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Build A Simple FM Transmitter
All About Voltage Doublers
Build A Speaker Protector
Color Bar Generator
hld Music On Hold To Virtually
Any Telephone

How To Get 120 -Volt AC Power

From 12 Volts DC



Semiconductor Memory

New Audio Formats


Build An Electronic Fuse

Experiments In Voice


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2190 - 100MHz Three Trace Dual Time Base, V-222 - 20MHz, DC Offset $625
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Dual Trace Oscilloscope V -1100A - 100MHz, Quad Trace $2 195
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67 27
EDITORIAL handbook

Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967) founder

Larry Steckler, EHF, CET,

editor -in -chief and publisher

Brian C. Fenton, editor
Marc Spiwak, associate editor
Neil Sciater, assistant editor
Learning electronics can be fun! Teri Scaduto, assistant editor
Jeffrey K. Holtzman
computer editor
Welcome to the 1992 edition of the Radio -Electronics Robert A. Young, assistant editor
Experimenters Handbook! In buying this issue, you've Robert Grossblatt, circuits editor
taken the first step in what could be a rewarding experi- Larry Klein, audio editor
David Lachenbruch
ence for the education you'll gain and the fun you'll have. contributing editor
We've picked our favorite stories that have appeared in Don Lancaster
contributing editor
Radio -Electronics Magazine over the last year or so. Kathy Terenzi, editorial assistant
We've printing them here as 128 pages jam-packed with Andre Duzant, technical illustrator
great projects and the latest technology. Injae Lee, assistant illustrator
We've done our part. Now it's up to you. Have you always Ruby M. Yee, production director
Karen Tucker, advertising production
been fascinated by high -voltage sparks? Then build our Marcella Amoroso, production traffic
Tesla coil and learn how it works. Bothered by high
electric utility bills? Then build our energy consumption Jacqueline P. Cheeseboro,
monitor and keep track of how much individual appli- circulation director
ances consume. Concerned about low -frequency mag- Wendy Alanko,
circulation analyst
netic radiation? Build our magnetic -field monitor and Theresa Lombardo,
find out if you need to take action. circulation assistant

Typography by Mates Graphics

Cover photo by Diversified Photo
For the serious experimenter, we show how to build a
direct digital sinewave synthesizer. Our THD analyzer
Advertising Sales Offices listed
lets you see just how good your audio equipment is. on page 130.
Gernsback Publications, Inc.,
For the technology buff, we look at Sony's Mini Disc and 500-B Bi-County Blvd., Farm-
ingdale, NY 11735. 516-293-3000
Philips' Digital Compact Cassette. We explain how fuel
cells - perhaps the energy source of the future - work. As a service to readers, Radio -Electronics Elecrtonics
Experimenter's Handbook publishes available plans or
And we see how cable TV fired their infamous "bullet." information relating to newsworthy products, tech-
niques and scientific and technological developments.
Because of possible variances in the quality and con-
dition of materials and workmanship used by readers,
So before you pop that videocassette into your VCR for we disclaim any responsibility for the safe and proper
functioning of reader -built projects based upon or from
another evening in front of the tube, think of what you plans or information published in this magazine.

might be missing. Building electronic projects is a lot of Since some of the equipment and circuitry described in
Radio -Electronics Electronics Experimenter's Hand-
fun. And you'll learn something, too! book may relate to or be covered by U.S. patents. we
disclaim any liability for the infringement of such pat -
ants by the making, using, or selling of any such equip-
ment or circuitry, and suggests that anyone interested in
-THE EDITORS such projects consult a patent attorney.

Radio -Electronics Electronics Experimenter's Hand-

book is published annually by Gemsback Publications
Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. Single copy
price $3.95, Canada $4.50. Canadian GST Registration
No. R125166280. ,()Copyright Gemsback Publications
Inc., 1992.

I- , 1

Home Remote -Control ROBOT BUILDER'S

& Automation Project; BONANZA
ILLUSTRATED Troubleshooting
PROJECTS Procedures
Second Edition and

IA. SAM WILSON (values

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PRACTICAL -second edition -

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Almost Everything

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$ c) P 27.5 TO 32.5 MC






Could fuel cells be

920 VENT
the ideal energy
he! gl f source of tomorrow?

FUEL CELLS COULD POTENTIALLY BE converts potential chemical ener- WARNING!!This article deals with and
the most efficient and environ- gy of fuel into electricity. It oper- involves subject matter and the use of
mentally clean source of power ates at a constant -temperature materials and substances that may be
ever developed. Fuel cells are an during the electrochemical pro- hazardous to health and life. Do not at-
attractive alternative to conven- cess, therefore it's efficiency is tempt to implement or use the information
tional power generation because not limited by thermodynamic contained in this article unless you are
they are highly efficient, and pro- laws governing heat engines. experienced and skilled with respect to
such subject matter, materials and sub-
duce drinking water as an added Pollution is a result of combus- the publisher nor the au-
by-product. What more could you tion, industrial processing, and thor make any representations as to the
ask for in an energy source? The vehicle exhaust. Those pollu- accuracy of the information contained
principle of fuel cell operation tants consist of unburned fuel, herein and disclaim any liability for
was discovered by Sir William partially burned fuel, carbon, damages or injuries, whether caused by
Grove in 1839. He found that or resulting from inaccuracies of the infor-
carbon monoxide, carbon diox- mation, misinterpretations of the direc-
electricity could be generated by ide, dust, sulfur dioxide, nitrous tions, misapplication of the information or
supplying hydrogen and oxygen oxides and so on. Waste heat otherwise.
to two separate electrodes immer- from power plants warms up the
sed in sulfuric acid. For more rivers, causing havoc to the natu- where it is oxidized, releasing
than a century, however, fuel cells ral balance of fish and wildlife. electrons to the load. Oxidation is
remained a mere curiosity. And we all know of the devastat-
The theory of fuel cell operation ing effects of acid rain, which re- the process of removing one or
defied commercial applications sults from man-made emissions more electrons from an ion or
for so long because of technical of sulfur and nitrogen in the air. molecule. In fuel cells, hydrogen
and financial obstacles. It wasn't The by-product of a fuel -cell reac- ions are formed at the electrode
until the 1960's, during the tion, however, is water. Who by electrochemical oxidation of
growth of the space program, would object to that? the fuel. If the fuel is hydrogen,
that there was a renewed interest hydrogen ions are created by the
in developing fuel cell technology following ionization reaction:
H2 -.2H+ +2e
into a viable energy alternative to Fuel -cell chemistry Oxygen, air, or hydrogen perox-
standard power generation. Fuel cells operate by converting ide (a source of oxygen) is fed to
There are two important con- the potential energy of certain the cathode, where it is reduced,
cerns in conventional power gen- chemical reactions directly into whereby the 02 oxygen molecule
eration: efficiency and pollution. electrical current in a flameless, splits apart. Ionic conduction
Most of the power in the world is catalyzed reaction. Some types of completes the circuit through
generated from heat engines fuel cells work very well at room the electrolyte. Hydrogen and
using the heat from combustion temperature. oxygen react to form water, as
of fossil fuels. Mechanical sys- A basic fuel cell consists of an this chemical equation shows:
tems involve many energy con- anode ( + ) and cathode ( - ) sepa- 2 H2 + 02-02H20, or
version steps, and their efficien- rated by a conducting electrolyte Hydrogen + Oxygen-ontater
cies are limited by the laws of such as a solution of potassium If hydrazine is oxidized, addi-
thermodynamics. That results in hydroxide. A fuel, such as hydro- tional nitrogen is formed which
considerable power losses. gen gas, or hydrazine, is intro- is a normal constituent of air,
4 A fuel cell, on the other hand, duced to the negative electrode and also safe:

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Buie] a
Electronics Now looks to the future and shows
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Build a simple
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Buyer's Guide to Digital
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Build A Scanner Converter
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Just fill out the order card in this magazine and mail it in today.
5XP37 5
N21-14+ 02-.21120 + N2, or Hz oz
Hydrazine +Oxygen -Water + Nitrogen
You may be tempted to say that
if hydrogen is such a "clean" fuel,
we can just burn hydrogen in air
and get pure water as the com-
bustion product plus power.
Burning hydrogen would indeed
be a considerable improvement
over burning coal, oil, or gas-
oline. However, when air is
burned, a large amount of nitro-
gen is drawn into the combus-
tion chamber and heated to
roughly 1000C. At that tempera-
ture, it partially reacts with oxy-
gen and forms oxides of nitrogen. WITH GLASS FRITS MEMBRANE
So, even though the reaction
product of the main reaction is
pure drinking water, the side re- FIG. 1-THE AUTHOR'S FUEL CELL uses two adjoining chambers separated by a semi-
permeable membrane. The chambers are filled with an electrolyte. Hydrogen is directed
action spoils it all by making the to one electrode, oxygen to the other.
resulting water unsuitable to
drink. If hydrogen and oxygen re-
act in a fuel cell at room tempera- GEL ION BRIDGE
ture, that problem is eliminated. IN GLASS ELECTRODE

Space-age power
The desirable characteristics
of fuel cells led to the develop-
ment of various systems ranging
in size from 5 -watt portable ELECTROLYTE
units, to the kilowatt (kW) power
level for military applications, on FIG. 2-IONS TRAVEL ALONG a gel -on bridge in a glass tube placed in the electrolyte
up to large stationary plants de- solution.
livering megawatts of power. The
lower -power fuel cells were de-
signed primarily for the space
program and front-line military
use where ease of operation, low
maintenance, and low noise are
Fuel cells are used solely for
power generation of space crafts
because of one chief advantage:
when power is required for more
than a few hours, the battery
weight per kilowatt-hour as a
function of its operational life is
far superior to that of conven-
tional battery cells. A relatively TOP VIEW SIDE VIEW

light -weight fuel cell can have a FIG. 3-THE CONTAINER used for the fuel cell consists of square -based 250-m1 poly-
lifespan of five to ten times that of ethylene bottles with holes cut in their sides. A round piece of fine glass was cemented in
a primary battery. with sealing wax and an additional layer of beeswax.
Fuel cells built between 1960
and 1970 for the Gemini and Ap-
ollo space missions and in 1980 electrolyte (SPE) technology in The Gemini system used three
for the Space Shuttle Orbiter are the construction of their fuel 1 -kW SPE fuel -cell stacks. The
among the most successful fuel cells. That type of fuel -cell assem- Apollo system used a larger 1.5 -
cells to date. They were needed bly consists of an ion -exchange kW fuel -cell stack based on a con-
because of their chief advantages membrane -electrode system with centrated 45% potassium -hydro-
over batteries-weight and life - gas distribution, current collec- xide electrolyte. The Apollo power
span. Those fuel cells used tion, heat removal, and water plant was designed to operate for
cryogenic reactants of hydrogen management. Many of those as- over 400 hours. The fuel cell in
and oxygen. semblies are bolted together be- Apollo 8 lasted for 440 hours, the
Some space -craft power gener- tween end plates to form an SPE system produced 292 kWh of
ation systems use solid polymer stack assembly. power, and 100 liters of water.
Your choice for only $9.95
when you join the Electronics Engineers' Book Club
Your source for . . .

Edited by Donald G. Fink ENGINEERS'
and H. Wayne Beaty HANDBOOK, 3rd Ed.
the essential on-the-job THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF by Donald G. Fink
reference for Electrical and Donald Christiansen
ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS This fully revised and updated
latest information on
-Volumes 1 & 2 edition of the standard desktop
rapidly changing areas by R.F. Graf reference shows you how to use
such as nuclear power These comprehensive sourcebooks the latest design and cost-cutting
and high -voltage put over 1,900 of the latest and most solutions at work in the industry
transmission systems useful circuit designs at your today. You'll find a wealth of new
all the essentials including fingertips. The format, generously material on electronic systems
circuits, telecommunications, illustrated and cross-referenced, is design, computer systems and
power distribution and organized for quick access to 108 digital recording, telecommunica-
electrical standards distinct categories. tions, process control, lase -
Written and compiled by 115 Volume 1-768 pp., 1762 illus. technology, and CAD of electronic
recognized experts circuits.
Volume 2-744 pp., 728 illus. 2,258 pp., 1,800 illus.
2,248 pp., 1,863 illus. and tables
Order #020975 Order #585785 Order #9255H


the Electronics Engineers' BOOK CLUB I=
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... you'll enjoy receiving Club bulletins every 3-4 YES! Please rush me the book(s) indicated below for just $9.95 plus shipping/handling &
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If coupon is missing, write to: Zip Phone
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outside the U.S. and Canada will receive special ordering instructions. RPIFX992
The Space Shuttle system was with semipermeable membranes
more advanced in design than ei- CHEMICALS USED IN FUEL and catalysts. Semipermeable
ther the Gemini or Apollo fuel CELLS means that only some ions can
cells. The Space Shuttle fuel cells Hydrogen-A colorless and pass through it but other matter
odorless gas which is sold com-
are 20 kilograms lighter and de- pressed in steel bottles. Small lab - is retained. In actual applica-
liver six to eight times as much size bottles are available together tions, separation of ions is not
power. Each fuel cell power plant with simple low-priced reducing perfect, and some leakage usu-
consists of a power section where valves. Hydrogen is not poi- ally occurs, and is permissible.
the chemical reaction occurs, sonous, but extremely flammable ibtal blockage on the other hand
and forms explosive mixtures with
and a compact accessory section air.
would inhibit a reaction. The fol-
connected to the power section, Oxygen-Also is sold in com- lowing materials could be used as
which controls and monitors the pressed form in lab -sized bottles. semipermeable membranes:
power section's performance. It is not toxic but must be kept Unglazed discs of baked clay
The three fuel -cell power plants from fire or flame since it will sup- (an old clay flower pot).
are coupled to the hydrogen and port combustion and can make a Fine glass frits (the partly
four alarm fire out of a glowing fused mixture of sand and fluxes
oxygen reactant subsystem and match.
the power distribution sub- Hydrazine-Anyone not used to which glass is made of).
system. The fuel cells generate working with dangerous chemi- Cellophane.
heat and water as by-products of cals should not handle this com- Wet plaster.
electrical power generation. The pound. It is carcinogenic and Moist, or hardened cement.
excess heat is directed to Freon should be dispensed in a hood Zinc oxide or zinc chloride
only. Hydrazine should be handled
coolant loops, and the water to a with rubber gloves. cement.
potable water storage subsystem. Hydrogen peroxide 30%-Most Certain types of plastic foam.
Some power specifications of everyone knows this chemical as a Silicic acid gel, prepared by
each fuel -cell power plant are: 3% solution for bleaching or slowly acidifying sodium silicate
2 kilowatts at 32.5 VDC. wound treatment. The 30% con- solution.
12 kilowatts at 27.5 VDC. centration will bleach the skin and Gelatin saturated with salt.
is dangerous when swallowed. Clay, cement or plaster discs
7 kilowatts continuous power. Handle with rubber gloves.
12 kilowatts peak. Sulfuric acid-It is poisonous should be as thin as possible.
All three fuel cell power plants when swallowed. It can blind you if The gels should be used to build
are capable of supplying a max- splashed in the eye. It will burn ion bridges according to Fig. 2.
imum continuous output of holes in your clothes. A solution in
water should be prepared by slow-
Glass frits can be bought at lab
21,000 watts with 15 minute ly pouring small amounts into
supply houses and are best for
peaks of 36,000 watts. plenty of cold water while stirring this use. If glass frits are used,
Some experimental fuel cells with a glass rod. Handle with rub- the gases move upward, and stay
have been considered for use ber gloves. in the proper place. Any fair sepa-
with vehicles. The major pro- Potassium hydroxide solution ration will do. The author used
hibiting factor in their use is the 30%-Potassium hydroxide is a two square polyethylene bottles
difficulty in reliably containing strong base and is poisonous. 300 and a large fine glass frit which
rams are dissolved in 900 milli- was glued into holes cut in the
hydrogen gas, and the possibility liters of cold water. Let it stand and
of an explosion. Also, special cool off. Store in a plastic bottle sides of the bottles (Fig. 3).
fuels such as hydrogen, meth- with cap. Handle with gloves, it In order to get hydrogen and
anol, and hydrazine are more ex- can damage the skin. oxygen to react at room tempera-
pensive than hydrocarbon fuels. Palladium dichloride-Dark ture they must be coaxed a little.
Many advanced fuel -cell de- brown crystals soluble in water. Without the proper catalyst,
Moderately poisonous when swal- nothing at all happens.
signs have been developed for lowed. Dissolve 2 grams in 100 mil-
power utility applications, but liliters of water. A catalyst is a compound that
because of the typical problems of hastens reactions without actu-
fuel storage and cost effec- ally taking part in the reaction. If
tiveness, they have not been chemicals are listed in the side- you set up a H2/O2 fuel cell with
widely used. bar. You must be familiar with sulfuric acid and carbon elec-
proper handling and disposal of trodes for instance, there will be
An experimental fuel cell any chemicals used. no electrical energy generated. If
The author was able to build a The author's experimental fuel platinum- or palladium -coated
successful experimental fuel cell cell uses two adjoining chambers carbon electrodes are used, the
by the technique described be- separated by a membrane, as reaction gets going. Union Car-
low. We must, however, issue this shown in Fig. 1. An electrode bide has used this method and
word of caution: This product with catalytic properties is placed supply such electrodes.
should NOT be built or experi- into each chamber. Both cham- The method the author used to
mented with in any way except bers are filled with a liquid elec- plate carbon was to wrap plati-
under the direct supervision of trolyte. One electrode is then num wire and a platinum net
someone who is highly qualified purged with hydrogen gas, the around the carbon rods, which
in the fields of chemistry or other with oxygen or air, and a works very well. An easy and low-
chemical engineering. Some voltmeter is connected across the priced way of producing a large
chemicals and gaseous by-prod- electrodes. surface of palladium is to coat
ucts in a fuel cell could be toxic In order to be able to build a nickel netting with palladium.
and/or explosive! All dangerous fuel cell you should be familiar That can be done by immersing a
on training, you
can experience
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I (please print)

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nickel net in a 2% solution of pal- drogen to disperse. Rotameters nents that react at room tempera-
ladium dichloride over night. were used to check gas flow. They ture are shown in Table 1. The
The coating looks black. Pal- can be replaced by bubble indica- fuel cell can also be used as a one-
ladium coated nickel acts like tors if you prefer. Gas flow was shot unit for liquid fuel, namely
pure palladium. The author had 10-20 liters per hour (1/h) but can hydrazine, and 30% hydrogen
a supply of platinum on hand or be varied. Oxygen flow should be peroxide. Both compounds are
he would have used the approach about 1/2 that of hydrogen flow. rocket fuels but can be controlled
just mentioned. The reaction is sluggish at the very well. They are, however,
The amount of palladium di - beginning as hydrogen has to highly toxic and poisonous. Be-
chlorides you need costs about saturate the platinum metal sur- cause hydrazine is known to be a
$20.00. Platinum, palladium, sil- face. carcinogen, one should not work
ver, nickel (especially Raney nick- An indication of about 10 mV with it unless you are familiar
el) have been used as catalysts in may occur for several minutes, with handling very poisonous
different fuel cells. Platinum - which will then rise. There may substances. Hydrogen peroxide
group metals work so well be- be steps in this rise, therefore it at 30% concentration will bleach
cause they have an affinity to hy- may be necessary to put a little your hands and should also be
drogen and will pick up consid- drain on the system by using a handled very carefully.


Fuel Oxidant Electrode Material Electrolyte Catalyst Recorded

Voltage (my)

hydrogen 20 I/h oxygen 10 Ith carbon 5% sulfuric acid none No reaction

hydrogen 20 I/h oxygen 10 I/h carbon/platinum 5% sulfuric acid platinum 533

hydrogen 20 I/h air 40 I/h carbon/platinum 5% sulfuric acid platinum 469

hydrogen 20 I/h oxygen 10 I/h platinum 30% potassium hydroxide platinum 988

hydrogen 20 I/h oxygen 10 I/h palladium on nickel 30% potassium hydroxide palladium
2 ml 24% hydrazine 10 drops 30% palladium on nickel 30% potassium hydroxide palladium
hydrate hydrogen peroxide
'This reaction was not tried by the author, but works according to literature on the subject

erable amounts of it for storage 100-ohm resistor connected Fuel cells have been run with
in their crystal lattices. A plati- across the 2 chambers. It can be "steam reformed" methyl alcohol.
num electrode saturated with hy- removed again after a few min- At 200C, methyl alcohol reacts
drogen, therefore, is practically utes. That helps overcome polar- with water to form hydrogen and
an electrode of solidified hydro- ization effects. The author mea- carbon dioxide as shown in the
gen. The pure metal is too expen- sured 998 mV after about 10 following equation:
sive, so palladinized nickel, minutes. lb compensate for the
slow start, the cell will generate a CH30H + H20 -3H2+ CO2, or
platinized carbon or Raney nick- methyl alcohol + water -hydrogen + carbon
el on a carrier matrix are the first voltage for some time after the dioxide
choice. hydrogen is turned off.
Impinger-type glass tubes with After you finish, the potassium At temperatures higher than
frits or aquarium -type disper- hydroxide solution should be room temperature many other re-
sion tubes are used as gas inlet poured into a well -capped plastic actions are possible. Some of
tubes. The electrodes are wound bottle. It can be used over again, them allow a separation and col-
around the tube in a coil. Copper but it will accumulate carbonate lection of the water formed.
wire leads are connected. The which makes it less effective. You're probably wondering why
electrolyte is a 30% potassium Some prefer diluted sulfuric acid fuel cells are not more widely
hydroxide solution. Oxygen and for the same purpose because it used. The first big drawback is
hydrogen can be bought in small keeps longer. Air can, in most cost, which is always a primary
laboratory bottles with reason- cases, be substituted for oxygen. consideration in power genera-
ably priced lab -reduction valves. The amount must be raised, tion. Hydrogen is an expensive
Hydrogen can also be produced however, since only 1/5 of air is fuel compared to other types of
from zinc and diluted hydro- oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide can fuels, and the storage of hydro-
chloric acid. That leaves you with be used in place of oxygen but it gen is still a problem. Perhaps in
2 a solution of zinc chloride which dilutes the electrolyte. the future, we'll use solar energy
is hazardous to the environment Hydrogen can be replaced with on a large scale to decompose
and must be disposed of in a hydrogen -containing gases such water into hydrogen and oxygen,
manner prescribed by law. as "city gas' produced from coal, which can then be stored. When
The entire experiment was containing hydrogen, methane, energy is needed, the two gases
conducted in the open air in and carbon monoxide. Several can be recombined to water in a
12 order to allow the flammable hy- variations of fuel cell compo- fuel cell. R -E
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f your home or office has more
than one telephone extension,
you've probably had the unpleas-
ant experience of picking up the 9.
phone only to find it already in
use. You may get an angry re-
sponse from the person on the
other end. If a modem is in use,
you'll be greeted by the obnoxious
squall of two computers ex-
changing bits. Such an interrup-
tion usually means a lost
connection, or the corruption of
a file being transferred.
A solution to that problem is
the Phone Sentry-an inexpen-
sive, simple, reliable indicator
that warns you when a phone ex-
tension is in use. The Phone Sen-
try is easy to build and install in
one evening, and presents no
load to the phone line. It's small, "Stop! Don't pick up that
inconspicuous, and costs only $5
a copy. phone!" The Phone Sentry
How it works will warn you when a
To understand how the Phone telephone extension
Sentry works, you need to under-
stand how the telephone system
works-or, at least, how the local
is in use.
subscriber loop works, since DANIEL B. COOPER
that's the part that enters into
your house.
The telephone line is held at
about 45 volts DC by the local
switching office when it's hung
up. When a telephone is taken off
its hook, a 1K load brings the line
down to 6 volts DC. The line stays
at 6 volts DC until you hang up,
then it returns to 45 volts DC and
is disconnected. CMOS's good points. However, called the hysteresis gap, or dead
The Phone Sentry operates by when a CMOS input is presented band. Hysteresis permits a
monitoring the telephone line with a slowly changing or noisy Schmitt trigger input to respond
voltage and switching on a flash- input, the symmetrical switch- very cleanly to noisy or irregular
ing LED whenever the voltage ing characteristic can cause the input signals. It also permits
drops below 20 volts. The Phone circuit to jitter or oscillate as the some fancy tricks, such as one -
Sentry can be placed anywhere input nears the 0.5 + V point. gate oscillators. It is the latter ca-
on a phone line, not just on an The Schmitt trigger input han- pability for which a Schmitt NAND
extension in use. dles noisy environments by sepa- gate is used in the Phone Sentry.
rating the rising and falling Figure 1 shows a block diagram
Circuit operation voltage -switching points. A of the Phone Sentry. The four
The Phone Sentry circuit is de- Schmitt trigger input will react gates of the CD4093B are used as
ceptively simple, yet elegant in to a rising input voltage only three separate elements. One
design. At the heart of the circuit when it passes a threshold that is Schmitt -trigger NAND gate acts as
is IC1, a CMOS CD4093B quad higher than 50% of the supply an input comparator to monitor
NAND gate Schmitt trigger. voltage, usually about 70%, or a phone line. It in turn gates an-
Ordinary CMOS gates switch 0.7 +V. A falling input voltage other NAND gate used as an os-
midway between the voltage of will cause a change only when it cillator, which drives a high -
the positive and negative sup- falls below a much lower thresh- current buffer for LED1.
plies. For a circuit powered from old of about 30% of the supply, or The schematic of the Phone
5 volts, this point (called 0.5 V+ ) 0.3 + V. An input voltage between Sentry is shown in Fig. 2, with its
is 2.5 volts. When the input volt- those two thresholds will have no circuit waveforms at critical loca-
age rises past or falls below that effect until it rises above 0.7 + V, tions shown in Fig. 3. Bridge rec-
point, the output will switch. or falls below 0.3 + V. tifier D1-D4 eliminates any
Normally, that's a desirable The region between the 70% phone -line polarity problems. It
14 characteristic, and is one of and 30% switching levels is also removes the 80 -volt peak -to-
The Importance
Of Setting

Without standardization in electronics,

television wouldn't be seen, radio wouldn't be heard, computers
wouldn't share information.
Fortunately the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) has been setting
electronics standards since 1924 for everything from early tube radios
to today's cellular telephones and stereo 'IV's.
Standards create markets and jobs. Today EIA, an internationally accred-
ited standards making body, is helping to make HDTV a reality by working
with the federal government and other industry organizations, to develop a
timely, uniquely American transmission standard. For home automation,
EIA also is close to completing a standard which will permit all home
electronic products to communicate with each other.
Our more than 1,000 member companies are manufacturers representing
every facet of the American electronics industry-from defense
to consumer products.
EIA is proud of the contributions it has made through its standards making
process toward the growth and vitality of the U.S. electronics industries.
Setting the standard for more than 66 years.


1722 Eye Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20006
peak ring signal, which could
damage the Phone sentry or
make LED1 flicker. PHONE LINE
The output of the bridge rec- (POLARITY-

tifier is divided down by R1 -R2,

with 27% of the input voltage 0
reaching IC1-a. 27% represents
the voltage divider of the BRIDGE

[R2/(R1 + R2)] ratio, which equals

[1 megchm/(1 megohm + 2.7 FIG. 1 -BLOCK DIAGRAM OF THE PHONE SENTRY. The rectified phone-line voltage
megohm)] = 0.27 drives a comparator, whose output gates a low duty -cycle oscillator. The oscillator drives
The bridge always presents two a CMOS buffer/driver. The period and duty cycle of the oscillator are controlled by timing
of the four diodes as a phone -line components R3, R4, and C2.
load, D1 -D4 or D2 -D3, dropping
the line voltage down by 0.7 volts IC1-c
1/4 C040938
DC each, or 1.4 volts total. Since 12

the input impedances of pins 12 10

and 13 of IC1-a are almost infi- 40


nite, they draw no current. What D1

IN4001 IC1-a
appears across RI and R2 in se- 1/ CD4093B
ries should be about 0
- --Yv'or
R3 6
45 V - 1.4 V = 43.6 V. R2 9V 4.7MEG
The voltage at pins and 1312 1MEG
7 IC -d 7

with the phone hung up is there-

+10.1 Ar
7.-., C2 R4vN,

0.33 220K
43.6 V x 0.27 =11.78 V,

which is 2.78 volts above the 9 -

volt DC supply. The IC, however, FIG. 2 -SCHEMATIC OF THE PHONE SENTRY, using a CD4093B quad NAND -gate Schmitt
is protected from overcurrent trigger. The green (tip) and red (ring) phone -line wires are polarity -independent due to
burnout by R1 and internal di- D1 -D4. Input comparator IC1-a gates IC1-b, a single -gate oscillator, which drives IC1-c and
odes. When an extension is in -d, used in tandem as a high -current buffer/driver.
use, the 6 volts on the line goes
down to L. PARTS LIST
(6 V -1.4 V) x 0.27 =1.24 V. All resistors are 1/4 -watt, 5%.
Capacitor Cl filters out small R1-2.7 megohms
spikes that can be generated dur- R2-1 megohm
ing the ringing cycle, protecting R3-4.7 megohms
the IC and eliminating any re- R4-220,000 ohms
sidual tendency of the LED to co C1-0.005 p.F, 100 volts, disc or
flicker. monolithic
Because the comparator is a C2-0.33 p.F, 16 volts, tantalum or
Schmitt NAND gate, its output Fs .1
(pin 11) will be low whenever the Semiconductors
input voltage is above about 6.3 D1 -D4 -1N4001 diode
D5 -1N4148 diode
volts (70% of 9 volts), and high IC1-CD4093B quad Schmitt trigger
whenever the input drops below NAND -gate
about 2.7 volts (30% of 9 volts). LED1-light-emitting diode, any size or
Those switching values fit per- color
fectly with the 11.78 and 1.24
volts generated from the phone
Miscellaneous: 9 -volt alkaline battery
with clip, PC board (see foil pattern), 22-
AWG wire, plastic case (optional), LED
line by the rectifier and divider. Phone Sentry.
mounting clip (optional), modular plug -
The output will be low when all to -bare wire phone cable (optional),
phones are on -hook, and high of a second Schmitt NAND gate two-way phone jack duplexer, 14 -pin
when any phone is picked up, or (IC1-b), R3, R4, C2, and D5. DIP IC socket.
a modem is connected to the line. When pin 2 of ICI is held low by
The LED could be driven di- the comparator, the output of the
rectly by IC1-a, but B1 would be gate is held high. That output is both inputs are now high, the
used to charge timing capacitor, output switches low. The charge
drained in about 10 hours be- of C2 is drained, partly through
cause LED1 draws 10 milliamps C2, through timing resistor R3.
The junction of components R3 R3, but more quickly through R4
when lit. To extend battery life to and D5. When the voltage at pin 1
at least 100 hours, ICI -b, the low and C2 is connected to pin 1.
With the output held high, the drops below the Schmitt input's
5% duty -cycle oscillator, is gated lower threshold, the output of
by ICI -a, driving LED1 and giving charge on C2 will rise to the level
a bright flash with much lower of the supply voltage. the gate switches high, and the
When a phone is picked up and capacitor begins charging again
current drain. through R3. When the capacitor
The output of the comparator the loop voltage drops, the com-
is used to gate an oscillator on parator's output goes high and voltage reaches the Schmitt's up-
and off. That oscillator consists the oscillator is enabled. Since per threshold, the output switch-
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charge to the lower threshold the
. -- (ON -HOOK) first time. Therefore, the first
43.6 flash of the LED is longer and
brighter than those that follow.
(OFF -HOOK) That's a nice touch, because all of
V the Phone Sentries in the house
will give an initial bright flash
when a phone is first picked up to
answer a call.
9 Construction and installation
The Phone Sentry can be as-
1.24 sembled on either a PC board,
shown here, or on perforated
construction board of similar
DIODES IN size. The PC board is about the
IC1 -a
9 size of Bl, so housing the unit is
simple, and its construction is
straightforward. Figure 4 shows
the parts placement diagram;
use a socket for IC1, and install it
using proper anti -static han-
dling techniques.
The Phone Sentry is small,
with several installation options.
Once you decide how to mount it,
you can select how to wire both
the phone line and LED1. If you
put the Phone Sentry inside an
IC1-b PIN 1 OR Vc2, VDC extension or a wall -mount jack,
then solder a foot of 22-AWG wire
9 to each input terminal.
If you use a small case for plug-
ging into a wall socket, solder the
green (tip) and red (ring) wires of
a modular plug -to -bare -wire
VLED1(THE OUTPUT), VDC phone cord, and clip the yellow
9 and black wires. You may want to
solder LED1 directly to the PC
board, or mount it in a visible
location with two 6 -inch pieces of
stiff wire.
FIG. 3-CIRCUIT WAVEFORMS OF THE Phone Sentry. Shown are the voltages on the You can mount both the PC
phone line, pins 12 and 13 of IC1-a, pin 11 of IC1-a, pin 3 of ICI -b, pin 1 of ICI -b (the voltage board and B1 in a standard desk
across C2), and across LED1. phone. Open the phone and se-
cure both the PC board and bat-
going back on -hook. tery clip to the baseplate with
The output of the oscillator double -sided foam tape. Drill a
(pin 3) is inverted and used to small hole in the dialing button
-R1- drive the indicator LED. When escutcheon, and use silicone sea-
the oscillator's output is high, lant or an LED clip to mount
_mkt_ C1 R2 ) lc the output of the driver (pins 10 LED1. Connect the two input
and 4) is low, and the LED is off. wires to the tip and ring wires,
NDa When the oscillator output is low, insert Bl, replace the cover, and
R3-- 05 plug the phone back in.
D4 C2- + -R4- -11114 the driver output is high, and the
LED is on. Since the capacitor If there's no space for the Phone
PHONE discharge time (oscillator output Sentry and B1, use a small plastic
LINE LED1 low) is much shorter than the box on the side of the phone for
charge time (oscillator output the PC board, B1, and LED1, and
FIG. 4-THE PARTS PLACEMENT DI- high), the LED is on much less pass the tip and ring wires
AGRAM of the Phone Sentry. You can time than it is off, resulting in a through a hole in the box and
mount LED1 in several ways, depending
on how you mount the PC board. very low duty cycle, and low bat- phone case to the connecting
tery drain. points inside the phone. For a
Because the capacitor starts wall phone, mount the same case
es low again and the process each cycle charged much higher near the wall jack and run the
repeats until the gating input is than the Schmitt input's upper wiring into the wall jack, so it's
again brought low by the phone threshold, it takes longer to dis- independent of the phone. R -E
Here are two simple
projects that will allow you
to control things using up to
eight voice commands.


SOME OF THE MOST FASCINATING for the VCP200. Rather than lim- Voice recognition
things that electronics experi- it this interesting device to a sin- The basic elements of voice or
menters can do are those that gle -purpose project, we are pres- speech recognition have been
seem impossible. Remote control enting two separate projects: one known for a number of years.
and voice synthesis are two areas is suitable for experimentation- Human speech consists of
of experimentation that were and also makes a nifty science - phonemes, which are the small-
once nearly impossible for hob- fair project-and the other is less est individual units of sound that
byists and amateurs to work ideal for experimentation but make up words and sentences.
with, but integrated circuits better for actual use in an ap- The "ah" sound in "father," the
have brought both within the plication of one sort or another. A "t" sound in "top," and the "rr"
reach of even novice tinkerers. variety of adjustments and inter- sound in "radio" are all examples
Another area that has always facing techniques will be dis- of phonemes. Any word in a par-
been very difficult to work with is cussed, and some flexible inter- ticular language can be created
voice recognition. And now there face and driver circuits will be by stringing together the proper
is a new IC which brings simple presented. None of the parts, sequence of phonemes and
speech -recognition technology with the exception of the VCP200 spaces of silence. Not all lan-
within the reach of novice experi- itself, are exotic or costly, and guages use the same phoneme
menters. most are probably in your junk sets; English, for example, lacks
Most voice -recognition proj- box or parts collection. a glottal stop and the click found
ects and experiments have used The experimenter's version is a in many African languages.
personal computers as the back- self-contained device with a mi- Electronic voice recognition
bone of the recognition device. A crophone and eight indicator consists of analyzing the ar-
number of voice -recognition ex- LED's. The addition of a power rangement of phonemes in a spo-
pansion cards for both Apple and supply is all that's needed. The ken sequence and matching
IBM-compatible computers are project will recognize eight words them against stored patterns or
available, but they're relatively and short phrases from almost templates to determine the word
costly and require the computer any speaker, and light the corre- or phrase. There are many varia-
in order to be usable. The voice - sponding LED in response. Out- tions in the actual processes
recognition IC, the VCP200 puts are provided for driving used for each of the three steps:
speaker -independent word rec- other circuits or devices. storing the patterns, analysis,
ognizes, is a stand-alone device The "working" version of the and matching. However, the
that provides all of the essential circuit eliminates the indicator basic techniques used for voice
elements for speech recognition LED's and their driver IC's, and recognition can be loosely
in a single 20 -pin package. uses a much smaller PC board. grouped into four categories.
However, it retains the eight out- In speaker -dependent voice
The project puts and all other circuitry, and recognition, the intended user of
There are a number of applica- is therefore more suitable for the recognition device "trains" it
tions, both serious and fun, building into a motorized model by carefully pronouncing the list
useful and merely entertaining, or other project. of recognized words, several 19
times each. The system creates
detailed templates, or patterns of LED
that speaker pronouncing those + 5V
words, and stores them. The sys-
tem will have a very high success
rate in recognizing that speaker O
pronouncing those words, but it
will be less able (if at all) to recog-
nize another speaker saying the
same words-and, of course, it MIC
will only recognize those specific LED
words that it has been trained to X800 DRIVER
A discrete -word speech recog- HIGH -GAIN CLIPPING
nizer can only decode speech Amp COMPARATOR
when it is a series of separately 0
spoken words. It could not un- 0
derstand "Move the cursor to 0
field one," but the sequence 0
"Goto" (pause) "Field" (pause) 0
"One" would be understood. 0
Speaker -dependent discrete -
word recognition systems are the
most common types in use. FIG. 2-BLOCK DIAGRAM of the voice -recognition circuit. The VCP200 contains almost
A speaker -dependent con- all of the required circuitry, and needs only a power supply, microphone, and high -gain
nected -word recognition device amplifier with clipping comparator output for operation. The LED indicators and their
must be trained to recognize drivers are optional.
each different speaker's pronun-
ciation. However, more powerful marked. That natural variation speakers pronounce the word
analysis capabilities allow decod- makes it very difficult for a sys- "stop" with the following sim-
ing of words strung together in a tem to recognize, with a high suc- ilarities: an initial sibilant ('sss'),
long phrase or sentence. This cess rate, the same words spoken a short plosive ('t'), a soft vowel
type of recognizer coultl decode by different people. ('ah'), and a final plosive ('p'). By
voice matching selected phonemes
but is typically costly and com- recognition follows the principle and allowing for variation in the
plex. The success rates are also that all speakers have certain matching algorithm, the same
typically lower than for speaker - similarities in their pronuncia- words can be identified and de-
dependent discrete -word recog- tion. For example, nearly all coded from a variety of speakers.
nition systems.
A much more difficult process
is to decode the speech of a vari- PARTS LIST
ety of speakers. No two people
pronounce words in quite the All resistors are'/4-watt, 5% IC3-VCP200 speaker -independent
same way. When analyzed elec- R1-2200 ohms word recognizer
tronically and graphically, varia- R2-1000 ohms IC4, IC5-CD4011B quad NAND gate
tions, even with very similar - R3-10,000 ohms (optional, see text)
sounding speakers, are quite R4, R7-470,000 ohms Other components
R5-11,000 ohms JU1-switch or jumper (see text)
r R6, R8-5600 ohms MIC1-electret microphone
GROUND -4 1'I 1,20,1- RESET
R9-4700 ohms XTAL1-10 MHz crystal
R10-10 megohms Miscellaneous: PC board (See
+V 2 I 19 H MODE R11-100,000 ohms text), bus wire, SPST power switch,
+V-4 3 11 8 j -GROUND
R12-19-470 ohms SPDT mode switch, normally open
I Capacitors pushbutton reset switch, 9 -volt bat-
XTAL -4 4 17 r- +V
C1-0.22 ji,F, 16 -volts, tantalum tery or 8-15 volt DC power supply,
I. 9 -volt battery clip, three 14 -pin IC
16 r -+V C2, C3, C12-0.01 p,F disc
EXTAL -4 5
VCP200 `f C3-39 pF disc sockets, one 20 -pin IC socket,
GROUND -1'6 si I 15 t- LIGHTS
C5-4.7 pF disc mounting screws and standoffs,
C6 -C8--0.1 j.iF disc 4-40 x 3/8 -inch screw and nut,
AUDIO IN -I 7'1 114 1- LEFT TURN
C9, C10-27 pF disc hookup wire, solder, aluminum
GO IITIO/O141-4, 8,I I 131- RESET
C11-10 ILF, 16 -volt tantalum sheet for heatsink.
is Note: The VCP200 may be avail-
1 12 t- STOP
Semiconductors able from Radio Shack (it has
REVERSE (NOT SURE) -L10) `11r Row D1 -08 --red light -emitting diode been discontinued but many
(optional, see text) stores still stock them) as part
FIG. 1-THE PINOUT OF THE VCP200. The IC1-LM324A quad op -amp number 276-1308, or from VCPI,
output pins 8, 9, and 10 respond to dif- IC2-LM7805T 5 -volt, 1.5 -amp 1 Willings Place, Monterey, CA
ferent words or phrases, depending on voltage regulator 93940, for $14.95 postpaid.
20 the operating mode selected.
The drawbacks to speaker -in- phoneme analysis and matching pins 3, 6, and 1, and must pro-
dependent systems are that the program using a proprietary al- vide about 15 milliamps. Its os-
number of separately recogniz- gorithm. The algorithm analyzes cillator crystal connects to pins 4
able words is limited, the recog- a modified voice input signal and and 5, each of which must also be
nition success rate is generally matches it against a selection of tied to ground via 27-pF capaci-
lower than that of speaker -depen- stored word -recognition tem- tors to complete and stabilize the
dent systems, and the system can plates to identify twelve different oscillator tank circuit.
be easily fooled by similar words. words and short phrases: Yes, Pins 2, 16, 17, and 18 of the
For example, "swap," "stat," No, On, Off, Lights, Left 11.1rn, Re- VCP200 are not used in a stan-
"spat," "spot," and "spit" all have set, Stop, Slow Reverse, Turn dard application. They are spe-
phoneme patterns that are sim- Right, and Go. cial-purpose control pins that are
ilar to "stop." Most speaker -inde- The chip is switchable between usually tied to + V or ground, and
pendent word recognition sys- On/Off and Command modes. In are connected that way on our PC
tems will be unable to dis- the On/Off mode, it recognizes board. Generally, these pins may
tinguish between those words. only the two word pairs On/Off be ignored, as they are normally
Most dedicated voice- or word - and Yes/No. In the Command used to set the VCP200 into vari-
recognition systems are speaker - mode, it recognizes the other ous test and special -application
independent discrete -word eight words and phrases. A sepa- modes that are not useful to the
types. Although they have some rate output for each word is pro- experimenter.
severe limitations, they excel at vided, which is latched low when The reset input, pin 20, is held
simple voice -control tasks involv- the word is successfully recog- high for normal operation and
ing a few carefully chosen words nized. If the VCP200 cannot find brought low for a reset. A simple
and phrases. The VCP200 is a a close match among its word resistor -capacitor pair connected
speaker -independent discrete - templates, all eight outputs are to this pin will cause a power -on
word recognizer. left high. reset. The VCP200 can be man-
The dream of designers, con- The VCP200 is virtually a ually reset by strobing the pin low
trol engineers, and science -fic- stand-alone device, requiring at any time, by holding it low, you
tion writers is a system that can only a 10 -MHz crystal and four can safely disable the chip's oper-
recognize normal, connected passive components for opera- ation.
speech from a wide variety of tion. The only outside circuitry Pin 19 is the operation -mode
speakers. Despite much effort, that is required is a special input select input. When this pin is
no such system yet exists. The amplifier, built from a common high, the chip is set to the Yes/No
first successful "natural speech" op -amp, that delivers a sharply mode, and only Yes/Off (pin 9),
recognizer will almost certainly clipped and amplified voice sig- No/On (pin 8), and Not Sure (pin
demand the resources of a dedi- nal. That quasi -digital signal can 10), which indicates a recogni-
cated supercomputer to handle be easily analyzed by the micro- tion failure, are active. When pin
the massive analysis and com- processor. 19 is low, the VCP200 is placed in
putational steps required. How- The VCP200's biggest disad- the Command mode, and all
ever, keep in mind that speech vantage is the limited and non - eight outputs are active, with
synthesis, now achieved with expandable word list. However, each corresponding to a different
single dedicated IC's, also once considering that the chip is inex- recognized word or phrase.
required a full-sized computer. pensive and easy to use, that lim- The VCP200's audio input, pin
itation shouldn't bother anyone 7, requires an input signal that is
The VCP200 who is interested in exploring either quiescent, or swings past
The VCP200 speaker -indepen- voice -recognition technology the digital logic thresholds. That
dent word recognizer, from Voice without making a heavy invest- requirement translates into a
Control Products, Inc. (VCPI), is a ment of time or money. highly amplified, sharply clipped
mask -programmed Motorola Unfortunately for experimen- signal that is "shut off" when it is
6804 microprocessor. The 6804 ters, VCPI regards the VCP200's not of sufficient amplitude. Such
is a 20 -pin device that imple- program and word -recognition a signal is easy to achieve with a
ments most of the standard algorithm as proprietary infor- standard op -amp, as well see.
6800 -series instruction set and mation. Few details are available, Finally, pins 8 through 15 are
capabilities, and contains one and VCPI's literature and docu- the VCP200's outputs. During or
kilobyte of onboard ROM. Al- mentation discusses the tech- after a reset (pin 20 brought or
though an EPROM version is nology only in general terms. An held low), all eight outputs are
available for user development, interesting exercise for the ad- held high. When the chip suc-
production devices such as the vanced experimenter would be cessfully recognizes a word or
VCP200 use a ROM that is mask - attempting to work out the es- phrase in Command mode, the
programmed at the time of man- sential elements of the al- corresponding output will be
ufacture with the appropriate gorithm, using standard refer- latched low until the next recog-
data and control information. ence information on voice recog- nition attempt occurs. If the
That approach, used for many nition, digital analysis of analog VCP200 fails to find a match to
computationally -based special- signals, and pattern matching. an input signal, all eight outputs
purpose devices, is a viable alter- The pinout of the VCP200 is will remain high. In the Yes/No
native to designing a costly sin- shown in Fig. 1. The chip is mode, during or after a reset,
gle -purpose chip from scratch. powered from a single -ended 5 - pins 8, 9, and 10 (as well as the
The VCP200's ROM contains a volt supply, which connects to five unused outputs, pins 11-15)

0 + 5V OUT

C5 IC4-a
39pF 4.7pF 1/4 4011B T.) R13
R5 R11 4700 TURN RIGHT/
.7"11K 100K W1, 0 YES -OFF
t R1 C2 R4 R7



IC1 -a
1/4 LM324A

ICI -b
1/4 4011B 0
C4 R6
MIC1 1K 10K 9 1/4 LM324A

8 2 3 16 17
C1 I( Vis* IC4-c
1/4 4011B
12 LED3 R15
IC1-c 20 W 0 SLOW
1/4 LM324A


IC4-d 11 0/4/
R10 1/4 40118
10MEG Jul 0 LED4
r0 11 R16

re ---4"r-0
IC3 [7
R9 12
C7 4.7K C8 14
0.1 0.1 0.1
13 IC5-a
1/4 4011B
27pF R17
14 470f2


1 6 18
1/4 4011B 0
LED6 R18
4/06 0 LEFT TURN

1 3
9ils, 0 BUCKETS
9-12VDC IN IC5-d
C11 C12 4011B
0.01 13
10F L")fED8
will be high. Some recognition ther quiescent (flat -line) or omission of LED's 1-8 and IC4
failures in the Yes/No mode can switching between the supply and IC5.
also cause all three active outputs limits-a quasi -digital signal. Power for the voltage regulator,
to go high. The output of the amplifier is IC2, can be from 7.5 to 15 volts.
passed to the VCP200's audio in- Since the circuit draws only
The circuit put, where the signal can then be about 22 milliamps peak, a 9 -volt
As said earlier, there are two analyzed. battery is a good choice. Capaci-
versions of the circuit. A block The VCP200's eight outputs tors C10 and CII filter and sta-
diagram of the experimenter's are made available, via current - bilize the regulator's output.
version is shown in Fig. 2. The limiting resistors, so that exter- The signal from the electret mi-
circuit contains a power supply, nal interface circuits maybe add- crophone, MIC1, is coupled to the
an input amplifier and com- ed to control motors, solenoids, LM324A op -amp, ICI, through
parator, the VCP200, and output and other active elements. Eight Cl. The amplifier uses IC1-a and
drivers. The power supply is LED's are added to give a quick IC1-b to form a two -stage device
quite conventional, using IC2, and easy indication of the cir- that amplifies the microphone
an LM7805T 5 -volt regulator. cuit's response. The LED's are signals with a gain of 500-800.
The input amplifier is not a driven by CMOS buffers, which That transforms the weak input
conventional design; the output isolate the LED's from the out- signal (under 5 mV) to a signal
signal, if it were connected to a puts, preventing either the in- that swings from one output lim-
speaker, would be quite distorted dicators or any outlying circuits it to the other, often with consid-
and unlistenable. The purpose of from interfering with each other. erable clipping.
the two -stage amplifier, with its Figure 3 shows the complete The amplifier has a restricted
overall gain of about 800, is to schematic for the experimenter's bandwidth, with a more or less
increase the microphone signal version of the voice -recognition flat response from about 500 Hz
to a useful level. The output is project. Note that the schematic to 9 kHz. Signals under 300 Hz
then passed to a comparator that of the working version would be and over 15 kHz are sharply at-
keeps the final output signal ei- exactly the same, except for the tenuated. That covers the


1 1 1


--_ --, -- -- -- Y..

FIG. 4-AMPLIFIER (a) AND COMPARATOR (b) output waveforms. The comparator con-
verts the amplifier signal into a clipped, quasi -digital 4 -volt p -p signal only when the
amplitude of the amplifier's signal exceeds the comparator threshold. 23
VCP200's input range of 300 to RESET
5500 Hz, with some additional ---I I1
headroom for the easily -lost 102
-o+ 5V OUT
-o LIGHis
higher frequencies. The ampli- O

fier's characteristics are impor- C11
+ -R13- 0 LEFT TURN
tant, because the quality of the LED2

-61-J )
C12 104

input signal largely determines Jul -R14- /1--0 RESET

how well the voice recognizer will -R15- /4-0 STOP
..c5. R5
work. b -R7- LED4
-R16- 1f-0 SLOW
To keep the VCP200's input MICI
C8 ) IC3 LED5
quiet, unless a signal of suffi- ,

R6 ici -R17- REVERSE
cient strength is present, and to + '
J in,
) 105

ensure a sharply clipped signal, -R4- XTAL1


the output of the amplifier is '

-R8- LED7
12 -C3-
R3_ -R19-
passed to a comparator, IC1-c. - C2 -C6 C7
R9 0,9 010 LE GO

(The fourth op -amp on the
LM324A, IC1-d is not used, and FIG. 5-THE COMPONENT LAYOUT for the experimenter's version. The "working" ver-
its pins are left unconnected.) sion parts layout is the same except for the smaller PC board that omits the LED's and
their drivers 1C4 and IC5.
The comparator's output re-
mains steady unless the input
signal swings past its threshold.
Input signals of less than 2.5
volts peak -to -peak will be ig-
nored. However, all signals stron-
ger than that will cause the
comparator's output to swing
from limit to limit, or about 4
volts peak -to -peak, which is
within one-half volt of each sup-
ply rail. A comparison of the am-
plifier and comparator output
signals is shown in Fig. 4.
Since the LM324A is operated FIG. 6-THE VOICE -RECOGNITION CIRCUIT offers eight voice -activated outputs for
from a single -ended supply, a experimenting with voice control.
"false ground" or offset voltage
must be provided. The offset, 19, is controlled by setting JU1. common chips could be sub-
along with the comparator On the PC board, JUl is actually stituted here, among them the
threshold voltage, is provided by three pads which may be con- CD4001B quad NOR gate and the
the voltage divider string R5 -R8 - nected to an SPDT switch, or CD4093B quad NAND Schmitt
R9. The amplifier offset is pro- simply jumpered. However, jum- trigger.
vided by the upper junction, and pering is not recommended; a
the comparator threshold by the switch will make it easier to ex- Construction
lower; C6 and C7 stabilize those periment with both operation Foil patterns are provided for
voltages. That design forces the modes. both versions. Although a PC
center voltage of the op -amp's The eight outputs, pins 8 board is recommended, perfo-
output signal to be separated by a through 15, are left open for the rated construction board and
volt or so from the comparator's experimenter to use as necessary. point-to-point wiring could also
threshold, and is the key to cor- Since the outputs are active -low, be used. If you use point-to-point
rect operation. Adjusting the di- they can sink about 10 mA and construction, be sure and keep
vider string is one of the ways source somewhat less. That is all wiring, especially in the area
that the circuit's performance sufficient enough to drive logic of the input amplifier, short. The
can be modified. devices and transistor drivers. If very high gain of the amp will
The output of the comparator high -current devices such as re- cause it to pick up and amplify
is then routed to pin 7 of the lays or motors are to be driven, a electrical noise if excessively long
VCP200. The 10 -MHz crystal, buffer/driver must be used. To connecting wires are used. You
XTAL1, provides the chip's mas- prevent damage to the VCP200 should use sockets for all the IC's
ter clock frequencies, with the from an accidental overload of an to make them easier to replace if
oscillator tank circuit completed output, 470 -ohm current -limit- necessary.
and stabilized by C9 and C10. 'lb ing resistors (R12-R19) are pro- If you are going to build the
provide a power -on reset, the RC vided. They limit the output experimenter's version of the
pair R11 and C8 hold the current to about 9.5 mA, even project, follow the parts -place-
VCP200's reset input low for a few under worst -case conditions. ment diagram shown in Fig. 5. If
milliseconds after power comes The eight LED indicators, you are going to build the smaller
on. As C8 charges through R11, LED I-LED8, are driven from "working" version, simply use
the reset pin is brought high, re- CMOS drivers IC4 and IC5, the smaller foil pattern; parts
setting the VCP200. which are CD4011B quad NAND placement is the same as the
The VCP200's mode input, pin gates. However, several other larger version, except that the
LED's and their drivers, IC4 and
IC5, are left out. On both, keep
the wire jumpers and resistors Command Pronunciation Comments
close to the board. Insert the disc
Yes yeSSS Both of these words should be
capacitors so that their bodies longer than "No" or "On," with
are seated against the board, but Off awFFF
emphasis on the final sibilant.
don't chip the dielectric material.
Be careful to observe the polarity No no These words should be kept very
on the two electrolytic capaci- On on
short. You'll find that almost any
tors, Cl and C11. short, sharp sound will be
Go go interpreted as one of these words.
The voltage regulator, IC2, re-
quires special mounting. The Lights LytSSS Emphasize L and S.
middle lead should be bent about Left Turn LeFFFT Turn Emphasize F and the two T's, and
0.1 inch farther from the body separate words clearly.
than the two side leads, and all A difficult word for the VCP200 to
three bends should be made so Reset rESSSeTT
recognize. Emphasize the first E, S,
that the regulator's mounting and final T.
hole lines up with the hole in the
board (see the photo in Fig. 6 for Stop SSSTawPP Emphasize T and P. Keep short, but
details.) If you are going to be longer than "Go".
using the project by itself, with Slow SSSIoh Emphasize S and vowel.
no outlying devices powered from Reverse rEverSSS Another difficult word for the
the board, no heatsink is needed VCP200. Emphasize first E and final
for the regulator. If you are going sibilant, but do not separate
to be powering other devices syllables.
from the regulator that will in-
crease the load to more than 100 Turn Right Turn-ryT Emphasize T's and slur words
milliamps, a heatsink should be together slightly.
added to the regulator. A flat alu-
minum stock heatsink can be a thick plastic base using spacers with nothing in between. If
bent into a shallow "U" shape and and screws, and the battery clip you're using an oscilloscope, look
installed under the regulator. Be- is secured by smaller screws. Al- for a 0-4 volt signal at pin 7, and
cause there is no space for a large though the prototype has no re- a 0 or 4 volt clipped signal at pin
heatsink, the current drawn set switch and is strapped into 14.
from the regulator should be lim- the Command mode, you can Once the board has passed
ited to no more than 250 mA even easily add the controls. Just use these tests, remove the power
when using as large a heatsink as a slightly larger mounting base and insert the rest of the IC's.
possible. and mount the switches in the When you reconnect power, all
For most experimenters, same manner. If you are using LED's should remain off, or if
mounting MIC1 directly to the the working version, and will be you're using a board without the
board will be adequate. In some using it as a part of a complete indicators, all of the outputs
cases, though, it maybe better to project or more complex setup, should be high. Say "Go. "The ap-
mount the microphone remotely. use your judgment as to mount- propriate LED should light (or
In that case, light -gauge shielded ing the board. the output will go low). 'fry the
cable should be used to connect other phrases to make other
the microphone to the board. Testing LED's light. Don't worry if the cir-
Electret microphones are polar- When you have the board (ei- cuit doesn't seem to respond
ized, so be sure the positive ter- ther style) finished, leave the IC's well-it takes a little practice to
minal is connected to the pad out of their sockets and connect speak the words and phrases
that leads to Cl and Rl. the power terminals to 9-15 volts clearly enough for the VCP200 to
If you like, the eight LED in- DC. Then check for + 5 volts DC understand. Table 1 explains how
dicators can be mounted re- at pin 3 of the regulator, pin 4 of to pronounce the words so that
motely with a length of ribbon IC1, pin 2 or 3 of IC3, and (with the VCP200 will understand
cable. If you mount them on the the experimenter's unit only) pin them.
board, be sure to position them 14 of IC4 and IC5.
all at an even height. How you Disconnect power, insert IC1, Modifications
finish the remaining steps de- and then connect power again. The gain of the amplifier may
pends on how you want to use the Check for an AC voltage at pin 7 be adjusted by changing the val-
board. For display and experi- of IC1. It should vary with the ue of R4, R7, or both. Adjusting
mentation, youll want the input level of sound up to about 2 volts R7 is preferred. The higher the
and outputs of the circuit easily peak. Check the voltage at pin 14 resistor values, the higher the
accessible with test points. Oth- of IC1. When the sound level is gain of the amplifier. Lowering
erwise you can hardwire driver high enough, a 2 -volt signal the gain will lessen the circuit's
circuits and the like directly to should be present. If the com- sensitivity to background noise,
the board. parator is functioning correctly, but will require the operator to
In the prototype, the PC board pin 14 should switch between no speak rather loudly and directly
and power switch are mounted to signal and a 2 -volt AC signal, into the microphone. Raising the 25

+5V +5V
14 vi)i, D

OD .3
3 1/2 CD4013B

ss R0 TO
7 1/4 CD4011B
PIN 201
for interfacing the project to motors,
lamps, or other high -current devices. The FIG. 8-TOGGLED, LATCHING interface FIG. 9-THIS CONTROL CIRCUIT allows
relay must have a 5 -volt coil, but can have circuit. The output switches states on the project to be latched into forward or
any arrangement of contacts suitable for successive occurrences of the associated reverse motion while permitting other
voice command. voice commands to be processed.
the application.

gain will allow softer speaking

from a greater distance, but at
the expense of greater sensitivity
to noise.
The frequency response of the
amplifier is about 300 to 9000
Hz. Since the VCP200 responds
to frequencies from 300 to 5500
Hz, reducing the upper cutoff
point of the amplifier to 6000 or
7000 Hz would probably make it
less sensitive to noise. If you are
familiar with op -amp circuit de-
sign, a good way to improve the
project would be with a high -pre-
cision bandpass amplifier. It
should have a nearly flat re-
sponse from 500 to 6000 Hz,
with a sharp rolloff (third -order
or better) at each end. The flatter
the bandpass response and the 37/8 INCHES
sharper the cutoff points, the HERE'S THE FOIL PATTERN for the experimenter's version of the circuit, which includes
better the overall performance is the indicator LED's.
likely to be. Higher frequencies
are more sharply attenuated by
distance and may need extra + 5V + 5V
boost (actually less cut) in order 114
for the VCP200 to successfully 1

decode them. GO IN 0---1 2 CD4011B

The comparator threshold is 5 1/2 CD4013B

set by the lower output of the re-
sistor divider string R5 -R8 -R9. 3
Since the artificial ground level 4
or offset voltage of the amplifier is
set by the upper output of the
same string, some care is needed 10
when adjusting either voltage so 9

as not to disturb the other. The 11

amplifier offset should be kept as 4) 1/2 CD4013B
close to +0.5 volts (or 2.5 volts) REVERSE IN S 0
as possible, to ensure proper am-
plifier operation (i.e., balanced 71
clipping of the signal). Thus, the
series value of R8 and R9 should FIG. 10-A "SUICIDE" RESET CIRCUIT permits the voice -recognition circuit to be reset
always be the same as that of R5. via voice command.
If the comparator threshold is
very close to the amplifier offset, operation over distance or with from the amplifier offset, noise
very low-level sounds will be "dig- softly -speaking users, but would will be rejected but louder speech
itized" by the comparator and make the unit prone to inter- or shorter -range operation will be
make their way to the VCP200's ference from noise. If the com- required. For extensive experi-
26 input. That would permit better parator threshold is set further continued on page 57

Build this direct digital synthesizer,
and generate low -distortion sine waves digitally.
HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU WISHED YOU frequency synthesizer small whose length is arbitrarily set to
had one of those fancy frequency enough to fit on even the mes- one. The radial line labelled R is
generators that let you set your siest workbench. And it's perfect allowed to rotate about the circle
frequency accurately without for providing that odd -ball fre- through an angle P. which will be
having to fiddle with the uncali- quency that your new project referred to as the phase. Drawing
brated tuning knob? Without a needs. a horizontal line from the tip of R
high -quality frequency counter until it intersects with the ver-
and without nearly infinite pa- Direct digital synthesis tical axis defines the length S
tience, it is impossible to keep As the name implies, direct shown in the figure. As the radi-
your audio oscillator on frequen- digital synthesis (DDS) is a meth- us, R, is allowed to make a com-
cy without constant tweaking. If od of frequency generation that plete rotation around the circle,
you eliminate the expensive ex- uses digital methods rather than the length of S takes on all values
tras, while retaining resolution the traditional analog oscillator, between +1 and -1, while P var-
and stability, you'll end up with phase -locked loop, or bank of ies from 0 to 360 degrees. The
the synthesizer project presented crystals. The availability of fast length S is precisely the sine
in this article. digital circuits and D/A convert- function of P, sin(P). shown in
While this synthesizer doesn't ers make this technology avail- Fig. 2-a.
have the features of some very ex- able to the average electronics If, rather than allowing R to ro-
pensive products, it does provide enthusiast. tate smoothly around the circle,
1 -Hz resolution at over 500 kHz A review of trigonometry is im- we make 8 equal steps around
with crystal -controlled precision, portant to the understanding of the circle, then the values of S
all for less than $70. Once you DDS before delving into the de- form the stepwise approximation
add a suitable enclosure and tails of the electronics. Figure 1 shown in Fig. 2-b. As the number
power supply, you'll have a digital shows a circle with a radius of steps are increased, the ap- 27
instant, then by varying the step rather than incrementing its out-
size the number of steps around put by one on each clock pulse,
the circle can be varied. The the output advances by the value
fewer the steps, the faster the set by the step size programmer
complete circle is covered, hence on each clock pulse. The block
the higher the frequency of the labelled SIN(P) converts the value
(-1,0) (1,0)
sine -wave approximation. Note stored in the phase accumulator
that fewer steps means a coarser to a sine amplitude approxima-
approximation to the actual sine tion. The step size programmer is
function, with the output even- simply a bank of DIP switches,
tually reducing to a square wave, the phase accumulator is a series
(0 - 1)
which points out one of the limits of cascaded 4 -bit adders, and the
FIG. 1-THIS CIRCLE HAS A RADIUS of this technique. All we need SIN(P) block is a sine look -up ta-
whose length is arbitrarily set to one. As R now is a circuit that will syn- ble contained in an EPROM.
rotates around the circle, S takes on all chronize the variable -phase The digital data present at the

values between 1 and 1. steps to a precision clock. output of the SIN(P) block must
Figure 3-a shows a block di- be converted to an analog voltage
agram of the system. The block in order to be useful. A method
labelled Phase Accumulator re- for doing this is shown in Fig. 3-
petitively adds the value set by b, which consists of a D/A con-

/MENNEN! the Step Size Programmer to the
sum performing the function of
stepping the radius (R) about the
verter, filter, and output ampli-
fier. The filter helps to smooth out
the jagged steps in the sine ap-
0.5V 11111111111111111 circle in equal phase increments. proximation, while the output
The phase accumulator behaves amplifier buffers the output of
like a simple counter, except that the D/A converter. In the actual


0.5 fc SIN(P) SIN(P)

1111111111101111 STEP SIZE






I 10V


FIG. 3-BLOCK DIAGRAM of the phase accumulator and phase -to -sine converter (a), and
_0.5 the block diagram of the digital -to -analog converter and output stage (b).



the sine function of P (a). f we make 8 74LS283

equal steps around the circle, then we get
I/274LS374 2716
the stepwise approximation shown in b. If
we make 64 steps, the approximation be-
comes closer to the actual sine function
proximation becomes closer to
the actual sine function, with
Fig. 2-c showing the approxima-
tion for 64 steps. In practice,
analog filtering is used to smooth SIN(P) DAC08

out the steps, as we'll see in a

From this simplified discus-
sion, a method for generating a b

varying frequency can be de-

rived. Assume that each step oc- FIG. 4-PARTIAL SCHEMATIC of the phase accumulator (a) and the converter and output
28 curs at a precisely determined stage (b).
v 1g
c LL_ Vcc
\ S23 11

\ S22 5

\ 3.11 2
018 B. C20
0.101 B1111
12 O
A4 S4
14 13
A3 S3

A2 S
5 4
8.1.. IC14
.= 7413283 IC17
R13 741.3374
4 71( 20
Vcc ?16 -ad> CLK

ffIfffff S23/
18 07 77 19

83 17 D6 06 18 S22/
\'.1; 521 /
231,101 8 9 10 \ 516

B1 I3 04
05 05
04 12

A4 S4 113 03
9 519/
A3 S3 112 02
6 518/
S2 4 01 01
5 517/
3 DO 00 2 S16/
8..1_ IC13
7413283 .i

S2 CO C4
1 20 \ S15 11
2 19 \$14 15

3 OHO 8 \S13 2
cr"o \ $12 6 S18

5 c" 15
6 12
A4 S4
10 517

6 S16
cr" 14
A3 S3

7 4 3
A2 S2
S15 30
8 13 5


84. 1012
7415283 IC16
v 013
40-11JCLK 20
7 CO CAL 41-..-C1 DC
C19 \$11 11
18 D7 19 S15
0.10F \ S10 15
D6 06 16 514 /
\ S9 B2 15 S13/
14 05 05
\ 58 B1 1 04 04 12 ,12/
12 .
I D3 03
9 011,/
14 3
02 02
S2 3 01 5 59/
S I n 00 2 S8/
R11 1C11 10
4.7K , 7413233
4 7K
0.9; v 116
CO C40--
\ 57 11

\S6 15
\ S5 2 B2
2 19 \S4 6

Ad S4

14 13
A3 S3
0-"o A2 S2
6 c"o 15 5
Al SI 4
7 o 14
tO V
13 =- 741IC
%1 543 IC15
7611374 Id
9 o"0 2 V
10 11
t16 CI k
CO C4 1-1- a DC
\ S3 B4 18 19 S7 /
\ S2 B3 06 ,)F 16 56 /
\S1 2
B2 14 05 15 55 /
\ so 6
D4 04 12 54/
D3 03
9 S3/
1 S3 D2 02
6 S2 /
S2 DI 01
5 S1 /
AlSI 4
747 - 7413283

FIG. 5-HERE'S THE COMPLETE SCHEMATIC for the phase -accumulator circuitry. 29
1'CC o <7-c-cl
v _L

J_ vFE 0
R2 C3

24 v 1012; 0.1

20 C12

18 7413374 70 3


2716 a OC
v 15
16 C10
1/2 LF353N
S5 _L 2 4
S19 A9 14

VA 3 IC4 a

S17 A7 D7
16 17
16 R7 .c 15K iC11 C8
S16 A6 06 D6 06 02 3.3K 22pF
A5 D5
15 14
05 055 1
S14 A4 D4
14 13

D4 042 1

04 DAC08 --)1 R9
5 1K
S13 A3 D3 D3 03 135
A2 D2
11 7
D2 02
6 10
B6 Alst -o
10 4 11
Si 1 Al D1 D1 01 07
9 3 12
S10 AO DO DO 00 BS I(111T
12 10 13
< CLK+ >-- - v 4.7K
'OA 1 ORO5i2

1/6 74HC04
IC5 f 0.1
10 Cl RI
30pF 1MEG

1/6 74HC04 14 R4
IC5 e
40 14 i IC8-a
1/2 74HC74 1
10 0
11 PR 1/6 74HC04 12

8 5
IC5 d IC5-c 0 D

1/6 74HC04 1/6 74HC04 CLK < b
C17 .....
1/6 74HC04 22pF #-% 13 Y IC8-b
1/2 74HC74



12 6VCT

FIG. 6-THE SCHEMATIC for the analog section.

implementation, the buffering accumulator. For the binary ac- than N/4 to minimize distortion
and the filtering functions are cumulator that we have here, the at the output.
combined. resolution is then fe/2N. If the
The frequency resolution of a step size programmer is set to a Circuitry
DDS system is set by the master binary value, M, then the output There are several manufac-
clock frequency, fc, and the frequency is M x fc/2N. The de- turers of complete integrated cir-
number of bits, N, in the phase sign presented here keeps M less cuits that can perform the digital
portion of the block diagram, but That matches the function to the rent proportional to the digital
these parts are expensive and not 2716 EPROM with its 11 -bit ad- value present on its 8 -bit parallel
readily available. Figure 4-a dress space and with its 8 -bit input. The current is set by R8 to
shows a partial schematic of the output range. A C -program used a maximum of 1.06 mA. The dig-
phase accumulator using compo- to generate the values in the table ital word presented to the D/A
nents that are inexpensive and is shown in Listing 1. Since the varies from 0 to 255, forcing the
easy to get. EPROM has only 11 address lines, current output to vary from 0 to
The complete phase ac- only 11 lines from the ac- (255/256) x 1.06 mA. The current
cumulator consists of six cumulator are used in this ap- is then fed to op -amp IC4-b
74LS283 4 -bit adders, with their plication. The 8 bits at the output which converts it to a voltage that
outputs latched by three of the EPROM are a digital repre- varies from 0 to approximately
74LS374 octal D flip-flops. The sentation of the amplitude of the 1.0 volt. The complete schematic
outputs of the 74LS374's are fed sine wave and must be converted for the phase accumulator cir-
back to the B inputs of the to an analog voltage before being cuit is shown in Fig. 5, and the
74LS283, which forces the sum filtered and buffered. schematic for the analog section
stored in the latches to be added Since simplicity and low-cost is shown in Fig. 6.
to the value set by the switches were design goals, the output of First -order filtering is accom-
on the A inputs. Since the the EPROM is latched by another plished by C9 in this conversion
74LS374 stores data only at the 74LS374, which allows the full stage. Op -amp IC4-a provides ad-
positive edge of its clock input, clock period for the EPROM out- ditional filtering to further
the fact that the data presented to put to settle, permitting the use smooth out the steps in the sine
its inputs will be changing short- of inexpensive slow EPROM's. approximation. The output of
ly after the clock causes no er- The latch also guarantees a glit- this two -pole filter is AC -coupled
rors. The delay through the latch ch -free input to the D/A converter to the output connection. Figure
and adder guarantee glitch -free section. 7 shows the relative response of
operation. At each clock pulse a Figure 4-b shows the D/A con- the filtering provided in the out-
new sum is present at the output verter circuitry. The D/A con- put stage. The corner frequency
of the latch. The output of each version is accomplished using a of the filter is set by the formula
adder then stabilizes with the DAC08 8 -bit D/A converter (an fo = 1/(2nVR7 x C10 x R6 x C11)
new sum allowing the cycle to re- MC1408 can be substituted with
peat continuously. This sum rep- some loss in performance). The which, for the values shown, is
resents the value P in the output of the converter is a cur- equal to 482 kHz. A high-speed
theoretical discussion, while the
value set by the DIP switch repre-
sents the size of each phase step. LISTING 1
The sine -wave lookup table is
contained within a single 2716 This program calculates the value of the sine function
EPROM providing phase -to -am- offset so that the 4th and 1st quadrants cause a code
plitude conversion. Although 24 from 0 to 255. Code is generated to fill a 2048 byte prom
(2716 or equivalent) for a full circle of 2*pi radians.
bits are available in the phase ac- Other size memory may be used by changing the value of
cumulator as implemented here, bytes in the declaration table. */
only 21 bits are used to maintain
compatibility with readily avail- #include <stdio.h>
able crystals. For those who wish #include <math.h>
to program their own EPROM, main()
both a hex dump of the contents
of the EPROM and an S -Record double p=0; /* phase input to sin fcn */
formatted hex dump for use with double S=0; /* output value of true sin fcn */
PROM programmers can be int s; /* amplitude truncated to 8 bits */
downloaded from the R -E BBS double sin(); /* true sin fcn */
(516-293-2283, 1200, 2400, 8N1) double pi=3.141592654;
in a file named DIGSYN.HEX. A int addr=0; /* address of EPROM */
programmed EPROM is available int bytes=2048; /* size of EPROM in bytes */
from the source shown in the printf(" 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8");
parts list. printf(" 9 a b c d e f \n");
The data in the EPROM repre- while (addr < bytes )

sents the values generated by the

mathematical function if addr % 16 == 0

printf("\n%4x ", addr);


127.5(sin(2nP/2048 - It/2)) trun-

cated to 8 -bits, with P taking on p = 2.0*pi*( (double) addr )/((double) bytes) ;

S = 127.5*(1.0+sin(p - pi/2.0)); /* gives 0 at -90 deg */

values from 0 to 2047, that is, the s = (int) S
( ) /* convert to an integer */

addresses of the EPROM. The for- if S -

( (double) s
( >= 0.5 /* rounds if necessary
) )

mula offsets the sine function so s++;

that its value ranges from 0 to printf(" %2x",$);
255 as P ranges from 0 to 2047 addr++; /* increment address */
and avoids negative values which 1

would complicate the next stage. 31

GS1 OPOOtk00000
000000000V 0 9 000000000V
U95 a wool
0 0-00
A, A U120 a Ul30 g u14.
00-0 0

10 0
0 0
0 0 0-00 4)4)
0 0 0 O 0 0
0 0-0-0
0 0 0 0 0+


po0---'9po0--po 0 0 0 0
-35 oU15 0 o
100kHz 300kHz 1 OMHz 3 OMHz II 5 ul7E 441/-4) 0000o
N :----7----,"0/-4:
10kHz 30kHz

0-0 o-o ccf--4--0

c( ---o
0-0O 7773 rpil
0 0
oU4o o
filtering in the output stage. The corner
0 0 0
o 0 o00---0 o
0 UI Lifik1 100
frequency is equal to 482 kHz. A high- 0 0
O o 0 0
speed op -amp is required to effectively 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-.0 0 0 o
filter the waveform. I\ 0
00 0 0 0 1) 0
011 C70:7-1)
oo 0 0 0 0
op -amp is required in this stage
to filter the waveform effectively.

o o
000c4eopooll \\c) 0

The 4558 op -amp we used is a 09-1 00 0
0 IT 0 0 Cr0
'/C7CN")\00)) 0 u3
good compromise between per-
formance and cost. 0 0 oo0-0o 1:0 0 0 0 0 04$ u.n 2
The clock for all functions is c )3,//e50-47 " >() CJ

provided by a crystal oscillator

running at 4.194304 MHz, which
happens to be exactly the 22nd
power of two. The clock is divided 5 INCHES
by two to provide the phase -ac- F.
cumulator clock and EPROM FOIL PATTERN for the component side of the digital synthesizer.
latch clock. Additional inverters
are used as delay elements to en- 0000000000 0000000000
sure that the latches are clocked LF DDS SYNTH 01991 NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC
at precisely the right instant to 0 MADE IN
prevent glitches. With the clock USA
and timing as such, EPROM's 0
with access times as slow as 475 cc 0
ns can be used.
With 21 bits of the phase ac-
cumulator used and a clock fre- icg0,0\0 vri a,;\o ,c%(clEct
quency of 4.194304/2 MHz (fc), 0
the output resolution is precisely
1 Hz. Since 19 bits are presented
as the input to the phase ac- 1.).1% o
cumulator by the DIP switch, the
maximum output frequency is:
219x fe/221 = fe/4 = 524.288 kHz
While a DDS system can ap- o
proach fc/2, fc/4 was chosen as a
maximum to limit the total dis-
tortion in the output waveform. JI
The top frequency is actually 1 Hz
less than that because the max- ddro
imum setting is 219 -1 for a 19 -
bit binary input. The filter rolloff
shown in Fig. 7 attenuates clock -
related distortion by over 30 to 1. rrrr
A double -sided PC board is
available from the source shown 5 INCHES
in the parts list, and we've also III
provided the foil patterns in case FOIL PATTERN for the solder side of the digital synthesizer.
you want to make your own
board. If you're using the PC ment diagram shown in Fig. 8. speed CMOS and must therefore
32 board, follow the parts -place-- Note that IC5 and 1C8 are high- be handled carefully to prevent
S1 S2
PARTS LIST 018 -R11 -- C20 0 OUT
P12 R13
All resistors are'/4-watt, 5%.
R1-1 megohm IC0 1010 IC11 IC12 IC13
R2, R3-10 ohms
R4, R7-3300 ohms
R5-100 ohms C19:

R6-15,000 ohms
R8, R11-4700 ohms IR
I IC4 Cil

R9, R10-1000 ohms C12 66

R12, R13-4700 ohms x 9, 10 -pin IC16 IC17

SIP resistor ,19:

f i271
1 ,

C1-5-30 pF trimmer
C2, C3, C6, C12, C18 -C20--0.1 1.LF,
ceramic disc 102 GND
C4, C5 -not used
C7, C14, C15-10 ILE 35 volts,
C8-100 11F, 16 volts, electrolytic
0 W
C9, C10-100 pF, "eramic disc FIG. 8-PARTS-PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. Follow this diagram if you're using a PC board.
C11, C17-22 pF, ceramic disc The smaller IC outline beneath IC2 is for experimenting with a faster EPROM such as a
C13, C16-470 1.1,F, 16 volts, elec- 74S472 (see test).
trolytic (optional for power supply)

IC1-DACO8CN 8 -bit D/A converter
IC2-2716 2K x 8 -bit EPROM
IC3, IC15-1C17-DM74LS374N oc-
tal latch
IC4-LF353N dual op -amp
IC6-LM7805 + 5 -volt regulator (op-
tional for power supply)
IC7-LM7905 -5 -volt regulator (op-
tional for power supply)
IC8-MM74HC74AN dual D -type
CMOS flip-flop
IC9-1C14-DM74LS283N 4 -bit
BR1-1-amp bridge rectifier (optional
for power supply)

Other components
XTAL1-4.194304 MHz crystal
PL1-AC line cord (optional for FREQUENCY

power supply) FIG. 9-THE COMPLETED UNIT. This compact PC board can easily be installed in almost
any kind of project case.
T1-120VAC/12.6VAC transformer
(optional for power supply)
damaging them. Use a grounded - built using wire -wrap methods
Miscellaneous: PC board, solder, tip soldering iron (if you've got for the digital section and point-
case, mounting hardware, etc. access to one) and ground your- to-point for the analog section. If
Note: The following items are self before picking up the board you're wire -wrapping the circuit,
available from NOVATECH IN- or an IC. Space for the optional some care must be applied to the
STRUMENTS, INC., 1530 East- power supply (shown in Fig. 6) is analog section to prevent digital
lake Ave. E, Suite 303, Seattle, not provided on the PC board, switching noise from getting into
WA 98102 (206) 328-6902: but it can be made on any kind of the output. The ground returns
board. The power -supply circuit for all of the analog section must
Complete kit of parts (except a is not critical, but be careful due connect to the power supply sep-
case and the optional power - to the line voltages present. Fig- arately from the digital section
supply parts)-$69.95 ure 9 shows the completed unit. and the analog bypass capacitors
Please add $5.00 shipping and Since the majority of the cir- must be connected as close as
handling. Washington State res- cuit is digital, simple wiring possible to the analog integrated
idents must add 8.2% sales tax. techniques can be used. The au- circuits. The oscillator, consist-
thor's original prototype was ing of IC5-a, RI, R4, Cl and 33
nect it to pin 5 of IC8-a. If you
don't have a counter, adjust Cl to
mid -range; with the crystal spec-
ified, your error should be no
more than about 0.02%. Apply
power and, using an insulated
adjustment tool, adjust Cl to ex-
actly 2.097152 MHz if you have a
counter connected. With an os-
cilloscope connected to the out-
put, vary the DIP switch setting;
you will see the frequency
change. For higher and higher
frequencies the distortion will in-
crease with the maximum distor-
tion at the highest setting.
The frequency output is equal
to the binary value set by the DIP
switches, with a logical 1 corre-
sponding to an "off' position. For
a switch setting of
001,1000,0110,1010,0000 (100
kHz), the author's prototype gave
FIG. 10-0 JrPUT OF THE AUTHOR'S PROTOTYPE at 100 kHz (5p.s/div. horizontal, 0.2Y/ the waveform shown in Fig. 10. A
div. vertical) spectrum -analyzer display of the
100 -kHz output is show in Fig.
11. Note that the harmonics are at
least 40 dB down, corresponding
to about 1% distortion. Varying
the least -significant DIP switch
will change the frequency output
by 1 Hz. Since the frequency is set
by the DIP switch and the ac-
curacy of the crystal oscillator,
the output will be the same even
after a power -down, power -up cy-
cle. 'Fable 1 summarizes the spec-
ifications for the completed dig-
ital synthesizer.
If the digital parts are changed
from 74LS to 74F, the EPROM
changed to a bipolar PROM (such
as a 74S472 which is accommo-
dated on the circuit board), and
the clock oscillator replaced by a
faster one, the output frequency
FIG. 11-SPECTRUM ANALYZER PHOTOGRAPH of the 1100 -kHz output. (100 kHz/div. can be increased at the expense
horizontal, 10dB/div. vertical, 500 kHz center frequency, 1t0 kHz resolution bandwidth) of resolution. The author has
successfully operated the circuit
TABLE 1-SPECIFICATIONS up to a 5.0 -MHz output frequen-
cy, providing 10 Hz resolution.
Frequency Range: Hz to 524.287 kHz The circuit is simple and com-

1 Hz over complete range

pact enough that several units
Accuracy: Depends on crystal, typ. 0.005% can be built to provide fixed cal-
Output: Low distortion sine wave ibration frequencies needed on
Output amplitude: Approx. 1 volt peak -to -peak, decreases at top end your bench. High-speed CMOS
Power requirements: + 5V at approx. 250 mA logic may be substituted for the
-5V al approx. 50 mA low -power TTL devices for lower -
power operation. If you decide to
XTAL1, must be tightly wired. Operation change to CMOS, IC3 must be a
The author's original prototype Before turning on the power. 74HCT374 as the output of the
had the discrete components sol- carefully inspect the board for EPROM is TTL-compatible. Ad-
dered directly to the wirewrap - shorts, solder bridges, wiring er- vanced CMOS, 74AC or 74ACT,
socket pins of IC5. A board with rors, etc. Set the DIP switch to should not be used because of
an existing ground plane is ideal any non -zero value. If you have a noise induced by its fast edge
for wire -wrap construction. frequency counter available, con- rates. R -E
Our solid-state Tesla
coil can produce SOLID STATE
sparks as long as 8 I-- ---I

inches with a peak

output of about 100,000 volts.

esla coils have been around for

almost 100 years and, with the
exception of vacuum -tube driven
coils, not much has changed from
the way Nikola lesla invented them.
This article describes a new type of
Tesla coil; a true solid-state lesla coil.
One thing that makes our Tesla coil
unusual is that the coupling to the
secondary coil is by a direct electrical
connection rather than by magnetic
fields. Direct coupling is not new to
lesla coils but it is seldom seen.
The solid-state "lbsla coil is by no
means as spectacular as capacitive -
discharge lesla coils but it gives just
as good, or better, performance as a
vacuum -tube Tesla coil. Sparks as
long as 8 inches are possible with a
power -line consumption of 2 amps at
120 volts (see Fig. 1), and the output
reaches a peak of about 100,000
volts. Although the average power in-
put to the device is around 250 to 300
watts, the peak input power to the
Tesla secondary coil is about 800
watts. The Tesla coil is an excellent
teaching tool, as many interesting
things may be learned with the aid of
this device.
Circuit description
The schematic for the solid-state
Tesla coil is shown in Fig. 2. The sec-
ondary of the Tesla coil, when directly
driven by a solid-state driver, appears
like a series RLC circuit. That's due to
the self -capacitance of the coil with
respect to ground. The capacitance is
normally very small with the induc-
tance being fairly large. At the reso-
nant frequency, the inductive reac-
tance cancels the capacitive reac-
tance. The effective impedance is
limited by such losses as the DC re-
sistance of the coil, AC skin effect of
the wire, eddy currents induced full power is applied. (Remember
Warning!! This article deals with and
in nearby objects by the field of involves subject matter and the use of
that the resonant frequency can
the coil, and so on. materials and substances that may be be affected by nearby objects.)
Series RLC circuits have rela- hazardous to health and life. Do not at- The current supplied to the sec-
tively low impedances when oper- tempt to implement or use the information ondary coil is indicated by LED1.
ated at the resonant frequency. contained herein, unless you are experi- Mining is accomplished by ad-
The coil used in this project,
enced and skilled with respect to such justing the frequency via RI and
subject matter, materials, and sub- observing LED1. When reso-
when operated at its resonant fre- stances. Neither the publisher nor the au-
quency, looks like a 450 -ohm re- thor make any representation as for the nance is achieved, the secondary
sistive load to the solid-state completeness or accuracy of the informa- coil will have a low impedance
driver. Series RLC circuits pro- tion contained herein, and disclaim any which will produce maximum
duce high voltages on the induc- liability for damages or injuries, whether current, lighting the LED. Di-
tor and capacitor at the resonant
caused by or arising from the lack of com- odes D3-D6 limit the forward
pleteness, inaccuracies of the informa- and reverse voltages on LED1
frequency. The high voltage is tion, misrepresentations of the directions,
due to a high current flowing misapplication of the information, or other-
when in the high -power mode.
through a high reactance (re- wise. (Note that you must use an LED
member that the inductance is that lights at 1.5 volts-some
large and the capacitance is each other, and drive the gates of LED's, including most green
small, creating large reactances MOSFET's QI and Q2, which, in ones, need 2.1 volts or higher.
in each component at a given fre- turn, drive the primary of trans- When the device is switched
quency). That is what produces former T1. Transformer Tl drives into the operating mode (or the
the corona discharge at the end the bases of switching -tran- high -power mode), half -wave
of the secondary coil. sistors Q3 and Q4. The compo- line -voltage pulses will be applied
The heart of the driver is IC1, nents in the base circuitry are to the primary of T2. As the half -
the SG3524 pulse -width modu- used to increase the switching wave voltage increases, the cur-
lator. The duty cycle is fixed at speed of the transistors. Tran- rent in the secondary coil in-
about 45% for best efficiency. The sistors Q3 and Q4 switch the line creases and the energy stored in
frequency is controlled by the re- voltage across the primary of T2, the inductance and capacitance
sistance on pin 6 and the capaci- which increases the voltage and of the secondary coil will in-
tance on pin 7. With the values drives the end of the secondary crease. During this time there is
shown, the frequency has a coil directly. Note that the line no corona from the secondary
range from 200 to 240 kHz. 'A flip- voltage delivered to T2 is half - coil (if the coil is constructed as
flop inside the chip divides that wave rectified by DI. That is im- shown in this article). Sometime
by 2 so that the effective output of portant to the operation of the before the half -wave line voltage
the driver has a range from 100 to Tesla coil because a pulsating reaches its peak, the corona will
120 kHz. voltage is needed to produce the appear on the secondary coil,
The outputs on pins 12 and 13 best effects. which will dissipate the stored
are 180 degrees out of phase with When the device is plugged energy very quickly. During the
into a wall receptacle it will be in remainder of the half -wave line
its standby mode. That is, the 21 - voltage, the coil will produce cor-
volt power supply will be opera- ona but the energy level will not
tional and the FET's will be driv- be as great as the initial dis-
ing the primary of Ti. The charge. The coil will produce six-
standby mode produces enough ty individual corona discharges
power to "tune" the driver to the every second, although you'll see
coil's resonant frequency before a continuous discharge.


rot V


can produce sparks as long as 8 inches.
The output reaches a peak of about
USE THIS FOIL PATTERN, shown half-size, to etch your own PC board.
36 100,000 volts.

1 C6


.560 03 T2)
L3 ZN6678
+ 5V
R11 R10 D10 -D13 0
9 15 R3 D2
3.3K 3.3K C3 1N4004 (x4)
16 2.2K 1N4934
2 4
13 01 L2
1K I D8
TUNE SK9155 1N4936
6 IC1 R4
SG3524 2.2K
3.9K LED1
14 R9 D3 -D6
R6 .56t2 1N4934 (x4)
1.2.2K I.- a L4 2N6678
1-00 a HI N f41
4 5 18 R5
100 r 014-017
1N4004 (x4)


FIG. 2-SCHEMATIC FOR THE SOLID-STATE TESLA COIL. The secondary of the Tesla coil
appears like a series RLC circuit due to the self -capacitance of the coil with respect to


All resistors are Yo -watt, 5%, un- Q3, Q4 -2N6678 or SK9140 NPN net wire for T2 primary, 26 -gauge
less otherwise indicated. transistor hook-up wire for T2 secondary, 18 -
R1-1000 ohms, 10 -turn LED1-red LED. See text gauge magnet wire for both wind-
potentiometer Other components ings of T3, brass rod, discharge
R2-3900 ohms F1 -3 -amp, 250 -volt, fast -blow fuse ball, hardware, AC linecord, etc.
R3, R4-2200 ohms, 1/2 watt BR1-VM08 bridge rectifier, Varo
R5, R6-2200 ohms T1-hand-made transformer (the
R7-330 ohms, 1 watt core is TDK # PC3OEER25.5-Z Note: The following items are
R8, R9-0.56 ohms, 2 watts, and the bobbin is TDK # available from Corona Coil, PO
flameproof BEER-25.5-118CP) Box 474, Riverton, UT 84065
R10, R11-3300 ohms T2-hand-made transformer (the (801-254-7653):
Capacitors core is TDK # PC3OEC70-Z and Core, bobbin, and wire for T1, T2,
C1-0.001 F, 50 volts, 5%, polyester the bobbin is TDK # BEC-70-5116) and T3-$30.00
C2-110 pF, 50 volts, polyester T3-hand-made transformer (the Set of T1, T2, and T3 (as-
C3, C4-10 p.F, 35 volts, tantalum core is TDK # PC3OEER25.5-Z sembled)-$50.00
C5-330 F, 35 volts, electrolytic and the bobbin is TDK # Tesla secondary coil-$35.00
C6, C7-2 F, 200 volts, nonpolar BEER-25.5-118CP) PC board -615.00
film -type T4-115VAC/15VAC center -tapped Aluminum angle bracket
C8, CO 0.02 F,1000 volts, ceramic transformer (Triad F -132P) (heatsink and PC -board
disc S1-SPST key switch mount)-$5.00
Semiconductors Miscellaneous: enclosure, alumi- Please add 10% S&H for all items.
IC1-SG3524 pulse -width modulator num angle bracket, high -voltage
D1-MR751 diode wire (to connect main unit to Tesla A 124 -page book by the author,
D2-D6-1N4934 diode secondary), 30 -gauge magnet wire Modern Tesla Coil Theory, is
D7, D8 -1N4936 diode for Tesla secondary and L1 and L2, available for $19.95 plus $2.50
D9-not used 24 -gauge magnet wire for L3 and shipping from the Tesla Book
D1O-D17-1N4004 diode L4, 18 -gauge stranded hook-up Co., PO Box 12187, Tulle Vesta,
Q1, Q2-SK9155 power MOSFET wire for L5 and L6, 15 -gauge mag- CA 91912 (619-437-8515).
-s_o oco 000 r -o change the characteristics of the
coil and it may not operate with
3-FO- OT H.V. WIRE the driver unless modifications
in the driver are made. Any
change in physical dimensions
or wire size will alter the resonant
C7 C6 + 017
frequency and effective imped-
07 D8 C41 ance of the coil. Any change to
the discharge electrode will effect
L5 L6
the maximum energy obtainable.
"015 The coil form for the secondary
De 014
02 - R9 -- winding is a standard 5 -gallon
T1 plastic container 10 inches in di-
01 -R8- ameter at the bottom, 12 inches
-R4- -R6-
144_)10 in diameter at the top, and 14
D1 14_1)11
inches long. The bottom of the
-R3-- -R5- container becomes the top of the
o- _
C3 coil. To make winding easier you
120 COM C9
oiI- R10 ) IC1 should drill a hole about an inch

in diameter through the center of

0- L.j
El 1051 C21
R11 R
1C1 the bottom of the container. A
-C8- similar hole should be drilled
through a removable lid and then
0- R1 the complete coil form can be ro-
FIG. 3 -PARTS -PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. It's best to play it safe and use the PC board for tated easily on a dowel. Start the
this project; we've provided the foil pattern if you would like to etch your own board. secondary winding 1 inch from
the small -diameter end and
Construction secondary coil may take an hour close -wind 30 -gauge magnet wire
Most of the construction is fair- or so to make if you prepare for a total length of 10 inches. It
ly simple if the printed circuit ahead of time. Preparation in- does not matter what direction
board is used. A parts -placement cludes making some device that the wire is wound in.
diagram is shown in Fig. 3, and will easily rotate the coil form When winding the original coil
we've provided the foil pattern if while winding the wire. The au- for this article, shellac was used
you would like to etch your own thor used a small lathe and it to lubricate the wire as it was
board. Figure 4 shows the com- took about 15 minutes of actual wound and also to act as a sea-
pleted prototype board housed in winding time and 30 minutes to lant afterwards. It was difficult to
its aluminum enclosure. get set up. wind the coil because the coil
The most difficult item to con- Do not deviate at all from the form was very slick and had a
struct will be the lesla secondary following parameters of the sec- slight taper to it and, as a result,
coil, followed by T1 and T2. The ondary coil! Any deviation will the wire kept slipping. It may be
easier to spray the container with
adhesive before winding the wire
to make it stay in place. A couple
of coats of shellac should be ap-
plied to the finished winding. You
also must put 3 or 4 beads of sil-
icone sealant around the end of
the winding at the top of the coil
to keep corona discharges away
from the area. If corona dis-
charges appear along the coil at
the top it will limit the maximum
energy and destroy the coil form.
The discharge ball, or elec-
trode, is a brass -plated metal
doorknob, 1 -inch in diameter,
that can be found in hardware
stores (see Fig. 5). The ball is
mounted on a 4 -inch brass rod;
you can drill and tap the ends of
the brass rod with a 6-32 tap (or
whatever matches the threading
on the doorknob) to make
mounting easier. The brass rod is
connected to the coil form by two
pieces of plastic, one on each side
enclosure. It's important that the case be properly grounded. of the coil form, over the 1/2 -inch
L6 are wound after the trans-
former is mounted on the board;
L5 and L6 are wound with 18 -
gauge stranded hook-up wire
with one turn each. Solder the
collector (Q4) end of L6 to the PC
board. Go one turn in a coun-
terclockwise direction around
the core of T1 and then terminate
the other end of L6 at the primary
of T2. Solder the collector (Q3)
end of L5 to the PC board and go
in a clockwise direction around
the core of T1 for one turn, termi-
BRASS ROD nating the winding at the cath-
ode of Dl.
Transformer T2 is also made
from a ferrite core and bobbin
OF COIL FORM from TDK (again, see the parts
list). The primary is 10 turns of
15 -gauge magnet wire, although
a smaller gauge, say 18, can prob-
ably be usql. It does not matter
what direction the wire is wound
in but the turns should be equal-
ly spaced across one layer of the
bobbin. Put several layers of cel-
SILICONE lophane tape on top of the pri-
SEALANT mary to insulate it from the
secondary and to provide a
COIL smooth surface on which to wind
the secondary. The secondary is
made with 280 turns (the exact
number is not critical) of 26 -
gauge hook-up wire. The direc-
tion is unimportant. You can use
magnet wire if you desire but you
LUG should put cellophane tape be-
6-32 SCREW tween each layer. The low -voltage
end of the secondary is the one
FIG. 5-THE DISCHARGE BALL is a brass -plated metal doorknob, 1 -inch in diameter. The that is the closest to the primary
ball is mounted on a 4 -inch brass rod that's been tapped to make mounting the ball easier. winding. When the windings are
complete, put the core halves
hole. A 6-32 screw passes wound, as shown in Fig. 6-a; LI through the bobbin and hold
through the pieces of plastic and starts on pin 3 and L2 starts on them in place with tape wrapped
into the brass rod to hold the as- pin 4. Wind both in a coun- around them.
sembly together. The wire is sol- terclockwise direction while look- 11-ansformer T3 is made with
dered to a lug held in place by the ing at the top of the bobbin. the same core and bobbin as Ti.
6-32 screw Terminate LI on pin 1 and termi- Both windings are bifilar with 18 -
A banana jack is used to make nate L2 on pin 2. Put a layer of gauge magnet wire for as many
connections at the bottom of the cellophane tape on top of the turns as possible. The start of
coil. Locate the jack about 3/4 - winding to insulate it from L3 both windings are polarized as
inch from the edge of the wire on and L4. indicated by a dot in the sche-
the coil. Silicone should be used Coils L3 and L4 are made with matic diagram (Fig. 2). The pins
to insulate the connections be- 5 turns each of 24 -gauge magnet on the bobbin are not used and
tween the magnet wire and the wire and are also bifilar wound, should therefore be cut off, and
brass rod and banana jack. The on top of Ll and L2, and in the the 18 -gauge wires are then sol-
finished coil, when built exactly same direction. Coil L3 starts on dered directly to the PC board as
as we've shown, will have a reso- pin 6 and L4 starts on pin 8. Ter- indicated.
nant frequency of about 110 kHz. minate L3 on pin 5 and terminate An aluminum angle bracket is
'fransformer T1 is made with a L4 on pin 7. This completes the used when mounting switching -
ferrite core and bobbin from TDK transformer until it is mounted transistors Q3 and Q4. The
(see the parts list). Coils LI and on the PC board. bracket provides the physical
L2 are wound first with 30 -gauge Put the two core halves support between the PC board
magnet wire, 16 turns each, through the bobbin and put tape and enclosure and also provides
making one layer on the bobbin. around them to hold them in good heat sinking for the tran-
The two windings are bifilar place. As shown in Fig. 6, L5 and sistors. The transistors should 39




als.4.-;!'ltasai 1.-.4.-1-1-.".`""



FIG. 6-TRANSFORMER Ti IS MADE by winding coils Ll and L2 first (a). After putting a
layer of cellophane tape on top of the first windings, coils L3 and L4 are wound on top of Ll
and L2. Coils L5 and L6 are wound after the transformer is mounted on the board (b). See
text for detailed instructions.

be insulated from the aluminum; compound is used between the Operation

insulating hardware is normally transistors and angle bracket Warning: The power output
included when you purchase the and between the angle bracket from the lesla coil is dangerous!
transistors. Use the PC board as and the enclosure. Make sure no one comes in con-
a template for drilling holes for A banana jack is mounted in tact with the output voltage di-
the transistors in the aluminum the back of the enclosure to make rectly from the driver. Make sure
bracket. The anglef bracket is connections between the lesla nobody tampers with the unit,
mounted to the enclosure by dril- secondary coil and the high -volt- and keep it out of reach of chil-
ling holes and taping them with a age ferrite transformer. The out- dren. Make sure you use a key
6-32 tap. Thermal conductive put voltage from the ferrite
transformer may reach 5000
volts peak with no load so it is
wise to use extra insulation for
the banana jack. Mount a piece of
plastic, 11/2 -inch square, to the
back of the enclosure over a 1 -
inch square hole, and mount the
banana jack in the center of the
plastic. That will space the ba-
nana jack at least 1/2 -inch from
the metal enclosure.
The prototype used a 10 -turn
potentiometer for R1 to make fre-
quency adjustments easier and
this allowed the use of a 10 -turn
dial to mark the frequency set-
tings for different purposes. You
can use a regular potentiometer
but the 10 -turn unit is superior.
An enclosure was fabricated
out of 1/2 -inch aluminum with a
plexiglass top, but any metal en-
closure would be suitable. Just FIG. 8-THE SPARKS WILL JUMP even
be absolutely sure that you farther if a grounded electrode is placed
ground the metal enclosure. near the discharge ball.
from the ball electrode into the air.
switch to turn power on and off to Connect the Tesla secondary than you would expect. Very
prevent someone from getting in- coil to the driver with a 3 -foot slight adjustments in the tune
jured, and keep the key in a safe insulated wire (it is a good idea to control may improve the dis-
place. keep at least 3 feet from the sec- charge. You should be able to get
Caution: All components on ondary coil). You should always 7 -inch streamers with a
the secondary of T1 are not iso- unplug the driver when you are grounded electrode above the coil
lated from the power line. Use making connections between the (see Fig. 8). Be aware that any
caution when measuring values driver and secondary coil to be change of the physical surround-
in this area. You must isolate an absolutely safe. The wire con- ings around the coil will change
oscilloscope from ground if mea- necting the coil and driver car- its resonant frequency and the
suring in this area. Make sure ries a dangerous amount of tune control will need to be ad-
you use a three -prong power cord power so be certain the wire is justed to maintain resonance.
and that the case of the driver is well insulated. In a dimly lit room When operating the lesla coil, be
well grounded. Also, make sure you should be able to adjust the aware of the temperature of the
you plug the unit into a well- tune control to set the driver at enclosure where the aluminum
grounded electrical outlet. the coil's resonant frequency. Ob- angle bracket is mounted. Shut
Double check all wiring to serve the LED and watch for one off the power if the area gets too
make sure it is correct. Make sure place in the tuning control's ad- warm. The prototype was oper-
the operate switch is in the justment where the LED glows ated for 2 full minutes, and you
standby position (line voltage brighter than anywhere else. could just start to feel some
disconnected from DI). Using a Never apply full power to the driv- warmth on the enclosure. How-
digital voltmeter isolated from er unless you can obtain reso- ever, you should operate the Tesla
ground, measure the voltage nance first. Damage to the driver coil only for short periods of time.
across C3 and C4. If everything is will most likely occur if reso- Once you have a working unit
working correctly in the low -volt- nance is not maintained. you can start to experiment with
age circuitry, there should be Once you obtain resonance you different things. Try removing
about 2.5 volts across those ca- can switch to the full -power the discharge ball and use a point
pacitors. If that voltage is not mode; the LED will glow very instead. Try changing the dis-
present you should check the 21 - brightly. With no objects around tance of the ball electrode from
volt power supply. Make sure that the coil you should observe a the coil. '11-y holding an incandes-
5 volts is on pin 16 of ICI. If the snappy brush discharge 5 to 6 cent lamp a short distance from
oscillator is working correctly inches in length emanating from the coil-but be very careful. Dif-
you should have about 3.6 volts the discharge electrode (see Fig. ferent lamps will produce dif-
on pin 6 of ICI. 7). It might be somewhat louder ferent discharges. R -E

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An overview of today's
revolutionary memory technology-and
a peek at tomorrow's.


STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL OF DIGITAL structions or numerical con- relatively large amounts of elec-
information has sparked an ex- stants that do not change during trical and physical abuse, yet still
citing revolution in computers the life of a product. For example, maintain its contents. The auto-
and consumer electronics. You personal computers use perma- mobile industry uses ROM's ex-
find semiconductor memories in nent memory to hold the basic tensively in on -board computers.
nearly all "intelligent" electronic input/output system (BIOS) that
systems, including car radios. initializes the computer and pro- PROM
televisions, VCR's, compact -disc vides it with a core of low-level The programmable read only
players, and computers. Without functions. There are four basic memory (PROM) offers a tremen-
the on -going advances in memo- types of permanent memory: dous advantage over the ROM in
ry technology, the high-tech revo- ROM, PROM, EPROM, and that it can be programmed by the
lution would rapidly grind to a EEPROM. Let's discuss each end user, who is then less depen-
halt. type. dent on manufacturers' lead
In this article, we will examine times. A PROM can be "burned,"
several important concepts be- ROM or programmed, only once be-
hind semiconductor memory de- The read only memory (ROM) is cause it cannot be erased.
vices, including basic tech- the oldest and most straightfor- The term burn comes from the
nologies, memory organization ward type of permanent semicon- method used to program a
and configuration, design con- ductor memory. The information PROM. A factory -fresh PROM
siderations, and applications. that's programmed into a ROM is consists of a matrix of fusible
specified by the buyer, but the links. An intact link produces a
Memory types ROM itself must be built by the binary 0 at the selected location;
Semiconductor memory de- manufacturer. a burned (open -circuit) link pro-
vices can be classified in one of A ROM is relatively inflexible- duces a binary 1, as shown in
two ways: permanent or tempo- after it's been programmed, it can Fig. 1. (We'll discuss how to get at
rary. Although basic operating never be altered. If the informa- a particular location in a PROM
principles of both are similar, tion in a ROM must change, a later in this article.)
each _plays a different role, and whole new device must be man- To burn a PROM, a special
each has unique advantages and ufactured and substituted for the piece of equipment called a
disadvantages. We will discuss old ROM, and that is an expen- PROM burner generates high-en-
both types in detail. sive, time-consuming process. ergy pulses which destroy the de-
As the name suggests, infor- Hence the ROM is economically sired links to match the contents
mation in permanent memory is feasible only when used in great of a user data file.
retained at all times, even after volumes for thoroughly debug- PROM's are slightly more ex-
removal of system power. Perma- ged applications. pensive than ROM's on a per -unit
nent memory is also called non- One advantage of the ROM is basis, but their flexibility often
volatile and read-only memory. its ruggedness. Since the pro- justifies higher cost. Many
Permanent memory is most often gram is an actual physical part of PROM's are available through re-
42 used to store fixed program in - the device itself, it can withstand tail electronics outlets.
sunlight, fluorescent light and
"black -light", may contain
BUS SELECTOR enough UV to trigger random
charge dissipation and introduce
LINK errors in the device. So be sure to
0 0 cover the quartz window with a
0 piece of opaque material.
EPROM's cost more than
0 PROM's, but cost -per -bit is actu-
ally lower because MOS tech-
nology allows the designer to
ROW squeeze several times more infor-
mation in the same amount of
0 space. One disadvantage of the
0 EPROM is that it must be phys-
ically removed from the system to
be erased and re -programmed.
The electrically erasable pro-
grammable read only memory
FIG. 1-A PROM BEFORE PROGRAMMING consists of a matrix of fused links joining each (EEPROM) is similar to the
row -column intersection. Programming blows desired links.
EPROM, but overcomes its main
disadvantage: the inability to
EPROM program it in -circuit. That fea-
The erasable programmable SOURCE ture offers exciting possibilities
read-only memory (EPROM) over- GATE 01 in applications where software
comes one of the main disadvan- DATA
must adapt to changes in the op-
tages of the PROM: its inability to erating environment.
be reused. After a link has been ci 74: DRAIN The EEPROM is no panacea,
burned, it can never be restored. STORAGE however. It's slower than other
By contrast, typical EPROM's can -I-CAPACITANCE types of memory, and it requires a
be reliably burned and erased relatively long time to update the
thousands of times. FIG. 2-IN AN EPROM, CAPACITANCE altered data. As a result,
The PROM is built around tra- across the gate -drain junction of a MOS EEPROM's are best suited for
ditional bipolar transistor tech- transistor provides storage. holding information that
nology, which uses both a great changes infrequently. Informa-
deal of power and occupies a lot of tion that changes often is best
space. The EPROM, on the other +V left to the work of temporary
hand, uses newer metal -oxide memory; the other broad class of
semiconductor (MOS) tech- DATA
0 semiconductor memory.
nology, which requires little cur- Q2 L(1) 4
rent and occupies little space. In Temporary memory
an EPROM, information is stored Information held in a tempo-
as small packets of charge buried 01 06 rary semiconductor memory de-
deep within the substrate of the 05 vice can be altered and updated
IC, as shown in Fig. 2. frequently, but will be main-
An EPROM is programmed tained only as long as power is
much like a PROM. A special C1 if. 7-s- C2 supplied to the device. If power
EPROM programmer selects an fails, memory contents will be
address in the device, places the lost. That type of memory is usu-
desired binary information on ROW
ally referred to as volatile memo-
the data lines, and then pulses SELECT
ry. It is also known as random
the EPROM's PROGRAM pin. That FIG. 3-A FLIP-FLOP is the basic unit of access memory (RAM). The name
pulse is what locks the bit pat- storage in static RAM devices. refers to the fact that any location
tern into the substrate of the may be accessed as quickly as
chip. pre-programmed state. The UV any other. By contrast, in a se-
lb erase an EPROM, it's neces- light is introduced into the quential device like a tape drive,
sary to remove the charges in the EPROM through a transparent access speed depends on the lo-
IC's substrate. That's accom- quartz window in the top of the cation of the desired informa-
plished by exposing the circuit IC package. tion. However, random locations
(the die itself) to short -wave- Use caution when working in ROM's, PROM's, EPROM's, and
length ultraviolet (UV) light for a with EPROM's. Even though it EEPROM's can be accessed with
prescribed period of time. The ex- takes about 20 minutes of ex- equal speed. Nonetheless, when
citation created by the UV light posure to a concentrated UV light people speak of RAM, they almost
allows stored charge to dissipate, source to erase an EPROM, some invariably are referring to tempo-
so the IC gradually returns to its common sources of light, such as rary memory. 43
type has particular benefits and the IC, so the maximum number
'1' SELECT drawbacks. of cells is limited.
01 Static RAM Dynamic RAM
Static RAM (SRAM) is the Dynamic RAM (DRAM) uses an
oldest and most straightforward entirely different technology to
form of temporary semiconduc- accomplish data storage. The key
tor memory. A typical SRAM con- difference lies in the design of the
CAPACITANCE sists of several flip-flops, or cells, cell itself. As shown in Fig. 4,
as shown in Fig. 3. Each cell each cell in a DRAM stores infor-
FIG. 4-CAPACITANCE is the basic unit of stores one bit of information; mation as a packet of charge
storage in the DRAM. multiple cells are arranged in a across a MOS transistor, similar
in principle to way the EPROM
works, but it is unlike the SRAM,
which uses a flip-flop to hold one
bit of data.
AND REFRESH To allow frequent updates,
each cell must be capable of
SELECT SIGNALS changing state almost instantly.
'lb allow rapid change, the stor-
age capacitance must be ex-
tremely low, so low in fact that it
cannot sustain its charge for
more than a few milliseconds.
BUS Therefore each DRAM location
MATRIX must be refreshed about every
two milliseconds. If a cell is not
refreshed, it will simply lose its
FIG. 5-INTERNAL DRAM STRUCTURE. The control refresh circuitry increases complex-
ity but drastically increases storage capacity.
data. However, refresh cannot
happen by itself; external circuit-
ry is required, as well as addi-
A0-" - tional circuitry within the DRAM
Al --a.- itself. Fig. 5 shows a block di-
ROW 32
agram of the internal structure of
a DRAM. The added complexity
and cost of refresh circuitry is the
main disadvantage of DRAM.
8 8 8
On the other hand, DRAM of-
BITS BITS BITS BITS fers several distinct advantages
over SRAM. Storage capacity is
1 OF 8 1 OF 8 1 OF 8
much greater. Common DRAM's
1 OF 8
DECODER DECODER DECODER DECODER provide one megabit (22) of stor-
age, and four -megabit IC's are
just over the horizon. In addi-
COLUMN tion, 16 -megabit memories are
SELECT being developed, and 64 -megabit
DRAM's are on the drawing
READ board.
ENABLE Power is another considera-
(CHIP SELECT) O O 0 tion. DRAM's require less current
DO D1 D2 D3,

to operate; there are far fewer
components per cell to dissipate
power. The power savings can be
FIG. 6-A BASIC ROM consists of row- and column -select circuitry, the memory array, substantial in applications that
and three -state output buffers. need a great deal of memory.
DRAM's also have a standby
Most electronic processing sys- two-dimensional array. 'lb access mode that essentially disables all
tems require at least some RAM. a particular cell, row and column functions except refresh. In
The amount that's required de- addresses must be set up, and standby mode, a DRAM requires
pends on the application. A sim- then several control signals must just a few milliwatts of power to
ple system, such as a program- be pulsed. maintain its information. In
mable digital thermostat, may Since data is always available some cases, the low power re-
require only a few bytes of RAM. from the flip-flop matrix, the quirement makes battery backup
But a computer may require mil- SRAM tends to be a fast device. practical. SRAM's also have a
lions of bytes of RAM. Its primary disadvantage is lim- standby mode, but they typically
There are two basic types of ited capacity. Each flip-flop oc- need more than 100 milliwatts of
RAM: static and dynamic. Each cupies a relatively large area on power. Now let's examine some of
the technologies used to fab- Memory operations
ricate semiconductor memory AO - To the external world, the or-
devices. Al
ganization of a semiconductor
memory device appears as a se-
Fabrication technologies A3
quence of locations. Each loca-
Every semiconductor memory A4 tion may have 1, 4, 8, or some
chip houses sophisticated, sen- A5 other number of bits, but re-
sitive microcircuitry. Each min- gardless of the number of bits per
ute component must be inte- location, each location has a
grated deep into the substrate of DATA
unique address. The number of
the chip (or die), which itself I/O SELECT unique addresses depends on
rests within a hermetically sealed the number of address lines. If
case of plastic or ceramic. The CHIP there are 8 address lines, then
process of circuit integration in- SELECT A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 All there are 28 or 256 addresses. Al-
volves a complex combination of READ/WRITE though externally a semiconduc-
optical and chemical processes to DATA PIN
tor device appears to have a
form a working IC. Memory de- FIG. 7-THE BASIC SRAM is more compli- sequential organization, inter-
vices manufactured today are cated than a ROM because of the addition nally the cells are arranged in a
typically made using either bi- of a READ WRITE line. square.
polar or MOS fabrication tech- The relationship between the
nologies. In addition, a new MOS technology number of physical cells (bits)
hybrid of the two technologies, The development of MOS tech- and the number of logical loca-
called Bi-MOS, has begun to ap- nology is largely responsible for tions (addresses) depends on the
pear. Although the actual man- the incredible advances in high- number of bits per address. For
ufacturing processes of these tech electronics since the late example, a memory IC could have
kinds of devices are too involved 1970's. The materials and chemi- 1 megabit of cells arranged as
to cover here, we can review the cals used in MOS fabrication are 1 x 1 megabit, as 4 x 256K, or
characteristics and uses of those different from those used for bi- even as 8 x 128K. Internal decod-
technologies. polar fabrication, but the process ing circuitry varies depending on
is fundamentally the same. The how the organization is to appear
Bipolar technology most familiar MOS family is com- externally.
The bipolar transistor (with plementary MOS (CMOS), but For example, Fig. 6 represents
emitter, base, and collector) was there are many variations, in- a simple ROM. The format of the
the first component successfully cluding PMOS, NMOS, VMOS, ROM is 256 addresses with four
integrated into a semiconductor DMOS, and HMOS. bits per address. The memory ar-
wafer in the form of the TTL IC. CMOS, NMOS, and HMOS de- ray is a 32 x 32 square, giving
Many simple logic functions vices are the most widespread 256 addresses. And for 256 ad-
could thus be synthesized easily variations of MOS technology in dresses the chip requires eight
and efficiently. The resulting low use today. CMOS has been used address lines (28 = 256) to identi-
cost and high availability made extensively in memories, and to fy each location uniquely. The
TTL a mainstay of digital logic produce a family of devices that is lower five address lines (A0-A4)
design through the 60's and early functionally similar to the TTL select one of 32 possible rows
70's. Even to this day, TTL re- family. CMOS dissipates far less (25=32). The upper three
mains a cornerstone of basic log- power than TTL and can run on a (A5-A7) select one of eight col-
ic design. When memories were much wider range of supply volt- umns (23=8). There are four 1 -
needed, TTL was the obvious age (3-15 volts DC). N -channel of -8 decoders, so four columns
choice. MOS (NMOS) technology is used (one from each group of eight)
Although there are several to produce memories that are will be active for each selection.
SRAM chips in the TTL family fast, dissipate little power, and After a valid address is pre-
(notably the 74S200 and can fit many components on a sented to the address lines, the
74S201), TTL suffers from sev- chip. Although early devices re- data bits at the intersections of
eral major drawbacks that se- quired several supply voltages, the selected row and columns will
verely restrict the capacity of modern NMOS IC's operate from be sent through the respective 1 -
bipolar SRAM. First, bipolar logic a single 5 -volt supply. High-per- of -8 decoders to several three -
requires a relatively large area on formance MOS (HMOS ) is an state buffers. If the READ ENABLE
the chip for each logic gate. Many NMOS variation that's used in signal is brought low, the data
gates are needed to build a modern high-speed low -power present at the buffers will be de-
SRAM, so space is depleted microprocessors. livered to the ROM's output. But
rapidly. In addition, bipolar logic In spite of their obvious advan- when READ ENABLE is high, the
requires significant operating tages, all MOS devices suffer high impedance of the three -
current per gate. Since current from one key weakness: they're state buffer will simply discon-
ultimately translates into heat, extremely sensitive to static elec- nect the ROM's outputs from the
the number of cells is limited tricity. There are important pre- circuit.
even further. Size and power re- cautions that should be taken. SRAM's, along with PROM's,
straints usually limit the number Be sure to follow manufacturers' EPROM's, and EEPROM's, are
of bipolar memory cells to fewer guidelines for handling MOS de- more sophisticated. Figure 7
than 1000 bits. vices. shows a simple SRAM organized 45
as 4096 x 1. Addressing is sim-
ilar to the ROM in the previous RAS -0
example but, in this case, there CAS 0 CON1RO, REFRESH
are 12 address lines that provide RAW -0 LOGIC CONTROL

212 or 4096 (4K) addresses. One CHIP SEL

bit of data is available at each ad-
dress location. COLUMN
A READ/WRITE control signal de-
termines whether data will be
read from or written to the IC. If
R/W is logic 1, data will be read DATA
from the cell. If R/W is logic 0, data I/O

will be written to the cell.

'lb read a bit of data, a valid
address must be supplied, ivw
must be high, and the CHIP SE- DYNAMIC MOS
LECT input must be low. To write a ADDRESS
bit of data, the same conditions BUS
1 MEG x 1
apply except that R/W must be low. AO -A9
The timing relationships be- (A10 -A20)
tween the signals at various pins
FIG. 8-DRAM KEEPS PIN COUNT LOW by multiplexing address lines on half the ex-
can be critical, depending on the pected number of pins. CAS and RAS signals strobe low- and high -order address lines into
circuit. the IC as necessary.
Timing considerations
Today's generation of RAM IC's +5V +5V
has been designed to operate at
high speeds, so timing charac- 2 *R3 *R4 *R5 *.R6 R7 *118
R1 -R8
teristics for address, data, and 16

control lines are important. IC1 D1 - D4

There are several importaht pa- 74138 1N270

rameters that we will discuss. YO 15 D1 D2 D3 D4

Access time specifies how long Y1 14
0 0 0
it takes after addressing a specif- Y2 13 ROW2
ic location before valid data ap- Y3 12 ROW3
pears at the IC's output. A slow 4 0
Y4 11
memory device may have an ac- ROW4

cess time of as much as 450 8

0. Y5 10 ROW5
nanoseconds, while a fast device Y6 9 ROW6
might access data in as little as Y7 7 ROW7
25 nanoseconds. Common mem- 13 14 10 11 5 6 3 2
ory devices today have access 3 2 16t
times of about 100-150 ns. As a AQ Bo A 15
rule of thumb, the faster a memo- 74157

ry device is, the more expensive it 12 4

will be. o 0 0 0
Settle time specifies the A3 A2 Al AO D3 D2 D1 DO
amount of time that must pass NOTE: WITH DIODE=LOGIC 0
after setting up the address, ADDRESS LINES DATA LINES WITHOUT DIODE=LOGIC 1
data, and CHIP SELECT signals, be-
fore the RAv may be pulsed low to FIG. 9-BUILD AN EPROM EMULATOR from two TTL IC's, eight resistors, and a number of
write data into the IC. germanium diodes. Place a diode across each row -column intersection that is to be a
In addition, the WRITE pulse logical 0.
must be held low for a minimum
amount of time to ensure that the similar to those for the SRAM, lines are multiplexed on a single
data is accepted into memory. there are some extra features and pin.
That is the duration of the write parameters that must also be Figure 8 shows the block di-
pulse. The address, data, and en- considered. agram of a 1 -megabit x 1 -bit
able signals must be held steady The first involves memory ad- DRAM. Note that only ten address
for a minimum time after the dressing. As discussed earlier, lines enter the IC, so you might
write pulse; that period is called DRAM's can provide millions of think that you could access only
the hold time. bits on one device. For example, 21 (1024) locations. In fact the
Those timing parameters apply addressing 1 megabit (22) would 20 -bit address is broken up into
to SRAM's; DRAM'S have even require 20 address lines. It's pos- two parts, each of which is sup-
more intricate timing require- sible to build an IC with 20 or plied separately. The lower ten
ments. Although the basic prin- more pins, but to save space and bits select the desired row in the
ciples of reading and writing are reduce pin count, several address memory array, and the upper ten
bits select the desired column.
The row -address lines are CHIP CHIP
strobed into the IC by pulsing the SELECT

row address strobe (RAs) input, LOGIC

03IN D2iN
+V WIN +V 0010
and the column -address lines by A

pulsing the column address

strobe (cAs) input. External cir-
cuitry must ensure that the prop- Al] - Al I 2147 AO - Al I 2147 AO -A11 2147 AO -A11 2147
er set of address lines is applied ADDRESS
to the IC before pulsing a strobe BUS
input. ? -L
After the IC receives the full ad- D30,j1 D2oui D1ouT 00007
dress, CHIP SELECT and R/W maybe READ/WRITE
set up, as with an SRAM, to read
or write data. The access, setup, FIG. 10-BLOCK DIAGRAM OF A 4K x 4 static RAM array-parallel memory IC's increase
and hold times apply to DRAM's bus capacity.
as well.
an EPROM because it can be re- diodes connected to each the B
Refresh programmed at any time by rear- inputs in row 0, the output
As mentioned earlier, DRAM's ranging the diodes in the matrix. would be 0000. If the address was
require periodic refreshing, oth- Although the circuit is unsuita- 0001, row 0 remains selected, but
erwise their stored charge will ble for high-performance or mi- the 74157 inputs are switched to
dissipate. There are several ways croprocessor -based applications, the A position. The A cells have
of refreshing a DRAM system, all it can be used to supply pre-pro- no diodes, so all outputs would
of which use the RAs and CAS grammed bit patterns to discrete be high (1111).
inputs. The simplest method is logic circuits. It also provides an
called RAS-only refresh. It in- excellent demonstration of basic Parallel memory
volves holding CAS high, which in memory operation. Semiconductor memories
turn holds the output in a high - There are eight rows and eight (both temporary and permanent)
impedance, or disconnected, columns, yielding 64 bits of can be placed in parallel to in-
state. The refresh circuitry then memory. 'IWo demultiplexers al- crease the number of data bits
selects each row in turn, pulsing low access to a particular memo- available per address, as shown
RAs low for each row as it is ad- ry cell. One demultiplexer de- in Fig. 10. The circuit is built
dressed. It does not matter codes the row and one decodes from several 2147 SRAM's
whether all rows are refreshed in the columns. A 74138 1 -of -8 de- (4096 x 1). By connecting the ad-
one sustained burst, or one row coder selects the row, and a dress and control lines in paral-
between, for example, read or 74157 quad two -input multiplex- lel, the same address in all IC's
write operations. As long as a cell er selects the columns. Address will be selected simultaneously.
is refreshed in time, its data will lines Al A3 drive the 74138 to The data bits, of course, are kept
remain intact. select which one of eight rows separate. You could just as easily
Hidden refresh is a variation will be pulled to ground. The col- place 8, 16, or 32 IC's in parallel to
on RAS-only refresh in which CAS umns are arranged in pairs; ad- create 4K x 8, 4K x 16, or 4K x 32
is held at logic 0 (for example, dress line AO determines which memory blocks.
valid data is maintained on the member of a pair is connected to
output) while rows are selected the output. Conclusion
and refreshed. Depending on The 1N270 diodes determine Memory is an integral part of
system timing, CAS may be held the bit pattern in the circuit. Ger- the high-tech revolution. Even
low for several microseconds, manium diodes are used because the most basic processing circuit
during which several rows may of their low forward voltage drop would be useless without some
be refreshed. (0.3 volts); silicon diodes have a sort of memory to store variable
There are other variations, but higher voltage drop and will not data.
all refresh circuits add a fair work with TTL IC's. As you can see from our com-
amount of complexity to a cir- Every column is pulled high via parison of the many different per-
cuit. Fortunately, however, there a pull-up resistor. If a diode is ab- manent memory devices, there
are refresh -controller IC's for sent when a particular row is se- are distinct advantages and lim-
many different DRAM sizes and lected, the column will provide a itations to each type. What you
configurations. Those IC's reduce 5 -volt output. However, if a diode choose depends on your individ-
cost, increase reliability, and de- is in place, it will be forward bi- ual needs-the ROM is inflexible
crease required PC board space. ased via the pull-up resistor, but rugged, while the PROM can
through the 74138, and then to be programmed by the user, but
EPROM emulator ground. The corresponding out- only once because it can't be eras-
You can easily assemble your put thus becomes a logical 0. ed. The EPROM can be pro-
own hand -made "EPROM" using For example, if address 0000 is grammed and erased over and
two common TTL IC's and several selected, 74138 output YO (row 0) over again but uses a lot of power
Germanium diodes. Figure 9 is connected to ground, and all and space, while the EEPROM
shows the schematic for a 16 x 4 74157 inputs are connected to can be programmed while in cir-
memory circuit. It's loosely called the B position. Because there are cuit, but is slow. R -E 47
' '' ''''''''

'''' ...........

How do you troubleshoot power -related problems
without blowing fuse after fuse? Just use our electronic fuse!

THE ELECTRONIC FUSE IS A SEN- "trips," a red LED will light and ter to help reduce spikes and line
sitive fast -acting adjustable cir- power is cut off. When you're noise.
cuit breaker that will quickly ready to continue, simply press Op -amp ICI -a amplifies and
become one of your most useful the reset button. rectifies the AC input and applies
bench -top accessories. If you it to IC2-a, an LM339 com-
have been stumped by a faulty Circuit description parator, which is used to adjust
electronic circuit and consumed As shown in Fig. 1, two test the threshold, or current, via po-
a number of costly or hard -to -lo- leads are connected in series with tentiometer R4. A clamp is
cate fuses, you will appreciate the normally closed relay con- formed by D3 which holds the in-
this inexpensive circuit breaker. tacts of RY1, a 12 -amp fuse (Fl), put of IC2-b to a constant level. A
All you have to do is connect the and the two -turn primary of Tl, a filtered DC output is amplified by
electronic fuse to the device un- torroid transformer. The second- IC2-b and fed to Ql, a 2N3904
der repair, and then adjust the ary of T1 is wound underneath transistor. The transistor
current threshold control to the the primary on the half -inch tor- changes the output of IC2-b to
value you need anywhere from 1/20 riod. The secondary coil is 100 the proper level and polarity in
to 10 amperes. turns of 30 -gauge magnet wire order to trigger SCR1. When the
Additional applications for the with a total resistance of 8 to 10 input current exceeds the
electronic fuse include charging ohms. The secondary is con- threshold set by R4, the SCR will
circuits for marine/mobile/air- nected to a high -low RANGE turn on. The relay will now open
craft systems, as well as new cir- switch (S1). The switch connects and LED1 will indicate that the
cuit designs. The electronic to a resistor network to provide circuit has been "tripped." The
circuit breaker could be used stability and ease of operation. LED will remain on and the
after the design of a new circuit The low range permits values power to the device under test
to help choose the correct value from Vio to 6 amperes, and the will remain off until the reset but-
fuse. The electronic circuit high range includes values from ton (S3) is pressed.
breaker is connected in place of 1 to 10 amps, with overlapping Current consumption for the
the original fuse of the device un- between ranges. Capacitors Cl electronic fuse is about 10-15 mA
der repair or test. If the breaker and C2 form a high -frequency fil- at idle and about 100 mA when
442K 165K
All resistors are 1/4 -watt, 5%, un- MC1
less otherwise noted. 200pF R1 R3
R1-107,200 ohms, 1% 107.2K 387K
R2-442,000 ohms, 1% SEC.

R3-387,000 ohms, 1%
R4-165,000 ohms, 1% R6
R5, R6-300,000 ohms
R7-50,000 ohms, audio -taper Vcc
potentiometer D1
R8-1500 ohms 1
R9-12,000 ohms 1N914
IC1-a R12
R10-18,000 ohms IC2-b 4.71( 01
4 V2LM358 +V IC2-a
R11-13,000 ohms V4LM339 2N3904
R12-4700 ohms
R13-2000 ohms
t R5
R14, R15-1000 ohms
C1-200 pF, 50 volts, ceramic FIG. 1-THE ELECTRONIC FUSE is almost like an adjustable circuit breaker, where you
C2-100 pF, 50 volts, ceramic can adjust the trip point anywhere from 0.1 to 12 amps.
C3, C4-1 F, 50 volts, electrolytic
C5-100 F, 50 volts, electrolytic
Semiconductors TO D.O.T.
IC1-LM358 low -power dual op -amp
IC2-LM339 quad comparator
D1-D3-1N914 diode
S2 S1
04-1N4004 diode R4 C3-+ __44_ D1
LED1-red light -emitting diode -C2-
SCR1-NTE 5404 silicon -controlled T1 -R6- D2
_J.,D3 I

rectifier SEC
R9 -rgr- -R8-* k101 5
Q1 -2N3904 NPN transistor C5
C4 C1
Other components IC2 ICI (
T1-hand-made transformer (see
text) on 0.5 -inch powdered -iron tor-
riod core
S1-DPDT toggle switch

-R15- SCR1

D4 R14

S2-SPST toggle switch J
S3-normally closed pushbutton
F1 -12 -amp fast -blow fuse
RY1-DPDT relay, 12 -volt coil, 12 -
amp contacts (or use two sets of FIG. 2-PARTS PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. Because various controls are mounted directly
contacts in parallel, see text) on the PC board, you may have to drill tiny pilot holes on the circuit board in the center of
Miscellaneous: PC board, project each control location, place the unpopulated circuit board directly on top of the case, and
case, fuse holder, alligator clips, then transfer the holes before installing the components on the board.
30 -gauge magnet wire, 24 -gauge
stranded wire, 16 -gauge stranded the relay is pulled in. Both inte-
wire, PC -board scrap for wire grated circuits are single -supply
spool, hardware, solder, etc. types, so any 12 -volt battery or WRAP MAGNET WIRE HERE

power supply can be used.

Note: The following items are
available from T.L. Petruzellis, Construction
340 Torrance Avenue, Vestal, NY Everything except the relay 11/8
13850: and fuse are mounted on a PC
PC board only-$8.25 board, for which we've provided a FIG. 3-THIS WIRE SPOOL allows easy
Kit of parts including the tor- foil pattern-you can also buy a winding of the torroid transformer (see
riod core and wire (you have to pre -made board if you like (see text).
wind it yourself), IC's, and proj- the parts list). If you use the PC
ect case (does not include a board, you'll have to drill the must come through the top cover.
power supply)-$44.95 holes in the case cover very accu- Then place the unpopulated cir-
Specify wires with alligator clips rately in order to accept the cuit board directly onto the top
or 3 -prong female power outlet switches, LED, and potentiome- cover and transfer the holes. This
(see text). Add $3.00 S&H. NY ter directly from the circuit problem should be dealt with be-
residents must add 7% sales tax. board. One way to deal with this
Please allow 4-6 weeks for deliv-
fore installing the components
problem is to drill a tiny pilot hole on the board. Figure 2 shows the
on the circuit board in the center parts -placement diagram.
of each component location that The torriod transformer was
constructed from a 0.5 -inch
powdered -iron torriod. A wire
spool was made from a scrap of
PC -board material, about 11/4 -
inches long by 1/4 -inch wide with
V-shaped notches cut at both
ends (see Fig. 3), and 30 -gauge
magnet wire was wound on the
spool between the two notches.
The spool was then pushed in
and around the core of the tor-
riod (like a sewing needle) form-
ing a 100 -turn coil (Ti's second-
ary) all the way around the entire

torriod core (you unspool the
wire as you make the turns). The
ends of the 30 -gauge magnet wire
were stripped and carefully sol- 43/4 INCHES
dered to 24 -gauge wires. Five-
minute epoxy was then brushed F OIL PATTERN for the electronic fuse PC board.
over the secondary coil. After the
glue dried, the two splices were the current setting that best rep-
glued to the edge of the torriod resents the desired fuse value.
with another spot of epoxy to re- 'Rum on the power switch S2, and
duce the stress on the 30 -gauge reset the electronic fuse by press-
wires. ing S3. Now turn on the device
The primary coil was wound being tested; if LEDI lights, the
over the secondary using two "fuse is blown" and you must re-
turns of 16 -gauge wire with in- set the circuit by pressing S3.
sulation heavy enough for about Continue to troubleshoot until
12 amps. Heavy linecord can be the repair is completed.
used for the primary if you like. Calibration of the Electronic
The torriod was placed over the Fuse was performed by using a
square notch on the end of the PC 1200 -watt heating element coil,
board (as shown in Fig. 2), and but an electric fry pan or toaster
attached to the board with a plas- could be used instead. The ther-
tic strip placed over the torriod FIG. 4-EVERYTHING EXCEPT the relay mostat in a fry pan must be
and fastened with two screws. and fuse are mounted on the PC board. turned up to maximum or dis-
One of the 16 -gauge wires was abled. The heater is connected to
connected in series with the 12 - the output of a variac and the
amp fuse; the other end of the 110VAC
input of the variac is connected
fuse was connected to an al- AMMETER in series with an ammeter and
ligator clip. The other 16 -gauge ELECTRONIC
10- 20 AMPS the electronic fuse (see Fig. 5).
wire was connected to one end of FUSE The variac output is slowly
RY1's normally closed contact. stepped up in small increments.
The remaining relay contact was A calibration sheet is placed un-
connected to another alligator 1200W
10 - 12A
der R4's adjust knob.
clip. Note that the relay used in HEATER Calibration must be done for
the prototype is a double -pole COIL both the high and low ranges. Be-
unit with the contacts wired in gin by selecting the low range,
parallel to handle higher current. FIG. 5-CALIBRATION IS PERFORMED and turn R4 clockwise to about
Figure 4 shows the prototype.
using a 1200 -watt heating element coil midway. Next turn on the variac
connected to the output of a variac (see and adjust for about 1 amp, then
A later version of the electronic text). rotate R4 to the trip point. Place a
fuse replaced the alligator clips pencil mark on the calibration
with a chassis -mounted female Operation
power receptacle. The device un- Operation of the electronic fuse sheet, back down the variac, and
is quite simple. The alligator reset S3. Bring up the variac to
der test is plugged into the outlet the point you just marked for one
on the electronic fuse and a 12 - clips connect to the fuse holder of
amp fuse is placed in the fuse the device under test, essentially amp, and watch the meter to en-
holder of the device being tested. substituting the electronic fuse sure that you are drawing one
The electronic fuse, set at the for the fuse that was in the origi- amp as the breaker "trips." Now
fuse value of the device being nal circuit. First choose the high - proceed with the next value, ad-
tested, will then fully protect the or low -sensitivity position of Si; just R4 past midway, set the vari-
faulty circuit until you have lo- the low range covers 'ho to 6 amps ac for two amps, and rotate R4
cated the problem. Then simply and the high range covers 1 to 10 down to the trip point. Repeat the
replace the original value fuse in amps with overlap between the procedure for each fuse value in
the circuit you just repaired. two ranges. Next adjust R7 for the low and high ranges. R -E
Build this inexpensive color -bar test
generator and brush up on your video skills.

IF YOU'RE INVOLVED IN TV SERVICING let's briefly discuss the various tically over the screen. As the
and repair, or just enjoy tinkering components that make up the beams scan, their currents and
around with video or amateur composite NTSC video signal: amplitudes change to create the
television, you'll be interested in synchronization, luminance, light and dark areas on the pic-
this color -bar test generator. This and chrominance information. ture -tube face and form the im-
convenient device produces an age that you see displayed on the
NTSC color -bar pattern that can The NTSC signal screen.
be used for video performance A typical NTSC composite color The composite video signal is
testing and monitor adjust- video signal is shown in Fig. 1-a. made up of three basic compo-
ments. For added flexibility, just (NTSC is the National lelevision nents: the scan control informa-
the encoder section can be used Systems Committee, who has set tion called the synchronizing
to generate composite video from the standards for color encoding pulses (Fig. 1-b), the luminance
your computer's RGB and sync and decoding systems in the U.S. signal, which is the brightness
outputs. With a dedicated color - since 1953.) The picture on a information and is often referred
bar generator, you can eliminate color TV is formed by three elec- to as the Y signal (Fig. 1-c), and
the need for a test tape or your tron beams of varying ampli- the color information called the
camera-all for under $70! tudes and phases: red, blue, and chrominance signal (Fig. 1-d).
Before we delve into the theory green. Each of those beams are Let's briefly discuss each type of
behind the color -bar generator, scanned horizontally and ver- video information.
start at the top are called vertical
YEL sync pulses, while those that
start scanning each line at the
MAGTA left are known as horizontal sync
V ii RED
In the NTSC system, each
frame, of complete video image,
COLOR BURST contains 525 lines. That is ac-
complished by horizontally scan-
ning at approximately 15,750
lines per second, and vertically
scanning at 30 frames per sec-
ond. (The vertical scan rate is ac-
tually 60 Hz, but it takes two
63.5ps SYNC
trips, or fields, down the screen
to complete one frame.) The pro-
cess of returning to start a new
scan is called retrace or flyback.
Black and white information is
contained in the Y or luminance
signal, which determines the in-
stantaneous brightness of the
electron beams as they scan over
the screen. In fact, it is all that is
used for the single electron beam
BLACK -AND -WHITE in a black -and -white TV set. A
negative -going video detector de-
tects a luminance signal in
which the negative signal ex-
tremes correspond to bright
areas of the picture. The wave-
form shown in Fig. 1-c would,
therefore, produce vertical bars
of decreasing brightness from
left to right. Note that the output
L -COLOR BURST is black during retrace so the
electron beams will not be seen.
In the NTSC color system, the Y
signal is made from the red,
FIG. 1-A COMPOSITE VIDEO SIGNAL (a) includes sync pulses (b), black -and -white green, and blue cameras by an
information (c), and the colorburst signal (d). additive technique: 30% of the
red signal, 59% of the green sig-
Synchronizing components sent to the camera telling it when nal, and 11% of the blue signal
In order for a picture to be re- to start at the top of the screen are added together to form the Y
produced properly, the TV re- and when to begin a new line at signal. The luminance signal can
ceiver must scan its screen the left of the screen. Those same also be expressed as
exactly in step with the camera in pulses are sent to the receiver Ey= .30ER + .59E0 +.11EB
the studio. To make sure the along with the video informa- where ER, EG, and EB are the volt-
camera and the receiver are syn- tion. The signals that tell the ages of the red, blue, and green
chronized, a series of pulses are camera and receiver when to signals, respectively.
The combination of different
amplitudes of color signals is
what determines the various
COMPOSITE shades of gray in a monochrome
receiver-white having a lumi-
TP12 nance of one, black a luminance
SYNC CLOCK ? TP2 of zero. The ability of a receiver to
determine a corresponding level
of gray from color levels is an im-
OUTPUT portant feature in the com-
(J2M BLUE > patibility of color and mono-
chrome TV's because the black -
and -white signals can be ob-
FIG. 2-A BLOCK DIAGRAM of the color -bar generator shows the main components of tained from the three primary
52 the circuit: RCA's CD22402E sync generator and Motorola's MC1377P color encoder. color signals.
TP6 +5V

R16 5V R15
0 oi1

CD22482E a 4 13 BLUE
XTAL2 c:11
24 90 PR R14 12 RED
503kHz OC Va4LS02
23 4.71(7' 7 3
()CI FRE CLK IN 14 Vcc IC3-a 6 11 GREEN
C19 '/274(574

0 0.I
3 >11/ 0- 10

0 CL 1/4741.802
COMP SYNC r"-- 5

5V 14 2
CLK cc


BEAM BLNK 525625
18 CI 10 .1 IC2-c 10 TTL GREEN

R1 TP0.23


16 12 9
4.76 V DRIVE SVD 7418183
10 15 IC3-1) 13
14 V27412174
H CLAMP 12 V.174LS02
TP2 12
8 C25
13 .1

+12V TP12 0



XTAL1 14 R2
\ TTL RED 3.1 17
561( .001
101 OSC 8.2VDC REF '444
J2B C13= 18 1 1 R7
56 MC17 220p0 2

RED 3 8
220pF GREEN 4 6
2 - 12pF GREEN -Y OUT
16pF 10 19
TTL BLUE I( 1.01
C7 .01
13 CHROMA AMP R -Y CAP 12 000 r
C10 T. L2
GND B -Y CAP 77-1-1( C3 R5

541< S C15 .1 1

165F -4--,000` C4
L_____J C8 .1
R3 1` C11

6.86 47p1'

FIG. 3-SCHEMATIC OF THE COLOR -BAR GENERATOR. Sync generator IC5 provides the
composite -sync timing signals, color encoder IC6 takes the separate red, green, and blue
video signals and composite sync to generate the composite video signal. Chrominance
The color information, or chro-
minance, (which is ignored in a
black -and -white TV) is made up
of red, blue, and green signals re-
quired to drive the picture tube,
All resistors are Yo -watt, 5%, unless Motorola minus the luminance signal.
otherwise indicated. Other components
R1, R14, R15- 4700 ohms L1-400-ns delay line (TK1001)
Those "color -difference" signals
R2-56,000 ohms L2-30 H, 2.52 -MHz transformer are designated as R -Y (red
R3-6800 ohms (TK1603) minus Y), and B -Y (blue minus
R4, R5-1200 ohms XTAL1-3.58-MHz colorburst crystal Y). Color -difference signals are
R6-220 ohms XTAL2-503-kHz ceramic resonator used solely for color reproduc-
R7-75 ohms Miscellaneous: enclosure, stand- tion. A special matrix circuit in
R8 -R10 -5000 -ohm potentiometer offs for mounting circuit board, 4 -
R16-1 megohm pin friction -lock connector for J1,
the receiver can extract a G -Y
Capacitors straight -header connector for J2, (green minus Y) signal from the
C1 -C4, 010, C20, C24, C25-0.1 p.F, bi- 2 -pin friction -lock connector for J3, B -Y and R -Y signals. The ad-
polar electrolytic four shorting jumpers, wire, solder, vantage of changing the color sig-
C5, C8-1000 pF, mica etc. nals into color -difference signals
C6, C7-0.01 ILF, bi-polar electrolytic is the reduction of three color sig-
C9, C18, C19-100 pF, mica Note: The following items are nals into two.
C11-47 pF, mica available from Geko Labs, 13019
C12-2-12 pF variable ceramic capacitor 250th Place SE., Issaquah, WA The R -Y, B -Y, and G -Y sig-
026-10 pF, mica 98027-6730, (206) 392-0638: nals are decoded at the receiver
C13, C14-220 pF, mica etched, drilled and plated - by adding the Y signal back to
C15 -C17-15 RF, electrolytic through PC board $30.00; a com- each of the difference signals. A
Semiconductors plete kit including all parts, PC 3.58 -MHz subcarrier is sent by
C1-74LS163 counter board, and assembly instruc- the transmitter and used in the
C2 -74L02 quad NOR gate tions $80.00; a complete as-
C3-74LS74 flip-flop sembled and tested unit $125. receiver to restore the original
C4-not used Add $5.00 S & H with any order. color information.
C5-CD22402 sync generator, RCA Washington residents add 8.1% The frequency and phase angle
C6-MC1377 color encoder, sales tax. of the 3.58 -MHz subcarrier in the
receiver must be the same as that 53
1 0-- - -R15-

401. C18
v- 020

R16- 1 3 C12 026

2,4 R10 L1
CA- -R2- C.7 !
A J2 S
C24 017 B C1iC14 XTAL1
v IC5



R14 IC2
C2 C9

J2B R8[113
+ -CO.
1.0 RED P 1 C3-
1.19) 015 R5
-+ -R7

TP3 COMP 0 --o

v t TP10

J2D FIG. 5-PARTS PLACEMENT DIAGRAM of the color -bar generator.

1.0 BLUE

The 3.58 -MHz colorburst crys- board are shown in the article if
tal, XTAL1, is the reference os- you wish to make it yourself.
cillator for the chroma informa- Construction is fairly straight-
tion. Capacitor C12 allows fine forward. Install all components
tuning of the reference oscillator according to the parts placement
FIG. 4-OUTPUT SIGNALS of the color - to be exactly 3.579545 MHz. The diagram shown in Fig. 5. Make
bar generator. The TTL signals are re- combination of R2 and C5 set the sure C15 -C17 are inserted into
duced to 1 V p -p by R8, R9. and R10.
timing for the insertion of the the board with correct polarities.
colorburst signal on the back Install all IC's last, observing cor-
in the transmitter for proper porch of the composite video sig- rect orientation. Since the IC's
color reproduction. Syn- nal. The values used for R2 and are static sensitive, make sure
chronization is performed by C5 set the burst timing to ap- you follow the manufacturer's
transmitting a small sample of proximately 0.4 s after sync, recommendations for proper
the 3.58 -MHz subcarrier during and a burst width of 0.6 ps. The handling.
the horizontal snyc pulse. That network of L2, C9, R6, C8, Cli,
color sync interval is also known and R3 provide bandpass filter- Checkout
as the colorburst. The colorburst ing for the chroma component. A The measurements listed in
signal is used as a reference to delay for the luminance channel this section will help to make
synchronize the phase and am- ( -Y) is provided by R4, LI, and sure the video generator is work-
plitude of the color subcarrier. R5 to compensate for the internal ing properly. The power on tests
The colorburst also determines delay of the chroma signal. should be made with the + 12 -
the tint and saturation of the RGB generators IC1, IC2, and and + 5-V power sources on. Set
color that is displayed. IC3 make up the red, green, and R8, R9, and R10 to mid range. If
blue video signals that drive the you are the impatient type you
Theory of operation video encoder section to make can go right to the video output
Figure 2 shows a block di- the color bars. One half of IC1 is test point TP12 and see what you
agram, and Fig. 3 a schematic of used as a divide -by -2 counter, get. If you're lucky you'll have a
our video generator. Sync gener- which generates the 252 -kHz video signal that probably needs
ator IC5 is used to provide the clock for the four -bit counter ICI. some adjustments. If that's the
composite -sync timing signals. The non -inverted blue, red, and case you can proceed directly to
The outputs are composite sync, green signals are the divide -by -4, the video adjustments section. If
composite blanking, and a buff- -8, and -16 outputs of IC1, respec- not, proceed slowly through the
ered output of the sync oscillator. tively. The blue, red, and green following steps to isolate the
The sync generator uses a 503 - signals are inverted, and blank- problem and verify each of the
kHz ceramic resonator (XTAL2) ing is added by IC2. The TTL level listed voltages, frequencies and
as a base oscillator. The 503 -kHz is reduced to 1 volt p -p by R8, R9, waveforms. Keep in mind that
frequency is divided by 32 for the and R10, as shown in Fig. 4. you will need an oscilloscope for
horizontal sync, anti is further the video level adjustments.
divided to derive the vertical Construction Pin 2 of JI and +5 V-> 2000
sync -timing signals. Those sig- The video generator uses a ohms (power off)
nals are all combined into the double -sided PC board that is Pin 4 of J1 and +12 V-> 1
composite -sync signal which is available from the source men- megohm (power off)
sent to the MC131377 color en- tioned in the parts list. We recom- Power -on Itsts
coder (IC6). The color encoder mend that you use a PC board for + 12-V supply -57 mA
takes the separate red, green, this project because the frequen- + 5-V supply -29 mA
and blue video signals and com- cies involved require a large IC1 pin 16- + 5 V
posite sync to generate the corn - ground plane. Both the compo- IC2 pin 14- + 5 V
54 posite-video signal. nent and the solder side of the PC IC3 pin 14- + 5 V

FOIL PATTERN OF THE COMPONENT side of the double -sided PC board.

81 0101 1

- -
-- \
10.44: M----0
- - a.211- /
41/ 0-0
. ,-. %

/._ \


0-10 4(411N-IliNk ( -41Z-Z:P

\ al


IC5 pin 19- + 5 V ICI pins 11-13 (TP6, 7 and 8)- IC6 pins 3-5-1 V p -p signal
IC5 pin 6 (TP2)-2.504-kHz, 5- Divided down signals as shown IC6 pins 17 and 18 -3.58 -MHz
V p -p (TTL level) square wave in Fig. 4 oscillator signal
IC5 pin 5 (TP1)-TTL-level Color Encoder IC6 pin 16-8.2 VDC
composite -sync signal IC6 pin 14-+ 12 V IC6 pin 1-Ramp signal
IC5 pin 13 (TP4)-TTL-level IC6 pin 2-TTL-level com- IC6 pins 10 and 13-Chroma
blanking signal posite -sync signal (Fig. 1-b) signal (Fig. 1-d)
IC3 pin 5 (TP5)-252-kHz IC6 pins 6 and 8-Luminance
signal signal (Fig. 1-c)
IC1 pins 11-13 (TP6, 7, 8)-Di- Amateur Television Quarterly IC6 pin 9-2 V p -p (Fig. 1-a
vided down signals This article originally appeared in ATVQ signal)
Sync Generator magazine. ATVQ is a quarterly publication Video Level Adjustments
105 pin 19- + 5 V featuring technical articles on subjects re- IC6 pin 4 (J2C)-Adjust R8 to 1
IC5 pin 5 (TP1)-TTL-level lated to ham radio, including VHF, UHF, V p -p
composite -sync signal amateur TV (AN), computer programs, IC6 pin 3 (J2B)-Adjust R10 to
IC5 pin 6 (TP2)-504-kHz, 5-V and repeater projects. ATV is enjoyed by
1 V p -p
p -p TTL-level square wave hams of all levels, from beginner to Extra
class. A subscription to this magazine is IC6 pin 5 (J2D)-Adjust R9 to 1
IC5 pin 13 (TP4 )-TTL-level available for $15 per year, $4.00 for a sam- V p -p
blanking signal ple copy (Visa and Mastercard are accept- J3 pin 1-Terminate into a 75 -
RGB Generator ed). For more information contact ohm connector
IC1 pin 16-+5 V Video Output (TP12)-Com-
IC2 pin 14- + 5 V Amateur Television Quarterly
1545 Lee St. #73 posite 1-V p -p signal. If you can't
IC3 pin 14-+5 V Des Plaines, IL 60018 get this signal, adjust R8 for the
IC3 pin 5 (TP5)-252-kHz (708) 298-2269 proper peak level and null out the
signal continued on page 129 55
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mentation, try using a

Educational Systems
10K potentiometer in Electronics & Computer Software
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have any type and ar- for hobby or work!
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In some cases, it may electronics,
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Signature Exp. Date

58 L.
PAUL BRULE sumption to that of the average the monitored load is fairly con-
Long Islander. Let's see how this stant at about 117 volts, we can
useful device works. say that the power is propor-
IF YOU'RE CONCERNED WITH ENERGY tional to I x cos. lb obtain the
cost and conservation, as most About the circuit phase angle, both the voltage and
people are, you'll be interested in The ECM circuit consists of current must be monitored.
our energy consumption four sections, as shown in the IYansformer Ti supplies the volt-
monitor (ECM). Without the block diagram of Fig. 1. A power age, while the current -propor-
ECM, it's difficult for the average converter generates a voltage that tional voltage is obtained by
person to determine how much is proportional to the true or real stepping up (by a factor of 20) the
an individual home appliance power consumed by the load. voltage drop across shunt re-
costs to run. That's especially That voltage feeds both a bar - sistors Rl-a-d via T2.
true for appliances with variable
duty cycles such as a refrigerator
which will have its compressor
and fan motors, lights and other
loads on at different times.
Our energy consumption
monitor can display the accumu- ENERGY CONSUMPTION
lated cost in cents for the con-
nected home appliance load.
What did you spend to operate
your toaster yesterday? What
about your TV or air con-
ditioner? Is the cost of energizing
that spare freezer unit worth the
few pennies saved when you
bought your meat on sale? The
ECM will help you to answer
those questions quickly.
The ECM can also be used as a
power meter by connecting a
DMM to the voltage output of the
monitor. Using the DC scale of VOLTMETER

your meter, each volt represents

100 watts. For example, a reading 10CPVOLT
of 0.56 volts would translate to 56
lb give you an idea of what the
average residential Long Island, Build this energy consumption
NY consumer pays monthly for
operating various appliances, re-
fer to Table 1. The monthly cost
monitor and find out how much it costs
was based on a rate of 13( per to run your household appliances.
kilowatt-hour (kWh). The average
Long Island resident uses about
600 kWh's per month, which graph and a voltage -to -pulse con- The ECM is capable of accu-
translates into a monthly electric verter. The bargraph gives an rately monitoring the effective
bill of $91.81. approximate indication of the power of inductive loads. If a ca-
The current electric rates for amount of power used, and the pacitive load is connected to the
the Long Island, NY area are voltage -to -pulse converter pro- ECM, only the apparent power,
among the highest in the U.S. duces a pulse whose frequency is not the effective power, will be
and vary depending on the sea- proportional to the power. The monitored, causing some degree
son and the total amount of pulse triggers the counter mod- of inaccuracy. That shouldn't m
kWh's used. The summer rates ule which displays the cost of pose much of a problem because m
are 12.871 for 0-250 kWh's used powering the monitored load. just about all reactive household m
and 14.1(t for 250-350 kWh's. loads are inductive. However,
The winter rates are 12.87(t for The power converter some appliances such as re- m
0-250 kWh's and 12.33(t for In order to determine the actu- frigerators, freezers, and air con-
250-350 kWh's. Of course elec- al power consumed by an appli- ditioners use capacitor -start in- m
tric rates will vary, depending on ance, we must find the phase an- ductive motors, which are. cn
the size of your family, the region gle between the voltage and characterized by a high starting z
of the country in which you live, current in the overall circuit. We torque. Those types of motors co
and the utility company who ser- know that will present a capacitive loading
vices you. The information pro- P=Vxlcose effect on the power line, but only 8
vided is only a rough basis to where cos0 is known as the during start-up, which is a very
compare your own power con- power factor. Since the voltage of short time interval compared to 59

Estimated Monthly
Monthly Usage Consumption
Appliance Wattage (Hours) (kWh) Monthly Cost*l
Food Preparation
Broiler 1,140 6.3 7.2 $0.94

Coffee maker (drip) 1,200 9.8 11.8 $1.53

Microwave oven 1,450 10.9 15.8 $2.05

Oven range 12,200 4.8 58.6 $7.62

Toaster 1,146 2.8 3.2 $0.42

Home Entertainment
Color TV (tube) 240 180.0 43.2 $5.62

Color TV (solid state) 145 180.0 26.1 $3.34

VCR 20 120.0 2.4 $0.32

Radio 71 100.9 7.2 $0.94

Stereo 109 83.3 9.1 $1.18

Frost free, 10-15 years old - continuous 141.2 $18.36

Ref./freezer, frost -free, 10-15 years old - continuous 153.0 $23.80

18 -cubic foot ref./freezer, new - continuous 100.65 $13.08

16 -cubic foot ref./freezer, new - continuous 77.66 $10.10

Air Conditioning
Room AC, 6,500 BTU's*4 (before
1980) EER*2 7.2-930 116.0 108.0 $14.04

Room AC, 6,500 BTU's (after 1980) EER 8.5-770 116.0 89.0 $11.57

Room AC, 6,500 BTU's (after 1980) EER 9.5-680 116.0 79.0 $10.27

Central, 3 -ton AC (before 1980) SEER*3 8-4,500 180.0 810.0 $105.00

@ 12,00W/ton (after 1980) SEER 9.5-3,790 180.0 682.0 $88.60

40,000 BTU's (after 1980) SEER 11.0-3,270 180.0 589.0 $76.57

200 150.0 30.0 $3.90

Fan (window)

Water heater - - 350.0 $45.50

512 16.8 8.6 $1.12

Washer (1 load/day)
Clothes dryer (1 load/day) 4,856 17.0 82.6 $10.74

Dishwasher (1 load/day) 1,201 25.2 30.3 $3.94

Iron 1,100 - 5.0 $0.65

630 6.1 3.8 $0.50

2 708.3 1.4 $0.18
1,235 6.8 8.4 $1.10
Blow dryer

1. The monthly cost is based on an average rate of 130/kWh.
2. Energy efficiency ratio.
3. Seasonal energy efficiency ratio.
4. BTU's/EER =watts.

All figures noted in this table were obtained from Long Island Lighting Company's (LILCO) Energy Conservation Department.



letrA. 0.11111.X.X4012.-Nre,--,

FIG. 1-THE BLOCK DIAGRAM of the energy consumption monitor.




the continuous operation of such sipate any power, and its AC

appliances. current will lag the applied volt-
Figure 2 shows a block di- age by 90. As a result, once the
agram of the power converter cir- half -wave rectified current wave-
cuit. The voltage from the form (Fig. 3-f) of such a load is
potential transformer T1 (Fig. 3- switched by Ql, the resulting
a) is delayed by 90 (Fig. 3-b), con- output is zero, therefore 01 SAMPLING PERIOD

trolling transistor switch Q1 (Fig. VOUT = VPK COSH.

3-c), which turns on during the (Fig. 3-i.) FIG. 3-POWER CONVERTER waveforms:
negative cycle of the wave. Now, The schematic of the energy sinusoidal waveform from T1 (a); T1 volt-
age is delayed by 90 (b); 01 turns on when
let's consider how three types of consumption monitor is shown the delayed voltage goes negative (c);
loads are monitored: purely re- in Fig. 4. Components R6-R8 half -wave rectified current signal from a
sistive, equally resistive and in- and C5-C7 form a 90 phase shift purely resistive load (d); half -wave rec-
ductive, and purely inductive. network which switches Q1 on tified current signal from a resistive and
In a purely resistive AC circuit, via R9 and R10 during the nega- inductive load (e); half -wave rectified cur-
the current is in phase with the tive -going part of the wave. The rent signal from a purely inductive load (t);
when 01 turns on, it captures the first 90
voltage, therefore the half -wave voltage present at the secondary of the current signal of a resistive load (g);
rectified signal from the current of the current transformer (T2) is sampled current signal of a resistive and
transformer will look like that of half -wave rectified by D5. Diodes inductive load (h); sampled current signal
Fig. 3-d. Since the switch (Q1) is D3 and D4 limit the secondary of a purely inductive load (0.
on until the first 90 of the wave, voltage to approximately 40 volts
the peak of that wave (Fig. 3-g) peak to protect D6 and Q1 from voltage attains the trigger voltage
will be passed on to the peak de- excessive voltage should a high - of the Schmitt trigger, consisting
tector consisting of ICI. We can current surge occur. When Q1 is of IC2, R16, and R17. Once trig-
now say that Vo=V of the turned on, it will couple any of gered, the negative voltage swing
current transformer. the half -wave rectified signals to from the output of IC2 quickly
In a circuit consisting of equal R11, and to the peak detector reverses the capacitor charge via
resistance and inductive reac- consisting of IC1-a, D7, C9, and R15 and D8, and is ready to re-
tance, the current will lag the R12. The wiper of R11 is set to peat the cycle again. The higher
voltage by 45. That signal, when calibrate the peak detector out- the voltage feeding the RC timing
half -wave rectified (Fig. 3-e) and put so that it produces 1 volt for network, the higher the pulse re-
gated by Q1 will look like that of every 100 watts consumed by the petition, or frequency, will be.
Fig. 3-h. As you can see, the load. Finally, that voltage is buff- That pulse is used to increment
switch allows only the first 45 of ered via the voltage follower ICI -b the counter module through volt-
the wave to be sampled by the to feed an external voltmeter, the age -divider resistors R18 and
peak detector, therefore bargraph meter, and the voltage - R19. Diode D9 assures that the
VOUT = VPK sin(90 - 0).
to -pulse converter. counter sees a pulse of the proper
since The voltage -to -pulse converter polarity. A nice feature of the dis-
sin(90 - 0) = cosO, is basically a voltage controlled play counter is that it is powered
then oscillator (VCO). The power volt- by a single AA battery mounted
VOUT = VPK COSH. age (from ICI -b) charges C10 via on the back. That makes sure the
An ideal inductor does not dis- R13 and R14 until the capacitor count is retained if the ECM is 61
R1 a -d
R1 -a
PL1 Sot
'VW R1 -b
Ws, R1 -d
000 -lb 0 (0- +V
01 -V
D4 A
1N4002 IG4 1N3034 D7
7815CT 1N914

0 .0
C 3 /1
R2 1N3034 TP2 0 R12
1/2 LM1458
0- G1 M R3 2.2K C2 lh LM1458 G9
470pf 110 Wt, 1F
D2 R5
47K 111*41.
IC5 5K 4
-r -
C3 s.6* C4 05 +18V
C 2.2pf 620
220g I + 1N34A
R6 R9

R7 R8
2N4402 7 6

5K 2.2K
R10 D6 LED1
10K 1N914 103-a
05? C6 C7
R21 1/4 LM339 D10
0.47 0.47 0.47 1N914
+ N't1/4 2.7K
4 2
/4 LM339 D11
Si 122
-Wr--1114-0 TP3
1N34A -0 0 T

10 13
NtN 150K 03-c
R14 R23 I/4 1.141339 D12
D9 1/4914
10K 680 0 -1-
102 114914 12 R28
LM741 2.7K
8 14
R16 R19 LED4
R17 R24 IC3-d
100K 10K
1.8K 12007, 1/4 LM339


FIG. 4-THE SCHEMATIC OF THE ECM; R6 -R8 and C5 -C8 form the 90 phase shift GND HOT HEATSINK

network, which switches 01 on. R11 calibrates the peak detector output so that it pro-
duces 1 volt for every 100 watts consumed by the load. For greater power -handling
capability, R1 -a -R1 -d can be replaced by three 0.33-ohm, 10 -watt resistors.
unplugged, or in the event of a the previously lit LED is turned
power failure. off as the power increases, thus
At the heart of the bargraph is allowing no more than one LED
1C3, a quad comparator. The to remain on at a time.
power voltage drives all of the The power -supply section is
comparator's inverting inputs fairly straightforward. The trans-
while each of the non -inverting former's (T1) voltage is half -wave
inputs are tied to different volt- rectified, and is then filtered by
age references derived by the volt- Cl. The voltage divider R2 and R3
age divider network of R20 to is used to boost the output volt- GROUND Rla-d
R24. As the voltage signal in- age of regulator 1C4 to approxi- LUG
creases above the reference volt- mately 18 volts. 1C4 could easily totype. It's a good idea to use standoffs to
age level, the open collector be replaced with a 7818 voltage mount the transformers so that R1-a-d's
output of that particular com- regulator, thereby eliminating connections are adequately spaced from
parator goes low, switching its the need for R2 and R3 (a short- the case. The author also used a fiber bar-
corresponding LED on. Diodes ing jumper would have to replace rier between the PC board and the AC
R3). Except for the voltage-divid- socket for added protection.
D14, D15, and D16 ensure that
cord and socket ground lead to a
PARTS LIST closed -loop connecter. Mount the
connector through the trans-
All resistors are'/4-watt, 5%, un- IC1-LM1458 dual op -amp former mounting screw and se-
less otherwise indicated. IC2-LM741 op -amp cure to the chassis ground
R1 -a -d-0.39 ohms, 5 watts IC3-LM339 quad comparator through a star washer to bite
R2, R6, R8, R21-2200 ohms IC4-LM7815 or LM7818 voltage through the painted or plated
R3-270 ohms regulator (see text) metal case. You can also sand the
R4-not used IC5-LM79L12 12 -volt negative volt- paint away to make a good con-
R5-47,000 ohms age regulator tact. Resistors R1 -a -R1 -d should
R7, R11-5000 ohms, trimmer LED1-red LED be adequately ventilated by using
potentiometer LED2-LED4-green LED a louvered enclosure top. Those
R9-22,000 ohms Other components resistors could get quite hot if
R10, R13, R19-10,000 ohms F1 -15 -amp fuse constant heavy loads over 1000
R12, R16-100,000 ohms S01-chassis-mount, grounded AC watts are monitored.
R14-10,000 ohms, trimmer socket Now it's time to mark a decimal
potentiometer T1-18 volts (or 24 volts), 200 mA
R15-100 ohms transformer
point on the counter display.
R17-1800 ohms T2-6 volts, 200 mA transformer Using a fine -tip black felt pen,
R18-150,000 ohms (connected as a step-up trans- mark the decimal point on the
R20-3600 ohms (see text) former) display between the third and
R22-1500 ohms Counter module-LCD electronic fourth digit so that, when the
R23-680 ohms counting module (Radio Shack monitor is properly calibrated,
R24-120 ohms number 277-302) each count represents '/moo of a
R25 -R28-2700 ohms S1-momentary SPST push button cent.
Capacitors switch When wiring T2, remember to
C1-470 F., 35 volts, radial Miscellaneous: 2 chassis -mount wire the 6 -volt winding across
electrolytic banana sockets, fuse socket, the shunt resistors R1 -a -R1 -d so
C2, C9-1 35 volts, tantalum strain relief, PC board, hardware, that you're using it in a step-up
C3-220 F, 63 volts, radial wire, metal enclosure (Radio mode.
electrolytic Shack 270-272A). Locating a 3.6K resistor for
C4-2.2 F, 35 volts, radial R20 may be rather difficult since
electrolytic NOTE: The following items are that is a non-standard value. The
C5, C6, C7-0.47 F, 100 volts, available from Paul Brule, 12L67 author happened to have a few of
polyester Harbourview Rd., Port Colborne, them in his parts collection, but
C8-not used Ontario, Canada L3K 5V4. An you may consider wiring a 3.9K
C10-1000 F, 16 volts, radial etched and drilled PC board, and a 47K resistor in parallel to
electrolytic $15.95; a kit consisting of all re-
C11-0.1 'IF, 50 volts, ceramic sistors, capacitors, semicon- obtain that value.
Semiconductors ductors and PC board for
D1, D2 -1N4002 diode $59.95; a lettered faceplate and Calibration and testing
D3, D4-1N475A, 30 volts, Zener template which fits a Radio Before applying power to your
diode Shack 270-272A case, $7.95. circuit, double check your wir-
D5, D8-1N34A germanium diode Please include $2.50 for ship- ing. If you're using IC sockets,
D6 -D12 -1N914 diode ping and handling. All prices are leave ICI, IC2, and IC3 out of the
Q1 -2N4402 PNP transistor in US funds. circuit. Apply power and check
for + 18 volts and - 12 volts at the
outputs of IC4 and IC5, respec-
er resistors, the negative supply ing correct polarity. The 7815 reg- tively. Those voltages may be
is basically a mirror image of its ulator should be fitted with a heat slightly lower by a fraction of a
positive counterpart. sink. You can do that by drilling a volt. If you have removed the IC's
1/2" x 1-1/2" x'/16" piece of alumi- and the voltages are okay, then
Construction num and mounting it to the unplug the unit, install the IC's,
Figure 5 shows the authors TO -220 case. re -apply power, and re -check the
completed prototype. Transfor- The ECM should be enclosed in supply voltages.
mers T1 and T2, S01, F1, a suitable metal case as haz- The next step is to check the
LED1-4, counter display, Si, JI ardous line voltage is present. It transformer phasing. In order to
and J2 are mounted on the en- is important to use no. 14 AWG or do that, temporarily install a
closure, while the remaining sec- heavier gauge wire for all primary jumper from ground to the cath-
ondary circuitry is installed on a wiring. Make sure the neutral ode of D5. Now connect a 100 -
single -sided PC board. The foil side of the plug corresponds to watt light to the load socket.
pattern is provided if you would that of the socket. The pho- Using a voltmeter on the AC
like to make your own, or you can tograph in Fig. 5 shows where scale, make sure the voltage be-
obtain an etched and drilled the hot (power supply black lead) tween TP1 and TP2 is lower than
board from the source men- and neutral (white lead) conduc- that measured between TP1 and
tioned in the parts list. Mount tors are connected. ground. If it isn't, reverse the two
and solder all components ac- Grounding should be made by PC -board connected T2 leads. Re-
cording to the parts placement terminating the green grounding check and remove the jumper.
diagram shown in Fig. 6, observ- conductor of the power -supply With NO LOAD connected to
cents per kilowatt-hour (check
RIBBON CABLE your billing statement or power
company for that rate). Adjust
R11 to read that value on the volt-
-528 -R22 ..--R23---, meter. That will enable you to cal-
t ro +1 D12-114-
,...- e3 ibrate R14 so that you obtain one
IC5 D11--1101-
r,.1- -526---- - ) IC3 524
pulse per second (1 Hz) at TP3. A
--01-- 04 525
-521- -R20- doubling or halfing of VcA,
ri, R2

--44111-- LI 110-44 should approximately double or

J -*Fa 15*1--- o c, half the pulse rate. Remember,
I-1 D

C11 I
R13 I R15
R18 1
each pulse represents Vi000 of a
95 Disconnect the jumper used in
+ CO1
LED34 the previous procedure and con-
R12 -C9- nect a 100 -watt light as a load.
fa Using an oscilloscope, monitor
LED2Nb,k; the waveform at TP2 and set R7
T2 so that the sampling ends at the
TERM. #4
very peak of the incoming wave-
HOT form, which should look like the
waveform of Fig. 3-g.
T2 Finally, power calibration is the

11 G S1 last to be performed. With the
100 -watt light connected adjust
WI, mon=
R11 so that a DMM, connected to
'NM 4
the external voltmeter jacks, dis-
0 plays 1.00 volt DC. You may want
to verify that wattage by measur-
2 ing the voltages across shunt re-
LEAD k)1 GROUND sistor RI, and the line. With
NEUTRAL TERMINATION those two voltage readings, the
power maybe calculated using
FIG. 6-PARTS PLACEMENT DIAGRAM AND WIRING connections. Use 14 AWG wire for the formula
all primary sure you wire the hot and neutral leads of the power aupply P(watts) = VSHUNT X VLINE/RSHUNT,
cord to the proper terminations on the AC socket. where RSHUNT is the shunt resis-
tance (four 0.39 -ohm resistors in
parallel = 0.0975 ohms). VSHUNT
4- is the voltage drop across R1 and
VLINE is the AC line voltage.
That completes the assembly
and calibration of the ECM.

-/K7 There is one point that should be

mentioned here. The voltage to

ful, r t
pulse converter will not start un-
til there is a load of approximately
30 watts, meaning that the coun-
ter will not increment unless the
load is heavier than that value.
For those of you wondering if

*;? investing in an energy consump-

tion monitor is worthwhile, con-
sider this: You'll be able to
determine how much it costs to
run a particular appliance for a
certain length of time. So it's easy
enough to figure out if it's actu-
ally cheaper to run the micro-
wave oven for five minutes or the
conventional oven for ten min-
THIS IS THE FOIL PATTERN of the solder side of the PC board. utes, and so on. Using the energy
consumption monitor, you'll also
the ECM, connect a jumper be- other. As you do that, the LED's be able to determine if buying ex-
tween the + 18 -volt supply and should increment at about 0.27, tra meat at really good sale prices
TP2. Connect a DC meter to the 1.8, 5, and 10 volts. Now, using actually saves you money in the
power -voltage output and check the formula long run. The greatest advantage
to see that the voltage varies from VcAL = 36/rate, of the energy consumption is
0 to approximately 16.5 volts as where VIAL is the calibration keeping one step ahead of your
R11 is varied from one end to the voltage and rate is your cost in power company. R -E
ec T

How American Cablevision's "bullet" zapped signal pirates.

ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13. 1991, boxes, and took the dead boxes fendants a deal: Pay five hundred
American Cablevision of Queens back to the electronic coroner's dollars within twenty days, or
fired their first infamous elec- laboratory, performing hundreds face prosecution and fines from
tronic "bullet." According to of autopsies. According to official one thousand, to one hundred
American Cablevision, they fired American Cablevision records of and ten thousand dollars.
a direct hit. Within minutes their the mass epidemic, the "Certifi- "I think this is something that
switchboard was overloaded with cates of Death" were identical- everybody's going to have to start
calls from subscribers whose illegal chip "zaps". doing," said American Cable
television sets had gone black. On Wednesday April 24, 1991, President Barry Rosenblum.
American Cablevision was ela- American Cablevision filed a civil American Cablevision has ap-
ted-the victims had unsuspec- suit in New York City federal proximately three hundred and
tedly taken the bait. court against three hundred and thirty thousand paid subscribers
The next morning, American seventeen alleged cable pirates. in Queens and Brooklyn, and es-
Cablevision sent armies of tech- That was the first time such a timates it forfeits hundreds of
nicians to service the homes of large number of cable crooks had thousands of dollars each year to
the complaining customers. been arraigned together. Ameri- video marauders, and plans to
They replaced the cable converter can Cablevision offered the de- fire more bullets. The electronic
bullet is the brainchild of Jerrold through various methodologies, basic cable rate nationwide
Communications of Hatboro, and reverse engineered them so jumped sixty-eight percent be-
Pennsylvania. It was first fired in that a counter measure could be tween 1986 and 1989.
1990, by Greater Media Cable of developed. That counter measure So even though the cable com-
Philadelphia. was the bullet, an offensive sig- panies are reporting that losses
In three separate assaults, nal that Jerrold can send down from theft have tripled during
Greater Media Cable blasted the data stream to neutralize the same period, cable industry
away, netting three hundred and what the pirates reverse engi- revenue has jumped about seven-
sixty eight illegal converters, neered. That's the bullet-dou- ty percent from over ten billion in
which garnered a bounty close to ble-reverse engineering. 1986 to almost eighteen billion
twenty thousand dollars. Dori continued, "So by under- last year.
We spoke to Jim Bathold, standing what the pirates are Such large revenues have
spokesman for Jerrold Commu- doing and not doing to defeat cur- caused some consumer groups to
nications, to confirm American rent technology, we're able to become skeptical of the cable
Cablevision's story that the elec- launch a counter -offensive sig- companies claims of being finan-
tronic bullet is a signal fired from nal, the bullet, to defeat them." cially wounded by theft. "There is
a cable company's headquarters In the hopes of discouraging no justification for using spec-
directly into a customer's cable customers from buying illegiti- ulative high -theft figures to justi-
converter. If the box is legitimate, mate descramblers, information fy outrageous rate increases,"
the customer never knows he regarding the bullet is being leak- says Ken McEldowney, head of
was just zapped. But if black- ed from the cable industry, which San Francisco -based Consumer
market chips were installed in a claims they are losing up to three Action.
basic converter to circumvent billion annually from piracy. Another method the cable com-
paying the monthly service According to Jodi Hooper of panies are using to detect pi-
charge, the bullet uses the chips the National Cable Television As- rates, is the "closed circuit radar
own programs to neutralize the sociation, "People think cheating gun," or time -domain reflec-
decoder and halt the cable service on cable services is like a school tometer. The major drawback
immediately. prank. They don't really think with the reflectometer is that it
Mr. Bathold then elaborated they are committing a crime and has to be physically attached to
"Yes, that is basically how the stealing. They just don't take it the cable entering each home to
bullet works," he confirmed. seriously." Hooper also indicated detect unauthorized connections
"But it would not be in our best that some cable companies or decoders. Other than that,
interest to elaborate, or explain offering complete amnesty to sleuthing is still done primarily
the operational procedure in de- people who come forward before by inspectors who spend their
tail. Otherwise it tells subscrib- their systems are audited and the days eyeballing exterior cables
ers, 'Here we come.' We have not bullet is released. She says if the for tampering.
put one word out there in writing culprits wait until they are dis- So naturally if the cable indus-
of how it works-no press pack- try succeeds in scaring thou-
covered, they will chance the pos-
ages or news releases. We es- sibility of criminal prosecution sands into confessing, it will
pecially wouldn't go into detail and heavy fines. score a two -headed victory. First
with electronic hobbyists," he Richard Aurelio, president of by recovering millions in lost rev-
choked out laughing. Time Warner's New York City Ca- enue having people sign up-as
Hoping to fare better in Jer- ble Group, compares cable piracy was the case for Utah's TCI
rold's engineering division, we to shoplifting. "Now that we have Cablevision in 1989 where they
were fortunate to reach an engi- the technology, we're going to use ran a blitz advertising campaign
neer that was also a reader of Ra- it to rope them in." But it's a mi- showing guilt -ridden signal pi-
dio -Electronics. His boss' boss, graine for the cable industry. rates imprisoned-and second
technical engineering super- Most of the cable companies be- by having the option of keeping
visor, Stan Dori, said: One of the gan scrambling their satellites in the bullet in reserve as a secret
approaches pirates have been 1986, and are now concentrating weapon and not necessarily hav-
taking for years to defeat scram- on detecting people with de- ing to pay the hefty zapper fee to
bling is to physically use a de- coders and illegal hookups. Jerrold Communications.
coder box to unscramble the The National Cable Television Now Time Warner, the second
scrambling method. That is, to Association says about eight mil- largest cable company with over
reverse engineer the legitimate lion homes nationwide are linked six million subscribers in thirty
descrambler's software. illegally to basic cable signals. six states, is threatening to start
The bullet came into being be- And an additional three million firing bullets nationwide. Are
cause one of Jerrold's customers homes illegally tap into pay ser- they bluffing?
(a cable company) told them of vices such as Cinemax and HBO. If they are not bluffing, they
rumors that pirates were defeat- But from 1975 through last will undoubtedly catch more ca-
ing Jerrold's scrambling tech- year, the number of basic service ble thieves who are foolish
nology. And the cable company subscribers nationwide grew enough to run to their cable com-
wanted to aggressively pursue from nine million to fifty-five mil- pany to complain that their pi-
them. So Jerrold acquired a lion. The U.S. Telephone Associa- rated cable box is not working
66 number of the pirate devices tion reports that the average properly. R -E

How good
is your amplifier?
Our inexpensive
THD analyzer voltage level for voltage ampli- tion. After passing through fixed
fiers, or a desired power level for and variable attenuators, plus a
will let checking power amps up to 600 buffer amp (IC2), the signal
watts. It will detect THD levels emerges at output jack J1.
you know. down to 0.005 percent! It fea- The output signal from J1 driv-
tures a built-in one -percent THD es the input of the device under
calibrator, a full array of input test (DUT), usually an amplifier.
and output processing controls, The DUT's output, which in-
JOHN F. KEIDEL and uses your digital multimeter cludes some degree of distortion,
(DMM) as a readout device. is applied to the input of the ana-
lyzer at jack J2. The fundamental
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED EXACTLY Circuit description frequency (1 kHz) is then re-
how good an amplifier is, or As shown in Fig. 1, an moved from the output signal of
whether it actually measures up NE5534N low -noise, low -distor- the DUT, leaving only harmonic
to the manufacturer's specifica- tion op -amp, ICI, is configured as distortion components.
tion of its ibtal Harmonic Distor- a Wien Bridge sine -wave os- Combination notch/high-pass
tion, or THD? Or are you curious cillator. Carefully matched RC filter circuits IC3 and IC4 (both
if the amplifier you've designed is values (R2 -C1 and R3 -C2) in the TL074's) perform the removal
better or worse than a store- frequency -selective positive feed- function. One feature of IC3's
bought one? If the answer is yes back network contribute to its three -stage RC active filter is that
to any of those questions, then low distortion level. Resistor R1 it maintains a constant 45 -dB
you should build our inexpensive and bulb LMP1 form the sta- notch depth over its full tuning
THD analyzer. You can use it to bilized negative feedback net- range. The filter is connected in
test "home-brew" amplifier work that provides a constant - series with an identical second
breadboard circuits or commer- amplitude output signal. DC off- filter (IC4), to provide a 90 -dB
cial equipment such as stereo re- set control R4 keeps DC current notch of the fundamental signal.
ceivers, preamps, and power out of LMP1, which minimizes The resultant frequency re-
amps. The analyzer uses an ul- second harmonic distortion con- sponse of the combined filters is
tra -pure 1 -kHz test signal to mea- tent. Filter network R6 -C6 fur- 27 dB down at 20 Hz, which
sure THD at a user -selected ther reduces any residual distor- helps suppress 60 -Hz hum and 67
IC7 + 15V
J4 7815
S6 o
120VAC 24VAC INPUT1N4002 + C22

C23 -t -- C24
1pF .33
(TO J4)
R46 X D5
68012S 1N4002 - 15V
IC8 0


43012 C25
R4 R5 + 1. 62011 OUTPUT LED1 220pF
100K 22K = 44.44 C26 1 C27

--M C3 C8
1pF 1pF -T .33

1CD 8
5 tR11 + 15V
1K 1K
5534 R53
R7 0d B0 R10A
C2 C6 - S1 10K
.01 20K w 5.6K
*VW 4M
C5 20dB R10
CI R8 R52 C31 R54
OpF R9 50K
40dB 100K 100pF 10K
.01 -15V 2K 22012
-)f Nth
15.8K C21
R2 t J5 C30 R51 ^ .01
15.8K S. .01 J6
R48 CAL. OUT + 15V R42
C29 +15V 444414
2K C32 1MEG
1 2 7 R45
7c .1 DVM
6 6200
7 R49 R50 IC6 J7-.
R47 t IC9-b 10.0K 2490 C9 -a CA3193
10K 1/2 CA3260 V2 CA3280 3
5 3 - 15V
J2 + 4 J3 C15 1

+15V R43 R44
2 8 10K 10K
+ 15V 5 C16
C14 2
,R - 4 S5 .01 C5
Of NV*
.01 IC3-b THD/REF D2 R41
C191! 1MEG
1/4 TL074 1N914 .1
<20V INPUT EF0 R36 4 10MEG
OA 0 940 1K
R13 s R15
R35 t - 15V C17 R38
10.0K +
t R39
7 10K
100K 7 >20V 1K
-15V 100K 7 .2 4.53K
R14 t
11K 7
4M, o Aith
R32 x10 S4 R33
R25 R31
2.00K 18.2K
10K 9.09K THD AMP
R24 +15V
NULL 10K 13 .01 IC4-a
o o 4/4A 4 R27 1/4 T1074
IC4-d 15.8K R30 IC4-b 3
Jul 4
50K 1/4 TL074
1/4 TL074
o 0 12
IC4-c NULL 2 5
OPER 11 R26 R28 1K
1/4 TL074
5.1K 7.5K R29
- 15V 10
- C12 4404/ ? V4414 130K


1/4 11074




1/4 TL074



1/4 TL074
I J8


5.1K 7.5K

FIG. 1-SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM of the simple THD analyzer. An NE5534N op -amp (IC1) is
configured as a Wien Bridge sine wave oscillator. Carefully matched RC values in the
frequency -selective positive feedback network contribute to the low distortion level.
68 Resistor R1 and incandescent bulb LMP1 form the stabilized negative feedback network
that provides a constant -amplitude output signal.
other low -frequency noises.
Above the 90 -dB notch frequen-
cy, the response is flat ( 0.5 dB)
from 2 kHz to 100 kHz.
When S4, the THD/REF switch,
is in the THD position, a signal
containing only THD compo-
nents is channeled through from
the output of the x 1/ x 10 THD
amp (IC4) to the input of the AC -
to -DC converter, IC5. Although
both polarities of the applied sig-
nal are rectified by this circuit,
only the positive averaged signal
is fed to the low-pass filter R41 -
C20. The output buffer, IC6, is a
CA3193 precision op -amp, stable
enough to provide accurate volt,
millivolt, and microvolt DC level
output signals to an external
Dual op -amp IC9, a CA3260,
serves as a calibrator. The first
stage affords precision half -wave
rectification of the master os-
cillator's signal. That same ap-
plied signal is AC coupled by C30
to the second stage, biased at 1/2
Vcc, for linear transfer to its out-
put. Voltage divider R49 -R50
mixes a very small portion of half -
wave output at pin 7 of IC9 with a
much larger full sine wave seen at
pin 1. Since the signal swings
slightly more positive from its
quiescent level than it does in the
negative -going direction, it is
considered to have a specific
amount of second harmonic dis-
tortion. That amount, by design,
is one percent.
Wall transformer Ti feeds half -
wave power diodes D4 and D5
through connector J4, fuse Fl,
and power switch S5. Capacitors
C22 and C25 are the principal
filters for the positive and nega-
tive supplies, respectively. Small-
er filters, C23 and C27, along
with high -frequency transient
suppressors C24 and C28, are in-
cluded at the output side of reg-
ulators IC7 (a 7815 +15 -volt
regulator) and IC8 (a 7915 -15 -
volt regulator).
Breadboard assembly of the 0
analyzer is not recommended, al-
though a seasoned builder may
wish to attempt it. It's best to ei- Ale INCHES
ther make your own PC board
from the foil pattern we've pro- FOIL PATTERN for the THD meter shown actual size.
vided, or order one from source
mentioned in the parts list. tion of all polarized parts as you line wiring, including the LED1
Mount all components as install them, and the use of IC indicator, uses two wires plus a
shown in Fig. 2. Check orienta- sockets is suggested. All power - shield. Connect the shield wires
J8 J4

-R46 023
, - R5I - -R52- - !C31 b5 --- C24
C25 026
'-' _ yt__ leg 4 C28
' FI4 1 - R54R50
R53 R49 - I 1

- 022
029 -- R48--
-C32- LI IC7

C10 R30
R22 Jul
R12 -R15 -

!' R37
-- '1 C17

R28 1 R24 R32 R36 R40

26 , R25 - - 035
1 I 1

1 1

J6 .:)0J7

R8 R10A

OF R10

FIG. 2-PARTS PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. Note that JU1 is actually an 8 -pin DIP socket in
which a jumper is placed in either the far -left or -right side (see text). Also note the six your DMM on its 20K resistance
components soldered to the front -panel -mounted controls. range, select two 15.8K resistors
that are the closest in value. If the
together and then to ground, to than their marked 1% values. If match is less than perfect, solder
prevent hum pick-up. Also, you don't own or can't borrow a a small -value resistor in series
ground the frame of potentiome- capacitance meter, you can build with the lower value to raise it to
ter R10. Bare ground wires for and use the simple circuit shown the exact value of the higher one.
each BNC connector may be in Fig. 3. Adjust the calibration You can mount two resistors in
wrapped around the connector potentiometer with any one of place of one by putting one
body prior to installing the re- the four 0.01 ILF capacitors (Cl, through each hole in the board
taining nut. The ground binding C2, C11, or C13) inserted as Cx, and soldering the raised ends to-
post (J8) on the rear panel pro- to read 1.000 volt on your DMM's gether. Again, the leftover 1%
vides an optional, external earth - 2 -volt DC range. (You can consid- 15.8K resistors can be used for
ground connection when mea- er the reading to be 0.01000 F.) R18 and R27 without having to
suring microvolt -level THD sig- Now measure the remaining be closely matched.
nals. Just connect J8 to circuit three capacitors and select the You may wish to build your
ground. The grommet used to two that are closest in value. Ab- own enclosure for the THD meter.
hold bulb LMP1 should have a 1/4 - solute value is not important; we A silk-screened front panel mea-
inch inside diameter. It is glued simply want them to be the same suring 93/4 inches wide by 3
to the top side over the hole for value. However, if one capacitor inches high can be purchased
maximum resiliency. measures 80 pF lower than an- from the source mentioned in the
In addition to the components other, you can solder an 82-pF parts list. If you decide to pur-
that are soldered to the circuit mica capacitor on the underside chase the front panel, and build
board, also note that five re- of the PC board in parallel with your own enclosure, build it to fit
sistors and one capacitor are sol- the selected capacitor. The left- the front panel and drill several 1/4
dered across the terminals of over 1% 0.01 ILF capacitors can be -inch holes in the top panel near
panel -mounted controls Si, R10, used for C11 and C13 without the voltage regulators to allow
S2, and J2 (see Fig. 2). having to be closely matched. heat to escape. Otherwise you
Capacitors CI and C2 must be Likewise, resistors R2 and R3 can purchase the same enclosure
matched to better tolerances must be close in value. Using used for the prototype; the exact

All resistors areY4 watt, 5%, unless R46-680 ohms LED1-Red light -emitting diode
otherwise indicated. R50-249 ohms, 1%, metal film Other components
R1-430 ohms R51, R52-100,000 ohms, 1%, metal S1 -Panel -mount, 2 -pole, 6 -position
R2, R3, R18, R27-15,800 ohms, film switch
1%, metal film Capacitors S2, S4 -S6 -Panel -mount miniature
R4-100, 000 ohms, PC -mount C1, C2, C11, C13-0.01 F,100 volts, SPDT toggle switch
potentiometer 1% Mylar S3 -Not used
R5-22,000 ohms C3, C7, C15-22 pF, 300 volts, mica JU1-8-pin DIP socket or jumper
R6, R11, R15, R34, R36-1000 ohms C4, C5-10 F, 25 volts, tantalum block
R7-20,000 ohms C6, C8, C20, C29, C32-0.1 F, 50 T1-120VAC/24VAC, 200 mA wall
R8, R48-2000 ohms volts, Mylar transformer
R9-220 ohms C9, C14, C21, C30-0.01 F., 50 J1 -J3, J5 -Panel -mount male BNC
R10-50,000 ohms, panel -mount volts, Mylar connector
potentiometer C10, C12-0.001 F, 100 volts, 1% J4 -Coaxial power input jack
R10A-5600 ohms Mylar J6 -J8 -Panel -mount binding post
R12, R45-620 ohms C16, C17-0.2 F, 50 volts, Mylar LMP1-Incandescent bulb, #327
R13, R35-100,000 ohms C18, C19, C23, C27-1.0 F, 25 Fl -Fuse, 0.5A, 120 VAC
R14-11,000 ohms volts, tantalum Miscellaneous: Project case (Jam-
R16, R17, R24, R25, R38, R39, C22, C25-220 F, 50 volts, eco Electronics H2507), two 1/2
R49-10,000 ohms, 1%, metal film electrolytic inch diameter instrument knobs,
R19, R2&-5100 ohms C24, C28-0.33 F, 50 volts, Mylar seven 8 -pin IC sockets, (not includ-
R20, R31-9090 ohms, 1%, metal C26-1 F, 50 volts, tantalum ing JU1), fuse holder, LED bezel,
film C31-100 F, 25 volts, electrolytic grommet, shielded cable, wire, sol-
R21, R29 130,000 ohms Semiconductors der, hardware, etc.
R22, R30-50,000 ohms, PC -mount IC1, IC2, IC5-NE5534N low -noise Note: The following items are
potentiometer op -amp available from Instrumex, P.O.
R23, R28-7500 ohms IC3, IC4-TL074 quad low -noise Box 490, Blue Bell, PA 19422:
R32-2000 ohms, 1%, metal film op -amp Etched, drilled, and plated PC
R33-18,200 ohms, 1%, metal film IC6-CA3193E precision op -amp board and silk-screened plastic
R37-10 megohms IC7-7815 positive 15 -volt regulator front panel (both to fit case men-
R40-4530 ohms, 1%, metal film IC8-7915 negative 15 -volt regulator tioned above -$25.00 + $3.00
R41, R42-1 megohm IC9 CA3260E dual MOSFET-input S&H
R43-10,000 ohms, PC -mount op -amp PA residents must include 6%
potentiometer D1, D2 -1N914 diode sales tax.
R44, R47, R53, R54-10,000 ohms D3 -D5 -1N4002 diode Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

model number is listed in the

parts list, and the front panel is ci +12V +12V
designed to fit it perfectly. Figure .1F

4 shows the completed prototype. ICI -a R4

14 1/4 CD4011BE 10K IC1-d 2VDC
1/4 CD4011BE RANGE
Adjustments 3 .001F 8 12
Using a DMM on its millivolt - R2
10 11
DC range, connect it between pin 50K .1F +12V

6 of ICI and ground. Adjust R4 IC1-b

for a reading of 000.0 mV on the R1
18K 1/4 CD40 1BE
1/ CD4011BE

meter. Next, set the INPUT switch 5

(S2) to ">20V," the THD AMP
switch (S4) to " x 10," and the 470K

THD/REF Switch (S5) to "THD."

With the DMM still set to read FIG. 3 -HERE'S A ONE -IC CAPACITANCE TESTER used to match Cl and C2. See text for
millivolts DC, connect its leads details.
across the + and - DVM binding
posts (J6 and J7) and adjust R43 tion). Connect a short coaxial ca- the IC4-pin-7 side of R31, and
for a reading of 000.0 mV on the ble between OUTPUT jack JI and connect the ground lead to any
meter. INPUT jack J2. With power on, and ground in the area. If you're
Filter -null adjustments may be S2 in the "<20V" position, S4 in using a scope. set VOLTS/DIV
made with an oscilloscope or the x 1 position, S5 in the "THD" switch (on the scope) to any posi-
DMM on its lowest AC voltage position, and the rotary ATTEN-DB tion between 5 and 50 mV/div.
range (typically 2 volts). Insert a switch (S1) and VAR Carefully adjust potentiometer
jumper in the JUl jumper block potentiometer (R10) in the mini- R30 for the best null on a scope
(NULL-OPER)in the left -most posi- mum attenuation position, or screen, or lowest reading on a
tion when facing the front panel fully counter -clockwise. meter.
(next to R22, or the "null" posi- Connect a scope or voltmeter to Munger the test probe to the 71
J6 J7




up. Most THD measurements can be made
in this manner.

When a pure or undistorted sine wave is
applied to a circuit containing vacuum
tubes, transistors, or op -amps, which is
used to provide linear transfer of the sig-
nal, some degree of distortion always ap-
pears at the output.
As the near -perfect sine wave travels
through the device under test (DUT), its
shape is altered due to inherent non-
linearities within the circuit. Waveform al-
FIG. 4-THE COMPLETED PROTOTYPE. Notice how the incandescent bulb (LMP1) is teration is the equivalent of adding
protected from damage by a rubber grommet. harmonics, or multiples of the fundamen-
tal frequency, in varying phases and am-
plitudes to the fundamental signal. It can
be shown mathematically and by mea-
IC3-pin-1 side of R20. Adjust R22 position. It's important to note surement that these spurious harmonic
for a minimum reading on the that if the input signal to J2 goes components are vested within the output
scope CRT or voltmeter. Insert much higher than 20V peak to signal's waveshape.
the jumper previously placed in peak, and S2 is in the <20V posi- Spectrum analyzers are used to sweep
the NULL position in the C12 side tion, clipping will begin to occur. over the frequency range of interest, sep-
arating the fundamental and its harmon-
of the JIM jumper block. You may You can use the analyzer's cal- ics into individual signals. It provides a
be able to squeeze 1 or 2 dB more ibrator to check all remaining CRT display of these various signals, in-
null from the system by shifting functions. Connect a coaxial ca- cluding odd andior even harmonics in
the DMM to the DVM binding ble from J5 to J2. Set all toggle their proper amplitudes and frequency lo-
posts (J6 and J7), setting the switches to the upright posi- cations relative to the fundamental. Sim-
meter to its 200 mV DC range, tions, and connect your DMM to ilar instruments use digital signal
setting S4 to x 10, and trimming J6 and J7 set to read DC volts or processing techniques rather than a
the adjustments of R22 and R30. millivolts, as required. Now, if the sweep method to provide more in-depth
data including phase angles.
THD signal reads 24.0 mV, which Wave analyzers are essentially tuned
Checkout and use is 0.024V, and you switch the S5 filters that include a measurement window
Connect a scope or DMM scat to to "REF," the DMM should then that is manually frequency shifted through
read AC volts to output jack J1. read 2.40V, or a number very the range of interest. It offers meter -read-
Rotate Si and R10; the output close to that. When the resulting out amplitude measurements of the vari-
signal voltage should vary ac- fraction (0.24/2.4) is multiplied ous harmonics relative to the fundamental
cordingly. The controls are at- by 100 it should produce a THD frequency.
tenuators, not gain controls, so percent figure of one percent. THD analyzers are used to notch out
maximum signal occurs in the the fundamental from the DUT's output
Figure 5 shows the test setup signal leaving only the harmonic compo-
counterclockwise position. for THD measurements. Say that nents intact. It then measures the sum
Check the INPUT P -P switch S2 we are measuring percent THD of total of the residual signals in terms of
by applying the signal from J1 to a 50 -watt amplifier that's con- their RMS or average values, and com-
J2, setting S5 to "REF," and mea- nected to an 8 -ohm power re- pares them to the overall amplitude of the
suring the AC output at J3. The sistor load. By ohms law, it will output signal which is taken as a 100 per-
cent reference. The ratio of the THD mea-
output signal should be max- take 20 volts across 8 ohms to surement to the reference, multiplied by
imum with S2 in the <20V posi- produce 50 watts. Now let's say 100, equals the percent THD. R -E
72 tion and minimum in the >20V continued on page 128
phone and amplified by Ql. Re-
sistors R2-R5 set up the DC
operating bias of Ql. Capacitor
C3 serves to improve the AC re-
sponse to the audio voltage, and
C2 blocks the DC bias and cou-
ples the AC to the next stage,
where the RF action takes place.
The amplified AC voltage from Q1
is routed to the base of Q2. 11-an-
sistor Q2 and associated circuit-
ry (C5 and the inductor) form an
oscillator that operates in the
SIMPLE FM 80-130 MHz range. The os-
cillator is voltage -controlled, so it
is modulated by the audio voltage
that is applied to the base of Q2.
Resistor R6 limits the input to
TRANSMITTER the RF section, and its value can
be adjusted as necessary to limit
the volume of the input. That will
help control the amount of distor-
This handy FM transmitter tion you have on very loud in-
puts. Resistors R7-R9 set the DC
makes a great one -evening operating bias of Q2, another
2N2222 that's used as the os-
project, even for cillator and modulator of the
transmitter. Capacitor C5 is a
6-50 pF trimmer capacitor that's
first-time builders! used to tune the oscillator tank
circuit, and C4 routes the RF
from the oscillator to ground to
JAMES A. MELTON prevent unstable operation.
The FM transmitter is built on
a piece of perforated con-
struction board with 0.1 -inch
hole spacing. Component spac-
ing is not critical, but placement
is. You should place the compo-
nents on the board in a layout
that is similar to the prototype
shown in Fig. 2. Generally, you
THERE IS NO THRILL LIKE THE THRILL regulations regarding wireless will also want to make the trans-
you get from operating equip- microphones. (The emissions mitter as small as possible.
ment you have built yourself. If must stay within a band of 200 Let's start from the left side of
you have never built a project kHz, its output between 88 and the schematic and work to the
from a magazine before, let this 108 MHz, and the field strength right. You'll want to cut out a
FM transmitter be your first- of the radiated emissions must piece of perfboard that is 12 holes
you'll see how much satisfaction not exceed 50 Wm at a distance wide and 30 holes long. That will
and fun you can have! of 15 meters from the device.) If give you plenty of room to work
The FM transmitter is de- powered from a 9 -volt battery and with, but still produce a small
signed to run from a 9 -volt bat- used with an antenna no longer unit. First lay out two power lines
tery and is made from readily than 12 inches, the transmitter's on the board with bare wire; the
available parts. The author's pri- radiated power will be within the positive supply from the battery
mary use is as a baby monitor, FCC limits. The FCC takes a dim will be on top, and the negative
but the uses of a transmitter like view of persons operating out- (ground) will be on the bottom.
this one are almost limitless. It is side the legal power limits, so A 1K resistor (R1) supplies the
very sensitive, and easily capable please do not substitute any com- bias voltage for the microphone.
of picking up a conversation in ponents in this circuit which Remember to install the resistor
any part of a room. The dimen- would alter the output power. vertically, next to the positive
sions and values given here will supply line, and bend the other
allow static -free reception within Circuitry end of the lead to the board. Go
the perimeter of most homes. Take a look at the schematic in through the board and down to-
No license is required for this Fig. 1. Audio is picked up from ward the ground bus. Now insert
transmitter according to FCC the room by an electret micro- the microphone leads into the 73
about 1 inch of twisted wire, stop
+9V 6-12" and cut the looped end off leaving
ANTENNA about 1/2 -inch of twisted wire
(this forms the capacitor) and'/2-
inch of untwisted wire for leads.
Capacitor C7, a 0.1pF capaci-
tor, is one of the most critical
components in the circuit. You
must place it across the L1 -Q2 -
R9 assembly, as shown in Fig. 1,
to reduce the amount of RF feed-
LECTRET back you'll get into the rest of the
circuit. The antenna (more 24 -
gauge wire) should be soldered to
FIG. 1-FM TRANSMITTER SCHEMATIC. When powered from a 9 -volt battery and used
the coil you made, about 2 turns
with an antenna no longer than 12 inches, the radiated power will be within the FCC limits. up from the bottom, or the tran-
sistor side, and should be about
8-12 inches long.

lb use the transmitter, set up a
radio in the area at least 10 feet
from the project. Find a blank
spot on the dial and turn the ra-
dio up so you can hear the static.
Connect a 9 -volt battery to the
transmitter and listen to the ra-
dio. Slowly adjust the tank capac-
itor (C5) until you "quiet" the
receiver; this is the tuned spot.
Note that when you remove your
hands from the transmitter, you
MICROPHONE HAND -MADE CAPACITOR will detune the circuit some-
FIG. 2-THE AUTHOR'S COMPLETED PROTOTYPE. Notice how the antenna is soldered what. It is usually best to leave it
to the coil, about 2 turns from the transistor side. detuned, and tune the radio in to
get the best reception. If you can-
board, making sure that the PARTS LIST not get the tuning range you de-
ground lead of the microphone sire, you can squeeze the coils in
can be soldered to the ground bus All resistors are Ye -watt, 5%. the tank circuit closer together to
on the board. Route the lead from R1, R6-1000 ohms raise the frequency, or pull them
R1 to the positive lead of the mi- R2-15,000 ohms apart just a little bit to lower it.
crophone and solder it. The R3-6800 ohms The circuit works best when
10-F capacitor, Cl, should be R4-10,000 ohms powered by a battery, but if a wall -
placed in the middle of the board, R5, R7-4700 ohms derived supply is needed, make
oriented as shown on the sche- R8-2200 ohms certain that the ripple voltage is
matic, and soldered to the micro- R9-220 ohms as low as possible, or you will get
phone/R1 junction. Capacitors hum in the receiver. R -E
This project requires two C1, C3-10 F, 25 volts, electrolytic
C2-2.2 1.LF, 25 volts, electrolytic
hand -made parts-coil LI and C4, C7-0.1 ,F, 25 volts, ceramic
capacitor C6-but you make C5-5--60 pF trimmer
both of them yourself using only C6-hand-made capacitor (see text)
wire and a common pencil for a Semiconductors
coil form. The inductor is made 01, Q2 -2N2222 NPN transistor
by winding two pieces of 24 - Other components
gauge insulated wire, laid side by L1-hand-made coil (see text)
side, around a pencil six times. Miscellaneous: perforated con-
Remove the coil you have formed struction board, 9 -volt battery, bat-
and unscrew the two coils apart tery clip, electret microphone, 24 -
from each other. One of these gauge insulated wire, bare wire,
coils, the better -looking of the solder. etc.
two, will be used in the tank cir-
cuit (L1) and the other can be
used in the next one you build. inch piece of 24 -gauge insulated
The other hand -made compo- wire, bend it over double and, be-
nent, capacitor C6, is part of the ginning 1/2 -inch from the open
oscillator feedback. lb make this end, twist the wire as if you were
small value capacitor, take a 4 - forming a rope. When you have
pact disc digital audio was intro-
duced. In that short time, the
compact disc or CD has brought
high -quality audio reproduction
to the masses, and taught us to
appreciate good sound. We're not
exaggerating when we say that
the CD has changed the way we
listen to music.
It's rare for a new technology
and format to catch on so quick-
ly-especially one that threatens
to make its predecessors ob-
solete. CD was a success not only
because of consumer acceptance,
but because it also offered some-
thing to manufacturers, record-
ing companies, and retailers.
It wasn't the CD's "gee whiz"
appeal-nor was it the promise of
perfect audio reproduction-that
caused sales to catch fire. It was
convenience. When compared to
the LP that it replaced, CD's were
a dramatic breakthrough. They
can store more audio in a pack-
age a fraction of the size. They
can be lent to even your most
careless friends without getting
scratched. They even play back
more conveniently, because you
can skip tracks that you don't
want to listen to, or re -arrange
the order in which the songs play
It's convenience, also, that
makes the venerable compact
cassette our music medium of
choice. (Cassettes outsold CD's
every year until last year.) They fit BRIAN C. FENTON
in your shirt pocket, and they
stand up reasonably well to
abuse. They're ideal for use in a
car or in a personal stereo be-
cause they're relatively immune Two new digital audio formats-Sony's
to shocks. So what if they can't Mini Disc and Philips' Digital Compact
come close to the audio quality of
a CD or even an LP?
Cassette-promise to battle each other as
How about DAT?
In the belief that consumers they create consumer confusion.
had fallen so much in love with
the idea of digital audio because chines to the U.S. The RIAA was general press.
of their exposure to CD, Japa- concerned about DAT's potential Although some DAT machines
nese manufacturers reasoned to make virtually perfect copies of were available on the "gray mar-
that Digital Audio Tape (DAT) CD's. (They seemingly missed the ket" of unofficially imported
would be to the CD what the com- fact that, for most people, cas- goods, DAT officially arrived in
pact cassette was to the LP Unfor- settes do the same thing. And de- the U.S. market in 1990-with
tunately, it didn't work out that spite that, pre-recorded cassettes generally disappointing results.
way for a number of reasons. have outsold both LP's and CD's Whether it was the years of delay,
First, the record industry, combined since 1982! They've the taint of the lawsuits, the ex-
spearheaded by the RIAA (Re- outsold blank tapes as well.) The pense of the machines, or the
cording Industry Association of threats of lawsuits were enough lack of pre-recorded software that
America), threatened lawsuits to stop DAT dead in its tracks, have killed DAT in the consumer
against any Japanese manufac- despite considerable accolades market, we'll never know for
turer who exported the DAT ma - for the format in the audio and sure. Perhaps DAT failed because 75
enter into the field of digital re- +100
cording." Tandy Corporation an-
nounced that they would be the so
T first U.S. licensee of Philips' tech-
nology, and would introduce a
home recording deck in late

11 40


4 1852.5
The most important feature of
DCC is that it doesn't make the
ci) 20

0.02 0.05 0.10.2 0.5 1 2kHz 5 10 20

5 familiar cassette obsolete. All FREQUENCY -kHz

6 DCC players will play back exist- a

7 ing analog cassettes, so even
8 when you make the jump to DCC, 109

you can still listen to your exist- I 80

ing library of tapes. (You won't,
8 however, be able to record analog HEARING
7 cassettes on your DCC machine, THRESHOLD

6 or play DCC tapes on your stan- ccii 20

dard cassette deck.) That "back-
ward compatibility" could con- 0-
4 0.2 0 5 2kHz 5
vince some consumers to up- 0.02 0.05 0.1
1 10 20
grade to DCC even though they
like what they already have. After h

all, an upgrade won't just give i100

0 them better sound, but as we'll
see, more convenience as well. 80
A DCC deck is essentially a 60
standard cassette recorder that -
includes some extra digital elec- f, 40 -
Cl),0 -
tronics and a new head design.
The dimensions of a DCC cas- 0-
B Al
sette are essentially the same as 0.02 0.05 0.1 0.2 0 5 1 2kHz 5 10 20
that of a standard cassette, but FREQUENCY -kHz --a.
b the digital cassette's sides are
flat-the case doesn't get fatter
EIGHT TRACKS OF MUSIC DATA are con- where the head enters the shell. PHILIPS' PASC ENCODING ignores
tained on each "side" of the Digital Com- Also, since the DCC standard de- sounds that are below the hearing thresh-
pact Cassette, as shown in a. (All mands that all DCC players fea- old (a). Of the signals shown in b, only A
dimensions shown are in micrometers.) would be recorded because B, below the
The DCC head shown in b is manufac- ture auto -reverse, there's never a hearing threshold, would not be heard.
tured using thin-film techniques. It con- need to flip the tape over, so you The hearing threshold, however, varies
tains a set of 8 digital recording and don't need to have holes for the dynamically depending on what other sig-
playback heads as well as two analog reels on both sides of the cas- nals are present. In c, signal B has altered
playback heads. sette. That means that one full the threshold, making A inaudible.
side of the cassette can be used
it doesn't offer the avarage con- for information and graphics- recording heads for digital re-
sumer anything that they're not something the recording compa- cording. We'll see shortly why 9
already getting from their favor- nies love. digital heads are required.
ite compact cassettes. The spool holes and the tape
Although the compact cas- surface are protected against PASC makes it work
sette-even with its inherent dust and fingers by a sliding met- The key to the DCC system is
problems-is just fine for most al cover, which also locks the tape the a new digital coding tech-
people, Philips, the originators of hubs. There's no need for an car- nique called PASC, or precision
the compact cassette, was con- rying case, so the digital cassette adaptive sub -band coding. The
vinced that the format could be is easier to use and store, es- goal of PASC is to produce a sig-
improved, and that consumers pecially in a car. nal equivalent to that of a CD.
would buy into the updated for- The key to maintaining com- The results? A dynamic range
mat. Thus, DCC, the Digital patibility with standard cas- better than 105 dB, and a total
Compact Cassette, was born. settes is a new thin-film semicon- harmonic distortion, including
ductor head, manufactured noise, of less than 0.0025%
Enter DCC using a process similar to that PASC is based on two impor-
In January of 1991, Philips used for integrated circuits. The tant phychoacoustic principles.
announced that "a new era of au- first layer of the head contains The first is that we can hear
dio reproduction has started," one set of 9 magneto -resistive sounds only if they're above a cer-
DCC, a digital extension of the heads for digital playback, and a tain level, called the hearing
compact cassette, would offer pair of similar heads for analog threshold. The second is that
"the best opportunity available playback. On the second head loud signals mask soft ones by
76 for consumers and industry to layer is one set of 9 integrated raising the hearing threshold.
The hearing threshold, as you
might expect, varies from person
to person. Even a very sensitive
ear, however, won't be able to
hear a sound if it is masked by a
louder sound. (You couldn't, for
example, hear an unamplified vi-
olin at a rock 'n' roll concert!) The
theory behind PASC's efficiency
can be expressed by the ques-
tion, "If you can't hear it, why
record it?"
During encoding, the PASC
processor analyzes the audio sig-
nal by splitting it into 32 sub -
band signals. By continuously
taking into account the dynamic
variations of the hearing thresh-
old, the PASC processor encodes
only the sounds that will be audi- A PROTOTYPE MINI DISC player and a pre-recorded disc.
ble to the human ear. Each sub -
band is allocated the number of second, so decks could include again and again.
bits that are required to accu- readouts for song lyrics or other How did they manage to get the
rately encode the sound within it. information about the selection. same capacity as a CD on a disc
If a subband doesn't require any DCC, an elegant extension of that has about 1/4 the surface
bits-because it contains sounds the most popular music carrier area? Interestingly, by treating
that are masked, for example- we have, seemed to be a sure-fire audio in much the same way as
its bits are re -allocated to other hit. It had something for every- DCC does. Sony's encoding
subbands so that the sounds one, including hardware man- scheme, which is called ATRAC,
within them can be encoded ufacturers, record companies, or adaptive transform acoustic
more accurately. On average, the retailers, and consumers. It now coding, is also based on the psy-
PASC system needs to encode appears, however, to have run up choacoustic principles regarding
only one quarter the number of against a formidable competitor: the threshold of hearing and the
bits that a CD or DAT encoder Sony's Mini Disc. masking effect.
would to reproduce a given audio Because the ATRAC encoder ig-
signal. Sony's Mini Disc nores sounds that fall below the
The encoded data is multiplex- In May of 1991, in what seemed threshold of hearing (which var-
ed into an 8 -channel data to be a deliberate attempt to de- ies dynamically because of signal
stream, and error -detection and - rail DCC before it got moving, masking) it can encode data five
correction codes are added. The Sony announced a brand new times more efficiently than CD or
eight channels are recorded on 8 recordable audio format, the DAT systems. That's even better
parallel tracks on the DCC tape. Mini Disc or MD. Sony, however, than DCC's 4:1 advantage!
The ninth track can be used to denied that their MD was meant Can a recording that "leaves
carry auxiliary data, such as to compete with DCC. In re- out 80% of the bits" sound as
song titles, recording times, and sponse to the question of what good as a CD? In theory, if all
the like). The auxiliary track MD replaces, the President of you're leaving out is things you
could be used to generate hun- Sony Corporation of America an- can't hear, then yes. In practice,
dreds of characters of text per swered "We are replacing we don't know yet. At Sony's an-
nothing. We are Creating new nouncement, they demonstrated
markets." a prototype by playing some pop/
MAGNETIC MATERIAL The Mini Disc format is specifi- rock for a half minute or so. It
POLYCARBONATE RESIN cally designed for portable ap- sounded OK, we guess, consider-
plications (personal stereos, ing that the listening environ-
boom boxes, etc.) and was sched- ment was a crowded hotel
uled for introduction, conve- meeting room. No A/B com-
niently, in late 1992-the same parisons were provided between
time that DCC decks were due. CD and MD. Sony claims that
The disc, about 21/2 inches in di- "only 2% of the population will be
ameter, looks-and acts-like a able to hedr the difference."
cross between a compact disc The Mini Disc is constructed of
and a micro floppy computer four layers, including a newly de-
disk. Like a compact disc, the veloped magnetic layer of ter-
Mini Disc is an optical medium- bium ferrite cobalt. Since mag-
ALUMINUM REFLECTIVE LAYER it is read by a laser and can store neto -optical discs can't come in
PROTECTIVE LAYER up to 74 minutes of digital audio. contact with the recording
Like a floppy disk, the mini disc heads, it's important that the
THE MINI DISC is composed of 4 layers. can be magnetically recorded magnetic material be able to 77
nological reason why portable CD
MAGNETIC HEAD WRITING SIGNAL players couldn't offer their own
1 0 1 0 1
shock -proof memory buffer. But
since the buffer would have to be
5 times the size, it would add
greatly to the cost.
Who wins?
NEW OLD Ever since we forecast that DAT
MO LAYER would be a sure-fire success,
4- t- (CROSS-SECTIONAL VIEW1 we've been reluctant to make pre-
dictions. But let's look at some of
the issues involved, and how
DCC and MD stack up.
For consumers-assuming
that both formats offer high -

O quality audio-DCC has the de-

cided advantage in that existing
libraries of cassettes won't be ob-
solete. Both formats have the po-
tential to supply such con-
venience features as song title
MAGNETO -OPTICAL OVERWRITE TECHNOLOGY. When the magnetic layer is heated by and lyric readouts, but MD offers
the laser, it becomes possible for the magnetic head to change its polarity. The polarity is much faster random access of
then detected by the laser during playback by noting the direction of reflection. tracks. Although it's too early to
say for sure, prices for home DCC
change polarity when subject to a decks should be around $600
very small magnetic field. The MINI DISC when introduced, while a porta-
new material fills the bill. ble MD player is expected to cost
The Mini Disc requires both a more than $400. For consumers,
laser and a magnetic head for re- 1.4 MBIT/SECOND
we give DCC a slight edge.
cording. When the magnetic The recording companies will
layer is heated by the laser (to a have a hard time taking sides.
temperature of about 400F), it Both technologies will use the se-
loses its coercive force-that is, it rial copy management system or
becomes very easy to magnetize. 1 MBIT MEMORY
SCMS, an anti -piracy system.
The head then supplies a mag- (3 SECOND CAPACITY)
Manufacturers will be able to du-
netic field to set the material's plicate DCC at 64 times normal
magnetic polarity. When the 0.3 MBIT/SECOND
speed on equipment similar to
heated spot cools, the new polar-
what is now used for standard
ity is "locked in" and, thus, the
cassettes. Mini Disc players will
digital data are recorded. be able to play back not only mag-
Sony's Mini Disc has a couple 4 neto -optical discs, but pre-re-
of advantages over other optical corded optical discs as well-
recording methods. The struc- discs manufactured using the
ture of the head is much simpler same process as is used for CD's.
because the laser can be on con- Various recording companies
tinuously during recording and have expressed support for each
playback. And the low-coercivity SHOCK -PROOF MEMORY promises to format. Which way will the record
of the magnetic material greatly make Mini Disc an ideal portable format. companies go? For us, it's too
reduces the power required, Since the data is read off the disc far faster close to call.
making portable operation feasi- than required by the ATRAC decoder, a Hardware manufacturers
buffer as long as three seconds is created. should prefer DCC because stan-
One feature of Mini Disc touted dard tape transports can be
by Sony is that the portable Walk- three seconds. If the laser mis- used. Retailers, always reluctant
man players will have "shock- tracks, the listener won't hear it. to have to stock the same titles in
proof memory." One of the prob- The buffer will feed data to the various formats, are dreading the
lems with current portable CD decoder while the laser finds its thought of re -vamping their
players is that they don't work way back to the right spot. Sony's stores to accommodate either
too well unless they're standing announcement included a dem- DCC or MD.
still. Any sharp jarring causes onstration where a prototype What about you? In the long
the laser to mistrack. Mini Disc player was shaken vigorously run-since both formats seem
players shouldn't suffer from without any audible result. The destined to compete with each
that problem because data is read prototype continued to play even other for your money-it's you
off the disc at a rate far faster after the disc was removed until who will decide whether DCC or
than required by the ATRAC de - the 1 -megabit buffer was empty! MD is the personal recording for-
78 coder, creating a data buffer of Of course, there's no tech- mat of the 90's and beyond. R -E
This simple circuit will protect your stereo speakers
in the event of amplifier failure.
it the current when the short
ence with damaged speakers due occurs.
to a faulty amplifier, or if you val- The circuit is very versatile and The DC level of an amplifier's
ue your speakers enough to want can be customized for many dif- power supply is designed to ac-
to prevent such damage in the ferent applications. Plans for commodate the peak power levels
first place, then the circuit de- home stereo, automotive, and that occur when the amp is driv-
scribed in this article is for you. commercial PA/guitar amplifier ing the speaker at full power. A
The circuit will protect speakers applications are included. 100 -watt amplifier has power -
against an amplifier that may The most common cause of supply rails of at least 40 volts.
have a shorted output stage and speaker failure is catastrophic Under normal operating condi-
thus deliver excessive DC volt- amplifier failure. That's in con- tions, that level would never be
ages that will easily ruin a speak- trast to the conception that the applied to the speaker coil for
er coil. If your amplifier has a speaker has been overdriven by more than a few seconds. How-
sound -processing delay after the an amp that's operating nor- ever, if an output device in the
power has been turned on, a mally. Most often the speaker amp shorts, the DC is applied to
functionally similar circuit is al- power level has been chosen to the speaker continuously. In the
ready built in. This article will match the driving amplifier. case of a 100 -watt amplifier, that
give you a basic idea of the delay's Semiconductors designed to causes a power dissipation of:
PD= (40V/speaker resistance)40V
function and how it works to pro- handle high current, such as bi- Speaker resistance is usually one
tect the speakers. The circuit is polar power transistors and to two ohms less than the AC im-
designed for solid-state ampli- MOSFET's, usually short when pedance. If a blown amplifier is
fiers and is not necessary for they blow out. Often these de- connected to a 100 -watt speaker
tube -type amplifiers that have vices are connected directly to an with a 7 -ohm DC resistance, the
output transformers. (An output amplifier's DC power -supply rails power being dissipated is:
transformer blocks any DC from or through a small amount of re- PD = (40V/7f1)40V
the speaker terminals.) sistance that can't effectively lim- = 228 watts 79
The speaker will be able to dissi-
pate that power for only a couple o- OUTPUT
of seconds before the coil is INPUT
damaged due to excessive heat. SEE

When the protector circuit

senses a DC voltage on the speak-

er line, it activates a relay whose 100K
contacts are in series with the RY1
speaker; after two seconds the re-
lay disconnects the speaker until + 0- SEE
the DC is removed. A fuse is inad- 12VDC

equate for this application be-

cause the value needed to protect
-0- ICI -c 02
the speaker against DC will blow 1/4 L.M339
ICI -b
out at peak power levels during 1/4 LM339
12 01
normal operation. Conversely, a
fuse value chosen to allow peak
power operating levels will not FIG. 1-IF AN AMPLIFIER OUTPUT SHORTS, this circuit will protect your speakers from
protect the speaker against a DC the harmful DC voltage that will be present at the amplifier's speaker outputs.
voltage. The protector circuit al-
lows peaks to occur in the power
level and also protects the speak- PL1
er against DC. It should be used 120VAC D2
in conjunction with a fuse value INPUT ECG5065A
calculated from peak power lev-
els. The fuse should be placed as (-A.) J1

close to the amplifier as possible, T1

if not in the same chassis, and is 12.6VAC JACK
therefore not shown in the pro- 300mA

tector circuit's schematic. FIG. 2-THE POWER SUPPLY can be used for up to four individual protector circuits. The
optional 9 -volt DC output jack can be used to power an electric -guitar footpedal or
Circuitry fuzzbox.
The protector circuit's sche-
matic is shown in Fig. 1 and the comparator (IC1-a and ICI -b). with reference to the power -sup-
power supply is shown in Fig. 2. The outputs of IC1-a and IC1-b ply ground. When Cl reaches 9
Up to four individual prptector are open -collector stages, wired volts it triggers comparator IC1-c
circuits can be powered from one together, and pulled high causing its output to go high and
supply, although most applica- through R7. That forms a wired bias Q2 into conduction via R9.
tions will require only one or two ORfunction and completes the When turned on, Q2 grounds one
circuits per chassis. The optional window comparator. When the end of relay RY1 thereby activat-
9 -volt DC output jack can be used output of the R1 -R2 voltage divid- ing it and disconnecting the au-
to power a footpedal or fuzzbox, er exceeds the reference levels set dio passing through its contacts
eliminating the need for a DC by R4 and R5, the output of the from the speaker. The relay con-
wall transformer when the cir- window comparator goes low and tacts will remain open until the
cuit is used to protect guitar -am- removes the bias from Ql. The DC input is removed from the
plifier speakers. The power sup- input voltage at which that hap- protector circuit. Diode Dl pro-
ply can be modified for different pens is determined by the value tects Q2 against reverse -bias
applications, and we'll talk about of Rl. The formulas for calculat- spikes generated by the relay coil.
them later. ing R1 are presented later in this The circuit has two separate
Referring to Fig. 1, the voltage - article. 'flunsistor Q1 is turned grounds: a speaker ground and a
divider resistors R3-R6 are used off while the output of the win- power -supply ground. Under no
to bias the positive and negative dow comparator is low, thus al- circumstances should these two
inputs of the window comparator lowing timing -capacitor Cl to grounds be connected together. If
formed by IC1-a and ICI -b. The begin charging through R8. two circuits are used together,
inputs are biased at plus and Under normal input condi- then three entirely separate
minus 3 volts. The voltage divid- tions (an AC audio signal), the grounds will exist: a power -sup-
er also provides a 9 -volt reference output of the window com- ply ground and a speaker ground
for the negative input of com- parator will return to a high level for each circuit (see Fig. 3-a).
parator ICI -c. when the input returns to the Some stereo amplifiers, es-
Resistors RI and R2 form an plus and minus 3 -volt range. pecially those used in car -radio
input voltage divider fed from the That biases Q1 into conduction amplifiers, have differential or
speaker terminals of an audio and immediately discharges Cl. floating -ground outputs for each
amplifier. The input divider is ref- If a DC signal large enough to channel and cannot be con-
erenced to analog ground, and trigger the window comparator is nected together. Figures 3-a, -b,
the output of the divider is con- present on the input, then QI will and -c are AC model diagrams
nected to the negative and remain in its off state and Cl will showing the equivalent connec-
positive inputs of the window charge until it reaches 9 volts tion paths between two circuits


10W 6.3V 8.9V 5.2K 2.2A 8.9V 12.7V 9.2K 1.6A
20W 8.9V 12.7V 9.2K 3.2A 12.7V 17.9V 15.2K 2.2A
30W 11.0V 15.5V 12.5K 3.9A 15.5V 21.9V 19.6K 2.7A
R5 35W 11.8V 16.7V 13.8K 4.2A 16.7V 23.7V 21.5K 3.0A
R6 R6 15K 40W 17.9V
12.7V 15.2K 4.5A 17.9V 25.3V 23.3K 3.2A
15K - 15K
a 50W 14.1V 20.0V 17.4K 5.0A 20.0V 28.3V 26.6K 3.5A
60W 15.5V 21.9V 19.6K 5.5A 21.9V 31.0V 29.6K 3.9A
75W 17.3V 24.5V 22.4K 6.1A 24.5V 34.7V 33.7K 4.3A
85W 18.4V 26.0V 24.1K 6.5A 26.0V 36.9V 36.0K 4.6A
100W 20.0V 28.3V 26.6K 7.0A 28.3V 40.0V 39.6K 5.0A
120W 21.9V 31.0V 29.6K 7.8A 31.0V 43.8V 43.9K 5.5A
140W 23.7V 33.5V 32.4K 8.4A 33.5V 47.3V 47.8K 5.9A
150W 24.5V 34.7V 33.7K 8.7A 34.7V 49.0V 49.7K 6.1A
175W 26.5V 37.4V 36.8K 9.4A 37.4V 52.9V 53.9K 6.6A
200W 28.3V 40.0V 39.6K 10.0A 40.0V 56.6V 58.0K 7.0A
250W 31.6V 44.7V 44.8K 11.2A 44.7V 63.3V 65.3K 7.9A
300W 34.7V 49.0V 49.7K 12.3A 49.0V 69.3V 72.0K 8.7A

tion circuit's chassis. High cur- = ((28.28V(4.7K))/3V) - 4.7K

rent is assumed to be flowing in = 39.60K
each speaker ground lead and To calculate the fuse value for
connection of separate ground amplifier short-circuit protec-
leads anywhere except inside the tion, use the equation:
amplifier will degrade perfor- V1, = VRs/0.707
mance. and substitute values
28.28V/0.707= 40 volts
Calculations From the equation:
To calculate the value for RI, I = Vp/R
FIG. 3 -THE CIRCUIT HAS A SPEAKER which determines the time it we can substitute values
GROUND and a power -supply ground that takes Cl to reach nine volts, the 40V/8 ohms
should never be connected together; a following example analysis is pre- = 5 amps
shows that the current flowing in either sented. The first step is to calcu- If you would rather avoid mak-
loop is not a function of the other; b shows late the RMS (average) voltage ing all of the calculations, Table 1
the power -supply capacitor from a (Cs) applied to the speaker terminals
replaced by a wire; and, in c, the equiv-
shows the correct resistance val-
alent resistance between the two speaker to obtain the rated amount of ues to be used for R1 for 10- to
grounds is shown as 30K. power. We'll arbitrarily use 100 300 -watt applications. Appropri-
watts and a speaker load of 8 ate fuse values are also provided
ohms. From the equation: in Table 1.
operating from a single power p = (I2)R The next step is to calculate the
supply. Figure 3-a clearly shows we can substitute values maximum time that Cl will
that the current flowing in either 100W = (12)8 charge, and the voltage level it
Loop 1 or Loop 2 is not a function divide by 8 will reach before it is discharged,
of the other. The speaker grounds 12.5 = 12 under normal operating condi-
return to the common power take the square root of both sides ions. This is a necessary analy-
supply rails through the voltage - I = 3.53 amps sis in order to prove that the
divider resistors R3 -R6. Figure From the equation: circuit will not trigger falsely
3-b shows the power -supply ca- V = IR when peak audio power levels are
pacitor from 3-a, which is seen as we can substitute values reached. The lowest frequency
a short to AC, replaced by a wire. V = 8(3.53A) normally associated with audio is
Finally, in Fig. 3-c, the equivalent = 28.28 volts RMS 20 Hz. It has the longest time
resistance between the two As a final check use the formula period (50 milliseconds) in the
speaker grounds is shown as P = IV audio spectrum so we'll use it for
30K. DO NOT short the two we can substitute values analysis of the speaker protector
grounds together under any cir- P = 3.53A(28. 28V) circuit. (An actual audio signal is
cumstance. = 99.82 watts quite complex, but the complex-
If the amplifier speaker To calculate the value for R1 we ity of the waveforms only de-
grounds are connected inside the use the equation: creases the time that Cl will
amplifier, they should NOT be UVIN(R2) ATotyr) R2 = R1 charge, so we'll therefore use 20
connected at the speaker protec- and substitute values Hz.) 81
ei = Em(sin(3601))
+40V we divide by EM
+28V el/EM = sin(3601)
we now take the inverse sign
sin-1(e/Em) = 360f
ov and divide by 360f
(sin-1(e1/EM) )/360f = t
- 28V t- now we substitute values
- 404 _ I

-1- -r (sin-1(28.28/40))/360(20Hz)
= 45/7200
a = 6.25 ms
From those equations we can
conclude that, for the sine wave
of Fig. 4-a to travel from 0 to 28
volts (0.707 x peak value), it
0.7V takes 6.25 ms, or one eighth of
the total period (50 ms) of the
waveform. 6.25 ms is also the
ov r-- time it takes the sine wave to re-
turn to zero volts. Therefore:
6.25 ms(2) =12.5 ms
12.5 ms is the total time Cl will
charge (4-c). The last step is to
calculate the voltage level of Cl at
t=12.5ms t =12.5 ms, and we'll assume
that ec is the capacitor voltage at
t, E is the power -supply voltage
100ni 1/ T (12V), e equals 2.718, t equals
12.5 ms,C equals 22 p,F, and R
equals 68K. Now we take the
ec =E(1- e-U(CR))
and substitute values
=12(1- 2.718-12.5ms/(22I1F)68K)
=100 mV
FIG. 4-SHOWN IS THE INPUT TEST SIGNAL (a), the 01 base voltage (b), and the 01 The speaker protector circuit
collector voltage (c). will disconnect the amplifier
from the speaker after a 2 -second
is between 28 and 40 volts, we'll interval using the values shown
first assume that e1 is the in- for R8 and Cl. That amount of
stantaneous voltage level (28.28 time will protect the speaker un-
VRMS), EM is the maximum or der most circumstances. Charg-
peak voltage level (40.00Vp), the ing time for Cl to reach 9 volts
frequency is f (20 Hz), pi (n) is can be calculated by rearranging
equal to 3.14, t is the time for sine that equation and assuming that
wave to reach 28.28 VRms, and e equals 2.718, In is the natural
that 27( radians equals 360 de- log (the inverse of ex), E is the
grees (and we'll stick to degrees power -supply voltage (12V), ec is
from this point on). That out of the capacitor voltage (9V), t is the
the way, from the equation: time for C to charge to 9V, C
equals 22 I.LF, and R equals 68K.
The rearranged equation is:
2 INCHES t = CR(ln(E/E - ec))
MAIN FOIL PATTERN shown actual size.
now we substitute values
t = (22 F(68K))(In(12/(12 - 9)))
Capacitor Cl will charge when- =1.49(1.39)
ever the input voltage exceeds the = 2.0 seconds
RMS voltage level necessary to lb change the time delay for the
produce 100 watts if R1 is equal speaker protector circuit to dis-
to 39.6K. Figure 4 shows the connect the speaker from a DC
analysis waveforms for the cir- voltage use the equation
cuit; shown is the input test sig- R8 = t/1.39C to recalculate the
nal (a), the Q1 base voltage (b), value of R8.
14111-011---- 2 INCHES
and the Q1 collector voltage (c).
Referring to Fig. 4-a, to calculate POWER SUPPLY FOIL PATTERN shown Construction
the time that the input waveform actual size. Construction of the protector
0 All resistors are 1/4 -watt, 10%.
RI-value depends on your setup
(see text and Table 1)
R2-4700 ohms
SPEAKER N-1 R3-R6-15,000 ohms
GROUND R7, R8-100,000 ohms
0 RY1
R9-2200 ohms
IG1 C1-22 p,F, 35 volts, radial
C2-470 ILF, 35 volts, radial
ICI-LM339N quad open -collector
C1--+ voltage comparator
IC2-7812 12 -volt regulator
D1 -1N4004 diode
D2-ECG 5065A 3 -volt Zener diode
0 (required for optional 9-VDC out-
put, see text)
01, Q2 -2N2222 NPN transistor
BR1-ECG 5882 1 -amp bridge
Other components
T1 -120/12 -VAC 300-mA
GND +12V
RY1-5- or 15 -amp relay (see text)
INPUT FROM J1-optional 9-VDC jack (whatever
type best suits your needs)
Miscellaneous: PC boards, AC plug
FIG. 5-PARTS-PLACEMENT DIAGRAM for the protector circuit. The 5 -amp relay will and line cord, 18 -gauge stranded
mount right on the board, while the 15 -amp relay must be mounted on the edge of the hookup wire, cabinet(s), speaker -
board using double -sided tape.
input and -output jacks (RCA jacks,
spring -terminal board, etc.), solder,
Note: The following items are
IC2 available from Applitron Elec-
+0 tronics, 2721 Creswell Road, Bel -
Air, MD 21014: Kit of parts for the
12VDC speaker protector circuit includ-
OUT -C2 - ing an etched and drilled PC
-o board and all parts that mount
on it for $14.95. Please specify
the value of R1 you desire (stan-
ti SECONDARY Ti PRIMARY dard 10% values only) and P.A./
guitar, home stereo, or auto-
motive version. Add an addi-
r\-+ tional $3.50 for the optional
high -current (15 amp) relay. A kit
of parts for the 12 -volt supply is
also available that includes an
etched and drilled PC board and
all parts that mount on it for
$14.95. Include $1.95 postage
and handling for each kit or-
0 dered and allow 3-4 weeks for
I 20v/V: delivery. Maryland State resi-
INPUT dents must add 5% sales tax.
FIG. 6-PARTS-PLACEMENT DIAGRAM for the power -supply board.

circuit depends on the intended place R4 and R5 with 3 -volt Zener levels below 100 watts, you can
use. Once you have a clear idea of diodes. That will ensure that the use the 5 -amp relay shown in the
the application, then you can window -comparator reference parts list; above 100 watts, you
customize the circuit to meet voltages, with respect to analog must use a 15 -amp relay.
your needs. To use the circuit to ground, will be independent of The parts -placement diagram
protect car -stereo speakers, re- the DC supply voltage. For power continued on page 129 83
feature for your telephone was DC from enter-
only for high -budget profession- ing the ampli-
als, think again. Well show you fier. The ring-
how you can add FM music on - ing -voltage is
hold to any analog telephone line limited by RI
with a 'Much lbne telephone. It's and R2. The
ideal for home offices or for peo- ratio of R3 to R1
ple who want to project a high- sets the gain of
tech appearance. IC3-d to 0.1. Re-
Some of the features of this de- sistor R4 biases
sign include; LED status indica- IC3-d between
tor, audio volume control, built- its supply volt-
in antenna, only one operating age and ground
adjustment, and a mute function allowing, it to
to eliminate "hiss" in between operate from the
stations. You can build this im- single + 6.0
pressive device in under three volts DC power -
hours, for only $70. supply line. The
Construction, test, and align- output of the
ment is made easy due to the use balance ampli-
of specialized IC's, namely a sin- fier passes
gle FM receiver chip, IC4, and a through coup-
DTMF decoder, IC1. There are no ling capacitor
special coils to wind, and no C3 and is then
tricky circuit adjustments are re- decoded by IC1,
quired. All you need is a DMM to a Motorola
test and align the circuit. Let's MC145436 dual -
now take a look at how the unit tone multi -fre-
works. quency (DTMF)
decoder IC.
On -hold circuit The output of
A block diagram of the unit is IC1 is a 4 -bit
shown in Fig. 1, and the sche- word, whose
matic in Fig. 2. The FM on -hold codes are listed
device connects to an analog tele- in Table 1. It is connected to IC2- such as music, that occur during
phone line via an RJ11 modular b, a 4082 dual quad -input AND normal telephone usage.
jack. It's powered by an external gate, so that the output of that IC When the "" key is depressed,
+ 15 -volt DC, 150-mA power pack (pin 13) is normally low, and goes IC2-b pin 13 goes high, which in
that plugs into a standard 120 - high only when the "" key is turn charges C4 and turns on
volt AC outlet. The 15 -volt DC pressed. Therefore, when the "" switching transistor Ql. That ac-
supply passes through polarity - key is decoded by IC1, pins 1, 2, tivates relay RY1. Diode DI pre-
protection diode Dli to the input and 13 are high while pin 14 is vents DC voltage from bleeding
of IC5, a 7812 + 12.0 -volt DC volt- low. lb switch the output of IC2-b back into IC2-b pin 13. The time -
age regulator. Capacitors C24 high, four logic -high inputs base oscillator for ICI is formed
and C25 provide decoupling and must be present. The high in- from a 3.58 -MHz crystal XTAL1
anti -oscillation protection for the puts are provided by IC1 pins 1, 2, and R5.
regulator. The regulated output and 13 and IC2-a pin 1. The normally open contacts of
of IC5 is fed to the input of IC6, a In order for IC2-a's output to go RY1 close and D7, R9, RY2, R10,
78L05 voltage regulator, to pro- high, it must also have four logic - C5, LED1, transformer Ti (Sec),
vide a 5 -volt supply for IC4, a high inputs.1Wo of those are pro- and the four diodes from the po-
TDA7000 FM receiver. Decoup- vided by R7, D10, and C27. Those larity bridge (D3-D6) are con-
ling and anti -oscillation protec- components ensure that the in- nected across the telephone line
tion for IC6 is provided by C26. ternal power supply is operating. and effectively "seize" it. That
Voltage divider R16-R17 provides That will prevent the unit from combination of components is
the + 6 -volts DC power -supply seizing the phone line if power is referred to as the seizure net-
output, which is filtered by C28. lost or removed while it is con- work. The unit is now in a
When a key on any ibuch Tone nected to the phone line. The re- "standby" mode and LEDI lights
telephone is depressed, the sig- maining two inputs are provided dimly. If jumper J1 is in the IN
nal is passed through IC3-d, an by a logic high from IC1 pin 12, position and a station is tuned in
LM324N balanced amplifier. The which is the DV, or DATA VALID, on the FM tuner, that station will
purpose of this amplifier is two- output pin. DV assures proper op- be heard on the telephone line. If
fold; it acts as a balanced to un- eration of IC1 by providing inter- J1 is in the OUT position, the sta-
balanced matching network, and nal checks. When those checks tion will not be heard until the
its gain is set to 0.1 to act as a are valid, Dv will output a logic phone is hung up.
line -voltage attenuator. Capaci- high. That prevents false trigger- RY1 will stay activated for ap-
84 tors Cl and C2 block the phone ing due to voice or other tones, proximately four seconds. That
To return to quency -locked loop system with
the call, the tele- an intermediate frequency (IF) of
phone can be 70 kHz. The IF can be chosen by
picked up. The active RC filters. The only func-
loop current tion that needs tuning is the os-
flowing through cillator's resonant circuit, which
the seizure net- selects the reception frequency.
work is reduced The antenna is made up from
because of the the telephone line and the RJ11
double termina- cable. The RF signal travels
tion (the tele- through that path and is coupled
phone and sei- via DC blocking capacitor C6 to
zure network). the RF input bandpass filter. This
RY2 deactivates, broadband low -Q filter consists of
and the seizure C10, C11, and Ll. Its primary pur-
network is dis- pose is to pass RF energy in the
connected. 88.0- to 108.0 -MHz range while
Kick -back ca- attenuating RF energy from
pacitor C5 en- above and below that frequency
sures the loop range. The bandpass filter serves
current is re- to suppress potential interfering
duced below the energy from outside the commer-
drop -out cur- cial FM broadcast band.
rent for RY2. The bandpass filter also acts as
`That reduction a split -capacitor (also known as a
in current turns tapped capacitor) input imped-
off LED1, dis- ance -matching network to IC4. It
connects the matches a 75 -ohm RF input im-
music, and re- pedance to IC4's 1.5K input im-
connects the pedance. The reverse RF input is
caller. decoupled by C12.
If the tele- After the RF signal passes
phone is not through the input bandpass fil-
hung up within ter, it goes to the input of the in-
the four -second ternal Gilbert cell mixer where it
time-out period, is mixed with the local oscillator
Impress your callers by RY1 will deacti- (LO) signal. As mentioned earlier,
adding an FM music on -hold vate and the the frequency of the LO is de-
project will be signed to produce an IF of 70
feature to your telephone. taken out of the kHz. The tunable LO, connected
"stand-by" between pins 5 and 6 of IC4, con-
mode and sists of tank components L2 and
placed in the D9.
delay is determined by the RC "normal" mode. Varactor diode, D9, is DC -volt-
network of R6-C4. Diode D2 pre- LEDI will not be lit, and the caller age tuned by the voltage -divider
vents relay -coil induction -induc- will be disconnected if the tele- circuit consisting of R13, R18,
ed "spikes" from appearing on phone is hung up. and R12. The low end of the tun-
the + 12 -volt DC power -supply Latching push-button switch ing range is set by R13 while the
line. S1 is used to tune in the desired high end is set by R12. A high
If the telephone is hung up station. When it is in the IN posi- impedance path to the oscillator
within the four -second time-out tion, the seizure network is is provided by R11, keeping it
period, additional loop current placed across the telephone line from appearing on the DC tuning
will flow through the seizure net- and the output of the tuner is control voltage. C21 acts as an RF
work and activate RY2. That also connected (regardless of the "short" to ground which prevents
causes normally open contacts of status of J1). That allows you to the oscillator's RF from entering
RY2 to close. The project is now hear the output of the FM tuner D9. The IF output of the mixer is
in the "on -hold" mode, LED1 will and adjust the station tuning routed to a three -stage broad-
be brightly lit, and the selected and volume. (A feature of the re- band low -Q IF filter network.
radio station will be heard in the ceiver is the elimination of inter - The first section (C20 and C19)
telephone line regardless of the station "hiss," therefore no audio determines the cut-off frequency
position of jumper J1. After the will be present until a station is for the second -order low-pass IF
four -second time-out period, RY1 tuned in.) filter. The second section (C8 and
will deactivate. The loop current C7) determines the upper and
flowing through RY2 keeps the FM receiver circuit lower passband. The third sec-
seizure network across the tele- At the heart of the receiver cir- tion (C9) determines the pass -
phone line and the unit remains cuit is IC4, a TDA7000 Signetics band of the third section of the
"on -hold." FM receiver. This IC has a fre- low-pass filter network. 85
IC2-b RY1
0 Digit 138 D4 D2 D1
IC3-d DTMF ro-
1 0 0 0 1

0 2 0 0 1 0
"." KEY I Yis. IC2-a
3 0 0 1 1
4 0 1 0 0
5 0 1 0 1

SEIZURE 6 0 1 1 0
NETWORK 7 0 1 1 1

8 1 0 0 0
A 9 1 0 0 1
* 1 0 1 1
1,1 J
IC4 # 1 1 0 0
IC3-c 0
TUNER A 1 1 1

B 1 1 1 0
C 1 1 1 1

D 0 0 0 0
FIG. 1-THIS IS THE BLOCK DIAGRAM of the FM on -hold unit. The circuit consists of three
basic sections; a DTMF decoder/on-hold logic, seizure network, and an FM receiver.

After the signal is passed of C22 and R14. A load for the Construction
through the IF filter section, it is audio output current source is The author's prototype is
demodulated. The quadrature also provided by R14. shown in Fig. 3. The entire FM
detector is tuned by C14. The fre- The audio signal passes on -hold circuit is mounted on
quency -locked loop (FLL) filter, through C23 and R15 to the in- one double -sided PC board. The
which suppresses IF harmonics verting input of audio amplifier use of a single -sided board will
and prevents them from appear- IC3-c. Feedback resistor R19 con- work as long as the jumper wires
ing at the output of the demod- trols the gain of the amplifier are added to the top where neces-
ulator, is controlled by C18. from 0 to 10. Transformer T1 sary. We recommend that a PC
The demodulated audio signal matches the amplifier's output board be used because of the VHF
from pin 2 passes through a impedance to the telephone line range involved in this project. We
deemphasis network consisting impedance. have provided foil patterns of the


All resistors are 1/4 -watt, 5%. C28-100 p.F, 25 volts, 20% T1-audio transformer, 500 -ohm pri-
R1, R2, R11-100,000 ohms electrolytic mary, 2 0 0 -ohm secondary
R3, R4, R7, R13, R15-10,000 ohms Semiconductors (Mouser no.42TM002)
R5-1 Megohm D1-D7, D10, D11 -1N4003, 1 amp S1-DPDT latching push button
R6-39,000 ohms 200 PIV rectifier diode switch
R8-2000 ohms D8-not used XTAL1-3.58-MHz parallel resonant
R9-2700 ohms D9-MV209 varactor diode crystal, HC -18/U case
R10-1200 ohms (Motorola) or ECG -604 J1-O.1-inch single inline jumper bar
R12-130,000 ohms LED1-Red LED and strap
R14-20,000 ohms ICI-MC145436 DTMF decoder Miscellaneous: Male power jack,
R16, R17-470 ohms (Motorola) female PC board -mounted lug re-
R18, R19-100,000 ohms horizontal IC2-4082 dual 4 -Input AND gate ceptacles, 117 -VAC power pack (15
PC -mounted potentiometer IC3-LM324N quad op -amp VDC at 150 mA), PC board, 6 -foot
Capacitors. All are 50 volts DC, IC4-TDA7000 FM Receiver (Sig- modular line cord, male RJ11 to
10% tolerance, mono or ceramic netics-Philips) lugs, project case (Builder's
disc unless otherwise indicated. IC5--7812 +12-VDC, 1 -amp Choice), and 3 14 -pin IC sockets
C1, C2, C6-0.022 F, 250 WVDC, regulator
20% tolerance IC6-78L05 + 5-VDC, 0.1 -amp
C3, C13, C17, C23-C26-0.1 pf regulator
C4, C27-10 1.L.F, 10 volts, 20% Q1-MPSA13 NPN Darlington
tantalum transistor
C5-47 p.F, 63 volts, 20% electrolytic Other components
C7, C20, C21-3300 pF, 50 volts L1-0.138 p.H fixed inductor
C8, C14-330 pF (Coilcraft no. 132-09 or
C9-150 pF equivalent)
C10, C11-39 pF ceramic disc L2-0.060 1.1.Ft shielded variable in-
C12, C22-2200 pF ductor (Coilcraft no. 150-02J08S or
C15-220 pF TOKO no. MC122)
C16, C18, C29-0.01 p,F, 20% RY1, RY2-DPDT relay 12 VDC (Aro-
C19-180 pF mat no. DS2YE-S-DC12)
+6V +6V Q1 +12V
41 51 61 MPSA13
t14 D1 R6
PHONE LINE C3 3 13 10
08 1N4003 39K
0 7
1 12 IC2-b 13
C1 Al AIN 11 MC14082
12 2 1N4003
.022 100K Xour
9 C4
IC3-d XTAL1m IC1
LM324N 3.58MHz MC145436
2_ 4
10 DV
5 IC2-a 1
GND D4 MC14082
1MEG 6V R7 81 114
3 w D3 w D5
- 2 7
-- 1N4003

y D6
1N44003 1N4003
1N4003 10pF

ANT. 0 A.A4
022 R12 81-a R8
10 IF 10 INT 9 2K
+5V C8
FILTER CAP CAP j_ C20 130K v --0-
3300pF. it+ ""-r-
330pFii IF 2nd INT 8 R18 1 0
FILTER CAP CAP C19 )1-1 100K
180pF R11
R13 A_+_0 R9 = D7
12 7 09 100K? 2.7K 70 1N4003
C10 VCO 9114-*

I C11

L1 0

C21 RY2
.t R10

401,39pF .13807 14
T en
4 '2' .01
\S1 -b J1
16 NOISE 3
C14 R15 Pa
330pF 10K 100K
C15 C16 C22 10
+6v IC3-c
It .01 11 LM324N

+0 IC5 0 0+12V
15VDC 17812CV R16
150mA C 47051
POWER 1N4003
C25 0+6V
1117 C28
4700 100pF

FIG. 2-SCHEMATIC OF THE FM ON -HOLD unit. The output of IC1, a DTMF decoder, is a 4 -
bit word that controls the on -hold logic. The FM receiver, IC4, uses a frequency -locked ual semiconductors as well as the
loop system with a 70 -kHz intermediate frequency, which is tuned by a tank circuit completed circuit board.
consisting of L2 and D9. Spurious reception is eliminated by a mute circuit in the IC.
Component leads-Pre-form
component leads before install-
component side and solder side ment diagram of the unit. Before ing them in the board.
of the PC board if you wish to you begin construction, there are Non -polarized capacitors-
make it yourself. If you choose a few things to keep in mind: When installing these compo-
not to use a PC board, the use of a Use proper soldering tech- nents, orient them so their val-
prototype style board is recom- niques-The importance of prop- ues can easily be read. This will
mended. You should note that er soldering cannot be empha- help if troubleshooting is needed
the use of wire wrapping will not sized enough for VHF circuits. later on.
work for the receiver portion of We recommend that the flux resi- Resistors-Mount resistors so
this project due to ground return due be removed from the com- they can be read from left to right
path impedance problems. You pleted PC board using a mild and top to bottom. This also aids
can use IC sockets for all IC's ex- non-CFC cleaner that's not in troubleshooting.
cept IC4, the TDA7000 FM re- harmful to plastics. Always read T1-Bend the tabs flush
ceiver. The use of an IC socket at the manufacturer's label. against the PC board. The audio
VHF frequencies should be avoid- Static sensitive devices-Ob- transformer has a "P" indicating
ed. serve electrostatic discharge pre- the primary side. The primary
Figure 4 shows the parts -place- cautions when handling individ- mounts towards the outside of
the board. If in doubt, the pri-
mary should measure about 500
C6-Mount vertically with the
body in the hole closest to D4 and
LI, L2-It's important the
shield have a good electrical con-
nection with the PC board
mounting pads. Don't leave the
soldering iron on too long as this
plastic part might melt.
IC4 (TDA7000)-When solder-
ing this chip, be careful not to
keep a hot soldering iron on the
pins too long.
LED1-For proper mounting
height of the LED, cut two 1/2 - + 15VDC PHONE LINE R18 R19
inch pieces of insulating tubing. INPUT TUNING VOLUME

Insert the tubing over both leads. FIG. 3-THE AUTHOR'S PROTOTYPE. Do not use an IC socket for IC4, and be careful
Install the LED with the flat side when soldering it as excessive heat can damage the chip.
(short lead) toward T1.
D9-Mount flush against the
board. That will minimize any PHONE LINE
stray capacitance effects. 1)
IC sockets-Mount three 14 - 106
pin IC sockets (IC1-IC3) flush 0251'
cort 1

against the board. Orient the R14C15

notch towards pin 1, which is in-
dicated on the component side of 016
the board. d12 C13
XTALl-The leads of this crys- IC4

tal can be connected either way to

the PC board. Mount it in the ver-
tical position. Do not bend the t6
leads where they exit the body.
RY1, RY2-These relays are the
same type, so they're inter-
The following pre-test steps
should be done after all compo-
nents have been installed. Check
that all components are mounted
in their proper location. Verify FIG. 4-PARTS-PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. Install all components as shown here. Make sure
polarized components are prop- all components are correctly oriented. The telephone tip and ring conductors can be
erly oriented and that all pads connected at either phone -line input.
and connections have been prop-
erly soldered and de -fluxed. Once
those steps have been completed, broadcast band, and a method to lence until a station is received.
you can begin bench testing. hear the audio output. The sim- Thrn the volume control poten-
plest way of aligning the unit is to tiometer 1/2 and 3/4 clockwise. Ad-
'Resting and alignment connect it to the phone line. The just the slug in L2 until the
The only instrument needed to unit was designed to not be sen- station operating at the lowest
test the unit is a DMM. Connect sitive to the tip and ring polar- dial setting in your area is re-
the power pack (or a + 15- to ities. Therefore, it doesn't matter ceived with the loudest audio
+ 28 -volt DC power source) to the which phone lead connects to output. Use care when adjusting
DC input. Connect AC power to which terminal on the PC board. the slug as it is quite delicate and
the power pack. Don't connect Once the phone line is con- can easily be broken.
the unit to the phone line at this nected, dial your own number to Next, set the tuning potenti-
time. Next, verify proper opera- eliminate the signal tone and off - ometer to the extreme clockwise
tion by making the check out hook warning tone. 'awn the re- position (top end of the band).
measurements indicated in Table ceiver on by depressing push 'Dine back down towards the bot-
2. After you have made those button switch Si. Set the tuning tom end of the band (counter
measurements, you can proceed potentiometer to the extreme clockwise) until the station oper-
with the alignment. counter clockwise position (low ating at the highest frequency is
You'll need a plastic alignment end of the band). Note that due to received.
tool, a signal source in the FM the mute function, there is si- 'Dine through the entire range

+F.- 00 1 to verify all stations available to

g) 0
0 0
your area are being received. The
receiver section was designed
,.00+0 0 MI with a mute function built-in to
00 0
o 0 00
0 0 ono
0 allow only the strongest stations
to be received. That makes tun-
anallala 0
00 0
00 **Ell
o o El
EN o o
co ooo 0 ing easier and suppresses im-
ages ("ghost" stations that ap-
:UMW rn
o 000 o0 00
0 00 i,
cm E.
=0 o o o pear in the wrong part of the
tuning dial). Release the push -
co go

O 0 o o0 cm in 0 o 0 0 button and hang up the phone.
0 00 0 0
mi 0 0
0 You can check for proper opera -
000 71)0 00 0 00 0 00 0 0
O tion by having a friend call and be
placed on hold by depressing the
00 =I gm N 00o
LI MO 000 O 0\c, 000 star "*" key (LED1 lights dimly)
O gm ix
412.0 0 0 and then hanging up the phone.
ca o 0
O EN az 0 0 0 0 0 0 O 00

az mis
0 Installation and use
0 o c .3
0 000 A special feature of this project
.- 000 O +0
0 allows you to select when the mu-
O00 0 0 0 sic is present in the handset.
Some telephone services (call
waiting, call forwarding, voice
L 413he INCHES
mail) require the use of the "a"
key. With J1 in the OUT position
COMPONENT SIDE foil pattern shown actual size. (circuit open), music will not be
heard in the handset when the
"*" key is depressed. It will, how-
ever, be heard by the caller when
the phone is hung up. With J1 in
the IN position (circuit closed),
music will be heard every time
the "*" key is depressed. Install
the jumper according to your
service requirements.
If you would like to connect an
external antenna or RF source,
such as cable, to the tuner, you
can connect it to the junction of
C6, C10, and Cll. It may be ad-
vantageous to disconnect the
phone -line antenna by breaking
the connection at C6.
It's easy to use the FM on -hold
unit. To place a caller on hold
press the star "s" key on any
Touch Tone telephone. That
places the unit in a standby mode
and the LED lights dimly. The
telephone must be hung up with-
in four seconds for the caller to be
SOLDER SIDE foil pattern shown actual size. placed on hold. When that's done,
the LED lights brightly. If it's not
TABLE 2-CHECKOUT MEASUREMENTS hung up within 4 seconds, the
unit resets itself and the LED
Parameter Low Limit High Limit Actual Reading goes out. The caller will be dis-
connected if the phone is hung
Output of Power Pak +13.50 + 28.00 VDC up.
Input Current 31.00 34.00 mA After a caller has been placed
IC5 output + 11.40 + 12.60 VDC on hold, all you have to do is pick
IC6 output + 4.75 + 5.25 VDC up the telephone to return to the
+6.0 VDC output + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC conversation (any telephone con-
IC3-d pin 12 + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC nected to the line, lbuch Tone or
IC2-a pin 2 + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC rotary). When the handset is
IC1 pin 3 + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC picked up, the brightly lit LED
IC2-b pin 14 + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC will extinguish, the music will go
IC3-c pin 10 + 4.50 + 6.50 VDC off, and you will be connected to
IC3-d pin 4 + 11.40 + 12.60 VDC the caller. R -E 89
THE PURIST WILL TELL YOU THAT IF poetically described as a blend of which has to do with the fact that
something's worth doing at all, straw and chicken manure. Pre- at high frequencies, alternating
it's worth doing well-and that's dictably, he soon became dissat- currents tend to travel mainly at
the case with the author of this isfied with the quality of the rec- the outside surface, or skin, of a
story. The author always loved ord player, and his junior -high conductor. Since the skin effect
music, and was probably doomed and high-school years were essentially removes current from
to permanent audiophilia from marked by repeated attempts to the center of a conductor, effec-
day one. Even in 1960 at age 12, upgrade the equipment without tively reducing it's cross-sec-
when he and his sister pooled re- spending any money. tional area, it causes an increase
sources to buy their first 45 -RPM Along came the late '70's, and a in the impedance of a conductor
record (Pat Boone's "Love Letters new product was aimed at the pu- at high frequencies.
in the Sand"), he recalls that, rists: beastie cables (the name Actually, when frequency is
even on a monophonic, crystal - has been changed to protect the high enough, a tube or pipe will
cartridge record player, there was author!), which are expensive have the same effective resis-
an audible difference between heavy -gauge speaker cables. The tance as a wire of the same diam-
the quality of a decent LP and the old purism surged forward, re- eter. That fact can be used
45. Even though it should have membering the effects of cable re- simplistically to account for the
sounded better than an LP, the 45 sistance on damping factor and use of waveguides rather than
was bassier, noisier, and some- the effect of cable capacitance on wiring at microwave frequencies.
what distorted, being pressed on high -frequency response-but But concerning high frequen-
what a broadcast engineer later the ads also spoke of skin effect, cies, how high is high?
Supposedly, the skin effect be-
comes important above about 30
MHz, but a recent ad for speaker
cables claimed perceptible bene-
fits from reducing skin effect at
20 kHz. Soon after, articles ap-




- CC

zw Are expensive speaker ca really worth the money?


This article tells how we f out for sure!

peared in professional trade jour- RESISTANCE, INDUCTANCE, in series with the speaker. Since
nals mentioning the likes of Lu- AND CAPACITANCE OF CABLE
the simple loss calculation in Fig.
casfilm using the enormous ca- 2 depends upon the combined re-
bles, so some real research was in sistance of the speaker and the
order. cable, the resistive power loss will
The goal was to find out Zo
be related to the damping factor.
whether beastie cables did in OF SPEAKER Thus we can find a relationship
fact: between damping factor and low -
Reduce the amount of power frequency loss. In the Audio
lost in the cable enough to pro- FIG. 1-THIS CIRCUIT IS roughly equiv-
Cyclopedia Howard Itemaine es-
vide a significant improvement alent to an amplifier, speaker, and length tablished that there is no value in
in efficiency, or of cable. trying for a damping factor great-
Increase the damping factor of er than 204. That is based on the
the speaker/amplifier system cable for amplifiers up to 100 fact that the speaker's voice -coil
enough to provide audible im- watts feeding impedances of 8 resistance appears in the circuit,
provement, or ohms or more with runs of 25 feet and its value-typically 6 to 7.5
Provide any significant benefit or less. For each halving of im- ohms for an 8 -ohm speaker-
in the frequency response of the pedance or doubling of amplifier sets a practical limit on the bene-
system. power or distance, the wire size fits of reducing other resistances.
No other benefits are claimed for would increase by two gauges; 16 The effective damping factor is
these cables, so it is not neces- gauge for 100 watts into 8 ohms equal to:
sary to look for undiscovered or at 50 feet or 4 ohms at 25 feet, etc.
presently unmeasurable effects. That rule of thumb includes a TOTAL

The problem was attacked both safety factor so that the loss will CABLE
analytically and experimentally. always be less than 10%.
The equivalent circuit of a real The National Electrical Code
loudspeaker driven by a real am- specifies cable gauges based SPEAKER
plifier through real cables is upon safety considerations; if a
shown in Fig. 1. Any effects pro- wire carries too much current
duced by the cables must show over a long enough period of 1. CABLE RESISTANCE =
up in the cable resistance, capac- time, it can become dangerously 0.1 x SPEAKER RESISTANCE

itance, or inductance. The effi- hot and start a fire. Going back to 2. RESISTANCE PER FOOT =
ciency and damping -factor ques- the rule of thumb, a speaker with TWICE THE AMPLIFIER -TO -SPEAKER DISTANCE
tions depend almost exclusively an average impedance of 8 ohms 3. SELECT GAUGE FROM TABLE 1
upon the cable resistance, where- fed by a 100 -watt amplifier will
as the frequency -response ques- draw about 3.5 amperes at full od normally used to determine speaker -
tion is mainly a function of the power. However, even running at cable gauge by loss.
capacitance. Wire inductance is full tilt, it's unlikely that the aver-
so small compared with the semi - age power will be greater than
inductive nature of speaker im- one-third of your amplifier's max- ZSPEAKER
pedance at high frequencies that imum, so the rule of thumb pro-
it can be ignored, as we will see. vides a large safety margin from a RVOICE COIL + RAMP + RCABLE
The cable resistance is made fire -prevention standpoint. A stated amplifier damping fac-
up of three components: the con- The damping factor can be de- tor of 20 would represent a total
tact resistance, the ohmic resis- fined as the ratio of a speaker's resistance of 8 ohms divided by
tance of the wire, and any impedance to the total resistance 20, or 0.4 ohms in series with the
contribution from skin effect. amplifier. That would give an
The ohmic resistance can easily effective damping factor of:
be found from wire tables in most TABLE 1
electronics reference books. Ta- 81/
ble 1 shows the resistance of a Gauge Resistance 611 + 0.41/
representative sampling of cop- (ohms foot)
assuming a 6 -ohm voice -coil re-
per cables, listed according to sistance. With most amplifiers
gauge. For years, selection of ca- 0 0.000098
having output impedances on
ble gauge has been made accord- 2 0.000156
ing to the criterion of 10% loss. In 4 0.000249 the order of 0.1 ohm or less, this
other words, for a given cable 6 0.000395 would mean that the cable resis-
length, what resistance will give 8 0.000628 tance could be 0.3 ohms. The loss
no more than 10% (0.46 dB) 10 0.000999 in dB corresponding to an 8 -ohm
power loss at the speaker? Figure 12 0.00159 speaker fed through a 0.3 -ohm
2 shows the calculations involved 14 0.00253 cable is:
16 0.00402
in determining that value. For 811
short cable runs, the resulting 18 0.00639 = 201oglo(
8fi+ 0.312
- 0.32dB
gauge is surprisingly small. Note: The wire must make a com-
About fifteen years ago when plete round trip, so there's 20 feet of That means that for an op-
the author was an audio consul- wire in a 10 -foot speaker cable. timum effective damping factor,
tant, he would specify 18 -gauge the resistive cable loss should be
less than 0.32 dB. Just for com-
parison purposes, a 1 -dB cable TABLE 2 -MEASURED CHARACTERISTICS OF CABLES
loss, which would result from a
0.9 -ohm cable resistance, would Cable Type C L R*
result in an effective damping (pF/ft) (H/ft) (ohms/ft)
factor of 1.14, which is not much
lower than 1.25. 22-ga. cheap 10.7 0.29 0.0178
As mentioned earlier, skin 18-ga. zip 14.0 0.28 0.007
effect increases the effective im- 20-ga. twist 18.0 0.36 0.0107
pedance of a wire, and can be 4-ga. cable 50.8 0.29 0.0007
best explained by looking at Fig. 16-ga. "drop cord" 22.4 0.38 0.006
3. The skin depth of a conductor shielded "guitar cord" 105.8 0.30 0.048
16-ga. zip 12.5 0.23 0.0127
is the distance into that conduc-
tor, measured from the outside *One-way resistance, not loop resistance; that includes the contact resistance of
surface, at which current density the terminations.
is l/e times that at the surface.
(The symbol e stands for the base
of natural logarithms, and nificantly above 1, skin effect may using stranded wire that has less
equals approximately 2.72.) For a begin to matter. We say may, be- skin effect.
direct current, the current densi- cause it only matters if the total The actual resistance, capaci-
ty (amperes per unit cross-sec- resulting increase in cable resis- tance, and inductance of a cable
tional area) is the same through- tance causes a perceptible effect are distributed evenly along its
out the wire. For AC, the current in the reproduction. For a fre- length. Telephone engineers
density is less at the center of the quency of 15 kHz, RAc/Rpc found out long ago that, for anal-
wire and greater at the surface. equals 1.1 when a 15 -gauge solid ysis purposes, a cable's R, C, and
At low frequencies, the skin wire is used. Larger wires will ex- L can be lumped into a single
depth (which depends on Charac- hibit a greater proportional in- component if certain conditions
teristics of the bulk conductor crease in resistance as frequency are met. The conditions depend
material) is usually greater than increases. Of course, since the re- upon the attenuation constant
the radius of the conductor, sistance of large wires is lower to and length of the cable. The at-
which means that for all practical begin with, the actual change in tenuation constant (a) is given
purposes the current density is measured resistance may or may by:
the same throughout the con- not matter. a = V(R2 + w2L2)(G2 + w2C2) +RG - 032LC/2
ductor. Larger -diameter conduc- Stranded wire is extremely dif- where R, L, C, and G are the ca-
tors can exhibit measurable skin ficult to analyze. Naturally, each ble's resistance, capacitance, in-
effect at relatively low frequen- strand has a certain surface area, ductance, and leakage con-
cies, including audio frequen- so that all the strands connected ductance per unit length, and (0
cies. in parallel would have a very large is the angular frequency, or 27(1.
The simplest indicator of skin surface area. In actuality, The author does not like to lie
effect is the ratio RAc/RDc, where though, much of the surfaces of awake nights solving equations
RAc is the resistance per unit the individual wires are in con- like that, and tables of attenua-
length of a wire to alternating tact with each other, making the tion constant versus frequency
current of a certain frequency actual effective surface area vir- are not generally available for the
and Rpc is the ohmic resistance tually impossible to determine - kinds of cables used for speaker
per unit length. As long as RAS unless the individual strands are leads. However, tables for 19 -
RDC equals 1, skin effect is negli- insulated from each other, as in gauge pulp -insulated telephone
gible. When RAc/Rpc rises sig- litz wire. At any rate, we can use cable indicate that a 3 -kilometer
solid wire as a worst case to ana- cable section can be analyzed
lyze, knowing that we'll really be using the lumped -constant


AT THE CONDUCTOR SURFACE. 20 50 100 200 500 11( 21( 511 10K 20K

FIG. 3 -THE SKIN EFFECT increases the - - 22 -GA CHEAP --- 18 -GA. ZIP 4 -GA. CABLE
effective resistance of a wire. The skin GUITAR CORD 16 -GA. ZIP
depth is the distance into the conductor at
which the current density is approximate- FIG. 4-A COMPUTER SOLUTION, or prediction, of the model in Fig. 1 yielded these
ly 1/3 of that at the surface. results. The worst -case loss is well under 1 dB at 20 kHz.
method at 1 kHz with a total at- 16

tenuation under 1 dB and a 14

phase accuracy within 5 degrees. 12
Although it may not be imme-
diately obvious to the casual ob- 10

server, attenuation constant is 8

proportional to the square root of
frequency, so that would mean 6

that the same accuracy could 4

be expected at 20 kHz if the 2-

length were reduced by
V20 kHz/1 kHz 20 50 00 200 500 1K 2K 5K 10K 20K
that works out to about 2100
feet. Since we rarely extend FREQUENCY (Hz)

speaker cables anywhere near FIG. 6-THE MEASURED IMPEDANCE CHARACTERISTICS of the test speaker.
that far, we can safely use the
lumped -constant method with +4

no qualms. That's what was as- +3

sumed in Fig. 1. +2
Table 2 shows the types of ca-
bles chosen for the analysis, +1

along with their measured resis-

tance, capacitance, and induc-
tance. The values were measured 1

using a Hewlett-Packard 4261A -2

LCR meter and a test frequency of 3
1 kHz. Instead of a speaker, a re- _4
sistance of 7.9 ohms and an in- 20 50 100 200 500 1K 2K 5K 10K 20K

ductance of 6.3 microhenries LEGEND


were used in the calculations. In- 22 -GA. CHEAP - 18 -GA. ZIP 4 -GA. CABLE

stead of "real" beastie cables, we GUITAR CORD 16 -GA. 71P

used ones that were on hand, in- FIG. 7-SEE HOW THE ACTUAL MEASURED CABLE LOSSES compare to the predicted
cluding a very large (4 -gauge) losses of Fig. 4.
stranded cable. If those cables
showed no measurable detri- always trustworthy, so the actual amplifier and, if the distance is
mental effects on efficiency, response of the cables was mea- short, no serious detriment to
damping -factor, or frequency re- sured on the setup shown in Fig. efficiency will result. Damping
sponse, then the alleged beastie 5. The impedance characteristic factor is degraded slightly when
benefits would turn out to be so- of the test speaker is shown in cables lighter than 18 -gauge are
lutions to a nonexistent problem! Fig. 6. Although the amplifier used, as shown by the loss ex-
A computer solution of the cir- was flat within 0.2 dB from 20 ceeding 0.32 dB. But what will
cuit of Fig. 1 yielded the results Hz to 20 kHz, the amplifier's cal- happen if longer cables are used?
plotted in Fig. 4. A 10 -foot length ibration curve was nevertheless From previous measurements,
was assumed for each cable, and subtracted from the measured ordinary Romex house -wiring ca-
it included the effects of cable ca- results in order to provide max- ble is found to have about the
pacitance and inductance, but imum accuracy. The test results highest capacitance per foot of
not the skin effect. Notice that are shown in Fig. 7. any common wire. With the fac-
the worst -case loss was well un- Initial results seem to indicate tors mentioned earlier that con-
der 1 dB at 20 kHz. that virtually anything can be trol skin effect, it is also clear that
Computer solutions without used to connect a speaker to an small wires will not experience
experimental verification are not

tcc7-7 POWER
UNDER TEST _. _ _ _ ______ 4 - -
? o 0 -- AMP

-4 ,

0 50 100 200 500 1K 2K 5K 10K 20 K


measure the effects on an audio signal
caused by speaker cables. 93
FIG. 8-SIGNAL LOSS OF 40 FEET of 12 -gauge Romex cable.





Whether you order 1 part or
all 41,361...MOUSER stocks -4
and...can ship today!! -5
20 500 2K 5K 10K 20K 50K
(800) 992-9943 - -- R, L, AND C ONLY
FIG. 9-SIGNAL LOSS OF 100 FEET of 12 -Gauge Romex cable.
for your
FREE significant skin effect, and large are shown in Fig. 9. Here, at last,
CATALOG ones will, but even a large per- is something the beastie people
centage change in a large wire's can sink their teeth into! Anyone
2401 Hwy 287 N. small resistance is of little con- who can hear 50 kHz will find a
sequence. Trying the RAc/RDc full 4.5 -dB drop resulting from
Mansfield, TX 76063 values for various cable diame- the use of 100 feet of 12 -gauge
ters in conjunction with the com- Romex-providing, of course,
MOUSER puter analysis, 12 -gauge solid
wire is found to have about the
worst skin effect of any cable.
they're using an amplifier and
speaker that can reproduce it. Of
course, the skin effect is still only
ELECTRONICS Therefore, if any type of speak- about half a dB, and effective
Sales & Stocking Locations Nationwide er cable could cause frequency - damping is not degraded, so
response problems, the high ca- maybe they'd better drop those
pacitance and the skin effect of points from their ads.
12 -gauge Romex should make it The results of that rather in-
the ideal bad example. Another volved bit of research clearly indi-
Try the run was made using a 40 -foot cate that ordinary speaker ca-
length of Romex, both into a bles, including the ones that any
dummy load and into the test knowledgeable audiophile would
speaker. In the graph of Fig. 8, we sneer at, do not significantly de-
see a hefty'/2-dB droop at 20 kHz, grade frequency response. They
bulletin board compared to the response at 20 vindicate the rule -of -thumb ad-
system Hz. The overall signal loss and vice (18 -gauge for 100 watts, 25
damping -factor degradation are feet, into 8 ohms) except for a
(RE-BBS) less than those of the smaller ca- slight degradation in damping
516-293-2283 bles that are shown in Figure 8, factor; 1.21 with a 25 -foot cable
due to the lower resistance of 12 - run. For optimum damping fac-
The more you use it the more gauge cable.) tor, that rule should be changed
useful it becomes. Since that still wasn't signifi- to 18 -gauge for 100 watts, 20 feet,
We support 1200 and 2400 baud cant, a computer simulation of into 8 ohms. Also, only 20 -gauge,
100 feet of 12 -gauge Romex was 22 -gauge, and guitar -cord cables
performed, with response run are a serious detriment to damp-
Parameters: 8N1 (8 data bits, no clear out to 50 kHz. The results ing factor. R -E

parity, 1 stop bit) or 7E1 (7 data

bits, even parity, 1 stop bit).

Add yourself to our user files to You are a seeker of sonic

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94 516-293-2283
low-cost digital clocks has ex-
isted for years. Unfortunately,
the style in which these clocks
have displayed the time has
been mostly limited to four dig-
its (representing hours and
minutes). Few digital clocks, if
any, have taken full advantage
of the great capabilities of to-
day's microprocessors to pro-
vide a more novel display . . .

that is until the HyperClock.

The HyperClock has a
custom -programmed micro -
controller that generates all the
signals necessary to display
time in eight eye-catching (yet
easily readable) modes. Among
its features are the ability to
simulate a sweep second hand
with a ring of 60 LED's; it can
graphically display the level of
ocean tides; it has a "fading"
display mode that causes the
LED's to gradually change when
updated; it has a hourly chime/
alarm output; supports 50- or
60 -Hz powerline operation; it
has a battery backup; and an
intelligent date display that
knows the last day of each
month. Let's take a look at those
features in greater depth.
The digital display
In four of the HyperClock's
eight modes it can display time
with a clever twist that those of
you that grew up before the "dig-
ital -clock revolution" will appre-
ciate. You may recall that it was
fairly common for folks to speak
of how many minutes it was till
the next hour. For example, peo- Build a digital clock
ple would say "it's ten before
five" rather than "it's four -fifty." that's way ahead of its time!
Well, the HyperClock can actu-
ally "display" the time in that
To help explain how that is
done, take a look at Fig. 1-a; it However, once the clock ad- displays the hour, so the left and
shows the six seven -segment vances to beyond half -past the right minute displays remain
LED displays that are used to hour, the right digits go blank, blank (see the display for 12
form the clock's digital display. the middle display would incre- o'clock shown in Fig. 1-d).
During the first 30 minutes of ment to display the next hour, As mentioned earlier, there
each hour, the two middle digits and the left two digits would in- are 60 LED's arranged in a circle
signify the hour and the right- dicate how many minutes are to display seconds or an approx-
most digits indicate minutes left until that hour. For exam- imation of the current tide level
past the hour (like most digital ple, if it was thirteen minutes to in your locale. The LED's act as a
clocks), and the two digits on twelve (or 11:47), the display light chaser sweeping through
the left are blank. Figure 1-b would look like Fig. 1-c. You the seconds of a minute. They
shows how eleven fourteen (or could read that literally as "thir- can also show the relative tide
literally "fourteen after eleven") teen before twelve." level by moving from the 12
would look in this mode. On the hour, the clock just o'clock position at high tide to 95
the 6 o'clock position at low
tide. The timing of the tide -in-
dicator mode is set to display
nn nn n
two complete tide cycles in
24.51 hours just as it should.
(For more on this subject see the
sidebar entitled "A Bit About
o 00 A

Fading -out the digits --- ---- ,

The HyperClock also differs t 1 1 I 1II

from other clocks in how it up-

i 1

dates its display. In typical

clocks, the display digits I
1 1

abruptly change as time passes.

However, in four of HyperClock's B
eight modes when a digit must
be updated, the LED segments
representing its old value are di-
mmed as the segments for the
new value become brighter.
Likewise, each LED in the light
chaser fades off rather than
turns off. This animation is
rather relaxing to watch.
These display effects are ac-
complished by a mixture of mul-
tiplexing and duty -cycle modu-
lation. The seven -segment dis- I I

plays are all common -anode 1,1

types, so each digit has its own

anode -driver transistor. In typ-
ical multiplexed -display fash-
ion, the cathodes of correspond- FIG. 1-HYPERCLOCK'S TIME DISPLAY (a) is unique in that it not only displays time
ing segments of each digit are normally (b), but it can indicate minutes left to the next hour (c), and blanks the minute
connected together and share a displays on the hour (d).
common driver.
Like any other multiplexed cycle of the segment enable sig- continue while blanking the
display when the segment data nals. When a seven -segment display to conserve backup -bat-
for a digit is placed on the seg- display is enabled, the segment tery power.
ment data lines, the anode driv- data lines spend part of the time The 8749 has 2K of EPROM,
er for that digit is activated, and in states corresponding to the 128 bytes of RAM, 24 I/O pins, a
the seven -segment display current digit to be displayed, programmable 8 -bit timer, and
lights to exhibit the appropriate and the rest of the time in states an interrupt -control structure.
digit. All the other digits are off corresponding to the next or The custom -program placed in
at this time. After a short period "future" digit that will be dis- the processor to create Hyper -
of time (1.83 ms) the segments played. Each time the digit is Clock's special effects exten-
are turned off via the segment enabled, the duty cycle will favor sively exercises all of the chip's
lines and the anode driver is de- the future -digit data more and features; Fig. 2 contains a sim-
activated. The anode driver for more, until only the new digit is plified flow chart for the Hyper -
the next digit is then activated, displayed, and the process re- Clock program. The program is
the segment data for that digit peats each time the display shown divided into two sec-
is placed on the segment lines, must be updated. tions: an interrupt routine and
and the process continues until a main loop.
all the digits have been lit. Since The microcontroller The interrupt routine is
the human eye is too slow to see At the heart of the HyperClock mainly responsible for taking
the digits turn on and off, it ap- is an Intel 8749 microcontroller. the segment data from the seg-
pears as though they are all on It is programmed to perform a ment -data buffer in the micro -
simultaneously. Multiplexing variety of functions, namely: controller and placing it on the
the digits in this fashion re- display multiplexing, time- display -control lines in a multi-
duces the number of pins on the keeping, receiving switch in- plexed fashion. The interrupt
microcontroller needed to con- put, coordinating the hour and that initiates the routine comes
trol the LED displays. alarm chime, and initiating a from the 8749's internal timer,
HyperClock's fading effect is power -fail mode that permits which has been programmed to
created by modulating the duty the time -keeping functions to execute the interrupt every 1.83
3 12
4 13
5,26,40 14
27 17
28 18
29 19
30 21





33 24
34 35


controller are assigned various func-
tions by the HyperClock program.

L-- - .1
YES the outputs labeled DEO-DE4
(pins 21-24 and 35) control the
L UPDATE LED SEGMENT anode drivers for the display via
demultiplexer chips, which
we'll discuss later.
The pins labeled S1 -S7 (pins
27-34) are used as function -
INPUT KEY SWITCH ROUTINES switch inputs. The switches
connected to those inputs
ALARM TOGGLE, respectively) ac-
tivate various chip functions by
ALARM SOFTWARE FUNCTIONS grounding those pins. A com-
plete explanation of the switch-
es' functions will be presented
FIG. 2-HYPERCLOCK'S SOFTWARE can be broken down into two distinct code later.
segments: a clock -scheduled interrupt routine, and a main -program loop. Low -going pulses from the
pin labeled CHIME (pin 34) acti-
ms. Using an interrupt -pro- mode. In that mode it shuts off vate the chime circuit, which is
gram segment in this way al- the display and allows the mi- composed of discrete compo-
lows the display's fading effect crocontroller to "invisibly" keep nents. The microcontroller trig-
to appear gradual because the track of time via a 6 -MHz crys- gers the chime circuit with a
process of updating the display tal. The main loop also pro- 12.8 -ms wide low -going pulse at
occurs at regular intervals. This cesses input from the clock's one -second intervals. When not
routine is also responsible for switches (we'll talk more about in alarm mode, the chime sig-
checking a powerline-frequency that later). nals the hour by chiming an ap-
input on the microcontroller to For all that goes on inside the propriate number of times, and
determine if a powerline cycle microcontroller, the functions signals each half-hour by chim-
has passed. If so, it informs the assigned to its pins by the Hy- ing once.
main loop of the program. perClock program (see Fig. 3) When the microcontroller is
The main loop keeps track of are relatively easy to under- in the "alarm" mode, the chime
the number of cycles that pass stand. Let's take them one circuitry is used as an alarm an-
so it knows when to update the group at a time. nunciator. In this mode the
segment -data buffer or initiate The pins labeled through G
A clock does not chime on the
the alarm or chime. If no and DP (pins 12-19) in Fig. 3 are hour and half hour. That per-
powerline cycles are detected, the outputs for the display -seg- mits you to use the HyperClock
the main loop assumes AC ment data. They indirectly con- as an alarm clock without the
power has been terminated and trol the cathode drivers for the chimes disturbing you until the
puts the clock in power -fail multiplexed display. Similarly, appointed time. 97
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11 C81 CI31 16 al CAI CA2 a2 " C81 CI31 15, a1 CAI CA? 42 " C131

132 1
a2 b2 10 CB2 CB2 15 51 al82 52 00
C82 CB2 15 Al a2 II? 10 C132

83 3
I2 lb? 12

cl 511 112 152



Cl ill big I12 42 8
84 2 02 6 CB4 2
41 dl 42 6
5 CB5 CB5 C85 1
e2 5 C85
135 1
el 22
el e2 6 et
102 la
1412 I c2 11 8',11
12 Q86 93161 el gcl I 12 CB6 C86 18
Lef 12 12

7 C87 17 C137 C137 17 C87

g2 CB7 41 d2 92 7 91 41 A2 g?