“I present, below, a collection of projects I have worked-on over the past few years. For over a decade, I had taught both embedded systems (microcontroller technology) and digital signal processing and practice what I preach….”

Professor Mark Csele – Projects and Hobbies

Nixie Thermostat – A heating and cooling thermostat employing technologies spanning fourty years from the unique Nixie tube display, circa 1960’s, to a PIC 18F microcontroller, circa 2006.

A High-Powered Power Backup Inverter

A High-Powered Power Backup Inverter – The working prototype of the 2 KVA inverter is complete. Fed from an array of lead-acid cells totalling 600 Ah (at 12 Volts), it easily drives real-world loads such as single-phase motors. The inverter has been tested and found to operate at an efficiency of between 71% and 82% driving a variety of both inductive and resistive loads

It’s a 360 degree multifunctional programmable sensor that has a bundle of cool features for sensing for your Maker, Robot and Kinetic art type projects.

Infrared Control Freak 360 - ROBOTmaker

The sensors is also packed with two ambient light sensors (for light tracking experiments or line following) and IR remote control functionality so it can can read and transmit Sony SIRC IR control signals.

Infrared Control Freak 360 –  ROBOTmaker

The sensor is designed to fit onto micro sized robots (50mm x 50mm) where 360 degrees of proximity sensing, ambient light sensing and basic inter-robot communication is required, such as robot swarms, robot research, robot gaming and robot sumo competitions.

Termite is an easy to use and easy to configure RS232 terminal. It uses an interface similar to that of “messenger” or “chat” programs, with a large window that contains all received data and an edit line for typing in strings to transmit.

Termite Terminal – RS232 Interfacing – CompuPhase

Plug-in interface for pre-processing or alternative views of the data, logging received data to a file, adding a toolbar to Termite, and other functionality that you may think of.

Termite Terminal

It can also do ..

  • A history of commands that you typed, with auto-completion.
  • Support for non-standard Baud rates (MIDI, DMX512).
  • Data can be forwarded between two RS232 ports.

The free Hyperterminal seemed to be missing, Now new and better feature rich terminals are available – Here’s one from CompuPhase who are our kind of people the EE kind. This terminal ought to help serial port SBC development.

PuTTY is a client program for the SSH, Telnet and Rlogin network protocols.

Realterm is a terminal program specially designed for capturing, controlling and debugging binary and other difficult data streams.

Realterm terminal program

Serial terminal program partcularly targeted at binary and difficult data 1) binary data, and debugging difficult communications problems. 2) use as a comms component for other s/w via full activeX interface Support for physical comm ports, and TCP

The only way to improve the reception of FM-signals or particularly of stereo FM-signals under disadvantageous receiving conditions is to amplify the antenna signal. This should be made directly at the antenna, since the loss is increased meter by meter of any cable. In most cases higher line attenuations can be expected than usually calculated. Even receivers with an additional noise figure of zero do not show any improvements of the signal-to-noise ratio becomes too low because of a long transmission line. Therefore it is practically useless to require extremely low noise figures only for the receivers.

To avoid interferences of signals received from stations of other bands it is propitious to amplify the FM-band only. The band amplifier shown in Fig. 1.3 is connected directly to the 60 ohm output of the FM-antenna, i. e. it is placed at the top of the antenna pole. The matching is achieved by the input band-pass connected to the base of transistor BFT12, being a typically linear silicon transistor for broadband amplifiers. The output filter matched accordingly to a 60 ohm coaxial line is connected to the collector. The operating voltage of 15 V can be supplied by the coaxial line.

Fig. 1.3

Antenna-amplifier with BFT 12 for FM-range

Technical data:

  • Power gain Gp = 22 db
  • Noise figure F = 3.5-4.0 db or 2.2-2.5 KT0
  • Input and output reflexion coefficient |r1| and |r0| <= 0.3
  • dim(60db) at Vout = 680 mV
  • dim(50db) at Vout = 1000 mV

Optimum operating point of minimum intermodulation

Ic =~ 80 mA Vce =~ 7-7.5 V
Supply voltage 15 V

Coil data:

Vogt coil former, ordering code: Sp 3.5/16.6-2048C
Core: U17

  • L1 : 5 turns Cu 0.6 mm \o
  • L2 : 3 turns Cu 0.6 mm \o
  • L3 : 3+2 turns Cu 0.6 mm \o

Choke Ch1 = Ch2: 20 turns Cu L 0.3 mm \o, cross section of winding = 4 mm

Credits –

Antenna-amplifier with BFT 12 for FM-range
from Design Examples of Semiconductor Devices – Siemens

This is one IC that is like a E-LEGO, this along with Op-Amps and other components can make many interesting projects. Probably the very first Datasheet and Application Note of 555 t he e-lego.

Signetics made the 555,  On some pins like Control Voltage it responds to analog signals and on Reset and Output the signals are Digital like. The 7555 a CMOS version consumes lower power and oscillates at higher frequencies.

NE555 Applications and Specifications

555 trigger voltage cartoon

This evergreen or perennial chip is the favorite among students and hobbyists who want to learn electronics. Here is an original datasheet from Signetics i found online, it has very nice illustrations which will act as an appetizer for learning this science.

I want students to look into these specs pages as it will make your study more invigorating

555 Timer based Circuits – delabs

Signetics made the 555, This is one IC that is like a E-LEGO, this along with Op-Amps and other components can make…

555 The most Incredible Chip

Create an innovative 555 design today, the 555 should be the heart of the circuit. Here are some pages having 555…

The Soundcard Oscilloscope receives its data from the Soundcard with 44.1kHz and 16 Bit resolution. The data source can be selected in the Windows mixer (Microphone, Line-In or Wave). The frequency range depends on the sound card, but 20-20000Hz should be possible with all modern cards.

Soundcard Oscilloscope by Christian Zeitnitz

The oscilloscope contains in addition a signal generator for 2 channels for Sine, Square, Triangular and Sawtooth wave forms in the
frequency range from 0 to 20kHz. These signals are available at the speaker output of the sound card. These can be fed back to the
oscillocope in order to generate Lissajous figures in the x-y mode.

These is another good tool for students to learn measurement on the PC.  – delabs