Elektor @ 60: Engineering in August

An engineering discovery made at a university laboratory in Munich could lead to a destructive new electronic product made in Texas. We believe that these articles from previous August editions will inspire you to develop new projects.

Engineering has become a global process. The discovery, made at a university laboratory in Munich, could spark dozens of projects across Europe that ultimately inspired the devastating new product made in Texas. Let’s recognize this tradition of engineering evolution and innovation as part of ours Feast of Elektor 60, we regularly pay attention to remarkable articles on electronics, DIY projects and engineering lessons from the past. We believe that the following articles from previous August editions will inspire you to develop new projects and solutions

Elektor SDR Reloaded (2016)

Software defined radio (SDR) is a hot topic in our community, which is why we have been writing about it for years and selling ourselves popularly books and bundles on the subject. In the 2016 article “SDR Reloaded” you learn that SDR can also be used to perform measurements. The characteristics of the receiver are defined in the software, which allows you to use the Arduino Shield as an interface.

SDR reloaded
SDR reloaded

Its technical characteristics include:

  • Supply voltage: 5 V and 3.3 V as for Arduino
  • Frequency range: 150 kHz to 30 MHz
  • Sensitivity: 1 μV
  • Total gain: 40 dB
  • Maximum antenna signal level: 10 mV
  • Dynamic range: 80 dB

Author Burkhard Kainka writes, “Why not just build the whole receiver like an Arduino Shield? This solves the power requirements using the USB interface that is already available on the computer. The Arduino would take care of the VFO control and could be addressed in plain language, so to speak (6030 kHz please). And perhaps even more exciting, it even gives you a real chance to build a completely stand-alone receiver. The operation can be migrated from the computer to the Arduino relatively easily. And who knows, maybe one day the decoding of the IQ signal? ” Read more

Easy Remote Control for Home (2006)

You are interested in home control and automation solutions? Carlos Ferreira one for the lazy? In August 2006, he wrote that his PIC with microchip-the scheme of the base is designed for “maximum idleness in front of the TV”. In general, its design allows it to control various devices (eg ceiling lamps, floor lamps and window curtains) with its convenient TV remote control.

Home remote control
Home remote control

“The software developed for the project is stored in the PIC microcontroller. It allows four different RC5 codes to be stored and used to control the four outputs. For example, your TV remote control can control five systems: default), VCR, DVD, AMP, SAT. For example, if you do not have a VCR, the corresponding IR codes are available for Easy Home Control. If your remote control is not compatible with RC5 codes, you can buy a cheap universal remote control to do the job. ” Read more

Car Battery Monitor (1994)

Over the years Elektor has published crazy projects as well as practical ones. This car wreck monitor falls into the latter category. After describing the behavior of lead acid disposal battery, K. Walraven presents a convenient diagram that measures the discharge level of the car battery by monitoring the battery voltage. “If the voltage is in danger of becoming too low for the car to start, the extra loads (lights, radio, etc.) are disconnected from the battery. So, if you accidentally forgot to turn off something, it will not causes a dead battery. ”

Battery monitor 1994
Battery monitoring project

Battery saving is based on the familiar 723 voltage regulator, which contains a stable 7.15-V reference and op-amp. While this isn’t the only dough monitor ever covered in Elektor, it’s definitely one you shouldn’t miss. Read more

Solar energy production (1987)

One of Elektor’s most popular articles this month is Dr. Thomas Scherer’s article “Make your own solar photo installation: Construction of a balcony power plant. “But did you know that Elektor has been covering solar energy solutions for more than 30 years? In August 1987, Elektor published an in-depth article entitled” Solar Power Production “, which covers many of the fundamental concepts on which today’s solar technologies are built: solar collectors, MHD generators, solar cells, operation of silicon solar cells, etc. Read more

solar energy generator - technical inspection
Diagrams from the article about the solar energy generator.

555 as a trigger (1975)

The 555 is a classic that has been presented in Elektor hundreds of times. In August 1975, Elektor covered 555 as a trigger. “The IC 555 is usually used as a timer. The delay for these applications is obtained by charging and discharging a capacitor between two well-defined voltage limits. For this purpose, the IC has two voltage-sensitive inputs that can be used in a trigger circuit.”

Engineering idea: trigger 555
555 as a trigger

FYI: In the very near future we will publish a new article entitled “Fifty years of 555 timers IC”, so watch out for that.

More engineering is forthcoming

Expect more classic Elektor projects and electronics lessons. Next time we will highlight some of the favorite articles of our editorial team from last September. Engineering never stops. Take it out Elektor membership if you haven’t already. Why wait?