September 2009 Issue

A summary of this month's contents.

Programmable ignition System for Cars (part 1)

This immensely useful PICmicro-controlled module allows auto tuning experts to precisely adjust the characteristics of a vehicle’s ignition system.  It is a completely stand-alone system for most 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines that is triggered by an engine position sensor and then drives the ignition coil. It can be triggered from a variety of distributor sensors including contact breaker points, reluctor, Hall effect, opto or the 5V signal from an engine’s ECU. A plug-in LCD hand controller shows values and settings on a digital display, allowing the timing to be advanced or retarded from the remote controller.


Options include built-in or off-board pressure sensing to measure engine load and an optional knock-sensor helps overcome pinking. For experts, the system can replace existing ignition timing using the vehicle’s advance/ retard curves, or it can be used as a timing interceptor. The design may also be fitted to older engines. Suits 1-12 cylinders 4 stroke and 1-6 cylinders 2-stroke. (Additional components needed for V-block engines.)


WARNING Programming an incorrect timing map into the Ignition Timing Module could cause serious engine damage. Do NOT modify your car by fitting this device unless you know what you are doing.


Rolling Code Keyless Entry System (part 2)

This PICmicro-powered super-secure keyless entry system is perfect for many applications in auto, home or industry. It features a rolling code to assure higher levels of security. Our new design comprises a small IR keyfob-style transmitter and a separate receiver. Up to 16 separate transmitters can be synchronised. Part 2 this month covers installation and setting up.


Random Mains Timer

This burglar deterrent is an intelligent PICmicro design that emulates the random switching of house lights to give a better impression that the house is occupied. Includes a light sensor to start operation when ambient light levels fall to unusually low levels. Utilises a DS1337 I2C RTC for a realistic timing sequence. Relay output.


Also in the September 2009 issue:


  • Ingenuity Unlimited offers a reader’s battery tester for SLA’s
  • Techno Talk peers into the future to speculate on new memory technologies
  • Recycle It  floats some useful applications for an old cordless drill, eg a dynamo
  • Practically Speaking shows constructors how best to mount PCBs/ PWBs in their projects
  • Circuit Surgery – our in house ‘surgeon’ concludes his mini series on active filter design
  • PIC n MIX explains how debugging is an art,not a science
  • NetWork – the Internet column – explains more about our online services and highlights Microsoft’s free Family Safety product to help protect against inappropriate web sites.


All this and more in EPE Magazine – the unique electronics magazine for hobbyists and enthusiasts everywhere. Subscribe now!


Source code

PCB files


A hex file for the Programmable Ignition System is is the October 2009 file.


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