Bigger battery for Prius
That bigger battery in the Prius (SILICON
CHIP, February 2008) did not increase its "carbon economy". It just
transferred the emissions from the car’s tailpipe to the power plant’s. And it
has increased the mass of batteries that have to be replaced periodically,
making the car’s lifetime carbon footprint worse.
It has been suggested seriously, with numbers to prove it, that
because of the limited life of the batteries, a hybrid like the Prius isn’t any
greener over its lifetime than the same car powered by a turbo diesel.
Keep those microcontroller projects coming
I have been a reader of SILICON CHIP from
day one. You are without a doubt a world-class publication, both by presentation
and by quality of projects. Just as a whole generation of technical people enjoy
the warm glow of valves, another generation cut their teeth on combinational
logic. In your wisdom you have moved with the times and have introduced
microcontroller projects. I believe you have built a lifeline for your
publication by doing this.
By virtue of the kind of knowledge you share in your projects I
for one have found a very satisfying career as a PIC programmer. I started out
by attempting projects in SILICON CHIP and
Elektor magazine, undertook some more advanced study, including learning to
program in ‘C’, and then went in search of a job that allowed me to apply these
My point is that it all started from being able to access the
basic knowledge in a structured and non-threatening way through SILICON
CHIP. For the sake of the future, please keep pushing microcontroller
technology or what ever replaces it in your publication. You have shown the
tenacity to survive in a very difficult market by having content and
presentation that appeals to many. Long may it continue.
Versatile 4-channel mixer fix
After building the Versatile 4-Channel Mixer project
(SILICON CHIP, June 2007) and not being able to get it working,
I noticed in the "Notes and Errata" section of a recent issue that the published
PC board design was incorrect in the region of CON1-CON4. The suggested fix was
to reverse the metal contacts of these sockets.
This was no easy task as these sockets are obviously not meant
to be taken apart! The stubborn little beggars bluntly refused to come out of
the plastic mounting. However, two days and sore fingers and thumbs later, I
managed to complete the task and install them on the board. My perseverance paid
off, as the mixer is now working perfectly.
A couple of tips for people who also purchased the early
version of the kit: I bought four completely new sockets and swapped the
contacts over on them rather than attempting to alter the desoldered ones.
Secondly, two of the new ones had the number "3" on the under
surface, while the other two had the number "4" on the bottom. Although they
were identical, for some unknown reason the ones with number "4" on them were
much more co-operative than those with the number "3".