Circuit Cellar Ink 221
December 2008

Table of Contents


CJ Abate

HTML Task Manager

2008 I/O


John Gorsky

HTML New Product News


John Peterson

A Dynamic Tile Display

Board Layout, Real-Time Animation, and More

John designed an expandable platform for light and animation. You can use it to create modular animated signs, animated puzzles, and more. The system features a tray and tiles, which are based on 8 x 8 LED displays. Once the tiles are synchronized, you can pick them up and rearrange them.


Silicon Update


Tom Cantrell

Tool Time

Tom has often bemoaned that the tools electronic designers rely on haven't kept up with the silicon. The answer to his complaint may be Altium's Designer, which allows you to complete an entire design, including hardware and software, from start to finish. When you're done, debug with Altium's NanoBoard.


Mandar Bagul

Cost-Effective Mobile Data Storage

Interface an SD Memory Card with an MCU

When it comes to designing an embedded application, memory matters. In this article, Mandar explains how to expand a microcontroller's nonvolatile data storage capacity with an SD card. It's an intelligent way to handle the excessive memory requirements of typical embedded applications.


Above the Ground Plane


Ed Nisley

Real-World NiMH Charging

During bike trips, Ed uses Icom handie-talkies for communication. To keep the radios' batteries working, he uses a three-pack charger that he designed at his workbench.The charger has three 250-mA channels and one 100-mA channel so he can charge different packs.



Jan Szymanski

Electronic ID System

A Display for Text, Photos, and Slide Shows

Jan's electronic ID system is an MCU-based electronic badge that displays color slide shows. Many electronic badges display scrolling text using a matrix of discrete LEDs. This low-power system features a graphical OLED display and can be easily upgraded to handle animation, video, or RF communication.


The Darker Side


Robert Lacoste

PID Control Without Math

If you need to design an optimized control loop for a hardware control problem, consider a proportional integral derivative (PID) controller. In this article, Robert explains that trying PID regulations are simple to code, wire, and tune to find the results you're looking for.


From the Bench


Jeff Bachiochi

Component Control

A Tool for Finding and Handling Small Parts

It's time to take control of your components. You can identify tiny surface-mount parts with a handheld LCR meter. The lightweight tool automatically determines the type of component, inductor, capacitor, or resistor (LCR), and selects the proper range and signal frequency for the most accurate measurement. The component type, measurement results, and test conditions used to determine the results are displayed on a dot-matrix display.


Martin Courtney

Beamforming 101

Beamforming enables you to find problems in your system before they occur. As Martin explains, you can perform your own investigation with a computer, a dual-channel A/D card, a pair of microphones, and some software.



Kareem Matariyeh

An Introduction to Verilog

If you are new to programming FPGAs and CPLDs or looking for a new design language, Kareem has the solution for you. In this article, he introduces you to Verilog. Although the hardware description language has been used in the ASIC industry for years, it has all the tools to help you implement complex designs, such as a creating a VGA interface or writing to an Ethernet controller.


Crossword Puzzle


Advertiser's Index / January Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

My Life and Paper -- Take 2

FTP Directory for INK 221
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