December 2009 Issue

A summary of this month's contents.

Teach-In 2010: Ladder Logic programming for the PICMicro.

Our universally applauded Teach-In series launches in this issue with Teach-In 2010: Ladder Logic programming for the PICMicro. In the first of six articles, we describe programming a PIC micro using an approach called ‘ladder logic’. This PLC-style (Programmable Logic Controller) technique is very easy to configure and is very popular with engineers. Teach-In 2010 will also demonstrate simple combinational logic, timers, shift registers, counters and more.


Our contributor Walter Ditch has released the corresponding software free of charge and it can be downloaded from the EPE Library. Teach-In 2010 promises a different approach to learning the language of PICmicro programming, so if you have been deterred by the complexities of programming then Teach-In 2010: Ladder Logic programming for the PICMicro  might be a refreshing the way of opening the world of microcontrollers to you.


In Teach-In 2010 Part 2: Ladder Programming for the PICmicro. we outline combinational and sequential logic. A new approach for many microcontroller users, using a simpler engineering style often associated with industrial PLCs.


Playback Adaptor for CDROM drives ( Part 1)

How to use old CDROM drives as a CD player with a remote control. It can operate one or two dives and has IR remote control and two-line LCD display. A practical use for ex PC CDROM drives that might otherwise go to landfill. ATMEL microcontroller based circuit.


12V – 24V High power  DC motor speed controller (Part 1)

An incredible 40 Amp continuous rated DC motor controller for 12V or 24V rated motors, used in robotics, buggies, electric wheelchairs and more. Includes battery monitoring, soft-start, fast off,  and speed regulation by back-emf feedback monitoring. 4-digit 7 segment LED display. PICmicro powered.


Knock Detector for programmable car ignition system

Designed for our highly advanced programmable ignition system (Sept-Nov 2009) , you can use it to help program engine timing and/ or to automatically retard the ignition timing in response to knock level.



A special adaptor allowing the safe use of digital SLR cameras with an external electronic flash. Ensures that the strobe sync voltage presented to a camera is within its limits. Article includes background discussion on PC sync sockets and flashgun triggering.


Rapman 3D Printer Review (Part 1)

A brilliant introduction to the world of rapid prototyping – printing in 3D plastic! Introducing a low cost 3D printer capable of creating plastic mouldings from CAD files.


Also in this issue: 


  • TechnoTalk on some of the stranger radio broadcast signals we probably all intercepted at one time or another in the past.
  • PIC n MIX – RTOS Part 3.
  • Circuit Surgery – our in-house ‘surgeon’ revisits the topics of transformers and impedance.
  • Recycle It! Salvaging the good bits from flatbed scanners.
  • Net-Work – the Internet column – Windows 7 is upon us, and more new developments.


All this and more in the number 1 hobby electronics magazine. Subscribe now!


Source code

PCB files


Source codes for Teach-In 2010: Ladder Logic programming for the PICMicro are also available for free download in the Teach-In section of our Library.


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