February 2018 Issue

A summary of this month's contents.


GPS Synchronised Analogue Clock Driver

Turn your ‘traditional’ quartz stepper-motor analogue clock into an accurate self-adjusting one using this GPS powered module.  Regular readers might recall our GPS-Synchronised Analog Clock (March 2011 issue) intended for clocks with stepped hands.


This revised unit also works with sweep movements and with a variety of GPS modules, including low cost types, to offer automatic correction for Daylight Saving Time (stepped second hand clocks only).


It’s small enough to fit onto the back of most clocks.  PIC microcontroller powered, .hex files for stepper and sweep motors are downloadable free from our web site.


Each month's download link will be found under the magazine cover shot (right, top)


High Power DC Motor Speed Controller (Part 2)

We continue with the constructional, interwiring and setup details of our 60V DC / 40A (max.) speed controller suitable for a wide range of applications, including buggies, transport and mobile equipment or motorised platforms or servo systems. Just the thing for a powerful mobile robot buggy or similar.


Teach-In 2018 – Get Testing! Electronic test equipment and measurement techniques.

Part 5: Inductors, resonant circuits and quartz crystals

Our series devoted to choosing and using test gear investigates the theory behind inductors (coils), measuring inductance and impedance and offers a handy crystal checker as a simple project. If you’re a novice or student in electronics, this special series will show you how to handle a multimeter with confidence and interpret the test results.


SC200 Amplifier Module (Part 2)

Last month we introduced readers to the SC200 Amplifier Module, a fantastic new 200W / 4 ohm module offering 0.001% distortion. We described the circuitry, gave a Parts List [see Please Take Note below] and we outlined the optional clip detection circuitry.


In Part Two this month, constructional details of the main circuit boards are provided.  In Part Three to follow next month, full performance graphs and the power supply construction will be published. If you want to build a high-performance, high power audio amplifier, check out the SC200!

Please Take Note – SC200 Components List
At the time of writing the FJA4313OTA is available from Digi-Key or as part of a set of hard-to-get parts from the SILICON CHIP Online Shop.

The transformer specification should be 40-0-40 not

LED1 is supplied with around 2mA so any blue LED of that size should be fine. The forward voltage is not important as the circuit will automatically adjust to compensate (it's supplied from a constant current

source). – Nicholas Vinen


Max's Cool Beans Blog - An adieu



Our hero contributor Clive (Max) Maxfield bids readers farewell in his last Cool Beans Blog. Thanks for all the entertaining and informative musings you’ve shared with us over the years, Max!


Also in this issue:


  • Techno Talk – the resurgence of Plessey
  • Net Work -  Amazon’s Echo 2nd generation gets the Christmas must-have treatment; Chat Zone news
  • PIC n MIX – Four-digit 7-segment LED Displays – using a 4x45 keypad
  • Circuit Surgery – Potential dividers and power supplies
  • Audio Out – the implications of output capacitors on audio amp performance.


Next month


"Stationmaster" model railway controller offering precision walkaround control via multiple sockets dotted around your layout; SC200 audio amplifier (Part 3); Low-Cost Electronics Modules (Parts 2 and 3); Teach-In 2018 (Part 6): audio frequency testing and measuring. Contents may be subect to change.


EPE is packed with practical electronics projects and theory for the hobbyist. You can order a printed copy of EPE for delivery to your door (worldwide), or try the PDF Version (needs Adobe Reader for Windows), or the Pocketmags for your mobile device. Subscribe now!



Source code file (GPS Clock Driver) - 0218.zip


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The February 2008 issue had an Electrosmog Detector; Studio Series Pre-Amplifier; MIDI Drum Kit (Part 3); Car turbo intercooler water spray controller.


PCB artwork


As from July 2013 issue PCB artwork is available free to subscribers only.


Non-subscribers may purchase artwork files for a nominal sum. Please contact our Orders Dept for information or to place an order.


EPE Printed Circuit Boards


We can supply ready-made printed circuit boards (8-digit order codes) to the original design specification via mail order or from our Online Shop.

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