March 2007 Issue

A summary of this month's contents.

PIC Polyphonium (Part 1)

Create your own music on a computer with our PIC-powered musical project, inspired by the glorious sounds of the showmans' fairground steam organs of bygone days. Data is entered via a PC's keyboard and is displayed on-screen as a standard musical score. The data is then sent to the PIC microcontroller via a serial data link. 'The tones are reminiscent of a complex barrel organ' said one listener. The design can generate up to eight notes simultaneously, making it a true polyphonic instrument that can be connected to your own audio amplifier.

For model engineers or fairground organ enthusiasts, a series of outputs is available that would enable the PIC Polyphonium to control mechanical manikins or models of your own design, for that true fairground organ effect. Constructional and application details are given in the April 2007 issue.


IR Remote Control Checker

Do your remote controls often fail? Is it due to dead batteries, poor contacts under the switch buttons or a more serious fault? Our Infra Red (IR) remote control Checker tests whether an IR remote is sending out a code when each of its buttons is pressed. A correct operation is indicated by an affirmative beep on a piezo sounder. Straightforward construction ideal for beginners.


Lap Counter for Swimming Pools

This PICAXE powered counter will keep track of the number of lengths completed, leaving you to get on with your swimming and not worrying about counting the number of lengths swum. A novel pneumatically operated switch is placed by the pool edge, and the display increments by two every time the switch is pressed. The 70mm LED displays are visible from some distance. Safe battery operation means the counter is entirely self-contained.


SMS Controller (Part 1)

Using the convenience of SMS (text messaging) this design utilises an ordinary pre-pay only mobile phone to let you remotely-control equipment by sending plain texts, such as 'pump on' 'reset' 'blast horn' etc. and the unit can also text you to advise 'alarm activated' or similar.


Our ATMEL-based microcontroller project can control up to eight external devices and report the condition of up to four digital inputs. The project is intended for use with popular but now outdated Nokia 3210 or 3310 or (ideally) Nokia 5110 and 6110 phones as these are readily available (a battery in good condition is also necessary).




Also in this issue — PIC n MIX on PIC timers; Techno Talk on sub-sea wireless systems; Practically Speaking: our workshop tutorial describes interwiring methods for your projects. Circuit Surgery - a brief guide to counters. Net Work: More Internet Explorer 7 problems revealed.


Source codes

PCB artwork


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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