Circuit Cellar Ink 218
September 2008

Table of Contents


CJ Abate

HTML Task Manager

Circuits & Acquisition


John Gorsky

HTML New Product News


David Tweed

HTML Test Your EQ


James Blackwell

Content Collection and Display

Build an Internet-Connected News Ticker

James no longer has to turn on a TV or computer to get news updates. His innovative design retrieves news headlines from RSS feeds and constantly scrolls them across a dot-matrix LED display. The system checks for updates every 15 minutes.


Lessons from the Trenches


George Martin

Living and Working Off the Grid

Part 2: Installation and Performance

George continues describing how he installed an off-grid photovoltaic (PV) power-generating system in New Mexico. He details how he mounted the panels, connected the batteries, and monitored the system's performance.



Peter Montgomery

Dynamic Animatronic Remote

Part 1: Build a Custom Controller with a Color LCD

Peter built a custom controller that enables him to remotely control his animatronic systems. Each piece of hardware is controlled by a separate computer program. The remote polls his laptop and builds menus that show and control the state of each program.



Bruce Land

Fast Digital Filtering

Digital filtering is never fast enough. As Bruce explains, optimizing filtering on 8-bit microcontrollers, with no floating-point hardware, using 16-bit fixed-point arithmetic with 8 bits of integer and 8 bits of fraction (8:8 notation) is a good start.



Juan Tapia Farias

MCU-Based Flight Data Acquisition

Real-Time Vibration Measurement for Aircraft

Excessive rotor vibration can endanger a helicopter and its crew. That's why Juan developed a system that measures a helicopter's tail rotor vibration in real time. The inexpensive design determines the maximum vibration amplitude in a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter's tail rotor. An accelerometer and an optic sensor in the tail rotor collect data, which is later processed by a Cypress Semiconductor CY8C27443 microcontroller and displayed on a Hitachi LCD.



Naubert Aparicio

Real-Time Operating System Design

Customize an OS for a Powerful Embedded MCU

Naubert's ArmExe is an RTOS for the Luminary Micro Stellaris ARM Cortex-M3 family of microcontrollers and Keil's uVision environment. The multitasking preemptable executive uses task priorities, separate task and kernel stacks, and execution privileges. It handles all interrupts with priorities, supports nested interrupts, and implements binary semaphores and events as the resource-sharing mechanisms.



Stuart Ball

Prototyping with QFP Parts

Fed up with trying to socket QFP parts, Stuart came up with a solution. He built a PCB with the QFP part he wanted and used it as a prototyping module. The system turns a QFP part into a socketable device that you can use for prototyping. The concept can be used for FPGAs, microprocessors, and other parts in QFP packages.

From the Bench


Jeff Bachiochi

Fingerprint Data Acquisition

Print Sensing with Embedded Technology

Identifying and matching fingerprints is a tedious process that involves huge databases. Today, a few companies are using embedded microcontrollers to create stand-alone print-sensing systems. Jeff examines the latest fingerprint security technology from Atmel.

Silicon Update


Tom Cantrell

Embedder Than Ever

ESC Delivers the Goods

It's been a great year for embedded systems designers. You have plenty of new technologies and design options to consider. This month, Tom showcases the best and brightest on display at the 2008 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose.


Crossword Puzzle


Advertiser's Index / October Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

Something Old, Something New

FTP Directory for INK 218
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