Circuit Cellar Ink 217
August 2008

Table of Contents


CJ Abate

HTML Task Manager

Hone Your EmbeddedDevelopment Skills


John Gorsky

HTML New Product News


Matt Ernst

The DMX Portal

Obtain Lighting Control Via Ethernet

Ready to build your own DMX lighting controller? Matt's design enables him to remotely control up to 512 channels through an IP-based network or directly interface them to embedded systems with a serial connection. It is perfect for distributed lighting systems where low-cost Ethernet wiring is a better option than RS-485 wiring.



Dan Hall
Tristan Kasmer
Doug Krahn
Adam McIntyre
Dena Ponech

Electric Vehicle Inverter Design

Build A System For Powering AC Induction Motors

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Inverter project is a starting point for the conversion of a vehicle with a gas engine to one with an electric motor. The inverter was built using a control board and software based on Microchip Technology's MC-1 development board. The finished design can power a wide range of AC induction motors.



David Tweed

A Bootloader For Blackfin

David designed a two-stage bootloader that allows application firmware to be updated in the field to support bug fixes and additional features for specific end-user applications. It also adds capabilities to the native boot processing of the Blackfin chip. Although some details are specific to the Blackfin family of DSPs, some general features may be helpful on other CPUs.


Above the Ground Plane


Ed Nisley

IR Proximity Sensing

Ed takes a look at IR proximity sensing after seeing a colleague's homebrew chord keyboard. Even if you don't need a hand-mounted keyboard, knowing how a contactless switch works should come in handy.



Chris Paiano

PSoC Design Techniques

Part 2: Add DSP Effects, A User Interface, And More

Chris continues explaining PSoC design techniques by describing his eight-channel mixer project. This month, he covers how to enhance the single-chip design with DSP effects, an intercom mode, a user interface, speech, and permanent setting memory.


From the Bench


Jeff Bachiochi

Water War Prevention

An MCU-Based Monitor For A Communal Well

Jeff's Microchip Technology PIC12F510-based system monitors the water filtration system in an underground well. The design indicates when the communal filtration system's brine tank is out of salt.


The Darker Side


Robert Lacoste

Direct Digital Synthesis 101

Need a refresher on direct digital synthesis? Robert brings you up to speed by covering DDS theory, a few chip-based solutions, and some firmware implementations.



Jan Axelson

Create A USB Virtual COM Port

Physical COM ports are disappearing from PCs, but the right firmware can make a USB device appear as a virtual COM port. As Jan explains, you can use almost any microcontroller with an embedded or external full- or high-speed USB controller to design and program your own USB virtual COM port device.

Silicon Update


Tom Cantrell

Icy Hot

The Soft-Core Concept, FPGAs, And You

Question: Does a "soft-core" make sense for your current application? Tom covers the history of the soft-core technology and introduces the ARM Cortex-M1 soft-core and the FPGA chips it runs on. As you'll see, this solution from Actel and ARM makes the soft-core concept more viable than ever for new applications.


Crossword Puzzle


Advertiser's Index / September Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

A Reactive Necessity

FTP Directory for INK 217
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