Circuit Cellar Ink 225
April 2009

Table of Contents


CJ Abate

HTML Task Manager

Troubleshooters, Unite!


John Gorsky

HTML New Product News


DJ Delorie

Construct a USB GPIO Pod

Part 1: No Parallel Port, No Problem

Unless you've been in a cave for the past decade, you know that the parallel port has been eclipsed by the USB port. In this article, DJ describes how to design a general-purpose input output (GPIO) pod that can plug into your USB port. Now you will have the flexibility to define the I/O you need.


Above the Ground Plane


Ed Nisley

Solar Data Logger

Part 1: PCB Layout, Inductor Saturation, and Other Troubles

Every engineer knows projects don't always work out as planned. Ed's goal was to build a data collection board that could automatically characterize a solar panel, record the panel's output over the course of several days, and then compare the results to his manually collected data. Unfortunately, he experienced some problems. Read on to learn why you should always have a proper-sized board.



Guido Ottaviani

Robot Navigation and Control

Software Development

Guido built a navigation and control subsystem for an autonomous differential steering explorer robot. Here he describes the software development phase of the project.



Danilo Consonni

Digital Decoding

Decode Periodic Signal Transmissions

Danilo's digital decoder decodes the SRC-RAI signal, the Italian official hourly signal. With this device, you can learn how one of the oldest operating signals of sample time is made and how it works.


The Darker Side


Robert Lacoste

Time Domain Reflectometry

Detect and Measure Impedance Mismatches

Robert demystifies the topic of time domain reflectometry, which enables you to detect, measure, and locate any impedance mismatch in a transmission line. To do so, he explains the theory behind it and presents some practical experiments.


From the Bench


Jeff Bachiochi

Programmable Robotics

Part 2: Application Development

When Jeff couldn't add a Bluetooth adapter module to iRobot's Create (because it used the same cargo bay connector as the Command Module), he did what any good designer would do: he built his own. This month, he explains how to replace the Command Module with a two-serial-port microcontroller.

Silicon Update


Tom Cantrell


A Healthy Mix of MCUs, Sensors, and Wireless Technology

With a combination of MCUs, sensors, and wireless capabilities, the ZSTAR3 evaluation kit could be a great starting point for your next project. In addition to a wireless accelerometer, it includes a USB plug-in wireless hub and handy PC-based utility software.


Crossword Puzzle


Advertiser's Index / May Preview


Steve Ciarcia

HTML Priority Interrupt

Print Is Dead -- Long Live Print

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