Circuit Cellar - GIFT

CC-2015-06-Issue 299

Circuit Cellar - GIFT

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CIRCUIT CELLAR • JUNE 2015 #299 2 Issue 299 June 2015 | ISSN 1528-0608 CIRCUIT CELLAR® (ISSN 1528-0608) is published monthly by: Circuit Cellar, Inc. 111 Founders Plaza, Suite 904 East Hartford, CT 06108 Periodical rates paid at East Hartford, CT, and additional offices. One-year (12 issues) subscription rate US and possessions $50, Canada $65, Foreign/ ROW $75. All subscription orders payable in US funds only via Visa, MasterCard, international postal money order, or check drawn on US bank. SUBSCRIPTIONS Circuit Cellar, P.O. Box 462256, Escondido, CA 92046 E-mail: Phone: 800.269.6301 Internet: Address Changes/Problems: Postmaster: Send address changes to Circuit Cellar, P.O. Box 462256, Escondido, CA 92046 ADVERTISING Strategic Media Marketing, Inc. 2 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930 USA Phone: 978.281.7708 Fax: 978.281.7706 E-mail: Advertising rates and terms available on request. New Products: New Products, Circuit Cellar, 111 Founders Plaza, Suite 904 East Hartford, CT 06108, E-mail: HEAD OFFICE Circuit Cellar, Inc. 111 Founders Plaza, Suite 904 East Hartford, CT 06108 Phone: 860.289.0800 COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Rakoczy, COPYRIGHT NOTICE Entire contents copyright © 2015 by Circuit Cellar, Inc. All rights reserved. Circuit Cellar is a registered trademark of Circuit Cellar, Inc. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Circuit Cellar, Inc. is prohibited. DISCLAIMER Circuit Cellar® makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility or liability of any kind for errors in these programs or schematics or for the consequences of any such errors. Furthermore, because of possible variation in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship of reader-assembled projects, Circuit Cellar® disclaims any responsibility for the safe and proper function of reader- assembled projects based upon or from plans, descriptions, or information published by Circuit Cellar®. The information provided by Circuit Cellar® is for educational purposes. Circuit Cellar® makes no claims or warrants that readers have a right to build things based upon these ideas under patent or other relevant intellectual property law in their jurisdiction, or that readers have a right to construct or operate any of the devices described herein under the relevant patent or other intellectual property law of the reader's jurisdiction. The reader assumes any risk of infringement liability for constructing or operating such devices. © Circuit Cellar 2015 Printed in the United States THE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF C. J. Abate ART DIREC TOR KC Prescott ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Kim Hopkins PRESIDENT Hugo Van haecke COLUMNISTS Jeff Bachiochi (From the Bench), Ayse K. Coskun (Green Computing), Bob Japenga (Embedded in Thin Slices), Robert Lacoste (The Darker Side), Ed Nisley (Above the Ground Plance), George Novacek (The Consummate Engineer), and Colin O'Flynn (Programmable Logic in Practice) FOUNDER Steve Ciarcia PROJEC T EDITORS Chris Coulston, Ken Davidson, and David Tweed OFFICE ASSISTANT Debbie Lavoie THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATIONS TECH Communications technology is a fascinating topic that seems to gain in popularity each year. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Circuit Cellar articles about communications technologies tended to focus on signal processing applications and wireless systems. But today, the subject area comprises those topics and more, including 'Net-connected machine-to-machine configurations, data transmission solutions for FPGA-based systems, and radio-controlled clocks. This issue begins with an overview of several of the editorial team's favorite communications-related Circuit Cellar articles, including Robert Capper Jr.'s 2005 overview of a short-range IR communications system, Bertrand Achard's 2005 description of an Internet radio receiver, and Robert Lacoste's thorough 2008 review of antenna basics (p. 10). Be sure to tell us what you think about the past articles. You can share your thoughts with the CC community via social media. The rest of this issue is packed with engaging content on a variety of interesting topics. Let's review. Turn to page 18 to read about Dean Boman's award-winning, 'Net-connected automation system. His auto-feeding control system features an online user interface for monitoring and control. If you need to control several devices plugged into the standard AC power line, check out the article "PIC-HU" (p. 28). Anastasia and James Shuler explain how they built their Power Line Interface Controller Home Unit. On page 38, Tommy Tyler describes how radio-controlled clocks set themselves and maintain high accuracy. He details a few different types of clock movement. Ready for the second part of George Novacek's series on shielding? He provides an introduction to cable shielding and its efficacy on page 48. Need to send data from a PC to an FPGA? As Colin O'Flynn explains on page 52, one solution is to use a USB-connected MCU rather than an interface chip. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest topics of 2015. On page 56, Bob Japenga presents a few ways to connect products to the 'Net via cell modem technology. Robert Lacoste is well-known for tackling some of the most difficult electrical engineering topics. This month, he looks at correlation and how to implement it in a digital signal processing system (p. 60). As Jeff Bachiochi explains on page 68, the Ultraviolet (UV) Index provides an indication of the expected risk of overexposure to UV radiation. He then presents a compact, microcontroller-based UV intensity tracking system. I'm sure this issue will inspire you to hit the workbench as soon as possible. Once you finish your next project, email us an overview of your design! Editor's note: The Circuit Cellar team thanks columnist Colin O'Flynn for his assistance with this issue's cover image. C. J. Abate

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