March 2010 Issue

A summary of this month's contents.

High-Accuracy Digital LC Meter


This handy piece of test gear will measure Inductance from 10nH to over 70mH, and Capacitance from about 0.1pF to over 800nF. It is based on an ingenious measuring technique and delivers surprising accuracy in a unit that is straightforward to build. Dual-line LCD display readout. Uses a PIC 16F628, programmable with free source code available from our Library.


2-Way Stereo Headphone Adaptor

If you have a stereo amplifier without a headphone socket but want to listen to your music via headphones, then this versatile project is for you. It connects between your amplifier and loudspeakers, has several operating modes including Mute, and features two output sockets with individual volume controls. Ideal for our 20W Class-A Stereo Amplifier Module described in October 2008 EPE.


Shift Indicator & Rev Limiter for Cars

This professional quality design helps motorists to drive for optimum performance. It indicates clearly when best to change gears, and as a bonus it incorporates a Rev Limiter which throttles back the fuel injectors. The dimmable display consists of 4 LEDs, with three of them indicating shift points plus a fourth for the Rev Limiter.


Also suitable for competition use, intended for installation by advanced auto-electricians and skilled enthusiasts. PIC16F88-I/P microcontroller based using free source code available from our Library.


Teach-In 2010 Ladder Logic Programming for the PIC Micro

This popular tutorial series demonstrates a different approach to programming PIC microcontrollers. Using programming and planning techniques more commonly associated with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) used in industry, the fifth and penultimate part of the series explores some hardware interfacing and advanced programming techniques, byte-orientated programming and simple sequencer-based systems.

Re-cycle It

Dedicated to offering salvaged parts a useful second life, this month we show how the convex lenses from projector-style car headlights can be re-used as a mega-powerful LED hand torch (flashlight) or adapted further to make a broad-beam bike light.


Also in this month’s jam-packed issue:


  • Techno Talk looks at the future of hybrid heaters and “Nanostuff”!
  • PIC n MIX, our column devoted to the PIC micro, explains some methods that ease software development.
  • Max’s Cool Beans Blog – what does our resident Head Human Bean think of Amazon’s Kindle E-book?  You’ll be amazed! Max certainly was.
  • Our popular Circuit Surgery feature provides this month an insight into how modern electronics can run at so low voltages. It includes a fascinating rollercoaster ride through microprocessor development over the 35 years.
  • Ingenuity Unlimited: more readers’ bright ideas.
  • Practically Speaking is our hands-on workshop feature which this month reminds us of some component handling best practises.
  • Net Work – the Internet column - suggests a fantastic software downloader web site and how to get more from your Windows smartphone.


All this and advertisements from specialist suppliers, to help you get more out of your hobby. Subscribe now!




Source code

PCB files


Teach-In 2010 files are in the Library


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