Circuit Cellar Ink 187
February 2006

Table of Contents


Jennifer Huber

HTML Task Manager

Become a Better Embedded Programmer


John Gorsky

New Product News

  • ScanBooster/PCI JTAG/Boundary Scan controller on PCI bus from Gopel Electronic GmbH
  • QNX Momentics Eclipse-based C/C++ development suite from QNX Software Systems
  • ZX-24 ZBasic microcontroller from Elba Corp.


Jack Benjamin
Michal Benjamin

Multifunctional Home Control System

Do you really want to take on a project like building a home control system? Jack and Michal thought it was worth it to get a customized system that works with their lifestyle. It controls their alarms, shades, utilities, and more. Wait until you learn about what they're planning next.


Applied PCs


Fred Eady

Discover True 16-Bit Functionality

Explorer 16 Offers Welcome Flexibility

With Microchip Technology's Explorer 16 development board, you now have true 16-bit mode functionality. Fred takes you inside. The inexpensive board features the new PIC24FJ128GA010 microcontroller and dsPIC33F128GP710 digital signal controller PIMs.

Above the Ground Plane


Ed Nisley

Sampled Data Bandwidth


In his last article, Ed described the horrors of an unfiltered system. This month he examines what happens with both good and bad filters.


From the Bench


Jeff Bachiochi

Power Over Ethernet Primer

Sick of dealing with wall warts? Try power over Ethernet (PoE). Many devices (e.g., security cameras) are now PoE-compatible. Jeff shows you how to establish PoE on an Ethernet link between a hub and an endpoint device.

Silicon Update


Tom Cantrell

Something Old, Something New

Naysayers are eulogizing the dearly beloved 8-bit microcontroller. Once again, Tom says not so fast. A new generation of chips proves there's still a long life ahead for the 8-bit MCU.


Colin O'Flynn

Robust Bootloader for FPGAs

Colin built his LoonBoard Unified Bootloader (LUB) to program Xilinx FPGAs. The LUB, which takes only 207 words of program memory, can self-calibrate its internal RC oscillator.



Chris Cantrell

Embedded Object-Oriented Programming

To be an effective software engineer, you must have the right tools on hand for generating top-notch code. Object-oriented programming is one such tool. Chris explains how to use object-oriented programming to take your embedded designs to the next level.



Michael Dvorsky

Rooting Around

Integer Square Roots on Small Processors

There are numerous ways to compute square roots. Have you ever tried the sum-of-odds method? What about the bisection method? Michael goes over the basics and shows you how to choose algorithms to suit your particular applications.



Mariano Barron

Output Real Numbers

When Mariano first started developing his talking calculator, he used the scanf and printf functions to enter numbers from the keyboard and show the results on the display. But he soon discovered that using the printf function to output real numbers was soaking up a lot of code memory. Implementing the float-to-ASCII (ftoa ) function solved the problem.


Tom Napier

Number Crunching On a Budget

Custom PIC MCU Solution Trumps PC

Your expensive desktop PC isn't always the best solution for all of your number crunching problems. As Tom explains, some computations can be done more economically on a $4 custom programmed PIC microcontroller than on a PC.



Aviad Bechori
Shlomo Engelberg
Roi Rapoport

Voice Changer Technology

Shlomo, Aviad, and Roi built a voice changer for a research project they undertook for an Israeli police unit. Here they explain everything they learned along the way.



Chris Coulston
Brian Nypaver
Jeffrey Rimko

DTMF Decoder

Using some serious math and timing-saving design techniques, you can build a PIC18F452 microcontroller-based device that decodes the tones generated by a telephone keypad. Chris, Brian, and Jeffrey describe a system that can decode a touch-tone in 1 s.



Crossword Puzzle


Advertiser's Index / March Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

50 Years of Invention

FTP Directory for INK 187
Follow this link to order a copy of INK 187

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