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Letters and emails should contain complete name, address and daytime phone number. Letters to the Editor are submitted on the condition that Silicon Chip Publications Pty Ltd may edit and has the right to reproduce in electronic form and communicate these letters. This also applies to submissions to "Ask SILICON CHIP" and "Circuit Notebook".

Bigger battery for Prius
not viable

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.

Gordon Drennan,

Burton, SA.

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 skills.

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.

Mark Weir,

Tauranga, NZ.

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".

George Green,

Wollongong, NSW.

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