires accord-
ingly. Components must be laid out as
devices, while other parts of a circuit are
CIRCLE 15 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
represented as symbols. For example,
while +5V and GND mean something to
the circuit designer or builder, they are
The core of this magazine's cover- ic diagrams and printed -circuit board lay- generally not physical items placed on a
age, and the main interest of most outs. The software even generates final circuit board. As such they do not get
who read it, is electronics circuitry. Most documentation for manufacturing PC placed on a layout or added to a parts list.
readers have tried their hand at building boards. The Layout Design module creates
at least a basic circuit, and many are While EDWin NC from Visionics, a layouts for components consisting of
accomplished builders. And even those leading British software vendor, is far silk- screens and component footprints, a
who have never picked up a soldering more than a hobbyist -level product, it is netlist, and trace routing. All component
iron like to look at the circuits and try to available to hobbyists at a hobbyist-level and netlist information is automatically
figure out how they work. price. In fact, this is an engineering-level transferred from the schematic diagram
Another large segment of readers are software package that normally costs to the circuit layout. Components are
those who like to design their own cir- thousands of dollars. But it is available to automatically placed with proper pin
cuits. These are generally electronics students, teachers, and amateurs for non- clearance and connections. Any changes
professionals or advanced hobbyists with commercial use at just 10% its normal made to the netlist or components on the
years of experimentation under their price -only $149.95. A $279.95 package PC -board layout are automatically trans-
belts. This group of people is quite famil- includes EDWm NC plus EDSpice sim- ferred to the schematic. That allows
iar with the tools of the trade: data books, ulation software, SPICE code- develop- board outlines from AutoCAD to be
notebook paper, pencils, erasers, bread- ment kit, and thermal- analysis software. imported as .DXF files.
boards, components, desoldering equip- Volume discounts are available. The Postprocessing module converts
ment, and so on. EDWin NC is powerful software, but the circuit layout into data for manufac-
The one good thing about circuit it does not require a state -of-the-art com- turing PC boards: artwork and docu-
design is that it has become easier and puter system. Minimum system require- mentation printouts, outputs for photo
more accessible thanks to the person- ments are a PC- compatible 386 or better plotting, and Numerically Controlled
al computer. The reason for that is with 8 MB of memory, 40 MB hard -disk (NC) drilling information. The Simu-
the wide variety of Computer Aided space, an SVGA color monitor, Windows lation module can validate circuit opera-
Design/Computer Aided Engineering 3.1 or higher, and a mouse. Of course the tion during Schematic Capture or
(CAD /CAE) software packages now faster the system, the happier you'll be Layout Design before actually building
available. The downside is that high -end with EDWm's performance. the circuit. The Simulation module has a
CAD /CAE software is usually priced EDWm integrates five circuit-design Diagram Generator that graphically pre-
beyond the means of most hobbyists. modules: Schematic Capture, Layout sents the simulated results, a Mixed
However, we've found a product that is Design, Postprocessing, Simulation, and Mode Simulator for AC and DC circuit
not; we'd like to tell you about it. Library Editor. Users can capture cir- analysis, an EDSpice Simulator for
cuits as schematic diagrams or as PC- SPICE simulation, and a Thermal An-
EDWin NC board layouts. Schematic Capture and alyzer for simulating temperature effects
EDWin NC, short for Electronic Layout Design are linked together so on a working circuit.
Design for Windows-Non Commercial, that changes to one affect the other, and Even though the parts libraries bun-
is a CAD /CAE software package that pro- vice versa. That way both parts of a cir- dled with EDWm NC are quite extensive,
vides everything one needs to capture cuit can be built simultaneously. Various EDWm NC's Library Editor module lets
electronic circuits in the form of schemat- tool sets are provided for each operation. users create new elements and edit ele-
11

www.americanradiohistory.com
ments that are already included in the
bundled parts libraries. Elements can con-
NEW! ELECTRONICS CD ROM
sist of device descriptions, schematic sym-
bols, layout symbols, and so on. A library The most
viewer lets users inspect the contents of
the part libraries and make cross refer-
effective way
ences between components. of learning
Each module is activated from drop -
down menus on EDWin's main screen.
electronics
EDWm is packed with help files that pop
up whenever a new action is initiated, so on
Two Courses
it is not difficult to learn how to use one CD ROM!
EDWin. However, as mentioned before, Only $5699 Parts Gallery
1
this is no hobbyist -level product, so there ,tlectronte Circuits & Components
alt introduction
is no software wizard that will automati- b ke .le
cally design circuits. The user has to
know what he's doing or else EDWin Electronic Circuits and Components
will be of little help. It definitely takes Discover the standards and application of common types of electronic components
some time to become familiar with the and how they are used to form complete circuits in Electronic Circuits and
software. Components. Sections on the disk include: Fundamental Electronic Theory, Active
Components, Passive Components, Analog Circuits and Digital Circuits. The CD
As involved as EDWin might be, such ROM includes:
is the business of circuit design. EDWin Interactive laboratories Supervisor notes
NC is simply a product that can speed up Full audio commentary Editable worksheets
the circuit- design process and make it far About 20 links to pre- designed Electronics Workbench circuits
more convenient for the designer. How-
ever, when it's available at hobbyist-level
The Parts Gallery
prices, EDWin NC is the perfect soft- Many students have a good understanding of electronic theory but still have difficulty
in recognizing the vast number of different types and makes of electronic compo-
ware bundle for that budding engineer in nents. The Parts Gallery has been designed to help overcome this problem; it will
all electronics hobbyists. The bad part is help students recognize common electronic components and their corresponding
that once a hobbyist gets good enough at symbols in circuit diagrams. This CD ROM incorporates a quiz so that students can
circuit design to make money at it, they check their knowledge of electronic components and symbols. The CD ROM includes:
Over 150 component and circuit photographs Supervisors notes
will have to pay full price for EDWm. Self-test Component and Symbol quizzes Hundreds of electronic symbols
For more information on EDWin
NC, contact the US distributor Qameco
Electronics, 1355 Shoreway Road, Bel-
To Be Released Soon!
mont, CA 94002; Tel: 800 -831 -4242; A series of interactive CD ROMs provides a comprehensive and up-to -date introduc-
tion to the world of electronics. The series provides a sound understanding of the prin-
Web: www.jameco.com); visit the Vision - ciples and behavior of electronic components and the circuits to which they are con-
ics Web page (www.visionics.a.se); or cir- nected. Two new CD ROM disks are to be released in the very near future. They are
cle 15 on the Free Information Card. MI Analog Electronics and Digital Electronics. As soon as they are released, infor-
mation on their contents and availability will be published.

Timid about getting on the...


World Wide Web? Claggk Inc., PO Box 4099
You've heard about the Information
Farmingdale NY 11735 -0792
e -mail: claggk @poptronix.corn
Superhighway and all the hype that goes
with it! Sort of makes you feel timid about
Name Phone
getting on the Web. Put your fears aside! A
new book, The Internet and World Wide Address
Web Explained, eliminates all the mystery City State Zip
and presents clear, concise information to
build your confidence. The jargon used is
Enclosed is $56 for each Student version of The Parts Gallery and
Electronic Circuits & Components on a single CD ROM, shipping
explained in simple English. Once the tech-
included inside the U.S. Shipping costs to Canada an additional $3.00.
talk is understood, and with an hour or two
Overseas orders please contact CLAGGK, Inc. for shipping costs.
of Web time under your belt, your friends
Iam ordering ( ) copies at $56 each. NY State residents must include
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To order Book #BP403 send $10.95 plus $4.00
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for shipping in the U.S. and Canada only to [ ] have enclosed my check for $
I

Electronics Technology Today Inc., P.O. Box 240,


Massapequa Park, NY 11762 -0240. Payment in [ ] Please charge my credit card for $
U.S. funds by U.S. bank check or International Visa [ ] MasterCard [ ] Discover
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A LOOK AT TOMORROW'S T E C H N O L O G Y

type
Using Electronics To Beat Smugglers
Many experts believe that the col-
lapse of the Soviet Union has
made the world an even more
dangerous place. That's because illicit
material is being smuggled across the bor-
ders of the former Soviet Union and its
former satellites on their way to rogue
nations attempting to build nuclear and
chemical weapons. Because of very limit-
ed funding, poorly trained inspectors, and
lack of detection equipment, much of this
dangerous stuff is now reaching its
intended destination. Fortunately, the
U.S. government is working hard to stop
the flow of materials that represent a
future threat to the entire world.
For instance, the U.S. Department of
Energy's Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA is
developing advanced electronic devices
to help border inspectors uncover the
smuggling of various material that are
THE MATERIAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM is shown at the left attached to laptop com-
needed in the construction of weapons of puter. The engineer is holding the Ultrasonic Pulse Echo instrument.
mass destruction. The devices can also
be used to detect more benign smuggled
goods from jeans to drugs. inspecting chemical weapon stockpiles in ent metals in distinctive ways. The sys-
One of these devices is the Ultrasonic Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. tem takes advantage of that fact and uses
Pulse Echo Detector, a hand -held unit a computer to compare and reconcile the
that contains a sensor head and a com- A Metal Detector measured flow against an extensive U.S.
puter. With the device, an inspector can Another device used to keep danger- Customs material database to determine
determine the contents of sealed contain- ous goods from reaching the wrong hands whether the metal is, in fact, what it is
declared or purported to be, as well as
ers, measure how full a container is, and
find any cavities or hidden packages - is the Material Identification System,
which uses eddy currents to detect strate- determine the most likely identity of the
metal. The inspector can also search the
-
which might hold drugs or other smug-
gled goods within the container.
The sensor, which transmits ultrason-
gic metals that could be used in making
nuclear weapons. Most metals, including
those used for strategic purposes, are sim-
database for additional information
including the classification of the metal
ic pulses and detects any return echoes, is ilar in appearance. Therefore, it is virtual- and applicable regulations.
placed on the outside wall of the con- ly impossible for inspectors to determine As a demonstration of the device's
tainer. As sound waves are transmitted, what a metal is just by looking at it. capability, it can distinguish between
the return echoes bouncing off the other The Material Identification System nickels, dimes, and other coins. Besides
side of the container are analyzed in uses a hand -held probe that is connected detecting strategic metals for nuclear
terms of time of transit and amplitude to an ordinary laptop computer via a
plug -in instrument card. When the FOR MORE INFORMATION
decay to identify the characteristics of
the contents and compare those features probe is passed over the suspect metal,
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
against information in a database library. the instrument measures the flow of elec-
PO Box 999
The Ultrasonic Pulse Echo Detector was trical, or eddy, currents through the Richland, WA 99352
originally developed by the PNNL for metal. Eddy currents flow through differ-
13
weapons, border inspectors can use the
Material Identification System to deter- DICE Architecture
mine if a shipment of metals has been
labeled fraudulently to avoid a higher
duty fee.
Both pieces of detection gear, which Public Phone
the PNNL recommends be used togeth- System
er for a "one -two punch" for most effec-
tive border security, are already in use.
For instance, the Ultrasonic Pulse Echo ti
I ri.h HT3t1!
Kr gi,y.i.
device is currently being used by the U.S. Cellular i h11!{,

Customs Service, and the U.S. On -Site Network


Inspection Agency recently ordered 10
Network Connection
4
sets of the equipment for use at borders HIIf'
in the former Soviet Union and Eastern
Europe. Cypress, Malta, and several E -mail
Server
other countries have also requested both
units.
Use of the new devices will also be
included in the curriculum of the new
Hazardous Materials Management and
Emergency Response (HAMMER) train- USING ANY TOUCH -TONE TELEPHONE, including a cellular, the DICE system analyzes
ing facility at PNNL's Hanford, WA site. e -mail and HTML documents, and then plays them back as audio.
There U.S. Customs Service and PNNL
will train foreign border-enforcement
officials to stop smugglers. The course, an audio format without confusing the e -mail message at the other end, and
which will start this fall, includes a simu- listener. should support this feature soon," he said.
lated international- border crossing and is Using the touch -tone keypad of any The system was developed by SCR
located amid the sand and sagebrush of telephone, callers dial a service provider, scientists Michael Wynblatt, Stuart
the southeastern Washington desert. The either their own home or office PC. Goose, and Dan Benson in cooperation
first "students" will come from Hungary Users can access Web pages from a list of with Siemens AG's Private Commun-
and Slovakia.-Bill Siuru selected bookmarks, and also retrieve e- ication Systems. Another similar project
mail by simply pressing a few keys and lis- called WIRE (Web -based Interactive
tening. DICE also provides a fully-func- Radio Environment) is under develop-
Keep In Touch tional touch -tone -based browser. Over ment. It will enable drivers to access
the phone, users can follow hyperlinks, e -mail and Web sites using a driver
Any Time, use a history list, or access standard audio information system rather than a tele-
features such as fast forward, rewind, or phone. SCR is working with Siemens
Anywhere pause. AG's Automotive Systems Group to
sprototype system developed by A caller can surf a favorite newspaper's develop a prototype system based on this
cientists at Siemens Corporate Web page and hear the headlines. If there technology.
Research, Inc. (SCR) allows e-mail mes- is a particular article he wants to hear, the
sages or World Wide Web pages to be caller simply presses a button and listens;
accessed without a laptop computer. The the system retrieves the new page and Ultra -Small
DICE (Delivering Information in a plays it in real time. Pressing another but-
Cellular Environment) system uses a ton instructs DICE to remember the Computers?
computer algorithm to analyze e-mail page for later viewing on a computer. team of scientists from the Georgia
and HTML documents, and then play "For many who are on the go but of Technology recently ob-
them back as audio over any touch -tone don't have access to a computer, DICE served ballistic conductance phenom- -a
telephone, including a cellular. DICE enables one to retrieve and answer e-mail enon in which electrons pass through a
uses speech synthesis tools, which con- messages away from the office, whether conductor without heating it room -at
vert text to audio. driving to work, on a plane, or at the temperature in multi-walled carbon nan-
A unique feature of DICE-SCR has poolside," says Arding Hsu, department otubes up to five microns long. (A
three patents pending -is that its algo- head, Multimedia/Video Technology. Dr. micron is a millionth of a meter.)
rithm also analyzes the format and layout Hsu explained that once having listened "This is the first time that ballistic
elements of a document. The system to the message, one can respond by key- conductance has been seen at any temper-
communicates both the text and structure ing in a number on the phone to record a ature in a three -dimensional system of
of a document. Even highly structured voice message. "We're working on con- this scale," said Dr. Walter de Heer, a pro-
HTML documents can be converted to verting the verbal response back into an fessor in Georgia Tech's School of
14
through the nanotubes. Wang and de
Heer measured current densities greater
than ten million amps per square cen-
timeter -far greater than could be han-
dled by any other conductor. Normal
resistance heating would have generated
temperatures of 20,000 K in the nan-
otubes, well beyond their combustion
temperature of 700 K.
At more than five microns, however,
de Heer believes electron scattering may
defeat the ballistic conductance effect.
"We can only guarantee that we can
carry that kind of current over five
microns," he said. "We don't know what
will happen if you try to conduct for
longer distances. This will certainly not
be a way to transport current over large
IMAGE FROM ELECTRON MICROSCOPE shows a long nanotube protruding from a distances."
bundle of nanotubes. Resistance was measured in the long tube. Electronic devices using nanotube
conductors are perhaps decades away.
Physics. "There would be interest in this the battery. The resistance they measured One fundamental issue is that carbon
for ultra -small electronics, because it as the nanotube was raised and lowered materials are incompatible with the sili-
shows that you can constrain current into the mercury remained constant, con that is the basis of current integrat-
flows to narrow areas without heating up changing only when a shorter tube pro- ed circuits. Solving that challenge will
the electronics. It also introduces a new truding from the bundle -which resem- require a revolution in electronic design.
stage of electronics in which the wave bles a handful of straw-made contact "This just opens the door; it doesn't
nature of electrons becomes important." with the liquid metal. tell you how to build a better world,"
Using the positioning equipment of Researchers measured the resistance de Heer said. "This should be seen as
an atomic -force microscope, researchers of 20 nanotubes of different lengths and the proof of principle showing that we
found that the electrical resistance of the diameters through as many as 1000 cycles can do ballistic conductance at room
nanotubes remained constant-regard- that consisted of dipping them in and out temperature." m
less of their length or width. This quan- of mercury and two other molten met-
tum conductance is not seen in larger als-gallium and Cerrolow-117. The
structures. tubes averaged 15 nanometers wide and Lab on a Chip
"In classical physics, the resistance of four microns long, but ranged from one Imagine bands of tiny vehicles that
a metal bar is proportional to its length," to five microns in length, with diameters cooperatively sniff out suspicious or
said Dr. Z. L. Wang, a professor in from 1.4 nanometers to 50 nanometers. threatening chemicals or even land
Georgia Tech's School of Materials The quantum of resistance remained 12.9 mines. About 40 scientists and engineers
Science and Engineering. "If you make kiliohms. at Sandia National Laboratories have
it twice as long, you will have twice as That's possible, explained de Heer, been researching such technology.
much resistance. But for those nan- because the electrons act more like waves Within three years, they hope to
otubes, it makes no difference whether than particles in structures whose size demonstrate a device about the size of a
they are long or short because the resis- approaches that of the wavelength of palm -top computer that can sniff explo-
tance is independent of the length or the electrons. "The electrons are passing sives and chemical warfare agents. In
diameter." through these nanotubes as if they were
In the laboratory, de Heer, Wang, and light waves passing through an optical
collaborators Stefan Frank and Phillipe waveguide," he said. "It's more like optics
Poncharal attached a tiny electrode to a than electronics."
bundle of nanotubes that had a single In normal wires, the electrical energy
long tube protruding from one end. they carry dissipates in the conductor, but
They mounted the bundle in place of the in the nanotubes, energy dissipates only
probe normally used in an atomic force in the leads used to connect the tubes.
microscope and connected a battery to Such effects had previously been seen
the electrode. only in structures a thousand times small-
They used the microscope controls to er, and finding them in the comparatively THE THREE MAIN COMPONENTS OF
raise and lower the single protruding large nanotubes was quite surprising. Sandia's micro-chem lab for gas -phase
nanotube into and out of a pool of mer- The absence of heating allows ex- detection and analysis are small enough to
cury that completed the circuit back to tremely large current densities to flow fit easily inside a snowpea pod.
15
five to ten years, devices should be able
to simultaneously identify hundreds of
liquids and gases.
Arrays of these chemistry labs -on -a-
chip could be sent onto battlefields or
mounted near factories to provide chem-
ical reconnaissance. Potential national
security applications range from detect-
ing weapons of mass destruction to mon-
itoring the state of the nuclear stockpile.
Devices might one day become available
at local stores to test water and food, to
monitor the course of an illness, or to
determine the safety of the environment.
"There's a huge amount of informa-
tion in chemical signatures that the
world is not making use of," says Sandia
chemist David Rakestraw, "because it's
too costly. It's also very difficult to
extract out all of this information using
any traditional analytical chemistry in a
laboratory."
Research to create an autonomous JUDGE FULLER AND LISA SILLS LOOK AT A LAPTOP that is accessing Georgia court
information on the new database she designed.
micro- chemistry lab involves exploring
science in a microdomain where proper-
ties can run counter to normal intuition. Georgia counties gained online access to rmation can be tracked either by a case
For instance, liquids experience no tur- a new management information system docket number or by name. Under case
bulence as they move along channels that enables them to systematically pool history the database indicates whether a
smaller than a hair. Gas detection also information about criminal activity and bench or jury trial was held, specific
would work differently. First, a sample other court -related matters. events of the trial, outcome, and any
would be gathered on a microporous Although the Georgia Crime Infor- changes in original sentencing. Entries
film, then heated to vaporize. The tiny mation Center (GCIC) already main- for individuals also include date of birth,
pulse of gas would then flow into a long, tains an electronic database, its informa- gender, known aliases, and a complete
coiled column for separation. From tion is focused on sentencing and dispo- record of charges.
there, separated gases would flow over an sitions. The new database goes beyond The juvenile section tracks dates of
array of coated acoustic-wave sensors. that, making a wealth of case- related foster care along with "interested per-
Different absorptions by the different data readily available to Georgia court sons," including parents, guardians, and
coatings (signaled by a shift in frequency) officials via the Internet. attorneys. The database also tracks gang
would build up a fingerprint characteris- Designed by senior research scientist information, which is becoming increas-
tic of each chemical. Lisa Sills and her team in the Information ingly important.
Sandia researchers are also creating Technology and Telecommunications Sills explained that all the informa-
cooperative, distributed sensing, and Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research tion had to be imported from existing
behavior systems. Sensors in fixed spots Institute (GTRI), the database is com- county systems, which required an auto-
or on swarms of small, smart vehicles prised of a TCP/IP network that can be mated system to be in place first.
known as robugs could communicate used any place with Internet access by "There are many kinds of systems out
and map the location of suspicious account holders-primarily judges and there ... Integrating their data into ours
chemicals. In three years, researchers clerks. It is a highly complex project that is challenging."
hope to have an architecture for what a has been in the works for two years. With "By bringing some standardization,
distributed intelligence system should the new database, officials will be able to we can rely better on all the data that
look like. obtain more complete information about comes in," commented Judge Hilton
a suspect's record. For example, the data- Fuller, a DeKalb County Superior Court
base would quickly reveal if a suspect judge and chairman of the Georgia
Criminal Records arrested by one county is under warrant Courts Automation Commission, which
for arrest in another county, alerting is funding the project. The database will
Online intake officers not to let that person out also serve as a communications system,
Officialsin Georgia's state, superior, on bail. he added. "We'll be able to pass informa-
and juvenile courts are using the The database is split into two major tion between the courts, as well as the
latest in information technology to help sections: one for juvenile court and one database. That's also an important part of
put a lid on crime. This summer, several for state and superior courts. Info- this tool."
16
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www.americanradiohistory.com
!AMMOSINIMMMIONS!
BY SAM GOLDWASSER
SERVICE EDITOR

Speclc Problems, Interesting

Signals, and More

T HIS MONTH, WE WILL CONCLUDE OUR SERIES ON CD

PLAYERS AND CD -ROM DRIVES WITH SOME NOTES ON

SOME COMMON PROBLEMS THAT OCCUR WITH A VARIETY OF


STOP turns all servos off.
TRACK FWD enables the focus
(and loads disc 1 in changer).
PLAY enables the spindle servo.
servo

PAUSE enables the tracking servo.


Use manual search FWD or REV to
PIONEER MODELS. THEN, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT THE EXCITING move the optical pickup.

world of the CD player "eye pattern" required. That defect might also result Note that, depending on model, the
and other interesting signals, and then in erratic operation while playing. specific functions and behavior of the
wrap things up with some other "items 3. Collapsed rubber suspension grom- front panel buttons in test mode might
of interest!" mets. There may be a scraping or vary slightly.
clicking sound associated with that WARNING: Normal safety checks
Pioneer Problems failure. For changers, gently lift up on are disabled in the test mode. Thus, the
Note that we are not singling out the optical pickup assembly while the laser might remain on as long as focus/
Pioneer for any particular reason. These disc is attempting to spin to see if the tracking /spindle servos are engaged even
or similar problems also occur with units disc is recognized and will play. To fix, if no disc is in place. Take care.
from other makers. It is just that we are you need to replace the deteriorated Power cycle (by unplugging if neces-
familiar with the machines from this grommets. sary) to return to normal mode.
company. So, let's get started:
Let's now discuss the Pioneer PD /M Pioneer spindle motor problems:
Pioneer PD/M series players/changers series test mode, which is extremely useful When operating normally, here are
do not recognize discs: for narrowing down problems. Note that the typical measurements for the PD /M
There are a variety of Pioneer models you might also find similar test modes on series players: Spinup: >2.5 volts; time to
that use basically the same or a very sim- players from other companies, but details lock (est.): 1 -2 sec.; start of disc (500
ilar optical deck, and thus are subject to will likely differ. rpm): 1.0 volt; and end of disc (200 rpm):
several problems that ARE likely to 0.5 volts. Similar values apply to many
occur eventually on all these units. To enter the test mode, press the other cheap permanent -magnet-type
Where a Pioneer player or changer does test button while turning power on and CD- player spindle motors.
not recognize discs, the most common then hold it on for at least 1 second. When bad, the spindle servo drive tops
causes are: Some models only have a set of con- out at around 0.6 V and 100 mA. The
tacts; on those, short between the contacts player is therefore unable to spin up to
1. Partially shorted spindle motor due with a piece of wire or a paper clip. required 500 rpm to read disc directory.
to "crud" on commutator. Cleaning On players with a standby mode While the exact cause of this problem
might be possible. The disc might (not a hard on/off switch), plug the unit is unclear, the theory is that a large voltage
spin, but at insufficient speed. Try the in while pressing the test button or applied at startup followed by long peri-
unit's test mode toward latter (outer) shorting the contacts. ods of very low voltage (0.5 -2 volts) oper-
part of disc as the required rotation ation allows conductive crud (carbon) to
rate is lower and/or check voltage to The test button or contacts are locat- build up on the commutator, eventually
motor; if you are not familiar with the ed on the main board (usually near the reducing resistance to the point where the
test mode, we'll go over it in a front right corner, and might be driver cannot apply enough voltage to
moment. obscured by cables). achieve 500 rpm. The spindle -motor
2. Cracks in flex cable to optical pick- Once the test mode is engaged, the servo drive IC becomes quite warm when
up assembly. If that is the cause, servos can be controlled from the front attempting to power a shorted motor.
replacement of flex cable will be panel: However, it does not appear to be harmed.
18
A short squirt of degreaser through
the motor access holes and/or spinning
the motor when disconnected from the
player (using a 9- to 12 -volt battery or
power supply) will have an immediate
dramatic effect, often returning opera-
tion to normal. However, just how long
either of these "fixes" will last is another
matter.
If the above fixes don't cure the prob-
lem, enter the test mode to play disc at
outer track. If this is normal, then the

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spindle motor is probably bad as the


rotation speed at the outer tracks is less
(200 rpm) and a partially shorted motor
may still run fast enough for this.
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One last note before we leave the


Pioneer players: The basic servo align-
ment procedure for Pioneer CD players
is virtually identical to the general one
presented last month.
696 ns 232 ns CD Player Eye Pattern
Interesting CD- Player Signals FIG. 1- HERE'S THE TYPICAL EYE PATTERN you will see while playing a musical track
Poking around inside a working CD or reading data from a CD -ROM. If the pattern is well formed, you can be reasonably cer-
player makes an excellent exercise for the tain that the unit's optics are fine.
student. Component CD players very
often have clearly marked test points for 3x232ns (696ns). The readout clock is Before the start of the first track
RF, focus, tracking, and audio data. With 1/(232 ns) or about 4.321 MHz. (Track 1, time less than -0:01)
care, (basic ESD precautions, careful A "good" eye pattern will be clean, Between tracks of distinct selec-
probing, etc.) there is little risk of dam- symmetric, and stable with clear visibili- tions (where there is silence)
aging anything as long as you are not ty in the cross-hatched areas. Its ampli- After the end of the last track
tempted to try your hand at tweaking any tude is typically in the 0.75- to 2 -volt p-
of the internal adjustments. p range when measured at the RF test (I await e-mail from anyone who can
If you have nothing better to do and point. That waveform may be viewed describe this waveform in detail!)
you have your CD player open, try to using an oscilloscope of at least 5 MHz The reason why the pattern is not well
locate the test points for data, fine track- bandwidth. Some typical RF amplitude formed is that there is no musical data at
ing, and focus. They may be labeled specifications are 1.3- to 1.4 -volts p-p on those locations on the disc (but probably
something like TP.DTA (or TP.RF), Aiwa units, 1.2 -volts p -p, on Sony full - a constant value like 0) and the TOC
TP.FO, TP.TR. TP.DTA or TP.RF is the size units, 0.85 -volts p -p on Sony auto- and/or time display is obtained from the
data coming off of the disc having gone motive and portable players. Q bit. The Q bit is part of the Control
through only the photodiode segment Figure 1 shows the general form of and Display byte that is present once per
combiner and preamp (probably). Using the eye pattern present while playing a frame (14 EFM coded bits out of 588
a 10:1 probe, set your oscilloscope for a musical track or reading data from a CD- total bits per frame) as discussed earlier in
horizontal sweep of around 0.5 ps /div. ROM using a typical unit. As the spindle this series. As a result, the funny looking
Try a vertical sensitivity of 0.2 -volts per servo adjusts motor speed, the instanta- eye pattern at those point has much more
division to start and adjust for a full neous frequency could vary by 10 percent low frequency content and thus does not
screen display. Use internal positive trig- or more. Extensive buffering inside the exhibit the nice cross hatched area that
gering. While playing a disc, you should player makes sure that a steady stream of you see when the highly variable audio
see the classic "eye" pattern used in the data is sent to the D/A converter, and data is present.
communication world to characterize your ears!
channel quality. Examining the eye pattern should be Focus and Tracking Drive or
the first measurement that is performed Error Signals
The Eye Pattern to determine the condition of a CD play- TP.FO or TP.FE is the focus voice -
The eye pattern results from the er's optics and electronics. A good eye coil error signal. Monitoring that signal
characteristics of the run- length- limited pattern eliminates most of the parts of the with a disc in good condition will show
8 -14 modulation coding used on the CD, optical pickup from suspicion. Note that what looks like noise -the more or less
where there are no fewer than 3 and no the eye pattern observed while the player random fluctuations in the actuator cur-
more than 11 clock cycles per symbol. is accessing the following areas of the disc rent thatis necessary to maintain proper
You should be able to make out the fact may not be well formed as in Fig. 1: focus within 0.5 p.m of the disc sur-
that the minimum distance between face. On a warped disc you will see the
channel bits is 3 with the smallest dis- Disc directory (Table of Contents DC level of this signal varying at the disc
tance between bit transitions of about or TOC) rotation rate. On a damaged disc, you 19

www.americanradiohistory.com
will see higher-frequency variations in without any change in pitch. This is due While only a few hundred mW at
the level depending on what kind of to the servo control and extensive buffer- most are dissipated by a laser diode, a
defects are present. Gently tapping the ing of the data-unlike an LP turntable good heat sink is also important for the
optical deck should evoke a visible effect where the instantaneous speed is what device's long life and stability. That's one
on this signal as the servos correct for determines pitch. Other experiments are of the reasons why the optical pickup is
your mischief. left as exercises for the student. usually a metal casting. Remember that
TP.TR or TP.TE is the fine-tracking the active diode chip is only about 0.1 mm
voice -coil error signal. As with TP.FE, it Laser-Diode Fundamentals on a side. However, some optical blocks
will show a noise waveform with a good Note: What follows here is a summa- are now made of plastic, so this might not
disc. On a disc with runout, you will see a ry. For additional information on using be as important as in the past.
periodic level variation at the spindle rota- laser diodes, see the document entitled: It is possible to drive laser diodes with
tion frequency Note how the DC value of "Sam's Laser FAQ: Safety, Info, Links, a DC supply and resistor, but unless you
that signal gradually changes as the voice - Parts, Types, Drive, Construction" at my know the precise value needed, you can
coil actuator maintains lock on the track Web site (www.repairfaq.org). easily exceed the ratings. One approach
while the track spirals outward.
Eventually, that error becomes great
enough to trigger the coarse-tracking
Typical CD laser optics put out about
0.1 to 1 mW at the objective lens, though
the diodes themselves might be capable
VDC supply (preferably a linear supply
a switching supply might put out laser-
-
that works for testing is to use a 0- to 10-

motor to jog the pickup a fraction of a of up to 4 or 5 mW depending on their diode destroying pulses) with, say, a 100 -
mm and re-center it on the track, at which type. The laser diodes for CD players are ohm resistor in series with the diode.
point the signal you are watching will sud- infrared, with a wavelength of usually Slowly bring the current up until you get
denly shift its DC level. around 780 mn. Visible laser diodes are a beam (use an IR detector to test for the
On a disc with scratches, there will be also readily available from many sources. presence of the beam). If you get the
higher frequency deviations that will be The most common wavelength for those polarity backwards or are actually measur-
readily visible on a scope trace. Gently is 670 nm-which is deep red -but 630 - ing across the internal photodiode, the
tap the optical deck from various points nm diodes are also available; the later are voltage across the diode will go above 3
and observe the effects on this signal. red/orange and appear much brighter volts or will be less than 1 V. If you see
For both focus and tracking, you can (they are also more expensive at the pre- that, turn power off and reverse the leads.
actually hear the voice -coil actuators as sent time). Inexpensive (relatively) laser Note: Some laser diodes will be destroyed
they compensate for minute defects or pointers use visible laser diodes with by reverse voltages greater than 3 V-the
just the normal data pattern. That is the power outputs up to about 5 mW. That device's spec sheet will list the reverse
"gritty" sound one hears from the CD is enough power to risk permanent reti- voltage rating; however, the ones I have
audio or CD -ROM transport when it is nal damage if you look into the beam, tried out of CD players were fine to at
operating correctly, and is an indication especially when it is well collimated as is least 5 V in the reverse direction.
that the laser and focus (at least) are required for a pointer. Needless to say, Without a laser power meter, howev-
most likely functioning properly. If you you should never look directly into any er, you will have no way of knowing when
listen carefully, you can actually hear laser beam the limit on safe beam power (safe for the
various defects by the effect they have on Typical currents for laser diodes are laser diode, that is) is reached. If you have
that gritty sound, but there will be no in the 30 to 100 mA range at 1.7 to 2.5 the data sheet for your laser diode, then
corresponding effect in the audio out- volts. However, the power curve is the best you can do is limit the current to
puts as there would be with an LP. extremely non -linear. There is a lasing specified maximum rating. Also, there is
threshold below which there will be no usually a weakly visible emission which
Focus, Tracking, and output. For a diode rated at a threshold appears red (for IR laser diodes) when the
Error-Correction Performance of 80 mA, the maximum operating cur- device is powered. Do not be fooled into
If you have a test CD (or you could rent may be as low as 85 mA. That is one thinking that the laser diode is weak as a
also use a regular CD for this), put your reason why all actual applications of result of that dim red light. The main
scope on one of audio outputs. Create laser diodes include optical sensing beam is IR and invisible-and up to
some "defects" by placing some thin (there is a built -in photodiode in the 10,000 times more intense than it
pieces of tape or by marking with a same case as the laser emitter) to regu- appears.
(water -soluble) felt -tipped pen radially late beam power. You can easily destroy The beam from the raw laser diode is
on the bottom surface of the disc. Play a laser diode by exceeding the safe cur- emitted in a broad wedge, typically 10 x
some tracks that have constant pure rent even for an instant. To protect the 30 degrees. A convex lens is needed to
tones or silence. For widths less than the life of the laser diode, it is critical that collimate the beam (make it parallel).
error correcting capability of your CD's you do not exceed the safe current For optimal results, the lens needs to be
LSI chipset, there should be no limit-even for a microsecond! -under anamorphic -it has unequal horizontal
detectable signal degradation. any circumstances. and vertical focal lengths -to correct
As an experiment, you might want to Laser diodes are also extremely sensi- the astigmatism of the beam. The mass
see what happens as you increase the tive to electrostatic discharge, so use produced optical pickups used in CD
width of your "defects." Another thing to appropriate precautions. Also, do not try players have that characteristic, as well
try is to put your finger on the spindle or to test them with a VOM; the test cur- as other sophisticated optics.
even gently touch the disc as it is rotating. rents they put out on the low- resistance For an actual application, you should
Note that unless you really press hard, ranges could exceed the diode's safe cur- use the optical feedback to regulate beam
20 the disc will continue to play normally rent rating. power. That usually takes the form of a
simple current-controlled power supply If you don't have the schematic, all is This one is very basic but does cover the
with extensive capacitive filtering and a not necessarily lost. Test point locations, most common problems and has illustrat-
regulated reference. It is possible to mod- important signals, and power -supply ed instructions for hookup, cleaning the
ulate the beam power by tapping into the voltages are often clearly labeled on the lens, cleaning and lubricating the mecha-
feedback circuits -as long as you take electronics board. In this case, quite a bit nism, simple electronic problems, etc.
steps to ensure that the maximum current of troubleshooting can be done without On the Internet, Tandy (Radio Shack)
specification will never be exceeded. the schematic. There is a good chance has a nice web resource and fax -back ser-
Laser diodes do not behave like LEDs that the problem can be isolated to a par- vice. This is mostly for their equipment
and cannot be pulsed for higher peak ticular subsystem by just following the but some of it applies to other brands
power -they turn into DEDs -Dark signals using this information. and there are diagrams that might be
Emitting Diodes. Single chips for driving There are also a variety of books deal- useful for other manufacturers' VCRs,
laser diodes in both CW and modulated ing with all aspects of CD player repair. TVs, CD players, camcorders, remote
modes are available from a number of While not as common as books on VCR controls, and other devices (since Tandy
manufacturers. repair, there are more of these than you does not manufacture its own equipment
might think. Your local public library your model may actually be covered
Laser Diode Life may have some in the electronics section. under one of their house brands such as
For all intents and purposes, laser Technical bookstores, electronics distrib- Realistic or Optimus -it might just take
diodes in properly designed circuits do utors, and the mail -order parts sources a little searching to find it). The address
not degrade significantly during use or listed elsewhere in this article often carry is http: //support.tandy.com.
when powered on or off. However, as we a variety of these texts.
saw above, it doesn't take much to blow Troubleshooting and Repairing Compact Some Notes on Parts
them. I have seen CD players go more Disc Players, Homer L. Davidson, TAB The type of belts used in CD players
than 10,000 hours with no noticeable Books, A Division of McGraw Hill, Inc., for drawer loading and sometimes else-
change in performance. That doesn't Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294, USA, where is nearly always a type with a
necessarily mean that the laser diode 1989, ISBN 0- 8306-9107 -3 (hardcover), square cross section. Obtaining an exact
itself isn't gradually degrading in some ISBN 0- 8306-3107 -0 (paperback). That replacement belt may be difficult and not
way -just that the automatic power con- text includes several complete CD -play- really necessary.
trol is still able to compensate fully for er schematic diagrams (which are quite Measure the old belt and select one
any changes. interesting in their own right). I believe that is as close as possible from a parts
So, then, why do some laser diodes fail there is now a third edition of this book. supplier like MCM Electronics. What is
prematurely? In most cases they were Compact Disc Troubleshooting and Repair, important here is that it be of equal or
either defective to begin with, their driver Neil Heller and Thomas Bentz, Howard slightly greater thickness and that it has
circuitry was inadequate, or they experi- W. Sams & Company, A Division of an inside circumference (this is how they
enced some "event" resulting in momen- Macmillan, Inc., 4300 West 62nd Street are measured) so that it will be tight but
tary (perhaps only a few nanoseconds) Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA, 1988, not so tight as to slow the motor or cause
overcurrent. ISBN 0- 672 -22521 -2. damage to the bearings. That usually
As noted elsewhere, a weak laser The Compact Disc Book - A Complete means a circumference that is about 5 to
diode is well down on the list of likely Guide to the Digital Sound of the Future, 10 percent less than the old (stretched)
causes for CD player problems. Bryan Brewer and Edd Key, Harcourt belt.
Of course, in the grand scheme of Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, Orlando, The question often arises: If I cannot
things, even LEDs gradually lose bright- FL 32887, 1987, ISBN 0 -15- 620050 -3 obtain an exact replacement or if I have a
ness with use. (paperback). Includes a variety of high CD, VCR, or other equipment carcass
level information but no details. gathering dust, can I substitute a part that
Going Further The Complete Guide to Digital Audio is not a precise match? Sometimes, you
If the solutions to your problems have Tape Recorders including Troubleshooting might want to do this simply to confirm a
not been covered in this series of Service Tips, Erik S. Schetina P.T.R., Prentice diagnosis and avoid the risk of ordering
Clinic articles (or the much more exten- Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 07632, ISBN an expensive replacement and/or having
sive FAQs at my Web site), you still have 0- 13-213448 -9. Mostly directed to digi- to wait until it arrives.
some options other than surrendering tal- audio -tape recording, but also includes Anyway, for safety- related items, the
your CD player to the local service cen- some information on digital sampling and answer is generally no; an exact replace-
ter or the dumpster. CIRC coding. ment part is needed to maintain the spec-
When tackling electronic faults, a ser- DAT - The Complete Guide to Digital ifications within acceptable limits with
vice manual with schematics will prove Audio Tape, Delton T Horn, TAB Books, respect to line isolation, X -ray protec-
essential. Many manufacturers will hap- Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294- tion, and to minimize fire hazards. The
pily supply this for a modest cost-typi- 0214, 1991, ISBN 0 -8306- 7670 -8 (hard- good news is that there are not that many
cally $10 to $50. However, some manu- cover), ISBN 0- 8306 -3670 -6 (paper- safety-related components in CD players.
facturers are not providing schematics in back. Includes a chapter on the compact Still, although only a few manufactur-
their manuals; only mechanical and disc. ers produce most of the components in
alignment information. Confirm that a All Thumbs Guide to Compact Disc CD players and CD -ROM drives, don't
schematic (not just a block diagram) is Players, Gene B. Williams, TAB Books, expect a lot of readily interchangeable
included if you need one before purchas- Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294 -0214, parts other than the common electronic
1993, ISBN 0- 8306 -4179 -3 (paperback). ones listed below. In their never-ending 21
ing the manual.

www.americanradiohistory.com
search for cost reductions and technolo- Sensors: Many sensors used in CD Dalbani (excellent Japanese semicon-
gy improvements, manufacturers are players are sufficiently similar to permit ductor source, VCR parts, other con -
constantly tweaking their designs. More substitution. sumer electronics, Xenon flash tubes, car
and more circuitry is finding its way into Power Transformers: In some cases, stereo, CATV) Tel: 800-325 -2264, Inter-
custom VLSI chips. Fortunately, those these may be sufficiently similar that a national Tel: 1- 305-716 -0947; Fax: 305-
do not fail too often. substitute will work. However, make sure 594- 6588, International Fax: 1- 305 -716-
The only parts that are fairly stan- you test for compatible output voltages 9719; Web: http: //www.dalbani.com/
dardized aside from the electronic corn - to avoid damage to the regulator(s) and Premium Parts (very complete stock
ponents are motors. Often, if the motor rest of the circuitry. of VCR parts, some tools, adapter cables,
is physically interchangeable, then it will Belts: A close match should be good other replacement parts.) Tel: 800 -558-
work as a replacement. Electronic corn - enough at least to confirm a problem or 9572; Fax: 800 -887 -2727.
ponents and entire circuit boards (if to use until a replacements arrives. Computer Component Source
identical models and production run) can Mechanical Parts: Screws, flat and (mostly computer monitor replacement
often be substituted without difficulty, split washers, C- and E-clips, springs, etc. parts, but also some electronic compo-
though servo alignment will probably be can often be salvaged from another unit. nents including semiconductors.) Tel:
needed due to slight unavoidable differ- Optical Pickups: This is discussed 800 -356 -1227, International Tel: 1 -516-
ences between apparently identical pick- in the next section. 496 -8780; Fax: 800 -926 -2062, Inter-
ups or electronic components. The following are usually custom national Fax: 1 -516- 496 -8784.
For common components, whether a parts and substitution of something from
not -quite -identical substitute will work your junk box is unlikely to be successful Closing Comments
reliably or at all depends on many factors. even for testing: Microcontrollers, other Well, that's it! If you have been fol-
Except for the optical pickup, non -cus- custom programmed chips, display mod- lowing this series on CD players and
tom components in CD players are fairly ules; and entire optical pickups, optical CD -ROM drives, you now have all the
standard. decks, or power supplies unless identical. information you should need to under-
Here are some guidelines: stand at least the basics of how this tech-
Fuses: Make sure that any substitute Repairing an Optical Pickup nology works and to be able to remedy
has the exact same current rating and at Once you have located a problem in the majority of common problems with
least equal voltage rating. I have often sol- the optical pickup, what should you CD (and other optical disc) equipment.
dered a normal 3AG size fuse onto a small- do? The quick answer is: probably In case you haven't noticed, this and
er blown 20 mm long fuse as a substitute. nothing. In the end any such attempts the other material in the "Service Clinic"
Resistors, capacitors, inductors, may simply prove too time consuming column are derived from the much more
diodes, switches, potentiometers, and frustrating. extensive and detailed documents -the
LEDs, and other common parts: The only repair below the pickup FAQs -at my Web site: www.repair-
Except for those specifically marked as
safety- critical, substitution is fine as long
as the replacement part fits and specifi-
level that I would consider as having a
reasonable-though still not great
chance of success would be to swap the
- faq.org. So, if what you were looking for
hasn't been addressed, please check
there!
cations are the same. It is of course best lens assembly including focus and track- Also, please e-mail me with your
to use the same part types as originally ing coils between identical pickups. The feedback; the address, as always is
called for-for example, don't substitute optical alignment is not supercritical at sam @stdavids.picker.com. I would like to
a carbon resistor for a metal -film one. this point (however, servo alignment know how you liked this series; whether
But for testing, even that is not a hard might be needed after this exchange). it was too long, too short, or just right;
and fast rule, and a carbon resistor what you would like to see covered in the
should work just fine. Parts Sources future; and anything else relevant to
Rectifiers: Replacements should For general electronic components making "Service Clinic" a monthly col-
have an equal or better PRV and ImAx like resistors and capacitors, most elec- umn you just HAVE to read!
specifications. For power-supply_ recti- tronics distributors will have a sufficient See you next time.
fiers, 1N400x types can usually be used. variety at reasonable cost. Even Radio
Transistors: Substitutes will general- Shack can be considered in a pinch.
ly work as long as their specifications However, for the kinds of components
meet or exceed those of the original. For used in consumer -electronics equip- ELECTRONIC GAMES
testing, it is usually fine to use types that ment-such as Japanese semiconductors, BP69-A number of interest- Electronic
ing electronic game projects Games
do not quite meet all of the specs as long flyback transformers, or even degauss using IC's are presented.In-
as the BVcEO and Ic specifications are not Posistors -there are a few sources you cludes 19 different projects
exceeded. However, performance may should be familiar with. ranging from a simple coin
flipper, to a competitive reac-
not be quite as good. For power types, MCM Electronics (VCR parts, tion game, to electronic
make sure to use a heatsink. Japanese semiconductors, tools, test roulette, a combination lock
Motors: Small PM motors may be equipment, audio, and consumer -elec- game, a game timer and
more. To order BP69 send
substituted if they fit physically and their tronics replacement parts such as $8.00 (includes s&h) in the
winding resistance are reasonably simi- microwave -oven components and elec- US and Canada to Electron-
ic Technology Today Inc., P.O. Box 240, Mas-
lar (say, within 25 percent of each other). tric -range elements, etc.) Tel: 800 -543- sapequa Park, NY 11762-0240. US funds only.
Brushless DC spindle motors are not 4330; Fax: 513- 434 -6959; Web: www. Use US bank check or International Money
22 usually interchangeable. mcmelectronics.com/ Order. Allow 6 -8 weeks for delivery. MAO7
LETTERS
SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE EDITORS OF ELECTRONICS Now MAGAZINE

ry has been that there are lots of guys like underestimate the capabilities of hobby-
Mind Your Ones and Sevens me out there. ists. I've seen some remarkable things
It has come to our attention that The basic formula of your magazine accomplished for the sheer objective of
there was an error in the "No Parts PIC works as well today as it did 40 years having fun!
Programmer" article in the September ago. I find project articles are always I appreciate your seeking the opin-
1998 issue of Electronics Now. In the interesting, even though I rarely build ions of your readers concerning the con-
description on the operation of the hard- any of them. It's fun for me just to figure tents of your magazine. However, don't
ware portion of the project in the second out if they'll work or not. What's new doubt yourself too much -your maga-
column on page 36, the original text read articles are also good, provided they zine is important and has a far-reaching
"When pin 11 of the printer port is low, have some technical content to them. influence.
D1 conducts." The pin number should Don Lancaster's column is worth the KEN VADNAIS
have read 17 instead of 11. Since the price of the magazine all by itself. via e-mail
cathode of D1 is connected to pin 17, I love the clever and elegant construc-
grounding that pin would be the only
way for D1 to become forward biased.
tion articles best. The beverage -can radon
monitor comes to mind as an all -time BE A TEACHER.
Additionally, pin 11 on the printer port is great. The complexity of the project does- BE A HERO.
for input only-it is not able to output an n't mean much to me, provided I can sit
active voltage level.-Editor down and read about it and reach an
understanding of how it works. I don't like
construction articles where the author
Call
More Who Are You holds back necessary details, such as soft- 1- 800 -45- TEACH.
I'm a 53-year -old ham who enjoys ware, or uses gate arrays since it is impos-
your magazine Electronics Now. I like sible to determine what they are doing by
having some of everything in each issue simply reading the article. And despite Public Servit.
and really am quite happy with it just the what many authors suggest, most of the } A
Thus P.Ui,celun

way it is. Keep up the good work, and I'll construction article projects can be built
keep reading. without their PC boards.
EARL KOLANDA, WA7Q1U Some of the computer articles are
MULTIMEDIA
via e-mail interesting, but I wouldn't push aside the on the PC!
basic electronics in the hope that comput- What is Multimedia? What can
er articles will attract more readers. There it do for you? It can do lots of
I'in an electrical engineer and co-
nice things! This 184 -page
owner of a small electronics development are lots of magazines about computers book helps you create your
company, Sensor Technology Engineer- and very few electronic hobbyist maga- own multimedia presentation.
ing, Inc. I have been reading your maga- zines. Trying to be everything to every- Multimedia applications by people like you can
zine for many years, and I have always body is always a losing strategy -you end revolutionize educational and business applications
as well as bring more FUN, FUN, FUN into your
enjoyed it. up being nothing much to anyone.
leisure computer activities.
Educationally, I have a bachelor's It is my opinion that you should chal-
degree in physics and a masters degree in lenge your readers and push their knowl-
edge level a hit. I think it's a mistake to Mail coupon to
electrical engineering. Prior to forming
my own company, I worked for one of the Electronics Technology Today, Inc.
P.O. Box 240
national laboratories. Most of my day is Write To
Massapequa Park, NY 11762 -0240
spent designing circuits, and electronics Letters.
Please send me my copy of Multimedia on the PC
is my business and my livelihood. Electronics Now Magazine.
(PCP12O). enclose a check or money order for $18.95
But it's my hobby also, and one of my
I

500 Bi- County Blvd., to cover the book's cost and shipping- and -handling
life's passions. As a kid, I pored over issues Farmingdale, NY 11735 expenses. NY state resident must add local sales tax.

of Popular Electronics and Radio - Name


Electronics. Gernsback's magazines kin- Due to the volume of mail we
Address
receive, not all letters can be
dled the fire of interest in electronics that
answered personally. All letters City State Zip
led me to where I am today. I suspect one
are subject to editing for clarity All orders must be paid in U.S. funds only. Sorry, no
of the reasons that the U.S. has led in the
development of electronics in this centu-
and length.

L_
orders accepted outside of USA and Canada. Please
allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. MAO2
J 23

www.americanradiohistory.com
R CONNECTIONS
BY JEFF HOLTZMAN
COMPUTER EDITOR

Comparatve Anatomy

LAST MONTH, WE BEGAN A PROJECT TO IMPLEMENT A


Cs

C COMPILER FOR THE AVR LINE OF MICROCONTROLLERS.

DS, SS
WE COULD START FROM SCRATCH, BUT THERE'S AN EASIER WAY:
ACC (PRIMARY) GLOBAL
DATA
THE SMALL C COMPILER FIRST PUBLISHED IN DR. DOBBS JOURNAL ACC (SECONDARY)
STACK POINTER HEAP
almost 20 years ago. That compiler was al CPU and the target, in this case, the
created by James E. Hendrix; full source AVR microcontroller family.
is available. The very first version of FREE
Thus, to initiate this project, we're
Small C was created on and for a Z80 going to hold a course in comparative
microprocessor running CP /M. The anatomy. But you don't have to worry S
STACK
final version (2.2) was created on and SFFFF
about the smell of formaldehyde or cut-
for an Intel CPU running DOS. Many ting up organic tissues. Our subject is sil- FIG. 2-SMALL C's COMPILER MODEL as
ports of Small C exist (e.g., to 8051, icon, and we'll do it on paper. implemented on an 8086 CPU. The Code
6502, and more). Segment is fixed in size and is as large as
To implement a compiler for a given The Virtual Architecture 64K. The Data and Stack segments are
CPU or MCU, you must have a detailed Internally, after parsing the input text, equal, and also as large as 64K. The Heap
understanding of the architecture of the Small C generates pseudo -codes (p- grows up and the Stack grows down; woe
target device. In addition, Small C ini- codes), which it then translates into x86 should they ever meet!
tially generates code for a virtual CPU, assembly language. An external assem-
and then translates that generic code into bler translates the assembly language text As mentioned last time, Small C
8086 assembly language, after which it into a relocatable machine -code object includes its own assembler, but no linker.
can be assembled, linked, and executed file. Then an external linker combines DOS used to come with a linker, and most
on the target system. To be able to the object file(s) with the C run -time old 16 -bit development tools did as well,
change Small C's code -generation mod- library to produce an executable file. but that's no longer true. I'll post a copy of
ule, you must understand both the virtu- Figure illustrates the process.
1 a very old version of Borland/Inprise's
TLINKEXE, which is adequate for our
purposes, on the Ingeneering Web site
PROGL.0 COMPILER PROGL.ASM (ASSEMBLER PROGL.OBJ F.-, (www.ingeninc.com).
Unfortunately, in Small C the divid-
ing line between the parsing and code -
PROGN C COMPILER PROGN.ASM JASSEMBLERJ__. PROGN.OBJ
generating phases is not as clean as the
diagram makes it seem. Some of the ear-
lier phases actually emit some assembly
ANY.LIB language, and it's hard coded to the Intel
CPU family. That doesn't affect us now,
LINKER
but it will later, when we actually start
CLIB.LIB PROG.EXE generating code. At that time we'll bor-
row a trick from Andy Yuen, who imple-
mented a multitasking module for Small
FIG. 1 -THE PROGRAM CREATION PROCESS in Small C: One or more C program files C. (Andy's trick involves adding addition-
is compiled, assembled, and linked with the Small C library (and optionally other libraries), al p- codes, thereby removing the archi-
and finally linked to produce an executable. tectural dependency.)
24
o o can address a maximum of 65536 bytes,
AX: AH AL ACCUMULATOR or 64K of memory. To surmount that
$FFFF
BX: BH BL BASE limit, all x86 CPUs allow a 20 -bit address
CS: CH CL, COUNT to be formed by taking the contents of a
DX: DH DL DATA segment register, multiplying by 16, and
GENERAL
REGISTER then adding the contents of a base regis-
SP STACK POINTER FILE ter. Doing so gives an effective 1-
BP BASE POINTER megabyte address space, even though it
SI SOURCE INDEX PROGRAM makes life difficult for programmers. Just
/DATA about any book on 80x86 assembly lan-
DI DESTINATION INDEX MEMORY
guage programming can spell out the
IP STACK POINTER
details, but for our purposes, they don't
FLAGS, FLAGS,
matter. Small C essentially ignores seg-
STATUS FLAGS
mentation, effectively limiting Small C
CS CODE SEGMENT programs to 64K of code and 64K of
DS DATA SEGMENT SEGMENT
data/stack. Today that may not seem like
REGISTER much, but remember, both Small C and
SS STACK SEGMENT FILE
Small Assembler are written in Small C,
EXTRA SEGMENT
ES
--SEN. SFFFF proving that useful does not necessarily
have to be big.
FIG. 3-THE 8086 REGISTER, memory, and I/O model: It might not look like much, but it As discussed above, the Small C virtu-
kicked off the PC revolution. al CPU has three registers; those are
mapped to x86 registers as shown in Fig.
4. The remaining x86 registers can be
SMALL C REGISTERS
used by the code-generating system of
ACC (PRIMARY) AX: AH AL ACCUMULATOR
Small C any way it sees fit.
ACC (SECONDARY) BX. BH BL BASE

STACK POINTER CS: CH CL COUNT The AVR Architecture


DS: DH DL DATA GENERAL The AVR is a microcontroller, which
REGISTER means that in some ways it is more com-
FILE
SP STACK POINTER plex, and in others, less so, than a gener-
BP BASE POINTER al- purpose microprocessor like an x86.
SI SOURCE INDEX Various members of the AVR family have
DI DESTINATION INDEX
different I/O functions, including serial
and parallel I/O, pulse -width modula-
IP STACK POINTER tion, A/D conversion, and so on. We're
FLAGS, FLAGS. STATUS FLAGS
going to discuss a moderately high -end
device, the 8515. The low-end devices
CS CODE SEGMENT are memory-poor, and higher-end de-
DS DATA SEGMENT SEGMENT vices are still expensive and hard to
REGISTER obtain. The 8515 provides a pretty good
SS STACK SEGMENT FILE
balance; for detailed information, request
ES EXTRA SEGMENT
a data book from Atmel (2325 Orchard
Parkway, San Jose, CA 95131), or see the
company's Web site (www.atmel.com).
FIG. 4-SMALL C's VIRTUAL CPU maps to an 8086 as shown here.
The 8515 has the following built -in
capabilities: 4K x 16 program (flash)
The processor for which the p -codes The x86 Architecture memory, 512 bytes of EEPROM, 512
are generated the so- called virtual
is The 8086 architecture is more com- bytes of static RAM, 32 8 -bit general pur-
CPU mentioned above; its architecture plicated. As shown in Fig. 3, there are pose registers, four 8 -bit ports, a serial
appears in Fig. 2. The CPU has two four general-purpose registers (A, B, C, UART, a serial programming interface, an
accumulators (primary and secondary), a and D); four memory index pointers (SP, 8 -bit counter, a 16 -bit counter, two PWM
stack pointer, and a unified program and BP, SI, and DI); the program counter; a outputs, external and internal interrupts, a
data memory store. That memory is set of flags; and four segment registers watchdog timer, and an analog compara-
used for program code, the stack, and (CS, DS, SS, ES). Each general- purpose tor. The 8515 comes in 40 -pin DIP and
the heap. The heap is where dynamical- register can be addressed as a 16 -bit 44-pin PLCC packages, can run at 2.7
ly allocated memory exists. In a running whole (e.g., AX), or in 8-bit halves, high 6.0 volts DC, has fully static operation up
program, the heap and the stack share and low (e.g., AI-I and AL). There is also the rated clock speed, single -cycle execu-
some big chunk of memory; the heap a separate 64K space for I/O, and a 20 -bit tion of most instructions, and lock bits for
grows upward, and the stack grows (1 MB) program memory. software security. Several functions are
downward. A program may crash or data The segment registers require special multiplexed to single pins, so you can't
may be corrupted if they ever cross. explanation. By itself, a 16 -bit register have all capabilities active simultaneously. 25

www.americanradiohistory.com
comes the optional maximum 64K of
PROGRAM MEMORY I/O AND SRAM external SRAM. Third comes 512 bytes
$000 $0000 $000
32 GEN. PURPOSE INTERNAL of EEPROM, which can be read and
WORKING REGISTERS EEPROM
$001F written locally.
(512 x 8)
$0020 $1FF
Memory Madness
With all the I/O capabilities of the
64 I/O REGISTERS
8515 AVR chip, it's easy to lose sight of
PROGRAM FLASH
(4K x 16) the fact that the chip has only 512 bytes
$005E of general -purpose RAM. The 64K seg-
50060
ment size of the x86 chips is huge in
comparison.
What that means is that we're going
to have to change the way global objects
are stored, and possibly alter the Small C
INTERNAL SRAM
(512 x 8)
language somewhat. The problem is that
in Small C, as in most C compilers, all
local variables are located on the stack,
and 512 bytes is not much. The general
idea is that by using static or const access
0025F
specifiers, we could force the compiler to
$0260 store items such as long text strings in
program memory. The strings would
then be read -only, but precious stack
space would be spared.
EXTERNAL SRAM
(0 -64K x 8) Actually, it's even more complicated
SFFF than that. We may also want a way of
storing data in EEPROM. Thus we
would need three access specifiers: for
flash, EEPROM, and RAM. On the
other hand, we might make EEPROM
accessible programmatically, through the
language, rather than implicitly, through
the compiler. I've even considered mak-
ing the EEPROM appear as a sort of
implicit file stream, accessible through
L SFFFF the normal C routines (fopen, etc.).
Next time we'll look at ways of en-
hancing raw C to handle the hardware
FIG.5- ATMELs AVR MICROCONTROLLERS have built -in Flash, SRAM, and EEPROM,
capabilities of the AVR. We will look at
as well as extensive I/O capabilities, depending on the model. Shown here is the 8515.
issues such as: How will we handle dif-
fering capabilities of various family
For example, you can use two of the 8 -bit memory space is implemented as on- members? How will we handle inter-
ports to implement up to 64K of external chip programmable FLASH. That rupts? How can we enhance the language
static RAM. means you can download code and data without destroying its essential flavor? In
The 8515's memory architecture to the program memory space, and it the meantime, stay in touch via e-mail at
appears in Fig. 5. Note that are three will remain there indefinitely. However, jeff@ingeninc.com. 33
separate memory spaces. The program the program memory space is essentially
ROM; you cannot write to it within a
local program.
SMALL C RESOURCES
Dr. Dobbs Journal sells a CD -ROM that
The data memory space has several 9 out of 10 mice
unusual features. Working from top to
contains the complete text of James
bottom, note that the CPU's 32 general -
prefer the Consumer
Hendrix' excellent, out -of -print book on
Small C, as well as the complete source to purpose registers are addressable here. Information Catalog
Small C 2.2, several ports, and more than You can also address them directly (e.g., online. Catch it at
a dozen additional articles of interest. See Rl, R2, ... R32). Following the general -
www.ddj.com, or call 800 -822 -1162. purpose registers are the 110 registers. www.pueblo.gsa.gov.
You can also visit the Tech Corner of the Those allow controlled access to all the
Ingeneering Web site (www.ingeninc.com), 1/0 capabilities of the MCU, including General
U.S.
where I'll post the Small C source and exe- Services
ports, control registers, setup registers, Administration
cutable, a linker, and any code generated
and so on. Next comes 512 bytes worth of
as part of this project.
26 internal static RAM. Following that
NEW PRODUCTS
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subsequent readings. the calibration seal. A holster protects the e-mail: fluke@info@tcfluke.com
The 80 Series III DMMs are easy to meter, which measures approximately 7.3 Web: www.fluke.com
switch, and a fuse holder for convenient required to access repeaters. The pock-
Portable CD -ROM Drive fuse replacement. et beep feature also provides a "pager-
MEANT FOR THE POWER USER There are three different output like" function. The T8A also offers a
who wants performance and portability, terminals: a five -way binding post for DTMF decoder with nine DTMF
the CDPS -PX24 is a high -performance HF/VHF radio, two pairs of quick memory channels.
24-speed SCSI CD -ROM drive. The connects for low- current accessories, Other features include auto -power
durable, compact and lightweight CDPS- and a cigarette lighter socket for mobile saver, electronically controlled volume,
PX24 has a transfer rate of 3600 kbps and accessories. and direct keypad input. A guide function
an access time of 90 ms. The included 16- allows display of the selected mode in the
bit SCSI -2 Interface Type II PC Card T8A's display window for convenient
easily connects the CDPS -PX24 to any setup. This window has an LCD back-
notebook PC, and it can be used with light with a timer. Power is provided by a
palmtops as well. lightweight Ni -MH battery pack. The
The drive supports CD -DA (audio), transceiver is water -resistant and features
CD -ROM XA (video), enhanced CD, a die -cast aluminum chassis for durability
photo CD, and 8 cm CD. With head- and reliability. The T8A has a suggested
phone and lineout speaker jacks, it plays list price of $392.
conventional CDs as well as CD -ROM. ICOM AMERICA
It is compatible with Windows 95, 2380 116th Avenue NE
CIRCLE 22 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
Windows 3.1, or DOS. Bellevue, WA 98004
Tel: 425 -454 -1855
The power supply has circuit protec- Fax: 425 -454 -1509
tion built in that automatically shuts it Web: www.icomamerica.com
down when it's drawing too much cur-
rent. A quiet internal fan cools the unit,
which measures 91/2 by 6 by 93/4 inches
and weighs approximately 10 pounds.
The MFJ- 4035MV power supply retails
for $149.95.
MFJ ENTERPRISES, INC.
P.O. Box 494
CIRCLE 21 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Tel: 800 -647 -1800 or 601- 323 -5869
External controls and the LCD read- Fax: 601- 323 -6551
out make the CDPS-PX24 easy to use. e-mail: mfj@mfjenterprises.com
The drive weighs 370 grams and mea- Web: www.mfjenterprises.com
sures 5.2 by 8 by 1.1 inches. It operates
from either six "AA" batteries or from AC
power. Tri -Band Transceiver
In addition to the PC card, the drive PRESENTED AS THE WORLD'S
is bundled with interface cable, support- smallest tri -band handheld and the only
ing software, 13.0 -VAC adapter, and one with 50 -MHz coverage, the ICOM
operating manual. It retails for $299. T8A weighs only 9.9 oz. and measures
I -O DATA DEVICE, INC. approximately 21/4 X 41/4 x 11/8 inch-
2005 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 220 es. The transceiver covers the 6- meter,
San Jose, CA 95125 2- meter, and 440 -MHz amateur bands,
Tel: 408 -377-7062 which include "receive" coverage of the
Fax: 408 -377 -7085 popular aircraft -band, 150- and 450 -
e-mail: info @iodata.com public safety bands, and FM and TV
broadcast bands.
The T8A's transmitter output power
Adjustable Power Supply is 5 watts on all bands. Simply pressing
THE HEAVY-DUTY MFJ- 4035MV the BAND switch selects the active band.
35/30 amp adjustable regulated DC It has a 123 memory capacity, including
power supply features 35 amps surge 10 scan edges and 1 call channel per
and 30 amps continuous power. Voltage band, arranged in 10 groups of 20 chan-
is front -panel adjustable from 1 to 14 nels each. A variety of scanning methods
VDC. Detent is set at 13.8 VDC. The are provided.
front panel of the MFJ- 4035MV has Tone squelch, pocket beep, and
lighted meters--a volt -meter and an auto-squelch are standard features of
amp -meter that monitor the load con - the T8A, as is tone scan, which allows
28 tinuously-an easy -to -reach on /off users to determine the subaudible tones CIRCLE 23 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
AC or battery operated. DC voltage, dB gain, and frequency
Keyboard, Monitor,
The Checker Pro makes it easy to do measurements.
and Mouse Splitter testing and evaluating. It is no longer Easy-to -use features include overlay-
AUDIO CAPABILITY HAS BEEN necessary to swap video cards or monitors ing a live trace with a stored reference
added to the VOPEX-4KVAIM -A, a or even open the computer for a diagno- trace, plus on- screen help and pull -down
four -port keyboard, monitor, and mouse sis. Technicians no longer need to tie up menus. Powerful triggering modes help
splitter. Now multiple users can connect a computer system to test or burn in a to capture intermittent or unusual events.
to the same computer and use head- monitor. With sweep rates from 31.5 to The "Save On Trigger" option saves
phones to independently hear and inter- 64 kHz, the Checker Pro supports Mono, every trigger event to disk, complete with
act with desktop presentations and CGA, EGA, MAC, and VGA modes. date and time stamp.
electronic training software. Network Identifying the source of noise on
managers who use these splitters to power lines, which is difficult with a stan-
access servers from dual locations such as dard oscilloscope, is simplified on the
the office and the warehouse can bring ADC200 -100's spectrum analyzer. Even
the audio to both places. when there are multiple noise sources,
the analyzer makes it easy to identify the
signature of the noise and to determine
its source. The 0-50 MHz spectrum ana-
lyzer range covers frequencies required
for EMC -conducted noise testing.
With the ADC200 -100, transferring
CIRCLE 25 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD the data to other applications such as
spreadsheets is easy. Users can also auto-
On the bench, the tester offers great mate data collection and analysis with the
flexibility. Technicians can quickly switch software drivers supplied.
modes using the pushbuttons, add sync
CIRCLE 24 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
on green, turn off any of the colors, and
turn off either horizontal or vertical sync.
Four keyboards, monitors, speakers, The Checker Pro features various test
and mice are plugged directly into the patterns for VGA monitors. Its color
VOPEX- 4KVAIM -A. The computer bar/8 -step gray-scale pattern allows color
peripherals can be placed up to 500 feet balance and tracking to be quickly evalu-
away by connecting extension cables ated and or adjusted. The Checker Pro
between them and the splitter. All the has a suggested retail price of $499.95.
VGA monitors show the same image, COMPUTER & MONITOR
with guaranteed 1600 x 1200 resolution MAINTENANCE, INC.
up to 250 feet. Access from the keyboards 6649-N1 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30092 CIRCLE 26 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
and mice is automatic upon typing or
mouse movement. Tel: 800 -466 -4411 or 770 -662 -5633
Audio output devices connect to 3.5 Web: www.computermonitorcom Previously available in Europe, the
mm stereo jacks. Three -foot cables for ADC200 -100 is now available in the U.S.
connecting the VOPEX- 4KVAIM -A to for $799 from the Saelig Company.
the PS /2 or compatible are included. The Virtual Scope SAELIG COMPANY
splitter -housed in a 8 X 6.2 X 2.6 plas- PICO TECHNOLOGY'S ADC200 -100 1193 Mosely Road
tic case -is powered by 110 or 220 VAC virtual digital scope combines the func- Victor, NY 14564
and retails for $51 5. tions of a 100 million samples/sec dual- Tel: 716-425 -3753
NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES INC. channel digital oscilloscope and a Fax: 716 -425-3835
1275 Danner Drive 50 -MHz spectrum analyzer in a PC -based Web: www.saelig.com
Aurora, OH 44202 virtual instrument. Performing all the
Tel: 800- 742 -8324 or 330 -562 -7070 operations of a standard oscilloscope and
Fax: 330 -562-1999 digital multimeter, the ADC200 -100 uses
Web: www.networktechinc.com its computer capability to annotate and
save, as well as print traces in black and
white or color, and to cut and paste wave-
Computer Monitor Tester forms into word -processing documents.
DESIGNED FOR USE 1N BOTH The PicoScope software supplied
the field service and shop maintenance with the instrument provides simultane-
areas, the Checker Pro is a computer ous display of the oscilloscope, spectrum Were on the web FREE
color monitor pattern generator that can analyzer, and digital multimeter func-
check out almost any monitor. Problems tions. In addition, the autoranging mul-
can be isolated by directly connecting timeter features simultaneous display of http://www.poptronix.com
multiple parameters, such as true rms or 29
the unit to the monitor. The unit can be
NEW LITERATURE
USE THE FREE INFORMATION CARD FOR FAST RESPONSE

Conventional and IF distribution sys- The appendix includes contact names


Digital Satellite Television tems, mobile applications for satellite tele- and numbers for the leading suppliers of
by Frank Baylin vision, and troubleshooting and repairing tools, hardware, and software required
Baylin Publications satellite receive systems are all thoroughly for USB peripheral design.
1905 Mariposa reviewed. This comprehensive book is
Boulder, CO 80302 profusely illustrated with over 400 pho-
Tel 303 -449 -4551
:: tographs and diagrams. The No B.S. Guide to Linux
Fax: 303 -939-8720 by Bob Rankin
Web: www.baylin.com No Starch Press
$50 plus $4 S & H USB Peripheral Design 401 China Basin Street, Suite 108
In this completely by John W. Toon San Francisco, CA 94107
rewritten version of Annabooks Tel. 415-284 -9900
Ku -Band Satellite 111838 Bernardo Plaza Court, Suite 102A Fax: 415- 284-9955
TV, Dr. Baylin has San Diego, CA 92128 e -mail: info @nostarch.com
extensively revised Tel: 800- 462 -1042 or 619- 673 -0870 Web: www.nostarch.com
and expanded the Fax: 619- 673 -1432 $34.95
material, covering e-mail: info@annabooks.com Previously those
all aspects of world- Web: www.annabooks.com who were curious
wide digital satellite $49.95 about Linux had to
CIRCLE 338 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD television systems. A complete over- tackle bulky, tech-
The book starts with view of and practi- nical books. This
the basics, including concepts of commu- cal guide for design- straightforward,
nication, digital modulation methods, the ing USB periph- easy -to-read guide
effects of noise and frequency allocations, erals, this book tells readers just
and analog video and audio methods. answers the most what they need to
CIRCLE 340 ON FREE
Video compression, the MPEG-2 stan- common questions INFORMATION CARD know to run and
dard, DVB and channel encoding tech- about the subject install Linux, and it
niques are then discussed. and refers readers to is bundled with a complete copy of
The author covers the components of the resources need- Linux on CD -ROM. The CD -ROM
a satellite circuit-the uplink, the satel- CIRCLE 339 ON FREE ed to develop and also contains the complete Linux
INFORMATION CARD
lite, and the receive site; geostationary test USB device Encyclopedia, as well as the Apache Web
satellites; and satellite design and opera- drivers for Wmdows 95/98 and Wm- server and dozens of games, compilers,
tion. He goes on to discuss the current dows NT 5.0. It is a complete reference and utilities.
state and future trends in the design of manual for design, marketing, sales, and The author presents a concise treat-
both analog and digital satellite receiver. product managers and for device driver ment of installing Linux in ten easy
Other topics explored in this comprehen- developers. Highlights of the latest USB steps; using the Bash shell; understand-
sive 488 -page manual are installation Specification, a summary of USB fea- ing the File System and navigating
methods; upgrading systems from C- to tures and operations, and application tree -structured directories; and listing
Ku-band, from single to multi-feed oper- examples are included. Audio, video, and files, creating and changing directories,
ation and from analog to digital recep- various device functions are defined. and modifying command prompts.
tion; and methods of designing and sizing It covers hardware and software com- Explanations are given of running
dishes. ponents, including Windows 98, host Windows programs and accessing DOS
and device side interlayer communica- files, data manipulation -utilities for
.43OZOW To order books
in this maga-
tion models, and use of generic drivers.
How to design your own drivers, USB
sending, searching, reporting, corn -
pression, encoding, and encryption -
zine or, any book in print. Please call hub and device design considerations, and configuring and using X Windows.
anytime day or night: (800) BOOKS-
NOW (266-5766) or (801) 261 -1187 ask
power requirements, and numerous Internet access and tools, reading and
for ext. 1454 or visit on the web at compatibility and testing issues are pre- sending e-mail, using text editors, and
http://www.BooksNow.com/electron- sented. The book also covers device, running a Linux Web server are among
ics now.htm. host, hub, and power ICs, as well as USB the other topics discussed.
Free catalogs are not available.
development tools and sources. (Continued on page 59)
30
A SOLAR-
POWERED
ROBOT BUG
-r he concept of robots and
robot design has captivat-
ed the mind and imagina-
tion of people since antiquity.
Indeed, there have been kits, plans,
It creeps. It crawls.
It constantly searches for light on which to feed.
and ready -assembled "mechanical
It's also as fun to watch as it is to build!
servants" available for years. Robots
from the ultra -simple to the ex-
tremely complex have graced the
pages of many hobbyist and techni-
cal magazines, including Electronics DAVID WILLIAMS
Now.
The immediate image that the
average person has whenever the of a
term "robot" is mentioned usually stantly urges the robot to move for- axon (output). An example
ward. However, with just that single neuron is shown in Fig. 1A. A neuron -....
leans toward the "mechanical man" from other neurons
receives signals
design. Examples of that concept behavior, it has no direction to
its
Robby the Robot from the wanderings and no way to avoid through the dendrite4, When a par-
Include
classic 1950's science -fiction film being stuck. To give the robot more
ticular number of dendrites are
Forbidden Planet and the Lost In purpose, a second behavior, called stimulated in a particular way, the
"fires," sending an electrical
Space television series of the seek, comes into play. That function neuron
lets the bug "see" light and move impulse down the axon.
1960's.
the strongest source. That The cell body accumulates and
Robot design usually falls into one towards
grades all of the dendrite inputs
of three categories: mechanical can also be thought of as a "feed-
through the surrounding membrane.
devices that require human control ing" behavior, since the unit needs
cell Through a complex electrochemical
for their operation, self- contained light falling on its photovoltaic
electrical power. help the process, each input has a "weight"
machines that follow an internal for To
with It. Those weights let
computer program, and simple Solbot with the problem of being associated have a different influ-
"stimulus- response" units that use lay- stuck, a third behavior, avoid, over- each signal
rides the seek behavior. ence in stimulating the neuron. In
ers of simple electronic circuits and
sensors to react to their environment. That collection of three behav- addition, some inputs can have
It is that last category to which iors gives the control system a prior- negative weight that will inhibit the
of prior- neuron from firing.
the subject of this article belongs. itized set of rules. The order
the behaviors designed to All of the inputs are combined
The Solbot presented here is an ity in is

robot. resolve any conflicts in the individ- and integrated over time. If a cer-
insect -like solar-powered potential is reached,
a tain threshold
Although it has no computer and no ual behaviors and coordinates fire and send an
a sense, the neuron will
provision for remote control, it has goal- oriented activity. In
a impulse down the axon. The axon
the ability to seek light and avoid the system acts very much like another neuron,
simple neural network. signal can trigger
obstacles.
stimulate a gland, or cause a mus-
cell to contract, depending
Robot Behaviors. To mimic an Neurons. In living creatures, a ner- cle
a vous system organizes the reflexes in upon the neuron type.
insect's ability to maneuver in
fun-
real -world environment, the Solbot order to accomplish a task. The
autonomous "behaviors" damental units of any nervous sys- Modeling Neurons. A block dia-
relies on
Neurons are nerve gram of a neuron's function, and
that are organized into a control tem are neurons.
a therefore the Solbot's nervous sys-
system. The most primitive of those cells containing dendrites (inputs),
tem, Is shown In Fig. B. Two den- 31
behaviors is explore, which con- cell body (signal processor), and
1

www.americanradiohistory.com
drites are used for the light detec- sense, the "seek" behavior has been The voltages that appear on Cl
tion and obstacle avoidance sen- overridden by the "avoid" behavior, and C2 are fed to IC1 and IO2,
sors. The block diagram also shows turning Solbot away. respectively. Those integrated circuits
the two functions of the "cell
body" -the summing of the inputs
DENDRITES
and the threshold function for the (INPUTS)
output. The diagram also includes a
motor-control output to match the
axon in a biological nerve cell.
With that information, we can MUSCLE
FIBER
design a circuit that carries out the
functions just described.

Circuit Description. The Solbot cir-


cuit, shown in Fig. 2, is an improved CELL BODY AXON
variation of a circuit originally de- (SIGNAL PROCESSOR) (OUTPUT)

signed by David Hrynkiw of Canada. A


Two identical circuits are used; the
LIGHT
description applies to both halves. DETECTION
The circuit uses two high -efficiency
solar cells, PC and PC2, to convert
1

MOTOR
sunlight or ambient light into a DC CONTROL
voltage. That voltage is accumulat-
ed by charging C3 and C4. The two
capacitors are wired in parallel, OBSTACLE
AVOIDANCE
which doubles the effective capac- SUMMATION THRESHOLD
itance of the circuit. The "explore" FUNCTION FUNCTION
behavior mentioned before comes B
from that power source. In the dark,
the Solbot will remain stationary, but
Fig. I. In an organism (A), a nerve cell lias several dendrites that serve as inputs. The cell body
in the light, it has an endless will to
processes the inputs and 'fires" when the right combination occurs. The output pulse travels down
move. an acon to signal a muscle to contract. The entire process can he diagrammed schematically (B).
The "seek" inputs are provided by
photodiodes Dl and D2. The setting
of potentiometer R5 and the intensi-
ty of the light falling on each photo -
diode determine the relative impor-
tance of each input with respect to
each other. As the voltage rises
across C3 and C4, current flows
through R5, D1, and D2. That, in turn,
charges Cl and C2. Since the pho-
todiodes restrict the amount of cur-
R5
rent in relation to how much light 200K
that they "see," the voltage that D2 131

//O
PN323B PN323B R2
appears on Cl and C2 will repre- 2.2K
sent the amount of light seen by the
photodiodes. The setting of R5 bal- IC1 IC2
Q4
MN1381G MN1381G
ances the circuit so that C1 and C2 2N3906
will have the same charge if the 0-4r0- -0-"P.0
IN S2 S1 IN I OUT
amount of light falling on D1 and D2
GND GND 02
is the same. R3 R4 2N4401
47K 47K
Switches Si and S2 are the "avoid" + +
inputs. If the Solbot's "antennas" Cl C2
.22/16 .22/16
brush up against an object in its way,
one ofi the switches closes, depend-
ing on which side of the robot the
obstruction is on. When the switch
Fig. 2. The Solhot's circuit is a simple circuit that charges a pair of capacitors. When the capaci-
closes, either C1 or C2 discharges to tors reach a certain voltage level, the stored charge is dumped into a pair of miniature electric
ground through R3 or R4, respective- motors. If the ambient light is stronger on one side, the opposite circuit will charge faster, steering
ly. That way, Solbot will "think" that the robot in the direction of the light. The switches close when something is in the way; the robot
32 there is no light in that direction. In a will then move away from the obstruction.
were originally designed to be
"power-on reset" circuits for micro-
processor-based devices. Here, they ! o`_,,
are being used for threshold detec- I

`
j( <,
S2
tion of the voltage on Cl and C2.
. L c.
%

+
IC2 R5 C1I
When the input voltage on pin 2 of +

the MN1381s is less than 2.5 volts, the


devices are "off" -their output pins
are grounded. When the voltage on BLUE RED
pin 2 rises above 2.5 volts, the device
turns on, with the voltage on pin 1

equal to the input voltage on pin 2.


The output of each threshold
detector goes to a motor-drive cir-
RED BLUE
cuit. That circuit is the axon of the
"electronic neuron" The drive cir-
cuits are designed to let the full
charge of C3 and C4 flow through
the motors. A single transistor is not
sufficient, because as the voltage
on C3 and C4 drops below 2.3 volts,
PC2 PC1
the MN1381s will switch off and shut
down the motor drive. To get around
that limitation, two transistors and a
-R2-
resistor are used to form a circuit
that acts like a silicon -controlled
rectifier, or SCR. Once it is triggered,
Q3 and Q4 will continue to supply
current to Ql and Q2. The circuit will
stay latched on until C3 and C4 are J'
I 'SEE TEXT
discharged to about 0.7 volts. At
that point, there is no longer a suffi-
cient voltage drop for the silicon - Fig. 3. Here is the parts -placement diagram for the Solbot solar -powered robot hug. All of the parts
based semiconductors to remain that are placed on the component side will he the unit's "underbelly." The jumper wire at the nar-
conductive. row end is a "skid" that holds up the robot's rear end.

Construction. The Solbot's circuit has


no critical requirements in terms of 2.80 INCHES
layout; it can be hand-wired on a
perfboard using standard construc-
tion techniques. However, an etched 1.60 INCHES
PC board will make it easier to posi- 1.20 INCHES
0.45
tion the motors and the antennas 0.45
INCHES
INCHES
properly, as well as make for a neater 0.15
0.15
and more professional look to the INCHES
INCHES

unit. If you choose to use a PC board


for the Solbot, you can etch your
own board using the foil pattern that 5/64 DIA 1/8 DIA O.125
has been included here. As an alter-
native, you can purchase a pre -
4 PLS
-- -+
0.62
INCHES
2 PLS
0.62
INCHES
INCHES
0.25
etched board from the source given INCHES

in the Parts List.


If you are going to use a pur-
chased board or one made from
the foil pattern, follow the parts-
placement diagram shown in Fig. 3.
Mount the parts to the board start-
ing with the smallest ones. The fol-
lowing components should not be
mounted to the board at this time:
Dl, D2, PC1, PC2, MOTI, MOT2, Si,
and S2. Fig. 4. The motor bracket is made front a strip of brass. 35

www.americanradiohistory.com
A The fuse clips will be hold- facing towards the front of the
ing the motors that move the robot. Carefully solder them to the
Solbot around. Pager motors board.
are used in this project. Pager The contacts for S1 and S2 are
motors are miniature 11/2- or 3- made from a length of straight-pin
volt electric motors that normal- header. Cut two sets of two -pin
ly have a weight mounted on headers. mount them with the long
their shaft off-center. When they pins sticking out the foil side of the
spin, they vibrate the entire board -the plastic molding will act
pager, letting the user know that like a "component body." Solder the
a message has been received headers in place and clip off the
without the attention -getting excess pin from the header's plastic
beeping that can be so disrup- base on the component side of the
tive at the theatre or elsewhere. board.
Those motors can be found at
several surplus resellers or at a PARTS LIST FOR THE
local repair center that fixes SOLBOT SOLAR -POWERED
pagers. Two surplus suppliers ROBOT BUG
that may carry pager motors
from time to time include All SEMICONDUCTORS
Electronics (PO Box 567, Van ICI, IC2- MN138IG, 2.5V Voltage
Detector (Digi -Key MN 1381 -G -ND or
Nuys, CA 91408, Tel: 800 -826-
similar)
5432) and Marlin P Jones and QI, Q2-2N4401 NPN transistor
Associates (PO Box 12685, Lake Q3, Q4-2N3906 PNP transistor
The Solbot is simple enough to he laid out on a single - Park, FL 33403, Tel: 800-652 -6733). D1, D2- PN323B photo -sensitive diode
sided PC hoard. Only a few jumpers are needed to
Keep in mind that those suppli- (Digi -Key PN323BPA -ND or similar)
build the unit.
ers, like allother surplus dealers,
The component side of the board are not guaranteed to have any RESISTORS
will be the bottom side of the particular item in stock at any partic- (All resistors are 1/4-watt, 5% units unless
Solbot, so the components should ular time -it might take some otherwise noted.)
R1, R2 -2200 -ohm
be mounted as flat and as close to "detective" work to find exactly
R3, Rl1 47,000 -ohm
the board as possible. Capacitors what you need. R5- 200,000-ohm potentiometer
C3 and C4 should be mounted lay- The weights will not be needed
ing sideways. If any components for the Solbot- remove them. In their CAPACITORS
stick out too much, they will drag on place, slip a 1/4-inch length of rubber Cl, C2- 0.22-F, 16-WVDC, electrolytic
the ground. or vinyl tubing over the motor shaft. C3, C4- 2200-F, 6.3 -WVDC, electrolytic
Note that there is a jumper wire That tubing will act like a rubber tire,
at the narrow end of the board giving the Solbot extra traction on a ADDITIONAL PARTS
that doesn't seem to be a part of smooth surface. With the motors AND MATERIALS
the circuit. That jumper wire is actu- snapped into the fuse holders, the PC1, PC2 -3 -volt photovoltaic cells
ally a skid -like "foot" that keeps the entire assembly should look similar to (Digi -Key P247 -ND or similar)
MOT I, MOT2- Subminiature DC pager
Solbot's belly from dragging on the the drawing in Fig. 5.
motor (see text)
ground. It is simply a U- shaped loop Attach the motor bracket to the -2
SI, S2 -pin header, straight -pin (see
of solid wire that should be about 1/2 component side of the PC board text)
inch from the surface of the board. with a pair of nylon screws and 1/64- inch -diameter brass wire, 1/4-inch-
threaded spacers, along with two wide brass strip, PC -mount fuse clips,
Motor Mounts. The motor bracket additional screws and spacers as wire, hardware, etc.
is made from a 1/4- inch -wide strip of shown in Fig. 6. The four hex spacers Note: The following items are available
brass that is available at any hobby are used later to mount the solar from LNS Technologies, PO Box
shop. Cut the brass strip to the cells and the nylon material helps 67243, Scotts Valley, CA 95067; Tel:
length shown in Fig. 4 and drill six reduce the bug's weight. You will 831- 768 -9155 ;Web: www.ccnet.com/
Instech: Complete kit of all parts
holes. Using pliers or a vise, bend the have to move C3 and C4 in order including etched and drilled PC board,
two ends at a 45 angle. Fuse -hold- to install the barcket. Once it is in solar cells, 2 pager motors, ICs, and
er clips are inserted into the holes at place, reposition the capacitors all other components listed above,
the ends of the strip. Bend their tabs against the board. (SOLARBUG -KIT) $59.00: Miniature
and solder them in place. Use a The motor wires are attached to DC Pager Motor, (PAGER- MOTOR)
larger-wattage soldering iron than the board as shown in the parts - $12.00 each; PC Board only, (SOLAR
you would normally use for solder- placement diagram, Fig. 3. BUG- PCB) $10.00. Please add $5.00
ing PC boards -the brass strip has a for shipping and handling. California
lot more thermal mass and needs Antennas And "Eyes." On the sol- residents must add 8% sales tax.
much more heat to bring it up to der side of the PC board, position MasterCard and VISA orders are accepted.
No C.O.D. orders will be accepted.
36 soldering temperatures. Dl and D2 so that their lenses are
FUSE With the Solbot's construction
HOLDER MOTOR BRACKET completed, it is time to test the
circuit.

Testing And Operation. Set R5 to its


center position. Place the Solbot on
a table or desk directly under a
bright lamp. After several seconds of
PAGER MOTOR
charging, the robot will make a
Fig. 5. The pager motors are clamped to the bracket with a pair of PC-mount fuse clips. Bend the
quick lurch forward. It will charge for
tabs of the clips before soldering them -that will increase the strength of the unit. several more seconds before it will
move again. Although it moves slow-
PC1, PC2
ly back and forth in a crab -like
motion, the robot will move toward
the light source. Eventually, the robot
1
D1, D2
PA
will pass under the light and start to
SPACERS make a U -turn. Over time, in its con-
Si, S2
stant attempt to reach the light, it
filk PC BOARD (FOIL SIDE)
will roam around in circles within a
aH i
fairly confined area.
Test Solbot's light- seeking behav-

SKID --ti ior by placing it first to the left of the


light source and then to the right of
C1, C3 the source. In each case, the robot
MOTOR BRACKET should turn and move in the direc-
tion of the light. If Solbot tends to
MOTI, MOT2
move in one direction only, you
might need to adjust R5 to balance
the sensitivity of Dl and D2. If you
take the unit outdoors under the
NYLON sun, it will move faster, but will head
SCREWS
in a single direction only.
The Solbot will move tirelessly as
Fig. 6. Some of the Solbot's parts mount onto the foil side of the hoard, including its photo diode
long as there is a strong enough light
"eyes" and the "feeler" switches. source to charge the capacitors. In
fact, you may have to store it in a
drawer or closet to get it to stop! You
The "antennas" themselves are are pushed to either side, they might even consider building two or
made from 1/64 -inch- diameter brass should make contact with the head- more Solbots and watch them
wire, which is available at the same er pins. It is also important that the "bug" each other! S2
hobby shops that carry the brass wires are below the top level of the
strip used for the motor mount. The nylon spacers that will be holding
diameter specified has just the right the solar cells.
amount of spring. Cut two 6 -inch The final step is to attach solar WINDOWS 95
lengths. Bend each piece to the cells PC1 and PC2. Cut four -irich 1 -One Step at a Time
approximate shape shown in Fig. 3. lengths of 26 -gauge insulated wire Don't know what to do
Start with a 90 bend about 1/2 -inch and strip 1/4-inch of insulation from all when confronted with Windows 95
from one end that will be soldered of the ends. It is a good idea to use Microsoft's Windows 95
one step
ata time
into the board later. Slip the wire into different colors for the wires -two screen? Then you need
its hole in the PC board and make a red ones and two black ones are acopy of Windows 95-
second bend so that it passes exact- the most logical. Solder the wires to One Step at a Time.
ly between the two header pins. The each terminal of the solar cells; use Develop your expertise
wire that extends beyond the head- the red wires for the positive termi- with the straight -forward
ers is bent into a sweeping curve so nals and the black wires for the neg- presentation of the fre-
that it looks like an insect's drooping ative terminals. You can use a volt- quently -used features that make Windows
"feeler" antennae. meter to identify the solar cell's 95 so valuable to the PC user.
Once the wires are shaped prop- polarity if you're not sure. To order Book BP399 send $8.99 plus $3.00 for

erly, solder them to the PC board. Glue the solar cells to the nylon shipping in the U.S. and Canada only to
Make sure that they are not touch- spacers with epoxy or hot -melt glue. Electronics Technology Today Inc., P.O. Box
240, Massapequa Park, NY 11762 -0240. Payment
ing any traces on the board except Once the adhesive is set, carefully
in U.S. funds by U.S. bank check or International
where they are soldered. If needed, connect the wires to the PC board, Money Order. Please allow 6 -8 weeks for delivery.
bend the wires so that they sit in making sure that the antenna wires
between the header pins. If the wires are free to move. 37

www.americanradiohistory.com
A SPEED -DOUBLING ADAPTER FOR THE
HIGH -SPEED LOGIC ANALYZER
::$}}:ti :r"n:van`a'w'Mias:'t?t4:'{{:{{::i}:?::::.`::2::r:::i:;ii:i:%::;:;i:::;::::i:::>::>:i:; : : : : .:: :
::;::<:'+ :f:ti:ti'.:: .':i::i::::;..}::;r::::::::.. :::{:: ..............::::::.::.:::::::: .{r}i:ii {i::i:::.: ::::::::
........ ..:. .:...r
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:::a:{' :::::::: ........
.......... ...... :W
.
r... r.:
. . . ..............
:::::::::::::}.............:::::: ::
{::?:.:::::::::::::'.:::{:::::}::r}$::7:::7:i::?:::

/
{ ?.
::ntip
:}:i:;{:;:::;:.}:iii:}:ii:i:}:.; ?:}?: :>:
11001011001011 I ' i: :$}:>: }':::::::.
'''':.,{yv'i.g ::::::::::..:;: :....,...
11001011001011
00101101011110

/
.

:::;
'' :'`t {r:::::':'.:_::s'.::::::::::::>:::i:::::::
,;,,::,::; , ::
00101101011110
00101100110100 ;:::
00101100110100
00101100100110 _
%---------- 00101100100110

- :... . ........: I
Ct :::;-_:

With this simple adapter and enhanced software, the High -Speed Logic Analyzer
can read data at an astounding 80 -MHz sampling rate!
The High -Speed Logic Ana- ROBERT G. BROWN The situation here shows one of
lyzer that was featured in the advantages to using program-
the March 1998 issue of simple circuit. There are only two ICs: mable logic in any circuit design.
Electronics Now was designed to be a voltage regulator and a clocked Whenever the design needs to be
expandable. One example of that latch. The eight data inputs are updated or modified, it is a simple
feature was the Digital-Storage- connected to Pl. That connector task to reprogram the PLD. The
Oscilloscope module that appeared replaces the original data connec- changes we will be making to the
in the May 1998 issue of Electronics tor on the High -Speed Logic An- Logic Analyzer will not affect the
Now. alyzer.The logic signals are routed to unit's normal operation in any way.
Although the Logic Analyzer can two locations. First, they are applied To get a sample rate of 80 MHz
sample signals at a 40 -MHz rate, directly to channels through 8 on 1 from a 40 -MHz sampling clock, we
many users of the device have the Logic Analyzer. Second, they are must be able to take a data sample
asked if the speed of the device also applied to the input latches on on both the rising and falling edges
can be increased. For those who ICI. The outputs of the latches on of the clock signal. We can do that
have a "need for speed," the IC are then connected to chan-
1 by making the clock signal that
Speed -Doubling Adapter presented nels 9 through 16 on the Logic appears on the Logic Analyzer's
here is just what you've been asking Analyzer. The 5 -volt power needed expansion port (pin 24 on connector
for. With that adapter and a simple by ICI is supplied by IC2, which gets P3) inverted in relation to the Logic
update to one of the programma- its power from the Logic Analyzer's Analyzer's main internal clock. That
ble chips within the Logic Analyzer expansion connector. way, IC1 will be latching data from
itself, you can capture samples at The key to sample -rate doubling the input signals while the Logic
an 80 -MHz rate. However, as with is on the Logic Analyzer board itself. Analyzer is getting ready to capture
any performance gain in a piece of Although additional circuitry has to the next sample. When it does, the
equipment, there is usually a trade- be added to the Logic Analyzer, current state will be on channels -8,
1

off. In this case, the number of chan- that circuit is contained completely and the "half- clock" capture being
nels available for sampling will be within one of the programmable - stored in ICI will be on channels
reduced from 16 to 8. logic devices (PLDs) within the Logic 9- 16.That is why we can only sample
Analyzer -the GAL22V10. For a dis- 8 channels instead of 16. Another
How it Works. As you can see from cussion of the Logic Analyzer circuit, tradeoff for increasing the Logic
the schematic shown in Fig. 1, the see the Electronics Now articles Analyzer's performance is that the
38 Speed -Doubling Adapter is a very mentioned above. Logic Analyzer's trigger circuit is still
running at the 40 -MHz clock rate.
That means that the trigger condi- J1
. J2
tion must occur for two data sam-
ples to be sure of a solid trigger. L 2

Table shows a new clock- selec-


1 20 12

tion chart for IC2 on the Logic 19 11

Analyzer. The new additions are 18 10


marked with an asterisk.
17 9

16 8
Building the Speed- Doubling Adap-
15 7
ter. Although the circuit for the
14 6
Speed -Doubling Adapter is very sim-
ple, it must be built on a PC board 13 5

because of the high frequencies 4

involved. You can either make your


own PC board by using the foil pat-
terns supplied here, or purchase a
J3
pre- etched board from the source 11
given in the Parts List. 12
Follow the parts-placement dia- 13
13 2 19
gram shown in Fig. 2. Start by mount- 14
14 3 18
ing surface -mount capacitor C2 to
15 4 17 15
the solder side of the board. It is
located beneath IC1. If you want to 17 5 16 16
IC1
use a socket for ICI, you can mount 19 6
74ACT574
15 17

that item next. Continue construc- 21 7 14 18


tion by mounting the capacitors, 23 8 13 19
IC2 and P1. Install P2 and P3 on the 25 9 12 20
solder side of the board. 24
1 11 20 4
It is a good idea to check for
proper power distribution before
installing IC1. After carefully inspect-
26
2
0 TP1
IN IC2 OUT =
1 11
_ k_
3

4 LM7805
ing the board, plug it into the Logic
Analyzer (of course the Logic An-
GND IF
alyzer should be off when you do
6

8
+

C3
- C1
..
C2
that). Turn on the Logic Analyzer and 10 10/6 10/6 1

measure the voltage between pin


10 and pin 20 of IC1. Pin 20 should
9 - -
be at 5 volts. If IC2 is working cor- -7-
5
rectly and supplying the proper volt-
age to IC1, you can turn off the
Logic Analyzer, remove the Speed -
Doubling Adapter, and install ICI,
You might need to update the
GAL22V10 (IO2) on the Logic An- Fig. 1. The Speed-Doubling Adapter for the High -Speed Logic Analv_er uses a simple latch to cap-
alyzer board. You can check if IC2 ture additional samples between the normal capture cycles. The replacement PC software then com-
bines the lb channels of interleaved data into eight channels of high -speed data.
needs to be upgraded by using the
ALTADIAG program that came in
the ALTALOG.ZIP archive that you TABLE 1

obtained when building the Logic C4 C3 C2 Cl MAINCLK EXPCLK


Analyzer. With the Speed -Doubling 0 0 0 0 40 MHz MAINCLK
Adapter plugged into the Logic 0 0 0 0 20 MHz MAINCLK
Analyzer and the Logic Analyzer 0 0 0 1 10 MHz MAINCLK
connected to the PC, start the ALTA- 0 0 0 1 5MHz MAINCLK
DIAG program. Select low -level 0 0 1 0 2.5 MHz MAINCLK
0 0 0 1.25 MHz MAINCLK
diagnostics by pressing Fb. Once in 1

0 0 1 0.625 MHz MAINCLK


the low -level diagnostics, select F1 in 1

MAINCLK
0 0 1 1 0.3125 MHz
order to set the clock -select lines 0 1 0 0 EXT clock 0
CO, C1, C2, C3, and C4. Enter the 1 0 0 0 EXT clock inverted 0
value 18. That selects the "self" clock "1 1 0 0 SELF clock SELF clock
as the system clock (see Table 1). '0 1 1 1 40 MHz INVERTED MAINCLK
Next, monitor the external clock sig- 39

www.americanradiohistory.com
PARTS LIST FOR THE
SPEED -DOUBLING ADAPTER
SEMICONDUCTORS
ICI- 74ACT574 octal D -type flip -flop,
integrated circuit
IC2-LM7805 5 -volt voltage regulator,
integrated circuit

ydzer Adapter CAPACITORS


LTA ENCINEERIN C3- l0 -p,F, 6 -WVDC, electrolytic
Cl,
C2- 0.1 -RF, ceramic, surface -mount
Fig. 2. Although the circuit for the Speed -Doubling Adapter is very simple, the high frequencies ADDITIONAL PARTS
involved demand a PC hoard. This parts-placement diagram shows where to put those parts. Note AND MATERIALS
that two connectors and one of the capacitors are mounted on the bottom side of the board. A sim- J1-20-Pin male header, straight pins
ple piece of component lead can be used for TPI. J2 20 -Pin female header
J3 26 -Pin IDC female head

Note: The following items are available


from: Alta Engineering, 58 Cedar Lane.
New Hartford, CT 06057 -2905: Tel:
860 -489 -8003; e -mail: alta @compu
serve.com;Web: www.gutbang.com /
alta: software on 31/2-inch diskette,

Jt
$10.00; blank PC board only, $25.00:
complete kit with software, $35.00.
Please include $5.00 for shipping and
3 INCHES
handling within the US; $10.00 for
shipping and handling outside the US.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
Here's the foil pattern for the component side of the Speed-Doubling Adapter. A double -sided hoard
is needed to keep the unit small.
program since they share the same
configuration file. You use the same
probe assembly for both the stan-
dard Logic Analyzer and the 80-MHz
adapter. The probe assembly plugs
into P1 on the adapter the same
way that it plugged into the Logic
11_1 Analyzer. When using the Speed -
I. Doubling Adapter, only the ground
probe and the D0 -D7 probes are
3 INCHES
functional. With the Speed -Doubling
Adapter and the probe assembly
Here's the foil pattern for the solder side of the Speed- Doubling Adapter If you make your own plugged into the Logic Analyzer, turn
hoard, make sure to solder all components on both the component and foil sides. on the unit and start the ALTAL80
program. The program works in the
nal at pin 11 of IC1 on the Speed - for using the Speed-Doubling Adap- same way as the standard Logic
Doubling Adapter board. When you ter, can be found on the Gernsback Analyzer program does, except that
select F10, the internal "self" clock FTP site at ffp.gernsback.com /pub you are limited to 8 channels at an
should toggle between high and /EN /altaI80.zip. You will need to 80 MHz sample rate.
low. If the external clock signal that download that archive file whether You can test the Adapter by
you are monitoring also toggles, you you need to update your Logic connecting each of the probes
do not have to reprogram the Analyzer or not -a
new program for one at a time to TP1 on the
GAL22V10. If, on the other hand, the the PC will be needed to use the Adapter board. Acquire data with
clock signal stays low, you need to Logic Analyzer at 80 MHz. each probe and then view the
reprogram the Logic Analyzer's IC2 data using the timing display. The
according to the directions in the Testing and Using the Speed- timing display should show that the
data sheet from the chip's manu- Doubling Adapter. As mentioned signal corresponding to the probe
facturer. Since the GAL22V10 is re- above, the new program for using used has a waveform that is high for
programmable, you can simply re- the Logic Analyzer at 80 MHz is 128 samples and then low for 128
program the existing part. The called ALTAL80EXE. It is included in samples. Once you have verified
source code for the new program is the ALTAL80.ZIP archive file. You the operation of each of the eight
in the file ALTAL80B.EQN. That code, should place ALTAL80EXE in the channels, you are ready to start
4o and all of the updated files needed same directory as the ALTALOG.EXE (Continued on page 44)
-r ake a piece of
typing paper or
notebook paper
and cut a 1/2- inch -wide by
11- inch-long strip from it.
MBlus CIRCUIT exactly equal in both tran-
sistors when Q2 has a load
within its "compliance"
range. With an extremely
high gain, the base cur-
Bend it in a circle as shown
in Fig. A so that the ends
1
I%IOBIfl2 CHCflI.L rents are negligible and
the collector current of Q2
overlap slightly. Tack them equals the current through
in place with a bit of tape. Ql.
You will end up with a paper hoop
that is about 3 inches in diameter
and 1/2 -inch wide.
If you cut that hoop lengthwise
Experiment with a basic
IC building block
the current mirror.
- Using conventional current flow
(flow from a positive terminal to a
negative terminal) to describe the
circuit response, we can state that
along its circumference and cen- the source current from R1 is "mir-
tered between its edges, you will, rored" by Q2. The same magnitude
SKIP CAMPISI
of course, end up with two sepa- of current is being sinked by Q2 at its
rate hoops. Each will be about '- collector. Thus, the term "current mir-
inch wide and about 3 inches in Another classic example of topol- ror" is applied to that type of circuit.
diameter. ogy is the Klein bottle. That object The "compliance" range of Q2
Make another paper hoop of the has two singularities and manages mentioned before, in which its sink
same dimensions, only this time twist to be "inside" itself! If you are inter- current is equal to the source cur-
one of the ends by 180 as shown in ested in discovering more about rent, can be anywhere from +V to
Fig. 1B before tacking them togeth- those and other unusual objects, 0.6 volts. If the voltage drops below
er. You will end up with a hoop that read an introductory book on topol- 0.6 volts, Q2 will have a negative
has a twist in it. Now if you cut the ogy, which should be available at bias on its collector-base junction.
hoop lengthwise down its center, your local library. For example, shorting Q2's collector
you will not get two hoops! Instead, You might ask, "How does topolo- to +V (a zero -ohm load) is viable, as
you will get one hoop that is about gy relate to electronics?" By exam- is using a resistive load sufficiently

6 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch ining a very basic building block of high in value to drop +V to 0.6 volts
wide. integrated- circuit design, you will at the load (or source) current set
You can keep cutting that twisted see how a singularity solves many by Rl.
hoop repeatedly, and still end up design problems. Mind you, a true The value of Rl is set by the same
with only a single hoop that is larger "topologist" might not agree with formula:
and narrower with each cut. Each our analogy as applied to electron-
cut will also double the number of ics, but it does work for our purposes. ( +V - 0.6V) /Isink
twists in the hoop. That type of hoop
is called a Mbius Strip, named after The Mbius Circuit. Looking at the Of course, the transistors selected
the nineteenth -century German circuit shown in Fig. 2A, note that Q1 must be able to handle the desired
mathematician August F. Mbius, has its collector shorted to its base. current. The basic current mirror cir-
who was the first to study the strange That is called a diode- connected cuit indeed has a "singularity" all its
properties of that object. transistor. Since Q1 's collector-to- own -the base -emitter voltage (0.6
The Mbius Strip has some other base voltage is zero, it is still in its V) that is being shared by Q1 and
unusual properties: it has only one "active" mode of operation. In addi- Q2.
edge and one side! You can prove tion, having Q1 's and Q2's bases With perfect components and
that by taking a pen or pencil and and emitters connected together matching, no matter what we do to
drawing a line around the hoop. results in their having the same the output circuit at Q2, the singu-
Continue the line until you return to base -emitter voltage. larity will not change. It remains at its
your starting point, and you will see Resistor R1 supplies a fixed -bias predictable voltage with any load.
that you have covered the entire current to Q1, resulting in a base - The circuit shown in Fig. 2B shows
strip, including what appears to be emitter voltage of about 0.6 volts for another example. Transistors Q3 and
"both" sides. In essence, you have a silicon transistor. That voltage bias- Q4 have been added in parallel
traveled a 720 circle! es Q2 into conduction. For the time with Q2. Each of those additional
Of course, the unusual properties being, we will assume that both tran- transistors can now sink the same
of the Mbius Strip are due to the sistors are matched exactly for both amount of current along with Q2. By
"twist" (through another dimension, base -emitter voltage and gain, and connecting the collectors of Q2, Q3,
if you will) in the hoop. That is called that the current gain is extremely and Q4 together as shown in Fig. 2C,
a node or singularity. In the lan- high. we can now sink a current that is
guage of mathematics, it is consid- As the base -emitter voltages for three times the size of the input
Ql and Q2 are equal, so then are source current. That is because the
ered a pole of high order. The
branch of mathematics that deals
with unusual objects such as that is
the base and emitter currents. Thus -
and here is the essential point of the
Q2 -Q3 -Q4 "composite" transistor
now has three times the chip area
called topology. circuit -the collector currents are of a single transistor. 41
Indeed, when fabricating inte-
grated circuits, current mirrors actu-
ally use transistors with various chip
areas to provide different magni-
tudes of current all over the IC. That
is typical of "current-steering" net-
works. The current mirror makes an
ideal current sink (with NPN units) or
source (with PNP units). Either circuit
is easily fabricated on a monolithic
chip.
As you have seen, our " Mbius"
circuit has some unusual (and desir-
able) qualifies, although we have
stretched a point in considering it
with the topological analogy. Right
now, it might seem to be an "ideal" STANDARD MOBIUS
circuit, allowing a large number of STRIP STRIP
paralleled outputs with perfect re- A B
sponses. However, in the real world,
that is never the case. Fig. 1. Taping a strip of paper into a loop does not demonstrate anything interesting (A), but if you
As we will see in the following put a twist in it before joining the ends, you end up with a model of a Mbius loop (B). A Miibius
breadboard experiments, factors loop has several interesting properties, including one side, one edge, and the ability to travel 720
such as base -emitter voltage and before reaching your starting point!
gain matching, temperature track-
ing, and output resistance affect cir- tors. With any luck, you might find a have non -ideal characteristics. We
cuit performance to various de- good match out of 10 pieces! will demonstrate the results of that
grees. We will also present some cir- However, a good match is not need- increase shortly.
cuit modifications to greatly improve ed for valid results. Refer to Fig. 3A for Connect M2 (again, using an
our results. NPN units or Fig. 3B for PNP units and ammeter) in series with Q2's collec-
If you want to learn more about set up the simple current-mirror cir- tor terminal and note the output cur-
bias voltage, bias current, and tem- cuit on a breadboard, using 22- rent with R1 still at 82,000 ohms. You
perature effects on semiconductor gauge solid -wire jumpers where should see a reading somewhere in
junctions, or would just like to "bone - needed. the realm of 100 microamps. Now try
up" a bit on the background, refer to Starting with an 8200 -ohm value substituting another transistor for Q2,
the author's article "Semiconductor for Rl, the input reference current using the same part number. Again,
Diode Guidebook" that was pub- will be note the output current. After han-
lished in the June 1997 issue of dling any of the transistors, always let
Popular Electronics. That will help you (9.0 volts -0.6 volts) /8200 ohms the circuit temperature stabilize for
understand the concepts presented correct measurements.
here and the experiment results. or roughly mA. Connect ammeter
1 Add the original transistor in par-
Ml in series with R1 and apply allel to the current Q2 and note the
Designing Current Mirrors. The best power to the circuit. Make a note of output current, which should be
place to start our experiments is with the actual current measurement. close to the sum of your previous
standard discrete transistors.The only Now change R1 to 82,000 ohms readings. Go back to one unit for
equipment needed is a small solder - and repeat the test. Q2 and try substituting a few more
less breadboard, a standard 9 -volt You should now see a reading of units in the same way to see if you
battery, a few 1/4-watt resistors, and a about 100 microamps; record that can find a transistor that matches
few transistors. reading, also. Remove M1 from the Ql. If you get within 10% or 20%,
If you already have a handful of circuit, making sure to re- connect you're rather lucky!
general-purpose transistors, all bear- R1. With Q2's collector terminal Once you find your "best match ",
ing the same part number, you are open, measure the voltage drop change R1 back to 8200 ohms for a
ready to proceed. If not, NPN types across the base -emitter junctions of -mA reference current. The match
1

such as a 2N3904 or 2N2222 are Q1 and Q2, which will be at about between the transistors at that cur-
available in 10- or 15-piece pack- 0.6 volts. rent level should be the same as you
ages at very low cost. Likewise, PNP Short Q2's collector to +V (for the had at the 100 -microamp level.
types such as a 2N3906 or 2N2907 NPN version) or ground (for the PNP Don't expect an exact correlation.
are similarly available. Any type will version). There should be a 10- to While monitoring the output current,
work in the circuits with which we will 20 -mV increase in the base -emitter touch Q1 with your fingertip. The out-
be experimenting. voltage drop. That is a result of the put current will "nose-dive" because
Our first experiment will try to finite gain and output resistance of of the drop in Ql's base-emitter volt-
42 match up a pair of discrete transis- transistors, which in the real world age affecting Q2's bias level.
Using our "matched" circuit from
above, we will next demonstrate
R1 SOURCE
the effects of finite gain and out-
put resistance mentioned before.
+0.6V
With the temperatures of both tran-
01 Q2 RLOAD sistors stabilized, again measure and
note that the output current is
=
!SINK ISOURCE
about mA.
1

The circuit will be modified by


A adding R2 as shown in Fig. 30, which
shows the NPN version of the circuit.
If you are working with the PNP ver-
sion of the circuit, R2 is added in a
R1 similar fashion.
Use a value of 1000 ohms for R2.
Note the output current. Now
increase R2's value by about 2000
ohms and again note the resulting
output current. Keep increasing the
value of R2 and take measurements
12=13=14='SOURCE of the output current until you reach
B about 7500 ohms. At that point, the
transistors should be near their max-
imum compliance voltage at that
current level. You will soon see that
as the value of R2 is increased, the
output current decreases by 20% or
so with typical transistors over the
compliance range. That is caused
by the limited output impedance of
3x 'SOURCE the circuit that is in parallel with R2.
'SINK =
c An ideal current source or sink
requires infinite output impedance
Fig. 2. Current -mirror circuits can come in
for true constant -current genera- Fig. 3. In order for a current mirror to work cor-
several variations to meet certain needs. A
basic mirror circuit (A) is one where the output
tion. That circuit typically has an out- rectly, the transistors must he "matched." A sim-
current will always match and follow any put impedance in the range of ple circuit for NPN transistors (A) or PNP tran-
changes in the input current. Multiple indepen- 100,000 ohms or so. We really need sistors (B) let you easily test the variations in
dent outputs (B) can follow a single input, or to have an impedance value in the individual transistors. Once you have a
they can he ganged together (C) for a multiply- high -megohm range to achieve "matched" pair, the circuit in (C) will show what
ing function. true accuracy. happens because of a transistor's 'finite" gain.

As you have seen, our "Mbius


That voltage decrease just barely Circuit" is a very simple and effec- Semiconductor, and NTE. They offer
changes the reference current, but tive current generator. However, it multiple configurations in DIP pack-
drastically affects the output cur- leaves a lot to be desired as far as ages, as well as dual units in TO-78
rent! Now touch Q2 and note the accuracy is concerned. Now we packages. Those devices, of course,
opposite effect -the output current will look at some circuit improve- have excellent temperature track-
rises rapidly as Q2's effective bias ments that will come closer to the ing along with the matching.
point decreases, while the net base - "ideal" current mirror. Dual transistors such as the
emitter voltage remains constant, 2N3810 (PNP) and 2N2920 (NPN)
along with the reference current. Going Further. Two of the major are available, and are also avail-
Obviously, temperature tracking problems with our current -mirror cir- able from NTE. A good surplus deal-
between both transistors can be a cuit are temperature tracking and er might also carry them. One sur-
huge problem using discrete units. good matching between the transis- plus source for the 2N5117 dual PNP
Of course, using a common heat tors. Both problems obviously make matched pair and the MAT -04, a
sink or even bonding the units output accuracy and predictability matched NPN quad is Johnson
together will help a great deal. unreliable. Fortunately, several types Shop Products, P.O. Box 2843,
However, the best solution is to use of integrated circuits are available Cupertino, CA 95015 (408 -257-
units that have been fabricated on with matched transistors all on the 8614). The devices are very !nex-
the same substrate and mounted same substrate. pensive.Try them in our breadboard
in the same package. We'll be dis- Various degrees of matching are circuit and note the vast improve-
cussing more on that technique available from manufacturers such ment in accuracy!
later. as Harris Semiconductor, National Another temperature -related 43
f-- 6mA
another resistor, R2, is in the emitter
circuit of Q2.
SPEED-DOUBLING ADAPTER
(continued from page 40)
Let's say that the reference cur-
rent is set at mA with Rl at 8200
1

ohms and that you need an output using the system. If you want to run
current of 10 microamps. Without R2, the Logic Analyzer at 40 MHz, simply
you would need a value of 820,000 remove the adapter with the power
ohms for R1 to do that. However, by off, plug the probe assembly back
A including R2, we can reduce the in the analyzer unit and run the
base -emitter voltage applied to Q2. ALTALOG program instead.
The output current is an expo- The Speed -Doubling Adapter is
nential function of the base -emitter another useful addition to the Logic
voltage. For about every 60 -mV Analyzer for those situations when
decrease in voltage, the output you need to view a few signals with
current drops by one decade. If we a greater time resolution than you
select R2 to drop 120 mV at 10 could with the standard analyzer. If
microamps, the output current you have any questions, comments
should be close to 10 microamps. or suggestions, the author can be
C Breadboard that circuit using a contacted at 860- 489 -8003 or by e-
value of 12,000 ohms for R2. mail at alta @compuserve.com. S2
Note that you will indeed have
an output close to 10 microamps
with dramatically lower resistor val- Get your copy of the
+VCc OmA ues. Also, check the output over its CRYSTAL SET HANDBOOK
compliance range and note the Go back to antiquity and build the
TP
improvement in accuracy. The I's' `l I 'I I radios that your grandfather built.

A
Build the "Quaker Oats" type rig,
ov Widlar mirror offers higher output im- wind coils that work and make it
pedance. Other circuits use another look like the 1920's! Only $10.95
plus $4.00 for shipping and han-
Fig. 4. Current mirrors are extremely sensitive to
transistor to supply the base -current
temperature changes in the transistors. Two dif-
ferent approaches are shown in (A) and (B) to
drive for Q1 and Q2 to reduce the 4,
dlng. Claggk Inc., P.O. Box
099 Farmi ngde, NY
USA Funds ONLYal! USA, Canada
5.

compensate for temperature drift. The circuit in


output resistance and bias errors. and Overseas.NY State residents
add local sales tax. MA01
(C) shows how current mirrors can he "gated" Refer to a good college text on the
on and off at extremely high speed. subject for further information.
Our final current mirror example
YOU CAN WIND
problem is the drift caused by the demonstrates the high speeds
temperature coefficient of Q1, which attainable with current generators. YOUR OWN COILS?
alters the base -emitter voltage and
thus, the reference current. That can
be corrected by the use of addi-
tional components as shown in Fig.
In those situations, discrete current
sources or sinks have a great advan-
tage over op- amp -based designs.
The circuit in Fig. 4C shows how easy
] There's no trick to it except
knowing what you are do-
ing. In a unique, 106 -page
book you can become ex-
4A. A standard red LED is biased at 5 it is to "gate" a current mirror. pert in winding RF, IF,
mA, resulting in a 1.6 -volt drop across A standard CMOS gate of any audio and power coils, chokes and trans-
the diode. As Q1 's base -emitter type that is able to handle the refer- formers. Practically every type of coil is dis-
voltage is at about 0.6 volts, volt 1 ence current simply drives R1 direct- cussed and necessary calculations are given
appears across Rl The temperature
. ly. The rise and fall times are set by with the mathematical data simplified for
coefficients of LEDI and Q1 are sim- the CMOS gate. If you are interested use by anyone. Get your copy today!
ilar, and subtract out of RI's voltage in a high -precision gated- current
drop; thus, good compensation can source, refer to the author's article Mail coupon to:
be expected. "Dual Scope Adapter" in the June Electronics Technology Today, Inc.
The reference current is calculat- 1996 issue of Electronics Now. That P.O. Box 240
ed simply by dividing the value of R1 circuit uses a 2N5117 transistor Massapequa Park, NY 11762 -0240
into volt. An added bonus of the
1 that is driven by an op -amp and Please send me my copy of Coil Design and
circuit is that much smaller values gated at high speed; it is used as Construction Manual (160). enclose a check or
I

can be used for R1. That is very desir- an integrator. money order for $8.95 to cover the book's cost
and shipping- and-handling expenses. NY state
able where low values of output As you have seen, the current residents must add local sales tax.
current are needed. Normally, the mirror is an extremely versatile cir- Name
values of Rl would be quite high. cuit, and just might be classified as
Address
Fortunately, there is another a " Mbius" circuit. It definitely seems
method to provide very low currents to have a singularity when you con- City State ZIP

and keep Rl to a reasonable value. sider the importance of the base - All orders must be paid in U.S. funds only. Sorry,
no orders accepted outside of USA and Canada.
The circuit shown in Fig. 4B is called a emitter voltage. Why not try it in your Please allow 6 -8 weeks for delivery .

44 Widlar current mirror. Note that next project design? S2 I


These days about
equal numbers
of digital and
analog oscilloscopes are
Fisr BUT ples, which were being
taken perhaps every 10
ms, were stretched until
they could be displayed
being sold. One reason is ;i yrr : J
_ - -
't O on a cheap oscilloscope
that the technology of with a bandwidth of
analog -to-digital conver- about MHz. That tech-
1

A nique was described in


sion has advanced to
the point where it is the Proceedings of the
cheaper to achieve dis- British Institute of Electrical
play bandwidth by sam- Engineers in 1959.
pling a signal and storing
it in memory than by dis- Using A Sampling Scope.
playing it directly on a The early sampling scopes
CRT. Besides, once a sig- were improved upon, and
nal is in numerical form, it in their heyday they could
can be processed in display signals up to 10
many useful ways. For ex- irre IN N,JJ 18
GHz. They remain the
ample, it can be aver- fastest signal -display de-
aged to remove noise or vices available, although
its frequency spectrum few modern engineers
can be computed. have ever seen one. first I

One problem with digi- used a sampling scope


tal oscilloscopes is that back in 1983 while devel-
they must be used with oping a 1.6 gigasample-
care because of aliasing, per- second analog de-
something that has no multiplexer for the front -
counterpart in an analog end of a digital oscillo-
scope. If the sampling scope.
rate is set to a frequency That device was built
that is close to the repeti- as a thick -film hybrid on

FORGO TIEN
tion rate of the input sig- a substrate that mea-
nal, the display will show sured about 1.5 by 2.5
the correct waveform. inches. It had a pair of 5-
However, it will indicate a GHz transistors whose
time scale that is much bases were driven in anti -
slower than the true one Despite the fact that many modern phase by an 800 -MHz
and the display may even engineers have never seen one, sinewave. That switched
be time reversed. If the their common -emitter
sampling rate is close to a the once popular sampling oscilloscope current, the input signal,
multiple or submultiple of is still one of the fastest to both collectors in turn.
the data rate, the result- Two more transistor pairs
ing display looks like a
display devices available. demultiplexed those cur-
combination of several rent pulses at 400 MHz.
signals and is difficult to TOM NAPIER The result went to four
interpret. four -way demultiplexers
whose transistors were
Can Aliasing Be An Advantage? Their secret was a sampling cir- driven by individual base -voltage
Aliasing isn't always bad. Back in cuit that could measure signal pulses. The sixteen current pulses
the middle 1950s a fast transistor, or amplitude in a nancsecond or two. charged capacitors that drove six-
a good oscilloscope for that mat- If the input was a pulse that was teen 100- megasample -per- second
ter, had a bandwidth of 5 MHz. (Or repeated at regular intervals, then digital -to- analog converters.
5 Mc /s as it was called then.) successive samples could be taken The device had to be checked
Integrated circuits didn't exist, and from different pulses. If each sample out by probing inside it. A sampling
if you had asked an engineer to was taken from a different place on scope was the only thing fast
design a fast amplifier he would each pulse, you could build up a enough to do the job. The design
have used vacuum tubes. Despite picture of its shape without using worked after a fashion, and it con-
that, some people were building any really fast electronics. vinced my superiors that it was
oscilloscopes that had an effective Because the sampling ran just a worth developing as a custom chip.
bandwidth of 300 MHz. They used a bit slower than the repetition rate of That company is now one of the
few diodes, a few transistors, and a the input, it generated an alias of world's biggest manufacturers of
trick or two. the input signal. The amplitude sam- digital oscilloscopes. 45
That experience with a sampling persuaded management to lease with exactly equal time delays from
scope came in useful about three a gigasample -per-second storage a couple of lengths of 50 -ohm coax
years ago when was a member of
I scope for a monthly sum about and two 453 -ohm resistors. With this
a team designing a receiving sys- equivalent to his salary. didn't I equipment, made all the timing
I

tem to demodulate and decode fancy my chances of prying the measurements needed and soon
I

the signals from the EOS series of money for a second scope out of got my prototype board to work.
Earth resources satellites. That my superior- indeed he suggested
equipment ran at data rates up to that share the first one with my col-
I Is A Sampling Scope A Digital
210 Megabits -per- second, and the league on a twelve-hours -on, twelve - Scope? A digital oscilloscope uses
circuit board that was being devel- hours -off basis. Well, knew who I one or more very fast analog- to -dig-
oped was jam -packed with 300k would get the night shift, so rootdd I ital converters. Those take consecu-
series ECL logic chips. It also used around in the company's calibra- tive samples of the input signal and
two flash analog -to-digital convert- tion lab to see what could find.
I convert them into numbers. It stores
ers that were sampling the input Idug up a Tektronix sampling from 024 to a million or so of those
1

data 420 million times per second. scope that looked as if it hadn't numbers in memory, then stops. That
Each bit was shorter than the time it been used in 25 years. Since was I is, a digital scope is ideal for record-
took a signal to travel the length of apparently the only engineer in the ing events that happen just once. If
the board, so the distribution and company who knew what a sam- you want to show a continuous sig-
timing of the clock and data signals pling scope was, was granted
I nal you need to display and throw
was critical. exclusive use of it, and continued I away the last set of samples, or save
To debug another board in the to work more or less normal hours. I them in slower memory or on a disk,
system one of my colleagues had made myself two 500 -ohm probes before you can take more.
A sampling scope doesn't digi-
tize anything, and it can't work on
INPUT SIGNAL
a one -shot signal. It depends on the
input signal repeating itself exactly,
and it takes one sample from each
of many input pulses. That means it
has an appreciable time available
to process each sample.
Each time around, the sample is
taken from a slightly different place
on the input waveform. The results
are superimposed to build up a pic-
ture of a typical input pulse. Figure
1 shows how that works. The time
resolution of the display equals the
extra delay given to each sample
SCOPE DISPLAY time. For example, if pulses are sam-
pled with delays of through 50 ns ,
1

the display will show the first 50 ns of


Fig. 1. Each dot on the display of a sampling scope represents the amplitude of a different input
the pulse with a resolution of ns. Of
1
pulse at a particular instant. In practice many pulses may go by between each one that is sampled.
course, if the input signal is noisy or is
not exactly repetitive, the output
DELAYED picture will be fuzzy.
SIGNAL
Only the sampling and timing cir-
cuits need be fast; the processing
TRIGGER
circuit is slow and analog. That
PULSES makes a sampling scope much sim-
pler and cheaper than a digital
scope. If you wanted to build your
DELAY
RAMPS own digital scope, you'd first have
to buy a fast ADC chip and a
X RAMP bunch of ECL memory chips. You're
looking at a thousand dollars just for
parts, not to mention the test gear
and expertise you'd need to get it
SAMPLING going. However, if you are familiar
PULSES
with ECL components and high-
speed layout, it would be practical
Fig. 2. A sampling pulse is generated when the ramp triggered by the undelayed input signal reach - to build your own sampling front-
46 es the same voltage as the ramp that drives the X -sweep of the scope. end. That could extend the range
SIGNAL
of an oscilloscope from, say, 50 MHz INPUT
SAMPLING HOLD
to 500 MHz. The output signal can 0 SIGNAL DELAY GATE CIRCUIT
be made slow enough to drive a i
chart recorder or even a comput-
er's audio digitizer card.

How Does It Work? The secret of


the sampling scope is that, even in TRIGGER
the 1950s, some parts, particularly sil- MONOSTABLE

icon diodes, were quite fast. If you


Y- DRIVER
applied a voltage ramp to a diode,
a good device would go from non-
conducting to conducting in under
a nanosecond. Because of stored COMPARATOR
DELAY
charge the diode might not turn off RAMP
SAMPLE
GENERATOR
quite so fast, but it was still a lot faster PULSE
than contemporary transistors. By GENERATOR

switching one diode on and anoth-


er one off almost simultaneously, you X-DRIVER
could make a switch that was only
on for the few nanoseconds when SWEEP
both diodes were conducting. GENERATOR

Another important development


was the ferrite material from which Fig. 3. Here's a block diagram of a sampling oscilloscope. Note that in a sampling scope. unlike a
low -loss high -speed transformer digital scope, only a few components have to operate at high speed.
cores could be molded. Fast pulses
could be inverted using lengths of free -running and much slower; it The test generator offen used a
coaxial cable wrapped around fer- might take 10 ms per cycle in a now-forgotten device, the tunnel
rite rings, enabling four -diode switch- practical system. That ramp was diode. That device had an N-
es to be driven in a push -pull fashion. subtracted from the fast ramp so shaped characteristic with a nega-
The switching pulses had to be big- that the time the sum took to reach tive resistance region. As the current
ger than the signal, this reducing dri- some threshold voltage was de- through the diode increased, the
ver pulse feed -through. layed more and more the later you voltage across it would increase to
Such a switch was connected were on the slow ramp. With the perhaps 100 mV and then suddenly
between the input signal and a fast comparators available today, jump to 800 mV The jump had a rise
capacitor. The switch was terribly you would apply the two ramps to time as short as 100 ps.
inefficient, but each time you drove the opposite inputs of a compara- With a tuned circuit and the cor-
the diodes you ended up with a tor, as shown in Fig. 2. rect bias current, a tunnel diode
capacitor voltage that was a func- Reaching the threshold trig- would oscillate at VHF frequencies. If
tion of the instantaneous input volt- gered the sampling circuit; thus, you varied either the capacitor or
age at one particular moment in each new sample was taken later the inductor, you got a micropower
time. and later in its respective input FM transmitter. One curious feature
That is a crude form of sample - pulse. The X input to the CRT was of the tunnel diode was that it was a
and -hold circuit, and its output driven from the slow ramp so the majority- carrier, device, and its char-
could be amplified with relatively result was a picture of the input acteristics were almost indepen-
slow components. Once the volt- waveform that was redrawn every dent of temperature. Transistors stop
age was big enough to generate a 10 ms. The X scale width was the working if you make them too cold,
useful deflection on a CRT, you had time taken by each fast ramp, 50 ns but a tunnel -diode oscillator will
a dot on the display that was pro- in the example above. In that case, carry on working even in liquid heli-
portional to the input voltage sam- the effective time base sweep, 50 um at 4 degrees absolute (K). once I

ple. One input pulse produces one ns, was 200,000 times faster than the used that feature to transmit mea-
sample. actual time base sweep, 10 ms. surements from inside a cryostat.
Now comes the clever bit. Commercial sampling scopes If you needed a bigger signal
Assuming that the input signal is a had several inputs with matched than the half -volt or so from a tun-
repetitive pulse, you could trigger a timing characteristics, and they nel diode, you used an avalanche
ramp generator at the same point could be triggered from the input transistor. That is an ordinary transis-
on each pulse. The ramp might last, signal or from an external source. The tor with a high -value collector resis-
say, 50 ns. After that time, you didn't latter was very useful for examining tor. With its base held at zero volts,
worry about what happened so you the characteristics of a filter or an the device could sustain some
could use slow components to reset amplifier, since the triggering input three times its normal breakdown
it and be ready for the next cycle. could come from the generator that voltage on its collector. When trig-
A second ramp generator was was driving the device under test. (Continued on page 60) 47
Here's how electronics technology might
someday eliminate one of the most
common types of traffic accident.

I I

I I

I 1

AWN h

ao98

NO M ORE ACCIDENTS
You're about to make a left termeasures that could potentially
BILL SIURU
turn across a busy inter- reduce the number and severity of
section. Suddenly, an icon these collisions. While not all causes
depicting a vehicle starts flashing on ter of all police- reported crashes. can be eliminated with advanced
the Heads -Up Display (HUD) project- This translates to 1.7 million crashes electronics technology, several of
ed onto your windshield. By warning each year. the major ones-faulty perception,
you that there isn't sufficient spacing Initially, the researchers deter- driver inattention, impaired or ob-
between you and an on- coming mined under what circumstances, structed vision, and violation of a
vehicle, you possibly avoid a serious and why, intersection crashes occur. traffic signal -could be addressed
crash. That is just one of the capabil- Calspan researchers reconstructed by countermeasure technologies.
ities of the Intersection Collision over 200 intersection collisions. As These are now being incorporated
Avoidance (ICA) Threat Detection shown in Table 1, they found a num- into an Intersection Collision Avoid-
System being developed by the ber of different causes for those col- ance testbed vehicle, which is
Calspan Corporation and Battelle lisions. They also were able to deter- shown in Fig. 1.
Memorial Institute in a five-year long mine that those accidents generally
Intersection Collision Avoidance could be classified as one of four Avoiding Accidents. According to
Using IVHS Countermeasures Pro- types: violation of traffic- control the researchers, the optimum coun-
gram. The research is sponsored by devices (traffic light, stop sign, etc.), termeasure method is to install inter-
the National Highway Traffic Safety 43.9%; inadequate gap in crossing section collision- avoidance equip-
Administration's (NHTSA) Office of traffic, 30.2%; oncoming traffic left ment such as transponders on vehi-
Collision Avoidance Research. turn across path, 23.8 %; and early cles so they could actively interact
According to the NHTSA, inter- entry into intersection, 2.1%. with one another to avoid collisions.
section collisions are second only Once the researchers had a That would be somewhat like the
to rear-end crashes in their frequen- better understanding of how and Traffic Alert Collision- Avoidance Sys-
cy of occurrence. Collisions at inter - why intersection collisions happen, tern (TCAS) already used in aircraft.
48 sections account for about a quar- they were ready to develop coun- In that system, a TCAS -equipped
aircraft detects the presence of DRIVER VEHICLE INTERFACE
other aircraft fitted with TOAS (HUD)
STEERING ACTUATOR
transponders.
But because equipping every
vehicle with interactive counter- THROTTLE ACTUATOR
measure equipment is unlikely, at (DISABLE THROTTLE)

least in the foreseeable future, vehi-


cles would also have to rely on pas-
sive detection techniques. That
could include front -mounted radar
used with collision- avoidance algo-
rithms. With those sophisticated
mathematical algorithms, an on-
board computer can determine if
the vehicle is on a collision course
SENSOR SUITE AND CPU
with another vehicle. DGPS
The algorithms for the ICA Threat +PROCESSING ELECTRONICS
CONTROL ELECTRONICS
Detection System -developed by *DIGITAL MAP DATAFILE /ATIS
Calspan researchers -use informa- RADAR ANTENNAS (3)
THREAT DETECTION BRAKE ACTUATORS
tion from several sources. Those in- (ALLOW LIMITED APPLICATION OF BRAKES)
clude a vehicle front -mounted radar,
the Differential Global Positioning Fig. 1. This drawing of the 1CA testbed vehicle shows the various on -hoard components of the system.
System (DGPS), the Geographic In-
formation System (GIS), an electron-
ic compass, a radio communica- are used to precisely and continu- contains information about the
tions system, and accelerometers. ously pinpoint the vehicle's current intersection. That includes the road
position and heading. DGPS -with the vehic e is traveling on, the loca-
How it Works. A block diagram of an accuracy of about 3 feet, com- tion of the particular intersection,
the system is shown in Fig. 2. Two key pared to about 300 feet for ordinary and what traffic control devices
ingredients of the Calspan Threat GPS,- provides the required level of (TCD) like traffic signals or stop signs
Detection System are DGPS and precision for intersection -collision are at the intersection. The current
the GIS digital map database. avoidance. distance from the vehicle to the
DGPS and an electronic compass The GIS digital map database intersection is determined using

TARGET RANGE, RANGE RATE,


PREDICTED TIME TO INTERSECTION WARNING

COLLISION WARNING
ALGORITHM

COMPUTE

- BRAKE ACCELERATION
- GAP TIME

RADAR
VEHICLE
SPEED

SPATIAL
GATE
INTERSECTION INFORMATION RADAR VEHICLE

#AND DIRECTION OF ROADS SPEED


POSITION
DIMENSIONS
INTENDED ACTION
TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE
OTHER - LEFT TURN
- RIGHT TURN
- STRAIGHT

GS GPS
MAP RECEIVER

Fig. 2. A block diagram of the Calspan Threat Detection System. As is shown here, DGPS and the
GIS digital map database play a large role in this passive collision-avoidance system. 49
TABLE 1- CAUSES OF INTERSECTION COLLISIONS ation exists, the Driver Warning
Reason System alerts the driver. This can
Percentage Of Total Intersection Crashes
Faulty Perception 33.88%
include a flashing icon on the HUD.
Driver Inattention 28.66% Icons that show the type of inter-
Vision Impaired/Obstructed 11.13% section hazard can include those
Deliberate Violation of Signal 9.01% depicting a traffic signal, direction
Attempt to Beat Other Vehicle 5.08% of another approaching vehicle, or
Driving Under the Influence 4.57% an insufficient gap in on- coming
Deliberate Violation of Sign 3.38% traffic to make a safe left turn across
Vehicle Defect 2.09% the intersection.
Attempt to Beat Traffic Control 0.90%
Hit and Run
Another warning could be pro-
0.31%
Other
vided by automatically pulsing the
0.99%
brakes and disabling the throttle.
Since driver inattention is a major
tion-left turn, right turn, or straight- contributing factor in intersection
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ahead. Information about the con- collisions, brake pulsing should usu-
Calspan Corporation figuration of the intersection, such ally be sufficient to get the driver's
4455 Genesee Street as number and approach angles of attention. Brake pulsing also slows
Buffalo, NY 14225 intersecting streets, can be used by the vehicle and is thus the proper
Tel: 716- 632 -7500; Fax: 716- 631 -6722
the threat -detection system to pri- vehicle response in this situation. If
Web: www.calspan.com
oritize scanning directions towards the driver fails to make the appro-
areas that represent the greatest priate avoidance maneuver, the
position information from DGPS. The risk. system could automatically take
current status -red, green or yel- Information from all the sources is over and initiate full braking.
low-of any traffic lights can be fed to an on -board computer, The next step is testing of the ICA
sent to the vehicle by the radio which determines if the vehicle is on testbed vehicle. The program will be
communication system. a collision course with another vehi- completed in the fall of 1999. Then,
Sensors on the vehicle itself pro- cle or if the vehicle's travel rate indi- hopefully, we will start seeing the
vide information on its speed and cates that it is about to run a red technology appearing on new cars
intended action at the intersec- light or stop sign. If a dangerous situ- and trucks. S2

NOW Find the Right Part for Your VCR!


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TE O H M U S I N G S

BY DON LANCASTER

Pseudoscience Today, Theater

Lghting Controls, and more


IN MY OPINION, FINDING A SOURCE OF "UNLIMITED FREE neutralization. To date, zero believable
differences between Brown's Gas and
ENERGY" WOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST HEINOUS POSSIBLE plain old stoke gas have ever been con-
vincingly shown.
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. THE UNAVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCES But: Rather exciting "real" hydrogen
stuff is coming down over nanotube
OF SUCH A DISCOVERY WOULD INCLUDE TURNING THE PLANET storage and metalloradicals.

into a cinder. Free Energy "Ludicrosities" The Neuman Motor: After a careful
Even so, great heaping piles of free Here is my take on all the ongoing and long -term review, I do not see much
energy enthusiasts can be located on the pseudoscience scam du jours: here. Clear-cut and unarguable results
Web in such fantasy forums as Bill Beaty's seem conspicuously lacking. Recent web
odd www.eskimo.com/- bilb/freenrgl/fnrg The Adams Motor. To me, this one measurements on those large, high -volt-
or else Jerry Decker's wwwescribe.com/ looks and acts exactly like a plain old age DC machines show efficiencies of 20
science/keely Fortunately, almost all of switched reluctance motor. Except for percent, but even these are suspiciously
free energy pseudoscience boils down having woefully inefficient flux paths, this high, owing to a questionable power mea-
to labwork so mesmerizingly awful that is simply one continuously driven variant surement. Uh, if a motor sparks, it is
it is not even wrong. To me, it sure is of the stepper motor. Independent tests inefficient.
challenging fun to find out exactly give efficiencies in the 10 to 30 percent But: Exotic pulse energy recycling
where and precisely how they have range. The extreme difficulty of measur- might improve battery life.
screwed up. ing the mis power of pulse waveforms
The outcome is never in doubt be- appears to be the basis for the overunity The Water- Powered Car. These
cause accurately measuring real nonlinear claims. seem to reside somewhere between
power or doing small DT calorimetry can But: New "real" switched reluctance wishful thinking and outright criminal
both be exceptionally difficult tasks. motors are poised to revolutionize air fraud. "Molecular resonance" of water
Worse, the results of those measurements conditioning and electric autos. takes place at frequencies far higher than
will almost always be deceptively high claimed and provides zero overunity
when carelessly done. Everybody always Brown's Gas: A stoichiometric mix options. Ifyou don't believe that, ask any
fouls these up-at least on their first few of two parts of hydrogen and one part of radio astronomer. There's very strong
hundred tries. oxygen by volume provides many highly evidence that any strange waveforms or
I've recently posted some essential unexpected properties, none of which high voltages during electrolysis can
tools that might let you intelligently include proponent's claims of overunity, only reduce your conversion efficiency.
evaluate pseudoscience on your own. long -term monatomics, or radioactive Another name for a system where a car
Find those at www.tinaja.com/glib /b engine drives some alternator that gen-
ashpseu.pdf These key tools include erates hydrogen that runs the engine is a
finding out what is really happening, NEED HELP? dynamic brake. Switching it in would
doing an objective meta study, using a Phone or write all your US Tech cause the auto to stop in much less than
binary consequence tree, slicing up with Musings questions to: its usual coasting distance.
Ockham's razor, applying my highly Don Lancaster But A modest hydrogen injection
devastating "looks like a duck, quacks Synergetics might improve the performance numbers
like a duck" filters, avoiding negatives, Box 809 -EN of an otherwise stock gasoline engine.
Thatcher, AZ 85552
and tracking the cash flow. Those tools Tel: 520 -428 -4073
separate useful adjuncts for porcine The Magic Lamp: Take a 32 -volt
whole body cleanliness from the total US e -mail: don @tinaja.com light bulb and a 110 -volt bulb. Connect
Web page: http: //www.tinaja.com
hogwash. them to dimmers and adjust for equal
new from high brightness. Use a cheap enough modynamic inefficiency. Your conver-
meter, and you'll measure one third the sion clearly is a non -adiabatic process;
DON LONCFSTER current and one third the voltage on the one that always throws off unwanted
ACTIVE FILTER COOKBOOK 32 -volt bulb and then jump to the wild- heat. Thus, a Tesla turbine simply has to
The sixteenth (I) printing of Dons bible on analog be inefficient to work at all.
op -amp lowpass, bandpass, and highpass active
ly wrong conclusion that the 32 -volt
filters. De- mystified instant designs. $28.50 bulb is more efficient and uses less But: when used backwards, Tesla
power (even though it is no cooler than turbines are quite useful for such essen-
RESEARCH INFOPACKS the other bulb). Careful analysis quickly tial tasks as pumping live fish or trans-
Don's instant cash -and -carry flat rate consulting
service. Ask any reasonable technical question leads to classic E.E. student lab blunder porting frozen chickens.
for a detailed analysis and complete report. See #01 -A-confusing average and rms on
www.tinaja.com /info0l for specifics. $79.00
low duty-cycle waveforms. The Switch Flippers: There are
But: A lot of high-efficiency lamps folks out there who claim that no current
CMOS AND TTL COOKBOOKS
Millions of copies in print worldwide. THE two are now under study, but those are based flows if you connect an open circuit wire
books for digital integrated circuit fundamentals. to a battery. Instead, mysterious "superlu-
About as hands -on as you can get. $28.50 each on studiously avoiding any incandes-
cence at all. minal" communications and an "etheretic
INCREDIBLE SECRET energy transfer" takes place if you flip
MONEY MACHINE II The Hydrosonic Pump: This is sim- switches fast enough on long enough
Updated 2nd edition of Don's classic on setting ply a blocked cavitating pump applied to wires. Sorry, but a transient current
up your own technical or craft venture. $18.50
generate heat. Oust what they warned me always results the instant you connect any
to avoid at all costs in fire school.) In other wire to any battery, open circuited or oth-
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Don's best early stuff at a bargain price. Includes words, a high -wear pump with one -sixth erwise. The Maxwell field equations and
the CMOS Cookbook, The TTL Cookbook, Active the characteristic impedance of the line
Filter Cookbook, PostScript video, Case Against the efficiency of a heat pump and six times
Patents, Incredible Secret Money Machine II, and the costs of a resistor, rerunning that clas- sets the initial current. The ultimate cur-
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Micro Cookbook I $19.50 out of the woodwork each decade. would not work were it true.
PostScript Beginner Stuff $29.50
PostScript Show and Tell $29.50 But A sonoluminescence is now asso- But: There's all sorts of astounding
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PostScript Tutorial/Cookbook $22.50
PostScript by Example $32.50 al really exciting new wonderments.
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Homopolar Machines: The homo-
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Thinking in PostScript $22.50
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Type 1 Font Format $16.50
Acrobat Reference $24.50 in viscous liquids to convert moving fluid cause of special relativity, it turns out that
Whole works (all PostScript) $380.00
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FREE US VOICE HELPLINE VISA /MC

SYN ERG ETI CS


Box 809 -EN
Thatcher, NZ 85552 FIG. 1 -THE RS485 SERIAL COMM STANDARD is widely used for computer networking.
(520) 428 -4073 The older RS422 differs in that the left driver is permanently enabled, while all other nodes
FREE catalog: http: / /www.tinaja.com must act as receivers. 55

www.americanradiohistory.com
decide if a uniform magnetic field is rotat- EIA RS422/RS485 system, or else by using some sort of col-
ing or stationary. Your homopolar output These are serial asynchronous data- lision detection.
depends only on your relative stator and communication standards. Note that Because of those balanced signals and
rotor speeds and the magnetic field RS422 has largely been replaced by the the differential receivers, noise immunity
strength. What the magnets are up to RS485, which we will mainly focus on can be quite good -all but incredibly bad
simply does not matter. Which can lead to here. common mode signals are ignored. Lines
severe misinterpretations and subtleties See Fig. 1. The key element in a can sometimes be nearly a mile long.
over what's really happening, especially in RS485 circuit is a twisted pair transmis- Note that there must be one and only
the way of counter EMFs and the reaction sion line. A digital logic one exists when one terminating resistor at the "start" of
torques. "B" line of the pair is positive (between the transmission line and one and only
But: Homopolar machines are one 2.5 and 5 volts) and the "A" line of the one terminating resistor at the "end" of
possible solution to electric autos, as well pair is near ground. A digital logic zero the line. The line must go from device to
as other "Uh compared to what ?" needs. exists when the "B" line of the pair is near device in the daisy chain manner shown
ground and the "A" line of the pair is pos- in Fig. 1. Use of stubs or multiple paths
Zero -Point Energy: If something is itive (between 2.5 and 5 volts). is a no -no. Only one message can route
sitting still and you know where it is, you A driver circuit converts an input one over the RS422 or RS485 line pair at a
have got more information than when or zero into the differential pair. A time.
something is sitting still and you do not receiver circuit can sense that differential The RS485 standard is used for many
know where it is, which is what zero - voltage and convert it on back to a local computer-networking systems. When
point energy is all about. It's simply a way output one or zero. A transceiver is sim- you use classic RS422 communications,
to get all the special relativity statistical ply a chip that holds one or more only a single, permanently enabled dri-
math to balance out. Here's the kicker: If receivers and one or more drivers. There ver is used. That driver chip must go at
all of the gross zero-point energy in a can be dozens and sometimes hundreds one end of the comm line, replacing the
volume the size of the earth were some- of drivers and receivers in any combina- termination. A single RS422 line pair
how 100 percent recovered, it would tion, but only one driver can be active at thus will be unidirectional only. It may
equal the chemical energy in one gallon one time. That can be handled by having have one transmitter driving any reason-
of gasoline. a master driver that is in control of your able number of receivers.
But: An exciting new field of Bose -
fog
Einstein Condensates is now opening spotlight gobo
machine
laser mirror
up, revealing a previously unknown state 10052
terminator
of matter.

You'll find plenty of ongoing and


lively Web discussions on all these top-
ics. Start with www.dejanews.com to
pick up as much detail as you can stand,
both pro and con. On second thought,
let's capitalize that: Con.
A wondrously bizarre assortment of DMX512 control console
pseudoscience files shows up at www.
keelynet.com Links to others at www.
tinaja.com/scweb0l.html More objective
"real engineering" analysis can be found
at www.tinaja.com/pseudo01.html
FIG. 2 -THE DMX512 LIGHTING CONTROL STANDARD lets a single console and a
Stage and Concert Lighting daisy- chained wire pair control spotlights, fog machines, lasers, mirrors, or animation.
Have you ever wondered how the
dozens of lights and related effects are The PACKET START consists The CHARACTERS all begin The BAUD RATE is fixed at
controlled at a theater, a club, or a rock of a break a minimum of 88 with one start bit, contain 8 250,000. Each bit time is thus
concert? Obviously running a separately sec long followed by a mark data bits, and end with a pair 4 sec and each character
a minimum of 8 sec long. of stop bits. time is 44 sec long.
controlled power line to each and every
lamp is ridiculously expensive and fraught
with peril.
It turns out there is a fairly unknown
but widely applied lighting standard
called DMX512. It allows up to 512
lights (or combinations of lights and spe- packet start channel 1 channel 2 channel 512
cial effects commands) to be controlled start character characte character character
by one cable.
Before we can look into DMX512, FIG. 3- DMX512 COMMUNICATIONS waveforms. Up to 512 8-bit channel commands can
though, we'll first have to find out a lit - be sent to various devices along a chain up to 4000 feet long. Each device responds to its
56 tle about... own channels in a selected proportional or on -off manner.
Additional details are in the EIA effects such as smoke generators, spin-
NAMES AND NUMBERS standards themselves or in a great tutor- ning mirrors, animation, and certain
Apex Microtechnology ial found at www.bb- elec.com/bb -elec/ laser effects could also be controlled.
5980 N Shannon Rd. literature/485appnote.pdf Your baud rate is 250,000 bits-per-sec-
Tucson, AZ 85741 The latest replacement for either ond. When the full 512 words are used,
(520) 690-8600 standard is RS644, which is called low updates take place at a maximum rate of
voltage differential signaling. New chips around 44 per second.
Bumpon /3M
here are the 65LUDS31 driver and a Each channel byte uses one start bit,
3M Center, Bldg. 220 -7W -03
St. Paul, MN 55144
65LVDS32 receiver from the folks at eight data bits, and two stop bits similar
(800) 362 -3550 Texas Instruments. to classic UART serial communications.
Those 11 bits make each channel byte 44
Dallas Semiconductor DMX512 microseconds long.
4401 Beltwood Pkwy. S A theater lighting-control system The packet starts with a logic zero that
Dallas, TX 75244 using the DMX512 standard is shown in is at least 88 microseconds long. That is
(972) 371-4000 Fig. 2. It uses an RS422 or newer stan- followed by a MAB, or Make After Break
dard twisted pair to get from a control that is 8 microseconds or longer. A start
Electronic Expediters console up to whatever lights and devices character follows that and forms an
14828 Calvert St. optional enable.
need to be controlled.
Van Nuys, CA 91411
The serial code is shown in Fig. 3. Its Up to 512 bytes of channel data follow.
(818) 781 -1910
packet consists of a header and up to 512 Each byte can represent any 8 -bit value
International Journal data blocks. Each data block is called a from 0 to 255. The use of these values
of Hydrogen Energy channel and holds an eight-bit word. depends on the device being addressed.
PO Box 248266 These words might be sensed as eight Each device is set to respond only to its
Coral Gables. FL 33124 individual on -off controls, might set a intended channels.
(305) 284-4666 brightness to one of 256 levels, or might Suitable shielded twisted -pair cables
be set to a linearized but lesser number include Belden 9841 and 9842, and Alpha
Lakeview Research of levels. Channels could be paired for 5274. Normal terminating resistance is
2209 Winnebago St. 16 -bit resolution. Several channels might 110 ohms.
Madison, WI 53704 The system uses 5 pin XLR connec-
be used for one device: perhaps one to
(608) 241-5824
set your level, one to set the color, and tors, with male connectors on the cables
Linear Technology two to set the position. Non -lighting or terminators and female on the devices.
1630 McCarthy Blvd.
Milpitas, CA 95035
Concert Lighting; Techniques, Art & Business. James Moody. Focal Press, 1997.
(408) 432 -1900
Concert Sound and Lighting Systems, John Vasey, Butterworth- Heinemann. 1994
Loctite Control Systems for Live Entertainment, John Huntington, Butterworth -Heinemann. 1994.
1001 Trout Brook Cross Discovering Stage Lighting, Francis Reid, Focal Press, 1993.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Effects for the Theatre. Graham Walne. Drama Publishers, 1995.
(860) 571-5100
Handbook of Scenery, Properties and Lighting. Harvey Sweet, Allyn & Bacon, 1995.

Micrel Semiconductor Light on the Subject: Stage Lighting for Directors, David Hays, Limelight Editions, 1989.
1849 Fortune Drive
Lighting and Sound (Phaidon Theater Manual), Neil Fraser, Phaidon Press, 1995.
San Jose, CA 95131
Lighting and the Design Idea, Linda Essig, Hbj College & School Div, 1996
(408) 944 -0800
Lighting the Stage: A Designer's Experiences, Francis Reid Focal Press. July 1995
Pacific NW National Laboratory Painting with Light. John Alton. University of California Press, April 1995.
Box 999
Projection for Performing Arts. Graham Walne, Focal Press, 1995.
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 372-4270 Recommended Practice for DMX512. Adam Benette, USITT, 1993.
Scene Design and Stage Lighting. Oren Parker, Holt, Reinhart & Winston, 1996
Synergetics Stage Lighting Design: The Art, Craft, & Life, Richard Pilbrow. Drama Publishers, 1997.
Box 809
Stage Lighting Handbook, Francis Reid, A & C Black. 1996.
Thatcher, AZ 85552
(520) 428-4073 Stage Lighting in the Boondocks. James Miller, Meriwether Publishing, 1987.

Stage Lighting Revealed: Design & Execution, G. Cunningham, Betterway Pubs, 1993.
Texas Instruments
Stage Lighting Step by Step. Graham Walters, Betterway Publications. 1997.
PO Box 809066
Dallas, TX 75380 Theater Backstage from A to Z, Warren Lounsbury, University of Washington Press, 1989.
(800) 336 -5236 Theater Lighting from A to Z, Norman Boulanger, University of Washington Press. 1992.
Theater Technology. George Izenour, Yale University Press, 1997.
Peter Zelchenko
1757 W Augusta Blvd. #3
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 733-2473
FIG. 4- SELECTED THEATER and concert lighting books. More details on many of these
titles are found at www.tinaja.com/amlink01.html 57

www.americanradiohistory.com
The pinouts for the connectors are: pin Note that there is zero error correc- also wrote the great Parallel Port Complete
1- shield and common;pin 2-
dimmer tion here and that the optional return text. The publisher is Lakeview Research
complement; pin 3-
dimmer true; pin channel has nonstandard uses. Thus, More at www.tinaja.com/amlinkOl.html
4-optional complement; and pin 5- DMX512 should definitely not be used Volume One: The Instant Book is a bound
optional true. for pyrotechnics or anywhere public safe- tutorial by Peter Zelchenko on Book -on-
ty is a concern. demand publishing. Contact him at www.
DMX RESOURCES Although a variety of commercial volumeone.net For more on BOD, other
controllers are readily available, you can service bureaus, and related topics, check
AMX
11995 Forestgate Dr.
easily build your own DMX512 con- the details at www.tinaja.com/bodOl.html
Dallas, TX 75243 troller as a mid -range PIC project. The latest release of the Inventor
(800) 222 -0193 Additional PIC support appears at my Assistance Source Directory is newly avail-
www.tinaja.com/picupOl.html able from the Fed's Inventions &
Angstrom I've gathered a few of the DMX512 Innovation program. The publisher is
837 N Cahuenga Blvd. standards, suppliers, and info sources Pacific Northwest National Lab. But
Hollywood, CA 90038 together in the resource sidebar. A use- remember that calling yourself an "inven-
(800) 422 -5744 ful site is www.dmx512.com An amazing tor" is often monumentally stupid. Find
number of nice international- lighting out why at www.tinaja.com/patnt01.html
Artistic License links appear at www.ozemail.com.au/ The superb International Journal of
Livingstone Ct., Peel Rd.
Harrow, Middlesex HA37QT
-bhillllinks.html Hydrogen Energy is one definitive but
England Apparently the "must have" book is extremely expensive ($1476) publication.
Adam Bennette's Recommended Practice for Chances are you could access copies
Electronic Theater Controls DMX512. It and the standard itself can through a larger library. Additional mag-
630 9th Ave., Ste. 1001 be obtained from USITT, short for the azines on hydrogen, books, links, and
New York, NY 10036 US Institute of Theater Technology. resources are found through my www.
(212) 397 -8080 Useful newsgroups include: alt.stagecraft, tinaja.com/h2gasOl.html
comp.arch.embedded, net.theatre.stage- Free samples of new light-curing
ESTA
craft, rec.arts.theater.stagecraft, and sci. adhesives are available through Loctite.
875 Sixty Ave., Ste. 2302
engr. lighting They also publish a new product selector
New York, NY 10001
(212) 244 -1505
My choices of popular and more gen- guide. Free samples of Bumpon stick-on
eral books on concert and theater light- feet are available from 3M.
Doug Fleenor Design ing are shown in Fig. 4. More details on For those fundamentals of active -fil-
396 Corbett Canyon Rd. many of these titles are at www.tinaja. ter design, check my Active Filter
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 com/amlink01.htm1 Cookbook. Available by itself or in my
(805) 481 -9599 Lancaster Classics Library. See my nearby
New Tech Lit Synergetics ad or visit my www.tinaja.
International Laser Display Assn. From Apex comes their new data book com/synlib0l
4301 32nd St. W, Ste. B -23
on power integrated circuits. And from I've finally managed to provide a
Bradenton, FL 34205
Micrel, there's a data booklet on their new powerful online site search for my www.
(941) 758-6881
QwikRadio single -chip UHF modem data tinaja.com Web site. Yeah, this now
Mole-Richardson receivers. Only three external parts are includes full text searching for all the
937 N Sycamore Ave. needed here! tutorial Acrobat PDF files. As well as the
Hollywood, CA 90038 A new free data book and CD ROM usual HTML and text. A bunch of earli-
(323) 851-0111 is available from Dallas Semiconductor. er columns have newly been uploaded.
Dallas seems to be the first one to tame Instant answers and cost -effective
PLASA the data monster by providing only the technical solutions can be found at
38 Leonards
first page of each data sheet in the print- www.tinaja.com/info01.html, while lots
Eastbourne, E Sussex BN21 3UH
ed catalog. You go to the CD qr their of great test equipment bargains (espe-
UK
site at www.dalsemi.com when you need cially superb Tek 2213 scopes and fan-
Production Arts Lighting more detail. tastic buys on premium logic data ana-
636 Eleventh Ave. Free Filter Design Software for lyzers) are found by clicking www.tinaja.
New York, NY 10036 Windows CD is now being promoted by com/barg01 .html
(212) 489 -0312 Linear Technology. As usual, most of the mentioned items
Electronic Expediters has some 33 mil- are in our "Names and Numbers" or
Pyrotechnics Guild International lion integrated circuits and semis in stock. "DMX Resources" sidebars. Always look
Bill Sprague
Check www.expediters.com But a much here first before calling our free US tech-
93 Poquanticut Ave.
N Easton, MA 02356
better source for instant ordering of single nical helpline.
quantity samples is www.questlink.com
USITT Serial Port Complete is a new Jan
6443 Ridings Rd. Axelson book on RS232 and RS484 links Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.
Syracuse, NY 13206 and networks. PCs, Basic Stamps, and
(800) 93USITT other popular micros are well covered. A
58 companion software disk is included. Jan 4"'
NEW LITERATURE practical source of this guide discusses the many types of
information on the communication systems that are avail-
continued from page 30
World Wide Web, able and where they can be found: short-
electronic mailing wave, amateur radio, citizen's band, fed-
lists, e-mail, and eral services, weather services, overseas
Proceedings of The ARRL news services, plus many more impor-
a wide variety of
National Educational Workshop other Internet re- tant sources of vital information and
The American Radio Relay League sources. Endorsed programming.
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INFORMATION CARD
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e -mail: jwolfgang@arrl.org Internet and its most important functions keep in touch with friends, without need-
Web: www.arrl.com for marketers, network administrators, ing to take a radio license test of any sort,
$12 programmers, and other professionals. is explained
Designed for edu- In addition to providing a thorough Information is provided to help read-
cators who teach glossary of terms pertaining to network- ers build and set up systems using various
amateur radio and ing, Internet programming basics, elec- types of emergency power sources,
written by experts tronic commerce, Internet applications including inexpensive solar -power sys-
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discuss such sub- Internet, the dictionary also includes sev- to work when the power grid goes down.
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Professionals with survival com- test products and services.
Edited by Russ Bahorsky munications -the Featured in this catalog is the HP
Government Institutes ability to receive Infinium digital oscilloscope, a state-of-
4 Research Place, Suite 200 accurate and timely the- art digital instrument with the look
Rockville, MD 20850 information in time and feel of an analog scope. It offers a
Tel: 301 -921 -2355 of crisis. Covering Wmdows -95 based GUI and built-in
CIRCLE 343 ON FREE
Fax: 301- 921 -0373 INFORMATION CARD the subject in depth, measurement assistance and set -up guide.
Web: www.govinst.com These capabilities help users make com-
$49 plus $6 S & H in U.S. plex measurements easily and quickly
While there is no shortage of informa-
4/001zsArow To order books in
Many other advances in measurement
this magazine or,
tion available on the Internet, managing any book in print. Please call anytime day or and test technology are contained in this
night: (B00) BOOKS-NOW (266 -5766) or edition. Among the new products includ-
that information is becoming over- (801) 261 -1187 ask for ext. 1454 or visit on the
whelming. This new reference book pro- web at http://www.BooksNow.corn/elec- ed are the HP E2310A Logic Dart
vides advanced, professional, and new tronlcsnow.htm. Advanced Logic Probe, the HP Advanced
Free catalogs are not available.
Internet users with an authoritative and Design System, the HP 81200 330/660 59

www.americanradiohistory.com
MHz Data Generator/Analyzer, the HP Extensive bibliographies are provided itat all; the real input load is the sig-
E8400A VXI Mainframe and low-cost, for the readers who wish to delve more nal delay line. The sampling unit and
plug -in modules, and the HP AccuSite deeply into any topic. Equations in the a 50 -ohm termination resistor are
CDMA PCS base-station test set. body of the text are kept to a minimum, connected to the end of this cable.
Along with descriptions and technical but a full set is provided in an appendix. The sampler is a simple diode bridge
specifications of standard products and Other appendices contain the CIE Stan- that is turned on and off again by a
systems, the catalog also includes prod- dard Observer tables and provide infor- very short pulse. It is transformer-cou -
uct- comparison charts, tutorial material, mation on international and national pled to the diodes, which are hot -
an indexed list of application notes, and standards organizations, national stan- carrier diodes that turn on and off
descriptions of other available literature dards laboratories, equipment suppliers, with minimal delay. Once the input is
such as newsletters and specialty catalogs. and calibration services. sampled, the result is stored in a
capacitor. That drives a convention-
al sample- and -hold circuit that
FAST BUT FORGOTTEN retains each input sample as long
Electronic Display Measurement: (continued from page 47) as it is needed for the display.
Concepts, Techniques, and Each time it is triggered, the ramp
base, many transistors, even quite circuit generates a pulse with a
Instrumentation slow ones, will turn on in a nanosec- sloping front edge. This slope is
by Peter A. Keller ond, generating a negative going adjustable and acts as the time
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. edge perhaps 30 volts high. base for the sampler. That is, a 50 ns
605 Third Avenue If you connected a delay line to slope results in a display whose width
New York, NY 10158 the collector, you could generate 5 corresponds to 50 ns at the input. The
Tel: 800 -225 -5945 ns pulses that no other contempo- length of the pulse can be adjusted
Web: www.wiley.com rary device could match. Early sam- to set the time between sampled
$69.95 pling scopes used avalanche transis- inputs to a convenient value.
Written in a con- tors to generate the short pulses that That pulse drives one input of a
ELECTRONIC
versational style, this turned on their sampling diodes. comparator. The other input is driven
D15PLAV volume is the first Practical sampling scopes had by the slow ramp, which forms the X
MEASUREMENT complete reference built-in signal delay lines. It takes a input to the display. When the two
manual in its field. finite time to trigger the fast ramp. ramps are equal, the comparator
A practical and up- Without a signal delay, the front fires the sampling pulse to measure
to- date guide to the edge of a pulse would always be the input amplitude. This drives the Y
most reliable tech- out of sight whenever internal trig- input to the display and makes a dot
PLIER A. KtttER
niques, methods and gering was used. That delay line was on the screen. The successive dots
instruments avail- often made from rigid coax that zig- outline the shape of the input signal.
CIRCLE 345 ON FREE able for measuring zagged down the inside of one side
INFORMATION CARD
electronic displays, of the scope. The cheaper sampling Building Your Own Scope. De-
it is an invaluable tool for designers, scopes had effective rise times in signing and building conventional
engineers, and manufacturers of display the half- nanosecond region, but oscilloscopes was something of a
systems. some worked down to some tens of hobby of mine when was a physics
I

This book describes practical tech- picoseconds and allowed you to student. By the time was profes- I

niques and instrumentation used for dis- examine microwave signals. sionally involved in electronics, ana-
play measurement and the common pit- The sampling scope had its dis- log scopes had reached the 300 -
falls that result in errors. The author pre- advantages. Its behavior was criti- MHz bandwidth of the early sam-
sents each major topic from a basic to a cally dependent on the repetition pling scopes and the latter were rel-
working level in a self-contained chapter rate of the input signal. If it was too egated to specialist uses.
so that all the relevant information is eas- slow, then so was the update rate of From time to time, contemplat-I

ily accessible without cross- referencing. the display and it would flicker. If it ed building my own sampling scope.
This easy -to-understand manual helps was too fast, then the trigger circuit Recently took another stab at it.
I

readers gauge the dependability, accura- had to ignore most of the input After breadboarding the timing cir-
cy, and competitiveness of any electronic pulses. It often took some skill to cuit concluded that, although it was
I

display. It explains how to measure lumi- come up with a stable display. a feasible project, could not justify
I

nance, resolution, contrast, quality, color, Figure 3 shows the block diagram further effort. High -speed electronics
uniformity, registration, and more. of a sampling scope. The input has a is pretty tricky and success depends
50-ohm impedance, so unless the on many tiny details. While didn't I

circuit under test is designed to drive doubt that could get something
43OZtelirow
I

To order books in
this magazine or, 50 ohms, you need attenuating running, thought was unlikely to
I I

any book in print. Please call anytime day or probes to avoid loading the circuit. end up with a design that the aver-
night: (800) BOOKS -NOW (266-5766) or Typically the input can handle sig- age home -brewer could put togeth-
(801) 261 -1187 ask for ext. 1454 or visit on the
web at http://www.BooksNow.com/etec- nals within the range +1 to -1 volts. er. However, constructing a sampling
tronicsnow.htm. The trigger circuit is connected scope could be an interesting pro-
Free catalogs are not available.
60 directly to the input but hardly loads ject for the advanced amateur. Q
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bar graph, frog, capac., dBm, logic, diode 20mF, 9 Ranges, 0.IpF resolution, 70-III S99.00 DC/AC Current Probe $79.95
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LCR-24 ($119.93): 0.101-200H, 75-111 $155.00 AC Clamp w/temp $89.95
(I 0V, I OnA, 10m1), hFE, diode, contint 77 -III $173.00 DC/AC Clamp $109.95
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capacitance, freq, logic, continuity 10M2, Q Factor, serial/parallel, EMF Tester $69.95
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Handheld, 8 digits display, I Oppm I23-III $1,130 High Voltgae Probe $59.95
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Single Output DC Power Supplies Triple Output AUDIO /RF/FUNCT. GEN.
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PS-303 ($159.00) 30V/3A PS-8200 ($179.95) 30V /3A 1) ip/e Output (Analog ddlIrrppl1aa'rts) Audio Generator AG -2601 ($124.95) 10Hz-
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PS-305 ($219.95) 30V /5A PS-8201 ($239.95) 30V /5A PS -8102 ($399.95) 30V/3A/30V /3A
PS -8112 ($399.95) 60V /SA Diehl Vold Current Display PS -8103 ($489.95) 30V /5A/30V /SA AG-2603AD ($229.95) with 6 digit counter

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PS -8107 ($399.95) 30V /1 OA
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PS -8202 ($499.95) 30V/3A/30V/3A
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One fixed 5V,3A output Voltage regulation <0.0l% Auto track (PPT series), 0.021n.z-2MHz w/counter AC/DV(V,A),C,2,diode
Most economical scope Readouts Cursor mear IEEE -488.2 and SCPI Sind.Squ/Tri/pulse/Rarnp
Auto track, serial, parallelCurrent regulation 0.2% DM- 8040($339.95) Sus dgt
Dual CH/X -Y operation Dual CH / Delay sweep
t mV/div sensitivity Built-in delay line Coast volt, current mode PS-1830 ($198.95) I8V/3A compatible command set FC-8020G ($209.95) ACV to 50kHz, true mss
PPS-1 840C431 349.95)18V/6A 0.02H-2MHz w/counter
Z-axis input,CH1 output ALT trigger, Hold -Off P8 -1850 ($214.95) 18V/5A PPS3635G(11,149.95136vn.56 FG-8050 (5449.95) Sweep DM-8055G($889.95)5 1/2dgt
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All models: protection of short ckt, overload, reverse polarity, over - SG -416013 5124.95, 100KHz- 150MHz DM-4061 $89.95 1.5- 250MHz,
voltage; Constant Current & Voltage (CC/CV) are filly adjustable. up to 450MHz on 3rd harmonics in 6 6 bared;; 6 plug-in cam,
Regulation: 5.01 %+3mV (line); 5.01% +3mV (load); slmV ripple. ranges; AM modulation; Accucy: t5 %. 2 transistor, and 1 diode.
SINGLE OUTPUT AKpdsa.$lgt! RP Output. 100mVrms to 35 MHz; Modulation:. 2KHz Sinewave.
PS-303 5159.00, 30V Modulation: lot I KHz (AM) .30%; Crystal Oscillator: -15MHz.1

: PS-305 521995, 30V/SA 0 iF Ext 50Hz- 20KHz, at least V, . input


1 Wa "e abso ton meter. 9VDC baff
PS -16105 $289.00, 16V/IOA. Audio Output: KHz, 2V,,, minimum.
FREQUENCY COUNTER
1

PS -2243 5139.00, 12V/24V select, 3A. SG-4162AD (with Freq. Counter) 522995, Spec. see SG- 41608.
PS -2245 5159.00, 12V/24V select, 5A. COUNTER SECTION: 10Hz- 150MHz; Mas. Input: 53V effective FC-5250C 5119.95 10Hz- 220MHz.
8107 539995, 30V/I0A. Gate Timer .1, lsec. Input Sensitivity. 3:mV, 10Hz -200M Hz. (HF)10Hz- 20MHz, (VHF)10- 200MHz
8110 $289.95, 60V/3A Input Impedance: 1M il(HF), 500(VHF). Display: 7 -digit LEDs. GateTime:.1, 1sec. Max Input 10V,.e
8112 539995, 60V/5A Input Sensitivity: 35m V/ IOHz- 200MHz
MOW rollnecks' & A,.o 4MNM91t
AM /FM STD SIGNAL GEN. Input limped.. IM0(HF), 500(VHF).
8200(8201) 5179.95(5239.95), 30V/3A(5A) SG-4110A 51799.00, Freq: 0.1- 110MHz Display: 6 -digit LED; Display: 7 -digit LEDs; 9V adapter (56)
Digilel LNspas 8210/8300 519995, 30V/3A. Resolution: 100Hz (0.1- 34.999MHz); 11CHz (35MHz-110MHz). EC-5260A 512995
8211/8301 5259.95, 30V /5A Accuracy <t(5x10' t1 count); Output: -i 9dBu- 99dBu, ldB steps. 10Hz- 600MHz 74igt LEDs.
DUAL OUTPUTS - I dann: 500 VSWR I.2; 100 reset freuen & store fractions FC.5270 5149.95
Independent/Tracking 8 8 qgr, 101-1z- 1;.2GHz; 8-digit LEDs.

A
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GENERATOR PC -56005 522995
8108 5549.95, 60 V /3A ./r

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AG-2601A 5124.95, 10Hz-1MHz in 5 1011z- 600MHz, 10 -digit LEDs.
ranges; Output smewave 0-8V,m,; squ- FC -5700 5299.95 10Hz- 1.3G1z 10 'rt LEDs. Period measure -
8109 569995, 60 V /5A.
PS -303D $314.95, 30V/3A. PS -305D 539995, 30V /5A. are 10V,.,. Output hoped: 600 Ohm.
TRACER /INJECTOR
SIGNAL
TRIPLE OUTPUTS, a need 5V /3A output, Independ/Trocking
DiggalDisplays 8202( 8203) 5499.95(5549.95), dual 30V/3A(SA).
Analog Diapktas 8102(8103) 5399.95(5489.95), dual 30V/3A(5A),
with Parallel (30 V /6A) and Series (60V/3A) Mode o erstion
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Distortion: :0.05% 500Hz-50KHZ
<0.5% 50KHz-500KHz
AG-2603AD 5229.95, with 6-digit,
hu/Ext Freq Counter, 10Hz- 150MHz,
.

t Control. 0/- 20/-40dB & Fine aduster. S.ec. see AG -2601 A.,
SE 6100 513495
TRACE Gam 60dB maximum.
Attenuation: 0/20/40/60dB
Input Imes?: 100K0; Meter: Vu 100A
:

8 0.
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CPG-1366A S159.95, VHF NTSC;
FUNCTION GENERATOR INJECTOR:.1KHz Squarewave;
Freq.: 45.75, 175.25, 187.25 MHz; FG -2100A 516995, 0.2Hz -2MHz in 7 t Level Variable 0 - 4.5 V,,; 9V battery
oradapter (56.00).
RP Output: IOmV. e; inc. &cjuaxc. thaitgle, pulse &
Ramp; Output: 5mV,,r 20V,_ 1%
Impedance: 75 Ohm; 4441s
distortion. VCF. 0-10V/freq. to 1000:1. MIC-40700 517995, Induct.: 0.1 -200H, Capace.: 0.1p-20mF,
Video Output: BNC,
CPG-1367A 5159.95, VHF PAL. ;gaw FG2102AD 522995 see FG-2100A; Ruin.: Ima -20M0, 20 range, Dissipation factor measurement,
4-digit courra display, TTL & CMOS Zero ad' t Surface mount device SMD test obe: LT-06 521.95
SWR /RF /mW POWER METER
s outputs, 3oppm 1 count accuracy.
.

310 S8995, 1.1- l50MHz;RFPower: FG-2020B 5159.00 0.5Hz- 500KIiz; Sine, Square, Mangle. DIGITAL MULTIMETER
0.4W/20W/200W 3 ranges; SWR FG-2103 532995, Digital sweep generator, 0.5Hz-5MHz in 7 DMM -120 S24.95, 3'/ digit, 600VDC, 2ADC
Measurement.: i.0 --m, 4W minimum. ranges. Operating Mode sweep, AM, gated burst, VCG. 500 VAC, 2MO, hFE/diode/contnuity test 1.2%
Accuracy 5% -10 %; Insert Lose .3dB Freq. Counter Int. 0.514z-5MHz; Ext. 5HZ-10MHz DMM- 123+Capadtance 544.95, 3h digit,
Input/Output Imp.: 500; SO-239 plug F0413 576995, 13 MHz, Microprocessor embedded dgital sweep 600VDC/600VAC, IOADC/AC, 200, 20F,
320 58995, 130.520MHz Spec. 310. Sine, Square, Triangle, Pulse, Ramp, Trii. & DC; t(.01 %+1 dge). hFE/diode test, continuity beeper; 0.8% accuracy
330 511995, 1.8.520MHz Spec. see 310. Fr Counter & TCXO: 5Hz- 100MHz, 6.5 ts. xl /x20 attenuatn
. DMM- 124:Cap. +Tvenp.+Freq. $6995, 31/2 dig,
SWR-3P 526.951.7- 150MHz; 600VDC/500VAC, -58-752' F, 2GO, 20mF,
RP Power: 0.5 -IOW, 0.5W-100W.
AC MILLIVOLT METER 200KHz, 34 phase/diode/continuity tes t, 1.2 %.
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5Hz-1MHz, 3 scales, mV, dB &dBm; 600VDC/AC, IOADC/AC, diode/continuity ity test
mW RF Power Meter 340 5219.00, I.0.500MHz; RP 30055V-100V in 12 ranges, 10V MIC-35 55995, Autoenge, 3 A LCD, 20M 0,
Power, 20mW/200mW/2W 3 ranges; Imped.: 500 ; Accuracy: 1000VDC/750 VAC, 20ADC/AC, data hold,
resolution; -70 -40dB in 12 ranges,
10% fu l scale SWR <1.15; N- pe connector BNC l' a ou ut.. OdB- IVma,OdBm 0.755V); *3% diode/continuity test, free holster, 0.5% accuracy
FM STEREO MODULATOR accuracy; Input impedance 10M0 , M1G39 512995, AntotangeBargraph, True RMS, 3% LCD, 40F,
Noise <2 %. MV -3201B 530995 dual 40M0, 1000VDC/750VAC, 20ADC/AC, 600KHz freq. cntr, data
AG-2011A $549.00 channels- simultaneous measurement. hold, deep mode, memory, read fractions, holster; 0.3% accuracy.
RF SECTION: POCKET ANALOG MULTIMETER AMM-9810P 51495
Carrier: 98MHz 52MHz; OSCILLOSCOPES DV: Range: 10/50/250/500V; *4%.
Output IOmV, lmV & 0.1mV OS-73053 5249.00 DC -7MHz; 3" ACV: Range: 50/250/500V; 4%.
COMPOSITE SIGNALS: CRT; Hwy .25V/div; 10Hz- 100KHz DCAi Range: 25mA, 250mA;Acaracy: t4%
Pilot: 19KHz t2Hz, 0.8Vma in 4 ranges; Vert IOmV/drv, Ira. & fill scale; Protection: 0.5A/250 V Sae.
INT. MODULATION: 400KHz, Ext. Sync.;lnput 1M0/35pF. jtetlshmro: Range: 500k0 (z 1k); t5 %.
1KHz t1 %, 1 Vrms, distortion < .5 %;L-R Separation: >50dB. OS -7010A S29995 10MHz, 5"CRT, dB Teat +4 to +56 dB on ACV range;
EXT. MODULATION: Freq.: 50Hz-15KHz Herz: .2 V/div; Vert 10mV -10V /div. Accuracy: *5% of fill scale.
L-R S oration: >45dB 100Hz-3KHz; >35dB 50Hz -15KHz
-

OS -622G $38995 20MHz, 2 CH/X -Y Bapon Test I.5V and 9V.


Ah trigger , trigger lock, hold OFF, TV Max. In ut 500VDC/AC, or 250mADC_
WOW- FLUTTER METER syn., 8x10 div., ImV /div., Hem .2s- 3&/div; Vert ImV- 5V/div.
WF-3103A S69995 Freq. Rangt: 3KHzs10% IlS/CCIR; OS -653G 569995 50MHz, 2 CH/delay sweep, Alt trigger, TV syn. AUTO. CAPACITANCE METER
CM3300A S139.00 10 ranges, 99.9pF - 99.9mF, fully automatic
3.15KIir010% DIN.
OS -6101G 51499.95100MHz, 4ch/8 tacee, delay sweep, cursor
Mearurent .03/.1 /3/1/3% fill scale.
readout. 2 s warren or 0S-622G, OS-653G A OS6101 G. Resolution: 0.1pF lowest, 0.1% fall scale. '.-
Accuracy. IS% of fill sag.
.

Accuracy:
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Power Consumption- 120W
Pump Diaphragm Type
Motor Output 12W
Vacuum Attained 650mmHg
Totally Self Contained diaphragm vacuum pump and AC motor for Temperature Range 300C -500 C (572 F -932 "F)
high vacuum suction or reversible hot air blow for SMD removal. Air Flow Rate 15 Liter /Minute (Open)
100Watt Ceramic heater with zero- crossover switching heater Heater 10E3W (Ceramic)
control circuit which prevents spikes and leakage currents. Control System -Feed Back Zero Cross -over Type
Unique patented long lasting filter cartridge design. Solder builds up on Net Weight 420Grams
easily cleaned baffle, while air flows around the outside of baffle.
Totally ESD Safe. The housing contains carbon and the tip is at
Max.Temp: of Hot Blow -400 C
The Most Cost Effective Desoldering Tool in the World.

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XK -700 Digital / Analogs Trainer Digital Multimeter DIGITAL LCR METER


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XK -700
X39.95Free Holster X99.95
Assembled and Tested 11functions
$189.95 Freq to 20MHz Capacitance .1 pF to 20MF
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XK -700 - SEMI KIT AC/DC Voltage
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3 1/2 Digit Display

Made In the USA

15pc. VCR Service Tool Kit Model M -6100 Model XP -581


Model TK -1400 The M -6100 is Elenco's most sophisti- 4 Fully Regulated DC Power Supplies in One Unit
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$9995
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For high performance digital multime-
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Range .02Hz - 2MHz
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Built -in 150MHz
training course included 1/2% basic accu- Frequency Counter
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o20dB maximum input
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Dynamic Range 80dB(113dB with attenuation) Accurately measures capacitance. resistance and 50,000 count Disturbance Ind /cator
AM 8 FM demod included inductance. C.025% DCV Autograph. bargraph with zoom
20 and 400KHz resolution bandwidth Measures dissipation factor of capacitors and O of C.07% ohms Sealed case. Splachproof
150KHz/hour stability inductors. Min/Max/Avg IEC 1010, class 2 safety com-
Built-in tracking generator(Model 2630A) Simultaneously displays measured value and O or True RMS, AC. nr AC.DC pliance
dissipation factor. 100kHz AC response
PORTABLE SEMICONDUCTOR TESTER Displays the difference between measures and ref- Capacitance to $0,000n F
Model 5390
erence values. Frequency. duty cycle, pulse width
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Model 878 $219.95 I. dB across I te 10k
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MX -9300
In or out -of -order circuit tests for transistor,
Four Functions in One Instrument
FETs, SCRs and darlingtons.
Features:
20MHz Sweep Function ' One instrument with four test and measur-
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B &K 4040 1.3GHz Frequency Counter
0.2Hz to 20MHj
AM & FM modulation 2MHz Sweep Function Generator
Burst Operation Digital Multimeter
External Frequency
Digital Triple Power Supply
counter to 30MHz
Linear and Log sweep $399 0 -30V @ 3A, 15V @ 1A, 5V @2A
10MHz B &K 4017 5309
MHz B&K .'11 $239

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Mark V Electronics, Inc. DIY Audio Electronic Kits Kit skill levels SCHOOL PROJECT CORNER
Lab Equipment kits Beginner po orders welcome from schools
8019 E. Slauson Ave.,
Montebello, CA 90640
Audio Enclosures & more! AA
W Intermediate
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Catalog 323/ 888 -8988 ORDER Fast Shipping
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Dynamic Noise Reduction 26.00
Email: mark5co @aol.com
This precision digital Mutti- Function Control Switch 5.25
FM Wireless 41/2 Digital LED Panel Meter meter is a stand -alone
TY -35 Microphone 20 Bar /Dot Level Display AA 41.45
This is a low power real SM -48 voltmeter- ammeter or Microphone Mixer Mono Amp. 20.79
can interface with a Superior Electronic Roulette 9.99
FM transmitter. Transmit
computer! 41/2 digit 0.55"
frequency within 88 -108 Tempe- Digital Clock with Melody Alarm 25.00
LED display.
MHz. Transmit range Stereo Pre -Amp with Mic Amp. 10.78
rature compensated to
Kit $ 14o 6.99 about 200 ft. It has high 100 PPM / C. Operating Mini Stereo Multi -Input Amp. 30.50
sensitivity sound pickup 130-in -one Electronic Lab A 29.99
by a capacitance microphone. May be temperature range is
used strictly for series purposes such as 0 C to +70 C. Outputs include BCD date, Busy
and strobe. Panel reading can be latched on hold. SEE OUR CATALOG FOR MORE KITS
remote wireless moniterine.
Stereo Loudspeaker Protector Regulated DC Power Supply Fluorescent Light Driver
T'Y-25 Super fast acting relay protects TR -503 V It isshort circuit proof & has (1 lb.) This unit drives 6-40
watts fluorescent light
speakers against destructive overload protection. Output
DC voltages. Can connect voltage is variable over a for portable and
directly to a power amplifier or range of 0 -50 volts. Current emergency use. Works
from a 7.2 - 16 VDC
can use a separate power
supply. Has a 3 second turn-on
limit trip is adjustable up to :$
Kit PkT5 999 battery. Includes a "Hi-
max of 3A. May use Mark V Efficiency Switching Mode IC Driving
Kit: 16.75
delay to avoid turn -on thumps. Kit. $18.75 #002 transformer.
S Circuit" suitable for use with different li.hts.
120 -250W Mosfet Power Mono Amplifier AF -2 (6 lbs.) AA 20 Color LED Audio Level Meter
TY-13 (1 lb) Use this dual LED
Power Output: 250W into 4 ohms RMS(42VX2 6A transformer is
used). 120W into 4 ohms RMS(33VX2 4A transformer is used).
display indicating meter
Frequency Response: 3Hz-22,000Hz. THD: <0.03 %. Signal to with your stereo power
amplifier to indicate
Noise Ratio: 91 dB. Sensitivity: 1V RMS at 47k. Load Impedance: 4
or 8 ohms. Power Requirement: 46VDC 4A or 1-60VDC 6A. May
use Mark V model 012 Transformer. Suggested Capacitor 8,200uf
Kit:$) instantaneous speaker
9.99 power. Operating range

Kit: $r 7t.33Asmb.S 114.80100V Model 020. Suggested Metal Cabinet LG -1925.

TA-3600 (5 lbs.)
is -30dB to +5dB and can be calibrated to
operate with 1 to 200 W amplifiers. Not
consume any amplifier power. A peak LED
300W High Power Mono Amplifier AAA
illuminates on overload!
Power Output: 300W into 8 ohms RMS. 540W music power into 8
ohms. Frequency Response: 10Hz- 20KHz. THD: < 0.05 %. 500 -in -one Electronic Lab Kit
Sensitivity: 1V RMS at 47K Power Requirement: 60 to 75 VDC at Contains its own computer
62.30 8A May use Mark V Model 007 or 009 Transformer. Suggested with a simple explanation
Kit:$ Capacitor 8,200u 100V Model 020 Capacitor. Suggested Metal of the basic(Assembler)
Asm .$ 115.00 Cabinet LG -1925. language required for
TA- 800MK2 (4 lbs.) AA operation. Compile pro-
120W + 120W Pre & Main Stereo Amplifier grams to discover how
computers operate while
Power Output: 120W into 4 ohms RMS. 72W into 8 ohms RMS.
gaining an understanding
Frequency Response: 10 - 20 KHZ THD: < 0.01%. Tone Control:
of hardware & software.
Bass 12dB, Mid 8dB, Treble 8dB. Sensitivity: Phono Input,
.fia. 3mV into 47K Lina, 0.3V into 47K Signal to Noise Ratio: 86dB. S 129.99 With easy -to -follow man-
ual which explains by
Power Requirement: 40V DC @ 6A. May use Mark V Model 001
comprehensive diagrams. Requires 4 "AA"
57.73 Asmb.$ 86.95 or 008 Transformer. Suggested Metal Cabinet Model LG -1924. batteries.
80W + 80W Pure DC Stereo Main Power Amplifier TA -802 (4 lbs.) AA 60 + 60W Stereo Power Amp. V
Power Output: 80W per channel into 8 ohms. THD: < 0.05 %. SM-302 (11 lbs.) provides 3 input
It

Frequency Response: DC to 200 KHZ, -0 dB, -3dB @ 1W. Power jack pairs. One pair
accept a high
39.94 Requirement: 30V AC X 2 @ 6A. May use Mark V Model 001 or
008 Transformer. Suggested Capacitor 8,200uf 50V Model 017. impedance micro-
Kit: R4 phone. The two
Asmb.$ 69.94 Suggested Metal Cabinet LG -1924
remaining pairs are
30W + 30W Pre 8 Main Stereo Amplifier TA -323A (1 Ib.) Kit:60 76.50 for high & low level
input sources. Power
Power Output: 30W into 8 ohms RMS per channel. THD: < 0.1% Output: 60W per channel into 4 ohms RMS.
from 100 HZ to 10 KHZ. Sensitivity: Phono 3mV @ 47K Tuner, 20Hz- 20KHz. THD:<0.1 %. Input Sensitivity
Tape 130mV @47K Signal to Noise ratio: 80dB. Power 380mV,
29.25 Requirement: 22 to 36V AC, 3A May use Mark V Model 002
:Mic /Guitar 10mV, Hi Lo

Asmb.$ 50.50 Transformer. Suggested Cabinet LG -1684. 640mV.Ready to plug in when assembled.
Kit: $ . 0
Transformers 5 -12
Metal Cabinets
Aluminum Front Panel **Toroidal Transformers
1 lbs.)
300 -in -one Electronic Lab Kit u
#001 28V/30Vx2 6A$30.00 Learn about transistors,
LG-1273 3x12x7" (4 lbs .)5 26.50
# 002 36V x2 3A 25.00 capacitors & electronic
LG-1684 4x16x8" (7 lbs .) 32.50
circuits. Build electronic
LG-1924 4x19x111/4'(10 lbs.) 38.25 # 003 40V x2 6A 32.00
games, battery checker
LG-1925 5819x11'/2'(10 lbs.) 42.W # 008** 28V/30V x2 6A 42.00 & more. It even includes
LG-1983 21/4x19x8" (7 lbs.) 35.25 # 009** 48/53V x2 8A 68.00 a breadboard for adding
LG-1927 7x19811'/2'(15 lbs.) 52.50 # 012*" 33/40/42V x2 6A 52.00 your own components.
Complete with easy-to -
Minimum order $ 20.00 We accept Visa, MasterCard, Money Orders, and Checks(allow
follow manuel. Requires
2 weeks for clearance) We ship by UPS ground inside US (min $6.00) and ship by US 49.99 6 "AA" batteries. ( 6 lbs.)
74 mail outside US Please call our operator for orders over 2 lbs or foreign orders.

CIRCLE 325 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD


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EARN Are you interested in Microprocessors & Embedded
Control Systems? If not you should be Look around.

MORE
just about everything these days has an embedded
microprocessor in it. TVs, cars, radios, traffic
lights & even toys have embedded computers
controlling their actions. The Primer Trainer is
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So don't be left behind this is information you need to know!

Measuring Temperature
Using a Photocell to Detect Light Levels

Be an FCC
Making a Waveform Generator
Examples Constructing a Capacitance Meter
Motor Speed Control Using Back EMF
Include: Interfacing and Controlling Stepper Motors
Scanning Keypads and Writing to LCD/LED Displays

LICENSED
Bus Interfacing an 8255 PPI
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DTMF Autodialer & Remote Controller (New!)
The PRIMER is only $119.95 in kit form. The PRIMER Assembled & Tested is $169.95. This trainer
can be used stand alone via the keypad and display or connected to a PC with the optional upgrade
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Assembler/Terminal software. Please add $5.00 for shipping within the U.S. Picture shown with upgrade
option and optional heavy-duty keypad ($29.95) installed. Satisfaction guaranteed.

=MAC, inc.
11 EMAC WAY,
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B2 SPICE
CIRCUIT DESIGN FOR WINDOWS AND MACINTOSH

B2 SPICE
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I
rillw^m

tions. It also supports busses and subcircuits to facilitate the design of complex circuits.
B2 Spice integrates an intuitive interface with an optimized Spice engine. With a library
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B2 LOGIC
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Spice 3F5 (32 -bit)


Over 3000 devices
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Over 100 components available
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NT L
M EASLU RE RELAYS LIGHTS MOTORS INAIMATION*
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SWITCH POSITIONS THERMOSTATS LIQUID LEVELS
QUALITY AT YOUR FINGERtIPS
The easy to build Monitor 4 kit is a cost
MODEL 30 . . ,.. Q 79 MODEL 45 ........ $1$9 effective way for you to survey for radiation
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PWM OUTPUT E UP TO 60 SMP /SEC
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The finishedkit is a sturdy general purpose Geiger
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Prairie Digital, Inc. S.E. International, Inc.


P.O. Box 39
PHONE 608 -643 -8599 FAX 608 -643 -6754 Summertown, TN 38483 -0039
846 SEVENTEENTH STREET PRAIRIE DU SAC, WISCONSIN 53578 Tel: 800-293-5759 Fax:931- 964 -3564
E -mail: seiinc@usit.net Website: seintl.com 77
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WIRELESS VIDEO CAMERAS COLOR BOARD CAMERAS
Compatible with 131W &

a
Wireless 4-Channel
AC or Battery COLOR Catnerass aila le! Micro Color MB -960c Key Features:
Lens: 3.6mm F =2
Play
Plug and Full Digital Process of BLC
Auto Tracing White Balance
2H Mode of H.V. Aperture correction
Digital process of color matrix
Electronic Shutter up to 1/ 10,000
OFT-1001 $189.95 `Dip Switch Adjustment settings:
Gives any camera the 6 -BLC
5 -Auto Shutter
ability to be Wireless.
Transmits Over 1000 ft. 4-AGC /On MB-960c
447 3- Flickless
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Wireless Observations System's 1 -No function
GFS -1001 (900MHz) -$499.95
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HACKING THE INTERNE CELLPHONE MODIF. GUIDE


e .testtnc an. met ..s guse
'm How cellphones operate and are modified. Vul-
STOPPING POWER METERS MANY MORE TITLES
on the Net to pirate software (warez) andnerabilities to hack attack and countermeasures. As reported on "60 MINUTES"! New 6th Beyond Phone Color Boxes *29
the newest hacking websites. Includes Cloning details for NAMs, ESNs, etc, control data Edition! Plans for devices that can slow down Hacking Answer. Machines 19
examples, countermeasures, password
defeats, UNIX, brute force
formats, computing encoded MINs, ESNs, (even stop) watt -hour meters - while loads draw
SIDHs, Op Sys, PROMS, forcing ACK, test mode
- Casino Hacking 25
s s.Sprintne2, full power! Devices plug into one outlet and nor- Automatic Teller Machines $39
and resets, cable diagrams, scanning, tracking,
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mal loads into other outlets. Describes meter Credit Card Scams - 29
Scammers, spammers, stalkers, infectors, step-by -step to keypad- reprogram 100+ popular creep, overload droop, pole meters, etc. $29.
& - s29 Cons Scams
and others hide behind the Internet's ano- SPM THE VIDEO: Now its easier to learn
cellphones. One FREE database search. More! $49. Social Engineering - $29
nymity to commit serious offenses. Learn PAGER (BEEPER) MANUAL How about KW -HR Power Meters than ever before! Polygraph Defeats 25
from master hackers best methods to track Pagers work, different types and uses, freqs, ad- This educational video shows you how they By an Order of the Magnitude $49
dr trace IDs and origins, and to protect vantages over and uses with cellphones, and work and their anatomy. Demonstrates SPMEM Ultimate Success Manual 119
your own privacy. More! $29. tips and tricks. How Pagers are hacked/counter- device and external magnetic methods used to Stealth Technology 19
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INTERNET CONS & SCAMS: Inter- measures. And plans for a Personal Pocket Paz- slow and stop meters! Hosted by a top expert in Secret & Survival Radio $19
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- $29
done anonymously with impunity. De- combo with our SPM related manuals! $29. Under Attack! 29
-
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Heal Thyself s19
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THE COOKIE TERMINATOR: 557, CN /A, CAMA, DM( Diverters, Centres - more! $25. Secrets of Solderless BBs $24
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move! Browser cookie, history and cache files
contain personal data readily accessible to In-
HACKING FAX MACHINES work, calibration, error modes (many), ANSI Stan- Cryptanalysis Techniques 29
ternet predators, stammers, spammers and
.etai s a own met os o ng axes an. dards, etc. Demand and Polyphase Meters. Experi-
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Replacement Numbers are Totally Global including Domestic, Asian, European, House
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is Very Impressive. 7 Disk Set (17 Meg decompressed) For DOS, Win3.1 & 95
Beginner Intermediate Latest Version 7.11 Includes Many Helpful Conversion Utilities, Tables & Formulas.
Includes, 4 HUGE Consumer Electronics Industry Directries
Programming techniques Serial communication 1- Consumer Electronics Parts Sources (Service) 2- Consumer Electronics Manufacturers
Instruction set PIC16 to peripheral chips 3- The Entire Computer Industry 4- Semiconductor Manufacturers
Addressing modes PIC16 to PIC16 Perfect for Service, Engineering and Purchasing.
Bit manipulation Serial EEPROMS
Subroutines LCD interface est C Parts
Sequencing
Lookup tables
Interrupts
Scanning keypads
D/A conversion
Sensors - analog voltage
Directory available. All the
Major Parts Manufacturers display Entire
Product Line Catalogs with Pictures & Data
B
Using a text editor - output sheets. Cabinets, Transformers, Pots, Semi's,
source code ND conversion Resistors, Capacitors, Crystals, Cods, Connectors.
Using an assembler Math routines Wire, Heat sinks, Switches, Fuses, Speakers,
Timing and counting Decimal interlace Displays, an Endless list Makes parts
!

Interfacing - Iio conversion PIC16F84 EEPROM data sourcing a snap. The 4 Volume (18 Lb) EEM
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$29.95 Lots of circuits and code
$34.95 Made
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0 HL /HG
rower
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CA residents please add 7.25% CA sales tax
PIC is a trademark of Microchip Technology Inc.

CQUArz>s 1 IMSCIRONICS
,Municipata Residential
P.O. Box 501, Kelseyville, CA 95451
Voice (707) 279 -8881 FAX (707) 279 -8883
tiff fRE! f39
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LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAYS HACKER CORNER


\ J

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240x64 dot LCD with built-in controller. EMBEDDED 4S4S CoMtPwren $99.00
AND 4021 ST-EO. Unit is EL back-lit. 59.00or 2
/.5492 for $109 or Complete enhanced Intel 486SX -33 based computes is ultra small (y1BL x B14 s 1ll8H) case Idol for embedded

OPTREX. DMF5005 (non back -lit) operotioa or as a secnod computer. Features include: One 16 bit LSA slot 3 serial ports plat dedicated printer port
9." to 2 for $89.r
Parotid optical coupled adapter port Built in IBM PLAT keyboard port On board VGA video and port Uses
20 character x 8 line 71fL x 214H The built -in controller allows you to do text and graphics. standard SLMM up to 32 MB BIOS is PLAT compatible

Alphanumeric-parallel interface Unit has a backup Ni-Cd battery system in case of power failure (5 min. backup time) and
lockable front cover to prevent floppy drive access. Mounting / interface provisions for standard
16x1 $7.00 20x2 $10.00 32x2 $8.00 3.5" laptop floppy and 2.5 inch hard driva. Comes with very comprehensive manual.
16x1 (Ig. char.) $10.00 20x4 $15.00 40x1 $8.00
16x2 $7.00 20x4 (lg. char.) $10.00 40,12 2 for $20.00 SONY Miniature Color LCD Display (LCX005BKB) $2922
16x2 (le. char.) $10.00 24x2 $10.00 40x4 $20.00 1.4 CM (0.55 inch) Diagonal Fug Color Display 3uilt In Horizontal am vertical Driven Delta Dot Palian for High
16x4 $15.00 32x4 $10.00 4x2 $5.00 Picture Quality - 531 dots 1H) z 222 dots (V) Compatibk with NTSC & PAL Format and Sync Inputs 12 VDC Operation
5V power required Built-in C-MOS LCD driver & controller Easy "microprocessor interface 98 ASCII with -1 to +11 V RGB Signal and Driver Input Voltage Excellent Display for Virtual Reality Projects, Viewfinders, and
character generator Certain models are backlit, call for more info. Miniature Test Equipment Displays Pin Outs and Specification Included Unit Requires Clock, Synchronization and Video

Graphics and alphanumeric-serial interface CELL SITE 7ItANSCEIVE;R y;-tv ^t 2 t,,r y,rr"
5JZ8 Mit. price 5jj$ Mir. psioe These transceivers were designed for operation in an AdPS (Advanced Mobile Phone Service) cell site The 20 MHz bandwidth
640x480 (backlit) pson $25.00 480x128 Hitachi $10.00 of the transceiver allows it to operate on all 666 channels allocated. The transmit channels are 870.030- 889.980 MHz with the
640x400 acklit) Panasonic $20.00 256x128 Epson $20.00 receive channels 45 HMz below those frequencies. A digital synthesizer is utilized to generate the selected frequency. Each unit
contains two independent receives to demodulate voice and data with a Receive Slpnal Strength Indicator (RSSI) circuit to
640x200 Toshiba $15.00 240x128 (backlit) OpVex $20.00 sated the one with the best signal strength The transnrtter provides a tS wan modulated signal to drive an eaernal power
480x128 (backlit)
( ) ALPS $10.00 240x64 Epson
P $15.00 amplifier. channel selection is accomplished with a 1.I bit binary input via a connector on 'tone back panel. Other interface
160x128 Optrex $15.00 requirements for operation are 26 VDC (unregulated) and an 18.990 MHz reference frequency for the digital synthesizer. The

6" VGA LCD 6t 0X480, Sanyo


Y LMDK35 -22 $ 25ffi units contain independent boards for receivers, exciter, synthesizer. tunable front end. and interface assembly (which includes
power supplies and voitage controlled oscillator) Service manual, schematics and circuit descriptions included.

L MONITORS
I L LASER PRODUCTS '
11(=. rte- ErsCIoz8c1 TI -L HeNe Laser Head cl0Mw max. output) TEMOO,I5.5- long MFG: NEC $89.2,
Comes with pined. 12V at 1.4 Amp input Horizantol frequency I SlOhz. Ability to do 40 and 60 column. Laser Power Supply (for HeNe tube) $79.2
5 inch Amber $25.00 7 inch Amber $25.00 LASER SCANNER ASSEMBLY $19
9 inch Amber or Green $25.00
Assembly intended for a laser printer. Includes bar diode, polygon motor (6 sided) and misc. optics and lenses.
5" COLOR MONITOR
Flat Faceplate 320 x 200 Dot Kesel/lion CGA
$39.00
Hercules Compafibk 2 for $69e
, LASER DIODE (5rrW) with collimator $20
12 VDC Operator 15.75IOiz Fbriz. Freq.
8t

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VISIBLE LASER DIODE: 5mw at 670nm $1 502
Index guided. Threshold current 40 ma typical.
Open Frane Construction Standard Interface Connector Degaussing Coil included M . Somtron
3 and 4mW, 1,300nm LASER DIODES, 5.6mm package, $159_9
9" COLOR SVGA MONITOR $249 w Fully Enclosed -Tilt and swivel type. Mitsubishi Electric part number ML701BIR-E21A, General specs are:
POs [3AR CODE
F+
I. Vcp=1.25, Beam Divergence 25.6 x 28.6; 2. Tc =24 C, top=19 to 20mA, ITH= 10.7mA;
3. Wavelength range between 1,280nm and 1,330 cam

MAGNETIC CARD READER


Includes: character dot matrix dirokrywth
20 hill alpha-numeric copobiliy kkeypond with full
$ZS - POLYGON MOTOR UNIT 8a DRIVER $691/
Ten -sided first surface mirror mounted on ananmuure that spins at125 revolutions per second yielding abeam
alpha-numeric entry separate 7.5 VDC /0.5 Amp power supply standard telephone interface sweep rate of 1250 sweeps per second. The driver for the polygon unit requires 24 volts and plus and minus
extension cord lithium baiter/ and flat-cone speaker. 12 volts to operate. There is also an f -theta lens is front of the polygon scanning mechanism with a three inch
HP bar code wand (HBCS 2300) $25.e)0 diameter. Great for optical experiments, etc. Veil high quality units. (MFR: JAPAN ELECTRONICS )

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OSCILLOSCOPES
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im w .I.
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Miniature Transmitters and Receivers
Small, Attractive, High End Quality, 2 Channel 318 MHz Transmitter
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Qty 1 5 10
RF300T 150' Range Transmitter 24.95 19.95 15.95
RF300XT 300' Range Transmitter 29.95 24.95 19.95
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Qty 1 5 10
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CCD Video Cameras Treasure
Finder Kit
Search for buried treasure at

World's the beach, backyard or park.


This professional quality kit can

Smallest i Color Camera


detect metal at a depth of up to
6 inches. Easy to use, just lis-
ten for the change in tone as
If you're looking for a good quality CCD board camera, stop
you 'sweep' the unit across the
We call them the 'Cubes'....
Perfect video transmission
from a transmitter
Transmitters right here! Our cameras use top quality Japanese Class `A
CCD arrays with over 440 line line resolution, not the off-
spec arrays that are found on many other cameras. You
surface - the larger the tone
change - the larger the object.
Has built -in speaker or earphone connection, runs on stan-
you can hide under see. the Japanese suppliers grade the CCDs at manufac-
dard 9 volt battery. Complete kit includes handsome case,
a quarter and only ture and some manufacturers end up with the off -grade rugged PVC handle assembly that 'breaks down' for easy
as thick as a stack chips due to either cost constraints or lack of buying 'clout'.
tansportation and shielded Faraday search coil. Easy one
of four pennies - Also, a new strain of CMOS single chip cameras are enter-
evening assembly. This nifty kit will literally pay for itself!
that's a nickel in ing the market, those units have about 1/2 the resolution
That guy in the picture looks like he found something -
the picture! and draw over twice the current that these cameras do -
what do you think it is - gold, silver, Rogaine, Viagra? You'll
Transmits color or B &W with fantastic quality - almost like a direct don't be fooled! Our cameras have nice clean fields and have fun with this kit.
wired connection to any TV tuned to cable channel 59. Crystal excellent light sensitivity, you'll really see the difference,
controlled tor no frequency drift with performance that equals law TF -1. Treasure Finder Kit $39.95
and if you want to see in the dark, the black & white mod-
enforcement models that cost hundreds more! Basic 20 mW es are super IR (Infra -Red) sensitive. Our IR -1 Illuminator
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kit is invisible to the human eye, but lights the scene like a
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Auto Gain, Back Light Compensation and DSP! Available
Binocular Special
volts and hook -up to most any CCD camera. Any of our cameras with Wide -angle (80 ) or super slim Pin -hole style lens. We cane across these
have been tested to mate perfectly with our Cubes and work They run on 9 VDC and produce standard 1 volt p -p video. nice binoculars in an
great. Fully assembled - just hook -up power and you're on the air! Add one of our transmitter units for wireless transmission to importers close -out deal.
any TV set, or add our IB -1 Interface board for audio sound Not some cheap in -line
C -2000, Basic Video Transmitter Cube $89.95 pick -up and super easy direct wire hook -up connection to lens jobs, these beauties
C -3000, Basic Video and Audio Transmitter Cube any Video monitor, VCR or TV with video /audio input jacks. have roof prisms, a super
$149.95
Cameras fully assembled, including pre -wired connector. nice rubber armored
C -2001, High Power Video Transmitter Cube $179.95
housing over fight weight
C -3001, High Power Video and Audio Transmitter Cube 5229.95 CCDWA -2, B &W CCD Camera, wide-angle lens $99.95 aluminum. 10 x 25 power with fully coated optics. Includes
CCDPH -2. B &W CCD Camera, slim fit pin -hole len $99.95 lens cleaner cloth, neck lanyard and nice carry case, For
CCDPH-2., Color CCD Camera, wide-angle lens extra demand ng use in bright sun, choose the EX module
Super Pro FM Stereo IR -1, IR Illuminator Kit for B &W cameras
$149.95
$24.95
with ruby coated Objective lens. First quality at a close -out
price! We've seen the exact same units with the 'Bushnell'

Radio Transmitter IB -1. Interface Board Kit $24.95


name on them being sold for $30 more!
BNO-1, Binoculars and case 524.95
BNO -1EX, Ruby Coated Lens Binoculars and case $29.95
A truly profes-
sional frequen- FM Stereo Radio
cy synthesized
FM Stereo Transmitters Speech Descrambler
transmitter sta- Decode all that gibberish! This is the
tion in one Microprocessor controlled popular descrambler / scrambler that
easy to use, for easy frequency pro- you've read about in all the Scanner
handsome cab- gramming using DIP and Electronic magazines. Speech
inet. Most radio switches, no drift, your sig- inversion technology is used, which is
stations require nal is rock solid all the compatible with most cordless phones
a whole equipment rack to hold all the features we've packed time - just like the com- and many police department systems,
into the FM -100. Set frequency easily with the Up /Down freq mercial stations. Audio hook it up to your scanner speaker terminals and you're in
buttons and the big LED digital display. Plus there's input low quality is excellent, connect to the line output of any CD business. Easily configured for any use: mike, line level
pass filtering that gives great sound no matter what the source player, tape deck or mike mixer and you're on- the-air. and speaker outputfinputs are provided. Also communicate
no more squeals or swishing sounds from cheap CD player Foreign buyers will appreciate the high power output in total privacy over telephone or radio, full duplex opera -
inputs!) Peak limiters for maximum 'punch' in your audio - with- capability of the FM -25; many Caribbean folks use a sin- ton - scramble and unscramble at the same time. Easy to
out over modulation, LED bargraph meters for easy setting of gle FM-25 to cover the whole island! New, improved, build, all complex circuitry contained in new custom ASIC
audio levels and a built -in mixer with mike and line level inputs. clean and hum-free runs on either 12 VDC or 120 VAC. chip for clear, clean audio. Runs on 9 to 15VDC. Our
Churches, drive -ins, schools and colleges find the FM-100 to be Kit comes complete with case set, whip antenna, 120 matching case set adds a professional look to your kit.
the answer to their transmitting needs, you will too. No one VAC power adapter - easy one evening assembly.
SS -70A, Speech Descrambler/Scrambler Kit $39.95
offers all these features at this price! Kit includes cabinet, whip
FM -25, Synthesized FM Stereo Transmitter Kit $129,95 CSS, Custom Matching Case and Knob Set $14.95
antenna and 120 VAC supply.
We also offer a high power export version of the FM -100 that's SS- 70AWT, Fully Wired SS -70A with Case $79.95
fully assembled with one watt of RF power for miles of program A lower cost alternative to our
AC12-5. 12 Volt DC Wall Plug Adapter $9.95
coverage. The export version can only be shipped outside the high performance transmitters.
USA, or within the US if accompanied by a signed statement
that the unit will be exported.
Offers great value, tunable over
the 88 -108 MHz FM broadcast
Call for our Free Catalog !
band, plenty of power and our See ou' complete catalog and order
FM -100, Professional FM Stereo Transmitter Kit manual goes into great detail
5299.95
outlining aspects of antennas,
on -line with our secure server at:
FM- 100WT, Fully Wired High Power FM Transmitter 5429.95
transmitting range and the FCC www.ramseyelectronics.com
rules and regulations. Connects to any cassette deck, CD

AM Band player or mixer and you're on- the -air, you'll be amazed at
the exceptional audio quality! Runs on internal 9V battery RAMSEY ELECTRONICS, INC.
Radio or external power from 5 to 15 VDC. Add our matching
case and whip antenna set for a nice finished look.
793 Canndng Parkway Victor, NY 14564
Transmitter FM -10A, Tunable FM Stereo Transmitter Kit
CFM. Matching Case and Antenna Set
$34.95
$14.95
Order Toll -free: 800 -446-2295
Ramsey AM radio transmitters operate in the standard AM broad-
cast band and are easily set to any clear channel in your area. AC12-5, 12 Volt DC Wall Plug Adapter $9.95 Sorry. no tech info, order status at this number
Our AM -25, 'pro' version, fully synthesized transmitter features
easy frequency setting DIP switches for stable, no -drift frequency Technical Info, Order Status
control, while being jumper setable for higher power output where
regulations allow. The entry-level AM-1 uses a tunable transmit
oscillator and runs the maximum 100 milliwatts of power. No FCC
RF Power Booster Call Factory direct: 716 -924 -4560
license is required, expected range is up to 1/4 mile depending Add some serious muscle to your signal, boost power up to Fax: 716 -924 -4555
upon antenna and conditions. Transmitters accept standard line- 1 watt over a frequency range of 100 KHz to over 1000

level inputs from tape decks, CD players or mike mixers and run MHz! Use as a lab amp for signal generators, plus many
on 12 volts DC. The Pro AM-25 comes complete with AC power foreign users employ the LPA-1 to boost the power of their DIICOVER
adapter, matching case set and bottom loaded wire antenna. Our VISO
FM Stereo transmitters, providing radio service through an
entry-level AM -1 has an available matching case and knob set for
a finished, professional look. entire town. Runs on 12 VDC. For a neat, professionally fin
ORDERING INFO: Satisfaction Guaranteed. Examine for 10 days, if
ished loo<, add the optional matching case set.
not pleased, return in original form for refund. Add $6.95 for ship-
AM -25, Professional AM Transmitter Kit $129.95 LPA -1, Power Booster Amplifier Kit $39.95 ping, handling and insurance. Orders under $20, add $3.00. NY resi-
AM -1. Entry level AM Radio Transmitter Kit $29.95 CLPA, Matching Case Set for LPA -1 Kit $14.95 dents add 7% sides tax. Sorry, no CODs. Foreign orders. add 20%
CAM, Matching Case Set for AM -1 $14.95
LPA -1WT Fully Wired LPA-1 with Case $99.95 for surface mail nr use credit card and specify shipping method.
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7ag-os Robotics M O N D O T R O N I C S'
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3 Axis Motion Control System


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Build or adapt CNC mills, CNC routers, Robots, Etc.
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MAXNC
1- 888 -388 -CUBE 6730 West Chicago
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Ph (602) 940 -9414
Fax (602) 940 -2384

Turn Your Multimedia PC into a Powerful


Real -Time Audio Spectrum Analyzer
Features
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Applications
Distortion Analysis
Frequency Response Testing
Acoustic Research
Priced from $495
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ILu rit atsltFef. coill
System Requirements
486 CPU or greater
8 MB RAM minimum
DOWNLOAD FREE 30 DAY TRIAL! X00- 374 -- 5764
Win. 95, NT, or Win. 3.1 + Win.32s www. spectraplus. corn Or write to us:
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