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Product ShowCase

Dual Is Back!, External case runs IDE drives from parallel port, Low-cost DMM is packed with features, Test & measurement brochure is free and much more!!

Dual Is Back!

Jamo Australia has recently been appointed the Australian distributor for the range of Dual turntables, made in Germany. Dual, founded in 1900, is celebrating 100 years of manufacturing.

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There are five models in the DUAL range. The midi size CS-400 retails for $349. The ‘standard width’ turntables start at $499 retail for the CS-415, a fully automatic, belt-driven model. The CS-435, also a fully automatic belt-driven model, sells for $599.00. The next model up, the CS-455, is supplied with an Ortofon cartridge and will also play ‘78’ records. Available in gold or silver, it sells for $699.

The CS-505, now in its Mark 4 version, sells for $899 and is also supplied with an Ortofon cartridge.

For more information, contact Jamo Australia on (03) 9543 1522.

External case runs IDE drives from parallel port

Jaycar Electronics have recently introduced a product which allows any IDE device (hard disk drives, CD-ROMs, Zip/Jazz drives, etc) to be run outside the host computer via its parallel printer port.

While removable drive drawers for IDE devices have been available for some time, they require access to the internals of the computer, not to mention a spare 5.25-inch drive bay. This is a similar system, allowing various devices to be fitted, but the computer does not have to be opened. All that is required is connection to the parallel printer port socket on the rear of the computer. The existing printer cable then plugs into the rear of the external IDE box in "pass through" mode.

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The box can stand horizontally or vertically and suits half-height 5.25-inch devices, or 3.5-inch devices with an optional 5.25 to 3.5 adaptor. It features an easily removable tray so the device can be mounted in a matter of seconds. Separate fascias are supplied suiting both hard disk drives (as photographed) or with a cut-out to suit CD-ROM and other devices with removable media.

The 270 x 210 x 60mm case has its own 50 watt universal AC supply and inbuilt cooling fan and comes complete with all screws, connecting cables, plugs and sockets – even down to twin RCA sockets for CD-ROM audio outputs. A floppy disk containing appropriate driver software is also included.

The XC-4572 External IDE Expansion Enclosure sells for $179 and is available through any Jaycar Electronics store, Jaycar mail orders (phone 02 9743 5222) or or most resellers.

Low-cost DMM is packed with features

A near-pocket-sized digital multimeter recently introduced by Altronics Distributors would be a most suitable choice for anyone wanting to buy their first digital multimeter – and for the more advanced student, hobbyist, technician or professional looking for a meter that is packed with features at a low price.

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The Q-1059 multimeter has all the usual DC and AC ranges – 200mV to 600V DC, 200 to 500V AC, 2mA to 10A DC and five resistance ranges to 20MΩ.

It also features diode testing, a continuity tester with buzzer, transistor hFE and a temperature range with K-type thermocouple supplied suitable for 0-250°C. A "hold" button in the centre of the rotary selector freezes any reading currently displayed.

The meter measures 135 x 70 x 35mm and is very comfortable in the hand with its sculptured case.

Priced at $32.95 it represents very good value for money, especially considering a thermocouple is supplied.

It is available from Altronics Distributors retail and mail order centre at 174 Roe St, Perth WA 6000 (Phone 08 9328 1599), website or through their authorised resellers.

Test & measurement brochure is free

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The National Instruments Automated Test & Measurement Solutions brochure describes how test management software, test programs, instrument drivers and I/O interfaces efficiently work together. Also included is information on several I/O interfaces from Nation­al Instruments.

For your free copy, call National Instruments Aust on (03) 9879 1566, fax (03) 9879 6277, email Website is

CCTV monitoring system from DSE

The micromark CCTV Camera System from Dick Smith Electronics is a fully self-contained camera designed not only for indoor and outdoor use but day and night operation. With six infrared LEDs to improve night-time vision

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and a built-in microphone, the system allows the user to not only watch what is happening but listen as well.

A wide-angle 92° glass lens gives a high quality picture. The system includes the camera itself with a 17m screened cable, fully adjustable mounting bracket, wall plugs, cable clips and a 9V DC power adaptor.

The system is available through all Dick Smith Electronics stores, mail order centre and PowerHouse stores at a retail price of $199 (Cat. L-5880). For further information visit any store or the DSE website,

Dual IGBT and MOSFET gate driver

The new WSL2106 driver from Westcode will drive two IGBTs as a half bridge or as two independent switches. The IGBTs are provided with a ±15V and a 0-15V suppy in standard version. Saturation of the IGBTs is monitored and all logic inputs are of the Schmitt trigger type. Input level can be selected – 5V for HCMOS or 15V for CMOS. Error feedback can be activated by the driver or by an external signal.

For more information contact Westek Industrial Products Pty Ltd, Tel (03) 9369 8802, Fax (03) 9369 8006; website

Power boards with a difference

Two new mains power devices from PowerQwest will be of interest to businesses, hobbyists and home users.

First is the Zapcatcher, a heavy-duty power and telephone line filter intended for computers and peripherals, fax machines and modems, shop cash registers and POS terminals, and cordless phone and answering machines, etc. Built into a 215 x 97 x 37mm case and fitted with a 1.2m mains lead, it has four standard 3-pin outlets along with telephone line input and output sockets (standard RJ-12 connectors).

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The unit is designed to suppress power line surges and spikes with a peak rating of 6500A (8 x 20μs). An indicator neon and LED show normal operation, with a "strike" LED showing if the internal metal-oxide varistor protection circuit has been damaged by excessive surges. Fault conditions in the power outlet are revealed by another neon globe. A 10A circuit breaker is also included to protect against excessive loading. Maximum loading is 2400W (10A).

There are also two large toroidal inductors for mains-borne noise suppression and these give better than 40dB of noise rejection.

Second item is the Teleswitch, a music muting system which automatically cuts power to any mains-operated device when the phone rings and reconnects it when the call ends. Similar in size to the Zapcatcher, it also has spike suppression built in but does not have the range of indicators. Along with the four standard mains outlets, this also has an IEC outlet built in.

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Only one of the four outlets is cut off when the phone rings – presumably this would be the amplifier or other audio source. All four outlets have surge protection. A 10A thermal circuit breaker is also included while phone line connection is via standard RJ-12 connectors

The Teleswitch is designed to work with the normal analog phone network. It may not operate with some PABX or digital phone systems.

The Zapcatcher3 and Teleswitch are manufactured in New Zealand and both carry Australian electricity and Austel approval. They are available from selected retailers throughout Australia. Trade enquiries should be directed to PowerQwest: phone (02) 9979 4811; fax (02) 9979 4833.

80 minute minidisc and CD-R from TDK

TDK has released new 80-minute versions of its popular MiniDisc magneto-optical recording media and its audio recordable CD (CD-R). The MiniDisc is claimed to be more portable and durable than either cassette tapes or CD-R and is considered to offer sound quality comparable to CD and DAT.

TDK guarantees that the MiniDisc is capable of more than one million re-recordings due to its tough outer polycarbonate resin coating.

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To achieve the 80-minute playing time, the track pitch was reduced while still meeting the stringent specifications of the format.

The 80-Minute MiniDisk (MD-XG80) sells for $7.95 at selected TDK dealers.

The new recordable CD offers six minutes more recording time than a conventional recordable CD. It is designed specifically for home recording but contains a pre-formatted table of contents (TOC) and Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) which inhibits making copies from copies.

The CD-RXA80 is compatible with all existing CD audio recorders. For more information contact TDK on (02) 8437 0600 or visit

Mitsubishi's tiny, bright LCD projector

The new Mitsubishi LVP-X70U Multimedia LCD data projector might only weigh 3.2kg but it offers a brightness of 1100 ANSI lumens.

Distorted images caused by projecting images from the wrong angle have been eradicated with the projector’s digital keystone correction system. It corrects the trapezoid effect within a range of 15°.

High quality images with clear definition are achieved with the projector’s "Cineview" line-doubler. It stores the previous and next-image fields and processes the signals with extra motion detection to smooth out horizontal and vertical lines for finer, sharper moving images.

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Mitsubishi claim the projection of RGB and YMC colour spectra that are equal to those of CRTs – and all six colours can be manually adjusted. Other features include a built-in USB mouse port, a laser pointer built into the remote control and a long-life lamp.

Recommended retail price of the projector is $8900 plus sales tax.

For more information contact Mit­subishi Electric on (02) 9684 7777 or visit their website at

Highly accurate Hioki power meters

Hioki have introduced two new "Power HiTesters" ideally suited for the accurate evaluation of power drawn by a large range of electrical and electronic products, not only at full power but also on stand-by.

They have applications in a wide range of home, communication and industrial electronic equipment.

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The Hioki 3331 is for single and 3-phase use and can measure power from as little as 7.5W single phase to 60kW, 3-phase, while the 3332 is for single phase only and can measure power from as low as 15mW to 120W. Both instruments can measure line voltage as high as 600VAC, line current as high as 60A and active power, apparent power, reactive power, power factor and phase angle, accepting a wide range of frequency inputs to 100kHz.

D/A outputs provide waveform data which can be displayed on waveform recorders.

For more information contact Nilsen Technologies, freecall 1800 623 350, freefax 1800 067 263.

New acquisition systems reduce testing times

The release of three new multi-channel data acquisition systems from Acqiris promises to reduce test times for applications that involve high frequency electronic signals. The Cougar systems, which are suited to monitoring signals up to 500MHz in frequency, deliver an exceptional measurement throughput, reducing test times by a factor of up to 10 when compared to using conventional test instrumentation (oscilloscopes, transient recorders, data loggers, etc.) or VXI based test systems.

Typical applications include tele­communications, LIDAR, radar, automotive, chemistry, computing, power measurement, ultrasonics, mechanics, physics, military and explosive-weapons and ballistics testing.

This Acqiris’ Cougar 2000 system uses ultra-fast real-time digitiser technology and offers four full channels each with 2GS/s sampling rate, 500MHz analog bandwidth and long (up to 16 Mpoints) acquisition memories. Each channel input has a full front-end buffer/amplifier that can handle voltage ranges from 50mV to 5V full scale, with 50Ω and 1MΩ input loading, variable offset, internal calibration (that allows 1% voltage measurements), full input protection and fast recovery from out-of-range signals. Underneath the Cougar 2000 are the 1000 and 500 systems which offer four channels with 1GS/s and 500MS/s sampling rates respectively.

The Cougar systems are housed in small 6U CompactPCI crate (around one-third the size of a regular bench-top oscilloscope) and come complete with all necessary software and a high-speed CompactPCI to PCI interface that boasts an impressive 100 Mbytes/s transfer rate.

For more information, contact Acqiris Pty Ltd, phone (03) 9877 9322; fax (03) 9849 0861; website

Video stabiliser fixes jittery pix!

A recently released Australian-made video stabiliser is claimed to be the best available, offering features not found on any other model.

The VCS2 Stabiliser is made in Australia by a new designer, Bamb!G (pronounced Bambi-G) and is the first in a new range of processors.

It has both S-video and composite video inputs and outputs allowing high levels of connectivity. Both outputs are available from either input but if an S-video and composite video are connected to the inputs, the composite video signal takes precedence.

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More importantly, though, the device stabilises the video signal and removes any non-standard components in the signal. Conversion is undertaken in a "perfect filter" – and one of the features of this type of filter is that the output signal is a completely standard, rock-solid waveform. Any non-standard components of the video signal which may have been added along the way – either deliberately or accidentally – are removed, allowing a great deal of versatility in its use.

One application of the stabiliser is with video projectors and the like which often fail to lock properly on signals from a DVD player or other device which has had proprietary components added. When fed through the VCS2 Stabiliser the signal is returned to standard video and video projectors work perfectly.

Similarly, DVD signals can be fed through the VCS2 Stabiliser and into a VCR, allowing DVDs to be viewed on any TV set, not just those with video and audio inputs.

The Bamb! G VCS2 is currently available from Questronix, Phone (02) 9477 3596, Fax (02) 9477 3681, with more information on their website,
Trade enquiries should be directed to Bamb! G via email:

VCR springs 'n' things from DSE

Every now and then, a product comes along which makes you think "finally!" We’re sure service technicians, developers and even many hobbyists will think exactly the same about these VCR hardware assortments from Dick Smith Electronics.

There are seven packs in the range covering a myriad of the small parts needed to repair VCRs (and many other devices).

You’ll find compression springs, tension springs, washers and cir-clips, screws . . . all labelled in handy trays with see-through lids.

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No more searching, no more sorting to find that elusive spring or washer!

Cat H-1670 pack contains 246 washers, circlips, springs and screws and sells for $16.80. The H-1671 pack has washers and circlips only, selling for $15.50. The H-1677 pack contains tension springs and sells for $19.70 while the H-1678 pack contains compression springs and also sells for $19.70.

Not shown are various drive belts: Cat H-6016 contains 14 video drive belts for $10.75; a set of 11 belts for turntables (yes, that’s audio turntables!) selling for $29.40 (Cat H-6018) and the last pack is a set of 10 cassette player belts selling for $6.70 (Cat H-6015).

The packs are available through all Dick Smith Electronics stores and most dealers, or through the DSE mail order service or website

New Jaycar store for Nth Queensland

Jaycar Electronics has opened a new store in Townsville, Qld. Gary Johnston, Managing Director of Jaycar, said that Jaycar was pleased to be a part of this major administrative, defence and education-based city.

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The full range of Jaycar products will be available including components, alarm systems, test equipment, video surveillance, car audio, electrical and electronic tools, wire, cable and accessories. "Jaycar is known for its extensive range of electronic hobbyist kits and these will also be a feature of the new Townsville store," said Mr Johnston.

The store, employing up to five local staff, is located at 177 Ingham Rd, West End, Townsville. Phone number is (07) 4772 5022.

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