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Issue 284 << Issue 283 | Issue 285 >>
Publisher's Letter

1 May, 2012

The Australian Synchotron

3 May, 2012

The Australian Synchrotron is one of the nation's largest and most significant scientific facilities. It is a powerful machine of great utility that enables investigators to determine the structure and composition of all materials, including living specimens, with extremely high detail.

PIC/AVR Programming Adaptor Board; Pt. 1

5 May, 2012

Do you frequently program microcontrollers with a serial programmer? Want to streamline the process so you can quickly do virtually any micro? Well now you can! Our new Programming Adaptor Board, in combination with an In-Circuit Serial Programmer (ICSP), allows you to program most 8-bit & 16-bit PIC microcontrollers as well as 8-bit Atmel AVRs. It has a 40-pin ZIF socket and is configured with just a few DIP switches.


7 May, 2012

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".

Getting The Most From ADSL

9 May, 2012

It's a fair bet that most readers of SILICON CHIP enjoy their daily fix of internet access by courtesy of ADSL. While some readers are luxuriating with optical fibre - and an unhappy minority are still using dial-up - most of us owe our ongoing communication to the distinctly freakish technology of ADSL. But what exactly is ADSL and what came before it? How does it work and why is it often called a "freak" technology? Are your internet speeds painfully slow? Can anything be done to speed them up? Do you curse your ISP? Read on!

High-Temperature Thermometer/Thermostat

11 May, 2012

Need to measure or control temperature over a very wide range? Now you can do it with this compact unit which hooks up to a K-type thermocouple. It drives a relay which can be used to precisely control the temperature in ovens, kilns, autoclaves, solder baths or at the cold end of the spectrum, fridges and freezers. It is based on an Analog Devices AD8495 precision instrumentation amplifier with thermocouple cold junction compensation.

Serviceman's Log

13 May, 2012

The old adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing certainly applies when it comes to mains-powered equipment. This home-made amplifier was so dangerous and the standard of assembly so dodgy that I really shouldn?t have taken it on.

1.5kW Induction Motor Speed Controller, Pt.2

16 May, 2012

Last month, we described the features of the 1.5kW Induction Motor Speed Controller and explained in detail how it works. This month we describe its construction and testing and give some guidelines for use.

Ask Silicon Chip

18 May, 2012

Got a technical problem? Can't understand a piece of jargon or some technical principle? Drop us a line and we'll answer your question. Write to: Ask Silicon Chip, PO Box 139, Collaroy Beach, NSW 2097 or send an email to

SemTest: A Discrete Semiconductor Test Set; Pt.3

20 May, 2012

Now that we have looked at the full circuit of our new Discrete Semiconductor Test Set, it's time to describe its construction and the setting-up procedure. We also describe how to fit a crowbar circuit to quickly discharge the HT after making high-voltage measurements.

Vintage Radio

23 May, 2012

Manufactured in 1948, the Breville 730 table-top receiver was housed in an attractive timber cabinet and covered both the broadcast and shortwave bands. It featured a wide audio response and this, coupled with a large loudspeaker, gave very good performance.

Ultra-LD Mk.3 135W/Channel Stereo Amplifier, Pt.3

25 May, 2012

Finally, we present the specifications for the new Ultra-LD Mk.3 Amplifier along with a couple of minor tweaks to the design to maximise its performance.

Circuit Notebook

27 May, 2012

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions will be paid for at standard rates. All submissions should include full name, address & phone number.

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