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Issue 270   View the articles in this issue >>
Vintage Radio Microphone To Neck Loop Coupler For Hearing Aids
12V 20-120W Solar Panel Simulator Ask Silicon Chip

26 Mar, 2011

Vintage Radio

Clock-radio mantel receivers were all the rage in the 1950s. This month, we take a look at the STC (Standard Telephones & Cables) A5150 clock-radio which used a conventional 5-valve superhet circuit but was housed in a rather unusual cabinet.

24 Mar, 2011

Microphone To Neck Loop Coupler For Hearing Aids

Hearing-aid wearers often have difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments, especially if they have switched their personal hearing aid from microphone mode to T-coil mode. This projects solves that problem.

22 Mar, 2011

12V 20-120W Solar Panel Simulator

How do you test or develop a solar charge controller such as the unit described in SILICON CHIP last month? You could use a solar panel but then you are at the whim of the weather and time of day. Also you would need several panels of different sizes to test it properly. This device solves all those problems.

20 Mar, 2011

Ask Silicon Chip

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 silicon@siliconchip.com.au

18 Mar, 2011

Mains Moderator: Stepping Down The Volts

Do you have excessive mains voltage at your place? In some parts of Australia the mains voltage can be above 250VAC and that can spell early death for imported appliances rated to work on only 220VAC. In this article we show you how to reduce the mains voltage to a safe level for your equipment.

16 Mar, 2011

Mailbag

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".

14 Mar, 2011

Salvage It! - A Vacuum Pump From Junk

Every young techie needs a vacuum pump. They rate alongside the air compressor, multimeter and soldering iron as one of the most useful tools to take their place in the arsenal. This guide will show you how to make a serious vacuum pump for next-to-nothing. Add a vacuum tank for much the same price and you are loaded for bear.

12 Mar, 2011

Circuit Notebook

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions from readers are welcome and will be paid for at standard rates.

8 Mar, 2011

Community TV Station TVS

If you watch digital TV in mainland capitals, you may have come across a "community" channel. In Sydney it's a station called TVS, which has a range of interesting programs, quite different to those on main-stream stations. So what is TVS and who are the people behind it?

6 Mar, 2011

Serviceman's Log

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand last September caused widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure. It also took out a lot of PCs due to both impact damage and power surges.

4 Mar, 2011

The Maximite Computer, Pt.1

There's on often-quoted cliche in advertising which says "its use is limited only by your imagination . . ." Well, here is a project that goes way beyond your imagination because you, like us, will have only scratched the surface of uses. We're pretty proud of this one: a powerful but very economical microcomputer which has so much potential that you will probably think of uses we haven't even dreamed of!

2 Mar, 2011

Microchip's New PIC32 Microcontroller

Name something which is very useful, where you get more than you will ever likely need and at a cost that is trivial. Enter the newest processor in the Microchip stable

1 Mar, 2011

Publisher's Letter

Issue 269   View the articles in this issue >>
Digital/Analog USB Data Logger, Pt.3 Ask Silicon Chip
Simple, Cheap 433MHz Locator Transmitter Circuit Notebook

25 Feb, 2011

Digital/Analog USB Data Logger, Pt.3

In this third and final article on the USB Data Logger, we describe how to use the accompanying Windows host software. This software allows you to edit and test scripts, upload them to the logger and change its settings.

23 Feb, 2011

Ask Silicon Chip

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 silicon@siliconchip.com.au

20 Feb, 2011

Simple, Cheap 433MHz Locator Transmitter

So you made last month's 433MHz "sniffer" receiver and now fancy some adventurous tracking? Here's a versatile PICAXE-08M controlled transmitter, based around Jaycar's ZW-3100 companion 433.92MHz ASK (Amplitude Shift Keying) module. While relatively short range, this transmitter makes a great model plane or model rocket locator and/or tracking beacon - something we?ve been asked about numerous times.

17 Feb, 2011

Circuit Notebook

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions from readers are welcome and will be paid for at standard rates.

14 Feb, 2011

How Switchmode Controllers Work

Ever wondered how switchmode regulator ICs work? Here's everything you need to know but were afraid to ask.

12 Feb, 2011

Mailbag

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".

10 Feb, 2011

Build A 12/24V 3-Stage Solar Charge Controller

Are you building the ultrasonic anti-fouling unit for your boat? You will need a solar panel and a charge controller to keep the batteries topped up. Or are you thinking of a large solar panel for your caravan or 4-wheel drive? Again, you will need a solar charge controller. This is the one to build.

8 Feb, 2011

The Greenline 33 Diesel/Electric Hybrid Power Boat

Many people have a love of boating. But boaties tend to fall into one of two camps, sail or power - and the two seldom see eye-to-eye. Power boaties find yachts a problem because they always seem to demand right of way (even when not under sail!) and yachties turn their noses up at power boats for being noisy, smelly and so on - they call 'em "stink boats". But what if there was a power boat that could also appeal to yachties? There is: the Greenline 33.

6 Feb, 2011

Serviceman's Log

Why is it that people who should know better often fail to back-up important files on a hard disk drive? Retrieving data from a faulty HDD in a machine that won't boot can be a lot of work but perseverance sometimes pays off.

4 Feb, 2011

LED Dazzler: A Driver Circuit For Really Bright LEDs

Caution: these LEDs are so bright they will burn your eyeballs!

2 Feb, 2011

We Drive Mitsubishi's i-MiEV Electric Car

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is that it is so unremarkable. It is a fully electric vehicle but more importantly, it is a compact hatchback that can transport four adults practical distances in comfort, after just a few hours of charging.

2 Feb, 2011

Publisher's Letter

1 Feb, 2011

Notes & Errata

Issue 268   View the articles in this issue >>
Hearing Loop Signal Conditioner Ask Silicon Chip
Digital/Analog USB Data Logger, Pt.2 Circuit Notebook

25 Jan, 2011

Hearing Loop Signal Conditioner

Want to drive a hearing loop using a conventional voltage (audio) amplifier? This Hearing Loop Signal Conditioner includes signal compression and has a treble boost control to compensate for high-frequency roll-off due to loop inductance. It uses low-cost parts and is easy to build.

23 Jan, 2011

Ask Silicon Chip

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 silicon@siliconchip.com.au

21 Jan, 2011

Digital/Analog USB Data Logger, Pt.2

Last month, we described the main features of the USB Data Logger and gave the circuit details. This month, we give the assembly procedure, explain how to install the Windows driver and PC host software and describe how the unit is used.

20 Jan, 2011

Circuit Notebook

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions from readers are welcome and will be paid for at standard rates.

17 Jan, 2011

A Cheap High-Current Bench Power Supply

If you've ever had to buy a high-current bench supply, you'll know they don't come cheap. But you may well have such a supply sitting unloved and (until now!) unwanted in the back of a cupboard. It's the power supply in that old computer you never quite got around to throwing away!

14 Jan, 2011

Cranial Electrical Stimulation Unit

Commercial cranial electrical stimulation (CES) units cost hundreds of dollars but this one is cheap and easy to build. It is battery-powered, portable and has adjustable current delivery and repetition rate.

11 Jan, 2011

Mailbag

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".

8 Jan, 2011

Review: Tekway DST1102B 100MHz DSO

Digital storage 'scope technology has pushed ahead in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Each new model offers higher sampling rates, wider bandwidth, deeper sample memory plus a full colour display growing in both resolution and screen size - combined with shrinking physical size and a lower price tag than previous models. Here's a look at the DST1102B from Chinese firm Tekway, showing just how far DSOs have come to date. It offers an impressive array of features, for a price that simply blows away most of the competition.

6 Jan, 2011

Cheap-N-Easy 433MHz Sniffer

Here's a simple - and cheap - little 433MHz receiver that has many uses. It is ideal for checking that a suspect 433MHz "wireless" device (and there are scads of them) is actually working. It's great for finding out where interference is coming from. But most importantly (we believe!) it makes a great tracker for "fox hunts" and the like.

4 Jan, 2011

Serviceman's Log

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - or so goes the old saying. However, some people just can't help themselves. Some jobs should definitely be left to a qualified serviceman.

2 Jan, 2011

VAST: Australia's New Digital TV Satelite Service

Back in April last year, the Australian Government announced a landmark agreement that will eventually provide high quality digital TV services to viewers who cannot receive terrestrial digital TV (ie, digital TV services from transmission towers in their area).

1 Jan, 2011

Publisher's Letter

Issue 267   View the articles in this issue >>
Vintage Radio Build A Hearing Loop Level Meter, Pt.2
Ask Silicon Chip A High-Quality DAB+/FM Tuner, Pt.3

24 Dec, 2010

Vintage Radio

Designed as a "wartime special", the Philco 40-40 is simple 4-valve receiver that was manufactured in Sydney in 1940/41. It's a compact reflexed design with some interesting features.

22 Dec, 2010

Build A Hearing Loop Level Meter, Pt.2

Last month, we described the circuit for the Hearing Loop Tester and gave the assembly details. This month, we show how to build a calibration coil and adjust the tester so that it gives accurate results. We also describe how the unit is used.

20 Dec, 2010

Ask Silicon Chip

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 silicon@siliconchip.com.au

18 Dec, 2010

A High-Quality DAB+/FM Tuner, Pt.3

In this month's final part, we explain how to use the DAB+/FM Stereo Tuner and describe the menu system. We also show you how you can upgrade the firmware if necessary and describe various features of the tuner in detail.

16 Dec, 2010

Digital Lighting Controller For Christmas Light Shows, Pt.3

Christmas is just about here! Have you got your Digital Lighting Controller ready yet? In the first two articles we explained how the Digital Lighting Controller works and how to build it. This third article explains how to use the software - primarily the Windows-based sequencing program.

14 Dec, 2010

Mailbag

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".

12 Dec, 2010

Digital/Analog USB Data Logger

Based on a PIC micro, this simple project can log lots of data to a memory card. It can read from many types of digital and analog sensors and features a real-time clock and calendar to "time-stamp" the data. It has a USB port and comes with a PC host program, allowing you to configure the sensors, change settings and charge the battery.

10 Dec, 2010

Circuit Notebook

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions from readers are welcome and will be paid for at standard rates.

8 Dec, 2010

Recycle Your Cordless Drill - Make It Corded

Handyman cordless drills are very cheap - most readers probably have at least one or two in their tool collection. But their big weakness is the battery pack and associated charger. What do you do when the battery pack dies? Just convert the drill to corded operation. It's a simple conversion and ideal for working close to 12V power.

6 Dec, 2010

A Hot-Wire Cutter With Inbuilt Heat Controller

If you've ever tried to cut polystyrene (especially!) and polyurethane materials using a saw, razor blade or knife, you'll know that the results are invariably less than satisfactory. If you are after a clean, precise cut, a hot-wire cutter is the answer. The hot wire actually melts the material and results in a very neat, very fine cut, without the thousands of bits of foam flakes you normally get.

4 Dec, 2010

Serviceman's Log

Beauty may only be skin deep but it takes machines (and a whole industry) to maintain it. Too hairy? Zap! ? problem fixed. But who fixes the machines when they stop working?

Issue 266   View the articles in this issue >>
Vintage Radio A High-Quality DAB+/FM Tuner, Pt.2
Ask Silicon Chip Circuit Notebook

24 Nov, 2010

Vintage Radio

I never cease to be amazed at the vintage radio collections that some enthusiasts have. One such enthusiast is John Sheard of Mt Gambier. He not only has an impressive collection of vintage gear but has built some impressively realistic replicas as well.

22 Nov, 2010

Ultrasonic Anti-Fouling Unit For Boats, Pt.2

In the September issue we published the details of the ultrasonic driver for this project, which is housed in an IP65 case for safety and protection from water ingress. This month we describe how to encapsulate the ultrasonic transducer so that it is completely safe to handle. Once it is encapsulated it will operate reliably, even if it is submerged in the bilge of the boat. We also show a typical installation of the system in a large power boat.

20 Nov, 2010

A High-Quality DAB+/FM Tuner, Pt.2

Last month, we introduced our new DAB+/FM Stereo Tuner and gave the circuit details. This month, we show you how to assemble the two PC boards and install them into a low-profile steel case.

18 Nov, 2010

Ask Silicon Chip

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 silicon@siliconchip.com.au

16 Nov, 2010

Circuit Notebook

Interesting circuit ideas which we have checked but not built and tested. Contributions from readers are welcome and will be paid for at standard rates.

14 Nov, 2010

Ab RFID Security System

Here's a high-security system that's very easy to build but offers you peace-of-mind for your home, car - in fact, anything where entry needs allow the good guys in but reject the bad guys. Team it with an electric lock and you can have a keyless entry system as well!

12 Nov, 2010

Mailbag

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".

10 Nov, 2010

Review: Altium Designer & the Nanoboard 3000

Altium Designer is software for designing PC boards, circuit diagrams, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) projects and embedded software. It can work with the NanoBoard 3000 hardware platform and its supplied software libraries let you quickly develop, test and debug a device without the need for any hardware design or manufacturing.

8 Nov, 2010

Digital Lighting Controller For Christmas Light Shows, Pt.2

Everyone who has seen this has been pretty impressed . . . and no wonder! While we originally intended it to make your Christmas Lights display the best in your suburb, with up to 32 channels and total power limited only by your power outlets, it's capable of controlling just about any lighting sequencing task you want to throw at it. Now we get on with the good stuff: putting it all together!

6 Nov, 2010

Build A Hearing Loop Level Meter

Setting the correct signal level and minimising noise are critical factors when setting up a hearing loop. This easy-to-build tester can display field strength levels over a 27dB range. Here's how it works, how to build it and how to use it.

4 Nov, 2010

Serviceman's Log

It's quite common to hear people complain that they spend more time maintaining their swimming pool than they do swimming in it. It's not just a matter of keeping the water clean - you have to maintain the pump and electronic control gear as well.

2 Nov, 2010

Broadband Radar: A Quantum Leap Forward

Mariners have always needed to know the quickest and safest route between where they are and where they want to be - and what obstacles might be encountered on the way.

1 Nov, 2010

Publisher's Letter

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