Popular - American Radio History

SPYING ON EARTH FROM SPACE
AN ONLINE ATLAS
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CIRCLE 174 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
MARCH 1999,Voi. 16, No. 3
Popular Electronics°
THE MAGAZINE FOR THE ELECTRONICS ACTIVIST!
CONSTRUCTION ARTICLES
BUILD THE CRYSTALSYNTH
David Duley
31
Create realistic musical accompaniments with this wavetable synthesizer and a MIDI keyboard or PC soundcard
BUILD A CORDLESS VOLTAGE PROBE
John
F.
Mastromoro
47
Thurber, Jr.
39
Simplify voltage and continuity testing by adding this hassle -free device to your troubleshooting toolkit
FEATURE ARTICLE
ZAP, CRACKLE, POP!
Karl
T.
Don't let lightning and other voltage anomalies destroy your gear-learn how to protect your investments
PRODUCT REVIEWS
GIZMO
23
HDTV arrives, PC -free e-mail, digital speakers, MPEG devices, USB- capable monitors, software, and more
COLUMNS
SCANNER SCENE
Marc Saxon
4
Marc Spiwak
8
Konstantinos Karagiannis
13
Don Jensen
16
Listening for the Calls of the Wild
MULTIMEDIA WATCH
A PalmPilot Compass, DVD- to -Go, and More
NET WATCH
Spying on Earth from Space
DX LISTENING
Urban DXing
COMPUTER BITS
Jeff Holtzman
21
Alex Bie
52
Mass Storage for the Millennium
THINK TANK
From Vacuum Tubes to Laser Diodes!
HAM RADIO
Joseph
Carr
56
Rakes
59
Marc Ellis
63
J.
Understanding Dummy Loads
CIRCUIT CIRCUS
Charles
D.
Interfacing Logic Families
ANTIQUE RADIO
Power Supply for 1920s Battery Sets
DEPARTMENTS
EDITORIAL
LETTERS
NEW PRODUCTS
ELECTRONICS LIBRARY
POPULAR ELECTRONICS MARKET CENTER
ADVERTISING INDEX
FREE INFORMATION CARD
2
3
5
11
67
90
90
Popular Electronics (ISSN 1042-170-X) Published monthly by Gernsback Publications, Inc. 500 Bi- County Boulevard, Farmingdale, NY 11735. Second -Class
postage paid at Farmingdale, NY and at additional mailing offices. One -year, twelve issues, subscription rate U.S. and possessions $24.99, Canada $33.15
includes G.S.T. Canadian Goods and Services Tax Registration No. R125166280), all other countries $33.99. Subscription orders payable in U.S. funds only
International Postal Money Order or check drawn on a U.S. bank. U.S. single copy price $4.99. Copyright 1999 by Gernsback Publications, Inc. All rights
reserved. Hands -on Electronics and Gizmo trademarks are registered in U.S. and Canada by Gernsback Publications, Inc. Popular Electronics trademark is registered in U.S. and Canada by Electronics Technology Today, Inc. and is licensed to Gernsback Publications, Inc. Printed in U.S.A.
Postmaster: Please send address changes to Popular Electronics, Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 338, Mount Morris, IL 61054 -9932
A stamped self -addressed envelope must accompany all submitted manuscripts and /or artwork or photographs if their return is desired should they be rejected. We disclaim any responsibility for the loss or damage of manuscripts and /or artwork or photographs while in our possession or otherwise.
As a service to readers, Popular Electronics publishes available plans or information relating to newsworthy products, techniques, and scientific and technological developments. Because of possible variances in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship used by readers, Popular Electronics disclaims
any responsibility for the safe and proper functioning of reader-built projects based upon or from plans or information published in this magazine.
1
Larry Steckler,
EHF, CET,
editor -in -chief and publisher
Change The Only
Constant
EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT
Konstantinos Karagiannis, editor
Robert Young, technical editor
Evelyn Rose, assistant editor
Teri Scaduto, assistant editor
Janine Abitabile, editorial assistant
Alex Bie, contributing editor
Joseph J. Carr, K4IPV, contributing editor
Marc Ellis, contributing editor
Jeffrey K. Holtzman, contributing editor
Don Jensen, contributing editor
Charles D. Rakes, contributing editor
Marc Saxon, contributing editor
Marc Spiwak, contributing editor
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT
Ruby M. Yee, production director
Ken Coren, desktop production director
Melissa Giordano, desktop production
Kathy Campbell, production assistant
ART DEPARTMENT
Andre Duzant, art director
Russell C. Truelson, illustrator
CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT
Theresa Lombardo, circulation manager
Gina L. Gallo, circulation assistant
It's nice to return to an old friend.
Some of you might remember that was the Editor of this magazine a
couple of years ago. Though I've stopped using my old nickname of
"Dan," assure you it's me.
I
I
can safely be said that change is the only constant in the worlds of
electronics, computing, and technology. The same applies to our magazine -the only way to keep up with the fields we cover is to change
with them. We're moving in some exciting new directions, and I'm
happy to be back to help this happen.
It
For starters, we haven't forgotten one of the basic reasons why our
readers pick up this title on a monthly basis. Rather than just wanting
to read about electronics and computers, most of you want to actually
be a part of technology, both old and new. We're here to help.
As far as non -computer -related electronics go. count on finding more
projects to build than you've seen in a long time. Like you, I'm a hobbyist, and know it's very fulfilling to have something worthwhile to
build. Already lined up are an exciting project -builder's special and a
high -voltage issue. Watch for them.
I
REPRINT DEPARTMENT
Christina M. Estrada,
Reprint Bookstore
BUSINESS AND EDITORIAL OFFICES
Gernsback Publications, Inc.
500 Bi- County Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
516- 293 -3000
Fax: 516-293-3115
President: Larry Steckler
Vice- President: Adria Goren
Vice -President: Ken Coren
SUBSCRIPTION
CUSTOMER SERVICE/
ORDER ENTRY
800 -827 -0383
7:30 AM - 8:30 PM EST
Advertising Sales Offices
listed on page 90
Composition by Mates Graphics
ON THE INTERNET
AT:
wwwgernsback com
Since some of the equipment and circuitry
described in POPULAR ELECTRONICS may relate
to or be covered by U S. patents, POPULAR
ELECTRONICS disclaims any liability for the
infringement of such patents by the making, using,
or selling of such equipment or circuitry, and suggests that anyone interested in such projects consult a patent attorney
2
To get things rolling, this month's cover story,
Crysta/Synth, is a
wavetable MIDI synthesizer that you can use with your PC's soundcard
to create incredible-sounding music. Those without a computer, but
with a flair for music, will be happy to know that the project works with
a standard MIDI keyboard, too. The story begins on page 31.
A project almost every hobbyist can use is a Cordless Voltage Probe.
Turn to page 47 if you want to learn how to build this wonderful trou-
bleshooting tool.
Cover by Loewy Design
VISIT US
Also, we're not going to neglect the computer aspect of electronics.
Whether you're a hobbyist, working in an electronics -related field, or
both, chances are you've noticed how much more is possible with the
use of PCs. That's why we'll be including more construction projects
that can interface with your computer.
But before you turn to the pages that follow, please keep this in mind:
Our logo on the Table of Contents page has a subhead: "The Magazine
for the Electronics Activist!" We plan to fully live up to that statement
and hope you'll join us as we do so. The new millennium is coming fast,
and we guarantee we won't let you fall behind the technological curve.
Konstantinos Karagiannis
Editor
LETTERS
MORE CONSTRUCTION,
PLEASE
I've been a reader of Popular
Electronics for a long time, and have
to say that for the past year or so
have become increasingly disappointed with your magazine. While the
columns have pretty much maintained
their quality, the number of useful construction articles has diminished.
Just a couple of months ago, in
your November issue, there was only
one project you could build: the
Millennium Clock. Then, the very next
issue, there were no construction projects at all. Is this a trend that will continue? I'm sure
speak for many
readers when say: hope not. Some
of us actually like to build things.
I
I
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D.V.
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for writing -we appreciate
your input. To answer your question,
we're very aware of how things have
been going and are dedicated to making a change. Count on a killer project
or two (or more) in every issue, and
plan to keep that soldering iron warm
in the months to come.
If you or any other readers have
any comments as to the type of construction articles you'd like to see in
our pages, please feel free to send
them to us here at Letters, Popular
Electronics, 500 Bi- County Blvd.,
Farmingdale, NY 11735. You can also
e -mail me at peeditor@agernsback. com,
should you want to get your opinions
heard in the fastest possible manner.
Remember ... we're listening.
-Editor
ROBOT HAPPINESS
always found robotics to be one of
the most fascinating areas of electronics. It blends so many different aspects
of our art into something that can one
day transcend the barrier between
man and machine. While don't plan
on seeing droids like C -3P0 and R2D2 walking the streets any time soon,
still think that robotics is making huge
advances. We should keep up on this
important science.
I
I
I
That's why wanted to thank you for
your wonderful Seeing Eye Robot in
the January issue. It's a perfect example of a robotics project that could start
someone on the path to bigger and
better achievements. We all have to
start somewhere, and building this little
rover will probably strike a chord with
more than a few hobbyists.
hope to see more great articles
like this in the future.
J.S.
Boston, MA
HAVES & NEEDS
I
I
I agree that robotics is a great
example of how different technologies
can converge to create something
remarkable. As with most articles we
publish, the one you refer to was written out of house by a freelance author.
Should another great robot piece come
our way, we'd be happy to publish it.
In the meantime, don't be surprised
if you see robots appear elsewhere in
this magazine in the coming months.
Some of our columns may touch on
the subject, too-in fact, I can think of
one that will, in our next issue, address
this very aspect of our hobby.
-Editor
"FLIGHT TIMER"
DISTURBANCES
discovered there were some
errors that crept into my article "Flight
Timer" (Popular Electronics, January
1999). As published, the description of
the mode of operation of the timer is
not clear.
This is how it actually works. Before
power is applied to the circuit, both C2
and C3 are discharged. The low on its
trigger input forces the 555 timer to
power up in its "on" state, that is, with its
output pin high. Thus the motor switches on immediately when power is
applied. Capacitor C2 then charges
through R3. After ten seconds, the voltage on C2 reaches the threshold voltage of the 555, causing its output to go
low and to turn off the motor. C2
remains charged and holds the 555 off
until the power is switched off when it
discharges through D1 and R1.
-Tom Napier
I
recently dusted off my Simpson
260 Series 5 (circa 1965) VOM, and
I'm having some difficulty with the R x
1 scale readings.
Fresh alkalines and
clean battery connections allow full scale "zero" deflection when I short the
test leads, but the readings seem to be
over by a factor of 4; 10 -ohm resistors
read about 40 ohms, 50 -ohm resistors
read about 200 ohms, etc.
verified the test resistors with a
DMM, VTVM, and another VOM. They
all concur -the Simpson is off. Both R
x 100 and R x 10k scales read normally on the Simpson, as do all voltage and current -reading scales. If
anyone recognizes this anomaly or
has service experience with the 260,
would be grateful for any suggestions.
would also like to get schematics and
an owner's manual on this "puppy." I'd
appreciate any help on where and how
to locate such material.
John Agugliaro
e -mail: jagugl4546t?aaol.com
I
I
I
I
need help in locating schematics
for these open -reel tape recorders:
Akai X2000S and Akai GX266I1. I will
be happy to pay all copying and mailing costs. Congratulations on keeping
such a well -balanced magazine.
Leon Howe
PO Box 4413 AAFB Br.
Yigo, Guam 96929
I
would like to have an indicator in
the dining room that lets me know
when the waffle cooking in the kitchen
is done. In other words, I'd like a
device that will detect the reduction in
power draw and energize a relay (to
which can attach a light or bell).
If worked at it long enough, I could
figure out how to build such a device.
However, If one of your clever readers
has already built one, I'd sure like to
take advantage of that expertise.
I've read Popular Electronics since
the 50s and still really enjoy it. Thanks
for your help and a great magazine.
Bill Englander
PO Box 3962
Carmel, CA 93921
I
I
I
3
SCANNER SCENE
Listening for the Calls of the Wild
Areasonably priced handheld
scanner-that's what the world
wants and shall have! It's called the
PRO -70 and comes courtesy of
RadioShack. Listed in their catalog at
$149.99, the PRO -70 answers a myriad
of needs.
Users get 50 memory channels in
the 29 -54, 137-174, and 380 -512 MHz
action bands. There's also an extra tern porary monitor- memory channel for
storing discoveries made during band
searches, which can be made through
any of the set's ten preset frequency
ranges. Instant one -touch NOAA weather band access is provided, too.
The PRO -70 scans at up to 25
channels /second and searches at
twice that speed. The double conversion receiver has a selectivity of -6 dB
at 10 kHz, -50dB at ±18 kHz. Spurious
rejection is 5 ±0 dB and sensitivity is
1.0 µV on all frequencies.
The PRO -70 operates from six "AA"
batteries, an optional rechargeable battery pack, or an AC or DC adapter. It
comes with a rubberized antenna (BNC
connector) and can be used with an earphone. A soft leather carrying case with
a belt clip is available as an accessory.
All in all, a goodly assortment of
basic features in a small package, and
a choice candidate for discreetly taking
along when you don't want or need to
"shlep" your big, expensive handheld
with all the bells and whistles. You
know just what mean, right?
I
CALLS OF THE WILD
4
A reader writing from cyberspace
brings up an interesting point. He says
that bears, cougars, deer, elk, and
many other wildlife species are fitted
with tracking transmitters. Often, on
TV, conservation officials are shown
using tracking receivers having directional VHF yagi antennas. Presumably,
those frequencies are within the range
of scanners. So, he asks, can we be
the first and only publication to reveal
those wildlife tracking frequencies?
Generally, conservation agencies
don't release the frequencies they use.
suppose they are trying to avoid wellI
MARC SAXON
30.17 -30.25 MHz (i.e., 30.17, 30,18,
30.19, etc.). Plus 12 frequencies in 25kHz steps from 164.4375- 164.7125
MHz (i.e., 164.4375, 164.4625,
164.4875, etc.).
Wildlife tracking transmitters run low
power (something in the order of 5 mil liwatts), so there are no strong signals.
don't
Even using a directional yagi,
believe the signals can be received by
conservation people from more than a
mile or two away. think if someone
can pick up a cougar or bear's tracking
signal on a standard handheld scanner, they're probably far too close for
comfort.
I
I
HEY, MIKE!
A frequent inquiry here at Scanner
to wireless microphones.
Typically, Dale Sanderson, of St. Louis
Park, MN, just wrote to mention that he
Scene relates
meaning but unwanted volunteer assistance from citizens who will interfere
with their research programs.
State agencies utilize the following
frequencies for wildlife tracking on a
shared basis with other conservation
activities (+ 1 kHz): 31.18, 31.22.31.26,
31.30, 31.34, 31.38, 31.42, 3/.46, 31.50,
31.54, 31.58, 31.62, 31.66, 31.70, 31.74,
31.78, 31.82, 31.86, 31.90, 31.94, 31.98,
44.64, 44.68, 44.72, 44.76, 44.80, 44.84,
44.88, 44.92, 44.96, 45.00, and 45.04
MHz. Also any frequency between
151.145 -151.745, and 159.225 -159.
465 MHz.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
uses 30.06 and 30.07 MHz, then nine
frequencies in ten -kHz steps from
had his scanner with him during a sports
event. On 171.845 MHz, he could
receive signals from the wireless microphone of the on -field TV announcer,
including his great private remarks during moments while he was off the air.
In fact, wireless microphones can
make for fascinating scanner fare; yet
they have been given very little attention
within the hobby. They are heavily used
by TV news crews as well as for all other
TV and film productions in the field and
in the studio. Their use is widespread at
all types of events, from rock concerts
and sports events to theatrical productions to lectures; at theme parks and
museums; and for electronic surveillance (body microphones). Some have
even been adapted for use by fast -food
drive -through window use.
There are a few frequencies designated for wireless microphones in the
FCC's regulations, but many, many
more than that are in actual use. Far too
many to list here. Within the past year,
have collected information on more
than 100 frequencies than were reported as having been monitored, as well
as those used in professional wireless
microphones. If you would like a copy
of these frequencies, I'll be pleased to
I
(Continued on page 62)
NEW PROdUCTS
SOLDERING SYSTEM
Ideal for most through -hole and surface -mount soldering applications, the
ST20A production soldering system
delivers both performance and accuracy. The system, which measures 3.5 by
4.76 by 6 inches, has an adjustable
display dial with a locking mechanism,
a multicolor LED indicator, a multi -unit
stacking capability, and feed -throughs
for desoldering.
This adaptable system provides versatility with its ability to expand quickly.
The ST20A also offers the SensaTemp
Control, which lets the user change
handpieces or tips instantly without recalibration. The Auto -Off safety system
increases the life of tips and heaters
while conserving energy. The locking
mechanism on the display dial prevents
unauthorized tampering of temperature
settings.
The ST20A has a suggested retail
price (U.S. only) of $220. For prices outside the United States and for more
information, contact Pace, Inc., 9893
Brewers Court, Laurel, MD 20723 -1990;
Tel. 888 -535 -PACE or 301 -490 -9860;
Fax: 301-604-8782; Web: www.paceusa.
once it's occurred, CD Armor prevents
it from happening. Made of an optically transparent polymer shield, it attaches to both sides of the disc, forming a
rigid protective shield that is thin
enough to play in most CD players
without reducing the sound quality.
CD Armor can be removed and
replaced at a fraction of the cost of a
new disc, and it installs easily with the
included CD Armor Install Kit. Your protected CDs can be replaced in their
jewel cases and can still be organized
in CD storage devices. The top shield
can also be personalized with labels,
stickers, or markers.
The CD Armor Install Kit includes a
CD Armor Installer and six shield sets,
and has a suggested retail price of
$19.95. The CD Armor 15 pack of
shield replacements has a suggested
retail price of $9.95. To order directly,
call 877 -CD ARMOR. For more information, contact Digital Armor Inc., 520
5th Avenue SW, Suite 600, Calgary,
Alberta, Canada T2P 3R7; Tel. 800942 -5224 or 403 -265 -7225; Fax: 403716 -4324; Web: www.cdarmor.com.
CIRCLE 81 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
corn.
CIRCLE 80 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
CD PROTECTION SYSTEM
For CD owners, keeping music
discs free from damage-scratches,
abrasions, dust, fingerprints, sunlight,
etc. -has been next to impossible.
Now, CD Armor shields both sides of
the music CD from damage with no
perceptible reduction in sound quality.
Unlike kits that try to fix the damage
BENCH DMM
Offering a versatile bench test
instrument, the Model 5490 Bench
DMM is a 50,000 -count unit with an
accuracy of 0.025 %. It is capable of
wide -ranging test measurements at a
low cost.
The 5490 features full DMM -measuring capabilities, including DC voltages to 1000 volts, AC voltage with
true rms (AC or AC +DC), and over voltage protection (1100 volts DC +AC
peak). Measuring ranges for DC and
AC current are from 500 mA to 10
amps, ranges for resistance are 0.01
ohms to 50 megohms, and ranges for
capacitance are from 10 pF to 50,000
.F. The unit offers 600 volts DC capacitance/resistance protection and frequency measurement ranging from 0.5
Hz to 500 kHz.
A 50,000 count resolution LCD provides an easy -to -read display, supported by a 34- segment analog bargraph.
Weighing only 3.8 Ib. and measuring
113/4 by 103/4 by 33/4 inches, the 5490 is
compact and comes equipped with
non -skid pads-ideal for bench or lab
use. For data logging and record/printout capability, the unit features a built -in
RS -232 port. Calibration software is an
optional accessory.
The 5490 has a list price of $675.
For more information, contact B &K
Precision, 4353 West Lawrence Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60630; Tel. 773 - 725 -9252;
Fax: 773 -725 -9385; Web:www.bk
precision. corn.
CIRCLE 82 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
LCD PROJECTOR
The TLP -511A MediaStar XGA LCD
Multimedia Projector uses today's most
advanced glass technologies, substantially increasing the brightness over earlier models from 600 to 700 lumens.
With the TLP -511A, computer and
video sources are displayed with brilliance and clarity (1024 x 768 XGA
and 1280 x 1024 SXGA resolution
when compressed) even in fully lighted
rooms. In addition to the increased
brightness, the projector now includes
plug-and -play compatibility with most
popular computer workstations, and
provides users with the ability to adjust
colors individually through an on- screen
5
menu system- there's a palette of over
16.7 million colors.
Weighing just 17.6 pounds and measuring 13.39 x 5.04 x 14.29 inches,
the TLP-511A is designed to be taken
on the road for professional presentations. Ideal for use with all computers,
VCRs, camcorders, and DVD players,
the LCD projector displays images in
sizes ranging from just 25 inches for
small -room presentations to 25 -foot pictures for large audiences. Its swivel lens
switches easily between portrait and
landscape images.
MSRP of $9995. For more information,
contact Toshiba American Consumer
Products, Inc., 82 Totowa Road,
Wayne, NJ 07470; Tel. 800 -346 -6672;
Web: www.toshiba.com /tacp.
CIRCLE 83 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
OSCILLATOR /TESTER
A multi -purpose tester that can be
used as both a two -phase signal generator and as an in- circuit component
tester, the TPOT-1 will test most transistors, diodes, ICs, capacitors, resistors,
and more. It is a handy instrument (4.8
by 3.2 by 2.3) for bench technicians.
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The built -in "visualizer" is a color document camera capable of projecting
written materials and three -dimensional
objects directly from the surface of the
projector. This unique feature allows
presenters to place meeting notes, photographs, engineering drawings -even
actual products -on the projector surface itself, casting high -resolution
images on a wall or screen. Other advanced features include an easy -to -use
zoom focus lens system; Toshiba's
2000-hour long -life metal -halide lamp;
triple 1.3 -inch LCD poly-silicon TFT panels; and ceiling, tabletop, and rear -projection capabilities. The TLP-511A also
provides a wireless, full- function remote
control with an ability to control a PC
mouse. MediaStar projectors are compatible with all video formats: NTSC,
PAL, SECAM, and S- Video.
The TLP -511A MediaStar Multimedia LCD Projector comes with a
VGA -, a video/audio -, and a power cable; a MAC adapter; a remote control; lens cap; a built -in carry handle;
battery; and an owner's guide. It has an
,
aso ;VfN6E'l:
The easy -to -use tester attaches to
an oscilloscope, which must be capable of "XY" operation @ 50 mV /cm, to
provide a visual display of component
characteristics. The TPOT -1 shows
much more than go/no go testers or
multimeters do. It helps users see bad
or out -of- tolerance parts. The unit
allows components to be tested in or
out of circuit with the power off.
The unit can help repair completely
dead equipment fast. It can find bad
parts in switching power supplies; compare good parts for bad parts; and find
leaky, shorted, and open capacitors.
The TPOT -1 is also an audio -fre-
quency oscillator for testing audio circuits in TVs, stereos, and radio equipment. In addition, it is a two -phase
sinewave signal generator useful for
testing phase -shift circuits and networks. Its list price is $149.95 plus S &
H. For more information, contact
WILCO Electronic Devices, Inc.,
16895 Beverly Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
55347; Tel. 612 -937 -9372; E -mail:
wilco @minn.net; Web: wwwl.minn.net/
wilco/.
CIRCLE 84 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
SWR ANALYZER
With the MFJ-2598, users get a
complete picture of their antenna's performance, obtaining readings of antenna SWR and complex impedance from
1.8 to 170 MHz. A complete ham -radio
test station, the MFJ -259B combines
the functions of a RF signal generator
and resistance and reactance analyzer,
SWR analyzer, coax analyzer, capacitance and inductance meter, and more.
Just setting the bandswitch and tuning
the dial -the same way you'd do with a
transceiver -gives instantaneous displays of SWR and complex impedance.
The analyzer perfectly tunes critical
HF mobile antennas in seconds for
super DX- without subjecting the
transceiver to high SWR. The analyzer
has powerful new features. It reads
complex impedance as either series
resistance and reactance (R +jX) or as
magnitude and phase; reads SWR,
return loss and reflection coefficient at
FNHF AWA ANAL f2.01
NODEt. NF.t 2591!
any frequency simultaneously at a single glance; reads inductance in µH and
capacitance in pF at RF frequencies;
as well as determines velocity factor,
coax cable loss in dB, and length of
coax and distance in feet to a short or
open. The unit measures the approximate O of traps, stubs, transmission
lines, RF chokes, tuned circuits, and
baluns.
The portable SWR analyzer goes
anywhere -remote sites, up towers, or
on DX- peditions. Its rugged, all -metal
case is a compact 4 x 2 x 63/4 inches. It uses ten AA or NiCD batteries,
not included, or a 110 -VAC power
source. The unit contains a NiCD battery charger, has a battery-saver function, and a low- battery warning.
A free comprehensive instruction
manual packed with useful applications
is available if readers want to check out
the analyzer before purchasing it. The
MFJ -259B sells for $249.95. For more
information, contact MFJ Enterprises,
Inc., PO Box 494, Mississippi State, MS
39762; Tel. 800 -647 -1800; Fax: 601323 -6551; E -mail: mfj@mfjenterpris es.com; Web: www.mfjenterprises.corn.
CIRCLE 85 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
all test functions. And because the plug
is phantom powered, it requires no bat-
teries or external power supply.
The Tone Plug has a suggested list
price of $49.95. For more information,
contact GTC Industries Inc., PO Box
2493, Napierville, IL 60567; Tel. 630369 -9815; Fax: 630 -369 -9198.
CIRCLE 86 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
The Tone Plug includes a bright LED
indicator for checking microphone
cables and connections. A single button
Get our Freeware version
and you will know
why more and more PC- boards
are designed with EAGLE.
EAGLE Professional offers the full EAGLE power:
99 schematic sheets, pc- boards up to
special- function test signals. These
include a 40/2400 Hz signal for testing
the VLF components of a system, such
as subwoofers, crossovers, and amplifiers; and a short duration, multi -frequency pulse for adjusting time delays,
reverbs, and echo units. Among the
other test signals are an amplitude
sweep function for adjusting compressors, limiters, and tape levels; automatic frequency stepping; and a unique
sweep tone for tracing wiring.
EAGLE 3.5
64x64 inches,
16 signal layers.
With EAGLE Standard you can use 4 signal layers
and place components on an area a' 6.4 x 4 inches.
1
schematic sheet (of any
Schematic Capture Board Layout
Autorouter
size) and to 2 -layer boards. Components can be
placed on an area of 4 x 3.2 inches. All other features
are equivalent to EAGLE Professional and Standard.
A complete audio signal generator,
the Tone Plug is especially useful to the
video sound engineer, since most of the
small mixing boards used for that purpose do not provide a test -tone function.
No larger than a standard microphone
connector, the unit is a unique audio test
instrument that's ideal for field use. It is
capable of generating 11 distinct test
functions for the rapid troubleshooting
and calibration of audio systems.
In addition to providing a phantom
tone test, the Tone Plug offers five user selectable sine -wave test tones at frequencies of 100, 250, and 400 Hz, as
well as 1 and 10 kHz. There are also five
Use your personal computer to log
(Continued on page 12)
on the side allows for quick selection of
EAGLE Light is limited to
AUDIO SIGNAL
GENERATOR
DATA INTERFACE
ADAPTERS
for
Windows 95/NT
Windows 95 end Windows NT are registered
trademarks or Mircrosoft Corporation.
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Registered users (49 S for the c mplete package)
get the commercial license, the -eference manual,
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Standard
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01
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CIRCLE 173 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
MulTirviEdiA
MARC SPIWAK
A PalmPilot Compass,
DVD- to -Go, and More
I
've talked about navigation equipment here in the past, such as GPS
navigation systems for notebook computers. This month I've got something
less complicated, but it's even more
portable and it works anywhere.
Palm
w
TECHNICAL EDITOR
COMPUTER RESELLER NEWS
Pilo
PALMTOP NAVIGATION
Anyone who has a PalmPilot will be
interested to know that there's a new
attachment for it that turns the handheld into a digital compass. Precision
Navigation's Palm Navigator plugs into
a PalmPilot, and the included MapSync
software lets you download maps from
the Web turning the PalmPilot into a
compass -aided map navigation system. Direction changes can be simulated by pressing the PalmPilot's up and
down buttons.
With the Palm Navigator attached,
the PalmPilot displays a large compass
with cardinal points and numeric digits
in degrees. A compass -arrow displayed
over the map always points north to
show your direction in relation to north.
The cardinal points indicate one of the
basic eight directions, and the numeric
display is accurate to the nearest two
degrees. GPS receivers require line-ofsight satellite reception, but this digital
compass works anywhere.
The Palm Navigator weighs less
than three ounces, and it's powered by
two AAA batteries. It costs $39.95.
NEW HP SCANNERS
Color flatbed scanners have become
so affordable that it doesn't make sense
not to have one anymore. Even products from Hewlett- Packard (HP) are reasonably priced, so you can get a top
quality, name -brand scanner without
breaking the bank. New models are
available with a Universal Serial Bus
(USB) interface; therefore, connecting
these peripherals is easier and less
expensive than ever before, because
you no longer need a SCSI adapter.
Scanners are useful for making presen8 tations, publications, copies, faxing doc-
>
PurrNON
N116 ,NI tUy
Precision Navigation's Palm Navigator tarns a PaImPilot into a compass -aided map navigation
system.
uments, OCRing text, and more.
The ScanJet 4100C is HP's entrylevel USB scanner, but it's not at all
short on functionality. The unit comes
with everything you need including software to scan, copy, edit, store, and print
color images. Setup is simple with the
USB-there's no need to open your PC
and add a SCSI card, for instance. The
TWAIN -compliant 4100C scans directly
to or from any compatible application.
The 4100C flatbed scanner has a
maximum scan size of 8.5 x 11.7 inches, and it does 600 -dpi scanning in
hardware with a software- enhanced
1200 -dpi mode. The unit has a 36 -bit
color image processor, and it processes
grayscale in 10 bits. Perfect for small
offices, the ScanJet 4100C measures
only 11.2 inches wide by 18.3 inches
deep by 3.3 inches high. Best of all, this
scanner costs only $199.
The ScanJet 6200C is a more capable unit, available with either a USB or
SCSI interface. The unit offers hardware
1200 -dpi scanning and virtually unlimited software- enhanced resolution, up to
999,999 dpi. The unit converts black and -white line art into infinitely scalable
vector files, so scanned graphics can be
enlarged with no jagged effects. The
6200C also automatically creates editable text from scanned documents with
its integrated OCR software.
The ScanJet 6200C does color processing in 36 bits and grayscale levels
in 12 bits. Maximum scan size is 8.5 by
14 inches, and the unit includes an
adapter for scanning 35mm slides. All
the software necessary for networking
this scanner is included with it. An
optional 25 -page automatic document
feeder allows hands-free scanning. The
6200C measures 19.6 inches deep by
12.3 inches wide by 4.7 inches high.
This one costs $399, while model
6250C, which includes a 25 -page automatic document feeder, is $499.
DVD -TO -GO
DVD is really taking off. The most
basic DVD -ROM disc holds about
seven times the data of a CD -ROM.
Further, DVD -ROM drives can read
DVD -ROM discs as well as CD -ROM
discs. One of the best uses for a
DVD -ROM drive is to play DVD
movies, which are awesome and play
well on computers with hardware
decoding. A lot of new desktop systems feature DVD -ROM drives, and
high -end notebook computers also
come with DVD -ROM drives. There's
no better entertainment on a long airplane ride than watching your own
DVD movie -the audio and video are
much better than those of airline
movies, and you don't have to pay the
$5 or wear those stupid headphones.
DVD -to -Go offers digital Surround
Sound with 5.1 channels, sharp slow
motion and freeze- frame, and multiple
camera angles with compatible source
material. It's also compatible with
region codes so it'll work anywhere in
the world. DVD -to -Go supports NTSC,
PAL, composite, and S- Video, and is
useful for entertainment, business presentations, computer -based training,
and more.
If your notebook computer comes
with or can be upgraded with a DVD ROM drive, but doesn't have a built -in
MPEG -2 decoder, DVD -to -Go is per-
Sound so objects in games seem to fly
around you.
Sound Blaster Live is based on Emu Systems' EMU10K1 audio processor. Signals are processed in with
48 -kHz sampling using 8 -point interpolation. It provides real -time reverb, chorus, flange, echo, and pitch- shifter
effects. The sound card has an average
noise floor of 120 dB and features a
digital S /PDIF I/O to connect devices
such as DAT recorders. Sound Blaster
Live offers preset environments such as
hall, cave, underwater, and so on that
can be applied to any sound. As
always, Sound Blaster Live offers the
best Sound Blaster compatibility available, only this time on the PCI bus. The
card costs $200.
Environmental Audio works well with
two speakers, but it's best with multichannel speaker systems. Of course,
Creative Labs offers such speaker systems, like the PC Works Four Point
Surround system with its four satellite
speakers and powered subwoofer. It
sells for $100. The Desktop Theater 5.1
features five -satellites plus the powered
subwoofer and an amplifier with a built in Dolby Digital decoder. This complete
bundle costs $300.
BACKPACK CD- REWRITER
MicroSolutions is one of the biggest
manufacturers of parallel -port peripherals, and have to say that these units
do deliver impressive performance
through the interface. Not that they can
match the performance of conventional,
internal units, but parallel -port peripherals do have certain advantages. For
one, you can connect a parallel -port
peripheral to any PC, be it notebook or
desktop. And you don't have to open up
a system to install a parallel -port peripheral-you simply connect it externally.
Parallel -port peripherals are particularly useful when a single peripheral
is used to support a large number of
systems, especially something like
MicroSolutions' Backpack CD- Rewriter.
While every system has its own regular
CD -ROM drive, almost none have a
CD -RW drive; and it doesn't usually
make sense to install such a drive in
multiple systems. And that's where the
Backpack CD- Rewriter comes in.
The Backpack CD- Rewriter is a
removable plug- and -play CD- ReWritable (CD -RW) drive. This drive lets you
create audio and data CDs without the
worry of ruining blanks. Rewritable blank
I
Muni
Systems' 1)1D-to-Go is a PC Curd that decodes LAD video
get this curd with or without an external DVD -ROM drive.
The problem with DVD and notebook computers is that most notebook
computers don't have DVD -ROM drives. And if your vendor adds a drive to
a pre- existing model, it won't have any
hardware decoding built in. That means
you'll have to rely on software to do the
job, which unfortunately drops frames in
all but the fastest desktops -it's even
worse in laptops.
Fortunately Margi Systems has a
DVD solution for notebook computers.
DVD -to -Go is a zoomed -video (ZV)
compliant Type II PC Card that decodes
MPEG -2 video, which includes Dolby
Digital AC3 audio. Video plays in full
color, full screen, and at 30 frames per
second. Because it's a hardware accelerator, you can use the computer for
other applications while playing DVD
video.
*or
notchookl- computers. You can
fect. The card itself costs $349 and
comes with a dongle that lets you connect it to composite or S -Video input on
a big- screen TV. Margi also sells DVD to-Go as part of a bundle that includes
an external SCSI DVD -ROM drive and
a PC Card SCSI decoder for $699. The
bundle fully equips any notebook computer with DVD.
SOUND BLASTER LIVE
Anyone who thought the Sound
Blaster AWE64 was one of the best
sound cards around was right -until
now. Creative Labs' Sound Blaster
Live adds new dimension to computer
sound. Sound Blaster Live features
patented Environmental Audio, which
creates spatial and environmental
sound effects. The card supports multiple speaker setups with Surround
9
discs cost a lot more than write -once
CD -R discs, which can now be had for
around a dollar apiece. But rewritable
discs are better for backup applications
or for perfecting a master disc that will
then be duplicated. The beauty of a CDRW drive is that it can read and write to
standard CD -R discs as well as CD -RW
discs. Of course, they can also read all
types of CD -ROM discs.
The Backpack CD- Rewriter requires
a Pentium -class system, a minimum of
16MB of memory, and an enhanced
parallel port (EPP). A printer -passthrough port lets users print without disconnecting the drive. The drive comes
with Adaptec's Easy CD Creator and
DirectCD, which are authoring and
editing tools for making audio and data
discs. A one -time driver installation
allows the drive to work automatically
whenever it's connected to the parallel
port. Drivers are included for Windows
98, Windows 95, and Windows NT 4.0.
The Backpack CD- Rewriter is available as a 2X or 4X recorder. The 2X
unit costs $499 and requires a Pentium
processor, while the 4X costs $549 and
requires a 300 -MHz Pentium II.
WHERE TO GET IT
Milpitas, CA 95035
Tel. 800- 998 -5227
Web: www.creativelabs.corn
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INFORMATION CARD
Margi Systems, Inc.
3155 Kearney Street
Fremont, CA 94538
Tel. 510- 657 -4435
Web: www.margi.com
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INFORMATION CARD
Hewlett- Packard Company
Microsoft Corporation
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel. 800 - 722 -6538
Web: www.hp.com
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INFORMATION CARD
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Tel. 425 -486 -9258
Web: www.microsoft.corn
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INFORMATION CARD
Humongous Entertainment
MicroSolutions
16932 Woodinville- Redmond Rd. NE
Woodinville, WA 98072
Tel. 800 -499-8386
Web: www.humongous.com
CIRCLE 62 ON FREE
132 W. Lincoln Highway
Creative Labs
1901 McCarthy Blvd.
INFORMATION CARD
DeKalb, IL 60115
Tel. 800 -890 -7227
Web: www.micro- solutions.com.
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INFORMATION CARD
Infogrames Entertainment, Inc.
Multimedia 2000
333 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 820
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel. 877 -INFOGRAMES
Web: www.infogrames.net
CIRCLE 63 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
1100 Olive Way, 12th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Tel. 206 -622 -5530
Web: www.m-2k.com
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INFORMATION CARD
NEW SOFTWARE
Jamsa Press
Palm Pictures
There's a neat new CD -ROM title
available from LucasArts that any
devout Star Wars fan will not want to be
without. I'm talking about the Star Wars:
Behind the Magic two -CD set. This is a
complete behind -the -scenes guide to
what makes Star Wars movies tick.
Plus the discs include never- beforeseen footage from the trilogy and a special sneak preview of the movie
everyone has been waiting for, Star
Wars: Episode I.
Behind the Magic reveals the characters, equipment, and talent that put
the science -fiction stories on the screen.
The two -CD set is well organized and
incredibly detailed, with scene -by -scene
reviews. You'll also find story timelines
plus information about other Star Wars
product lines such as books and games.
There's even a glossary filled with over
2975 S. Rainbow, Suite
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Tel. 702- 248 -6111
Web: www.jamsa.com
CIRCLE 64 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
700 entries.
Star Wars fans and collectors will
also want to snatch up the LucasArts
Archives Vol. IV: Star Wars Collection Il.
You get the full versions of Dark Forces,
TIE Fighter Collector's CD -ROM, XWing Collector's CD -ROM, and Yoda
Stories, which includes a demo of
Behind the Magic. Condensed editions
10 of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces Il, Jedi
I
727 North Hudson Street, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60610
Tel. 312 -751 -0020
Web: www.islandlife.com
CIRCLE 70 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
LucasArts Entertainment Company
Precision Navigation, Inc.
P.O. Box 10307
1235 Pear Ave., Suite 111
Mountain View, CA 94043
Tel. 707 -566 -2260
Web: www.precisionnay.com
CIRCLE 71 ON FREE
San Rafael, CA 94912
Tel. 415- 472 -3400
Web: www.lucasarts.com
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INFORMATION CARD
Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, and XWing vs. TIE Fighter are also included.
New from Infogrames Entertainment
comes Hexplore, a medieval world of
mystery, magic, treasure, and more. In
this game, Garkham, Grand Master of
the Black Magicians, must take possession of the Book of Hexplore, which
explains how to get to the Garden of
Eden where the Divine Power rests.
The 3D environment has over 250
maps to investigate, and it'll take you at
least 70 hours to fully explore everything. This title costs $29.95.
I've got another new DVD title from
Palm Pictures, and this one's just a bit
weird. The Secret Adventures of Tom
INFORMATION CARD
Thumb is an hour -long film that combines 3D animation and human animation creating a bizarre world indeed.
Tom Thumb's parents are happily surprised when the little freak is born,
brightening their lives in a dark world
ruled by giants. But then Tom is abducted into a laboratory for freaks and
mutants where he suffers at the hands
of scientists. Fortunately he makes
friends with other freaks in the lab, and
the story enjoys some twists and turns.
A lot of movies that might be hard to
find on videotape are easy to get on
DVD. Palm Pictures' Dancehall Queen
is a lively Jamaican movie that takes
(continued on page 58)
ELECTRONICS LibRARy
VIDEO DEMYSTIFIED,
"d
2 EDITION
by Keith Jack
This comprehensive reference is
packed with 800 pages of hard -to -find
extensive reference information and
provides a complete introduction to the
principles of digital video. Everything
from the basics of NTSC to complex
color space conversion, as well as the
relationships between video and computer graphics is discussed in depth.
All material is explained in clear, easy to- understand language, and the book
is well illustrated.
Road, Eagle Rock, VA 24085: Tel.
800 -247-6553 or 540 -567 -2000; Fax:
540 -567-2000;
Web:
www.LLHPublishing. com.
Technology Inc., 2355 Chandler Blvd.,
Chandler, AZ 85224-6199; Tel. 602786 -7668; Web: www.microchip.com/
mechatronics.
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INFORMATION CARD
MECHATRONICS POWERPAK
CATALOG 41A
from Microchip Technology Inc.
from MCM Electronics
Designed to educate mechanical and
electromechanical engineers on the
basics and benefits of converting their
designs to an electronics -based
solution and enhancing them with
This latest catalog features more that
5000 new products including project
accessories, semiconductors, connectors, test equipment, computer and
home audio products, plus thousands
of OEM TV /VCR repair parts.
electronics intelligence -including
o
memo!
leslsellrr
This edition covers the latest digital
video techniques, videoconferencing
standards, all international video standards (NTSC, PAL, and SECAM),
MPEG -1 and MPEG -2 compression
and decompression, design architectures for incorporating video into computer systems, digital encoding and
decoding techniques, high- definition
production standards, and more.
Appendixes contain additional material, such as video -test and measurement methods, SCART and S -Video
connectors, multimedia PC specifications, and CD -ROM contents. A useful
glossary of terms and an index completes the book.
The accompanying CD -ROM for
PC and Macintosh is loaded with
design tools to assist in testing and
evaluating video systems. Files
include still images at various resolutions; QuickTime movies; source code
for
MPEG,
H.261, and H.263
encoders /decoders; and more.
Video Demystified,2nd Edition
costs $59,95 and is published by LLH
Technology Publishing, 3578 Old Rail
C M <.r,.,,
MPTRONICS
microcontrollers and related components -this package provides a
Microcontroller Primer, which introduces the reader to microcontrollers
and describes how to use them in their
designs, reference designs, and other
support material.
ELE
43041a ow
To order books
in this maga-
zine or, any book in print. Please call
anytime day or night: (800) BOOKSNOW (266 -5766) or (801) 261 -1187 ask
for ext. 1456 or visit on the web at
http:/ /www.BooksNow.com/popularelectronics.htm.
Free catalogs are not available.
DENÇN
,!"GP:
111
'$
The
PIC12CXXX Applications
Handbook, which is included, illustrates hundreds of simple electromechanical functions that have been
converted into real -world microcontroller -based designs. These include
timers and switches used in lawn
sprinklers, water softeners, freezer
compressors,
light
egg
timers,
timers /dimmers, capacitive sensor buttons, automotive air conditioners,
windshield wiper control, turn signals,
and remote car starters.
The Mechatronics PowerPak is free
upon
request
from
Microchip
....
rn
...
800-543-4 330
Among the brand names included
are Weller, Xcelite, Klein, Fluke,
Hitachi, Sencore, Tektronix, Tenma,
RCA, GE, Panasonic, ECG, Philips,
Magnavox,
Proscan,
Quasar,
Technics, Lexmark, Pioneer, Monster
Cable, and Sony. MCM is now an
authorized distributor for the complete
line of Denon replacement parts.
Catalog 41A is free upon request
from MCM Electronics, 650 Congress
Park Drive, Centerville, OH 454594072; Tel. 800 -543 -4330; Web:
www. mcmelectronics. com.
CIRCLE 92 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
50th ANNIVERSARY CATALOG
from Amprobe Instrument, Division of
United Dominion Company
leading supplier of test tools for
tradesmen, this company's catalog provides a broad range of test equipA
11
Accredited B.S. Degree in
Computers or Electronics
by studying at Home
Grantham College ofEngineering
offers 3 distance education programs:
1`J
B.S.E.T. emphasis in Electronics
B.S.E.T. emphasis in Computers
B.S. in Computer Science
lectronics Workbench Professional 5.0
`included in our B.S.E.T curriculums
-Approved by more than 200 Companies,
VA and Dantes, (tuition assistance avail.)
s1 -
product in -use photographs enabling
customers to quickly find the tool that
provides the best solution for their
needs. A glossary, a guide to briefs
and repair manuals, an alphabetic listing, as well as a listing by product
number are included.
The 50th Anniversary Catalog is free
upon request from Amprobe
Instruments, 6350 Merrick Road PO
Box 329, Lynbrook, NY 11563; Tel. 516593 -5600; E- mail.: info@ amprobe.com:
Web: www. amprobe. com.
CIRCLE 94 ON FREE
INFORMATION CARD
For your free catalog of our programs dial
1- 800 -955 -2527
http: / /www.grantham.edu
GCE
Your first step
to help yourself
better your future!
Grantham College ofEngineering
34641 Grantham College Road
Slidell, LA 70460-6815
ANTIQUE RADIO CLASSIFIE
Free Sample!
THE ARRL REPEATER DIRECTORY: 1998 -1999
Edited by Jay Mabey, NUOX
Every new edition of this pocket -size
directory provides current frequency
and mode information for repeaters
throughout North America and, where
available, the Caribbean, Central and
South America, Pacific Islands under
U.S. jurisdiction, Europe, and other
areas. There is also information for
The ARRL Repeater Directory:
1998 -1999 Edition costs $8 and is
published by the American Radio
Relay League, 225 Main St.,
Newington, CT 06111;
Tel.
800 -243-
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(continued from page 7)
data from GPS, depth sounders, radar,
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NET WATCh
Spying on Earth from Space
Before you all get riled up, let us
make it clear that we haven't
found a site on the Internet that lets you
zoom in on what your friends, neighbors, and enemies are doing. While
various governments are rumored to
have the ability to read license plates
from space, computer access to such
satellites by a civilian is not likely (and
definitely not legal). However, there is a
way to get a view of our planet from
space without going to jail as a hacker
legend.
This month we're going to take a
look at a real accomplishment -the
biggest joint- venture site on the Web.
Called TerraServer, it's an incredible
site to visit. Actually, let us clarify that:
TerraServer's actually the biggest site
on the Web, containing more data than
all the HTML pages on the Web combined -over one terabyte (TB). That's
a trillion bytes, which is about a billion
pages of text or four million books.
What's filling all that storage space?
Black and white images, and lots of
them. Add an "r" to the prefix tera and
you get a word meaning earth or
ground. TerraServer lets you see almost
any inhabited spot in the U.S. (including
your neighborhood), as well as several
other countries, as satellite images
it's much better than just looking at
drawings in an atlas. As you'll see,
TerraServer represents more than a
neat way to spend your mouse -clicking
time. It's a site that is putting technology
into action in such a way as to push the
envelope of what can be done with Web
servers, e- commerce, and the Net itself.
-
WEST MEETS EAST
Before we talk about the site's online
user interface and hardware layout, it's
important to first identify where all these
images are coming from. No, this online
marvel is not a real -time site that lets
you request that a snapshot be taken of
a certain area. Rather, TerraServer is
an actual array of hard disks that stores
and serves up on demand images
taken by two services, which are separated by a great distance.
3 Microsoft TerraServer
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An easy Iran to browse the punier of %erra.Serrei is to click on one of the green areas on the map
.shown here. While only fire percent of Earth's above -water surface is currently represented, the U.S.
coverage is extensive. and the site is growing regularly.
TerraServer is made possible by
the cooperation of both the United
States Geological Survey (USGS) and
Sovinformsputnik, the Russian Space
Agency. While the USGS has captured,
via .satellite, most of the populated
areas of our country, it hasn't focused
heavily on the rest of the world, which is
where Sovinformsputnik comes in. The
data the Russians presented to the project is called SPIN -2, referring to its two
square terameters (not to be confused
with terabytes) of Earth coverage.
Combined with the data from the
USGS, the site contains about five
square terameters worth of the world in
images. To put this into perspective, the
earth has about 500 square terameters
of surface, only about 100 of which are
above water. Of these 100 square terameters, only about four are populated,
HOT SITE
TerraServer
www. terraserver. microsoft.com
the rest being desert, farmland, and
mountains.
All together, the data from the two
sources adds up to a little over a ter abyte, after compression. Before corn -
pression, these images total about four
terabytes. As new data is supposed to
continue being made available, this site
should keep growing.
How good are these images? The
ones obtained from the USGS (the site
indicates the source of each image you
view) are at a wonderful resolution of a
meter per pixel. This is good enough to
show individual cars in a parking lot, but
not the people in the stands of a football
game.
The SPIN -2 images are just about as
good, too, but you can't access them in
high -resolution form for free. When
browsing through the site, SPIN -2
images will show onscreen as anywhere
from 8 to 32 meters per pixel in resolution. You can then buy 1.56- meter -perpixel -images online of those shots you
like. We'll talk more about the e-commerce aspect later on.
13
Most people using the site, however, will be more than happy viewing
what's free, which is what makes the
site such an educational spot to visit.
Just think, even if the technology
making TerraServer possible was
around during the Cold War, the joint
venture wouldn't have even been
attempted. It's refreshing progress
indeed.
aMicrusuS TerraServer Image
A TECHNICAL GLANCE
While the technical details of how a
particular Web site is run are not usually covered in this column, TerraServer's
remarkable accomplishment merits a
change in our policy. Doing so can only
make it more clear why the site is such
a marvel.
First, if you took a peek at the
"Hot Site" box to see the URL for
ge - Microsoft lesernot Eepioer
provcrei by Americo Onine
Here's a USGS view of Manhattan. If you're interested in a particular part of this bristling island,
just click on the image and the quadrant you select will zoom in to fill the available window.
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Microsoft TerraServer Full Resolution Image Page - Moro soft Interne 5 <ploser provided byMnerice
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TerraServer, you would notice that it
contains the magic "M" word in the
computer industry: Microsoft. Now,
before anyone expresses dislike of this
company, give it credit where credit is
due. TerraServer shows off quite nicely
the power of NT Server 4.0 and the
SQL Server. If this operating system
and database -server combo can handle the world's largest multimedia database, and do so 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, then it's quite a technological advance.
The Microsoft software is running on
a Digital Alpha 8400 system with eight
440 -MHz Digital Alpha processors and
10GB of memory-yes memory, not
storage. While it can handle 160 PCI
slots, the machine is connected to
seven dual -ported Ultra SCSI host -bus
adapters. Each of these adapters interfaces with a storage cabinet containing
46 9GB drives. Between all seven cabinets, there are 324 drives totaling 2.9
terabytes of storage.
Using a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) setup, the drives are configured to act as four logical
drives of 595GB each. SQL Server,
Enterprise Edition stripes the database
across these four logical volumes. After
all the data -management overhead
involved, the array turns into 2.4TB of
storage capacity. Should something go
wrong, there's a remarkable tape-backup system that can handle 5TB of data.
This giant server accesses four
smaller map servers currently being
used by other Microsoft sites (Expedia
Travel Services, Sidewalk, and others).
These four machines are Compaq
servers that each feature four Intel
processors and 256MB of RAM.
That's a lot of total computing horsepower, and we didn't even mention the
two other large servers involved in the
site. When you buy a SPIN -2 image,
you access another Digital Alpha server with 100GB of disk storage. SPIN -2
images are marketed by Aerial Images,
whose e- commerce server is in North
Carolina. The USGS images are stored
in a multi -processor, Gateway server
with Intel chips; this server is in South
Dakota.
USING THE SITE
America's most easily distinguishable building is shown here It's no surprise that this is as close
as you can zoom in to the Pentagon, but the shot still demonstrates quite nicely the power of the
satellites used to capture TerraServer images.
Now that you've got a good idea of
what the TerraServer contains and how
it has been made possible, you might
want to actually give it a try. You'll be
happy to know that the user interface
couldn't be made much simpler. In a
matter of moments anyone with even a
small amount of Web experience should
have the basics figured out.
The core of this database site is, of
course, a search /query engine. You can
look for a spot by clicking on map after
zoomed -in map and narrowing down a
region or by typing in a place name,
state, country, or whatever regional
characteristics you know. To ensure the
server knows what you're looking for
when doing a text query, it has a pull down menu that lets you clearly identify
whether the name of your query refers
to an Airport/railroad station, Bay /gulf,
Cape /peninsula, City, Hill /mountain,
Island, Lake, Other land feature, Other
water feature, Park/beach, Point of
interest, or River.
If you feel like taking a quick look at
an image and can't decide on where to
search, check out the Famous Places
link, which has dozens of images from
Alcatraz to Yankee Stadium. The clarity
of some of these is great -you can see
the shadow that the Statue of Liberty
casts, for instance.
Regardless of which method you
use to get an image onscreen, there
eventually comes a point where you
can't zoom in any closer. Depending
on which source the image came from,
there might not be a better view available, and you can simply capture the
image using your browser's right -click
menu. If there is a better image available (indicated when you press the
Download button), it's time to decide if
you want the image enough to pay for
it. The USGS lets users download a
free JPEG. Aerial Images, however,
charges for SPIN -2 image downloads.
Both offer delivery of actual Kodak
photos, if you need a hard copy of an
image for some reason.
Whether you have a professional
application for TerraServer or not, we
should stress once again that it's an
incredible achievement. It's hard to find
a combined megabyte's worth of Web
content that's of interest to everyone. At
TerraServer, one million times as much
space is dedicated to presenting something all of us can appreciate: views of
our home.
That's all for this month. As usual,
you can send questions or comments
via snail -mail to Net Watch, Popular
Electronics, 500 Bi- County Blvd.,
Farmingdale, NY 11735, or e-mail to
netwatch @comports.com.
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15
DX
LISTENING
Urban DXing
city -dwelling SWL to
do? How do you DX when
urban electrical interference turns every
listening session into a battle with a
buzz? What chance do you have to pull
in real DX signals when the building
super won't let you put up an antenna
on the roof?
Urban shortwave listeners often
confront these sorts of problems. And
some have found an answer: Moving
their listening to their cars.
Hans Johnson, writing in Monitoring
Times and the North American SW
Association's (NASWA) The Journal,
says that DXing from your car is a good
way to escape the QRM at home. The
most important aspect of this sort of
SWLing is the location you choose, he
says. The idea is to find a quiet spot
where interference is less of a problem,
a place where you can quickly and easily string a temporary antenna and enjoy
your listening.
Longtime DX friend Dan Henderson
began this sort of remote SWLing
years ago. At the time, he was making
frequent business trips from his East
Coast home to the Pacific Northwest.
Naturally, he wanted to take advantage of these opportunities to hear
some of the low- powered and elusive
Indonesian SW stations he couldn't
hope to hear back home.
So he outfitted his rental car as a
rolling DX shack, plugging his SW
receiver into the auto's 12 -volt cigarette
lighter. Eventually, he found a pull -off
area on a remote road overlooking the
vast sweep of the Pacific Ocean. At
first he strung makeshift antennas, but,
in time, he found it more efficient to put
up a virtually invisible and more -or -less
DON JENSEN
What's a
-
(CREDITS
Jim Clar, NY; Peter Costello,
NJ; David Krause, OH; William McGuire,
MD; Jim Moats, OH; Jay Novello, NC;
Sheryl Paszkiewicz, WI; Chuck Rippe!, VA;
Betsy Robinson, TN; David Ross, ONT;
Dan Ziolkowski, NY; World DX Club, c/o
Richard D'Angelo, 2216 Burkey Drive,
Wyomissing, PA 19610; North American
SW Association, 45 Wildflower Road,
16 Levittown PA 19057).
plastic reel intended for electrical extension cords. To use the antenna, he
merely unrolls the wire on the ground
yes, on the ground. When you finish
your listening session, according to
Johnson, you can easily roll in your
temporary antenna on the cord reel.
This sort of antenna receives best
when pointed in the direction of the target stations, be they Asian, African, or
Latin American. You can experiment
with antenna direction to find the best
orientation for the region of the world
you want to DX.
Johnson says he keeps all his listening accessories, reference books,
tape recorder, headphones, paper and
pen in a canvas bag, ready to go
SWLing at virtually a moment's notice.
"Several of the most active listeners
in North America are Car DXing on a
regular basis," writes Johnson. "The
reason is that they are hearing things
from their cars that they never would
hear from home."
a
-
New Zealand's shortwave service marked its
50th anniversary last year with major cuts in the
station's budget, staff, and broadcasting hours.
permanent long wire, stretching between several tall pines along the highway. After that, he'd return to the same
spot every time to find his antenna
already waiting for him.
Ah, the DX that Dan nabbed from
his remote coastal site.
Johnson says he does his DXing on
wheels from locations closer to his
home. If it isn't easy and convenient to
get to, you probably won't go very
often because it is too much trouble.
"A good site five minutes from the
house is better than an excellent one
an hour away."
Quiet parks are one choice, he
writes, but he prefers what he calls "noman's- land," areas with access roads
but few if any buildings. These could be
failed housing developments or commercial areas that still remain only marginally developed. Avoid locations near
or under electric power lines.
Johnson's SW receiver also can
operate on 12 volts from the car battery,
although a portable receiver is another
answer. For his antenna he uses 500
feet of flexible insulated wire wound on
MORE BUDGET WHACKING
Cut the budget! That's becoming a
familiar refrain as governmental bodies
around the world continue to reduce
funding of their nations' international
shortwave broadcasting agencies.
Tighten the belt! Trim the fat!
Become lean and trim! But, at some
point, this sort of "efficiency" can lead to
extinction. That's a danger facing Radio
New Zealand International (RNZI) following some fiscal crunching late last
summer that cut 13 percent from the
"Down Under" station's budget.
The savings? In U.S. dollars, only
about $85,000. That doesn't sound like
much, but with RNZI already running
on a shoestring budget, the result has
been significant.
Transmissions have been cut by 12
hours a week. Staff has been cut by
25 percent, leaving only nine employees. RNZI -produced programming is
cut from 11 to 5 hours daily, with the
rest of the schedule consisting of
relays of home -service medium -wave
programming.
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JI
Gone are regionally popular programs such as Calling Samoa and
Calling the Cook Islands. In fact, Pacific
island language programming is limited
to short newscasts in Samoan, Maori,
Niuean, and Tongan.
It was only a few years ago that New
Zealand's shortwave voice was threatened because its aging transmitters
were obsolete and inefficient. The government bit the bullet then and, in 1990,
installed a new 100 -kilowatt transmitter.
Stable funding seemed likely, particularly since three subsequent governmentsponsored studies of the country's
international broadcasting concluded
that the service not only was cost effective, but was important to maintaining
New Zealand's traditional links with outlying Pacific island nations.
How ironic that Radio New Zealand
International marked its 50th birthday
only a little more than a month after the
new budget cut took effect.
How much longer will RNZI be
around? Who can say? But you may
want to tune in while it is still on the air.
At this writing, it can be found on 17675
kHz during the North American evening
hours until 0500 UTC.
HAIL COLOMBIA
Henrik Klemetz, writing from this
South American nation, reports in
NASWA's The Journal, that there are
several English language programs
aired by a Colombian SW outlet.
The station is Radiodifusion Nacional
in the capital of Bogota on 4955 kHz.
One English program is called On Line,
with Fernando Camelo. It is broadcast
Tuesday through Saturday from 0200 to
0300 UTC.
ABBREVIATIONS
DX, DXing = Distant shortwave signals, listening to these far away shortwave stations,
kHz = kiloHertz, unit of radio frequency,
equals 1,000 cycles per second.
0RM = Electrical noise or other man-made
interference.
SW, SWL, SWUng = Shortwave; shortwave
listener; the hobby of shortwave listening.
OTC= Universal Coordinated Time a standard used by most international SW broadcasters; also known in the military as Zulu
or Z -Time; equivalent to Eastern Standard
20
Time (EST) plus 5 hours, CST+6, MST +7,
and PST-1.8 hours.
The other, also in English despite
the Spanish program title, is Un Ingles
en Bogota, meaning An Englishman in
Bogota. The presenter, and the Englishman in question, is Johnny Welsh,
Klemetz says. Welsh is the press officer
at the British Embassy in Bogota.
Un Ingles en Bogota is aired on
Saturday, usually from 2330 until 0000
UTC, although Klemetz adds that the
half hour show has been heard two
hours later on occasion.
WHEN CAN
I
HEAR....
"China ?" asks reader Ernie Snipes
of Tampa, FL.
Try for Beijing's Radio China International English transmissions to
North America at 0300 UTC on 9690
kHz, although this transmission is
relayed from a transmitter in Spain, in
fact; or at 0400 UTC on 9560 kHz
(relayed from French Guiana) or 9730
kHz (relayed from Canada).
Now if you want an RCI English
transmission actually transmitted from
a station in China, you might try 7405
kHz between 1300 and 1500 UTC.
"Iran ?" requests Bill Bartoch of
Dayton, OH.
Look for Teheran's programming in
English, Bill, from 0030 to 0130 UTC on
6055, 9022 (probably your best shot),
or 9685 kHz.
"Yugoslavia ?" asks Myron Felsch,
Omaha, NE.
Best times and frequencies for
English transmissions from Belgrade's
Radio Yugoslavia are 0000 to 0030
UTC and 0430 to 0500 UTC on 9580
and 11,870 kHz. Other English programming is scheduled at 1830 UTC on
6100 and 9720 kHz; 1900 on 7230 kHz,
and 2100 UTC on 6100 and 6185 kHz.
DOWN THE DIAL
Here are some interesting shortwave stations to look for.
7340 kHz, Voice of
BOTSWANA
America programming is relayed from
a transmitter in this southern African
country around 2225 UTC. Look for the
English newscast, News Now.
4960
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
kHz, Radio Cima is logged with all
Spanish programming at various times
between 2230 and 0400 UTC. Programming includes rhythmic merengues, many ads, and identification
-
-
-
announcements.
15185
EQUATORIAL AFRICA
kHz, Radio Africa broadcasts recorded
religious programming in English from
around 2130 until signoff, with an identification, at 2300 UTC.
4835 kHz, Radio
GUATEMALA
Tezulutlan is quite easy to identify with
its programs of marimba music, even
though announcements are in Spanish.
Try this one at about 0100 UTC.
15150 kHz, Voice
INDONESIA
of Indonesia from Jakarta operates in
English from 2000 UTC. Listen for the
station's interval signal and identification, followed by program notes, news,
and travel promotion.
ISRAEL
9435 kHz, Kol Israel is
heard in English at 0400 UTC with
Israeli news, press reviews, and a
weather report.
ITALY
6010 kHz, RAI, Rome is
noted at 0050 UTC with English identification and a news report.
-
-
-
-
JAPAN- 17825 kHz, Tokyo's Radio
Japan has been heard with a program
of listeners' letters around 0350 UTC.
11990 kHz, Radio
KUWAIT
Kuwait can be heard after 1800 UTC
with English programming, including
political and economic news and a
weather forecast for the Gulf region.
5770 kHz, Radio
NICARAGUA
Miskut has Spanish programming and
popular music on this frequency until
signoff around 0315 UTC.
15665
NORTHERN MARIANAS
kHz, KHBI, on the Pacific island of
Saipan is heard after 1100 UTC with a
Bible Lesson and Christian Science programming in English. The station can
also be heard on 9385 kHz at this time.
-
-
-
PERU
-
5522 kHz,
Radio
Sudamerica has Spanish announcements and identifications with plenty of
indigenous huayno music during the
evening hours. The station signs off
around 0230 UTC.
11635 kHz, Far
PHILIPPINES
East Broadcasting Corp. from Manila
was noted here at 0940 UTC with
English programming. The signal reportedly improved by 1000 UTC.
7170 kHz, RadioTV
SENEGAL
du Senegal is logged on this frequency
after 2200 UTC, with French programming and lively West African music.
12085 kHz, Radio
SYRIA
Damascus is noted here in English at
2045 UTC, with identification, musical
interludes, short talks, and a newscast.
TAIWAN -9610 kHz, Voice of Free
China from Taipei has English at 1200
UTC. It was heard with classical music,
a newscast, and feature talk.
-
-
-
Com liTER
Mass Storage for the Millennium
Do
you have to move large files
among physically isolated
machines? Are you looking for a way to
create semi -permanent archives? If
your answer to either of these questions is yes, then you'll be happy to
know that removable- storage options
are proliferating. Here's a snapshot of
three leading contenders: lomega Zip,
Imation SuperDisk, and CD -R (recordable-write -once) and CD -RW (rewrite able) technologies.
Zip-drive technology is made exclusively by lomega Corp., although other
manufacturers like Epson have been
licensed to package their own Zip drives. Drives are available for internal
and external use, with IDE, SCSI, and
parallel -port interfaces, for Macintosh
and Wintel architectures.
The cartridges used in Zip drives are
made by several media manufacturers.
The cartridges are slightly larger than a
floppy disk, and about twice as thick.
Each cartridge holds 100MB of data.
SuperDisk or LS120 technology was
developed by Imation, a spin -off of 3M
Corporation. Drives that read and write
to LS120 media are made by Far -East
firms including Panasonic, Mitsubishi,
and NEC. These drives are available in
internal and external models for Macintosh and Wintel machines. External
models connect via parallel port and
are not bootable. Internal models
which are available on new laptop and
desktop PCs from Compaq, Gateway,
HP, NEC, and others -are bootable.
Each LS120 disk can hold as much
as 120MB. Unlike Zip drives, SuperDisk
drives can read older 1.44MB floppies in
addition to their own high- capacity
media (of course, LS120 disks cannot
be read or written to by a standard
1.44MB drive). This backwards compatibility, combined with the fact that you
can boot a machine off a SuperDisk
drive, makes SuperDisk a logical successor to 1.44MB floppies, but only time
will tell if this transition will come about.
CD -R and CD -RW technologies
have recently descended from their former stratospheric price levels, and are
now cost- effective for regular users.
-
JEFF HOLTZMAN
of SCSI. The combination provides
about 30% better performance, and is
highly recommended.
The test machine also had an older
8X CD -ROM and an Intel VS440FX
motherboard. At the time that machine
was put into service, it required a special
driver (PIIXIDE.SYS) so that the CDROM drive would function under NT
and it did just that for several years.
When doing the upgrade to the 8100,
however, it turned out that there was a
conflict between the Intel driver and the
driver required by the 8100. Fortunately,
it also turned out the current version of
the standard ATAPI driver (ATAPI.SYS)
could now handle the CD -ROM. After
removing PIIXIDE.SYS and installing
ATAPI.SYS, the 8100 worked just fine.
HP's installation program runs system tests to help verify component
operation and determine optimum settings. applaud the concept; however,
in my case the machine locked up tight
during system tests and had to be
rebooted. That is not plug and play.
Once over the installation hurdle, the
8100 actually exceeded my expectations. For example, it unerringly allowed
me to create audio CDs at the full 4X
write rate, a feat normally expected only
of a SCSI -based system. attribute success in this area primarily to the speed
of the IBM hard drive.
The 8100 can write to both CD -R
and CD -RW discs. CD -R is write -once
technology; CD -RW allows each sector
of each disc to be written to as many as
1000 times. CD -RW discs must be formatted before use, a process that can
take an hour with some manufacturer's
drives, but takes only five minutes with
the 8100. You can purchase CD -R
blanks in bulk for about $1.50; CD -RW
discs cost about $15 apiece.
With either a CD -R or a CD -RW disc
loaded, the 8100 can function as a normal read /write drive in Windows Explorer. You can "delete" files from a
CD -R disc, but the space is not recoverable-a deleted file will simply not
show up. CD -RW discs support full
read, write, and delete operations with
no loss of space. CD -RW discs can be
4-
Fig. I. HP's SureStore line of recordable (CDR) and rewritable (CD -RW) drives makes creat-
ing your on,? data and audio CDs easy,
inexpensive, and fun. The 8100, shown here,
allows von to record 650MB of data in about 15
minutes and conies with an extensive suite of
applications and utilities.
Because the underlying technologies
are based on widely accepted international standards, most major drive and
media manufacturers supply compatible wares for most major platforms,
including Macintosh, Wintel, and UNIX.
For purposes of this article,
examined one or more models of
each technology, including a parallel port SuperDisk with the Imation brand
name, parallel and SCSI ZIP drives,
and the recently released Hewlett Packard CD- Writer Plus 8110i.
I
HP SURESTORE
Building off the success of its earlier
7200 series, HP has introduced the
8100 series, shown in Fig. 1. The 8100
has a different software bundle and
much -improved performance, as shown
in Table though both lines will continue
to be sold. Both drives support Windows 95/98/NT only. Discs created by
either should be readable by any conforming audio player or data drive on
any platform.
Installation of the 8100 proved mildly traumatic.
had recently upgraded
the test machine (a 180 -MHz Pentium
Pro) with a new IBM Deskstar 14GXP
10GB Ultra DMA drive (the DTTA371010), along with an Ultra DMA
(33MB /s) controller from Promise Technology. The 7200 -rpm speed of that
drive gives it performance close to that
,
I
I
I
21
read by other CD -RW drives, and by
MultiRead- certified CD -ROM drives. A
disc used in read /write mode as a drive
letter must be finalized before it can be
read by a standard CD -ROM drive (the
included software can handle this).
Using the included DirectCD application, you can master an original disc
that should be readable by any CDROM drive on any operating system. As
part of installation, an icon gets installed
in the system tray; it allows you to set
overall parameters of drive operation,
and format new discs. Bundled utilities
allow you to create a disaster recovery
disc/diskette set, print CD case labels,
maintain a database of discs and their
contents, and more. All in all, the 8100
is a highly professional product, easy to
use, and useful.
IMATION SUPERDISK
The SuperDisk is an interesting but
ultimately disappointing technology.
sm,
imo a cartridge rrr.r sintilar la the /amarar.
Fig. 2. lmarion.s ,S71per1)1ire parks' 12(1N1R
tern-rear old, 1.44r1.413 diskette. .111 optical stvro Irack allows the LS' 120 to achieve' truck densitv
ulmrrsl 2(1 tintes that al a I_4-15113 diskellc.
TABLE
Read
-HP
FEATURE COMPARISON
7200
8100
6X
24X
Write (CD -R)
1X, 2X
lx,
Write (CD -RW)
1X, 2X
1X, 2X,4X
Access speed (ms)
350
150
EIDE
Yes
Yes
SCSI
Yes
n/a
Parallel port
n/a
n/a
Write methods
Track at once, incremental (packet),
multisession, disc at once
Track at once, incremental
(packet), multisession
Bundled software
Direct CD, Easy CD Creator,
Easy CD Audio, Jewel Case
Designer (Adaptec). PhotoDeluxe
(Adobe), Print House Magic
(Corel), PaperMaster Live
(Documagix),SimpleTrax (HP),
AntiVirus (Norton),
PhotoOrganizer
Fast Format (HP), Direct CD,
Easy CD Creator. Easy CD
Audio, Jewel Case Designer
(Adaptec), Disaster Recovery, Simple Trax (HP),
Print House Magic (Corel),
Jet Fax PaperMaster Live,
$299 internal, $399 external
$399
Estimated
street price
22
1
2X,4X
Photoorganizer
The SuperDisk combines magnetic and
optical technology. While most people
can figure out what the number in the
LS120 trademark stands for (data
capacity), few know what the "LS" represents. This two -letter combo indicates
that track alignment is attained using a
Laser Servo system.
On a standard 1.44MB diskette,
track density runs 135 tracks per inch
(TPI); LS120 pushes that to 2500 TPI.
The basic principles of reading and
writing normal magnetic media also
apply to the SuperDisk; however, the
laser servo mechanism helps attain the
much finer alignment that is required.
The disks used in LS120 drives look
very similar to standard 1.44MB floppies, although the shutter mechanism
is noticeably different (see Fig. 2).
As mentioned earlier, SuperDisk drives can write to and read both LS120
and standard diskettes. In addition, the
BIOSes of new -model desktop and laptop machines can even boot from a
SuperDisk. This means you can have
an LS120 drive as your only removable
drive.
So far, Imation's primary focus has
been the DOS/Windows (3.1, 95, 98,
NT) market, although a new USBbased model runs on Apple's new iMac.
We installed a parallel version of the
drive on our PC. Installation was a
minor hassle, involving numerous system lockups and reboots. Eventually all
problems were resolved by downloading a new driver from the company's
Web site. Contrary to what is stated in
the manual, tech support is available
free via an 800 number. Wait time is
typically about 5 -10 minutes, and the
technicians were knowledgeable and
friendly. LS120 diskettes cost about
$15, although you can get them for
about $10 each if you buy them as ten packs.
In operation, the external drive is
noisy and slow. Formatting an LS120
(Continued on page 65)
G IZMO
Here Comes HDTV!
The first generation of digital television sets has arrived, and the RCA
P55000 ($6999) from Thomson
Consumer Electronics (10330 North
Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN
46290 -1024; Tel. 317- 587 -4450;
Web: www.rca.com) is a good example of what they offer. The 55 -inch
(diagonal) widescreen rear- projection set will receive all analog and
digital signals. The fully integrated set
requires no external devices or additional hookups, other than appropriate antennas, to receive all formats of
digital programming. The P55000
can process digital picture resolution
up to and including 1920 X 1080
pixels. The digital set performs NTSC
up- conversion to 540 progressive
lines for an impressive display of
standard TV signals. A Dolby Digital
decoder is built into the set.
An on- screen program guide offers
a comprehensive listing of available
programs and lets you program
favorite -channel listings, one -touch
VCR recording, and one -touch tuning.
A built -in twin tuner allows you to
monitor two NTSC programs simultaneously. On -board Picture Format
Control lets you choose between the
widescreen 16:9 mode or conventional 4:3 format.
The P55000 provides front- and
rear -S- Video- inputs and A/V -connections and rear -panel inputs for
terrestrial RF and satellite antennas.
Outputs for audio subwoofer, optical
audio, telephone modem, and headphone jack are also provided.
USB - Compatible
Monitors
Two new monitors from Samsung
Electronics America (105 Challenger
Road, Ridgefield Park, IT 07660 -0511;
Tel.
800- 933 -4110; Web:
www.sosimple. corn) offer
enhanced displays and an
affordable Universal Serial
Bus (USB) solution with an
optional self- powered USB
Hub. The "s" Series monitors include the 15 -inch
SyncMaster 510s (13.8 inch viewable) and the
17 -inch SyncMaster 710s
(15.7 -inch viewable). Aimed
at SOHO and family users,
they offer higher refresh
rates than previous models,
as well as an expanded
array of on- screen controls.
Both .28 -mm- dot -pitch
displays feature an INVAR
shadow mask for extra brightness, as well as anti- reflective UltraClear coating and Dynamic Focus for
crisp images. The 510s, which has an
estimated street price of $179, features
a maximum resolution of 1024 X 768
at 75 Hz (PC and Mac); the 710s, street
priced at about $309, has maximum
resolutions of 120 X 1024 at 60 Hz
(PC) and 1152 X 870 at 75 Hz (Mac).
The optional Model 415US USB
Hub ($49) attaches easily to the monitor's base. The device simplifies
hookup of desktop peripherals, such
as the keyboard, mouse, and printer,
and offers improved PC-to-peripheral performance. The self- powered
USB Hub includes four downstream
ports and one upstream port, eliminating desktop clutter by allowing
USB peripherals to be connected to
the PC through the monitor instead of
via the computer's parallel and serial
ports.
Digital Sound System
The first PC speaker system from
Microsoft (One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052 -6399; Tel. 425882 -8080; Web: www.microsoft.com)
is the Digital Sound System 80
($259.95), a three -piece, 80 -watt
array that includes two satellite speakers and a subwoofer with a built -in
-
digital amplifier. Its all - digital design is
based on the latest PC technology
including the USB interface. (It can also
be connected to a Sound- Blaster -compatible audio board with a MIDI enabled game port.)
When used with a USB -compatible
PC running Windows 98, the Digital
Sound System 80 features a 10 -band
programmable graphic equalizer. A
built -in digital signal processor lets
you create personalized sound profiles to instantly fine -tune the system's
sonic qualities for specific types of
audio programming.
23
GIZMO
Satellite and subwoofer controls,
which automatically synchronize with
software -based volume controls, are
located on the right satellite speaker
for easy access. Patented wOOx technology from Philips delivers maximum
bass response.
Focus On Floppy
Convenience
images directly to
floppy disk. Run
out of disk space?
Simply swap disks
and start shooting
again. It's even eas-
ier than changing
the film in a standard camera.
We tried out the
top -of- the -line
Mavica MVC-FD91
($1099), which
When planning a recent family
reunion in New Orleans, we relied
heavily on e-mail to coordinate the
travel and lodging plans of several
far -flung relatives. It saved us a fortune in long- distance phone bills, and
by "CC "ing each person, we could be
sure that everybody got precisely the
same information at more or less the
same time.
We knew we'd be taking a lot of
photos during the trip, because it's
rare that all of us are gathered in one
place. We figured we'd be ordering
multiple copies of every shot that
came out well and mailing them out
to each of the subjects. Wouldn't it be
great if we could e-mail the images to
everyone involved, just as we'd emailed the travel plans?
Any digital camera would allow us
to do just that. But most models have
limited storage capacity, and, while on
the road, we wouldn't be able to
download the images to a PC to free
up the camera's memory for more
picture taking. Nor would we have the
time, money, or inclination to track
down the memory cards on which
most digital cameras rely for additional storage space.
A couple of days before we were
scheduled to leave, we thought of
Sony's (One Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ
07656; Tel. 800 -222 -SONY; Web:
www.sony.com) Mavica line of digital
cameras, which doesn't suffer from
that problem. Rather than relying on
built -in
memory,
they
store
Gizmo is published by Gernsback Publications,
Inc., 500 Bi-County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY
11735. Senior Writers: Christopher Scott and
24
Teri Scaduto. Copyright 1999 by Gernsback
Publications, Inc. Gizmo is a registered trademark All rights reserved.
offers another feature not found on the
typical digital camera-the
ability to record MPEG motion video
and audio. These recordings can also
be easily downloaded to a PC and
incorporated into e-mail, Web sites, or
PC presentations. Granted, the quality's
not great. In Presentation Mode, you
can record up to 15 seconds of video at
320 X 240 pixels, while Video Mail
Mode provides up to 60 seconds of
recording time at 160 X 112 pixels.
Still images, on the other hand, can
be displayed in XGA resolution (1024
x 768) if they're recorded in fine
mode. Standard still shots have a resolution of 640 X 480. Two sizes are
available in each resolution, and as
many as 40 still images can be stored
on a floppy in the compressed JPEG
file format.
The MVC -FD91 looks like a cross
between a 35 -mm SLR and a small
camcorder. That's due in part to its
large lens. The 14X optical zoom is the
longest optical zoom currently available
on a digital still camera. The lens is
comparable to a professional 35 -mm
zoom with a range from 37 to 518 mm,
and it has a manual focus ring for more
flexibility in composing images. The
auto macro capability allows you to get
as close as one inch to your subject.
Like many of today's camcorders,
the Mavica boasts an LCD screen as
well as a color viewfinder with 180k
pixels. The 2.5 -inch LCD, with a resolution of 85k pixels, allows you to
immediately view the pictures you've
taken. Index mode provides a "contact
sheet" of up to six thumbnail images
at a time, or you can scroll backward
or forward through each of the
shots-you don't have to wait until
you're at your computer to see what
you've got. If you're unhappy with one
or more of the images, you can delete
them on the spot to free up more disk
space.
There's a drawback to the "camcorder look ": With its telephoto lens
and LCD display, the MVC -FD91 measures about 55/8 X 41/8 X 61/2 inches, and it weighs more than two
pounds. If you're used to toting a pocket camera, this one seems a bit
unwieldy. (In fact, our vacation needs
would have been better met by the
MVC- FD91's little brother, the MVC FD81. Featuring a low- profile 3X zoom
lens, it's much more portable, not to
mention a few hundred dollars more
affordable. But that 14X zoom did
come in handy on several occasions!)
The MVC -FD91 is worth its weight
in digital convenience, however. If,
for instance, you'd like to send everyone home with a vacation memento,
you can do so easily, taking advantage
of the Mavica's copy features. The
camera has enough built -in memory
to hold a floppy's worth of images
(all /select), allowing you to swap
disks and copy all the photos to a
clean disk in a matter of seconds. It's
possible to select and copy individual
photos, and motion -video images.
You'll want to have a lot of disks on
hand if you plan to take advantage of
the MVC- FD91's MPEG video capabilities. It takes a whole disk to store
60 seconds worth of audio and full motion, 160 X 112 -resolution video.
For recording vacation and family
events, we'd much rather use a cam-
GIZMO®
where we also attended a large quilt
show. We'd promised to bring back
pictures of the prize- winning quilts
to show to friends back home, along
with pertinent facts such as who
made each one and what prize it
had won. That's where the Mavica's
voice memo feature was particularly handy. Instead of juggling a note
pad and camera, we could take a
shot and simultaneously narrate the
particulars.
After viewing those quilt shots on a
PC, however, we went back to the
On our recent family reunion trip, we splashed
around ....
corder. For adding motion video to a
Web site, however, things can't get
much easier than with the Mavica.
Another convenient feature is the
camera's self - timer. The LCD screen
flips up and around, allowing you to
see yourself and compose the picture
to your liking. The self-timer gives you
ten seconds to get into the picture with
the rest of your group.
The Mavica provides great picture- taking flexibility. You can opt for
automatic everything, turn on the
electronic image stabilizer, and let the
camera do all the work. Or you can
make manual adjustments to exposure, white balance, and focus. Seven
different preprogrammed exposure
settings (from -1.5 to + 1.5 EV) are
provided, along with three exposure
modes. Shutter -priority mode is used
for fast-action shots, aperture - priority
mode for setting the depth of field,
and twilight mode for shooting at
night (i.e., fireworks) without losing
the dark atmosphere.
Many of the camera's features
selecting the recording mode, image
size, and quality-can be accessed via
its onscreen menu system. The manual settings can be selected and adjusted using buttons found along the right
side of the camera itself. On-screen
indicators keep you apprised of your
choices, and they can be removed at
the press of a button for clear picture
viewing.
On the next leg of our trip, we
visited still more family in Houston,
-
show the next day with slide film
loaded in our trusty pocket camera.
Digital cameras simply do not provide
the picture resolution of 35 -mm
cameras, and even in fine-photo
mode, the Mavica's resolution is not
up to par with some digital cameras
that cost less. Fine details were lost in
the digital images.
On the other hand, viewing the
images captured with the Mavica was
a breeze on a PCI There are no cables
insert the floppy
to mess with
and you're ready to go. We could take
the digital images and download
them directly into the Quilt Guild
newsletter. Sending images or MPEG
files over the Internet is just as easy,
especially in e-mail mode, which
reduces the size of the file to one
quarter of the standard file for fast
downloads.
There's no need to send the images
as-is-one of the best things about
digital photography is the ability to
doctor your photos: removing red -eye,
cropping distracting backgrounds (or
unwanted people), and adjusting color
and contrast. ArcSoft's PhotoStudio
photo -editing program is included
with the Mavica. Its point -and -click
tools are easy for beginners to master,
and the program is sophisticated
enough for professional use. It allows
you to adjust the color and brightness,
resize and rotate images, add text,
clone parts of the image, merge two or
more images, make photo collages, and
paint with colors and textures.
The Mavica's digital images can
be manipulated using any available
photo -editing programs.
For the casual, non -techie photographer who takes snapshots at birth-
just
.. and young cousin met for the first time. All
images were recorded using the Mavica's standard mode.
day parties and graduations, there's
really no need to make the move to
digital photography. But if you have
your own Web site, edit your club's
newsletter., or maintain e-mail correspondence with plenty of long -distance friends and relatives, adding
digital images can make an enormous difference in the effectiveness
of your communications. For taking
such shots, you can't get a more
readily available, inexpensive storage
medium than a standard floppy disk.
And for adding such images to e-mail
or Web sites, you simply can't beat
the Mavica's cable -free convenience.
The Historical
Perspective
When your family makes vacation
plans, what destinations are tossed
around? Disney World, a beach -front
house rental, a ski trip, the Grand
Canyon, maybe a cruise? There's
another place that belongs near the top
of every family's vacation wish list
Washington, DC. We don't recommend it solely for its governmental and
historical attractions, though those
abound: the White House, the Lincoln
Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the
Supreme Court. Those might be
worthwhile stops for adults, but may
draw yawns from the kids.
What's sure to keep every member 25
-
GIZMO
1
¡i
of the family entertained and enlightened, however, is the Smithsonian
Institution. Not just a museum, the
Smithsonian is a group of several
museums and "collections" which,
jointly, serve as a repository for historical and cultural artifacts of the
United States-ranging from the original Star Spangled Banner to the
Wright Brothers' plane -and scientific, artistic, archeological, anthropological, and zoological treasures from
the beginning of time and around the
world. We guarantee that no one will
walk away bored.
But don't take our word for it.
Check it out from the comfort of your
own home with The Smithsonian
Museum Collections CD -ROM from
Synthonics Technologies (31324 Via
Colinas #106, Westlake Village, CA
91362; Tel. 800 -707 -6000; Web:
www.synthonics.com). Its $24.95
price tag is less than you'd pay for a
family meal on vacation, and you'll
feel as if you've traveled far and wide.
Be forewarned, however, that the
program's system requirements are
steep. If you're using a PC that's more
than a couple of years old, you'll feel
as if your family trip just got stalled in
traffic. At the least, a Pentium 120 MHz CPU and an 8X CD -ROM drive
are required; the recommended 200 MHz Pentium and 16X CD -ROM
drive will keep you speeding along at
a nice clip. A Sound Blaster- compatible 64 -bit audio card and Microsoft
DirectShow are also required.
The Smithsonian Museum Collections takes you on a guided tour of the
entire museum. Curators from each
museum have selected items of interest from the Smithsonian's close to
150 million artifacts (most of which
are in storage, rarely or never on
public display). The CD -ROM provides just a glimpse: 670 images, including some never seen by the public. Using "Rapid Virtual Reality"
technology, the disc allows some of
the objects to be viewed in 3D, and
manipulated by rotating, zooming,
measuring, and even peeling away
layers to reveal inner workings.
The main menu provides access to
the National Museum of Natural
26 History, The National Air and Space
Museum, The National Museum of American History,
the Freer Gallery of Art/
Sackler Gallery (Asian and
19th and 20th Century
American art), the National
Museum of American Art,
the Renwick Gallery, the
National Portrait Gallery, the
National Postal Museum, the
Anacostia Museum (African
American history and culture), the Cooper -Hewitt
National Design Museum,
the Office of Smithsonian
Institution Archives, and the
Institution
Smithsonian
Libraries.
We macle the National Museum of
American History our first stop,
because we'd so enjoyed its unique
and eclectic mix of political history
and popular culture when we visited
the Smithsonian in person. Its index
included Abraham Lincoln's tall hat
and the chairs on which Kennedy and
Nixon sat during the first of their historic 1960 debates; the artist- formerly- known -as- Prince's Yellow Cloud
guitar and Benny Goodman's clarinet;
Edison's Triumph phonograph and
original incandescent light bulb, and
the converter panel from the ENIAC
computer; artifacts from Negro League
baseball teams and Jack Dempsey's
boxing gloves; a Stradivari Violoncello
and a Wurlitzer "Bubbler" jukebox;
George Washington's tent, uniform,
sword, and camp chest; General
Custer's buckskin jacket and Teddy
Roosevelt's chaps. Each item is
accompanied by a brief but enlightening description; the availability of a
3D image is announced with a short
audio trill.
The 3D effects require the use of
special "viewing glasses"two pairs of
cardboard glasses, each with one red
and one blue lens, are provided. It's a
bit hokey, yet effective, particularly
when the other 3D functions are used.
Those allow you to take measurements;
see the top, bottom, front, and back of
the item; and zoom in and out.
At the Air and Space Museum, we
viewed the space suit worn by Neil
Armstrong on his 1969 moon walk
and the Apollo 11 command module
Columbia in which he traveled with
Buzz Aldrin and Scott Carpenter. We
took a look at the Spirit of St. Louis, in
which Charles Lindbergh made the
first non -stop trans -Atlantic flight
from New York to Paris in 1927, and
saw the check in the amount of
$25,000 presented to him upon his
return by a New York hotelier. John
Glenn's space suit could be viewed in
3D, as could the Flyer in which the
Wright brothers made the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North
Carolina in 1903.
The Museum of Natural History,
with its goals of "enhancing understanding of the natural world and
humanity's place in it" and "documenting the cultural and natural
diversity" of our planet, contains
departments of anthropology, archeology, botany, ethnology, and paleobiology-as well as animals, vegetables, and
minerals, and bugs, fishes, and birds.
You'll find dinosaur bones, the exquisite Hope diamond, a Mars rock, old
arrowheads, and star dust. There's a
wren's nest in a
bit of the macabre
human skull, of which its original
owner, Dr. A.K. Fisher wrote: "Sing
Sing, NY. Placed a human skull in a
free first week of May. A pair of wrens
found it and built a nest on May 15.
On May 25 it contained 6 fresh eggs,
which are now in the U.S. Natural
History Museum." No explanation of
where the skull came from or why Dr.
Fisher put it in a tree!
With no real interest in stamp collecting, we almost skipped our next
-a
GIZMO®
The Postal Museum
also displayed the bomb
detonator used in a
mail -train robbery in
which several people
were killed. On a less
dangerous note, there
was an entire smalltown Post Office, Vmail letters and containers (we didn't know
that microfilm was
used to reduce the bulk
of mail during World
War II, with 556 milIn 3D mode, you in remove an Egyptian mummy from its sar- lion V-mail letters sent
cophagus and examine it in detail: freely rotate it in any direction, abroad and 510 milremove its outer layers, and zoom in for a closer look.
lion sent back home),
and the USPS uniform
stop, the National Postal Museum, worn by Cliff Claven on Cheers.
altogether. We're glad we didn't,
The only disappointing stop was
because it's a good example of how a the Cooper -Hewitt National Design
seemingly dull subject area can come Museum. It had some lovely and
.to life when properly presented. interesting items on display
Think today's postal workers have Eames chair, a place setting from the
cause to be disgruntled? The text Imperial Hotel in Tokyo designed by
accompanying an airmail mask worn Frank Lloyd Wright, an Alice in
during the first New York to Chicago Wonderland pop -up book-but no
airmail service (1918 -1920) noted background information was offered.
that it was needed in the frigid open - Luckily for us, this museum is not
cockpit bi- planes, in which 31 of the located on the Mall in Washington,
first 40 airmail pilots were killed but at the Andrew Carnegie Mansion
(their life expectancy was 900 flight right here in New York City, so we
hours). The man who owned the can visit it in person and fill in the
mask on display survived several air- gaps.
mail crashes, only to be killed in a
The National Zoological Park
barnstorming show a few years later. which provided ample information
and some video clips
would also be better
live. The whole idea of
a zoo, after all, is to
allow people to view
exotic animals up close
and in person.
Actually, our CDROM visit to the
Smithsonian, fun and
informative though it
was, simply whet our
appetite for a return
visit to the real thing.
It's fine to see a picture of the original
Old Glory, and read
-an
-
Magnify and measure the lunar lander, and watch it separate
from its landing gear, on your virtual visit to the Air and Space
Museum.
about its maker and its
history, and Francis
Scott Key's musical
tribute, but that just
can't compare with seeing the real
thing, as it is raised into the light (it's
displayed only a few minutes at a time
in an effort to preserve it) accompanied by The Star Spangled Banner.
Nor can an on- screen look at a space
capsule (even with 3D rotation) compare with actually climbing inside
one -it's so tinyl-as you can do at
the (non -virtual) Air and Space
Museum.
But what more can you ask of a
family CD -ROM than that it spurs
the imagination and quest for more
knowledge?
PC-Free E-Mail
What do you really use your laptop
for when you're on a business trip?
Can you actually write a report while
on an airplane? Do you spend your
travel time updating files? Or do you
just drag the thing around so that,
when you get to your hotel, you can
check your e -mail and maybe send a
few quick faxes
the phone in your
room has a data port, that is?
If your laptop is just an e -mail
device, why not replace it with a truly
portable one? The HC -E100 from JVC
Company of America (1700 Valley
Road, Wayne, NJ 07470; Web: www.
jvc.com) is just that. For a suggested
retail price of $129.95, plus a monthly fee of $9.95 for the PocketMail
mobile e-mail service, business travelers have an easy -to -use way to keep in
touch from any location with associates. The device can also send faxes as
well as sending text messages to any
alphanumeric pager.
The HC -E 100 weighs just over half
a pound, without its two "AA" batteries; measures approximately 61/4 X
31/2 X 1 inches; and looks a good
deal like an electronic organizer.
Under its flip -open lid, you'll find a
40- character, 8 -line display, surrounded by function keys. The main
body holds a QWERTY -style keyboard
that's small but usable. The extra " @"
key (no shifting required!) comes in
handy when typing e-mail addresses,
but most punctuation involves the use
of a second sniff key to activate the
punctuation marks that are printed 27
-if
G IzIWo®
been successfully completed.
(If there's a problem, you'll
hear two beeps.)
Whenever you "connect" the
device to a phone, the communications are two -way:
Messages are received as well
as sent. Incoming e-mails are
placed in the unit's "inbox"
and accessed with a press of
the uvsox key. From within the
inbox, they can be read,
replied to, forwarded, or
above the letter keys. That can be a bit
tricky, and (because they're not in
their standard positions) takes some
getting used to.
To get started, you must first sign
up for the PocketMail service- online
at any time or by phone during PST
business hours. With your account
initialized, you're ready to send email. To compose your message, you
simply press the cREAre MSG key, input
the information in the given fields,
and then press the DONE key. The message is stored in the unit's "outbox,"
along with any other messages you've
created and stored, until you are
ready to send the entire batch.
fact,
No cables or connectors
no computer at all-are required,
making the HC-E100 a good e-mail
solution for folks who don't have
access to a PC. The only outside "gear"
needed is a telephone. A microphone is
mounted on a slide -out arm on the
hark of the HC -E100. That microphone must be positioned snugly
against the earpiece of a telephone, and
the unit's built -in speaker placed as
dose as possible to the phone's mouthpiece. When you are sure of the fit, you
dial the PocketMail 800- number,
reposition the HC -E100 against the
phone, and press one button. You can
hear the "chatter" as the device
"talks " to the PocketMail network,
and you can monitor the progress of
the transmission by watching the bar
lights on the top of the unit. (Each
light represents one -quarter of the
estimated connection time.) A single
28 beep means that the transmission has
-in
deleted. It's also possible, from
the inbox, to add the sender's
e -mail address to the HCE 100's address book.
The address book is a terrific convenience feature, allowing you to store
frequently used e-mail addresses in
memory, along with other vital information (phone number, fax number,
snail -mail address). It simplifies sending e-mail messages to one person, and
it even allows you to send the same
message to as many as ten of the
addresses in your book.
The portable e-mail device offers
other convenience features. For those
users who already have a primary email address at home or work,
PocketMail provides mailbox consolidation. Copies of mail received at your
primary e-mail address can be automatically copied and sent to your
PocketMail address as well. Most ISPs
allow e-mail forwarding, and most
corporate e-mail software also allows it
(although some corporations deliberately disable the function). The largest
ISP, America Online, does not currently support auto forwarding, however.
You can configure the HC -E100 so
that your primary e-mail address
appears as the reply -to address on your
outgoing messages. For confidentiality,
a password feature is provided.
Sending a fax message is just as
easy as sending an e-mail; you simply
input the fax number instead of the email address, and press the fl key to
access the fax feature. You can even
fax the message to some people, and
e -mail it to others (up to ten recipients
in all), all with one call.
There is a drawback to the cable free, portable e-mail system. Messages
(both incoming and outgoing) are lim-
ited to 4000 characters, and you can't
attach files to them as you can with a
PC. Of course, if you've bought the
HC -E100 as an alternative to a PC, you
won't have any files to attach anyway.
And if you bought it to supplement
your PC while away from the office,
you can use your PC to retrieve messages with attachments or messages
that exceed the 4000 -character limit.
The sliding arm on which the
microphone resides allows you to
accommodate all size phones, from
tiny cellular units to standard hand sets-we couldn't find a phone with
which it was incompatible. The device
won't, however, work with every telephone; it will not work with digital
and PCS cellular phones, for instance.
If you're a technophobe whose
family and friends are all sending email messages back and forth and you
feel as if you're out of the loop
because you haven't broken down
and bought a PC yet, here's a way to
get into the action without feeling
intimidated. And if you're a Road
Warrior who needs your e-mail like
you need air to breathe, the HC -E 100
is an easy -to -use, easy -to -carry alternative to a laptop.
Balancing Act
Any audiophile will tell you that
speakers are the most important part of
any stereo system. But no matter how
much time you spend auditioning
speakers and how much money you
shell out to buy them, they won't sound
just right unless they are precisely positioned for an optimal listening experience. The same goes for home -theater
speakers, whose placement determines
whether the surround -sound effects
are delivered properly.
Most of us use one of two methods
to place our speakers. We might move
them around the room, hoping to
somehow get the "sweet spot" to fall
upon our favorite seat. Or we might opt
for convenience, placing the speakers
wherever the furniture /paintings/
accessories allow space.
You can be sure that neither
method is how professional installers
do it. Just like any other specialists,
GIZMO®
they rely upon tools of the trade to
make their jobs easier and the results
more reliable. And many of them
depend upon the Sound Alignment
System, or SA -S, from Checkpoint
Laser Tools (4025 Spencer St., Suite
304, Torrance, CA 90503; Tel. 310793 -5500; Web: www.checkpoint3d.
com) to help them get it right. (The
professional system, with all its
numerous accessories and options, is
pictured above.)
Speakers, and, for that matter,
sound itself, are directional. The SA -S
system allows the sound emanating
from speakers to be accurately directed to a location of your choice using a
laser pointer. The concept is actually
very simple, and so is the process, particularly if you opt for the consumer
version of the Sound Alignment
System, the SA-S 770 ($159.95).
(The professional system, pictured
above, requires a bit of study, not to
mention layout and angle guide, and
layout plots. Options include several
lenses for advanced and unique
installation requirements and rotary
bases for advanced users. An SA -S
trained professional can certify that
the speakers are properly situated
under a system that's been endorsed
by Lucasfilm's THX division for setup
and calibration.)
The SA -S 770 is a rectangular metal
tool measuring approximately 7 x 1
X 1 inches. In the photo above, it is
the cylinder shown protruding horizontally from the speaker. A bubble level set into the tool is clearly visible from either side. The front end of
the SA -S 770 is a metal threaded insert
that can accept screw -on accessories.
The laser beam is emitted from that
end. The "back" end of the device has
a metal screw covering the tool's
recessed on /off switch. A "Standard
Alignment Switch"basically, a large
screw with a 11/4- inch -diameter flat
head
included.
To use the SA-S 770, you remove
-is
the screw from the back end and
replace it with the standard alignment
switch. The large, flat head on the
alignment switch allows you to place it
flush against a flat part of the front
speaker cabinet, preferably near the
center, so that the SA -S 770 is held per-
pendicular to the front
of the speaker. After
verifying that it is level,
screw in the switch
until the laser beam is
activated (that's why
the accessory is called a
switch). Then move the
speaker until the dot of
laser light is pointed
directly at the listening
spot.
It
couldn't be easi-
er-unless
you opt to
buy some "Mag Alignment Switches"
($29.95 each) and "Base Plates"
($16.95 each), that is. The base plates
require (shudder) drilling a screw
hole into the speaker cabinet. Once
mounted, however, they can allow
flush attachment of the SA -S system,
including the Mag Alignment Switches,
and magnetically hold in place the SAS 770 for hands -free speaker alignment. (Some high -end speakers,
including a few models from M&K,
come with built-in base plates and
magnets.)
The Mag Alignment Switches offer
the added benefit of allowing you to
test your speakers' housing stability as
well as their placement. The visual stability test is as quick and easy as the
alignment process. With the SA -S
attached, try out the speaker under
varying load. If the dot moves little or
not at all, your speakers are stable; if it
bounces all over the place, you know
you've got a problem.
Checkpoint notes one more advantage to the Mag Switch: "It provides a
permanent residence for the SA -S 770
when not in use
very impressive
display componentl" Their words, not
ours. We actually think it looks a bit
silly sticking out from a speaker,
unless it's actively doing its job.
And it does that job admirably,
quickly, and painlessly. It takes just
minutes to arrange a multi- speaker
system so that each component is
aimed directly at the same listening
spot. No one's going to hand you a professional installation certificate -but
you have the satisfaction, all the same,
of knowing that your speakers are
positioned as accurately as possible,
and that you did it yourself.
-a
GIZMO NEWS
Win Some, Lose Some
This past October, Web sites deliv-
ering recordable music cleared a
major legal hurdle, while those offering classic literary works online were
dealt a major blow by a new law.
In the first case, a federal judge
denied a request by the recording
industry to stop production of a
handheld device that can store and
play back digital music, including that
found on the Internet. The product,
known as Rio, is made by Diamond
Multimedia Systems and carries a
price tag of $199. It can store up to 60
minutes of near -CD-quality digital
music that can be downloaded off the
Internet with the click of a mouse.
This music comes in the form of
MPEG Layer-3 or MP3 files.
The Recording Industry Association
of America (RIAA) plans to appeal the
decision, which it fears opens the door
to unchecked music piracy. The group,
which represents 90% of the creators,
manufacturers, and distributors of
commercial recordings, filed for a preliminary injunction on the grounds
that the Rio was a digital audio recording device as defined by the Audio
Home Recording Act of 1992. Under
that act, manufacturers of digital
recording devices are required to pay
to artist organizations a royalty
amounting to 2% of the wholesale
price of the device.
The court did not decide whether
or not the Rio met that definition,
although Judge Audrey Collins said it 29
GIZMO®
probably could be categorized as such.
But she refused the RIAA's request to
force Diamond Multimedia to install a
copy -protection system on the device
on the grounds that, with no digital
output, the Rio could not be used for
"downstream" serial copying. She
noted that requiring the inclusion of
Serial Copy Management System
(SCMS) on such a device would be "an
exercise in futility" The manufacturer
successfully argued that the RIAA
could not be allowed to "derail new
technology" in an effort to protect its
members and noted that the injunction, which would coincide with the
holiday gift -buying season, would
cause Rio irreparable harm.
Meanwhile, President Clinton
dealt a blow to free book sites when
he signed a law that adds 20 years to
the existing copyright protection of
books, films, songs, and other intellectual property. The previous U.S.
copyright term lasted 50 years after
the author's death or 75 years after
the publication of a corporate work.
The new law was supported by the
Association of American Publishers,
the film industry, music publishers,
and the heirs of copyright owners, all
of whom argued that the change was
necessary in light of longer copyright
terms in European publishing and the
greater longevity of heirs.
There are several sites that offer
free access to classic literature. Eric
Eldred, founder of Eldritch Press,
actually plans to cease operation
because of the new Copyright Term
Extension Act, which he said, "marginalizes me and my Web site." He
added, "If everything is private property forever ... then there can't be a
growing, global, free public library."
According to Michael S. Hart, director of one of the largest online free
book sites, Project Gutenberg, the
new law will stop about an estimated
one million books from entering the
public domain over the next 20 years.
Instead of closing the site, he is
increasing his efforts to find and post
books that were published before
1923.
Likening the situation to the
30 response to book burning in Fahren-
heit 451, "where people became
books to preserve literature," Eldred
declared, "Well, I am Hawthorne on
the Internet." Eldred planned to close
his site on November 11 in protest of
the law and donate his digital library
to other free book sites.
Super Surround
If there's an action film playing at
a few theaters in your area, and you
have a choice of going to one with
Dolby Digital sound or one with a
THX sound system, how do you
decide between the two? Well, you
won't have to choose between them
for long. Lucasfilm THX and Dolby
Laboratories Inc. have introduced
Dolby Digital - Surround EX, a 6.1-
channel theatrical surround -sound
format that was co- developed and is
jointly owned. The new surround sound format will make its debut
with the May 21st release of George
Lucas' new film, Star Wars: Episode
1 -The Phantom Menace.
Unlike conventional surround
technology, in which the sound field in
the back of the theater can sound
blurred and seem to come from a general area to one side of the auditorium,
with Dolby Digital - Surround EX cen-
ter- surround information is reproduced by the speakers at the rear of
the theater while left- and right-surround information is reproduced by
speakers at the sides. Adding a new
surround channel and more speakers
is said to allow a sound designer to
create true "fly over" and "fly around"
effects that are smoother and more
accurately placed.
Surround EX is fully compatible
with all existing 5.1 digital systems,
requiring only the addition of a Dolby
SA -10 surround adapter, proper
speaker wiring, and an extra
channel of surround amplification.
The SA -10 adapter will cost $2500.
THX- certified theaters, while not a
requirement, are ideally suited to take
advantage of Surround EX. They meet
specific acoustic requirements and
have most of the necessary equipment, including the center -rear
speakers, already in place.
"Dolby Digital - Surround EX realizes the long-held dream for surround
sound that is truly all -enveloping,"
said Dolby Laboratories President Bill
Jasper. "With the new format, we've
taken the technology to an additional
level that makes an amazing difference
in sound possibilities."
Monica Dashwood, general manager of Lucasfilm THX, called
Surround EX "a system that raises
the bar on quality," and pointed out
that the technology "is not going to
make a moviegoer's theatrical audio
experience inherently louder" but
will "deliver the ultimate theater
experience."
Progressive -Video
DVD Player Shelved
Toshiba is temporarily postponing
the introduction of its Platinum
Standard SD7108 DVD- Video player.
In a statement issued in early November, the company noted that it
"respects the concerns of the motion
picture industry regarding copyright
protection." Despite "diligent work
with hardware and software companies alike," no agreement was reached
regarding copy protection for progressive -video outputs on a DVDVideo player. "A lack of consensus
within the Copy Protection Technical
Working Group concerning this issue
has delayed the introduction of the
SD7108."
Toshiba believes that DVD players
equipped with ColorStream Pro progressive component video outputs are
"of critical importance in extending
the potential of DVD in a digital
world." The company will continue to
work with hardware and software
companies to reach a satisfactory resolution of this issue and will include
ColorStream Pro progressive video
inputs on its DTV -ready and DTV color
television products. Toshiba vows to
"work aggressively to insure that consumers will be able to enjoy true progressive -video DVD picture quality in
the near future."
BUILD THE
CRYSTALSYNTH
DAVID DU LEY
Without doubt, the Mu-
sical Instrument Digital
interface (MIDI) is one
of the greatest things to happen to
music since the piano. It enables
one performer to sound like an
entire orchestra, or it can be used
to simply fill in for an orchestra or
musical group that is shy a few
musicians. Music synthesis has
come a long way since the days
when a few dedicated experimenters threw together a couple
of squarewave oscillators to produce the spacey sounds of the
early sixties. Today, however, the
synthesized music field is dominated by highly sophisticated devices,
based upon single- and multi -IC
chipsets. Such chipsets enable the
average table -top experimenter to
put together awesome music synthesizers capable of rivaling some
commercially available units.
Dubbed CrystalSynth, the project
presented here is a MIDI -controlled
wavetable synthesizer that is suitable for stage work. CrystalSynth
is completely standalone, and it
accepts standard MIDI inputs and
provides both amplified and line level music outputs. It
is
suitable for
use as a budget stage synthesizer, or
it can be used as a background fill in synthesizer for live
performances
or studio work. It is great for the hobbyist who wants to spruce up the
available sounds of an older MIDI
keyboard. CrystalSynth can be used
to add wavetable sounds to cheap
PC sound cards, and is fully compatible with Windows MIDI -output
drivers or any software that can
drive the external MPU401- compatible MIDI output on most Sound Blaster-type cards.
Wavetable Synthesis. Wavetable
synthesis is a technique by which
electronic synthesizers are made
to produce sounds that very closely emulate the actual instruments
This standalone MIDI wavetable music synthesizer
allows you to create band and orchestral accompaniments
that can be blended with your own voice to produce
recordings that sound like they were generated
in a professional recording studio!
they are designed to replace.
That's accomplished by scanning
a table containing a recording of
the actual instrument sounds. The
instruments are usually recorded at
different pitches to allow the synthesizer to produce sounds that
more closely emulate the real
thing. That's done because low
notes played on a grand piano, for
instance, sound much different
than middle- or high -range notes
played on the same piano. The difference is more than just pitch. The
low notes last longer, and the
sound of the hammer striking the
string is different from that of the
high notes.
CrystalSynth emulates real instruments in great detail! The bulk of
the work
is performed by Crystal
Semiconductor's CS9236 wavetable
synthesizer. The chip is designed to
accept MIDI data directly and
process it to produce an all -digital,
serial-audio data stream that is
turned back into analog audio by
Crystal Semiconductor's CS4333 serial digital-to- analog (D /A) converter.
The wavetable synthesizer (CS9236)
can emulate 128 pre-defined instruments and 47 percussion sounds
(see Tables and 2). It also processes
all MIDI -effects commands, such as
pitch bending, program change,
volume control, left -right stereo pan1
31
U
U¡
Z
O
aJC
cn
W
U
2
Z
ri1
32
Fig. 1. CrystalSynth is a relatively simple circuit comprised of seven integrated circuits, a fullwave
bridge rectifier, a small- signal diode, a light -emitting diode, and a handful of support components.
MIDI data is fed to CrystalSynth through a standard 5 -pin DIN connector (J3).
ning, echo and delay effects, chorusing effects, and key -press velocity
(an effect that changes the sound
slightly depending on whether the
keyboard is pressed hard or soft).
It supports all 16 MIDI channels;
Channel 10 is reserved for percussion. The percussion instruments are
key mapped, so that Channel 10
MIDI standard.
1
sf-f
SDATA PIN
15 14 13 12
16 BITS PER CHANNEL
11
10
9
8
7
6
4
5
3
2
Fig. 2. This timing diagram illustrates the relationship between 1C2's
clock, and its serial -data stream.
TABLE
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
1
LEFT CHANNEL 16 BIT DATA
INTERNAL SERIAL
CLOCK
3
1
RIGHT CHANNEL 16 BIT DATA
LRCK PIN
1
lator -BRI, an LTDFO2S fullwave,
bridge rectifier; D1, a 1N4148 small signal diode; LED1, and a handful
of support components.
MIDI data is fed to the Crystal Synth circuit through a standard 5pin DIN connector, and from there
it is applied to the input of IC1
(the Hi L1 QT optoisolator /coupler),
which provides the current loop
interface required by the MIDI standard. The H11 Ll QT optoisolator/
coupler was chosen because of its
How It Works. A schematic diagram of the CrystalSynth circuit is
shown in Fig. 1. For all that it can do,
CrystalSynth is a relatively simple
circuit comprised of seven integrated circuits -IC l -a, an H L1 QT
optoisolator /coupler with Schmitt
trigger output; IC2 and IC3, Crystal
Semiconductor's CS9236 Crystal Clear wavetable synthesizer and
CS4333 stereo serial digital- to -analog converter, respectively; IC4, an
LM358 dual, low- power, op -amp;
does not respond to program
changes (instrument change commands). Instead each key, in a 47key range, is assigned to a different
percussion instrument, since percussion instruments typically do not
have a specific pitch. Therefore,
devoting the entire keyboard to a
2
IC5, an LM2879 8 -watt audio -power
amp; IC6, a 7805 fixed 5 -volt, lamp, voltage regulator; and IC7,
an LD111733 3.3-volt voltage regu-
snare drum would be pointless. That
conforms to what has become a
Grand Piano
Bright Piano
Electric Grand Piano
Honky -Tonk Piano
Electric Piano
Electric Piano 2
Harpsichord
Clavi
Celesta
Glockenspiel
Music Box
Vibraphone
Marimba
Xylophone
Tubular Bells
Dulcimer
Drawbar Organ
Percussive Organ
Rock Organ
Church Organ
Reed Organ
Accordion
Harmonica
Tango Accordion
Nylon Guitar
Steel Guitar
Jazz Guitar
Clean Guitar
Muted Guitar
Overdriven Guitar
Distortion Guitar
Guitar Harmonics
1
1-CS9236
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46 .
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
_1 J -
LJ
o 15 14 13 12 11 10
1
LRCLK
9
JL
8
716
5
4
3
2
signal, its internal
MELODIC INSTRUMENT LIST
Acoustic Bass
Fingered Bass
Pick Bass
Fretless Bass
Slap Bass
Slap Bass 2
Synth Bass
Synth Bass 2
65
66
67
68
69
70
1
71
1
Violin
Viola
Cello
Contrabass
Tremolo Strings
Pizzicato Strings
Orchestral Harp
Timpani
String Ensemble
String Ensemble 2
Synth Strings 1
Synth Strings 2
Choir Aahs
Voice Oohs
Synth Voice
Orchestra Hit
Trumpet
Trombone
Tuba
Muted Trumpet
French Horn
Brass Section
Synth Brass I
Synth Brass 2
1
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
Soprano Sax
Alto Sax
Tenor Sax
Baritone Sax
Oboe
English Horn
Bassoon
Clarinet
Piccolo
Flute
Recorder
Pan Flute
Blown Bottle
Shakuhachi
Whistle
Ocarina
Square Wave
Sawtooth Wave
Calliope
Chiff
Charang
91
Voice
Fifths
Bass + Lead
New Age
Warm Pad
Poly Synth Pad
92
93
94
95
96
Choir Pad
Bowed Pad
Metallic Pad
Halo Pad
Sweep Pad
87
88
89
90
97
Rain
98
Soundtrack
99 Crystal
100 Atmosphere
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
ill
112
113
114
115
116
117
I18
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
Brightness
Goblins
Echoes
Sci -Fi
Sitar
Banjo
Shamisen
Koto
Kalimba
Bag Pipe
Fiddle
Shanai
Tinkle Bell
Agogo
Steel Drums
Woodblock
Taiko Drum
Melodic Toni
Synth Drum
Reverse Cymbal
Fret Noise
Breath Noise
Seashore
Bird Tweet
Telephone
Helicopter
Applause
Gunshot
33
switching speed (standard optoisolators can't handle the 31.250 -kHz
data rate required for MIDI). The
output of IC1 at pin 4 is fed to IC2
<the CS9236 wavetable synthesizer)
at pin
20.
The wavetable synthesizer has a
built -in MIDI processor, which
decodes MIDI data, controls the
chip's various internal systems, and is
responsible for generating all the
necessary clock signals for itself and
the rest of the circuit. The operating
frequency of IC2's internal oscillator
is set by a 16.9344 -MHz crystal
(XTAL1). The clock frequency is used
by the CS9236 to generate the
stereo 44.1 -kHz digital -audio data
that appears at IC2's serial -audio
data output (sour) terminal at pin
11. The signal that appears at pin 11
of IC2 is applied to the serial -audio
data (sDATA) input of IC3 (the CS4333
stereo serial digital -to-analog converter) at pin 1. The serial -audio
data left /right clock (u cu<) output of
IC2 at pin 10 is fed to IC3 at pin 3,
where it is used by the DAC to deter-
mine the start of a data stream and
whether the incoming data is for the
left or the right channel.
Figure 2 shows the timing relationship between the LRCLK signal,
the internal data clock, and the serial -data stream. (The stereo serial
digital -to- analog converter is commonly found in portable CD play-
4
34
is used to convert the
data from the CD back
ers, where it
serial -audio
into analog signals.) The MCLK (pin 4)
and LRCLK (pin 3) inputs to IC3, which
are derived from IC2, are used to
control timing for the serial -audio
data stream.
The signal applied to the DEM/SCLK
terminal (pin 2) of IC3 is used to
place the DAC in either the internal
or external clock mode. That pin,
which is tied high through R2, places
permanent internal clock
mode, allowing asynchronous data
transfers between IC2 and IC3.
Resistor R2 also prevents CMOS
latch -up (which occurs when any
pin of a CMOS device goes higher
than the device's power-supply
input). The CMOS circuitry acts as a
Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR)
turns on
would in a DC circuit
but never turns off.
The outputs of IC3 are fed to a
pair of low -pass filter /buffer amplifiers built around an LM358 dual opamp (104). The filtering is required to
eliminate any digital noise that
might creep into the analog output.
Acting as a near unity -gain amplifier, IC4 boosts the output of IC3 to
sufficient capacity to drive cables,
external amplifiers, and the like,
through the UNE our jacks, J1 and J2.
The outputs of the dual filter circuit
are also fed to an LM2879 dual 8watt audio amplifier (105), which
IC3 in
-it
6
INCHES
Fig. 3 A template of the author's single- sided, printed-circuit layout for CrystalSynth, which
measures 6 by 3 inches, is shown here full -scale.
boosts the line- output signal to a
level sufficient to drive a pair of
stereo speakers.
Power for the circuit is supplied
by a fullwave bridge rectifier (BR1)
and a pair of fixed voltage regulators (IC6, a 7805 5 -volt unit and IC7,
an LD111733 3.3 -volt unit). The
bridge rectifier allows the voltage
applied to the circuit to be derived
from a 15 -volt AC or DC wall transformer. Note that the unregulated
15 -volt input to the power-supply
circuit directly powers the LM2879
dual 8 -watt audio amplifier (IC5).
Construction. Although the CrystalSynth is simple enough to be
assembled on perfboard using
point-to -point wiring techniques, it
is recommended that the circuit be
fabricated on a printed-circuit
board, as was the author's unit,
because the circuit contains several components that are available
only in surface -mount packages.
Using assembly techniques other
than printed circuit may require
that an adapter board be used for
the surface-mount ICs. The adapter
boards reconfigure the lead spacing of surface-mount chips so that
they conform to standard, easy -tosolder, 0.1 -inch pin spacing. In addition, there should be separate digital and analog grounds, which
should be connected together
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worldwide graduates who have benefited from a
patented, independent -study program that lets the
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Degree program, or through our affiliate school
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send for your Free Course Catalog Today!
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35
only at one point very close to the
voltage regulators.
However, for those who prefer
less hassle -prone assembly, printed circuit construction is the way to go.
A full-size template of the author's
single- sided, printed- circuit layout,
which measures 6 by 3 inches, is
shown in Fig. 3. That pattern can be
lifted from the page and used to
etch your own printed- circuit
board. Or, you may elect to purchase the board from the source
listed in the Parts List.
mounted in the conventional manner (through- the -hole components
installed from the non -copper side of
the board). Instead, some components- several surface -mount units
are mounted to the foil side of the
board. Because several components
are surface-mount units, when soldering those units a low- wattage
soldering iron with a very fine tip is
required. (If you are not familiar
with surface -mount construction
techniques, see the section on
Surface -Mount Assembly before
Note: A partial kit -containing
the board, all ICs (except IC4, the
LM358), and the crystal -as well as
a fully assembled and tested unit
are also available.
Once you've obtained a printedcircuit board and all of the parts listed in the Parts List, construction can
begin. But before we get started, it is
worth mentioning that not all of the
components for this project are
proceeding.)
Begin construction by mounting
and soldering the components
shown in Fig. 4 to the component
side (in the conventional sense) of
the board. Note that the board layout contains several jumper (J)
connections. The wire jumpers eliminate the need for a double -sided
printed-circuit board. Install the
jumper wires first, followed by the
-
passive components and semiconductors. Note that all circuit- boardmounted components for this pro-
ject are soldered directly to the
board. When soldering the semiconductors in place, it's a good
idea to temporarily connect a
heatsink to the lead being soldered, so that any potentially damaging heat can be channeled
away from the unit.
After mounting and soldering
IC5 to the board, connect a
heatsink to the tab of IC5 and run
a wire from the heatsink -mounting
hardware to the ground pad indicated in Fig. 4. Attach the offboard components to the appropriate points on the circuit board
through hook -up wire. Be careful
when connecting the two volume
controls (R19 and R20) to the circuit board. Note that the wipers
(center terminals) of R19 and R20
connect to C32 and C33, respec-
l
s1
POWER
AC /DC
MIDI
LO
J6
J3
LINE OUT
LEFT SPKR
RIGHT SPKR
J5
J4
J2
J1
C13
I
C23
C12
+
ICE
IC6
C15
C27
J
C1
C14
J
J
-J -
I
XTAL1=
R3
-
R17
J
R4
+
R27
C7
O
R20
LEDI
'd
LEFT
VOLUME
R19
RIGHT
VOLUME
GROUND
TO ICS TAB
(SEE TEXT)
Fig. 4. Although the CrystalSynth prototype was assembled on a conventional single-sided board,
its actual construction is carried out in a rather unconventional manner-encompassing both conventional (through-the -hole) and surface -mount components. The through- the -hole components are
mounted to what's normally deemed the component side of the board. That portion of the circuit's
36 assembly
is shown here.
The author used 6 -inch
lengths of 3- conductor cable to
attach the volume controls to the
circuit board, In addition, 6 -inch
lengths of 2- conductor cable were
used to attach the switches and
the LED to the board. Since the
connectors mounted directly to
the circuit board and are designed
to be bolted to the back panel,
using such cabling on the potentiometers, switches, and LED make
for greater versatility in selecting
an enclosure in which to house the
project. After the non -copper -side
components have been secured,
check your work for the usual construction errors: solder bridges, cold
solder joints, misoriented or misplaced components, etc.
Once you are satisfied that all is
well, flip the board over and begin
installing the surface -mount components to the copper side of the
board, guided by Fig. 5. Because
the surface -mount components are
so small, it is wise to take your time
installing these components. Also
be sure that they are properly oriented, before soldering the first pin
(terminal).
After mounting all of the parts,
carefully inspect the assembly to
ensure that there are no construction errors, and when satisfied that
all is well, put the board to the side
while you prepare the enclosure
that will house the project. The
Lively.
author's unit was housed in a metal
enclosure, measuring about 81 /8 by
61/16 by 2 inches. Prepare the front
panel of the enclosure by drilling
holes in the front panel to accommodate the front -panel- mounted
components -S1 (PowER), S2 (RESET),
R19 (RIGHT VOLUME), and R20 (LEFT VOLUME). After preparing the front
panel, prepare the rear panel by
drilling holes and making cutouts to
accommodate the unit's jack
assortment.
Once all of the front and rear
panel holes and cutouts have
been made, dry- transfer lettering
can be used to label each position
as to control or jack function.
Surface -Mount Assembly. Many
hobbyists are intimidated by the
prospect of assembling a circuit
board designed for surface -mount
components, but that needn't be
the case. Any hobbyist can assemble printed- circuit boards containing surface -mount components.
With a few minor changes in your
normal routine and a couple of
"special" tools, the task can easily
be accomplished.
Because of the small size and
close lead spacing of surfacemount components, the first thing
you'll need is a low- wattage, soldering -iron heating element with a very
fine tip. You'll also need a small pair
of tweezers; tweezers are very useful
for placing and maneuvering small
parts on the printed-circuit board.
Using the tweezers, position the
component over its mounting area,
making sure that the item is properly oriented.
Fine -gauge solder is a must, as is
flux cleaner. Flux remover is required
because flux is electrically conductive; therefore, flux allowed to
migrate across component leads or
copper traces and pads constitutes
a direct short, which will surely render the circuit inoperative (at best),
and might even lead to the destruction of one or more critical components. You should also keep a small gauge solder wick handy, in case it
becomes necessary to remove solder from a component or printed circuit pad.
In addition, a magnifier with a
built -in light is also useful when working with surface -mount components,
as is a clean, neat, and well -organized work area. (Small components
can easily be misplaced in a cluttered environment.) Make sure that
the soldering iron has had ample
time to get hot and that the tip has
been tinned. Tinning the soldering iron tip enhances it heat- transference properties- that's important
since holding the soldering iron
against the component and/or cir-
C32
R121
R26
R161
R25
I
I
R141
IRIS
IR11
Fig. 5. After mounting the conventional components, flip the hoard over, and begin installing the
surface-mount components to the copper side of the hoard, guided by this diagram.
37
cuit board for too long can damage
the component, as well as cause the
copper traces and pads to separate
from their substrates. Before beginning assembly, the required components should be laid out before you
so that they can easily be located as
needed. Remember that this is a surface-mount assembly; thus the components are soldered to the foil side
of the board.
The easiest way to work with surface -mount components is to trickle a dab of molten solder onto one
pad of the IC and on one of the
two -point pads (those intended for
the resistors and the bypass capacitors) to which a component is to
be mounted. Then, after determining the correct component orientation, place the components flat
to the component pads, and
reflow (reapply heat to) the solder
and component terminal to form a
solder joint. Heat should be applied
to the component just long enough
to cause the solder to become
molten and adhere to the component terminal and circuit pad.
Continue the process until one side
PARTS LIST FOR CRYSTALSYNTH
C5, C24, C25- 10 -pF, 1206-series,
SEMICONDUCTORS
BRI-LTDFO2S surface- mount, fullwave,
bridge rectifier (Digi -Key DFO2S -ND)
small -signal
silicon diode
ICI-HI I L IQT or PC900V optoisolator/coupler
(Digi -Key HIILIQT -ND)
IC2- CS9236 CrystalClear wavetable
synthesizer, surface-mount, integrated
circuit (Insight Electronics)
IC3- CS4333 stereo serial digital -to- analog
converter, surface- mount, integrated circuit
(Insight Electronics)
IC4-LM358 dual low -power op -amp, surface mount, integrated circuit (Digi -Key
LM358M -ND)
105-- LM2879 8 -watt audio power amp
(Digi-Key LM289T -ND)
IC6 -7805 fixed 5 -volt, -amp, voltage regulator
(Digi -Key NJM78M05FA -ND)
IC7-LDI 11733 3.3 -volt voltage regulator
(Mouser 511 -LDI Ii7DT33C)
LED1- Light -emitting diode
D1-1N4148 general -purpose,
1
RESISTORS
(All fixed resistors are 1206- series, 1/8-watt,
surface -mount chip units, unless otherwise
noted.)
R1-220 -ohm
R2 -2200-ohm
R3, R4- 10,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5 %, axial -lead
R5, R6, R9, R10- 15,000 -ohm
R7, R8- 20,000 -ohm
RI1, R14 -2000-ohm
R12, R13, RIS, R16, R25, R26- 100,000 -ohm
R17, R18 -2.7 -ohm, 1/4-watt, axial-lead
R19, R20- 10,000 -ohm, panel -mount
potentiometer
R21, R22 -6800-ohm
R23, R24-56,000 -ohm
R27 -1000 -ohm, 1/4 watt. 5%, axial -lead
CAPACITORS
38
-1
-11F, 35 -WVDC, radial -lead electrolytic
C2, C3, C6, C16, C20, C21, C26, C32, C330.1-µF, 1206-series, surface- mount, ceramic chip
C4-22 -pF, 1206- series, surface- mount,
ceramic -chip
C1
surface mount, ceramic -chip
C7, C10-C13, C15, C31- 10 -µF, 35 -WVDC,
radial -lead, electrolytic
C8, C9- 390 -pF, I206- series, surface -mount,
ceramic -chip
C14- 1000-p.F, 50 -WVDC, axial -lead,
electrolytic
C17, C19- 4,7 -p,F, 35 -WVDC radial -lead,
electrolytic
C18, C22. C23, C30- 220 -pF, 35 -WVDC,
radial -lead electrolytic
C27, C28-0.022 -p,F, 35 -WVDC, polyester
C29- 2200-p.F, 35 -WVDC, radial -lead,
electrolytic
ADDITIONAL PARTS
AND MATERIALS
-PC -mount RCA jack (Mouser
11, J2
161 -4218)
J3
-5-pin DIN, PC -mount connector (Mouser
161
-0503)
J4, J5-PC -mount speaker terminals (Mouser
151 -0300)
J6- 2,5 -mm, right -angle power jack (Mouser
163 -5003)
SI -Panel -mount SPST push -on/push -off
switch
XTAL1- 16.9344 -MHz crystal (Newark
50F1205)
Printed -circuit materials, 15 -volt wall transformer, enclosure, knobs, wire, solder,
hardware, etc'.
Note: The following items are available from
David Duley, PO Box 658, San Marcos, CA
92079 -0658: A single -sided printed- circuit
board, solder-plated with parts- placement silk screened on both sides for $17; a kit of critical
parts, containing the CS9236 (1C2), the
CS43333 (IC3), the LM2879 (IC5), the
HIILIQT (ICI), the 7805 (IC6), the
LDI11733 (IC7), the 16.9344-MHz crystal,
and a printed -circuit board for $70; a complete
kit of all parts without enclosure for $125; or a
completely assembled and tested unit in studio
enclosure for $279. Send check or money order
only and include $8 S &H.
of each component is mounted.
Because of the small size of surface -mount components, they are
more heat sensitive than conventional devices, Once the solder
becomes molten, the soldering iron
(heat) should be quickly removed.
You'll have a little time to quickly
make final alignment adjustments
until the solder cools and sets.
At this point, it is a good idea to
double -check for proper component orientation. Desoldering a single lead or terminal is a lot easier
than attempting to desolder multiple leads or terminals. Once it has
been determined that the component(s) has been properly oriented,
secure the other terminal of each
component in place. When done,
check to be sure that all soldered
components are firmly mounted
and that the soldered joints are
mechanically sound. At the same
time, look for shorts or open solder
connections. Also, clean any excess
flux from the board.
Testing. To test the power -supply
portion of the circuit, apply power
through a wall adapter or transformer and check that the LED
lights. Measure the voltage at the
positive ( +) output terminal of the
bridge rectifier (BRI). The reading
at the positive terminal should be
between 9 and 25 volts, depending
on the wall transformer you are
using. If the voltage is less than 9 or
greater than 25 volts, select another wall transformer. (I have seen
wall transformers rated at 12 volts
DC actually outputting 20 volts DC
with no load, so check the output
of yours! Don't rely on the label.)
Check the outputs of IC6 (the
7805) and IC7 (the LD111733). The
output of IC6 should be between
4.9 and 5.2 volts, while the output of
IC7 should be between 3.1 and 3.5
volts. Check the positive -supply terminal of all the semiconductors. The
positive -supply terminals of IC2 and
IC3 must be at 3.3 volts, and the
positive -supply terminals of IC1 and
IC4 (the H11L1QT and the LM358,
respectively), should be at 5 volts.
The positive -supply terminal of the
LM2879 (IC5) should produce a
reading of +15 volts (the equivalent
to unregulated supply). To test the
(Continued on page 66)
ZAP, CRACkLE, Pop!
KARL
T.
THURBER, JR.
There's no fun in having your
home or business invaded
by electrical power surges
and spikes, which can seriously damage Personal Computers (PCs),
electrical appliances, electronic
and radio gear, and home electrical wiring. In this article, we'll discuss
various methods of protecting your
home appliances /equipment and
even the electrical wiring from
abrupt power fluctuations. We'll
also cover the nature and dangerous character of lightning; early
storm warning; surges, spikes, and
sags; basic and comprehensive
protection strategies and concepts; grounds; secondary surge
arresters and suppressors; amateur
and SWL antenna and tower protection; and steps to take inside the
radio hamshack.
Before we dig in, let's take a close
look at one of the main causes of
surges and spikes-lightning.
The Nature of Lightning. The movement of air in the earth's weather
patterns causes static charges (voltage) to build up, developing negative and positive regions of highly
charged particles within the clouds.
Negatively charged regions generally develop near the cloud bases,
while positively charged areas
develop near the tops. When the
static charge reaches a level where
the air can't insulate the cloud, a
lightning bolt is produced.
The bolt, essentially an electrical
arc or discharge, is generated
when the static voltage exceeds
the air's insulating capacity. The
lightning strike equalizes the potential difference by moving along the
conductive paths between oppositely charged regions. Usually, that
happens within a cloud, but can
also occur cloud -to-cloud or cloud to- ground. When an object is struck,
it is because it's a better conductor
than air, offering a better ground
path. When that occurs, we see
Electronic equipment, while touted as a boon
to modern man, also provides endless hours offrustration,
particularly when it comes to figuring out ways
to protect high -tech gizmos from the various natural
and man -made voltage anomalies.
lightning. Lightning takes on various
forms. The different forms of light-
ning- sheet, ribbon, bead, and
ball-often produce spectacular
visual effects.
buildings and antenna towcan induce discharges, as can
aircraft flying through a storm.
Tall
ers
Sometimes, an electrical leader
even appears to originate around
the top of towers, traveling upward
into the cloud.
What we hear as thunder is the
sound wave generated by the strike.
The sound produced by the strike
appears to lag behind the lightning
39
because of the slow speed of sound
compared with light. There is a simple method that can be used to estimate the distance between your
position and a lightning strike by noting the flash -to -bang time -i.e.,
counting the number of seconds
from the time you see the flash to the
moment you hear the thunder. A lag
of five seconds (from flash to bang)
roughly equals one mile.
As electronics enthusiasts and
PC users, we're concerned less with
visual and audible displays than
with the damaging effects lightning
can have on us and our homes and
businesses, bringing us closer to the
heart of this article.
Why Lightning is Dangerous.
Worldwide, more than one million
lightning strikes occur each day,
from the 1500 -2000 storms that
occur at any given time. The "typical" area sees about 40 storms yearly, with about 40 to 80 strikes per
square mile. Ninety percent of discharges are of the intra -cloud
type, with the discharge harmlessly
occurring within the cloud. But when
lightning seeks a path through
earth, it's dangerous, destructive,
and utterly unpredictable.
Over 100 people in the US are
killed by lightning, 500 people are
injured, and over 10,000 fires are
started yearly. Annually, lightning
also accounts for more than $250
million in property damage. More
than 90 percent of insurance settlements for lightning -related damages are from strikes picked up by
power lines and transmitted downstream into a home or business.
A strike's power is enormous, the
currents in a lightning bolt are high,
and the temperatures (up to
50,000 °F) can vaporize almost any
material. A single discharge pulse
can produce potentials of 00-million
volts, which can generate transient
currents of over 200,000 amperes. The
current reaches its peak in under 80
microseconds; the discharge de1
clines less rapidly, in 200 microseconds or less. The lightning affects a
frequency range from zero (DC) to
tens of MHz, and multiple strikes are
common -up to 40 discharges per
second. The discharge exacts a toll
on buildings, trees, antennas, power
ao lines, and anything else in its path.
the buzzer sounds for longer periods.
If approaching storms are severe,
the alarm s
McCallie also offers a software/
system -the Stormwise
hardware
Lightning
and
Lightning Alert Lightning and Super Supercell
cell Thunderstorm Detector and
Thunderetor;n
Recorder-that lets you graph
RPcorder
thunderstorms on your PC.
severe
..,V4T.d-,:
IVA
It's adept at dealing with dangermunti
ous "supercell" thunderstorms (and
may even give you some indication
of hail and tornado activity). The
system includes a remote LSU2001
lightning sensor, a PC serial -port
optical interface, and the DOS based Lightning and Supercell
Storm Detection Software.
The Lightning Alert features an
automatic lightning -proximity alarm
McCallie offers a .soliwarelhardware system
and recording to warn of approachthe Stormwise Lightning Alert and Supercell
ing storms, graphical display of lightThunderstorm Detector and Recorder, which
ning- detection rates, a severe-storm
includes the LSU -2001 Lightning Sensor Unit to
alarm, a weather log, an ability to
detect the ELF/VLF emissions associated with
save lightning -activity and storm approaching storms-that allows you to graph
intensity data to disk, color display
severe thunderstorms on your PC. The output of
and
supercell loggings, and more.
the LSU -2001, coupled optically to your PC's
e
==
-
serial port, lets you plot, graph, and analyze the
storm-generated electrical activity on your mon-
itor screen.
Early Storm Warning. Even if lightning isn't always physically damaging, the high voltages involved can
cause costly breakdowns and
damage to electrical and electronic equipment, including transmission lines and antennas. It would
be nice to have a lightning proximity alarm to warn of approaching
storms, above and beyond the
standard NOAA weather warnings.
That kind of personalized warning
now is possible.
Several firms, including McCallie
Mfg. Co., manufacture sensors capable of detecting approaching
thunderstorms (some claiming several hours lead time), thereby, providing ample time to shut down
and /or disconnect valuable equipment and take other precautions.
McCailie's Stormwise designs use
ELF /VLF impulse- detection sensors
which can register over 1000 detections per second and automatically
resets itself-to identify incoming
storms, reportedly, at distances of up
to 250 miles. When the storms are dis-
-
tant, the sensor sounds a buzzer for
less than one second. As the storm
activity and lightning approaches,
Surges, Spikes, Sags, and Other
Power Events. Lightning strikes pro-
duce strong electromagnetic fields
that can induce huge voltage
surges in power and telephone lines.
The anomalies travel along the lines,
seeking a path to ground, or they
enter buildings and cause damage.
Even buried lines are not immune to
surges. Surges can cause costly
breakdowns and damage to equipment and facilities; the financial losses due to surges almost always
exceeds the cost of installing effective surge protection.
Most of the damage caused
by overvoltage "power events" is
caused either by longer duration
high -voltage transients (surges) or
shorter -duration transients (spikes)
entering via the power mains.
Surges and spikes can reach 3000
to 6000 volts or more.
Power surges are significant shortterm increases in voltage, typically
1/20 second or longer. Power surges
have many causes, mostly external
to the premises, such as inductive
switching, power switching, malfunctions in utility company equipment,
and of course, lightning. It's common to find several 1000 -volt -plus
increases daily over the normal
115 -125 volts corning down the utili-
daily PCs) are very sensitive to other
-
AC -line anomalies, such as sags
short-term, momentary undervoltage conditions of 15% or more and
lasting second or less. Sags as short
as 10 milliseconds can cause PCs to
malfunction. When longer-term undervoltage conditions lasting more
than a second -brownouts and
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This PolyPhaser AC Line Protector is representative of secondary suppression systems, wherein
lightning -based energy is diverted to an outside
ground before it enters a building. For best protection, you also should have additional inline,
point -of- service surge protectors installed near
sensitive equipment.
ty lines to your electrical panel.
Although lightning produces the
majority of power-line irregularities, it
isn't the only source of anomalies.
The AC power entering your home
or business is relatively "dirty" and it
gets worse when you consider
devices within the structure that
can further pollute power to sensitive equipment. In fact, each day,
hundreds of momentary (1/120 second or less) potentially destructive
high -voltage spikes occur in and
around your home's wiring.
The most serious spikes are
caused by external factors, such as
motors in nearby businesses, automobile accidents involving utility
poles, and lightning strikes -even
those occurring miles away. In many
areas, spikes are caused by the utility itself. Company switching of
loads, lines, and generators causes
serious problems.
Short -duration, lower- voltage
spikes ranging from 750 to 1000 volts
or more can appear on normally
tame residential lines. Within your
home, the main cause of spikes is
the cycling on and off of induction
devices, such as electrical motors.
Typical spike sources include heating systems, furnace blowers, air
conditioners, power tools, refrigerators, and other appliances; the
energizing or de- energizing of relays, solenoids, or transformers, etc.
In addition, electrical appliances
and electronic equipment (espe-
blackouts -are corrected, there is
often a surge following power
restoration. Those anomalies can
have precipitous effects, or they can
insidiously degrade insulation and
components in appliances and
equipment to the extent that they
eventually fail.
In addition, AC -line voltage varies
over the course of a day. Most of the
time, it's around 115 -125 volts, but
it's not unusual for it to drop to as
low as 105 volts or even lower during
periods of heavy demand and then
climb to 130 volts or so during off peak hours. Such variations can
cause less- than -optimum equipment performance, but that normally isn't serious, provided that the voltage doesn't "stray" outside a range
of, say, 110 to 130 volts.
You may want to keep a voltmeter near PCs and other sensitive
electronic gear online at all times,
calling in your utility company to
record the swings you find, especially if they're pronounced. Of course,
those procedures don't yield a positive indication of the more dangerous overvoltage transients we've
mentioned.
Basic Protection Strategies and
Concepts. A direct lightning hit can
be catastrophic, although of relatively low probability. Nothing can
save your equipment from becoming toast -after a direct hit, your
main concern is salvaging your
premises. A more realistic danger is
that a nearby strike may be transmitted through utility lines as a potentially damaging "power event."
Over the years, many protection
schemes have been devised to
prevent or at least lessen the effects
of voltage irregularities on sensitive
electronic equipment. One popular
and practical solution is to physically disconnect
electronic equipment
from power lines whenever a storm
is brewing. Such actions afford a
certain peace of mind. A variation
This PolyPhaser device is designed to protect
military and other high -end equipment. Designed
to provide both MOV- and high -current gas -tube
protection internally, the unit is intended to be
hardwired and soldered into place within the
electronic equipment or appliance it protects.
on that theme
is to disconnect sensitive electronic equipment when
it's not being used. It's also wise not
to operate sensitive electronic
equipment just prior to, during, or
after passage of a severe electrical
storm, since damaging transients
may well be present.
There's a question that arises as
to whether a home requires extensive protection. The answer to that
is one of "insurance:" Any lightning protection equipment merely constitutes a form of insurance policy
protecting equipment and facilities. Most people feel that the
replacement cost of their equipment is worth a one -time investment in protective devices. But
rather than proceed haphazardly
with protection, you might consider
a "layered" system to protect your
premises and the equipment therein. Any protection scheme should
include a good ground, plus a
combination of whole -house and
plug -in, point -of-use suppressors to
be effective.
A practical three-tiered approach
starts with a good, low- impedance
ground system for the premises,
and it continues with a high -quality
secondary surge arrester connected at the main AC panel. The final
stage might be comprised of a
series of high -quality, plug -in, transient-voltage surge suppressors
connected at the receptacles that
serve delicate equipment.
41
42
Tier I: A Low- Impedance Ground
System. There's an old radio axiom
that says, " When in doubt, ground it."
The most important factor in the
overall effectiveness of conventional
protection equipment and devices
is the integrity of the ground to
which they are connected. Since
you can't actually ground the "hot"
power conductors entering the
house from the electric utility corn pany's mains, the best that can be
done for voltage surges is to divert
them harmlessly to a ground system.
Not just any old ground affords
adequate protection. The amount
of voltage induced in the ground
system is inversely related to the
ground system effectiveness when
a lightning strike occurs. A good
ground should be of low impedance and develop only a very
small, harmless surge. High- impedance grounding systems develop
large voltage surges. Without a low impedance ground system, even
expensive protective devices may
not work properly.
Ground Rods-Ground rods are
the basis for residential grounding
systems. Ground rods should be
used, rather than rely on the rebar in
foundation footings as the only
ground path, especially since lightning can vaporize the moisture in
the concrete and crack it. The rods
themselves should be copper-clad
or galvanized steel, 8- to 10-feet
long with a minimum diameter of 5/8
inches. Normally, at least two ground
rods (preferably more) are driven
into moist soil to get the ground
resistance low (below about 25
ohms). Connections to the grounding rod should be tight, permanent,
and exhibit zero-resistance; a poor
connection can add significant
resistance.
While the resistance of copper
grounding wire is insignificant when
compared with the ground resistance, electrical codes usually
require a minimum of No. 6 copper
wire; heavier No. 4 wire is even
better.
Improving Conductivity -In order
to handle and safely disperse lightning currents, a low- impedance,
high -conductivity earth ground system is needed. There are several
ways in which to improve conductivity, including increasing the surface
The PolyPhaser Model !S -DPTL is an inline,
twisted-pair telephone line protector suitable for
business and industrial use. A sort of "whole
house and office" device for telephones, it's an
example of the series of sophisticated, high -end
products available to protect telephone trunks
from line anomalies.
area of the conductors to decrease
inductance. The most effective conductor you can use is copper strap,
preferably at least -V /2 -inch, 26gauge material. If the soil around
your property is dry and sandy, a
minimum of two ground rods
spaced at least 6 feet apart and
bonded together by heavy wire or
copper ground braid or strap is recommended for best protection.
As an alternative, several radials
at least 50 feet long with several 8ff. ground rods along the entire
length of each radial could be
used. In addition, soil conductivity
(water retention properties) can be
increased by "doping" the soil with
Epson or rock -salt compounds to
form a saline solution around the
grounding system.
1
Tier II: AC Secondary Surge
Arresters. Installing inline, point -ofuse, AC- transient -voltage suppressors near sensitive equipment offers
limited protection from overvoltage
conditions. Such devices-which
can handle surges of only 6000 volts
or so -clamp voltages to a level
that won't damage equipment.
While such products provide some
measure of protection for the
devices to which they are connected, they can't protect the complete electrical system or hardwired
appliances.
Adding to the problem, ordinary
circuit -breaker panels react much
too slowly to lightning- induced
surges to effectively protect household and office equipment and
appliances. For that, specially
designed secondary surge arresters, which typically can withstand
surges up to 20,000 volts, reacting
within a few nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or less are
offered by several manufacturers.
Longer response times of, say, 5
nanoseconds or more mean that
overvoltage conditions will be well
past the protective device and into
your equipment before It reacts. A
fast arrester also "buys" valuable
fractions of seconds to give circuit
breakers the extra time they need
to trip and save down -line equipment from damage.
For those reasons, even with a
good ground, you still need a secondary suppression system
secondary surge arrester. Installed at
the electrical panel, such a device
may "sacrifice itself" rather than
allow a surge pass. The device is a
passive unit without transistors, resistors, or capacitors, which can't withstand high voltages.
The trend is toward use of "whole house" secondary surge arresters
that can protect all of the secondary AC wiring, including hardwired appliances, from electrical
surges. Secondary surge arresters
divert excess energy to ground,
reducing voltage surges to a level
that can be absorbed by your electrical system and point-of -use surge
suppressors downstream from the
-a
service panel.
You can mount the device on
the circuit -breaker panel or install
it behind your electric meter. The
newest, least expensive, and arguably easiest-to- install whole-house
surge arresters are built into a standard double circuit breaker. To install
them, you mount them in your electric breaker panel like any other circuit breaker and attach a single
wire to ground.
Secondary Surge-Arrester Performance-What should you look for in
a "whole- house" protector? Secondary surge- arrester performance is
determined by two basic factors
-
clamping capability (which describes the level at which a unit
begins to suppress and dissipate
surges) and response time (how fast
it responds to the surge and begins
clamping it off). A good unit has a
response time of under 2 nanoseconds, clamping to within 20 percent
tial 120 /240 -volt lines, look for a unit
that has a low clamping voltage of
around 330 volts or less.
How Can You Check Out a New
Surge Suppressor?-Realistically,
you probably can't test the surge
suppressor. While you surely recognize the need for power-line surge
protection, it's not until you experience a serious surge that you may
discover your protection Is Inadequate. Things are changing, howev-
government, UL, and the
Canadian Standards Association
(CSA) all have upgraded their
power-line- surge-suppression specifications. The change was brought
about by the dismal safety and performance record of the then-available devices and government diser. The US
The Rabun Labs ILD is a protection system that automatically disconnects and grounds everything
plugged into it when equipment is turned off; when the equipment is turned back on, all connections
are restored. The simple "plug- and-play" unit, shown here, offers solid -state indicators, one -button
operation, a "goof-proof' auto- disconnect timer, and filtering for power -line noise.
of the rated current. Such units
should meet ANSI /IEEE C62.1 standards, which include withstanding
induced electrical-surge current of
at least 15,000 amperes.
Even whole -house protectors
can't save your property from a
direct hit, but they can do wonders
in fortifying your equipment and
appliances against lesser but,
nonetheless, damaging events. In
fact, some manufacturers are so
sure of their whole -house protectors and circuit breakers that they'll
replace any damaged electronic
appliances up to a specified dollar
amount.
Tier III: Point -of -Use AC Transient
Voltage Surge Suppressors. As
we've already pointed out, a secondary -surge arrester connected at
the main electrical panel can handle large current and voltage surges
that make it in from outside. However, those arresters don't filter out
the small externally and internally
generated surges and spikes that
may remain. For that task what's
needed is a series of inline, point-ofuse devices. Inline, point -of -use, ACtransient- voltage surge suppressors
offer protection from momentary,
but potentially destructive, overvoltages by clamping voltages to a
safe level. Some high -end and military equipment has built -in surge
suppressors.
Note: The term "surge arrester" is
offen misused to describe small
devices that plug into a single out-
let to protect one circuit. The proper term for such devices is "AC -transient- voltage surge suppressor,"
which works by absorbing the
surge (a shunt-type suppressor), by
blocking the surge (a series type
suppressor), or by a combination of
the two methods.
Transient -Voltage Surge- Suppressor Performance. When selecting a
suppressor, compare the devices'
performance specifications. The protection provided by such devices
varies widely among similar-looking
units. Transient -voltage surge suppressors should at least meet Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) Standard 1449, which is primarily a safety
specification. Be especially suspicious of "no- name" suppressors for
which no specifications are provided. (Incidentally, there's no such
thing as a "UL-approved" product. If
a product is "UL listed," it meets UL
safety requirements.)
What's a "Good" Unit?-The suppressor should be capable of withstanding a surge voltage of at least
6500 volts and preferably 10,000
volts or more. The best models block
(without burning out) surges of 200
satisfaction with their performance.
Telephone Line Protection. Theoretically, no damage to your telephone line- connected equipment
should occur If your telephone line
is properly installed and surge protected by the telephone company.
That's because most home telephone circuits are protected where
the line enters the home by a
device designed to short to ground
when line voltage exceeds a preset
level. But that voltage Is relatively
high, and the suppressor may not
react fast enough to be effective. It
also may be burned out.
The bottom line
is
that telephone
wiring entering the home can transmit dangerous transients to your
equipment. Microprocessors and
other solid -state devices are highly
susceptible to phone-line spikes that
are of insufficient magnitude to trigger the telephone company's line
protector, but are strong enough to
"zap" individual devices connected
to the line, even if they're AC -line
protected.
In addition, the telephone ground
may have deteriorated or be Ineffective at the outset -telephone
lines are offen poorly grounded, so it
joules within a few nanoseconds,
preferably well under 5 nanoseconds. (A joule is a unit of energy:
one joule for one second is equal to
one watt of power.) Another key
specification to look for is the unit's
may be prudent to upgrade the
telephone ground. One solution is to
run a short length of heavy -gauge,
grounding wire from the protector
box outside the house (where the
line enters) to your main ground-rod
clamping voltage; i.e., the voltage
at which the suppressor begins to
block the surge. For 3 -wire residen-
system.
Practical Telephone Line Protection -Most of us protect sensi-
43
Optional Remote Located
Control and Indicator
ners, VCRs, TV sets, amateur radio,
and CB equipment are even more
prone to electrical damage.
Further, the printed circuitry in PCs
is unable to withstand even moderate surges. Some PCs and other
electronic systems include an internal suppressor, such as a metal oxide varistor (MOV), but the protec-
Power Service
Line In
Panel- RCP
Electric Meter
Outdoor
Remote
Detector Unit
RDU
Model
1000
CENTRAL
CONTROL
UNIT
Existing
Electric Circuit Breaker
Box
Protected Circuits
Wiring
Compresor
Control
Telephone
Lines In
(6 max)
Low Voltage
Control
Wiring
Telephone
and - CCU
Model ACP-6
AC Power
Switching
and Control Unit
Cable TV
or
Satellite System
{
Air Conditioner
Compressor
Motor
Wiring Feeding Protected
120 VAC
Receptacles /Circuits
Coax Cable
Switching
unit
CSU
Telephone /Modem
Line
Switching Unit
TSU
Telephone
Line In
TV, Stereo, Video/Satellite
Microwave,
Home Theater Equipment
Refrigerator
Freezer
Home Office Equipment
Personal Computer
Swimming Pool, Spa
Pump Motors
Well/Sump Pump
Irrigation System
Fig. I. For larger premises, Rabun Labs offers the Whole House and Office Equipment Protection
System, a system block diagram of which is shown here. The system consists of the Model 1000 Central
Control Unit, the Model ACP -6 AC Power Switching and Control Unit, and other accessories. These
devices interface with all household and office equipment to provide the protection each requires.
tive equipment (such as PCs) from
power line surges, but you should
seriously consider applying similar
44
protection to telephone lines to
protect modems, electronic telephones, fax machines, and other
devices. Plug -in, telephone -line
surge suppressors can reduce or
eliminate that source of damage.
Inexpensive commercial protectors
are available from most computer,
electronics, and office-supply houses and distributors. Also, many AC
transient -voltage, surge-suppressor
power strips offer telephone protection as an added feature.
Besides protecting each telephone with a surge suppressor, a
plug -in protector should be connected at the telephone receptacle closest to where the telephone
line enters the house, regardless of
whether a telephone is connected
to that receptacle. In addition, for
that depend on a great
deal of telephone -line connected
gear, it may be prudent to install
some sort of "whole- house" telephone protector. For those with
modest needs, "the belt and suspenders approach"-disconnect ing modems and other delicate
solid -state devices from the telephone line during dangerous weather conditions -may suffice.
Comprehensive Protection Strategies -While buildings usually survive nearby lightning strikes, the
electronic equipment and appliances within are less forgiving, since
they tend to be low- power, low -voltage devices. The circuitry in such
device is highly sensitive to voltage
surges -today, even relatively lowtech devices like furnaces and
clothes dryers may be microprocessor controlled. Sophisticated devices
businesses
such as shortwave receivers, scan-
tion offered is limited.
Line Conditioners and UPS/SPS
Protectors-If you can't afford to
have power interrupted, even for a
short duration, it may be wise to
install an Uninterruptible Power
Supply (UPS)
device commonly
used to protect critical computer
systems from momentary outages.
The UPS provides continuous, conditioned, and regulated power to the
connected loads regardless of the
input power supplied. The device
maintains power continuity in the
event of brownouts, sags, power
surges, short-term total power outages, and the like.
Don't confuse the UPS with the
Standby Power System (SPS), which
does nothing most of the time: They
simply furnish backup power from
an engine, or a DC /AC converter
operating from battery power, to
handle sustained, total -power outages (blackouts). To add to the confusion, the term line conditioner is frequently used to describe any device
that filters or regulates the UPS; an
UPS that includes some degree of
line conditioning may be called a
line -interactive UPS. Some include
-a
EMI /RFI noise filtering, as well.
Both the UPS and the SPS are
designed to be connected between the PC or other equipment
and the AC outlet. Current from the
outlet keeps a battery charged.
Should power fail momentarily, the
UPS /SPS takes charge, generating
what appears to the PC like normal
AC power. UPS and SPS generally are
dismissed as unnecessary by most
people, especially for home use, until
the day when important, difficult- or
impossible -to- replace data is lost.
Research shows that more than
90 percent of power outages last
less than two seconds, while over 98
percent last less than a minute.
Although many lower- priced UPSs
can only keep the computer up
and running for a few minutes, it is
enough in most cases.
away. When storm activity reaches
a level likely to cause equipment
damage, the system protects equipment by selectively and automatically disconnecting sensitive equipment's AC power, coaxial cable,
and telephone lines.
The package consists of the
Model 1000 Central Control Unit,
Model ACP -6 AC Power Switching
and Control Unit, and several other
accessories (see Fig.1). It interfaces
with all household or office equipment, and provides the protection
each unit requires. The system automatically restores power and other
connections after the storm has
moved away or the lightning has
subsided. The unit can handle a
variety of circuits, including wells,
irrigation systems, air conditioners,
freezers, and swimming pool and
spa pumps, in addition to more
common home and office electrical circuits.
Rabun Labs also offers the Whole House and Office Equipment Protection System
sophisticated
package, consisting primarily of the Model 1000 Central Control Unit (shown) and the Model ACP 6 AC Power Switching and Control Unit-which reacts to equipment damage by detecting lightning
when it is a safe distance away.
Fully Automatic Equipment Protection -It's often said that, during
a storm, the only safe conductor is
a grounded conductor. That means
that AC power, telephone, antenna, control, and other cables are
best disconnected and grounded
whenever a storm develops. That
can be done manually or automatically via comprehensive detection /protection devices.
In what may be the ultimate in
equipment safeguarding, Rabun
Labs offers home and office "intelligent" protection devices, which
provide automatic solutions to the
equipment protection dilemma that
go beyond those offered by conventional protectors. With ordinary
protectors, your equipment remains
connected to the power source,
coax, or telephone wiring even
when turned off or not in use.
For use in the typical home or
hamshack, Rabun Labs offers the
popularly -priced ($99) Intelligent
Line Disconnect (ILD). The LD automatic protection system disconnects the connected devices, as if
someone physically pulled their AC
plugs and /or disconnected coaxial
cables and telephone lines from the
electronic equipment when it was
not in use and turned off. Not only
does the device disconnect equipment from external wiring, it also
"bundles" device /Os, connecting
them together and to a common
ground. When the equipment is
turned back on, all connections are
automatically restored.
For larger home /office environments, Rabun Labs offers the Whole
House and Office Equipment Protection System. At a price of $3800,
the system continually monitors the
atmosphere and detects lightning
when electrical storms are miles
I
Controlling the Strike's Energy. If
there's a secret to protecting antennas, towers, transmission lines, and
the radio hamshack, It lies in taking
control of lightning energy. Lightning
behaves like other natural elements
in that it seeks the path of least resistance-be that path through a
structure on your property, your
equipment, your body, or any other
conductive medium -to ground.
Thus, it's important to quickly divert
as much of the strike energy as possible by providing a direct path to
ground.
Antenna Vulnerability -By the
very nature of their construction,
all -metal beam antennas are generally self -protecting: i.e., they're
usually set at ground potential
through the mast and tower that
support them. Balanced dipoles, on
the other hand, are vulnerable;
therefore, placing a balun at the
antenna to allow coaxial feedline
to be used should be considered.
Most baluns put the antenna at DC
ground potential, offering at least a
limited degree of static buildup
and lightning protection.
Ground -mounted vertical antennas behave much like ground mounted towers, both having a low impedance connection to ground.
But when ground -plane vertical
antennas are elevated above the
45
ground, it is necessary to run a direct
ground wire to its radial system. Don't
rely on the coax shield to provide
grounding and lightning protection.
Transmission Line Protection
Although the antenna proper may
be well grounded, the transmission
line -even coax -can cause damage to your home or radio equipment, if left unprotected, by acting
as a conduit for static discharges. A
good place to protect the coax is
where it enters the building. For
receiving equipment, ladder -line or
twin -lead fed wire antennas can be
protected with a TV-type lightning
-
arrester; just remember not to transmit into the device. Transmitting type balanced -line suppressors also
are available. For example, The
Wireman, Inc. offers an inexpensive
air-gap lightning arrester for ladder
line, plus a heavy -duty Double-Pole
Double -Throw (DPDT) knife switch to
shunt parallel lines to ground when
you're not using them.
Coax Surge Protectors-Alpha
Delta Communications offers several protectors for amateurs and
SWLs, Including its Transi -Trap line of
surge protectors (which uses gas tube Arc -Plug cartridges to protect
equipment from transients). At least
one firm -Design Electronics Ohio
(DEO)-offers units for receiver pro-
tection, which are available from
Universal Radio, Inc. Comparable
transmitting units are offered by
Lynics and others.
Antenna- Selector Switches -It's
good practice to use an antenna selector switch that automatically
grounds all antennas except the
one operating and that can turned
to a free position when you're not
using your equipment. Alpha Delta
offers several gas -tube surge -protected two- and four-position RF
coax switches rated at 1500 watts.
Protecting Other Cables -Protectors should not only be installed
on transmission lines, but on all
cables entering the premises,
including rotor and other control
lines. If they're not protected, surges
can enter the structure and damage equipment. For maximum safety, guard rotor-control cables using
protectors at the top of the tower
at the point where the lines enter
the control motor housing, at the
46 main station grounding panel
Lynics International offers "Super- Grade"
Lightning Surge Protectors, which feature easily
replaceable, tube -type elements that help protect
equipment from voltage surges up to 2500 volts.
where the cable enters the house,
and inside the hamshack.
For that purpose, PolyPhaser
Corporation offers the Model IS -RCT
serles rotor control protector, which
is designed to safeguard eight -line
rotor controllers. The Model IS -RCT
helps keep motors, the control box,
and other nearby equipment safe
from damage and prevents strike
energy from entering the premises.
It's suitable for mounting on ground
rods and tower legs.
Tower Protection and External
Grounding -There are many types
of supports that can used for wire
antennas: trees, poles, masts, towers, buildings, roofs, chimneys, and
the like. Short masts on roofs and
chimneys are convenient and inexpensive, but they bring the antenna close to the house and possibly
increase strike -damage risk. Antennas and towers should be kept
as far away from buildings as possible; avoid using buildings to support both ends of wire antennas;
and consider using buried feedlines
so as little energy as possible enters
the premises. Preferably, use only
conductive structures as antenna
supports.
Grounding Towers and Masts-All
towers and masts should be grounded, including those mounted on
roofs. Metal towers usually are well
grounded, and normally don't require that ground wires be run up
through the tower. With wooden
towers or trees (not recommended
from a protection standpoint), a
heavy ground wire or strap should
be run all the way up to the antennas or hardware at the top.
Towers must be grounded at the
base; that's best done by attaching
several grounding rods to the legs. If
that's not done, the voltages on the
tower can arc over to the cables
and travel into the premises. Several
eight -foot ground rods connected
together with heavy wire, braid, or
strap usually forms a good tower
ground-the more rods the better.
Ensure Good External Grounding-Again, the primary rule for surviving a lightning strike requires that
all equipment -including antennas, the support structures, and all
I/O protectors for antenna, power,
telephone, rotors, etc. -be connected to a single, low- impedance
ground system.
A single grounding rod should be
used for utility grounding. The utility
ground should also be connected
to the telephone cable "entrance"
ground, CAN ground, and the
grounding cable(s) coming from
the tower(s). That ground should also
be connected to the internal station
ground bus.
Grounding Hardware Considerations -Don't skimp: The main
ground conductor should be no
smaller than #8 or #10 wire. The
heavy #8 or #10 aluminum wire sold
for grounding TV antennas is adequate, as are TV-type ground
clamps. While the ground lead can
be solid insulated or bare wire or
heavy copper braid, it should be
sheltered from damage by mowing,
digging, and gardening. It should be
connected to the ground rod
through the shortest possible path.
Be leery of standard TV ground rods,
as they usually are shorter than they
should be (8 to 10 ft.).
Protection and Grounding Inside
the Radio Hamshack. Surges can
enter the hamshack through two
avenues -either as a result of a
strike on power or telephone lines or
due to a strike to the tower or antenna system. Once again, the most
important rule for protecting radio
gear is connecting all elements of
the system -including antenna supports and towers, the antennas
themselves; and transmission lines;
plus elements of the station's
Input/Output (I /O), such as AC
power, telephone, and rotor and
(Continued on page 51)
UI1D A
(ORDL
The idea of a
"cordless volt-
age probe"
is
certainly not new. Cordless probes, as well as
other "touch- sensitive"
gizmos, have been
VOLTIII«
PION
"pirates" operating power from the circuit-undertest, while a continuity
tester injects a voltage
into the circuit- undertest in order to determine the location of an
open circuit.)
around for quite some
time. The idea behind
such probes is that the
Circuit Operation. A
ground wire with clip
schematic diagram of
that's normally used to
the Cordless Voltage complete an electrical
Probe is shown in Fig. 1.
circuit path can be reThe circuit is comprised
placed by the user's
of little more than a 4093
body. That is accomquad NAND SÇhmitt .trigplished by the user holdger, a buzzer, and a few
ing the tester in one hand
resistors and capacitòrs,
(which is also in contact
In order to understand
with a ground strip or
how the probe works,
some other conductive
recall that all inputs to
Add this hassle -free cordless tester to your
terminal on the test instruany NAND gate must be
ment), while using the
high to produce a low
troubleshooting arsenal and make your
other hand to touch a
output. If one or more
voltage and continuity tests a bit easier
ground return line on the
inputs go low, the output
circuit -under-test. Then
is forced high. Note that
when the probe tip contacts a point
JOHN F. MASTROMORO
in Fig. 1, the probe tip is tied directly
in the circuit where there is a positive
to one end of R3, while the other end
voltage, the circuit path is complet- alarm when it senses such a volt- of R3 is tied to one input of IC -b at
ed, causing the test instrument to age. In addition to its DC voltage pin 6. Resistor R4 is also tied to pin 6
indicate that voltage is present in the applications, the Cordless Voltage from ground to act as a pull-down
circuit just as if a ground -wire with Probe can also be used to check resistor. With no voltage detected at
clip had been used.
for the presence of AC voltage.
the probe tip, pin 6 is pulled to
Most voltage probes, cordless or When checking for AC voltage, the ground through R4. Note that R4 and
otherwise, visually (using a lamp or probe should be held in one hand,
R3 form a voltage divider network
an LED) indicate a voltage pres- with part of your hand touching the (with a 10:1 resistance ratio). If a posence, but the Cordless Voltage grounding ( "finger ") strip on the itive voltage is applied to the probe
Probe described in this article uses probe body, and the probe tip tip, almost all of it appears across
a piezoelectric buzzer as an annun- should be inserted into an AC sock- resistor R4, causing the voltage at pin
ciator. That eliminates the need to et slot. The "hot" side of the socket 6 of IC1 -b to rise to the level applied
look away from the circuit- under- (ungrounded slot) should cause the to the probe tip.
test, reducing the possibility that the probe to produce a chirping sound.
Note that IC1 -a is configured as
user might accidentally short com- You needn't touch a grounded an inverter, with R2 (a 10- megohm
ponent terminals or circuit traces. area when checking for AC as is unit) serving as a pull -up resistor
And that almost eliminates the required when checking for the (essentially the direct opposite of
chance that the circuit -under-test presence of DC.
R4 at pin 6 of IC1 -b). Resistors R2
will be further damaged or comWith the addition of a 9 -volt bat- and Rl form another voltage pletely destroyed.
tery, the Cordless Voltage Probe divider network (this one with more
The Cordless Voltage Probe can
becomes a continuity tester. (The than a 5500:1 resistance ratio). That
detect the presence of a DC only real difference between a volt- pretty much guarantees that the
potential ranging between 4.5 and age probe and a continuity tester is output of IC1 -a at pin 3 remains in
80 volts and sound a steady tone
that the voltage probe normally the low state, so long as the finger
1
47
R2
BZ1
10 MEG
14
1
3
á
11
5
o
13
2
Ef
FINGER
STRIP
ICI -a
1/4 4093
SM.
ICI -b
1/4 4093
ICI -d
1/4 4093
ICI -c
1;4 4093
WS,
191
1.8K
PROBE TIP
R3
220K
+I N
R4
2.2 MEG
R5
Cl
51K
.01
Fig. 1. The Cordless Voltage Probe is comprised of little more than a 4093 quad
ger, a buzzer, and a few resistors and capacitors.
kciteir
u
N
1
-1116 INCHES
Fig. 2. The Cordless Voltage Probe is simple
enough that it could be assembled using the
construction method of choice; however, it is
highly recommend that the circuit be assembled
on a printed- circuit board like this one, which
measures 1 /3116 by 15116 inches.
strip is not touched. Should the
inputs of ICI -a at pins and 2 go
1
output of the NAND gate at
goes high. That high is applied
to the pin -5 input of Cl -b. The trick
now is to get pins 5 and 6 of ICl -b
to both go high at the same time.
When that happens, the output of
ICI -b at pin 4 goes low. That low is
applied to the inputs of ICI -dwhich, like ICI -a, is wired as an
inverter -at pins 12 and 13.
With a low applied to pins 12 and
13 of IC -d, its output at pin 11 goes
high. That high is applied to one
input (pin 9) of IC -c, which is configured as an oscillator. The output
of ICI -c at pin 10 is fed back to IC1c's input at pin 8 through R5 (a 51k
resistor); the pin 8 input to ICI -c is
also connected to one side of Cl, a
0.01 -µF capacitor. As long as pin 9
of ICI -c is high, the circuit oscillates,
producing a signal that is applied
to a piezoelectric buzzer (BZ1),
causing it to sound at a frequency
determined by the RC time constant of R5 and Cl. The values specified for R5 and Cl can be altered
to suit the user's taste.
low, the
pin
3
I
1
1
48
NAND
Schmitt trig-
Because IC manufacturer's specifications vary somewhat, it may be
necessary to vary the value of R5
(plus or minus) from 51 k. The 0.01 -µF
value specified for Cl should be
adequate regardless of the value
selected for R5.
There is no shut -off switch to contend with because of the extremely
low battery drain when the probe is
not actually in use. (The probe that
the author built several years ago
still has the same battery in it and
continues to work perfectly!)
Circuit Construction. The Cordless
Voltage Probe is simple enough
that it could be assembled using
the construction method of choice;
however, it is highly recommend
that the circuit be assembled on a
printed- circuit board. A template of
the author's printed-circuit layout,
which measures 13/16 by 15/16 inches, is shown in Fig. 2. That pattern
can be lifted from the page and
used to etch your own printed -circuit board.
Once you've etched your circuit
board and obtained all of the components listed in the Parts List,
assemble the circuit guided by the
parts -placement diagram shown in
Fig. 3. The printed- circuit board was
housed in a plastic enclosure salvaged from an old Dennison Dry Eraser Marker (Item #24 -416), which
is readily available from most office1
supply stores.
Other than needing a little creativity on securing the probe tip
through the front opening of the
enclosure, the circuit board is easy
to assemble; all of its components,
the 9 -volt battery and battery connector, and the finger strip, all fit
absolutely perfectly! Even the rear
plastic plug went back on with a
perfect fit after all parts were secured inside the tube. The enclosure is also a good handling size.
Prepare the enclosure by removing the ink filler and felt tip from the
Dennison marker; take care when
removing the end plug. Use a flathead screwdriver to evenly pry the
end plug out and place it to the
side for replacement later. For the
finger strip, the author used a 23/4 inch metal paper-fastener, with the
tab areas at each end clipped to
about 1/2 -inch (see Fig. 4). Lay the
fastener flat on the outside edge of
the tube so that one tab can be
folded down, under, and inside the
open end at the back of the tube.
Mark the tube where the tab on
the other end of the fastener folds
down. Cut the appropriate size slit
in the tube so that the tab, when
bent down, can be inserted and
bent up from inside the tube using
a pencil, but don't attach the strip
just yet.
Solder all components to the circuit board with care. The finger-strip
wire should be about 5 inches long
from the circuit board end and the
PARTS LIST FOR THE
CORDLESS VOLTAGE PROBE
RESISTORS
R1- 1800 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R2- 10- megohm, -watt, 5% resistor
R3- 220,000 -ohm, -watt, 5% resistor
R4- 2.2- megohm, -watt, 5% resistor
R5- 51,000 -ohm, -watt, 5% resistor
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
ADDITIONAL PARTS
AND MATERIALS
B1
-volt battery (Duracell or similar
-9
long -life unit)
BZ1- Piezoelectric
buzzer ( #MS -3 or
equivalent: Floyd Bell, Inc., Columbus,
OH: Tel. 614 -294 -4000)
C1- 0.01 -p.F, ceramic -disc capacitor
IC1 -4093B quad 2 -input NANO Schmitt
trigger, integrated circuit
Printed-circuit materials, 9 -volt battery
connector (RS #270 -324), metal strip
(paper fastener), plastic enclosure
(Dennison Dry- Eraser Marker, Item
#24 -416 suggested), probe tip rod
material, wire, solder. hardware, etc.
Note: A pre -drilled circuit board can be
purchased for $6. which includes S &H.
Send check or money order to: JFM
Compositions, 9 Mechanic St., St.
Johnsville, NY 13452. Please allow 4 to 6
weeks for delivery.
TRIM
PROBE
TIP
C1
R2
BZ1
R3
R1
ICI
R5
R4
TRIM
I
IF+
FINGER STRIP
Fig. 3. Assemble the printed -circuit board guided by this parts -placement diagram.
insulation should be stripped 1/4inch from the free wire end so that it
can be soldered to the top side of
the finger-strip prong tab. The metal
strip will then be placed on the outside of the tube with the tab folded
down, and up again, inside the rear
end of the tube. Place and fold the
other tab down inside the slit made
for it. With a pencil, from the front
opening of the tube, push the tab
inside the tube and up to secure it.
Do not insert the circuit board or the
battery into the enclosure (tube)
yet. The probe tip has to be pre-
pared and mounted.
The probe tip can be any sturdy
small metal rod. The author cut a
section from a jumbo paperclip
(about 13/4 -inch) and soldered it to
the probe -tip pad on the circuit
board. A wire can also be soldered
to an off-board probe tip if you like.
It's OK to be inventive with what
you have on hand. A 3/4 -inch diameter metal washer with a 5/16 -inch
center hole was used to encase
the probe tip, which was made
from a banana -jack tip with a plastic housing.
The author pierced a hole in the
center of the marker cap and
pushed the banana -jack tip up to
the plastic housing, through it. With
the washer placed around the
plastic housing, inside of the cap,
it's quite secure. Now the probe tip,
made from the paper clip and
attached to the circuit board, is
cut to fit and slide into the opening
of the banana -jack tip when the
cap is placed on the marker case.
Putting an appropriate -sized dab
of solder on the tip of the paper
clip helps ensure good contact
inside the test-lead tip. That
method works quite well and
allows the style of the probe tip to
be changed at any time without
removing the circuit board.
The piezoelectric buzzer used in
the circuit (Part #MS-3) is manufactured by Floyd Bell, Inc., Columbus,
OH; but, if you use a different unit,
you may have to change the values
of R5 and Cl for optimum sound
level.
Testing the Circuit. Before encasing the components, you will want
to test the circuit. Connect a 9 -volt
battery to the battery clip and then
attach the probe tip to the positive
terminal of another 9 -volt battery
while touching the finger strip with
the fingers of one hand. With your
other hand, touch the negative terminal of the battery. You should get
a clear loud tone. If you do have a
problem, it could only be a bad solder connection.
If you used a piezoelectric element other than the one specified, it
may just be that the R5 and C values need to be changed in order to
accommodate the circuit modification. If all is well, you're ready to
shove all the components into the
1
enclosure.
While being careful of the wire
attached to the finger strip, arrange
the leads of the battery clip so that
they are pulled back towards the
end of the circuit board with the
piezoelectric element connected.
With a good pair of cutters, carefully cut the circuit board into a `V"
shape, as indicated in the Fig. 3
board layout. Now gently push the
circuit board and battery (end to
end) into the tube. Make sure that
the probe tip goes through the front
opening of the tube without getting
hung up on the tabs of the metal
finger strip.
You can now drill a small (3/16 inch) hole into the enclosure approximately 3 1/8 inches from the rear of
the enclosure and in line with the finger strip. Where you cut the circuit
board will determine the exact position in where the hole should be cut
to allow a louder sound output.
Now, if everything is satisfactory,
replace the plastic plug on the rear
end of the tube to lock everything in
position. Place some foam insulation
around the probe tip coming
through the front-enclosure opening
to secure it. Insert the banana jack
tip over the probe tip and push the
cap into place. With a very fine
piece of sand paper or emery cloth,
lightly rub over the surface of the
enclosure body to roughen it to provide a better grip when handling
the tester.
Use. Using a 9 -volt battery, solder a
long probe (paperclip) to the unit's
positive ( +) terminal as shown in Fig.
5. For a finger strip, use the prong
part of a 23/4-inch metal paper-fastener. Just snip off one end of the
prong to about 7/16 inch. Clean
and solder it to the negative ( -) terminal of the battery and bend the
remainder of the prong lengthwise
around the battery. Cut the prong
where it meets the end of the battery (near the + terminal) but does
not extend over it. Tape it securely in
place at that point only.
To test for continuity in a line, hold
the battery in one hand in such a
position that you touch the battery
probe tip to a point in the line, at the
same time pressing on the metal
strip with your finger. Now, holding
the cordless voltage probe tip in the
other hand (in the same manner as
the battery probe), place it on
49
another point in the line. If the line is
continuous, you should hear the
probe sound off.
The continuity tester works by
simply injecting a voltage into the
line, using the line itself as half of the
voltage path from the positive battery source to the probe tip. Your
body completes the other half of
the circuit path, through your fingers, while pressing the metal strips
on both the battery and the voltage probe itself.
You can also attach (via tape or
wire clip) the battery probe tip to a
line, while using a jumper wire to clip
the metal fastener to a common
ground (such as a water pipe). Then
using the voltage probe (as described) with one hand, while pressing a finger on your other hand to
the closest common ground, should
generate a continuous alert. That
method is great when working
alone and checking out non -powered electrical lines throughout the
house.
Another adaptation of the
above, although not cordless, is in
checking various line continuities
with a helper over a long distance
area. Simply run one long single
piece of wire between you and
your helper if no common ground
is available as mentioned above.
While using the battery probe
and voltage probe (as indicated
above), each of you then holds
on to your end of the single wire
(or common ground point) to
complete the circuit path. That
scheme is very handy when test-
FASTENER
SLOT
OUTER PROBE
TIP
ing continuity over long cable
lines made up of numerous wire
pairs. You can also go over a very
long distance using this method.
The voltage probe proved itself
extremely useful when checking for
good grounds around the house.
Testing AC outlets with it was so easy,
tested every AC outlet throughout
the entire house and basement in
about as much time as it took me to
get to them. All that was necessary
was to insert the voltage probe tip
into each AC outlet opening and listen for a "chirping" tone. did find
one bad connection in a basement
outlet when both sides of a ceiling
outlet "chirped," indicating that
corrected the
had no ground.
problem later.
In addition to all of the above, it is
I
I
I
I
PAPER
FASTENER
(FINGER STRIP)
BANANA -JACK
TIP
3/4 -INCH
FLAT METAL
WASHER
INNER
PROBE
TIP
(PAPERCLIP)
MARKER
TUBE
MARKER
CAP
CIRCUIT
BOARD
END
PLUG
Fig. 4. The printed- circuit board along with its 9 -volt battery power source was housed in a plastic
enclosure salvaged from an old wide -diameter marker. Prepare the enclosure guided by this dia50 gram and the instructions given in text.
PAPER
FASTENER
path to ground by whatever means
available.
i
CUT
CUT
PAPER FASTENER WRAPPED AROUND
PAPERCLIP
9-VOLT
BATTERY
TAPE
Fig. 5. Solder a long probe (paperclip) to the positive ( +) terminal a of a 9 -volt battery. Attach a
21/4 -inch metal paper fastener) to the negative ( -) terminal of the battery and bend
the remainder of the prong lengthwise around the battery as shown here.
finger strip (a
also very handy when checking
automobile electrical systems. As an
example, when checking for voltages inside the automobile, use the
key -slot frame for a good finger
ground. Any metal part can be used
for a ground outside the auto. Those
auto fuses, with their elements partially exposed on top, can also be
checked while they are in the fuse
panel by touching the probe tip to
both exposed sides of the element.
If the fuse is good, you'll get sound
on both exposed sides of the fuse
element.
did experiment with other uses
for the probe such as testing telephone lines and low-voltage power
supplies and batteries. If you "drag"
the probe tip across the face of a
computer monitor or television set,
you'll get a buzzing sound, according to the high -voltage present. I'm
sure there are other uses that I've not
thought of, but maybe you'll come
up with a few as you get to use it.
Caution: The values on the probe
I
given are well within its safety limits
for voltages from 4.5 to 80 volts DC.
DO NOT exceed those values. AC
voltages from 20 to 220 volts were
safely tested, but caution should
always be used when testing for
any voltages. Never test for continuity on any line until you make
absolutely sure there is no power
applied to
111
A Parting Thought. That's about it.
I'm sure you will find this probe a
pretty handy gadget to have
around, especially if you work
around automobiles. Remember,
the probe is also "polarity" sensitive,
acting like a diode. It will only sound
off when the probe is on a "positive" voltage source and your body
is touching a "ground."
ZAP, CRACKLE, POP!
(continued from page 46)
control cables -to a single, low impedance ground system.
All Routes Lead Home -All radio
antenna and tower grounds should
be tied back to the grounding
points of the coax cable leading to
the hamshack and the house's utility entrance. Connections should be
made with a bare, low- inductance
conductor. If a low- impedance
ground is provided, most of the strike
energy will be harmlessly dispersed,
with little or no energy entering the
premises.
Never use coax cable shield as
the only interconnection between
ground systems. If you do, the current
that would have traveled along the
lower- impedance tie -back ground
cable will instead flow through the
coax, rotator control lines, etc. Once
reaching the house, the energy is
likely to find a direct but undesirable
Ensure Good Internal Grounding -The radiated fields from nearby strikes don't stop at the house
walls. Indoor cables, including AC
wiring, coax, rotor control cables,
and equipment pick up induced
as well as conducted energy from
the strike. To minimize risk, a single point ground reference should be
created within the hamshack. If
that is not created, differential voltages can be induced in equipment and flow through cables in
the hamshack.
The single -point reference should
be used to provide a common
ground for all equipment, cables,
and protectors. Within the hamshack, connect all metal equipment cabinets (radios, coax switches, control boxes, amplifiers, PCs,
etc.), rotor cable protectors, and
shielded cables to a common
ground bus. Doing so maintains all
chassis at the same potential during
nearby strikes and minimizes chassis-to- chassis current flow.
At least one firm offers an inexpensive means of effecting common -point grounding of all radio
equipment. J. Martin Systems offers
the "Ground It" bus to help protect
equipment and make chassis ground connections short, while
providing all the benefits that good
grounding brings. The system is a
/gby '/2 -inch solid- copper bus
that has an equipment -grounding
stud every six inches. Three bus
lengths are offered, from two to four
feet, ranging in price from $21.95 to
$32.95, respectively. Also offered
are heavy, solid- copper, flexible rope wire straps with terminal ends
at $2.50 per foot.
'
Summary. In this article, we've covered protecting home, office, communications, and other equipment
from electrical surges and spikes,as
well as the nature and dangerous
character of lightning.
We can sum up lightning and
surge /spike protection simply: you
must do all in your power to arrest
control of lightning energy from
Mother Nature. While there is little
that can be done to protect against
a direct hit, much can be done to
reduce the effects of a near miss. in
51
7figaRgll6
/Fk R9I/6
From Vacuum Tubes to Laser Diodes!
Lasers are in widespread use
today. They are used in a great
number of products, including copying
machines, printers, and CD drives, as
well as more specialized applications
such as optical -fiber communications,
medical surgery, some areas of IC
manufacture, and a host of others. The
reason for the mushrooming use of
lasers is their high directionality. In
addition, they're monochromatic, offer
a coherent light source, and have a
very high -power density. Laser diodes
also possess a high switching speed,
making them suitable for use in optical
communications, where a wide bandwidth is a necessity in order to achieve
the required data rates.
ALEX BIE
ROUGHENED
SURFACES
-
ACTIVE
REGION
OPTICALLY SMOOTH
PARALLEL
SURFACES
LIGHT
OUTPUT
Background
The name laser comes from the
words light amplification by stimulated
emission of radiation. it is essentially
the same as a maser (microwave
amplification by stimulated emission of
radiation), the basic difference being in
the frequency range of the two devices.
Lasers operate at light frequencies,
and as the name implies, masers are
for microwave radio frequencies.
Both masers and lasers operate
based on a phenomenon known as
"stimulated emission," which was first
postulated by Albert Einstein before
1920. Although a number of mediums,
including gas, liquids, and amorphous
solids, can be used for lasers, the first
devices using rubies were developed in
the 1960s. A helium -neon gas laser followed in 1961, but it was not until 1970
that semiconductor lasers were made to
run at room temperature. That represented the final step in research that
o had been undertaken by a number of
z individuals and organizations over the
vi years. It required an in -depth study of
the properties of Gallium Arsenide
r, (GaAs), the material that is used as the
LT,
basis for many laser diodes, and much
of the work on the properties of the
á
diode structures.
o
o-
("Laser Diode" introduction printed by permission from Ian Poole, 5 Meadway,
52 Staines, TW18 2PW, England.)
Fig.
1.
Basic structure of a laser diode.
Construction
Although there may appear to be
many similarities between a light -emitting diode and a laser diode, the two
are fundamentally different from an
operational point of view. The basic
structure of a laser diode, which is
comprised of heavily doped N+ and
P+ regions, is illustrated in Fig. 1. For
manufacturing, it is normal to start with
an N+ -type substrate, on which the top
layer can be grown. This doping
process can be accomplished in a variety of ways, either by diffusion, ion
implantation, or even by being deposited during the epitaxy process (the
growth on a crystal substrate of a crystal layer that duplicates the substrate's
crystallographic structure).
A variety of materials can be used
for the manufacture of laser diodes,
although the most common starting
substrates are GaAs and Indium
Phosphate (InP), which are known as
type III -V compounds because of their
places in the chemical Periodic Table of
Elements. Whatever material is used, it
must be possible to heavily dope it as
either a P -type or N -type semiconductor, thereby ruling out most of the type
-VI materials and leaving group III -V
materials as the ideal option.
Apart from the basic semiconductor
requirements, there are a number of
optical criteria that must be met in order
for a laser diode to operate. Chief
among them is an optical resonator,
which must occur in the plane of the
required light output. To achieve that,
the two walls of the diode that form the
resonator must be almost perfectly
smooth, forming a mirror-like surface
from which the light can be internally
reflected. One of the walls is made
slightly less reflective to enable light to
exit the diode. Another requirement is
that the two mirror-like surfaces be perfectly perpendicular to the junction; otherwise, the lasing action does not occur
satisfactorily. The two other surfaces,
which are perpendicular to the one at
the required light output, are roughened
slightly to ensure that lasing does not
occur in that plane as well. In that way,
a resonant optical cavity is created.
Although it is many wavelengths long, it
still acts as a resonant cavity.
A variety of structures are used, but
two types that are widely manufactured are shown in Fig. 2.
Il
Operation
There are three main processes in
semiconductors that are associated
with light- absorption, spontaneous
emission, and stimulated emission.
Absorption occurs when light enters a
semiconductor and its energy is transferred to the semiconductor to generate
additional free electrons and holes.
That widely used effect enables devices
like photo- detectors and solar cells to
operate.
The second effect, spontaneous
emission, occurs in LEDs. The light
produced as a result of spontaneous
emission is termed incoherent; i.e., the
frequency and phase are random,
although the light is situated in a given
part of the spectrum.
Stimulated emission is different. A
light photon entering the semiconductor
lattice strikes an electron and releases
energy in the form of another light photon that is of identical wavelength and
phase. In that way, the light that is generated is said to be coherent.
The key to the process lies in the
junction formed by the highly doped Pand N -type regions. In a normal PN junction, current flows across the junction.
That action is possible because the
holes from the P -type region and the
electrons from the N -type region cornbine. With an electromagnetic wave (in
this instance, light) passing through the
laser-diode junction, the photoemission
process occurs. The photons release
additional photons of light when they
strike electrons during the recombination
of holes and electrons. Naturally, there is
some light absorption-resulting in the
generation of holes and electrons -but
there is an overall gain in level.
The structure of the laser diode creates an optical cavity in which the light
photons experience multiple reflections.
When the photons are generated, only
a small number are able to leave the
cavity. Therefore, when one photon
strikes an electron causing another
photon to be generated, the process
repeats itself; and the photon density
(light level) starts building up. It is in the
design of better optical cavities that
much of the current work on lasers is
being undertaken. Ensuring the light is
properly reflected is the key to the operation of the device.
Summary
Laser diodes are now well established and used in a wide variety of
nications systems have been introduced
with data rates in excess of 20 GBps
(20,000 MBps). With performance levels in that region, they're becoming
increasingly popular for many communications applications.
The definitions of many semiconductor terms can be found in Ian
Poole's Radio and Electronics Web
site: website.lineone.net!- ian_Doole.
Well, that is it for now. Now on to
the circuits!
CONTACT
N+
OXIDE
P+
A
`ACTIVE
REGION
(LIGHT EMANATES
FROM HERE)
CONTACT
POSITIVE-PULSE
GENERATION
read your column monthly, and
would like to share this design with
other readers. needed a circuit to generate positive pulses at both the leading
and trailing edges of a gating signal, so
developed the circuit shown in Fig. 3,
which is built around a 4070 CMOS
quad 2 -input exclusive -oR (xoR) gate.
The first XOR gate (IC1 -a) inverts the
gating signal; while IC1 -b and IC1 -c
each generate a positive pulse from the
positive- and negative -going edges,
respectively, of the input gate. The final
XOR gate, IC1 -d, ORS both pulses. (All
input/output waveforms are shown in
Fig 4B.) With the resistor and capacitor
values shown, the approximate pulseI
CONTACT
B
I
I
Fig. 2. Two types of structures that are widely
used in laser-diode construction. Illustrated in
A is a erns,- section of a laser diode that was
fabricated using an oxide isolation technique,
while B shows a laser diode manufactured in a
mesa structure.
I
applications. Although not nearly as
cheap as many other forms of diode,
they are still produced in large quantities
at relatively Sow cost, as demonstrated
by their inclusion in the laser pointers
that are used in slide presentations. At
the other end of the market, laser diodes
that are appropriate for optical commu-
PULSES
OUT
A
IINPUT
C OUTPUT
I
B
OUTPUT
D
OUTPUT
B
Fig. 3. The simple circuit in A generates positive -output pulses from both the leading and trailing
edges of a input gate. The circuit's relevant waveforms are illustrated in B. The upper trace illustrates a typical gate -input signal, the Wert waveform illustrates the pulse generated by the leading
edge of the input signal, while the third shows the positive pulse generated by the falling edge of the
input. The final waveform represents the result of xoeing the second and third waveforms.
53
quite a long time.
-Craig Kendrick Sellen, Waymart, PA
This circuit can be a very useful item
in your instrument lineup. It can be simplified by substituting a 556 dual oscillator/timer for the two of the 555s. By the
way, you can always use NTE955M or
SK3564 equivalents for the 555 oscillator/timer, NTE159 or SK3466 equivalents for the 2N3906 PNP transistor,
and NTE123AP or SK3854 equivalents
for the 2N3904 NPN transistor.
width (t) of the signal output at pin 11 of
IC1 -d can be computed from: t= 0.8RC.
With the specified resistor and capacitor values (R = 2.7 megohm and C =
0.1 µF), the pulse -width of each positive output is about 270 milliseconds.
-Ned E. Stevens, Murray, UT
Nice circuit Ned, and good use of a
single 4070 (which can be replaced with
an NTE40708 or Thomson SK4070B).
LABORATORY
PULSE GENERATOR
WIRELESS- BROADCASTER
AMPLIFIER -REDUX
This easy -to -build laboratory -type
pulse generator is shown in Fig. 4A.
The pulse- repetition rate (PRR) and
pulse width (t1), as shown in Fig. 4B,
are produced by IC1 (the first of three
555 oscillator /timers), which is configured as an astable multivibrator. The
output of IC1 at pin 3 is applied to a
2N3906 transistor, which inverts the
pulse. The inverted pulse is then fed to
pin 2 of IC2 (the second 555 that is
configured as a monostable multivibrator) to form the pulse repetition interval
(PRI) of the generator. The output of
IC2 at pin 3 is then applied to pin 2 of
the third 555 timer, IC3 (also configured
as a monostable multivibrator), to form
pulse -width t2. The resulting output at
pin 3 of IC3 is applied to 02 (a 2N3904
transistor set up as an emitter follower).
The 1N914 signal diodes allow only
positive pulses to be applied to output level control R17.
During operation, the pulse generator draws only 13 mA of current, so a
12 -volt battery can supply power for
have a few comments and suggestions regarding the vacuum -tube based
"Wireless- Broadcaster Amplifier" circuit
presented in the November 1998 Think
Tank column.
The text suggests a 1 -amp isolation
transformer. noted that the tubes draw
0.15 amps of filament current and the
B+ (DC plate -supply voltage) probably
does not exceed 50 mA. Therefore, a
1 -amp transformer is overkill, particularly as the cheapest one have found
1.3 -amp
is a Mouser 553- NE7A
transformer selling for $42.24! But the
same catalog lists a 0.3 -amp transformer (part 553 -N51 X), which costs
about $14.98.
The original diagram shows R3 and
C2 connecting the circuit ground with the
chassis, a common system when ACDC designs opted against the older
"death -box" designs, which connected
the two together directly. Resistor R3
reduced the amount of current to the
I
I
I
-a
chassis in case the circuit ground ended
up connected to the hot side of the
mains when plugged in, still resulting in a
tickle if one touched the chassis while
grounded -but avoiding a heart stoppage. Capacitor C2 in a radio was usually about 0.05 or 0.1 p.F, which provided
a low- reactance path to circuit ground for
RF signals. That capacitor also gave a
high reactance to audio frequencies, so
it would in effect put additional resistance
in between the ground side of the phono
cartridge and circuit ground.
The author probably noted the problem and upped C2 to 0.47 µF, which
may solve the reactance problem.
However, if the set were operated without the isolation transformer, one could
get a pretty good jolt from the AC line
through that large a capacitor. All that
would be rendered unnecessary if an
isolation transformer were used. In
other words, simply eliminate R3 and
C2, and connect the input grounds to
circuit ground. No shock hazard, as the
isolation transformer isolates the AC
line from circuit ground.
Dollars always enter the picture.
would have thought some system
cheaper than using an isolation transformer would be available. Figure 5
shows the circuit redrawn without an
isolation transformer; instead a dual -primary transformer (T2) is used to provide 120 volts AC, which is teamed up
with a bridge rectifier (BR1) to provide
B+ voltage of about 120 volts or better.
The transformer can be a Marlin P.
Jones and Associates part 7839-TR
I
+12V
C4
1N914
I
.01
R3
700K
.
.01
:100K
500K
PRI
ADJUST
ADJUST
R10
47K
#R9
a7K
R7
RI
500K
PRR
R8
C9
100
C8
#R13
47K
Q2
2N3904
R11
15K
y4R12
4
5
1C2
7
100K
t2
3
6
555
8
24
6
ADJUST
8
1
3
1C3
7
u
555
2
R14
20K
D2
1N914
R17
10K
AMPLITUDE
^C3
CS
17.
001
TANT.
C6
005
C7
r
.1
TANT.
015
13K
D3
1N914
O+
t,
A
tz
PRI
r
PRR
->I
e
Fig. 4. Here's a neat little laboratory -type pulse generator (AI that can he useful in a variety of pro jects.
The waveform provided through the circuit is illustrated in B.
54
PULSE
OUT
(which has dual 110 -volt primary and
6V -0V -6V secondary rated at 2.5
amps), or a Mouser 553- FD6 -12 power
transformer. That eliminates the necessity for the 35W4 tube.
A 400 -volt, 1 -amp semiconductor
bridge not only is cheaper than a 35W4
half -wave rectifier, both in dollars and in
power, but because it's a full -wave rectifier, it doubles the effectiveness of the
filter capacitors in eliminating hum. If
the secondary of such a transformer
provides 12 volts, the 12AV6 tube can
still be used; but 12AQ55 can be substituted for the 35C5s, probably with no
circuit changes needed. have not finalized the circuit, so may find out that
the cathode resistor, R10, at V2 may
need adjustment.
The cost of the output transformer
(T1) was available in catalogs only at
prices that boggle my 1945 mind. I've
used power transformers as output
devices where fidelity was not required.
Mouser has a nice multi- tapped unit
(part 41FW300), which would match
most output tubes, both single -ended
and push -pull, to most speaker impedances. Marlin P. Jones does not have
an identical unit, but they do offer a dual
I
I
primary, 6V- 0V -6V, 2 -amp transformer
(part 7838 -TR). By using the 220-volt
primary winding and half of the secondary winding and a 4 -ohm speaker,
one would get about 5000 ohms for the
plate of the modulator /audio output
tube (about what a 12AQ5 tube probably requires). Using an 8 -ohm speaker
would provide about 2500 ohms for the
plate of a 35C5 tube. If one wishes to
use a power transformer to match an 8ohm speaker to a tube requiring a
2500 -ohm load, the transformer should
have a 110 -volt primary and a 6 -volt
secondary.
As in the original circuit, the oscillator coil (L1) is comprised of a tube -tube
radio IF transformer that was modified
by removing the internal padder capacitors on each side of the transformer.
As a final note, S1 is a SPDT make before- break -type switch (Mouser part
10WW017), and S2 can be any SPST
switch that is, perhaps, tied in with
potentiometers R7 or R8.
My rule of thumb is never short out
the secondary of an output transformer that is driven by a transistor
and never open the secondary winding of an output transformer that is dri-
ven by a vacuum tube.
Finally, I've modified the original circuit by providing a shorting switch at the
output transformer's secondary, making
sure that no more than 4 ohms is connected to that transformer.
-Victor I. Smedstad, Bainbridge Island,
WA.
Interesting comments Victor. Thanks
for the new circuit. We would be interested hearing from our readers who
built the first unit, and may be planning
to build this unit, on the pros and cons
of both approaches and results. For
those readers who may not know,
Mouser Electronics can be reached at
800 -346-6873, and MPJ at 800 -6526733.
That's about it for this month's Think
Tank. Remember-this is your column
keep those circuits, solutions, and ideas
coming. For each circuit that appears in
this column, the writer will receive a book
from our library. Send in enough circuits
to fill a whole column and you will get a
nifty kit or electronics tool to make your
construction easier. Write me -Alex Bie,
Think Tank, Popular Electronics, 500
Bi- County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY
-
11735.
ANTENNA
SPKR1
452
Cl
C2
J1
182pF 12AV6
R3
MAGNETIC
PHONO
LOW -Z
INPUT
7
400V
R4
V2
220K
12A05
C4
400V
RS
R6
2.71
MEG.'
12A05
1,6
400V
550K
VOLUME
5
.01
22K1
5
470pF
C8
.0047
R7
C5
V3
;4 C7
5
400V
J2
L1'
S
.01
820K
Ì
QA.9
400V
1.5 MEG
AAA.
C3
V1
100pF
400V
P
.01
R2
CERAMIC
HIGH -Z
INPUT
'
3
4
U
R8
250K
TONE
X
R9
R10
C6
4.7K 7"'
3300
5-30pF
TUNE
T2
o
o
F1
2A
*SEE TEXT
C12
S2'
.01
250V
Fig. 5. This modified three-vacuum-tube. wireless- broadcast amplifier is less expensive and more
efficient than the design that was shown in our November column.
55
RAdio
HAM
Understanding Dummy Loads
dummy load? You'll
hear hams say that you ought
to have one, but it's likely that these
same hams never explained what a
dummy load is. In the context of radio
transmitters, a dummy load is a non radiating substitute for an antenna.
That is, perhaps, why the British hams
have traditionally called these devices
"artificial aerials."
So why use a dummy load instead of
an antenna? First, it is at least moderately illegal in most countries to radiate
a signal when testing transmitters. One
is allowed to radiate only RF energy
needed for communications. Another
reason is that it is just plain rude to
cause interference on a radio channel
just because you want to test your transmitter. Rather than pressing the push -totalk and saying, "Uhm ... testing, testing,
one-two- three," we can silently key into
a dummy load.
Finally, there's also a very good technical reason to use dummy loads:
antennas cannot be relied upon to provide the constant and consistent test
load that is necessary to make sense
out of transmitter tests and adjustments.
The measurements that you make will
not match the specifications given in the
transmitter's manual.
At one time, ham -radio operators
used 120 -volt -AC incandescent light
bulbs as impromptu dummy loads. That
was an unwise choice because the
bulbs did not represent a truly constant
impedance (cold vs. hot resistances
were different), and they radiated at
least some energy. Indeed, some ham
operators worked each other across
town using light -bulb dummy loads.
The classical dummy load (Fig. 1) is
a non -inductive resistor mounted inside
a shielded enclosure, with either a
coaxial jack or other antenna terminals
to allow access to the resistor from the
outside world. The resistor has to be
non- inductive so that the impedance it
represents is similar to what would be
seen on a resonant antenna. For most
applications, an impedance of 50 ohms
is used as the system impedance,
56 although examples of 75 -, 300 -, 450 -,
What is a
and 600 -ohm systems are also occasionally seen. Most modern transmitters are designed to work into a
50 -ohm resistive load.
RESISTIVE LOADS
The impedance (Z) of any load can
be described by:
Z
= y(R2 + (XL
- XC)2)
where R is the resistive component,
XL is the inductive reactance component, and XC is the capacitive reactance component.
If an antenna is resonant, then XC =
XL, so the reactances would cancel out
leaving only the resistive component.
But not all antennas work directly on
resonance, especially if they are
required to work over a band of frequencies. When the transmitter freSHIELDED
ENCLOSURE
n
COAXIAL
PLUG
Fig. I. Here's a schematic of a basic dummy
load, encased within a shielded enclosure. R
represents the system impedance provided by a
resistor.
P L-259
.i....
OR
BNC
is
Fig. 2. This practical low-power dummy load
can he customized easily; just calculate the
desired parallel resistance and consider the
total power of the resistors.
JOSEPH J. CARR, K4IPV
quency is lower than the resonant frequency, the antenna appears too short
and exhibits some capacitive reactance
(XC). The usual solution is to add some
inductive reactance (XL) to cancel it
out. Similarly, when the exciting frequency is above the resonant frequency, the antenna appears too long and
exhibits inductive reactance.
The assumption that we will see
only resistive loads is reasonable for
some transmitters, but for others it is a
fallacy. Whether or not it is true
depends on the nature of the antenna
system connected to the transmitter.
For now, however, we will make the
resistive assumption.
SIMPLE DUMMY LOADS
There are a number of dummy
loads that you can buy from commercial sources, but let's first take a look at
some that can be home -brewed.
Figure 2 shows a simple low -power
dummy load that can be used on HF
QRP rigs or many VHF transmitters up
to the 2 -meter band. It consists of two
or more parallel resistors (R) connected across either a male BNC connector
or a PL -259 "UHF" coaxial connector,
depending on the particular transmitter
it is used to test.
The values of the resistors depend
on the power level and the particular
impedance being created. Let's assume
50 ohms for the overall impedance. If
you place four 200 -ohm resistors in parallel, then you will have a 50 -ohm
impedance. The power rating will be the
total power rating of the resistors. For
example, if you use 1 -watt resistors,
then it will be a four -watt dummy load.
The resistors should be either carbon or
metallic -film units. In no case should
they be wire -wound resistors.
Higher power levels can be accommodated by using a larger number of
resistors, with correspondingly highervalue resistances in Fig. 2. Twenty
1000 -ohm, two -watt resistors can be
used to make a 40 -watt load. However,
keep in mind that the higher the number
of resistors the greater the distributed
capacitances, which essentially limit the
SO -239
COAXIAL
CONNECTOR
SHIELDED
ENCLOSURE
BNC OR RCA
PHONO
CONNECTOR
NON -INDUCTIVE
POWER
RESISTOR
Fig. 3. Here's the general assembly of an oilIf you're making
one, he certain to use a non -inductive power
resistor, which will he covered with a carbon
coating. Avoid wire -wound units.
filled, paint -can dummy load.
frequency response of the load.
Several methods can be used to
build this type of load. Perhaps the easiest way is to simply wire all the resistors in parallel using their leads. A
better way is to cut two identical pieces
of copper -clad perforated construction
board, and solder the resistors between
them. One end is connected to the
coaxial- connector center conductor,
while the other is connected to the
coaxial- connector shield. Small dummy
loads are built in this manner.
OIL -FILLED PAINT CANS
Thanks to an old device by Heathkit
called the Cantenna, paint -can antennas have become popular high -power,
ham -radio dummy loads. A representative load, based on a standard one-gallon paint can, is shown in Fig. 3. A
non- inductive 50 -ohm power resistor is
placed inside the can, and the can is
then filled with either motor oil or mineral oil (at least one commercial variant
used a silicone oil, am told). As for the
resistors, you must find non -inductive
units. Nearly all of the power resistors
that you will find are wire wound and not
usable for a dummy load. You can recognize a non -inductive resistor because
it will be a ceramic cylinder with a coating of carbon -like material on the outer
surface. In some cases (including the
Cantenna), there will not be any connectors -the electrical connection is
provided by hose clamps connected to
the ends.
Note the shielded enclosure on top
of the oil -filled dummy load. This box
contains a small voltage divider and
rectifier circuit (Fig. 4), which produce
an output level that is proportional to the
peak RF voltage across the dummy load resistor, RL. The values of the voltage- divider resistors depend on the
maximum power level. The values
shown (R1 = 100K, R2 = 1K) are suitable for up to 1000 watts, which will produce about 223 volts across 50 ohms.
The voltage divider reduces the applied
voltage a bit less than a factor of 100:1.
The diode used to rectify the signal
is shown as a 1N60 germanium diode.
This diode can be replaced with a
1N4148 silicon diode, but doing so will
decrease the sensitivity at lower power
levels.
Warning: Oil- filled paint -can antennas tend to be a bit messy. In fact, they
are really messy. The oil tends to seep
around the seams of the paint -can lid,
as well as around the interface between
the shielded metal enclosure on top of
the lid and the lid. "Street- smart" hams
always kept their Heathkit Cantennas in
some sort of container that would catch
oil spill. used a heavy -duty plastic two gallon bucket.
I
loads, used for 250- to 2500 -watt ham radio dummy loads. Most are built without a fan, although I've seen many
commercially available models that
have blower fan cut -outs on one end of
a perforated aluminum cabinet. If you
want to increase the power rating of the
dummy load, then add the fan to get rid
of the heat.
Another approach is to use a finned
heatsink to radiate away the heat dissipated by the dummy -load resistor.
Because the heatsink can be mounted
to the outside of the shielded enclosure,
the internal cavity of the dummy load
can be filled with either oil or a silicone
gel material that matches the thermal
impedance of the resistor to that of the
shielded enclosure wall.
Caution: A lot of ham -rated dummy
loads have a short duty cycle. _ook at
the specifications of any load you
obtain to find out how long you can
keep the transmitter keyed without
damaging the resistor. Some loads
have remarkably short duty cycles. One
model saw said "60 seconds off for 10
seconds on." That means a one -minute
cooling -off period is needed every time
you key the transmitter for ten seconds.
If a particular model looks a bit too
small for the wattage rating printed in
big letters, then look at the fine print to
see the duty -cycle rating.
.
I
AIR -COOLED
DUMMY LOADS
COMPLEX IMPEDANCE
The air -cooled dummy load is probably a lot more practical than amateur
oil- filled loads. The down side is that
the power rating of the resistor element
must be higher. Oil- filled loads can be
operated at higher than rated power
because the oil couples heat to the surface of the can where it can be radiated to the air around it. Commercial
dummy loads at high powers (up to 50
kW are easily obtained) use either
internal oil or an external water jacket
to carry heat away from the resistor
element.
There are also air -cooled dummy
Virtually every dummy load seen by
hams is actually a resistive impedance.
But not all antennas are resonant at all
frequencies within their bands of operation. Some have reactive components
as well as resistive. A friend of mine
worked at a plant that served as a depot
repair station for high -power HF SSB
transmitters. They needed a dummy
load that simulated a random -length
wire antenna used on ships.
My friend was an electronics technician who repaired the transmitters, and
he designed a dummy load that included capacitive and inductive reactances.
I
SHIELDED ENCLOSURE
i
RF
INPUT
R
R1
D1
100K
1N60
yh
i
R2
1K
DC
T
C1
OUTPUT
R3
47K
J
Fig. 4. This is the voltage divider and rectifier circuit inside the shielded enclosure shown in Fig. 3.
The circuit will produce an output level that is proportional to the peak RF voltage across resistor RL.
57
The overall impedance -vs.-frequency
curve of his design matched the known
curve for the antennas that the transmitters used. The foreman, who wasn't
impressed, hollered at him, told him he
wasn't "paid to think," and dismissed his
effort. They hired a consulting engineer
who came in and designed a dummy
load that ... guess what? ... was identical. This dummy load, like my buddy's,
used a large 18 -mH roller inductor and
a 500 -pF Jennings vacuum variable
capacitor. By use of relays they could
place either reactance in either parallel
or series with the resistor, just like my
friend's design. But my buddy's design
was free, while the consulting engineer
charged $5,000. wonder if that company is profitable.
I
TALES OF AN
RF RESURGENCE
A friend of mine worked in avionics
communications. He attended a design
review in which the contractor presented the design for a 10 -watt VHF/UHF
airborne transmitter. When they put up
the automatic load control (ALC) shutdown curve, he noted that the shutdown knee started at a VSWR of 1.1:1,
and by 2:1 the shut -down was so
severe that the 10 watts were reduced
to 100 mW. That's a 20-dB loss. It also
made the transmitter unusable because
it is difficult to make the blade antennas
used on commercial general aviation
airplanes and major airliners show a
VSWR less than 2:1. In other words,
the 10 -watt radio was useless!
asked the guy who told me this
story what happened. How come a couple -dozen vendor and customer electronic engineers didn't pick that up until
the final design review? His answer: "All
the hams had retired." He was quite
convinced that the younger engineers
who lacked some practical technician
level or ham radio /hobbyist level experience didn't think to look.
Another guy told me that he had
been re -hired by a radio -equipment
company that had forced him into retirement several years before. His skills
were "over the hill," so they pushed him
into premature retirement. His specialty
was designing high-frequency linear
and class -C vacuum -tube power amplifiers. The power level of the new transmitters being designed was too high for
solid -state amplifiers. Either the power
level (which he didn't specify) was too
58 high for the solid-state RF amplifiers of
I
that time or it was not economic to use
solid- state. So they opted for an RF
power amplifier based on either zero bias grounded grid power tubes or
grounded cathode power tetrodes. But
guess what? There wasn't anyone left in
the company who could design using
power vacuum tubes. hope he charged
a pretty per diem for his services!
Many hams go into electronics
careers as either engineers or technicians. recently learned that RF electronics is a really hot area and that
employers cannot find these people. It
seems that a large number of college
electronics -technology and electrical I
I
engineering programs opted some
years ago for digital courses. The RF
courses died out. But guess what happened? The telecommunications revolution that we are currently seeing
requires a large number of RF systems,
both receivers and transmitters. Cellular
phones, GPS receivers, satcom, and a
host of other services depend on radio
waves. If you are inclined to seek an
electronics career, then you might want
to consider RF as an alternative.
Remember,
can be reached by
snail mail at PO Box 1099, Falls
Church, VA, 22041, or by e -mail at car rjj@aol.com.
I
Improvement 1 -2 -3 disc reveals the
secrets to building and fixing with video,
diagrams, narration, and more. There
are more than 250 household projects
to choose from. The disc costs $44.95.
DVD can really pack in the content,
so it's no surprise that Multimedia
2000's Ultimate DVD Cookbook could
contain all the content from ten individual Better Homes & Gardens CD -ROM
cookbooks. The Ultimate DVD Cookbook includes Great American Cooking,
New Healthy Cooking, and all eight volumes of Cooking for Today. Chicken,
Pasta, Stir-Fries, Vegetarian, Barbecue,
Fish & Seafood, Pizza, and Salads. This
ultimate collection of thousands of
recipes costs only $44.95.
New from Humongous Entertainment comes Backyard Soccer, a junior
sports game for children ages 5 to 10.
Backyard Soccer is just as action packed as adult soccer games, but the
controls are easy for children to use.
The graphics, of course, are designed to
be attractive to kids. This is a good way
to give your kids a shot at some sports
action on the computer. Backyard
Soccer costs $19.99.
have three great Microsoft CDROM titles for kids. The software works
with or without the ActiMates Arthur and
D.W. dolls, those toys
recently discussed in this column that have a life of
their own. These early -learning titles for
children ages 4 to 8 feature Arthur and
friends D.W., Buster, Francine, Muffy,
and the Brain. My son doesn't know
how to read yet, but he's learning letter
and word recognition, basic math, and
problem solving because he loves
Arthur and the software is well -done.
Arthur's Reading Round-Up teaches
reading, spelling and other language
skills. Arthur's Math Carnival teaches
kids practical math skills as they play
fun games at the carnival. Arthur's
Brainteasers helps kids learn how to
solve problems in a park and playground setting. These Microsoft Arthur
titles cost $34.95 each.
Last this month is a collection of children's books that feature colorful, computer- generated graphics and fun
stories. Of course each book comes
with a CD -ROM version of the story as
well. Jamsa Press' Happy and Max
books are about the adventures of a boy
and his dog. There's Locked in the Attic,
The Sunken Ship Adventure, The Night
in the Tree House, and The Pirate
Treasure-$18.95 apiece.
I
I
MULTIMEDIA WATCH
(continued from page 10)
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way to the top as the mystery woman at
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CIRCUIT CIRCUS
Interfacing Logic Families
I
our last outing, we took an introductory stroll through the basic
functions and operating characteristics
of the 7400 TTL and 4000 CMOS logic
families, discussed how the four basic
logic gates operate, and covered how
to configure one or more NAND gates to
emulate the other basic logic gates.
This month we'll explore how the
CMOS and TTL families, with their differing input/output (I /O) parameters,
can be "intermingled" in a single circuit. And since digital -logic circuits
must inevitably interface with the nondigital world, we'll also present ways in
which to accomplish that task.
CHARLES D. RAKES
n
+5 -15V
+5 -15V
A
B
+5-15V
+5 -15V
LED DRIVER
We'll start with an easy task -using
the output of a CMOS 4049 inverter to
drive an LED. Several circuit configurations by which that task can be accomplished are shown in Fig. 1. The first
circuit (see Fig. 1A) causes LED1 to
light whenever ICI -a's input goes high.
When ICI -a's input goes high, its output
goes low, pulling the cathode of LEDI
(whose anode terminal is tied high) to
ground. The circuit in Fig. 1B performs
in a similar manner to the Fig. 1A circuit, except that it uses complementary
(opposite polarity) signals to accomplish the same task; i.e., when ICI -a's
input goes low, its output is forced high,
causing LED1 to turn on.
The circuit in Fig. 1C follows the
same output logic as the one in Fig. 1A,
but accomplishes the task through a
PNP transistor driver, Q1. Since the
transistor can supply greater drive current than ICI -a, the LED produces a
brighter output. The value of R2 can be
selected to supply the desired LED drive current. The circuit in Fig. 1D operates in a manner similar to that of the
Fig. 1B circuit, except that this one uses
an NPN transistor to drive LED1. As in
the Fig. 1C circuit, R2 sets the level of
drive current delivered to LED1, and
thereby its illumination level.
FAN -OUT EXPANDER
The 4049's maximum -output current
about what's required to
is limited to
c
470Q
D
The circuit in A causes LEDI to light whenever
/CI -a's input is high. The circuit in B performs
ICI -a's input goes low, its output goes high, causing LEDI to turn
on. The circuit in C follows the output logic of the circuit in A, hut uses transistor driver QI The circuit in D operates similarly to the circuit in B, hut it uses an NPN transistor to drive LEDI.
Fig.
1.
the same function, except that when
drive a single LED. But with the aid of a
transistor driver, a single 4049 inverter
can drive multiple LEDs, as shown in
Fig. 2. The output of ICI -a can drive as
many as four 2N2222A transistors,
allowing the circuit to light over 20
LEDs. If a greater number of LEDs is
desired, duplicate the entire Fig. 2 circuit and tie the inputs of the two inverters together.
Since the interface (transistor) isolates the CMOS circuitry from the LEDs,
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 1C
-4049 CMOS
hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
LED1- Light-emitting diode (any color)
Q1-2N3906 general -purpose, PNP, silicon
transistor
R1- 100,000 -ohm, 1/4-watt, 5% resistor
R2-470 -ohm, 1/4-watt, 5% resisto,R3- 10,000 -ohm, 1/4-watt, 5% resistor
S1- Normally -open pushbutton switch
IC1
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 10
PARTS LIST FOR
FIGURE 1A AND 1B
IC1 -4049
CMOS hex inverting buffer,
integratec circuit
LED1-Light- emitting diode (any color)
R1- 100,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R2- 1000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
S1- Normally -open pushbutton switch
IC1 -4049
CMOS hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
LED1- Light- emitting diode (any color)
Q1-2N3904 general -purpose, NPN, silicon
transistor
R1- 100,000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R2-470 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R3- 10,000 -ohm, 114 -watt, 5% resistor
S1- Normally -open pushbutton switch
59
age with one CMOS IC) to make the
transition from one source voltage to
the other.
The first CMOS gate (IC1 -a, operating from a 12 -volt supply) serves as
a buffer, isolating the CMOS source
from the translation circuit (IC2 -a).
The translation circuit, which is powered from a 5 -volt source, accepts the
12 -volt output of IC1 -a and converts it
to a 5 -volt level, which is then used to
drive IC3 -a, the TTL gate. With the circuit arrangement shown, IC3 -a outputs the complement to the original
CMOS input. If a non -inverted output
is desired, IC3 -a can be replaced by a
non -inverting TTL buffer, or a second
inverter can be tacked to the output of
IC3 -a to return the signal to its input -
two separate power sources can be
used to operate the circuit. Separating
the power sources allows CMOS circuitry to safely operate within its own voltage and power limits, while controlling
devices outside those parameters.
VOLTAGE -LEVEL
TRANSLATION
In many applications, it is necessary
to bring both CMOS and TTL logic
together in a single circuit in order to
take advantage of the best features of
both families. Figure 3 illustrates how
two circuits, operating from different
source voltages, can be made to coexist. Notice that the Fig. 3 circuit uses a
pair of CMOS ICs (operating from two
different power sources) and a TTL IC
(which shares a common supply volt-
logic state.
R1
1K
LEDI
R3
1K
02-
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 3
IC1, IC2-4049 CMOS hex inverting
buffer, integrated circuit
IC3 -7404 TTL hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 4A
CMOS hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
IC2 -7404 TTL hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
IN
2
03
8
01
2N2222A
R7
10K
integrated circuit
ADDED
LEDS
1M
IC1-a
1/6 4049
INPUT
FROM
CMOS
CIRCUITRY
R4
1K
LED4
1M
bN
02
TO
ADDED
DRIVER
CIRCUITS
2N2222A
`
R6
1K
LED6
®
ADDED
LEDS
Vv.*
)
A
Fig. 2. The fan-out capabilities of a CMOS gate can he greatly enhanced with the aid of a transistor driver, as shown here.
+12V
CMOS
INPUT
(12 -VOLT
SIGNAL)
.
2
IC3-a
IC2-a
IC1-a
1/6 4049
8
1/6 4049
7
INPUT
FROM
CMOS
CIRCUITRY
OUTPUT
TO TTL
CIRCUITRY
+5V
14
2
2
8
OUTPUT
TO TTL
CIRCUITRY
R5
1K
'1r,, LEDS
R8
10K
-4050 CMOS
hex non -inverting
buffer, integrated circuit
IC2 -7404 TTL hex inverting buffer,
IC1
1
-4049
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 4B
LED3
LED2
-4049 CMOS
hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
2N2222A general-purpose,
Q1,
NPN, silicon transistor
LED1 LED6- Light- emitting diode (any
color)
R1 R6 -1000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R7, R8- 10,000 -ohm, 114 -watt, 5% resistor
IC1
IC1
I.- +5 15V
R2
1K
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 2
1/6 7404
OUTPUT
TO
TTL
CIRCUITRY
B
60
Fig. 3. Although CMOS and TTL circuit have differing operating characteristics and parameters,
of the
they can be made to coexist in a single circuit, as shown here, allowing you to take advantage
both
families.
hest features of
Fig. 4. CMOS logic can he used as an impedance matching device between a high -input -impedance
CMOS source and the low- impedance input of
TTL circuitry, as shown here.
HIGH- TO -LOWIMPEDANCE TRANSLATION
OUTPUT
TO DRIVE
10 TTL INPUTS
CMOS
INPUT
ANOTHER OUTPUT
EXPANDER
A CMOS IC, operating from a 5volt supply, can be used as an impedance- matching device between a
high- input- impedance source and the
low- impedance input of TTL circuitry,
as illustrated in Fig. 4. The circuit in
Fig. 4A provides a non -inverted output
while the circuit in Fig. 4B produces
an inverted output.
FAN -OUT EXPANSION
Figure 5 shows an expanded
CMOS -to -TTL logic driver, fabricated
from a single CMOS 4049 hex inverting
buffer, in which all six of its buffer inputs
are tied together to accept a common
input signal. Each CMOS buffer can
drive two TTL inputs, giving a total drive
capability of 12 for a single CMOS IC.
In addition to their other desirable
qualities, CMOS logic can be used as
input devices. Using them allows the
builder or experimenter to take advan-
Fig. 6. Other fan -out expansion methods, like
the one shown here, make use of a transistor
driver. The input-to- output logic is non- inverting as the signal passes from the CMOS to the
TTL circuitry.
tage of their excellent signal -to -noise
(S /N) ratio, which generally is much
better than their TTL counterparts.
However, a circuit's S/N ratio (for both
CMOS and TTL families) can be
improved by using Schmitt -trigger
ICs-such as the CMOS 4584 or the
TTL 7414.
The circuit in Fig. 6 takes a slightly
different approach to output expansion,
where the output of IC1 -a is used to
drive an NPN transistor, increasing fan out capability to ten. Applying a flow at
the pin -3 input of ICI -a produces a high
output that supplies base current to 01,
turning it on and giving a low outl:put to
the TTL inputs. The input-to- output logic
is non -inverting as the signal Fasses
from the CMOS to the TTL circuity.
MORE INTERFACE
CIRCUITS
Three different TTL -to -CMOS interface circuits are shown in Figure 7. The
first incarnation (see Fig. 7A) uses a
7401 open -collector TTL NAND gate to
drive a non -inverting CMOS buffer. A 1 k
pull -up resistor, R1, supplies current to
IC1 -a's (1/4 of a 7401 NAND gate) output
transistor and supplies input voltage for
IC2 -a (1/4 of a 4050 non -inverting
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE 5
IC1 -4049 CMOS hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
TTL
INPUT
TO
CMOS
CIRCUITRY
1l
CMOS
INPUT
+5V
+5-15V
OUTPUT
TO CMOS
CIRCUITRY
TTL
INPUT
B
OUTPUTS
TO
TTL INPUTS
OUTPUT
TO CMOS
CIRCUITRY
TTL
INPUT
C
Fig. 5. Although a single CMOS gate has a
limited fan -out capability, a network like the
one shown here can he used to overcome that
barrier.
-
Fig. 7. The TTL -to -CMOS interface circuit in A uses a 7401 open -collector TTL NAND gate to drive a
4050 CMOS non -inverting buffer. The TTL -to -CMOS interface in B accepts the 5 -volt logic-level output of a TTL system and produces a CMOS-compatible logic- output level. The circuit in Cis nearly
identical to the previous circuit, except that a second transistor inverter has been added to the mix.
61
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE
6
IC1 -4049
CMOS hex inverting buffer,
integrated circuit
Q1- 2N2222A general-purpose, NPN,
silicon transistor
R1-2200 -ohm, 1/4-watt, 5% resistor
R2-4700 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R3-270 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
PARTS LIST FOR FIGURE
7
IC1 -7401
TTL quad 2 -input NANO gate,
integrated circuit
IC2-4050 CMOS hex non -inverting
buffer, integrated circuit
01, Q2-2N2222A general-purpose,
NPN, silicon transistor
R1- 1000 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R2-4700 -ohm, 1/4 -watt, 5% resistor
R3, R4-2200 -ohm, 114 -watt, 5% resistor
buffer). With both of IC1 -a's inputs tied
high, its output at pin 1 goes low; that
low passes through IC2 -a, appearing at
its output at pin 2. If either or both inputs
of IC1 -a go low, its output switches
high, causing the output of IC2 -a to go
high. The 4050 non -inverting buffer can
be replaced by a 4049 inverter in order
to obtain a non -inverted output.
MORE INTERFACE
CIRCUITS
Our next TTL -to -CMOS interface,
see Fig. 7B, accepts the 5 -volt logic level output of a TTL system and produces a CMOS-compatible logic output
level. If both inputs to IC1 -a are made
high, its output goes low, causing 01 to
turn off, producing a CMOS -compatible
output (in the 5- to 15 -volt range). If, on
the other hand, either or both inputs of
IC1 -a are made low, its output goes
high. That turns on 01 (which functions
as an inverter), producing a logic -low
output that can be used to drive almost
any number of CMOS inputs. That's
possible because of the extremely high
input impedance of CMOS devices,
which offer very little resistive loading.
However, as the number of load
devices increases, capacitance loading
becomes a factor in determining how
many gates can be driven from a single
source. The Fig. 7C circuit is nearly
identical to the previous circuit, except
that a second transistor inverter has
been added to the mix.
CMOS circuits operating at low frequencies aren't adversely affected by
62 capacitive loading, but as operating fre-
quency increases those effects become
a factor in determining the number of
gates that can be driven from a single
source.
Even though we only took a brief
glance at the many schemes for interfacing the CMOS and TTL families, at
least one of the simple circuit ideas
that we've reviewed is sure to be useful in a future project.
We'll "see" you here next month,
same time, same station. Let's hear
from you!- Contact me via e -mail at
cdrakes@ipa.netor via snail mail at PO
Box 445, Bentonville, AR. 72712.
SCANNER SCENE
(continued from pale 4)
send it (at no cost) to all who send me
a self- addressed stamped (U.S. 33 cent
stamp) return envelope (SASE), and
request the wireless microphone list.
NOTE: The return envelope must have
their name, address, and the right U.S.
stamp.
TWISTER TIME
Each year, large areas of the nation
are threatened and ripped up by tornadoes. We received a note from Michael
C. Root, of Mount Pleasant, IA, asking
about relevant scanner frequencies
above and beyond the basic and vital
NOAA weather broadcasts.
From what we understand, storm
chasers in mobile vans use CB radio,
plus 163.275, 173.10, and 409.75 MHz
for communications. Also listen for
twister spotter aircraft on 122.9, 122.925,
123.05, and 123.075 MHz. The vans
may also have communications with the
spotter aircraft.
The National Severe Storms Forecast Center, Kansas City, MO, is believed to operate on 163.225 and
172.10 MHz. RACES' (Radio Amateur
Civil Emergency Service), SKYWARN's,
and ARES' (Amateur Radio Emergency
Service) frequencies relating to twister
activity vary from area to area, but are
most likely to be found in the 2 -meter
ham band (144 -148 MHz). Also find out
frequencies used by area private and
public rescue squads as well as all other
state, county, and municipal emergency
services in your area.
Lastly, I'd suggest programming the
more important national FEMA simplex and repeater frequencies into any
scanner located in prime tornado terri-
tory. These include 138.225, 138.575,
139.825, 139.95,140.025, 140.90,
140,925, 141.725, 142.375, 142.40,
142.925, 142.975,143.625,164.8625,
168.075, 168.10, 168.35, 168.40,
168.70, 169.60, 169.875, and 170.20
MHz.
MAILBAG
Peter J., of Del Rio, TX, went to Six
Flags Magic Mountain in California. He
reports that the security force there was
monitored on 154.515 and 151.805
MHz. From what we've been told, other
frequencies used there include:
151.685, 151.715, 151.745, 151.895,
151.955, 154.54, 154.57, and 154.60
MHz. I'd take a guess that 151.625 MHz
is also used!
By the way, gambling casinos and
some theme parks take a dim view of
visitors casually wandering around listening to their scanners. Best bet is to
somehow use a stubby antenna on the
scanner, then place the scanner under
your jacket where it can't be seen. An
earpiece to hear all of the action looks
pretty much like a hearing aid, and
nobody will know the difference! At
least that's what you hope.
From Miami, we hear from Arnie
Livingston, Jr., who doesn't quite understand what the big mystery about those
digital federal agency communications
is all about. He asks why the receiving
circuitry from a digital cellphone or PCS
simply can't be adapted to a scanner by
some sharp tinker, which would open
those hidden communications for all to
monitor.
Arnie, it's important that you recognize that you are trying to kill two flies
with one swat. Yes, it's true that the
common scanner is capable of producing coherent voices only from analog
signals. However, converting it to pick
up digitals still isn't going to do what you
want. That's because, in addition to
being transmitted in digital format,
those particular signals are also
encrypted by a rather sophisticated
method. So simple digital transmission
isn't the main problem. The ogre is
actually the complex digital encryption
that you can't unravel.
Let's hear from you with any frequencies, ideas, and questions. Our email address is: Sigintt @aol.com. Our
postal or snail -mail address is:
Scanner Scene, Popular Electronics,
500 Bi- County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY
11735.
RAdio
ANTIQUE
Power Supply for 1920s Battery Sets
Last month, reader Victor
Smedstad told us how he became an antique -radio hobbyist, and
discussed some of the unique solutions
he developed to the problems encountered during his first few restorations.
This month, we'll discuss the novel and
flexible power -supply system he devised for powering the 1920s battery
radios currently in his collection -an
Atwater Kent (AK) Model 32 and a
Radiola Model 20-as well as any
future such sets he might acquire.
Mr. Smedstad's scheme is not presented as a ready-to -use system for
powering any battery set, but rather as a
source of ideas for our more advanced
readers who might like to develop similar systems of their own.
At the close of the last column,
Victor called our attention to the fact
that the power cables in his two battery
radios were terminated in electronic circuit cards equipped with male edge
connectors (see last month's photos).
He went on to tell us that his basic "universal battery substitute" unit has a
female edge connector as its output.
The circuit cards on the power
cables mate with that female connector
and contain resistor networks to adjust
the voltages, as necessary, for the particular set. In order to demonstrate
either set, he simply slips its edge connector into the output connector on the
power supply and turns it on. All cards
and connectors were salvaged from
junk and surplus equipment.
MARC ELLIS
In Fig. 1, we see how the power supply and transformer are connected. The
9 -volt AC output of the Commodore
supply is wired to the 9 -volt secondary
of the transformer. When the 9 -volt secondary (now serving as the primary) is
energized, 120 volts AC becomes available at the former primary (now acting
as a secondary) and 16 volts appears
at the other secondary. The 16 -volt and
120 -volt outputs of the transformer and
the 5 volts, regulated, from the power
supply, are used, in turn, to power other
circuits as will be described.
THE FILAMENT SUPPLY
The 30- series tubes installed in both
of Victor's battery sets require 2 volts
DC to light their filaments. This voltage
was obtained via an LM317T regulator
circuit (Fig. 2) requiring a DC input of 5
to 10 volts. The 5 -volt regulated output
of the Commodore supply (Fig. 1) will
Fig. I With the addition of outboard transformer
TI (see text), a typical Commodore computer
power supply can he used to provide the input
voltages needed for filament, B +, and grid-bias
.
work well.
The 5 -volt output of the Commodore
supply could be used directly to power
the filaments of battery sets equipped
with 01 -A tubes. However, the current
drawn by a set with five 01 -As is just a
little under the 1.5-amp rating of the
smaller Commodore supply. It would
be better to use the larger, 4.5 -amp
version of the supply (if you can find
one). That more robust supply would
be a must for sets with more than five
tubes.
supplies.
4.5 amps. The 9 -volt AC output of
either is rated at 1 amp.
Also required is a 120 -volt transformer (T1) having 9- and 16 -volt secondaries (as used in the author's unit),
or separate 120- to 9 -volt and 120- to
16 -volt transformers. These, too, commonly turn up in the thrift stores at low
prices. Watch for Atari transformers;
they're particularly husky.
+5-10V
ADJ
ujoirt
.
F1
POWER FROM GOODWILL
lA
D
At the heart of Victor's power sup-
ply scheme is a standard Commodore
computer supply providing 5 volts DC,
regulated, and 9 volts AC. These power supplies show up frequently, at very
reasonable prices, at thrift stores such
as those operated by Goodwill, St.
Vincent DePaul, and The Salvation
Army. Two versions of the Commodore
supply are found. The more common
delivers the 5 volts DC at 1.5 amperes;
a more robust, but somewhat harder to
locate, version provides the 5 volts at
N
D1
D2
1N4002
1N4002
R1
Cl
10
+
2400
7q
16WVDC
R2
1500
-5-10V
f-+
TERM. 2
+2v
7C
C3
10
16WVDC
M
C2
25
16WVDC
R3
1000
TERM.
1
2V
Fig. 2. This filament supply, based on an adjustable LM3I7T regulator (ICI ), can get its power from
the 5 -volt output of the Commodore power brick.
63
TO
120 VAC
THE B+ AND GRID -BIAS
SUPPLIES
The circuit of Fig. 3 supplies basic
BR1
200 V
1A
B+ outputs of 120 and 90 volts. Other
B+ voltages that a particular set might
require are derived from these outputs
by resistor networks mounted on that
set's circuit card. The circuit receives its
power from the 120 -volt primary (now a
secondary) of transformer T1 shown in
Fig. 1 and described earlier. Of course,
120 volts is also available directly from
the AC line, but connecting directly in
such a fashion would create a dangerous shock hazard.
Note that for C2 in Fig. 3 you can
use a capacitor of any value between
500 and 1450 F.
Figure 4 shows the circuit of Victor's
grid -bias, or "C -" supply, which provides a basic bias of -30 volts. Just as
in the case of the "B" supply, other voltages that a particular set might require
are derived from this value by resistor
networks mounted on the set's circuit
card (more on these cards in a
moment). This circuit is powered from
the 16 -volt winding of T1 in Fig. 1.
-- +1
R2
C2
3900
500-1450'
sW
200WVDC
B+
R3
C3
350
¡
3K
5w
150WVDC
+90V
TERM.
9
i
'
BTERM. 6
*SEE TEXT
Fig. 3. Transformer T1 from the circuit in Fig.] provides the 120 -volts AC input for this B + supply.
Note that both +120- and +90 -volt outputs are available from this design.
I
TO
16 VAC
I
D1
1N4002
C1
.05
W
R1
D2
1N4002
6852
C-30V
C2
100
16WVDC
+
C3
470
te
50wvoC
C4
100
16WVDC
TERM. 15
R2
2K
+
+
C+
S. TERM. 13
Fig. 4. While this grid-bias supply is designed to output -30 volts, resistor networks can he used to
get other operating voltages. Like the other circuits, this one gets its power from a connection to TI
in Fig. 1.
THE CIRCUIT CARDS
You'll notice that each of the various
output connections of the three power supply circuits (Fig. 2, Fig. 3, and Fig. 4)
is numbered to indicate which terminal
of the female edge connector it is wired
to ( "Term. 1," "Term. 2," etc.). Space
does not permit our including Victor's
drawings of his edge- connector setup;
in any case, the connection scheme is
not critical and could be based on parts
and materials found in your own
junkbox.
The schematics of the circuit cards
for the AK Model 32 and the Radiola 20
are shown as Figs. 5 and 6, respectively. The leads from the receiver's power
cable are shown at the right of each
schematic, and each lead is labeled to
indicate the voltage it requires. The
numbered arrows at the left represent
the male- edge- connector positions on
the receiver's circuit card. These contact the matching terminals on the
power supply's female edge connector,
as numbered in Figs. 2-4.
For example, referring to the AK
Model 32 circuit card (Fig. 5), positions
8 and 9 connect to the points marked
"Term. 8" ( +120 volts) and "Term. 9"
( +90 volts) on the B+ supply, shown in
Fig. 3. You'll notice that positions 10, 11,
64 14, and 16 have no matching connec-
B+
+120V
TERM. 8
CIRCUIT CARD FOR AK MODEL 32
RECEIVER -CABLE
CONNECTOR
EDGE -CONNECTOR
POSITION
o +120V
8
9
+67V
22.5V
A
,
B
,
C +, COMMON
13
20V,
16
31
GRID BIAS
15
1
2
<
o +2.2V, A+
Fig. S. Here's a circuit -card design for the AK Model 32 battery set. Capacitors C1-C3 (shown with
dashed connections) are actually mounted on the power -supply edge -connector card (see text).
CIRCUIT CARD FOR RADIOLA 20
RECEIVER -CABLE
CONNECTOR
EDGE -CONNECTOR
POSITION
O +120V
8
immediately without question. That's a
nice trait to find in any vendor.
CONCLUSIONS
Bottom line on the SuperDisk is that
might be too late. To the extent that
there is any standard for sharing high density removable media, Zip is it.
Almost everyone seems to have a Zip
drive. While SuperDisk offers marginally
more capacity, it seems to have slightly
poorer performance. Also, Imation does
it
9
o
+90V
R1
1.5K
r-
10
Cl
<
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1
!omega Corporation
o +2.2V, A+
2
Fig 6. Though for another battery set in Victor's collection, this Radiola 20 circuit -card design has
similar terminal connections to those found in Fig. 5. The most significant difference is that this
design uses different resistor values to accommodate the Radiola's required output voltages.
tions noted on Figs. 2, 3, or 4. These
are for connections to additional filter
capacitors used at the intermediate
voltage outputs developed by the resistor networks on the circuit cards.
For versatility, these capacitors
(shown with dashed -line connections
on Figs. 5 and 6) are mounted on the
power -supply female edge-connector
card rather than on the receiver circuit
cards. This makes it possible, for
instance, for the 500-11F capacitor (C1
in both figures) whose positive end is
connected to position 10 to be used to
filter the +67 -volt output on the Atwater
Kent card (Fig. 5) or the +45 -volt output on the Radiola card (Fig. 6).
Readers who want to develop a
power -supply system similar to Victor's
will need to work out their own resistance- network values for sets requiring
voltages not covered in Figs. 5 and 6.
The extra filter capacitors on the power supply female edge connector were
junkbox parts, and almost any large
capacity units with appropriate voltage
ratings should work.
Mr. Smedstad would be happy to talk
3000 Hanover St.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel. 650-857-1501
Web: www.hp.com
or correspond with readers who would
like to discuss his power -supply ideas.
Contact Victor I. Smedstad, 1307 Kings
Place, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110;
Tel. 206 -842 -6440. Please enclose an
S.A.S.E. with mail queries.
COMPUTER BITS
(continued from page 22)
diskette takes about 20 minutes and
uses lots of CPU cycles during the
process, making other operations on
the machine jerky.
ZIP DISKS
I
have used Zip disks on both PC
and Mac piatforms for several years,
with good results. Zip is available in
both SCSI and parallel -port interfaces,
The SCSI -based models provide good
performance; the parallel -port units are
tolerable.
At $10 -15 per cartridge, media
costs are still higher than they should
be. Reliability has been good; once
when a drive died, !omega replaced it
821 West !omega Way
Roy, UT 84067
Tel. 801 -778 -1000
Web: www.iomega.com
not enjoy the market share of !omega.
Three years ago, SuperDisk would have
made a hit, but today it's an also -ran in
an increasingly crowded field.
The real comer is CD- R /CD -RW.
The fully optical technology promises
much better longevity than magnetic
media. According to HP, CD -RW's lifespan is around 30 years, and CD -R is
about 100 years. Now that's storage.
SIGNING OFF
My mother used to say that people
should change professions every ten
years. have been writing this column for
more than ten years, so guess it's time
for a change. As much as have enjoyed
researching and writing these columns,
my heart really is in more technical activities. At this point need to focus and
concentrate my energies on new opportunities. Technical writing is too much in
my blood for me to simply disappear, so
you can expect to see occasional articles
from me here and elsewhere.
have
really enjoyed corresponding and occasionally debating with you; that will be
my real loss in leaving. Feel free to stay
in touch via e-mail. can be reached at
jeff@ingeninc.com.
65
I
I
I
I
I
I
CRYSTALSYNTH
TABLE
(continued from page 38)
Note #
synthesizer, you need a known good MIDI cable and a MIDI
source. Most sound -card manufacturers produce ready -made cables
that are well suited to operation
with the CrystalSynth.
Connect an audio amplifier to J1
and J2 and turn the volume of the
amplifier to the mid -volume point.
We will check the built -in audio
amplifier later. There is a lot of cir-
cuitry between the output of IC3
and the input of IC5, so let's start off
with as few variables as possible.
Connect your MIDI source to J3 (the
5 -pin DIN MIDI connector).
Apply power to the circuit. Press
a key on your keyboard or send
some MIDI data from your MIDI
source. You should hear the synthesizer sound the notes you pressed. If
not, check for MIDI data with a
scope at pin 4 of IC1. Also check for
MIDI data at pin 20 of IC2. Check to
see that the crystal at pins 6 and 7
of IC2 is oscillating. Check the LRCLK
terminal (pin 10) of IC2 and the LRCK
terminal (pin 3) of IC3 for a 44.1 -kHz
squarewave input.
Take a look at the serial -audio
data stream that's being transferred from pin 11 (sour) of IC2 to pin
(soAtA) of IC3. The serial -audio
data stream should appear as a
random squarewave. Check pin 23
(PDN) and pin 24 (RsT) of IC2. Both of
those pins must be high in order to
enable normal operation. Finally
check pin 2 (DEM /scLK) of IC3, making sure that pin 2 is high and noise
free. Any oscillation on pin 2 could
cause IC3 to go into external clock
mode, thereby causing the synthesizer to remain silent. Recheck all
1
wiring and compare to the
If the circuit isn't making
usually something silly like
a ground wasn't wired up. If you
have music, but it is noisy, try using
smaller resistors for R9 and R10 (currently 15k). Those resistors set the
gain of IC4. If the gain is too high,
the signal might be clipping or overdriving the input of the audio amplifier. If the signal is faint, try increasing
the values of R9 and R10.
schematic.
noise, it
66
is
If everything is good so far, connect speakers to J4 and J5. Set vol ume controls R19 and R20 to their
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
2-059236 PERCUSSIVE INSTRUMENT
Dnan Sound
Acoustic Bass Drum
Bass Drum 1
Side Kick
Acoustic Snare
Hand Clap
Electric Snare
Low Floor Tom
Closed Hi-Hat 1
High Floor Tom
Pedal Hi-Hat 1
Low Tom
Open Hi-Hat 1
Low Mid Tom
Hi Mid Tom
Crash Cymbal 1
Hi Tom
Ride Cymbal I
Chinese Cymbal
Ride Bell
Tambourine
Splash Cymbal
Cow Bell
Crash Cymbal 2
Vrbraslap
Note #
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
mid -points. Send MIDI data to the
synthesizer as before; you should
hear sounds. Listen for 60 -Hz hum or
a high -pitched whine. If either is
present, try making C29 (2200 µF)
and C14 (1000 p,F) larger. You might
also tack some 0.1 -µF and 0.01 -µF
capacitors between the +15 -volt
line and ground at various points
close to the LM2879. If you are getting distortion when low bass notes
are played, the speakers you are
using may not be up to the task. Try
larger speakers rated at 10 watts or
more, or you can put a shorting
jumper across R15 and another
across R16 to remove the bass boost feature of the power amp.
Using the CrystalSynth. Using the
synthesizer should be as easy as
plugging it into a source of MIDI
data. It should work well with any
device that conforms to the general MIDI standard, which defines
what Instrument sounds there are
to work with and to which program
number they are assigned. For
instance, according to the standard, it is expected that program
is a grand piano and program 41 is
a violin, etc. Most MIDI devices
today conform to that standard.
I've had trouble on rare occasions
when a device expects the drum
track to be on channel 16 instead
1
LIST
Drum Sound
Ride Cymbal 2
Hi Bongo
Low Bongo
Mute Hi Conga
Open Hi Conga
Low Conga
Hi Timbale
Low Timbale
Hi Agogo
Low Agogb
Cabasa 81
Maracas
Short Whistle
Long Whistle
Short Guilt)
Long Guiro
Claves
Hi Wood Block
Low Wood Block
Mute Cuica
Open Cuica
Mute Triangle
Open Triangle
of channel 10. Usually that's easily
remedied by a simple editing of the
MIDI file with a sequencer or MIDI
editor program.
Edit the drum track by changing
any drum sounds to channel 10.
found the Internet to be a bottomless pit of MIDI resources. You can
find files of all types, styles, and
quality. Most files are created by
amateurs who like to play the role
of conductor. Some are created by
professionals trying to sell their own
creations. Either way, there is something for everyone. Just do a web
search for MIDI.
I
Going Further. If the intended use is
to mix the output of the synthesizer
using other line -level processors, mixers, equalizers, etc., and you don't
intend to connect the unit to speakers, you can eliminate IC5 and all
related circuitry.
A momentary pushbutton switch
can be connected across C1, making the switch essentially a reset button. MIDI synthesizers are notorious
for getting stuck on a note when the
sequencer or computer to which
they are connected suffers a glitch.
The reset switch is a quick way to set
the system back to a known state
and silence any stuck sounds. The
printed- circuit layout has pads close
to Cl for that purpose.
Supplement to Popular Electronics
March 1999
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XK -700 Digital
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JENSEN TOOLS
46th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Fax: 800- 366 -9662
Tel: 800-426-1194
E -Mail: Jensen @stanleyworks.com
7815
2
Lowrie
Ask aoout our new full line of
Jensen grand handheld meters,
Worthy of the Jensen name!
S.
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416
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77
Since 1988
P. O. Box 97903, Raleigh, NC 27624 E -mail: sunequipco@ipass.net
To re uest FREE CATALOG. r lease call, fax, write, or e-mail us.
Quality Test Equipment for Professionals
DC POWER SUPPLY (CC /CV)
All models. protection
of short ckt, overload, reverse polarity, over-
voltage; Constant Current & Voltage (CC/CV) are fully adjustable.
Regulation: 5.01%+3mV (line); s.01%+3mV (load); slmV ripple.
SINGLE OUTPUT
AnalgDífpkWt
PS-303 S159.00, 30V/3A.
PS-305 5219.95, 30V/5A.
PS-1610S 5289.00, 16V/10A.
PS- 2243 $139.00, 2V/24V select, 3A.
PS -2245 5159.00, I2V/24V select, 5A.
8107 5399.95, 30V/I OA.
8110 5289.95, 60V/3A.
8112 S399.95, 60V/5A.
I
Year Warranty. 15 Day Money Back Guarantee.
School purchase order accepted. Bids accepted.
DEALERS & SALES REP'S WELCOME
DISTRIBUTOR & OEM WELCOME
1
Sun e¡uipmení (.orporalion
LODESTAR VISA, Mastercard, Discover, AmrExpress
1- 800 -870-1955 / (919)870-1955 Fax:(919)870 -5720
RF SIGNAL GENERATOR
SG-4160B 5124.95, 100KHz- 150MHz
up to 450MHz on 3rd harmonics in 6
ranges; AM modulation; Accucy. 45 %.
RF Output 100mVrns to 35 MHz
Modulation: Int. I KHz (AM) =30%;
Ext. 50Hz- 20KHz, at least I V,m, input.
Audio Output: I KHz, 2V,m, minimum.
SG-4162AD (with Freq. Counter) $229.95, Spec. see SG- 41608.
COUNTER SECTION: IOHz- I50MHz, Max. Input s3V effective
Gate Time: .1, l sec. Input Sensitivity: 33mV, 10Th- 200MHz
7-di t LEIN
IMO F), 500
F). Di .la
GRID DIP METER
DM -4061 589.95 1.5- 250MHz,
6 bands; 6 plug -in coils,
2 transistor, and I diode.
Modulation:. 2KHz Sinewave,
Crystal Oscillator: I -15MHz.
Wave abs. 'ton meter. 9VDC bar
.
FREQUENCY COUNTER
-::
`..
FC-5250C 5119.95 l0Hz-220MHz.
(HF)10Hz- 20MHz, (VHF)10- 200MHz.
GateTime: .1,1sec. Max. Input: 10V,_,.
Input Sensitivity: 35mV/IOHz-200MHz
AM /FM STD SIGNAL GEN.
Input limed. : IMO(HF), 500(VHF).
4weelkeaaillis
SG-4110A 51799.00, Freq: 0.1- I10MHz, Display 6 -digit LED;
Display 7-digit LEDs; 9V adapter (S6)
Resolution: 100Hz (0.1- 34.999MHz); 1KHz (35MHz- 110MHz).
FC-5260A 5129.95.600MHz
DletalDitplQS 8210/8300 5199.95, 30V/3A.
Accuracy <*(5x10'tl count); Output: -19dBu- 99dBu, 1dB steps. FC-5270 5149.95, 1.2GHz/8-dgl.
82118301 5259.95, 30V/5A.
! ,dance: 500 VSWR 1.2; 100 ,reset fre. uenc & store functions FC -5600 5229.95, 600MHz/10-dgt.
DUAL OUTPUTS
8EL9 8E
FC-5700 5299,95, 1.3GHz/I0 -dgt.
Independent/Treeklag
AUDIO GENERATOR
Analog Displays
FC-1200 5189.95, 1.25GHt/8 -dgt LCD
8108 5549.95, 60V /3A.
AG -2601A 5124.95, 101{z-1 MHz in 5 Handheld; M
recessor counter.
0SV,m,;
squranges;
Output:
sinewave
8109 5699.95, 60V /5A.
.
SIGNAL TRACER /INJECTOR
are 10V,,. Output loped: 600 Ohm.
PS-303D 5314.95, 30V/3A.
PS -305D 5399.95, 30V /5A.
Distortion: <0.05% 500Hz- 50KHz;
SE -6100 5134.95
TRIPLE OUTPUTS, a flied 5V/3A output, lndepend/iracktng
<0.5% 50KHz-500KHz.
pica
TRACER: Gain 60dB maximum.
DigNalDisplr(ys 8202(8203) 5499.95(5549.95), dual 30V/3A(5A).
AG-2603AD $229.95, with 6-digit
Attenuation: 0/20/40/60dB
Analog Displays 8102(8103) 5399.95(5489.95). dual 30V/3A(5A), B.
t atM
Int/Ext. Freq Counter, 10Hz- 150MHz,
Input hoped: IOOKO ;Meter: Vu I00pA
with Parallel (30V/6A and Series 60V/3A) Mode o
non.
Ou
t Control: 0 /- 20/ -40dB & Fine ad 'Lister Spec. see AG -2601 A
Output loped.: 6000; Speaker: 8 Q.
NTSC /PAL TV COLOR BAR GEN.
INJECTOR: =IEHz Squarewave;
FUNCTION GENERATOR
Output Level Variable 0- 4.5V.. ; 9V belt
os- ada'ter (56.00).
CPG-1366A 5159.95, VHF MSC;
FG-2100A 5169.95, 0.2Hz-2MHz in 7
Freq.: 45.75, 175.25, 187.25 MHz;
Drglra! Voltmeter Analog Amway
8200(8201) S179.95(5239.95), 30V/3A(5A)
mom
m
"
LCR METERS
ranges; sne, square, Mangle, pulse &
Ramp; Output: 5mV,,-20V,.,, 1%
MIC -4070D 5179.95, Induct.: O.Ip -200H, Capacit.: 0.1p -20mF,
distortion. VCF: 0.10V /freq. to 1000:1. Resist: 1m0 -20M0, 2Q range, Dissipation factor measurement,
....v.,.a.
FG-2102AD 5229.95 see FG- 2100A; Zero adult; Surface mount device (SMD) test
be: LT-06 521.95
4 -digit counter display, TTL & CMOS
SWR /RF
METER
outputs, 30ppm
count accuracy.
DMM -120 524.95, 31/2 digit, 600VDC, 2ADC
310 589.95, 1.8- I50MHz;RFPower: FC-20206S159.00 0.5Hz- 500KHz Sine, Square, Triangle.
FG -2103 5329.95, Digital sweep generator, 0.5Hz -5MHz in 7
500VAC.2MQ hFE/diode/continuity test; 1.2%
0- 4W/20W /200W 3 ranges; SWR
MM- 1230+Cap+Freq $59.95, 31/2 dgt, 20MHz
Measurement.: I.0- -, 4W minimum. ranges. Operating Mode: sweep, AM, gated burst, VCG.
000VDC/750VAC, IOADC/AC, 20M0, 20µF,
Accuracy: 5 % -10%; Insert Loss:.3dB Freq. Counter: Int. 0.5Hz-5MHz, Ext. 5HZ -10MHz
Microprocessor
embedded
dgital
sweep;
hFE/diode test, continuity beeper; 0.5% accuracy
Input/Output Imp.: 50Q; SO-239 plug PC-513 5769.95, 13 MHz
DMM- 1240+Cap+FregrLogk 569.95, Battery
320 589.95, 130.520MHz Spec. 310. Sine, Square, Triangle, Pulse, Ramp, TTL & DC; t(.01%+Idgt).
F ... Counter & TCXO 5Hz- 100MHz, 6.5 . ts. xI /x20 attenuate
check, Logic level measurement, + DMM -1230.
330 5119.95, 1.8- 520MHz. Spec. see 310.
DMM- 1250+Cap+Freq+Temp 589.95, Battery
SWR-3P 526.95 1.7- 150MHz
check -58' -1999' F / -50' -1300' C, +DMM 1230
RF Power: 0.5-10W, 0.5W -100W.
MV -3100A 5159.95 wide band
DMM -125 554.95, Automnge/Bargraph, 32M 0,
SWR-2P S22.95, 1.7- 30MHz; RF Power: 0.5.10W.
5Hz -1MHz 3 scales, mV, dB &dBm;
600VDC/AC, I OADC/AC, diode/continuity test.
mW RF Power Meter 340 5219.00, j.8- 500MHZRF
3004V -100V in 12 ranges, I0AV
MIC-35 $59.95, Autorange, 31/2 LCD, 20M0,
Power: 20mW/200mW/2W 3 ranges; lived: 50Q ;Accuracy:
resolution; -70 -40dB in 12 ranges,
1000VDC/750VAC, 20ADC/AC, data hold,
connector; BNC P ou .ut..
t10% full scale; SWR <l 15; NOdB =I Vrms,OdBm=0.755V); ±3%
diode/continuity test, free holster; 0.5% accuracy
accuracy; Input impedance IOMQ;
MIC-39 5129.95, Autorange/Bargtaph, True RMS, 3% LCD, 40µF,
FM STEREO
Noise <2 %. MV-32016 5309.95 dual 40M0, I000VDC/750VAC, 20ADC/AC, 600KHz freq. cntr, data
AO.2011A 5549.00
channels, simultaneous measurement. hold, sleep mode, memory. read fonctions, holster, 0.3% accuracy.
RFOutput: 10mV.
Impedance: 75 Ohm;
Video Output: BNC, I V,,.
CPG -1367A 5159.95, VHF PAL
ws
a
seOsten
/mW POWER
t
DIGITAL MULTIMETER
1
'.:.^'\
-
MODULATOR
RF SECTION:
Carrier: 98MHz t2MHz;
Output: IOmV, ImV &0.ImV
COMPOSITE SIGNALS:
Pilot 19KHz ±2Hz, 0.8 Vors
INT. MODULATION: 400KHz
s
'
KHz *1%, Vrms, distortion < .5 %1" -R Separation: >50dB.
EXT. MODULATION: Freq.: 50Hz-15KHz
L-R S oration: >45dB 100Hz-3KHz >35dB 50Hz -15KHz.
1
POCKET ANALOG MULTIMETER
OSCILLOSCOPES
1
"
WOW- FLUTTER METER
OS-7305B $249.00 DC-7MHz; 3"
CRT; Hort .25V/dtv; 10Hz- 100KHz
in 4 ranges; Vert: I0m V/div; Int. &
Ext. Sync.; Input IMO /35pF.
OS -7010A 5299.95 10MHz, 5 "CRT,
Harz: .2V /dtv; VertlOmV -10V /div.
OS -622G $389.95 20MHz, 2 CH/X -Y
Alt trigger, trigger lock, hold OFF, TV
syn., 8x10 div., l mV /div., Hon: .2µs- .5s/div; Vert: m V-5V /div.
WF- 3103AS699.95 Freq. Range: 3KHm10%11S/CCIR;
OS-653G $699.95 50MHz, 2 CH/delay sweep, Alt trigger, TV syn.
e..'- ,,, :rt
3.15KHzt10%DIN.
OS-6101G 51499.95 100MHz, 4ch/0 traces, delay sweep, cursor
Measuremt .03/.1/.3/1/3% full scale. readout. 2 ars warr
or OS-622G, OS-653G d OS-6101 G.
Accuracy ±5% of full scull.
WF-3105A 5799.95, digital display;
UHF ATTENUATORS
1
-
v+`
t7C
..
j
AMM-9810P 514.95
DCV: Range: 10/50/250 /500V. ±4%.
ACV: Range: 50/250 /500V, ±4%.
DCA: Range: 25mA, 250mA;Accuracy: ±4%
full scale; Protection: 0.5A/250V fuse.
Resistance: Range: 500k0 (x 1k); ±5%.
dB Test: +4 to +56 dB on ACV range;
Accuracy: ±5% of full scale.
Battey Test 1.5V and 9V.
Max. In ut: 500VDC/AC, or 250mADC.
AUTO. CAPACITANCE METER
-
10 ranges, 99.9pF 99 9m F, Edly automatic
Resolution: O.IpF lowest, 0.1% full scale.
Accuracy:
0.5% of full scale f I digit to 99.9ÁF,
RT-8815U (500) $299.00 / RT -8817U (750) 5299.00, 950MHz, 1% of full scale ±I digit to 99.90F.
8IdB, 0.5W max.; Steps: 1/2/3/5/10/20/20/20, S switches.
Display 3 digit LED.
085E-2 (SO(2) 8399.00 / 087E -2 (750) 8399.00, 950MHZ 81dB, Unit .F, nF, ÁF, mF, Overan:e indicators
+7.
0.5W max,: Steps: 10dß
IdBxl O, Electronic ad ustment knob
CM3300A 5139.00
-
Function: LIN/WOW/Flutter/KTD.
Freq Counter: 10Hz- 9.99MHz
Indication: CCIR/DIN/11S.
TOOLKITS - ELECTRONIC /PC
9745 $29,99 U.S. Patented, 45-pcs. Contents: IC inserter /extractor
with securers & bows, 3-prong part retriever, SO phillips screwdriver, 1/8" Oat srewdriver, self-hold tweezers, metal tweezers, extra
parts tube, soldering von, solder, crimping tool, long-nose plier,
cutting plier, zipper vinyl case. Bits include: Phillips: #0/61/92/63;
Flat: /8 "/3/16 " /1 /4 "/9/32 "; PZl/PZ2; TS/T9/f I01í 151F20/ß5/
127/130 /í40/T45; Her 5/64"/3/32"/1/8"/5/32"/3/16"; Sockets:
3/16" (5mm)/7/32" (5.5mm)/1/4" (6mm)/9/32" (7mm)/5/16" (8mm).
8C23 534.99 23 -pcs Contents: IC inserter/extractor with securer &
bows, 3 -prong par retriever, 3/16 " /l /4" nutdriver, 3'16 " / 1/8" sloted screwdriver, #0/9 I phillips, reversible TIO/f I5 bits, re- versible
#2 phillips/1/2" slotted bits, tweezer, long-nose plier, cutter, 6" adj.
1
wrench, soldering iron, solder, crimping tool, zipper case, manual.
78
MICROPROCESSOR TRAINER
AUTO DISTORTION METER
DM -3104A 5799.95
BCC -8088 5699.00, learn DISTORTION MEASURE
computer theory. Excelle- Range: 0.01 % to 30 %,
nt for school & individual 0.1/0.3/1/3/10/30% 6 ranges.
who want to learn about Freq: 400H7í 10 %, IKHzt10 %(HPF).
ROM, RAM. I/O ports. Input: 3mV -100V; Ratio measure 20dB
programming, & run a
Auto. Freq. Switching Ranges:
8088 Microprocessor. An Fundamental Freq. _ (fo)t l0 %;
easy to understand step- Fund. Rejection: > -80dB at (fo)±5%; >-70dB at (fo)±I0
by -step manual guides
Harmonic Accuracy: ±0.5dB, I.8(fo) -20KHz
you to achieve your goal. LEVEL MEASURE Range: 0 to 100V in .03/.í/.3/1/3/10/30/100V
56-key keyboard, LCD
Freq Response: t0.5dB/20- 50kHz; dB/20 -I OOkHz.
display, RS -232. UART... DM -3204 51.599.00 dual channels. Spec see DM- 3104A.
tl
CIRCLE 158 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
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Since 1971
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Intel 8051, Intel 8088, or Motorola 68HC11
based system. All models come with:
3:
-
32K Byte ROM, 32K Byte RAM 2 by 16 Liquid Crystal Display 4
by 5 Keypad Digital, Analog, and Serial I/O Intenupts,timers, chip selects 26 pin expansion connector Built -in Logic Probe Power
Supply (can also be battery operated) Powerful ROM MONITOR to
help you program Connects to your PC for programming or data
logging (cable included) Assembly, BASIC, and C programming
(varies with model) Program disks with Cross Assembler and many,
well documented, program examples User's Manuals: cover all details
(over 500 pages) Completely assembled and ready to use Source
code for all drivers and MONITOR - Optional Text Book
Money Back Guarantee
AES
800 -811 -5203
FAX 602 -464 -5824
ME
ELECTRONICS
ALFA
HIGH QUALITY TEST EQUIPMENT
C
all
1- 800 -526 -2532
Triple Output
OS-620 5324.95
OS-6260 $599.95
Most econowial acope
Dual CH/X-Y operation
I mV/dtv stn itivity
Z-axis ugrut,CH1 output
TV syn, ALT trigger
Dual CH / Delay sweep
Built-ran delay line
ALT trigger, Hold-Off
Z-axis input,CH I output
Reedeat a ewer ore
ALFA ELECTRONICS
P.O. BOX 8089
NCETON. NJ 08543 -8089
P5-8200 ($179.95)30VCA
PS -8201 ($23995) 30V/_A
Dental Volt d Carrent .)1WLd
PS -8300 ($199.95) 30V/: A
PS-8301 ($259.95) 30V/'A
Tri 'le Out. ut
out 0- 30V,0.3A
One fixed 5V .3A output
Auto track, serial, parallel
Corsi volt, current mode
4 analog or 2 digital display
PC-3130 ($499.95)
t
1
,i.
2 variable
Sin le Output
In
: operation
ce or Trac
el to double current output
]5n& PS -8103
P
i
(PS-8IO2
$4í
30V/3A/30V/3A
PS-8202
PS -8203 ($549.95) 30V /SA/30V /SA
128
94.95
70-111 $ 99.00
73-III
75-III
77-III
71-III
$125.00
$155.00
$173.00
$195.00
07 -111 $325.00
92B -111 $1,445
%B-11 $1,695
99w111$2,095
1058 $2,495
123-111 $1,130
ME
$555
$740
147B
AC Current
o
34
DC/AC Current Probe $79.95
$59.95
Mini AC Clamp
AC Clamp w/temp
$89.95
$109.95
DC/AC Clamp
Thermometer $6995-$8995
IRThennometer
$189.95
Sound Level Meter $169.95
Tachometer $16995-$219.95
$69.95
EMF Tester
$299.95
Pressur Meter
Watt Meter
$129.95
High Voltase Probe
$59.95
H Meter
$79.95
-$89.95
t Meter
$79.95
AUDIO /RF /FUNCT. GEN.
RF Cementer $G -4160 124.9 100
150MHz sinewaves in 8 ranges
SG- 4162AD($229.95) with 6 digit counter
Audis Gearratu AG -2601 ($124.95) 10HzMHz, 0-8Vpp sine, 0 -10Vpp squuewave
AG- 2603AD ($229.95) with 6 digit counter
Function Geometer FC -2100A ($154.95)
1
0.2Hz- 2MHz,SmV -20V
FG -2103 ($329.95) Sweep 0.5Hz -5MHz
FUNCTION
Programmable GENERATOR
BENCHTOP
OMM
DM-8034($179.95)31/2 dgt
(PPT ser) FG-00206 ($209.95)
0.02Hz-2MHz w/counter
PT series),
AC/DV(V,A),C,C2,diode
SindSqu/Iti/puLu/Ramp
and
SCPI
IEEE
-488.2
Current regulation <0.2%
DM-8040($339.95) 3r/. dgt
compatible command set FG-8020G ($209.95)
ACV to 50kHz, tnre nos
18V/3A
P8-1838 ($198.95)
PP&1660G01,149.95)1 aV /6A 0.02Hz-2MHz w/counter
P8 -1850 ($214.95) 18V/SA PP8 36356(51,149.95p6v/3JA FC-8050 ($449.95) Sweep D M-80556($889.95)$ hdgt
0.006% accuracy, GPIB
PS-1131D($214.95)16V3A PPT -1 136($1,499.95) l$VoA 0.05Hz-5MHz w/counter
min/malt
auto '
-36156($1,499.93)36 V 1.5 INT/EXT AM/FM mod
PS-1850 124495 ISW5A
Coast voltage, current moo Auto
Voltage regulation <0.01% Auto track
--
TEL: (800)526 -2532 / (609) 897 -1135
FAX: 609 -897 -026
E -mail:
oofnllydy)sspp((aarrss))
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PS-8IO2 ($399.9
pPPSSt-88U103 ($489.95) 30V /SA/30V /SA
for complete into
for Order and Free Catalo
1:
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Constant current, constant vo tage m
Short Circuit and overload protected
DizUal Volt. Anatol Curter
Attains Meters Moak,
20 MHz Sco .e Cursor Readout
.1101111
CAP-15 (349.95): 35 digit, 0.1 pF20mF, 9 Ranges, 0.1pF resolub
zero adjustment
LCR-U (3119.95): 0. I µH -200H,
0.1 pF- 2000µF, 0.01 C2-20MC),
diode test. New Mo/eL
LCR-131D (3219.95): autorege,
0.111H -10kH, 0.IpF-10mP, ImC2IOMR, Q Factor, seruUpara let,
120Hz/IkHz testing mode.
FC-12H ($129.95): 1.25GHz
Handheld, 8 digits display, i.,
acertmy, sensitivity 5enV (130 350MHz, 30mV 440MHz
Single Output DC Power Supplies
.
a
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$
-800 -730 -3232
www.alfaelectronics.com
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DMM -818 ($179.00): true mu, AC/DC (VA), n,
bar graph, fre9, apac., dßm, logic, diode
DMM -23T ($99.95): 4h digit, bue mu, high resol
( 10µV ,10nA,10mf2), hFE, diode, contin.
DMM-20 ($74.95): AC/DC (V, A), Freq, coat,
Capoc, Induct, 0, hFE, diode, duty cycle
DMM -122 ($59.95): DC/AC(VA),
hFE, diode
capacitance, freq, logic, continuity
DMM -123 ($44.95): DMM + capacitance,
DC/AC(VA), hFE, diode, continuity
DMM -10 ($19.95): 3t4 digit, DC/AC V, 0, hFE,
diode, signal output( +3V, -0.5Vsq.,50duty)
.10
Call
AES 575 ANTON BLVD., SUITE 300, COSTA MESA, CA 92626, USA
gel u
PS-303 ($159.00) 30V/3A
PS-305 ($219.95) 30V /SA
PS -8112 ($399.95) 60V /SA
PS -1610 ($289.00) 16V/10A
PS -8107 ($399.95)30V/l0A
Call for Free Info Pack, or see
WEB at http: / /www.aesmicro.com
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the same time.
Schmitt triggers, Thyristor circuits,
Opto- Isolator 'Coupler selection and
replacement. All are clearly explained
with typical circuit applications.
WANT TO EXPAND your knowledge of electronics? Do it the easy way
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Jampacked with
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Detach and mail today:
CLAGGK Inc.
P.O. Box 4099
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(Name)
(Street Address)
(City)
(State)
(Zip)
All Payment must be in U.S.
Funds!
BS168
89
ADVERTISING INDEX
Popular Electronics does not assume any responsibility for errors that may appear
in the index below.
Free Information Number
-
AES
79
Alfa Electronics
79
All Electronics
88
Free Information Number
-
161
82
Lynxmotion
67
MCM Electronics
69
85
139
Mendelson's
Amazon Electronics
86
174
MicroCode Engineering
American Innovations
87
Andromeda Research
81
Arrow Electronics
81
Basic Electrical Supply
72
Bsoft
76
32
C &S Sales, Inc.
74
-
Cable USA
89
173
Cadsoft
-
157
-
26
7
-
165
Page
KDE Electronics
Allison Technology
162
90
Page
81
CV2
ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES
Gernsback Publications, Inc.
500 Bi- County Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735 -3931
Tel. 516- 293.3000
Fax: 516- 293 -3115
Larry Steckler, EHF/CET
President (ext. 201)
advertising @gernsback
e -mail:
Adria Coren
Vice -President (ext. 208)
Micro Test
86
Modern Electronics
83
Mouser
81
MSC Electronics
86
Newnes
73
Fax: 516-293 -3115
NRI Schools
19
Larry Steckler
PHDI
87
Pioneer Hill Software
80
Ken Coren
Vice -President (ext. 267)
Christina Estrada
Assistant to the President (ext. 209)
For Advertising ONLY
TeL 516 -293-3000
Publisher
Marie Falcon
Advertising Director (ext. 206)
Adria Coren
79
150
Prairie Digital Inc.
76
15, 89
143
Print
77
Clearview Group
84
142
Print
72
Cleveland Inst. of Electronics
35
153
Print
84
Command Productions
76
ProPlanet
86
Consumertronics
70
School of Electronics
87
Crazy Liz's
67
Securetek
86
Silicon Valley Surplus
67
Sun Equipment
78
Technological Arts
86
Telulex
70
MIDWEST /Texas /Arkansas/
Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona
Test Equipment Depot
82
Ralph Bergen
Todd's House of Fiber
84
UCANDO Videos
85
US Cyberlab
80
Velleman Inc.
68
PACIFIC COAST /Mountain States
Anita Bartman
Video Media
86
Hutch Looney & Assoc., Inc.
6310 San Vicente Blvd.
Vision Electronics
67
Weeder Technologies
85
Zagros
84
Suite 360
Los Angeles, CA 90048 -5426
Tel. 323 -931 -3444 (ext. 227)
Fax: 323-931-7309
e -mail: anita @hlooney.com
Circuit Specialists
CLAGGK, Inc.
Dalbani
CV3
Deharpporte Trading
80
EDE Spy Outlet
84
Foley-Belsaw
71
General Device Instruments
81
Global Electronics
86
Grantham College of Eng
12
Grich RC Inc.
86
Home Automation Systems
67
Information Unlimited
83
Interactive Image Technologies CV4
87
-
Intronics, Inc
James Electronic Services
83
164
Jensen Tools
77
-
158
137
147
163
Credit Manager (ext. 208)
Subscription/
Customer Service/
Order Entry
Tel. 800 -827 -0383
7:30 AM
-
8:30 PM EST
ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES
EAST /SOUTHEAST
Megan Mitchell
9072 Lawton Pine Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89129 -7044
Tel. 702 -240 -0184
Fax: 702-838-6924
e -mail: mmitchell @gernsback.com
One Northfield Plaza, Suite 300
Northfield, IL 60093-1214
Tel. 847 -559 -0555
Fax: 847-559-0562
e -mail: bergenrj @aol.com
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7812
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7818
7824
7905
7906
7908
7912
7918
7924
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960
962
1910
1968
966
968
958
972
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Width: 0.15"
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51 -1050
961
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Item
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51-1005
#
AGC Type
0.5A, 1A,1.5A,
2A, 2.5A, 3A,
4A, 5A, 6A.
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1A, 1.5A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A
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10-2050
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Spring hook
Retaining ringreinovcr
Hex key set
Micro screwdriver
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Fitted vinyl Case
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Dimensions:91/z"(W) X 121/4"(L)
3 Reversaable screwdrivers (Small -Flat- Phillips)
Hold Work in any
Position to leave
hands free for soldering
Item
50 -1325
#
Item
TUN -O -WASH ®
(CFO F
Fast drying electronics grade cleaner
for tuners, controls and PC boards.
CFC and HCFC free
Not for use on energized equipment
Due to the chemical content, this
product can be only shipped by
UPS ground service.
Item
(
#
SOLDERING IRON
50 -888
HEAVY DUTY COLOR
General Purpose Applications
117V AC, 30 Watts
Item
CODED LEADS
10 Leads
11" Long Wire Lead
51 -1335
#
Insulated 11/2" Alligator Clip
20 Gauge Wire Size
Black, Green, Red, Yellow, White
30 -0100
12.5 Oz aerosol
#
u)
)
WELLER
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Item
#
56 -500
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AC Voltage: 200 -750V
DC Current: 20m-20
Transitor and Diode Test
Continuity Buzzer
Polarity indicator appears
on LCD
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Dimensions:
4.96" x 2.76" x 9.4"
Weight: 6 oz.
9V Battery Included
Item
#
White
Ideal for the
professional, serious hobbyist
Variable power control (5 -40W)
40W pencil iron and ST# inter changeable tip
Replaceable heating element
Cushioned foam grip Safety guard iron holder
On/off switch with "power -on" indicator light
50 -2895
Item
#
Spring -Balanced 45" extension arm
with 3 conductor cord 120V 60Hz
Steel Shade supplied with a
precise 3 diopterlens and a 22W
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.Comes with a lamp
'gem # 54 -0120
51 -1505
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