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TEK 2236100 MHZ


100 MHz scope, counter, timer,

multimeter: All one integrated system.
100 MHz dual Auto-ranged , DMM. Use floating
time base scope. 9-dlglt fluores- auto-averaged DMM side input s
3.5 ns risetim e; cent display. Gated measure- counter/timer. with up to 5000-
swee ps from 0.5 s Digitally acc urate ments. Use the Frequ enc y, period , count resolut ion .
to 5 ns/di v; alter- read outs accom- scope's intensified width, de lay time, Get preci se read-
nate sweep; 2% pan y the CRT marker to measure ~-tim e , plus total- outs of ave rage dc
vertic al/ horizontal wavefor m. Error Dc volts and ac frequ ency, period , ize to more than and true RMS volt-
accura cy; vert- mes sages and coupled true width and to co unt 8 million events age . Meas ure
ical sensitivity to prompts also RMS volts. Mea- events within - with 7 digits resistance from
2 mV/di v@ app ear on the sured through the speci fied po rtions plus exponent milliohm s to
90 MHz. display. Ch 1 scope input. of the signal. displayed . g igohm s.

Now make measurements At just $2650; the 2236

faster, easier, with greater inc ludes the industry's first 3-year
accuracy and user confidence. warranty on all parts and lab or, manual, 15-d ay return policy, full
The Tek 223 6 makes gated coun - includ ing the CRT. warranty and worldwide service
ter measurements, temperature , Integrated measurement back-up.
time , frequ ency, resistan ce and system. 3-year warranty. 15-
voltage mea surements push- day return policy. And expert Ordertoll-free:
button easy. You see results co n- advice . One free call gets
c urrently on the 9-d ig it num eric 1-800-426-2200
it all! You ca n ord er, or ob tain lit-
readout and CRT displ ay. erature, through the Tek National Extension 57
Its complete trigg er system Marketing Center. Techni cal pe r- In Oregon ca ll co llect:
inc ludes pushbutton trigge r view, sonnel, expert in scope applica- (503) 627-9000 Ext. 57
plus peak-to-peak auto, TV tions, can answe r your q uestions Or write Tektronix, Inc .
line, TV field , sing le swee p and and exped ite delivery. Direct P.O. Box 1700
nor mal mod es. . orde rs includ e probes, ope rating Beaverton, OR 97075


Copy right (0) 1984. Tektronix, Inc . All rights reserved , TTA-324-1. 'U S Domest ic price F.O B, Beaverton , Oregon Price subject to change,
i -
JULY'86 Ilelllranills
Electronics publishers since 1908

Vol. 57 NO.7


FEATURE Here's a round-up of the pocket-TV market.
We show you what's available , for how much,
and th e performance you can expect.
A no stalgic look back at
Fred Blechman
the ori ginal solid state
High frequency at a low price. Fred Hufft Martin Clifford
Here 's an excellent way to upgrade your
Tuning eyes and other
outdated system!
" advances."
Keep your rechargeable batteries in tip-top
conditi on by safely recharging them with our 89 COMMUNICATIONS
inexpensive circuit. Michael R. Wright CORNER
75 PC SERVICE Amateur packet sw itching.
Use our exclu sive direct-etch foil patt erns to Herb Friedman
make circuit board s for your frequency
counter. COMPUTERS


In side the fast-changing video scene. page 88 Touch screen s, modems,
David Lachenbruch and more!
Part 2. We continue our serie s with a look at REPORTS
some rather complex scrambling schemes.
William Sheets and Rudolf F. Graf 23 Radio Shack Telephone
The issue s of scrambling. Bob Cooper, Jr.
26 OK Industries Model 205
Function Generator
Give arms to the robotics. Mark J. Robillard
COMPONENTS An easy-to-build circuit that can detect signals 112 Advertising and Sales Offices
from 50 MHz to 500 GHz. Gregory Hodowanec
112 Advertising Index
Our our new back-to-school series. 8 Ask R-E
Joseph J. Carr 113 Free Information Card
Servicing a dead set. Jack Darr 12 Guest Editorial
Solution s to servici ng problem s.
92 Market Center
More on mem o ry management. 30 New Products
Robert Grossblatt 4 What's New s

RADIO-ELECTRONICS, (ISSN 0033-7862) July 1986. Published monthly by Gernsback Publications, Inc.. 500-B Bi-County Boulevard, Farmingdale, NY 11735 Second-Class Postage paid at c-
Farmingdale, NY and additional mailing offices . Second-C lass mail registration No. 9242 autho rized at Toronto, Canada. One-year subscription rate U.S.A. and possessio ns $15.97, Canada C
$20.97, all other countries $23.47 . Subscription orde rs payable in US funds only, international postal money order or check drawn on a U.S.A. bank. Single copies $1.95. eel 1986 by Gernsback ~
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to RADIO-ELECTRONi CS, Subscription Dept. , Box 55115, BOUlder, CO 80321-5115. ~
A stamped self-addressed envelope must accompany all submitted manuscripts and/or artwork or photographs if their return is desired should they be rejected. We disclaim any responsibility for the ~
loss or damage of manuscripts and/or artwork or photographs while in our possession or otherwise. Ol
Ile.lra i.
Hugo Gernsback (1884-1%7) founde r
M. Harvev Ce rnsback ,

COVERl edit or-in-chief e meritus

Larry Steckler, EHF, CET, editor-in-chief

and publish er

Art Kle iman, editorial director
Brian C. Fenton , managin g edi to r
Carl Laron , W B2SLR, associate e ditor
Who says that go o d t est i nstru ments Jeffrey K. Holtzma n,
have to be expensive? The subj ect of this as sista nt te ch n ical edi to r
Robert A. Young, assista nt ed ito r
mon t h's cover can be built for under $60 if
lulian S. Mart in, ed itorial associate
you're wi lling to ove rlook the case. But
Byron G. Wels, edito rial associate
t hat low price doesn't mea n low performance. For exmple, our coun - M. Harvey Gernsback,
te r features an accuracy of 1 PPM 1 count and a sensitivity better co ntrib uting edito r
than 150 mV over the ent ire measurement range from 1 Hz to 1200 Jack Darr, CET. service edi to r
MHz. For more details and complete instructions on how to bui ld the Robert F. Scott,
semico nductor ed ito r
co unter, turn to page 47.
Her b Friedman,
commu n icat ions ed ito r
Bob Coop er, Jr. sate llite-TV ed itor
Robert Gro ssblatt , circuits edito r
David Lachenbruch,
co ntrib uting edito r
Richard D. Fitch,
co ntrib uting editor

NEXTMoNTH Mark I. Robillard, robotics editor

Teri Scad uto Wilson, edito rial assistant
Judith Kaplan, editorial assistant

Ruby M. Yee, p ro d uct io n di rector
Robert A. W. Lowndes,
editorial production
Andre Duzant, te c hnical illust rato r
Karen Tucker, advertising p ro du ction
THE AUGUST ISSUE IS Geoff rey S. Weil, p rodu ction traffic


Jacq ueline P. Cheeseboro,
BUILD AN INFRARED POWER SWITCH circu latio n d irec tor
Contro l your electrical app liances from your easy chai r! Wend y Alanko,
circu latio n analyst
Theresa Lombardo,
TV SIGNAL SCRAMBLING circulation assistant
O ur serie s continues
Cover p hoto by Robert Lewis
POCKET TV ROUNDUP Typograp hy by Mate s Graph ics
Set-b y-set de scription s.
Radio-Electronics, Gern sback Publica-
tions, lnc., Executive Offices, 500-B Bi-
THE 4007 County Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735,
An ind epth look at on e of th e mo st versatil e CMOS lC's. 516-293 -3000
Radio - Ele ctr oni c s is ind exe d in
Applied Science & Technology Index
and Readers Guide to Periodical Liter-
Microfilm & Microfic he editions are
o availabl e , Contact circulatio n depart-
Z me nt for details .
I- Advertising Sales Offices listed
o As a service to readers, RADIO-ELE CTRONICS publishes available plans or information relating to newswort hy products, on page 112.
~ techniqu es and scientific and technological developments. Because of possible variances in the quality and condition of
W materials and workmanship used by readers, RADIO-ELECTRONICS disclaims any responsibility for the safe and proper
functioning of reader-built projects based upon or from plans or information published in this magazine.

o Since some of the equipment and circuitry described in RADIO-E LECTRON ICS may relate to or be covered by U.S. patents,

RAD IO-ELECTRONICS disclaims any liability for the infringement of such patents by the making, using, or selling of any such
equipment or circuitry, and suggests that anyone interested in such projects cons ult a patent attorney. ~
NEW! Reaency XL156-EA NEW! Bearcat@800XLT-EA
NEW! Li st p rice $239.95/C E price S129.95/SPECIAL
6-Sand, 10 Channel No-crystal Scanner
Search Lockout. PriorIty. AC/DC
Bands: 30 -5 0, 14 4-174,440-51 2 MHz.
List pr ic e $499 .9 5/C E price $ 3 17 .9 5
12-Sand, 40 Channel. No-crystal scanner
PrIorIty control. Search/Scan. AC/DC
Bands: 29 -5 4, 11 8- 1 74, 4 06-51 2, 80 6-91 2 M Hz.

Lower Price Cover yo ur choi ce of o ver 15 ,000 f requ encies

o n 10 c han ne ls at th e t ouch of yo ur fing er .
Di splay mess ag es. Ext ernal sp e aker ja ck . Tel e-
The Uniden 800X LT receives 40 channels in two banks.
Scans 15 channels per seco nd. Size 9 '1<" x 4 V2" x 12V,."

sc oping a nte nna. Ext ernal antenn a ja c k. AC/DC. Panasonic RF2600-EA Shortwave receiver $179.95
ROO5EA Un/den RemotemounI RadarDetector $128.95
NEW! Regency@R1060-EA RD55-EA Un/den Visor mount Radar Detector $98.95
Li st price $ 149.9 5/C E price $92.95/SPECIAL ROO- EA Uniden" Passport" size RadarDetector $239.95
6-Band, 10 Channel. Crystatless AC only BC21OXW'EA Bearcat20 channelscannerSALE $209.95
Communications Electronics: Bands: 30-50, 144-174 , 440- 51 2 MH z. BCWAEA Bearcat Weather Alert' . . . . . . . .. $49.95
DX1000EA Bearcat shortwave receiver SALE $349.95
the world's largest distributor of radio N ow yo u ca n e njoy co m pute rize d sca n ne r ve r- PC22EA Un iden remot e mo un t CB tr ansceiver $99.9 5
sat il ity at a pr ice that's less than som e c rysta l PC55EA Uniden mobile mount CB transceiver $59.95
scanners, introduces new lower prices units. The Reg en c y R1060 lets you in o n all th e R1 060 EA Regency 10 channel scanner SALE $92.95
t o celebrate our 15th anniversary. ac t io n of poli ce, fir e, weat he r, and emerg en cy MX3000EA Regency 30 channel scanner
XL156 EA Regency 10 channel scanner SALE
c a lls. Yo u' ll even he ar mobil e tel ephones.
UC102EA RegencyVHF2 ch. 1 Watttransceiver $124.95
Regenc~ MX7000-EA Bearcat DX1000-EA RH250B EA Regency 10 ch. 25 WattVHFtrans $329.95
List pric e $699 .95/C E price S399 .95/SPECIAL RH600B-EA Regency 10 ch . 50 WattVHFtrans $454.95
1 D-Sand, 20 Channel. Crystal/ess AC/DC Li st price $ 6 4 9 .9 5 / C E price $349.95/SPECIAL RU150B-EARegency10 channel UHFlransceiver $449.95
Frequ en cy ran ge 10 KHz. to 30 MH z. RPH41 O-EA10 ch. handheld no-cryst al trans $399.95
Fr equen c y range: 2 5-5 50 MHz. co n ti n uo us coverag e The Bearcat DX1000 shortw ave radi o makes t uning in LC10EA Carrying case for RPH410 transceiver $34.95
and 8 0 0 MH z. to 1.3 G H z. co n ti n uo us cove rage. London as easy as dialin g a phone. It featur es PLL MA181EA Ni-cadbatterypackfor RPH410 trans $34.95
The Regen c y MX7000 sca nner lets yo u monito r synt hesized acc uracy, two tim e zone 24 hour digit al P1405EA Regency 5 ampregulated power supply. . $59.95
milit ary, F. B.I., Space Sate llites, Polic e and Fire quartz clock and a built-in tim er to wake you to your P1412EA Regency 12 amp reg. power supply $154.95
Department s, Drug Enforc ement Age ncies, Defens e favorit e shortwave stati on. It can be programmed to BC1OEA Battery charger for Regency RPH410 $84.95
Departm ent, Aeronautical AM band, Aero Navigation activ at e peripheral equipment like a tape recor de r to MA255-EA Drop-inchargerfor HX1000& HX1 200 $84.95
Band, Fish & Game, Immigr ati on, Paramedi cs, record up to five differ ent broadcasts , any frequ ency, MA257EA Cigarette lighter cord for HX1200 $19.95
Amate ur Radi o, Justi ce Departm ent, Stat e Depart- MA917-EA Ni-Cad battery pack for HX1200 $34.95
any mode, while yo u are asl eep or at work. It will receive ECl O-EA Programming tool for Regency RPH410 $24.95
ment, plu s th ousands of oth er radi o frequencies AM, LSB, USB, CW and FM broadca sts.
most sca nners can't pick up. The Regen cy MX700 0 SMRH250-EA Service man. for Regency RH250 $24.95
There's never been an easier way to hear what th e SMRU150-EAServiceman.for Regency RU150 $24.95
is the pert ect scanner for inte lligence agenc ies t hat wor ld has to say. With th e Bearcat DX1000 shortwave SMRPH4l o-EAServiceman.for RegencyRPH41O $24.95
need to monit or the new 80 0 MHz. cellular telephone receiver, you now have dire ct acc ess to th e world. SMMX7000-EA Svc.man. for MX7000& MX5000 $19.95
band. The MX7000 , now at a spec ial price from CEo SMMX3000-EAServiceman. for Regency MX3000 $19.95
Regency@Z60-EA NEW! Regency@HX1200-EA B-4-EA 1.2 V AAA Ni-Cad batteries (set of four) $9.95
List price $3 6 9 .9 5/C E price $214 .95/SPECIAL FB-E-EAFrequency Directoryfor Easlern U.S.A $12.95
List pric e $299 .9 5/C E price S179.95/SPECIAL 8-Band, 45 Channel No Crystal scanner FB-W'EA Frequency Directoryf orWestern U.S.A. $12.95
8-Sand, 60 Channel No-crystal scanner Search Lockout Priority Scan delay TSG-EA"TopSecret" Registryof U.S. Govt. Freq $14.95
TICEA Techniques for Inlercepting Comm.. . $14.95
Bands: 30 -50, 88-108,1 18- 136, 144- 174, 44 0-5 12 MHz. Sidellt liquId crystal display. EAROM Memory RRFEA Railroad frequency directory. . $ 10.95
Th e R e gen c y Z60 covers all th e publi c s e rv ic e New DIrect Channel Access Feature CIEEA Covert Intelligenct, Elect. Eavesdropping $14.95
bands plus aircraft and FM music for a total of Bands: 30-50, 118-136, 144' 174,406-42 0,44 0-5 12 MHz. A60-EA Magnet moun t mob ile scanner anten na $35.00
e ig ht bands. The Z60 also features an alarm Th e new handh eld Re gen cy HX12 00 scanner is A70-EA Base station sca nner antenna. . . . . . . $35.00
full y k ey board pr ogrammabl e fo r the ultimate in USAMMEAMag mount VHFlU HFant.w/ 12' cable $39.95
c lo ck and priority control a s we ll a s AC/DC USAKEA>,\" hole mount VHF/UHFant.a vr cable $35.00
operation . Orde r tod ay . ve rsat ility . Yo u can scan u p to 45 channels at th e
USATLMEA Trunkli p mounl VHF/UHF antenna $35.00
sa me tim e in cluding th e AM aircraft band. The LCD Add $3.00 shipping for all accessories ordered at the same time.
Regency@Z45-EA display is eve n side lit for night use. Order
MA-256EA rapid charge drop-in batte ry charg er
Add $ 12.00 shipping per shortwave receiver.
List pric e $ 259 .9 5/C E price $159.95/SPECIAL Add $7.00 shipping per scanner and $3.00 per anle nna.
for $8 4.95 plus $3 .00 shipping/handling. Includes
7-Sand, 45 Channel No-crystal s c a n n er
w a ll c ha rg e r, c a rryi ng case, belt clip, fl exible BUY WITH CONFIDENCE
Ban ds: 3 0-50,1 18- 136, 144 -174,440-5 12 MHz. To get the festest delivery from CE of any scan ner,
Th e Re gen cy Z45 is very similar to th e Z6 0 model antenna and nlc ad battery. send or phone your order directl y to our Sca nner
list ed abo ve however it does not have th e co m me r- Dist ribu tion Ce nter" Michigan reside nts please add 4%
cial FM br oad cast ba nd. Th e Z45 , no w at a NEW! Bearcat 100XL-EA sales tax or suppl y your tax I.D. number. Writte n pur-
special pri ce fr om Co m m un ic at io ns Electroni c s. List pri c e $3 4 9. 95/C E price $203.95/SPECIAL chase orde rs are accept ed from approved gove rnme nt
9-Band, 16 Channel. Priority. Scan Delay agenc ies and most we ll rate d firms at a 10% surcharge
Regency@RH250B-EA Search LImit Hold. Lockout. AC/DC
Frequen cy range: 30-50, 118-17 4,406-51 2 MH z.
for net 10 billin g. All saies are subjec t to availability,
acceptan ce and verification. All sales on accessories
List price $6 13. 0 0/C E pri c e $329.95/SPECIAL The wo rld's first no-crystal handh eld scanner now has are final. Prices, terms and specifications are subjec t to
10 Channel. 25 Watt Transceiver. Priority a LCD channel display w ith backlight for low light use change wit hout noti ce. All prices are in U.S. doll ars. Out
Th e Re gen c y RH250B is a t en-channel VHF land and aircraft band coverage at th e same low price. Size is of stock items will be place d on backo rde r auto matica lly
mobile transcei v e r d e s ign ed t o cover an y fr e- 1'1>" x 7V," x 2'/,:' The Bearcat 1OOXL has wide frequen cy unless CE is instru cted dif ferenti y. A S5.00 additional
quen c y betw een 150 t o 1 6 2 MHz. Since this covera ge that includes all publi c service bands (Low, handling fee will be charged for all orde rs wit h a
High, UHF and 'T' bands), the AM aircraft band, the 2- merchandise totai und er S50 .00 . Shipments are F.O.B.
radio is syn t he s iz e d, n o expe ns ive crystals are meter and 70 em. amate ur bands, plu s military and
. needed to sto re up to t en fr equ encies without Ann Arbor, Michi gan. No COD's. Most produ cts that we
federal gove rnment frequ encies. Wow...what a scanner! sell have a manu facturer' s warranty. Free copies of
batte ry backup. All radios come with CTCSS ton e Includ ed in our 10w CE price is asturdy car rying case, warranties on these product s are available prior to
and scanning c apabiliti es. A m onitor a nd earphone, batte ry ch arger/ AC adapter, six AA ni-cad purchase by writ ing to CEo Non-cert ified check s requir e
night/day switc h is al s o standard. This trans- batte ries and flexibl e ante nna. Order your scanner now. bank clearance .
ce ive r e ve n has a prio rity f un cti on. The RH 250
makes an ideal radi o for an y poli c e o r fire
Bearcat@21 OXW-EA Mall orders to: Com municati ons El e ctron-
los" Bo x 1045, Ann A rbor, Mi chigan 4 8 1 0 6
depa rtment volunt e er because of its lo w cos t Li st pri ce $339 .9 5/C E price $209.95/SPECIAL
U.S .A. Add $7.00 per sca n ne r f or U.P.S. g r o u n d
8-Sand, 20 Channel No-crystal scanner
a n d h igh perfo rmance. A UHF v e rs io n of the ship ping and handling in the co nti ne nt a l U.S .A.
Automatic Weather. Search/Scan. AC/DC
same radi o c a lled th e RU150B cove rs 4 5 0 -4 8 2 Fr equency rang e: 3 0-5 0, 13 6- 174,40 6-5 12 MHz. For C an ada, Puerto Ri co, Hawaii, Alas k a , o r
MHz. b ut th e c ost is $ 4 4 9 .9 5. To get t echnician The new Bearcat 21OXWisan advanced third generation APO/FPO delivery, s hi p p ing c h a rges ar e three
programming instructi ons, o rde r a servic e m an - scanner with great pertormance at a low CE price. tim es c o nt in e nta l U.S. rat es. If yo u hav e a Visa
ual from CE with y o u r radi o s y st em . or Master Card , yo u may c a ll and place a c red it
NEW! Bearcat" 145XL-EA c a rd orde r. Order toll-fre e in t he U.S. D ial
NEW! Bearcat@50XL-EA List pri c e $ 179 .9 5/C E price $102.95/SPECIAL 8 0 0 - U S A-S C A N . In Canada, orde r t oll-fre e b y
List p rice $ 199.9 5/C E price S114.95/SPECIAL 10 Band, 16channel. AC/DC. Instant Weather calling 8 0 0 -22 1-347 5 . Tel e x CE a nyt i m e, dial
1o-Sand, 10 Channel . Handheld scanner Frequ en cy ran ge: 29-54, 13 6-1 74, 420 -51 2 MH z.
The Bear cat 145 XL makes a gr eat fi rst scanner. Its low 8 1 0 -2 23-2422 . If yo u a re outside t he U.S. o r in
Band s: 29 .7-54,136-1 74,406 -512 MHz. Mi chigan dial 3 1 3 -9 73-88 88 . Ord er today.
The Uniden B earcat 50 XL is an e c on omical, cost and high pertormance lets you hear allth e action with
th e touch of a key. Orde r your scanner from CE tod ay. Scanner Distribution Cente r' and CE logos are trade-
hand-held sca n ner wit h 1 0 c ha n n e ls covering marks of Communicatio ns Electro nics Inc.
ten frequ en c y b a n ds . ltfeatures a k eyboard lock TEST ANY SCANNER t Bearc at is a regis te red trad emark of Un iden Co rpo rat io n.
sw it c h to pre v ent ac cid ental e nt ry and m o re . Test any sca nne r purc hased fro m Communication s t Regen cy is a regist ered tra de mark of Regen cy Electr oni cs
Also o rde r part # BP50 w h ic h is a rec ha rg e a b le Electronics' for 31 days before you decide to keep it. If for Inc. AD # 040186-EA
any reason yo u are not co mplet e ly sa tisfied, ret urn it in Copyright <l> 1986 Communicati ons Elec tronics Inc.
batte ry pack fo r $ 14.95, a plug- in wall c ha rge r, orig ina l co ndi t io n w it h all parts in 3 1 days , for a pro mpt
part # AD1 00 for $14 .95 , a ca rryin g cas e part # refund (less shipping/handling charges and rebate credits).
VC001 for $ 1 4 .95 and a lso o rd e r opti onal For credit card orders call
c ig a re tte lighter cab le p art # PS001 for $1 4. 9 5 . Regency
Re ge ncy
I HX1200 1-800-USA-SCAN

Consumer Products Division
P.O.Box 10450 AnnA rbor, Michigan48 1061045 U.S.A. <0
Call8DO-USA-SCAN o r o ut side U.S.A . 3139738888 OJ


Science-research budgets i ng- resea rc h ce n ters wo u ld in - is requ estin g 7.8 b il lion in fi scal
holding up under cuts cr ease f ro m 23 to 35, and it is 1987, ro ug hly t he same as in 1986.
Fed eral b udge ts. fo r scie nce and possibl e t hat t he Dep artm ent s of O nly t he Departm ent of Ener gy's
research are not fai ri ng too badl y, Agr iculture and Ene rgy may spo n- R&D act ivity wo u ld d ecr ease in
in spite of bu d get cutting fo r many so r such cen ter s in th e f ut ure. The fisca l 1987, dropp in g f ro m $4.87
serv ices du e to Gramm -Rudman scie nce and technol o gy bud gets billi on to $4.5 billi on.
and othe r facto rs, rep orts the In - of th e Dep artm ent of Def en se also
st it ute of Electrical and Elec tro nics showed growt h in 1986 ove r the Electronics technicians honored
Engin eer s (IEEE). previ ou s fi scal year. by Reagan
Under t he f iscal 1987 bud get re- Th e Nati o nal Scie nce Fou nd a- Elect ro nic s tec h n ic ia ns w ere
qu est s, says D r. John McTague , ti on expects a n in e per cen t bud get hon o red nati on all y o n M arch 4,
act ing scie nce adviso r to the Presi- in cr ease in fi scal 1987-abo ut $184 1986 wi t h t he inau guration ofthe
dent, th e number of Dep artm ent- mill ion. The National Aero naut ics f i rst N ati on al Elect roni cs Techni-
of -Defe nse-s po nso red engi ne e r- and Space Administrati on (NA SA) cians Day. That special day recog-
nized both the twe nt iet h year of
t he ce rt ificat io n p rog ram that is
Magnetic-resonance imaging solves mysteries of growth spo nso red by t he In tern atio nal so-
ciety of Certified Elect ronics Tech-
Scienti sts of th e Gen er al Elect ric drogen ato ms in th e root system) nicians and the cer tificat io n of th e
Co . and t he U. S. D epartm ent of to study w ater tran spo rt, root pa- 20,000t h electro nics te chnician.
Agriculture have adapted the re- thology, seed grow t h, and ot he r In hi s p roclamati on announcing
ce nt ly- d isco ve re d t echn ol ogy of factors. Nat ional Electroni cs Technician s
ma gn eti c-reson anc e im agin g t o Si nce ma gn e ti c-r e so n an c e Day, Presid ent Ron ald Reagan sa-
help unravel th e mysteri es of pl ant im agin g has no kn own effect o n luted th e high standards of perfor-
growt h . p lants it can be used repeate d ly to mance and exce lle nce maintain ed
In magn eti c-r esonan ce imagi ng, m oni t or pl an t de vel opm ent. It by p rofession al techn icians and by
the object bein g st udied is po si- also ope ns th e door to mor e accu- I SCET i n i t s 20 ye ar s o f di s-
tion ed in an ext remely stro ng mag- rate st ud ies of plan t respon ses to tin gui sh ed se rv ice to th e el ec-
netic fi eld and probed w ith high - li ght , carbo n-diox ide level s, an d troni cs indu stry. He paid tribute to
f req ue ncy radi o sig nals f ro m a spe- nutrients. t he vital part t hat electro nics tech-
cial typ e of ante n na . Und er th e ni cians pl ay in help in g to ensu re
field's in flu en ce, those sig nals can o ur cou ntry's co nt i n ue d tec h -
exc ite ato ms of se lecte d sub- n ol o g i c al and eco no m ic le ad-
st ances in t he o bject. Radiati o n ersh i p as a for m ida b le interna-
from t hose ato ms is pi ck ed up by t io nal co m pet ito r. In exte nding his
anoth er ante n na and sent to a spe- war m person al con gr atu lation s to
cial-p u rpos e co m p ute r that con- tec hnicians w ho have met th e de -
st r ucts a " ma p" showi ng t he manding criteria fo r ce rt ificat io n ,
loc ation and co nce nt ratio n of th e Presid ent Reagan recogni zed the
excite d ato ms. in d ividu al ski lls, talent, and expe r-
Th e scanne r used fo r t he pl ant t ise t hat make electro nics techni-
st ud ies uses a lar ge, d ou ghnu t- cians one of o ur co untry's mo st
shape d supe rco nd uct ing magn et imp ort ant tec h no log ic a l r e-
capab le of pr odu cin g a f ie ld of 1.5 sou rces.
o tesla-30,000 t imes th e st rengt h of To m ak e Nationa l Elect ron ics
Z t he ea rt h's fie ld-wit h i n it s 1- Techn icians Day an offi cial co m-
o meter bo re. memo rat ive hol id ay, pe rso ns in -
oW In t his first applicatio n of mag- ADVANC ED MEDICAL TECHNOLOG Y, is volved in t he electronics industry
...J neti c-reson ance im agi ng of intac t bein g used by scie ntists of th e Gen er al Elec- are asked to co ntact th eir sen ators
W tric compa ny and th e U.S. Dep a rtm ent of Ag-
6 root systems, th e research er s used riculture to unravel th e myste ries of plant and co ngress me n to req uest the ir
is hydrogen imag ing (lo ok ed at hy- grow th. su p port f o r Hou se Jo int Resolu-
0 --'
tio n 507 (HJRes507). R-E
... ~'" I nvnll"'~, II~"'.
New and Used Electronic Test Equipment
Sales Service Rental. Leasing

With Scope Purchase

FEATURES: AC DC voltage Data hold
AC DC current Manual or autoranging
Resistance Overload protection
Diode test LCD display
Audible Built-in stand
Continuity check Battery included
Temperature Test leads included
(Type K, 3510 & 3525)

BASIC One With Any

DC VOLTAGE OTY 1 OTY3+ Scope Purchased
3550 .5% 2 digits $49.00 $42.00 FREE
3525 .25% 2 digits $64.00 $54.00 $19.95
3510 .1% 2 digits $79.00 $67.00 $29.95

2 year warranty plus carrying case included!

MODEL V-222 $536.00
DC to 20 MHz, 1 mV/div, Dual Trace, D.C. offset for
DMM Output, Vertic le Mode Trigger, 6" CRT
(w/two X1/ X10 probes).

MODEL V-422 $694.00

DC to 40 MHz, other features same as V-222
(w/two X1/ X10 probe).

MODEL V-10S0F $1,276.00

Mod el V-4 2 2 shown DC to 100 MHz, 5 mV/div, Quad Trace, Delayed Sweep,
Full T.V. Triggering, alternate time base
(w/two X1/ X10 probes).

MODEL V-212 $461.00 MODEL V-6S0 $956.00

DC to 20 MHz, 1 mV/div, Dual Trace, Features 6" DC to 60 MHz, 1 mV/div, Triple Trace, Delayed Sweep,
Rectangular CRT (w/ two X10 probes). Full T.V. Tr iggering, variable trigger hold-off
(w/two X1/X 10 probes).

NEWf 3 year warranty parts and labor on above scopes!

RAG Electronics is a factory authorized Hitachi repair center. CIRCLE 126 ON FREE INFORMATIONCARD

CALL us TOLL FREE Mas ter Cha rge

SO to S250.00 ... .. . .... . . . . . . . . . S4.50
1-800-732-3457 Mon ey O rde r
Check CiC
S25 1.00 to S600 .00 ....... . ... .. S6.50
S50 1.00 to S7 50.00 ... . ... .... .. S8 .50
IN CALIFORNIA TOLL FREE S75 1.00 to S1000 ........ .. .. .. S12 .50
1-800-272-4225 over S 1000.00 . .. . . .. . . ... . . ... S15.00

Prices subject to change without notice.

RAG ELECTRONICS, INC. /21418 Parthenia Street/ Canoga Park, CA91304/ 1-818-998-6500

-What kind of stereo? Although broadcast - Disc-continued. The CED videodisc has
stereo-sound TV is relatively new, the reached the end of the road. RCA announced it is
transmission of stereo audio with the video has ending production of CED discs at its
long been an accepted practice-for example, in Indianapolis plant June 27 because of declining
PBS simulcasts and on cable, with such services demand. The company announced the end of disc-
as MTv. Many cable-TV systems provide an FM- player production in April 1984 and at that time
stereo service to their subscribers at a sm all said it would continue output of the discs for
additional monthly charge that includes PM three years or as long as there was "reasonable
channels in stereo plus stereo sound for such demand." However, RCA now says the market for
special cable channels as MTv, as well as special the discs has collapsed, with sales this year about
closed-circuit audio-only channels in some cases. five percent of the 1984 rate. CBS, the only other
With the advent of broadcast multichannel-TV- manufacturer of CED discs, ended production in
sound ( MTS) , cable systems have a new option- the summer of 1984. RCA introduced the
and new problems. Most cable systems are videodisc player in March 1981. RCA is being sold
capable of passing along to their subscribers TV to General Electric, which once backed th e
programs that are broadcast in the new stereo- competing VHD videodisc system developed by
sound system. The question now is whether they JVC. Disc players using that system are currently
should also continue carrying the sound of such being produced in Japan, but have never been
satellite-delivered cable programs as MTV and introduced in the U.S.
HBO as extra-cost FM channels or to use the
standard MTS transmission systems; equipment - Going up. In most products, it's news when
is now available to let cable systems convert the prices go down. In electronics, news is made
sound of such programs to MTS. when there's a price increase-and that's just
When a consumer buys a stereo-TV set, he what's happening now. A steady string of price
expects to be able to receive all stereo programs reductions in color TV, almost since their
on it; in the case of simulcast programs on the introduction in the 1950's, has.come to an end.
FM band, for which cable systems usually add an And the even more dramatic decline in VCR
extra charge, it creates ill will among cable prices is being reversed. Price increases so far
subscribers when they buy "stereo-TV" receivers have been relatively minor. Actually, color-TV
and can't receive cable stereo on them. .AB a prices have not so much risen as bottomed out.
result, RBO is currently urging its affiliated cable VCR prices, however, are up from the rock
systems to add the standard MTS system, and to bottoms they reached late in 1985, with retail
continue simulcasting as well, in order to gather prices some $10 to $20 higher than at that point.
the largest possible stereo audience. But MTV The rise in VCR prices is due almost entirely to
says it is making no recommendations and the increase in the value of the Japanese yen
letting its affiliates use any stereo system they against the American dollar-by more than 25
wish. Meanwhile, a new "super-stereo" system is percent since last September-which has caused
being offered to cable companies. Called Stereo- price hikes in most Japanese products here. The
~ Traok II, the system is claimed to provide "digital yen/dollar relationship also has contributed to
z quality sound," with 88-90-dB signal-to-noise the rise in the cost of television sets made in
~ ratios and 90-dB stereo separation. The audio is Japan or using Japanese components. Another
o carried as two discrete tracks above and below factor in the leveling-off of the downward TV
~ the standard FM band, and the cable system price-spiral is the fact that most television
o provides special receiving equipment to its manufacturers have been operating at a loss or
o subscribers choosing to PBiY extra for the stereo- sharply curtailed profits as a result of climbing
~ audio service. costs in a hotly competitive market. R-E

60 MHz TO 250 MHz ACTUAL
$30 TO $55
465, 475, 485 & 7000 SERIES
ATTENUATORS SCOPES . (FOR 10x probes onl y. )



The Probe Master 2900 series oscil loscope probes
com bine the characteristics of high performance, and
fast rise time pulse response, with a slender design to
meet the needs of today's micro electronics. The
mi niature tip is ideal for access ing high density
boards and hard to reach test points . By locating the
hig h and low frequency compensat ion c irc uits in the 2903 lX STO 25 11 40 1 600\1 $25.00
BNC end of the cab le, the design of the probe has 2960 lOX 510 60 5.8 16 10 500V $30.00
become light weig ht and slender fo r easy handl ing. 2960 RA lOX RA 60 5.8 16 10 500V $40.00
Other features of the 2900 series probes incl ude a
replaceab le probe ti p, replaceab le ground lead and a
2904 lOX 510 100 3.5 17 10 600\1 $35.00
Readout Actuator opt ion (RA). 2904 RA lOX RA 100 3.5 17 10 600V $45.00
The Reado ut Actuator option (per manent ly 2905 lOX STO 250 ( 1.5 17 10 600V $45.00
attached) is available on the lOx fi xed attenuaion 2905 RA lOX RA 250 1.5 17
10 600V $55.00
probes only . This option provides the necessary 2906 looX STO 70 5.0 6 100 1.2KV $55.00
resi stor circuit to change the range factor on the
model 465, 475, 485 and 7000 series Tektroni x scopes . SWITCHED
The Standard Accessories included with each
probe are the sprung hook, trimmer tool , BNC
adapter, tip insulator, IC tip cover, spare probe lip, 6 "
2901 lOX, lX, GN~
1OXll Xll OXll :11OXll X 10XllX
100/5 3.5/70 17/100 lOll
I 600v $39.00
ground lead, and a handy storage pouch. The Engi 2902 lOX, lX, GNO 510 250/5 1.5/70 17/100 lOll 600V $49.00
neers Accessory Kit ($12.00 option) includes a wire 1064 Engineers Accessory Kit $12.00
wrap adapter tip, wire wrap adapter ground lead, alll- RA =
Readout Actuator, STO =
Standard BNC Cable lengt h 5Y2 It.
gator lip, micro sprung hook , and a 12" ground lead. On switched probes, probe tip is grounded thru a 9 Meg OHM resistor, when
switch is in the GND position. lOX compensat ion range, 15 to 50 PF c....



Rad io-Electronics
500-B Bi-County Blvd.
Farmin gdale, NY 11735

and covered with hardware cloth.

The mesh should be three-quarter
inch or smaller.
We found that the ratio of re-
ceived signal to interference var-
ied with antenna height. In fact,
raising or lowering the antenna as
little as three feet made an appre-
ciable difference in the signal-to-
interference ratio .


""IR~ME~H I live near a very active airport. FM
3\4-" OR reception is frequently marred by
chatter from pilots in planes leaving
or approaching the airport. Who
should I complain to-the local air-
port authorities or the FCC?-H.
McD., New Smyrna Beach, Fl.
FIG.l Neither; your complaint is inval-
id. The interference you are expe-
POWER-LINE TV INTERFERENCE located far away. The snow can riencing is due to an FM receiver
My TV reception is being ruined by probably be cleared up by install- with insufficient selectivity. Com-
high voltage power transmission ing an antenna rotator for accurate mon FM receivers, which cover
lines that run behind my apartment. antenna orientation, and by in- the 88- to 108-MHz band, have IF's
My antenna is about eight to ten feet stalling a good all-channel booster of 10.7 MHz, so their local os-
below, and 75 feet away from, those for a boost in received signal cillators operate 10.7 MHz above
power lines. The interference is in strength. the desired signal. To cover the
the form of horizontal streaks and In Fig. 1 are shown two ways we broadcast band , that oscillator
noise on channel 3, snow on channel have found of reducing or elim- runs from 98.7 to 118.7 MHz. As
11, ghosts on channel 23, and ex- inating power-line interference. In you know, the 88- to 108-MHz band
treme snow on channels 32 and 41. both cases, we use a high-gain an- is assigned exclusively to FM
Sound is clear on all channels except tenna, but we replaced the single- broadcast stations, but, as you
3. I've tried "ghost eliminators" and element reflector with one that may not know, the 108- to 135-MHz
AC in-line filters without success. screens interference from behind band is allocated to aeronautical
What can I do?-S. G., Eliz- and from above. In each case, the mobile services, including air traf-
abethtown, KY. screen is as w ide as the original fic control.
We're not sure that all of your reflector, and it extends approx- So, if you are listening to an FM
problems, (ghosts, snow and imately Y4 wavelength above and station on 100 MHz, the local os-
noise) are caused by the power below the plane of the antenna . cillator is actually tuned to 110.7
lines. We assume that all the sta- We built ours from hard-drawn MHz. Now suppose that a nearby
;: tions you want to view are in the Y4-inch copper tubing used as the plane is transmitting on 121.4MHz.
5J: same general direction and that frame for the corner-reflector. We That signal is 10.7 MHz higher than
) the power lines are not between covered it w ith copper screen wire the local oscillator signal, so it w ill
..J the antenna and the desired sig- and soldered the mesh all around. also develop a 10.7-MHz IF signal.
) nals. The snow indicates that your The billboard -reflector was framed The signals developed by the FM
5 antenna is not po inted directly at with "Y4- i n c h bamboo salvaged broadcast station and the aircraft
J: the station, or that th e station is from inexpensive fishing poles radio will both be amplified by the
by $2500
No ifs, ancls or buts.
Copyrig ht Fordham 1985 Must be a currently advertised price.
This offer may be withdrawnat any time without prior notice.


Money orders, checks accepted . C.O.D.'s requ ire 25% deposit.
== Service& ShippingChargeSchedule
Continental U.S.A.
525-5 100 .

Toll Free 510 1'5250
5251 -500
58 .00

5501- 750 . 51050
5751 -1.000 . .. 512.50
5 1.001-1500 . 51650
51.501-2000 .. 52000
52 .00 1 and Up .. . . . .. .. . 52500
260 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, NY 11 788 InNY State 800-832-1446
IF am p and co nve rte d into inte r-
fe ring aud io sig na ls.
Th at type of in t e rf eren c e i s
MEGURO called " im age" int er fer ence. It de-
MADE IN JAPAN ve lop s any tim e a recei ver pi cks up
a signal w hose freq uency is twice
t he freque ncy of the IF above t he
fre q uency of t he des ired stat ion.
To e li mi nate it yo u mu st in cr ease
3Y2-DIGIT AUTORANGING t he selectiv ity of yo u r receiver by
insta ll ing ad ditio nal stages of pre-
MULTIMETERS selectio n or im age traps th at di s-
c ri m i nate aga inst t he un wan t ed
sig na l .


I am in th e pro cess of designing a 10-
watt power booster and distortion
filter for my portable stereo system .
I have th e booster amplifier all laid
out, but I don't know how to get rid
of th e distortion. At full output the
portabl e has 10% total harmonic dis-
tortion, and that is quite high. Can
you tell me how to reduce that inter-
feren ce to a tolerable level?-D. P.,
MDM-1180 MDM1181 MDM-1182 Los Altos, CA.
~4 ~ ~
I d on ' t k now anyt hi ng abo ut
yo ur po rtab le ste reo , but I'll bet
$399 5 $65 9 5 $539 5
t hat th e di storti on yo u f ind o bjec-
t io nable is cause d by ove rl oa d ing
FEATURES: its sm a l l speakers. Unl e ss yo u
-Automatic and Manual Ranging Selectable have " go ld en ears, " 10% THO is
(except current rneasure .) not so bad w he n heard throu gh
-Larce and High Contrast LCD goo d h i-f i spea kers th at ar e n ot
-Custom and Power Saving ICs: b ei ng ove rd rive n .
500 hours on just two AA-Batteries Be su re that yo u d e si gn yo u r
-Accuracy (DC Volt): MDM-1181 0.1% , bo o ste r am p lif ie r so that it can b e
MDM-1182 0.25% , MDM-1180 0.7% driven to th e d esir ed o ut p ut level
-Data Hold Function (MDM-1182 only)
by th e portab le ste reo wh en it is
-9 Measurement Functions
-2 AA-size Batteries, Safety ju st "l o afin g alo ng." Then th e set -
Measurement Leads and Fuse Included up sho u ld so u nd fin e as lon g as
yo u d on 't t ry to get eve ry last watt
-ONE YEAR WARRANTY o ut of th e booste r am p.



$39.00-$250.00: $4.50/$ 251.00-$600.00: $6.50 ~ o.( /.

$601.00-$750.00: $8.50/$ 751.00-$1,000.00: $12.50 o

$1,000.00 and more: $15.00
. 001 .0 ' .1 I S 10 It;
WE ACCEPT ONLY MONEY ORDERS OR <.2"10) (.~I.) (" .,.. ) ()3';') \('. 0"'0)
RM 5 pO"-leR OVTPUT -WA7T!i
PLEASE ADD 6.5% FOR TAX (CA ONLY) ( "/0 os: RA TE D O I1T P lJT )
(J) FIG. 2
oc: HI-SHURE CORP. Distortion cu rves fo r a ty pica l 15-
watt amp lifie r are shown in Fig . 2;
oUJ TOLL FREE 1-800-222-7798 as you ca n see, d i st orti on in-
creas es d rastica lly w hen yo u drive
CARSON, CA 90746
6 (213) 637-1863 RE S
such a n amp l ifier beyo nd ab ou t
is 66% of its rat ed o utp ut- i n thi s
c: case, abo ut 10 watts. R-E
Learn micro-processing w ith the new

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Pr o gr amming an d
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No Previous reports in the media, often based on half-truths or pr esented by th o se
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Cabl e-TV programmers and operators, and sate ll ite -dish and -re-
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ve rted int o a T V pict u re, and mu ch , m uc h more. T ools
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Everyt hing is exp laine d in easy -to -understa nd lan guage
wit h plent y of drawin gs, pho tos and diagrams. But if
t here is ever any t hing in you r lesso ns you do n 't u nd er -
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z No salesman will visit yo u. MAIL COUPON TODAY!

I --------------
oW SIN C[ 1. .1 Scr anton, Pennsylvania 18515 Hans Gin er
I Please se nd me free facts on how I ca n learn T V/V CR I Presid en t
I Repair at hom e in my spar e time. No salesman will visit. I
Luxor North Ame rica Corp.
6 I Name Age - I
soct: I Address I
a: I City/State/Zip I
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1355 SHOREWAY ROAD, BELMONT, CA 94002 PHONE ORDERS WELCOME 415-592-8097 Telex: 176043
':"j ;.lJ ~'" Jj :;';~" t, .
_' .~: ; :-;~ '~.' 4~'; ~' ;'

:; l:ry..~p ::, .!; ~r
0 . ':,"
; "7:;' :: S~ J

500-8 81-COuNTY &jOULEVARD

MODEl AIRCRAFT FREQUENCIES gio n , alo ng wit h many co m me rcia l freq ue ncy. Second, he sho uld in-
I noted yo u r respon se to B. G. of serv ices . q uire at his hob by sho p abo ut lo-
Evergr een Park , IL in t he "Ask -RE" On e solut io n to his p robl em is cal clubs affi liate d wi th th e Acade -
department , Radio-Electronics, to use a down-converter wo r king m y o f M od el Ae ro naut ics, 1810
A p ril 1986, page 14. I w ond er if he throu gh an auto mob i le radi o to Sam ue l M or se D rive, Reston , VA
gave yo u en ou gh in f ormati on. get select iv ity. I d esi gn ed o ne, 22090. Or he co ul d w rite directl y
Would yo u r answer have been the ad de d an RF pr eam p, and got a to t hem fo r in fo rm ati on. Safety
same if yo u had known th at the 0.25-m ic rovo lt rece ive r th at t unes procedures used by t hose clubs
ch ann el sepa rati o n i s 40 k Hz? th e band-n ot reall y a sim ple pro j- are d esi gn ed t o avoi d si mu lta -
Ch ann el 42 is 40 kHz below and ect , but not too compl ex. neou s channe l usage.
channel 46 is 40 kHz above hi s fr e- I have tw o suggestio n fo r B. G . Her e are a few sugges t io ns for
quency. In 1991, the odd-num - He could repl ace th e motor in a Radio-Electronics. I t hin k it is tim e
bered channe ls w ill com e into use se rvo wi t h a small speake r, and t hat yo u d id a co mp rehe nsive arti -
and separat io n will d ecrease to 20 with hi s receiver o n and hi s t rans- cle on radi o-co ntroll ed mod el air-
kHz . Tho se m od el- aircr aft f re - m itter off, he wo uld hear if t he re c raft. Th e im p act of so li d -state
quenci es ar e in t h e 72-M Hz re- were anothe r t ransmitte r o n his continued on page 20

Even the finest equipment in the world cannot guarantee noise-free operat ion.
One " dirty" connect ion anywhere in the electrical path can cause unwanted
noise or signal loss.


CRAMOLlN\!) is a fast-acting, anti-oxidizing lubricant that cleans and
preserves all metal surfaces , including gold.
When applied to metal contacts and connectors, CRAMOLlN\!) removes
en resistive oxides as it forms a protective molecular layer lhat adheres to the metal
surfaces and maintains maximum electrical conductivity.
a: aon & Howell Howlett Pockard MCqSony) Nokarnichi
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Doll' Wloratorios
John Ruko Mig.
Mc:lnlOSh lJlbs
UJ r:;;:-:;~~:-I"'''pIII~'''~''~~~IpI~P'!!iSINCE 1956
is (619) 743-7143
-c 117r.o Induslrlal Ayo.. (p.O. Bo. J) Es<:ondidO, CA 92025-0051 U.S.A.
Training from NRI!

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Move into commercial satellite communications and home

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tech no logy on the ho bby has been t he MC1310 IC sh o u ld be con - 1986) Mark Robillard states : " First
in cr edi bl e. Some very sop h ist i- nected to +12 vo lts . Wit ho ut that of all, yo u' re go ing to need relays if
cate d equ ip me nt is now in use at con nection, t he Adapter certai nly your motors are small D C ty pes ."
surprisi ng ly modest p rices, com- wi ll not operate . He goe s on to say that tra nsistors
pa red to 10 o r15 years ago. Besid es STEVE SOKO LOWSKI sometimes do n 't p ro v i de full
AM pul se-w idth modul ati on , we power.
now have FSK (they call it FM); and RElAYS IN ROBOTICS My object ion is that, wit h
pul se-cod e modul ation is co mi ng I enjoy yo ur magazine, but one MOSFETS havin g RDs's of 0.050
into use w it h syste ms of up to 7 or t h ing t hat bothers me is the use of and less co mmo nly availab le , w hy
8 c ha n ne ls . Most eq u ipme nt is e lect ro mec ha n ica l re lays, es- use a relay? It's best th ese days to
Jap anese, but one U .S. supp lier, pecially in roboti cs p ro jects . For red uce t he num ber of unreliabl e
ACE RIC in Hi ggen svill e, MO of - examp le , in " Building Your Own mechan ical parts as mu ch as po ssi-
fe rs eq uipme nt in kit fo rm . Robot," (Radio-Electronics, March bl e. I have worked with relay sys-
e. R. A H ERN
District of Co lum b ia Radio Club

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I co u ld n' t help but be angered at
th e lament in o ne of your pr odu ct-
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and Easier With Our $20
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Solderless Breadboa rd
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costs before so meo ne else mu s- Introducing the plug-in world ot AP modate most DIPs and discrete compo-
cl es in. And never mind " p ro p rie- Product's versatile, low cost b read- nents (see diagram).
boards. TheACE 109has two terminals for sepa-
tar y " circ u its; t he pr ot ecti on rate voltage s plus a ground c onnection.
No w you can design. build and test
pro vi d ed i s negli gibl e. A sma l l p rototype c ircuitsjust like the profession- The larg er ACE 118 offers the same three
co m pany can be dest royed before als ...and make changes In seconds. No terminals, plus an additional terminal
t he co urt gets aro und to lo o ki ng at messysoldering or desoldering. No more which c an be used for clocking or
yo u r case. A large co m pany can twisted lea ds or d amaged devi c es. another voltage. The backplates are
With our ACE 109 and 118 b lue bread - heavy steel to keep the boards stationary.
patent a p rodu ct befo re a rul in g is boards, you simply p lug in components
reached, and yo u are left up t he and interconnect them with nn:--.o<'=---=-""""---":-';-:::<"'~ Don't wait. These low
c reek w it ho ut a paddl e. ordinary hook-up wire. All prices won't last forever.
NAME W ITHHELD sizes of DIPs and other dis- See your local AP Prod-
crete co mponents up to 22 ucts dealer today, or
gauge lead diameters send for a list of dealers
OOOOPS! snap right into the 0.1" x 0.1" in your area. Free infor-
matrix of the solderless tie mation on request.
I have rece ived so me l ett er s points ... an ywhere on the
from Radio-Electron ic s read ers in layout. You don 't need ex-
regard to my art icle o n t he TV Ster- pensive sockets or special tools. Buses of
~ eo Adapte r t hat appea red in t he spring clip terminals form a distribution
network for power, g round and c lock
Z Ma rc h 1986 iss ue . Th o se lette rs lines. A P PRODUCTS/3M
~ com pla ined t hat t he Adapter does AP Products 1IXJ series b readboards 9325 Progress Parkway
t3 not operate. g ive you all the functions and flexibili ty of P.O. Box 5 40
~ Revi ew in g t he schematic p re- more expensive circuit evohiatots. The Mentor, Ohio 4 4 0 6 0
6 sente d, I un d er sto od t he reason sp ring terminals have mechanically in-
dependent contact fingers to a c com-
800321 9668
(Ohio , 216/3542101 1
(5 fo r th e co m p laints: t he re is an
~ o m issio n in th e sche matic. Pin 1 of
Division of Simpson Electr ic Company
859 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, IL 601203090 c..
(312) 6972265. Telex 722416 C

tem s, and , beli eve me , t hey wa ste L80-511 sing le tra ce osci lloscope. Ak ai Company's respo nse to my
power and th ey are pron e t o Can yo u give me an add ress so t hat req uest fo r a manual was that th ey
failure wi th age. They are also slow I can obtain that manual? Than ks. no lon ger have any information.
and t hey indu ce tra nsie nts. Th eir PETER A. MELVILLE Sams li st s it in t he ir T-111 manual ,
only red eemin g fe at u re is that th ey Mt. Sterling, KY but th at manu al is no longer avail-
provid e si m u lta n eo us mul tipl e- Leader In strum ents Co rp . is l o - ab le . Therefor e, I w ill appreciate
co ntact clo sur e. But eve n th at can cate d at 380 Ose r Ave ., Haup p age, any i nfo r mat io n yo u r read er s
be cir cumven t ed by u sin g lo gic NY 11788. co uld provid e.
and semiconductor devices. E. W. HOFFHINE
You fell ow s who write fo r th e INFORMATION NEEDED eo. 80x 252
magazin es: Please try to dump th e I recently acquired an Astrocom/ Kih ei, HI 96753
old me chani cs and keep it state -of - M arlu x Solid State Tape Deck. It is
the-art. a ru gged , 3- m ot o r d e ck , t he RESTORING AN OLD MARCONI
Let me rep eat that I enjoy your model 407, made in Japan . It is a Y4- I am t ryi ng to restore an old Mar-
magazine and hope that yo u won 't track reversible reel-to- ree l deck . coni TV set (TV 500 chassis) to it s
succumb to computer mania. Not Unfortunately, it is in need of origin al workin g condit ion , but I
that computers aren't wond erful, some minor repairs, and I have no am un abl e to find a schematic or
but a steady diet of them bores information or schematic. If any of repair manual from the usual
me. Let's face it: If you can't inter- your readers could help me out, I so u rces . The cha ssis appears to
face them with the real world , then would be glad to pay a reasonable have a probl em in the horizontal
they are limited. compensation for th eir tim e. phas e dete ctor circuit, which is a
As far as I am concern ed , you are ROLF K. TAHLOR type I have not encountered be-
th e la st r emain ing g o o d elec- 2692 Mayfield Road, ap t. 2 fore. I would appreciate any help
tronics magazin e. Cleveland Hts , OH 44106 yo u or yo u r read er s could giv e me
CLYDE H. HYDE (216) 321-8716 in lo catin g in formation about that
Tenino, WA chassis.
HELP NEEDED I have an Akai model X-IV tap e 18 Lakeland Cres.,

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Help! I need an op erator/ser- recorder and I need service infor- Scarb orough , Ontario ,
vic e m anu al f or th e Leader mation , or at least a sche mat ic. The Canada M1G 2L3


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Radio-Shack Telephone

Now anyone can

troubleshoot a telephone.


IN THE " e O OD O LD DAY S" (BEFORE THE p ro d ucts, th at mic roprocessor-

breakup of AT&T), gett i ng your co ntro lled u ni t make s trou-
telephone fixed was easy. All you bleshooting a te lephone so easy ThenewFluke 52 goestogreat extremes to
needed to do was call the phone even a ch ild could do it . outperformany other handheld thermometer.
company and they would come At the touch ofabutton, it sequentially
out and give you a new one . There By the numbers scansthe readouts of two temperature inputs
were no extra charges, no ques- The uni t is capab le of testing ei- and their difference. Or records theminimum
t ions to answer, and no argu- the r pu lse- or to ne-d ialed tele - andmaximum fromanyone ofthesethree
phones . It can also be used to test channels for up to 1,200hours.
You canmeasure extreme temperatureswith
Now it's like playing a game of answering machines , and co rdless MOth of adegree resoluti on, usingstandard K
Truth or Consequences. First, telephones . or J type thermocouplesprobes.
you 've got to f igure out if it's the The tester, as suppl ied , is de - Pricesfor theFluke50Series are surpris-
phone itself that's broken, or signed for use with single-line ingly low...starting at just $119 for thesing le-
whether th e problem is in the te le- te lep hones. It can be adapted for input FI uke51. Order yours today.
phone line. Quess wrong and you use with two-line te lephones via a For thenameof your local supplier anda
could add a hefty, needless bi ll to two-line coup ler. An appropriate free brochure call to ll-free 1-800-227-3800,
your woes. That 's becau se your coup ler is available from Radio - Ext. 229.
fr iendly neighborhood te lep hone Shack (catalog number 279-401).
company now regards the tele - The layout of the Telephone FROM THE WORLD LEADER IN
phone instrument itself as an alien Tester is reminiscent of the self- HANDHELD TEST INSTRUMENTS.
object-they won 't touch it w ith a service TV- and radio-tube testers
ten foot po le. If they make a ser- that used to be allover the place; FLUKE 51/52 THERMOMETERS
vice call and dete rmine that the they are still around, but now you Measurement range:
prob lem is not in t heir lines , the might have to search a bi t more . K-typ~ -200'Cto+13700C (-328' Fto+2498'F)
J-type: -2000C to+ 760'C (- 328' Fto+1400"F)
on ly thing they are now responsi- Al l instructions are printed in a
ble fo r, they'll bid you adieu, after fl ow-chart-l ike format on the unit's K-type is + (0.1% 01 reading +or c or1.3'F)
they advise you that the bill is in front panel. By fo llowing the steps J-type is +(0.1 % ofreading +0.8'Cor 1.4"F)
the mai l. Assuming that you own in sequence, the user is able to 'cor ' FSelectable , HoldMode
Scan. Differential,and MiniMax Recording Modes (52 only)
your own phon e, as many of us test fo r mo st co mmo n telep ho ne Standard mini-connector input
now do , getting the phone fixed is and answering machine malfunc- 1200 hour fN battery life 3-year warranty
your headache . tions , including defective plugs General-purpose K-type bead probe inctuded (tv.lJ with 52)
and cords, in a systematic manner. @1986 Fluke
One way to cure that headache
is with Radio-Shack's (Ft . Worth, The unit i s entirely sel f-co n-
TX 76102) aptly named Telephone tained; there are no probes, ac-
Tester (catalog number 43-114). cessories , etc. requ ired. Sockets
One of Rad io -Shack 's newe st are provided on the tester for the
te lep ho ne it self, and fo r the lin e The un it wi ll also test ringe r o p-
and handset cords. Th ere are also eration at low and high vo ltages,
two AC o ut lets fo r te lephones or simu lati ng distant an d n e ar b y
answering machines t hat require Centra l Off ices , and it w i ll test
an o ut side source of pow er. te lep ho ne answering mach in es.
Results of all tests are co nveyed
via two LED's using a simp le pass- limitations
fa i l syste m. In ad d it io n a sma ll The teste r is not wi t ho ut its lim-
reado ut is used to d isp lay fu rt he r it at i on s. Fir st of al l, it s t ro u -
informatio n in two of t he tests : In bl eshootin g capab ilit ies are quite
the cord test, it is used to dis p lay basic. It w ill te ll yo u th at t he tel e-
the nu mbe r of co nd ucto rs in t he pho ne is defecti ve, and w ill more-
cable ; in t he di al test, it is used to o r-less te l l yo u w hic h fu nctio ns
ve rify the num ber dia led. Test s are have failed, but that's all. Pinp o in t-
selected usin g a row of p ushb ut - in g th e fault any fu rt her mu st be
to ns; w hich test has been selected d on e u sin g ap p ro priate eq u i p -
is indicated by a li ghted LED. ment and standard troubl eshoot-
In all, th e unit is capab le of test- in g t echniqu es. Al so , th e tester
i ng nin e di ff er ent par ameter s. It w ill not test electronic key systems
has bo t h LO N G LOOP and SHORT o r PA BX key sets reliably.
LOOP mod es t hat sim ulate co n nec- The manu al is pr ett y mu ch wh at
tio ns to di stant and nearby Central yo u wo u ld ex pect f rom Radi o -
Offices. Shack-o pe rat i ng i nst r uct io ns,
some specifications, and a sche-
matic, but littl e else . As to t he
sche mat ic, in our co py of t he man-
OVERALL ual, th e hand- letterin g w as exce p-
t io nally diffi cul t to read ; in so me
OF USE cases th e printin g was so blurred
INSTRUCTION t hat fig u ring o ut a part number o r
MANUAL val ue was redu ced to ed uc ate d
PRICE/ guesswo rk . (A note ind icat ed th at
Model 550 (for TTL) $395 /VALUE
Model 552 (for CMOS) $395
th e sc he mat ic was su b je ct t o
New B&K-PRE CISION IC Co mpa rator cha nge and adv ised co ntact ing Ra-
Testersl Logic Monitors put you on the fast di o-Shack for t he latest sche mat ic
track to digital troub leshoo ting . IC s are and parts.) rh e o perating in stru c-
tested by co mparison to a know n goo d
device, allowing you to test hundred s t io ns we re a fleshed o ut ve rsio n of
of typ es with on e simple operat ion. Th e CORD TEST c hecks t he t he fro nt- pane l in stru cti on s.
As logic monitors, they simultaneously n u mbe r of co n d ucto rs i n th e O bv io us ly, t he test e r i s n ot
indicate the log ic states of up to 20 IC
pins. No need to chec k pins singly hand set o r lin e co rd , and veri fi es something th at's a mu st fo r eve ry
with a logic probe. t he co ndi t io n of eithe r co rd, in - w o rkb en ch. But without a doubt,
Tests most 14 to 20 pin , 54 and 74 cl uding plu gs. it is a uni t t hat w ill fi nd pl enty of
Series TT L (Mode l 550) or 4000 and 74C W he n th e hand set is off-hook, use in t he app ro p riate appli cati o n .
Series CMOS (Mod el 552) devices.
Conveni en t one butto n testing
t he te le p hone co m pany's Cen tral The teste r wo u ld perh aps be at it s
Reve rse pol arity and overvoltage Office sho uld see a D C resista nce best on a coun ter in a te lep ho ne
prot ection of betwee n 57 and 600 ohms . Th e sto re, were custome rs co uld t ro u-
Uses power from eq uipme nt
under test fu nctio n of the unit's LO O P TEST is to b les hoot thei r ow n te le p ho nes
Memory sto res short dur ation pul ses verify that paramete r. wit h ease . It's professional , yet,
and int erm ittent events The DIAL TEST checks fo r correct non-threaten in g layou t and stu rdy
Zero insertion for ce refer en ce
IC soc ket d ialing. Each di git output by t he grey-stee l case see m to ind ic ate
LED at eac h IC pin identifies p ho ne is d isplayed o n t he readout t hat t he te ster w ill lend it self par-
where fault exists
Incl udes 16 and 20 pin DIP clips
for ve rificat ion . That test will wo r k tic ularly well to such an ap p lica-
Compact hand-held size for bot h p ulse- and to ne-d ia led tion . In service dep artm ents, th e
Availab le from stoc k at your local te lepho nes . teste r co uld be used to do in it ial
B&K-PRECISION distributor. For mor e The TRAN SM IT TEST and the RECEIVE t ro ub leshooting, and final check -
information co ntac t your distributor or:
TEST check t he functioning of the o ut. Since t he work co uld be don e
tel ephone microphone and ear-
piece, respective ly. In the TRAN S-
M IT TEST, if everything is funct io n-
by a non-technical indivi du al, ex-
pensive be nc h ti me c ou Id be
aw CORPORATION ing normally, the PASS LED fl ickers The Telepho ne Tester, whi ch is
6460 West Cortland Street in respon se to t he o utput of th e cove red by a o ne-yea r lim ited w ar-
6 Chicago, Illinois 60635 3121889 -908 7 m ic ro p ho ne . In t he RECEIVE TEST, ranty, is availab le at Radio- Shack
In ter nat ionAl Soli n . 6460 W. Cort la nd 5t .. cnrcase . Il 60635
Canad i an SId es; At ln EIK tro nic s . o n tar tc t he user listens at th e earp iece fo r sto res. It sells fo r $299.95. R-E
Sou t h and Centn.t Ame ri ca n sat es.
Em pi r e Ex port er s, Plai n vi ew , NY 11803 a tone t hat is output by the tester. continue d on page 26

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20 volts. Alternatively, the MANUAL
button can be used to trigger the
generator. The phase of the output
signal can be selected by the START/
weapon. and tria ngle wave o utputs. We re-
In five seco nds can immobilize your cent ly examined one such instru- STOP PH A SE control, wh ich offers a
atta cker, even through heavy clothi ng . me nt, t he m o d el 205 fro m the full 90-degree range of adjust-
Disc ha r~es over forty tho usand volts Elect ro n ics Division of OK Ind us- me nt at output frequencies up to
of electricity from a nine volt nic kel-
cadm ium battery. tries Inc . (3455 Conner Street, 500 kHz.
$39 .9S,Mass 5% sales tax, $3 .00 Bronx, NY 10475). The gated mode is similar to the
shipping and hand ling. We'll start our description of the trigge red mode except that the
18005222636 205 with i t s p hysica l c ha rac- o utput runs for the duration of the
617-871-5611 teristics. I t meas u res abo ut gate signal (instead of on ly one cy-
FOR INFORMATION 12 x 4 x 9 inc hes and weig hs 7Y2 cle). As you would expect, the
Cameo Enterprises, Inc. pou nds t hanks, in part, to a wel l starting and stopping phase at t he
P.O. Box 63 , Accord , MA 02018 shielded stee l housing . A ll circuit- output can be set by the START/STOP
ry and switches, w ith the excep- PHASE control .
tion of front-pa ne l potentiometers
and BNC inpu t and output jacks, Outputs
are mo unted o n a sing le we ll laid- The model 205 has two outputs
o ut circuit boa rd. jacks: TTL OUT and son OUT . The TTL
The 205 has a f req ue ncy range of output is at a fixed amp litude level
'Firestl(~ 0.005 Hz to 5 MHz in seven over-
lapping ranges. The output fre -
at the frequency and symmetry of
the main (50-ohm) output. It has a
ACCESSORIES q ue ncy is c hosen by us ing a fan -out of 20 standard TTL load s.
HERE'S A TIP vernier dia l (calibrated from 0.005
THAT'S PERFECT! to 5) and a gro up of pushbutton OK Industries 205
MULTIPLIER sw itches that are ar -
ranged in decade m u ltip les fro m 1 PRICE
to 1 mi llion . I I I I I I I
Although the 205 does not offer OF USE
an inte rna l sweep generator, it INSTRUCTION I I I I I I I I
GOLDEN SERIES does provide a SWEEP IN jack that MANUAL

allows the generator's frequency PRIC'X I I I I I I I I

to be contro lled by an externa l
"NO TOOLS NEEDED" 1 11 2 131415161 7 18 9 10
vo ltage . The sweep input sen-
sitivity is 0 to 4 volts for 1000:1
ALSO ANTENNAS FOR sweep, and a maximum allowab le
CORDLESS TE LEPHONES input of 10 vo lts .
The 50-ohm output has a max-
Dealer & Distributor Inquiries Invited
Operating modes imum output voltage (into 50
SEND FOR FREE CATALOG The 205 has 3 basic operating ohms) of 10 volts peak-to -peak.
o -- ~1;;;;I;:-;n~n~D;.; --- ---, modes: free-ru n , t riggered , and The AMP LITUDE contro l allows you
z 2614 East Adams/Phoenix, AZ 85034 I gated . In the free-run mode, the to vary the output more than 20
o Name I generator runs continuous ly at the dB . Add itional attenuation is avail-
a:: Street _
bw City -----' I selected frequency. ab le from three pus hbutton
W State _ _::---:--".....-:
I In the triggered mode, the gen- switches (0, - 20, and -40 dB),
6 I erator outputs one complete cycle and a D C OFFSET contro l is featured
is of the selected signal after it re- to further tailor the output signal
a:: ceives a trigger. That trigger signa l to suit your needs .
saving you money for over 45 years
s las hes prices on the new oscilloscopes from
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Probes Incl uded crysta l clarity. Telephone line powered - never appliances (air conditioners, refrigerato rs,
needs a battery ! Up to Y4 mile range. Adjusta- washers, dryers, microwaves, etc.), elec.
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(213 ) 624-3757
Dipl om at Intern ation al, 453 South Spring St.,
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B Bi-County Blvd ., Farmi ngda le , NY
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continued fro m p age 26

A SYMM ETERY co nt ro l can be used

t o vary th e duty cycl e of th e out-
put. So, fo r example, yo u can pro-
duce saw t o ot h waveform s f ro m
th e trian gl e ou tput or yo u can pro-
duce pul se wav eform s from the
squarewave output in the sym me-
tery mode .
The in struction manual for the
205 should be adequ ate fo r most Ir----------------------------......
users. It includes a li st of specifica-
tions , in stru ction s on how to
ch ange the operatin g voltage from
110 volts to 220 volts, and basic op-
eratin g information. It also in-
cludes a nomograph that can be
used to d etermine the output fre-
quency based on th e vernier set-
ting and the ext e rn all y applied
sw eep vo ltage.
We would have liked the manual
to include calibration in struction s,
especially since the circuit board
has more than thirty trimmer po-
tentiometers . However, a service
manual (w hi ch we did not see) is
availabl e separate ly.
The model 205 seem s like a rug -
ged unit that offers the most-
often-needed features in an attrac- CIRClE 21 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
ti ve pack age. It is priced at $545.
R-E VIDEO HEAD CLEANER, the model the PLAY button. It takes about 15
C}-58, is an electronic head clean- seconds to clean the video head s
er that doesn't require the user to and other components thor-
estimate either the length of the oughly; then the cartridge stops
cleaning cycle or the amount of and emits a beep. The user then
fluid to supply. The device auto- presses the STO P button and re-
matically calculates both items . moves the cartridge.
No previous experience necessary The automatic dispensing sys- The head cleaner lasts for about
LEARN tem in the cartridge also makes the 25-30 cleanings. It come s com-
PROGRAMMING product easy to use-no spraying, plete with a 9-volt alkaline battery
Master co mputers in your own
swabbing, or pouring the cleaning and has a suggested retail price of
home at your own pace in your
spare time . Learn even before
fluid; no other paraphernalia to $18 .95.- Vi deo Dynamics, Inc.,
you dec ide on a computer. keep track of. The user inserts the 6525 O xford Street, St. Loui s Park,
COMPUTER EXPERT cartridge into the VCR and presses MN 55426.
Prog ram ming is the best way to
learn to use co mpute rs, and we
can show you the best - and
most economical-way to learn
program ming! DISK SYSTEM, the EquiOisk + I is a
Send today for your free infor-
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o : CENTER FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION DEPT. 497 : f lo ppy di sk and allows CP/M user s
1543 W. OLYMPIC. #226
Z : LOS ANGELES. CA 90015-3894 : to access foreign formats.
o Th e EquiOisk + is a compl ete
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oW package. It includ es an EquiOisk + CIRClE 22 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
1 Name I
...J I I co nt ro lle r card , software, and in-
W 1 Address I
6 I . I st ructi on manual, plu s tw o (o r op- drives are enclosed in a slimline
o-c L _ C.!! y Sta~Zlp .J tionally one) di sk drives . Th ee case that fits neatly between the
a: half-height, high-capacity disk computer console and the


$545 MO-1252

Top quality scopes at a very reasonable price. Contains all the desirable features. Elenco's 2 year guarantee
assures you of continuous service. Two tx, 10x probes, diagrams and manual included. Write for specifications.

- iii
transistor tester

Reads Volts, Ohms ,

.05% DC Accuracy
.1 % Resistance

1% DC Accuracy

1% Resistance
Current, Capacitors with Freq. Counter Reads 10A DC
~~~!!... Transistors & Diodes & Deluxe Case

GF-8016 Function Generator Quad Power Supply

with Freq, Counter Including 2-20V Variable Supply
- Sine, Square, Triangle,
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-Frequency.1 thru 10 MHz
'II ,- ..

GF 8015 without Freq. Meter $169

$59 95
Triple Power Supply XP-660 Fully Regulated, Short Protect 3 @ $49 95

$14950 Volts
Max Ripple
0-20V @ 1A
12V 1A .OSV .003V
020V @ 1A
5V@5A SV 3A .10V .OOSV
FUlly' Regulated, Short Circuit Protected with 2 SV .4A .OSV .OOSV
limit Cont. 3 Separate Supplies.

3 Amp Power Supply XP-650 DIGITAL LeR METER

$119 50 Model LC-1800
Measures: Inductors
Capacitors, Resistors
$1 48
- -
040V @ 1.5A
0-20V @ 3A
Fully regulated, short circut protected current
limit control
Inductors .11lH to 200 H
Capacitor.1 PI to 200111
Resistor .01Q to 20M Q
Ranges 6lnd , icap, 7 res

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moni t or. Th e case, w it h b ui lt-in Syste m, is availab le w it h a10-,8-, o r
capacitance, su rge suppr essor, is eq uip pe d 6-foot-d iameter pe rfo rate d d ish ;

logic and more. w it h t hree AC o ut lets , and allows

the user to co ntro l power to the
t he f ull system in clud es a m icro-
proce ssor-ba sed receiver wit h

For less. co m p uter, m oni t or, and printer

w it h t he un it 's fro nt-mou nted a NI
O FF switch.
Space Command rem ote co ntro l
and an electro nic ante n na posi-
Now, a fully-loaded DMM combines
a capacitance meter, logic probe, and Th e EquiOis k + is p r iced at Th e .d esign of t he perf o rat ed
an hFE meter, all for the price of a DMM. $679.00 fo r the two-d rive syste m, alu mi num di sh p rov ides hi gh gain
$579 .00 fo r t he o ne-drive sys - and i nte rfe re nce rej ect ion-im -
TILLogicProbe: 20 MHz te m .- H &M Di sk Dri ve Servic es, port an t w he n recei vin g sig na ls
Inc., 1101 East Paci fico Aven ue, A na- f rom sate ll ites t hat are more t han
Detects 25nS pulse width
Capacitance:5 ranges (2nFto 20/lF) heim , CA 92805. 22,300 miles away and spaced to-
hFE (NPNor PNP): 1range (1000) get her closely. To receive sig nals
DMM: DCV-5ranges (.2V tolkV) DC POWER SUPPLY, t he m od el from diffe rent satell ites, t he sys-
ACV-5 ranges (.2V to750V) 1630, f eatures regul at ed o ut p uts te m feat u res a motorized actu ator
DCA-4ranges ( 200J.LA to lOA) fo r volt s and am pe res; b u i lt - i n t ha t m o v es t he an te n n a . Al so
ACA-3 ranges ( 20mAtolOA ) meterin g; tw o current ranges fo r mounted on th e ante n na is an LNB
Ohms -7ranges (200Ohms f ull or hal f output ; a pre-regulator (low-no ise b lock down conver ter )
to2000 Megohms) t o limit internal d issip ati on ; an and fee d assem b ly for optim um
Continuity beeper iso late d output so eit her pol arity recepti on.
Diode check may be floated or gro u nde d ; and Ind o or s, t he sy st e m i s buil t
Built-in bail rever se-polarity protectio n. It is a aro und a satellite rece iver th at can
Anti-skid pads 0-30 volt, 3-amp er e d evi ce w it h fee d up to 24 channels th ro ug h to
See one now at your local Beckman low ripple. a te levisio n set or v ideocassette
Ind ustrial distributor. reco rd er. The Space Com mand re-
mote co nt ro l ope rates chan ne l se-
DM25L ... 589 95 * lecti on and aud io t uni ng , and can
be used to change antenna posi-
tions . Because info rmatio n is p ro-
grammed (d u ri ng in stall at ion ) into
a non-vol atil e memo ry inside the
antenna positi on er, the uni t w ill
retai n programm ed i nfo r matio n
du rin g a power loss.


Th e model 1630 has fu lly ad j ust a-

bl e current limiting (fro m 5% to
100% of maximum outp ut cu rrent)
t hat protect s both t he circ uit un-
der test and th e power su pp ly. It
can be ho o ked up in series o r in
paralle l w ith anot he r model 1630
fo r 0-30 vo lt , 6-ampe re or 0-60-
vo lt , 3-am pere ope rat io n. It is d e-
sig ned fo r use in service shops,
engi nee ring labs, p ro du ction test-
in g, schoo l labs, and by hobbyists .
Th e mod el 1630 is price d at
r:-, -:
$22 5 .0 0 , and c om e s w it h test
o 'Suggested I~t price (SUS) -.i!hbattery. ItSt Itadsand manual.
leads, spare fuse, sche matic and The Zen ith Home Satellite Re-
parts list , and a co m p lete in struc- ce iving System has a r an ge of
a: Beckman Indu~rial1M ti on manu al.-B&K Precision, Dy- pr ices fro m $1495 fo r a 6-foot man-
oUJ Beckman Industrial Corporation nascan Corporation , 6460 Wes t ual system to $2549.00 fo r a 10-fo ot
...J ASubsidiary of Emerson Electric Company Cortland Street, Ch icago , Il 60635. moto ri zed syste m , plu s in stall a-
UJ 630 Puente Street, Brea, CA 92621
o (714) 671-4800
ti on .-Zenith Electronics Corpora-
15 HOME SATElLITE RECEIVER, the tion , 1000 Mil w au k e e Ave n ue,
-c o Copyright 1985 Beckman IndustrialCorperation
a: Z enith Hom e Sate llite Recei ving Gl en vi ew, IL 60025. R-E
Where's Your ELECTRONICS Career Headed?

The Move You Make Today Can Shape Your Future

Yes it's your move. Whether on a chess board Independent Home Study Can Prepare You
or in your career, you should plan each move
carefully. In electronics, you can move ahead Study materials, carefully written by the Gran-
faster and further with a tham staff for independent study at home, are
supplied by the College, and your technical

B. S. DEGREE questions related to those materials and the

lesson tests are promptly answered by the Gran-
tham teaching staff.
Put professional knowledge and a COLLEGE
DEGREE in your electronics career. Earn your Recognition and Quality Assurance
degree through independent study at home, Grantham College of Engineering is accredited
with Grantham College of Engineering. No by the Accrediting Commission of the National
commuting to class. Study at your own pace, Home Study Council.
while continuing your present job.
The accredited Grantham non-traditional

All lessons and other study materials, as well as com-
degree program is intended for mature, fully munications between the college and students, are in the
employed workers who want to upgrade their English language. However, we have students in many
careers . . . and who can successfully study foreign countries; about 80% of our students live in the
electronics and supporting subjects through United States of America.

INDEPENDENT STUDY, AT HOME I,----------------------.

Grantham College of Engineering I
10570 Humbolt Street, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Free Details Available from: I

Please mail me your free catalog which explains your
B.S. Degree independent-study program.

Grantham College of Engineering I

I Narne Age..-.-_ I

10570 Humbolt Street I Address I

Los Alamitos, California 90720 I I (0

IL City State Zip__ I


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we've been doing it for over50 years. You can put schoolcatalogand a completepackageofenroll-
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RE-40 37
can, of course, be found in the text. en
0 <C <C

In preparing this report , most of the TV

H 3 1 ~ I N9VW
sets discussed were actually tested , and OHOOH:JlVd o o
comments on th eir perform an ce are
provided . Untested sets are noted as such.
S31H3ilVll <, <, '. --,. ...
Any available or supplied accessor ies are VNN31NV3HIM .... .....
also listed. 1H9moVll o o 0 ... 0 0
Note that the performance judgments
were relative to other pocket-TV sets. OHOO HVO o o 0 0 0 0
(The sound from all of the sets was poor H31dVOV OV o o 0 0 0
compared to a regular TV set.) 3SVO ..... <, ..... .....
dVH1S ONVH <, .... .....
LCD displays ..... .... .....
3NOHdHV3 --,. ~
In developing their tiny TV sets, man-
ufacturers have take n two basic ap- ONV1S NI'llmB v v ..... -e v

proaches. One is to use tiny CRT's. Those Nwn1000B x x X X o- e-

CRT's are identical to the ones found in Nwmoo l x x x x o- ....
your home TV set, except they are sig nifi- Nwn100 os x x x X c-
x x x c- '"
cantly smaller. The other approach has o Nwmoo 09 x x x s- '"
been to tum to a new display technology, wz 1"'-'''-'-''.:....:..+---1---+----1---1
~- Nwmoo zs x x X x c-- e-
at least as far as TV is concerned- the 3NOHdHV3 <, .... ..... .....
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). H3MOd 1X3
~1----"'=~=--I- --+----II--":--+----=--I
.... ..... ..... .....
CRT technology has been used for de- ~ VNN31NV '" '.
cades to produce a bright , clear picture. gf----- -=:-::=-:-- - I- - -+-- - I--- -+-- --1
The CRT, however, is not without its
ONnos c..
< ,

<.!l ...
faults. It is expensive to produce; it uses a a::
.... '" .... '"
NOI1V001 ~<O .... <0
lot of energy, and it requires high voltages
to operate .
In the early 1970 's, LCD' s made their
I HI !lV101 3ZIS

- N
- -
initial ap pea rance in digital watc hes.
Z ....
Those displays were cheap and easy to
31nH sons ... ...
manufacture , and used little power. By the 31BV39HVH03H o 0 0 0
early 1980 's, more complicated LCD 's C" HI am ~ ~ '" ~ ;: e=
bega n to appear; among other things , they
were used as th e dis play screens for 1NI1
.. ~ "' ::i:
.. . ~ ~

pocket videoga mes . H0100 ...

LCD research has progressed to the
point now where those devices are prac-
.... .... <, -.
tical for use in TV receivers. To date , ..I
m 010H A
perhaps the most sophisticated of the dis- ~ l SVH1NOO c.. c.. ~ ("0. s= ("o. ~

plays are the ones found in some Epson AlIHVlO ~ ~ ~ c-- ....
and Seiko models, including the Epson l3 o o 0


'~" I~
;:: l<l 8
Elf. Those displ ays make use of TFT 1V101 '"
N '"

~~ ~ '" '" ~
(Thin-F ilm Transistor) technology. cc ee
o o !:! e-.
~ f------...,----t-- - + - --+- -+---j
<..> 'ZIHOH ; .... ~ l':l
iticc 0 0 0 0
0 0
3dAl ~ ~
g ~- ~-
I N' "",013ZIS '"
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H0100 ...
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301M :i r-,
~ '"
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The Epson Elf, the product of a five- 13001'1
o ;:!: ;:!: ;:!:
year research effort by the research and ~ '"
0 '"
0 '"
0 0

(/) development group of Suwa Seikos ha that

a serves Epson and other companies within ...
acc the Hattori Seiko conglomerate , was de- ~:
~ ~tii~
f- veloped to overcome certa in limitations of .~ ~ ~ ~
aw the CRT. For one thing, the relatively high e o Ci5~
1l .- .
....J power consumption, bulk, and weight of w8~ i'!
6 CRT's make them difficult to use in truly ~ ~
i;'l ~ - ~
o<l: portable TV's. And CRT's are poor per- Cc
cc formers in bright sunlight. :2

S199 2. 4in Wl 6 2 240 220 52800 G G I AA 10 I 1
F I I X X XX F X I I I I 14 I E
ET-20 13
Epson America, Inc.
2780 Lomita Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505 F I
ET-12 S350 6~ 3\4 1\4 I 2
13 240 220 52800 G G I I I
AA 1~ 0 I 1.4 6 G I I I I p X XX P X I I I I 0 0

SF 4 F 14
SI60 3 61n l in 2 CRT WA KIA NIA ? ? I I AA 3 0 I 1.4 6: ? I I ? ? ? ? ? ? I I I 0 0 A
Magnavox 3900SK
NAP Consumer ElectronicsCorp.
Interstate 40& Strawplains Poke F
SF 4 F
Knoxville. TN37914-1810
390ISK S220 3~ 6. 1~ I I 2 CRT NIA NIA NIA E E I I AA ?6 0 I 1.4
6 G I I I E F XX E F I 17 I I 0 0 14 0

4 T G H
TR- S180 3" l in 6 1.5 CRT N/A N/A NIA E E I I AA 4.5 18 I 1.4
G I I X X XX G P I I I I I 14 18 I
Panasonic Company 1030P
One Panasonicway
Secaucus, NJ 07094 CT- 8 F
$450 4~ 1~ 7\4 I 1.5 CRT ? ? ? E E I I I I I AA 3 18 19 1.2 6 G I I I I I X X XX X X I I I I I 14 lB I I

sice 4~ 2in 'I', 2 LCD 139 110 15290 F P I AA 1 I 2 2 P 3 I X X XX X X 4 I I I 3
- 2

Radio-ShacJ<, Oiv of Tandy Corp. POCKET-

VISION SI60 LCD 4 T ? ? ? 4 0 A
1700 OneTandycenter 5Y< 3 It 2.7 148 122 18056 ? ? I AM
10 / I
? I / / ? ? ? / I .' 0 / I
- 3 10
Hlrt Worth, TX 76102
VISION 5 F 0 0 I 0 A I
S300 ~, 3\4 .1~ I 2.6 LCD x 108 46656 ? ? I I / AA ,il O / 1.5 6 ? / / I I I ? ? ? ? ? ? I / / /
- 20 3 7

SI99 2. 41n ,~,
2 240 220 52BOO G G I AA
10 I 1
F I I X X XX F X I I I 14 / I
Consumer Electronics Division LOV01 2 13
Hattori Corp. of America
1330 W. WalnutParkway F
Compton, CA 90220 $349 3V, 6 lA. I 2
240 220 52800 G G I I / AA 5 0 I 1.2 6, F I I I X X F X F X 20 I I I 0 0 7 0 / :J

Sinclair Research Limited FTV2 stro 51+ 3in 1Y4 2 CRT N/A WA WA G E S
One Sinclair Plaza 21 15 I 0.7
P 2 I I X X XX F X I I / 22 22 14 21
Nashua, NH03061

4 5 F K L
FD-2A SIBO 2in 6" 1~ 2 CRT N/A NIA N/A E E I I AA 23 I 1.2
F I I I X X E F E F I 0 I I 0 0 14 I 0

SonyConsumer Products Co. 4
Sony Drive, FD-30A S240 3~ ~ 1~ I I 2 CRT NIA N/A N/A E E I I AA 0 I 1.4
6 G I I I E F XX E F I 17 I I 0 0 14 I 00
Park Ridge, NJ 07656
4 F
FD-40A S200 4. 8Y" 2\'\. 4 CRT N/A N/A NIA E E / I I C
5 0 I 2
6 GI I I I I E G G F G F NIR 0 I I 0 0 14 I 0 M

Zennh Electronics Corp. 4 F

1000 MilwaukeeAve.
SI99 41'< 8Y" 21'1 , 4 CRT WA N/A N/A G G I I I C 5 I 2
6 GI / / I I G P G P G P N1R I / 0 / 0 14 0
Glenview, IL 60025

? = " Unknown" or "Not tested", / = "Yes" or "Included". E = Excellent, G = Good, F = Fair, P = Poor, 'I, 2 hours with backlight. ;2 Earphoneonly. 3 Earphone wire is antenna. 4 Mirror provides viewingangle.
X = Not usable, N/A = Not applicable, N/R = Not required,0 = Optional 5 Radio only. 6 For speaker location: F= Front, T = Top, B= Back, S=Side. 7 Fluorescent backlightbuilt in.
.8 Slidecontrols for volume and brightness. II 3 hours with backlight. 10 Manufacturer claims 5:1 contrast
REMARKS: using black matrix LCD. .11 6 hours with backlight. 12 Stereo headphones included. 13 TFT (Thin-film-
A Nollested. B Discontinued, but maystill beavailableatretailers. C Seektuning. '0 Fancybook-likecase. tyansistor) technology. 14 Backlight not required. 15 2.5 hours with backlight. 16 28 hours radio only.
E High-resolution, reflective LCD. F Sunhood. G Dual earphonejacks. IH ACadapteruses non-standard 17 Stereo headset lncluaed. 18 Rechargeable battery pack included. 19 On-screen tuning bar indicator.
plug. t Antenna included. J Removable LCD alarm clock. 'K TV-Audia-only capability. l Magnifier with 20 Viewingscreentiltsupward. 21 Polaroid P-5oolithiumbatteryincluded. 22 AvailablefromRadioShack. See
sunshadeincluded. M Optional carantennaavailable. text. 23 35 hours TVsound only.

986~ Alnr
in-between layers gradually twist through
the 90 degrees between top and bottom .
Light entering through the bottom polar-
izer gradually gets twisted through a 90-
degree angle by the liquid-cry stal layers
and exits through the top polarizer as
shown in Fig I-a. A person viewing the
display sees a light spot.
In the presence of an electric field ,
however, the molecule s stand up on their
ends, parallel to the direction of the field.
In that state , they can no longer rotate
light. Therefore , light entering the bottom
FIG. 1-IN THE ABS'ENCE of an electric field, liquid-crystal molecules twist the light 90' , allowing it to does not get twisted; instead it gets ab-
pass through the display (a). When an electric field is present, that twisting does not take place and the
light Is absorbed by the top polarizer (b) .
sorbed by the top polarizer as shown in
Fig. I-b . To a person viewing the display,
that spot appear s dark .
By contra st, the circuitry required with To solve the problems of slow response To create the hundreds or thousands of
LCD 's is compact and lightweight. There- times and low contrast, Suwa Seikosha's pixels needed to form an image in a com-
fore, the Elf and similar units easily can be research team turned to Tf'T'sto turn on plex liquid-crystal disp lay suitable for use
held in the palm of the hand . Moreover, and off each of the 52, 800 pixels in the Elf as a video screen, the earlier (and still
the low power con sumption of an LCD display. The transistors, deposited on a widely used) approach is " multiplexing."
eases the drain on the unit's batterie s. Be- glass substrate, are made of poly- In multiplexing , rows of electrodes are
cause the electrodes in a liquid crystal crystalline silicon, a material known for deposited on one side of the liquid-crystal
display can be made of transparent mate- its stability and reliability. layer, and columns of electrodes are de-
rials, the screen can be lit from behind To understand how the TFT 's improve posited on the other side . The pixels are
(backlighted) with ambient light or from a performance, it is necessary to know a created at the junctions of rows and col-
built-in source . little about how liquid-cry stal displays op- umns.
In developing the Epson liquid-crystal erate. In the type of LCD used in watches , To simulate the scanning processes of a
color TV, Suwa Seikosha 's scientists and calculators, and the Epson Elf, liquid- CRT, electric pulses are fed to the row
engineers had to overcome some formida- crystal material , which is compo sed of electodes in succession; during that inter-
ble obstacles. For one thing , the liquid long, organic molecules , is sandwiched val , all of the column electrodes are
crystals commonly used in watch and cal- between two polarizers; for our discus- pul sed simultaneously. Whenever the
culator displays respond slowly to elec- sion, let's designate those the top and bot- voltage at a row-column junction exceeds
tric al signals . That is unacceptable for tom polarizers . The polarizers are placed a threshold value, the liquid crystals re-
video displays, where the liquid crystals in the display so that their transmission spond. In that way, every field of a stan-
must be turned on and off many times a axes are separated by 90 degrees. When dard TV signal can be displayed.
second. Also, most liquid-crystal dis- no electric field is present, the liquid crys- Multiplexing has its problems,
plays are low in contrast and limited to tal molecule s have their long axes parallel however. Because many rows must be ad-
black images on a light background. to the top and bottom polarizers and the dressed in a short time by a single electric
pulse , the time-weighted average on/off
ratio of black to white is very low, and that
results in poor contrast.
Those problems were solved by resort-
ing to an approach called active-matrix
addressing . In that system, the 240 row
and 220 column electrodes of the display
are depo sited on a single glass substrate .
On the opposite side of the display is a
common electrode . The TFT's , placed at
each row and column junction, are turned
on whenever a pixel is to be activated.
Driver circuitry controls which pixels are
activated at what times.
With the TFT's, each pixel receives the
full voltage needed to turn it on , not a
time-weighted average , as in multiplexed
devices. The result is a very high on/off
ratio and good contra st.
Color is added through the use of thou-
sands of microscopic red, blue , and green
(/) primary-color filters; one filter is placed
S:2 over each pixel electrode . When a red spot
z is to be created , the TFT 's at the blue and
c:: green filters in the appropriate region are
w turned on , blocking out light there and
W letting light through only the red filters. If
o blue is desired, the red and green TFT's
15 are turned on. If green is to be displayed,
c:: PANASONIC CT-1ot the red and blue TFT's are activated.

ability of the picture is the type of display.
CITIZEN Subjectively speaking, a black-and-white

SINCLAIR CRT offers the highest levels of resolution
PANASONIC FTV2 f---2.16" - - - J . and contrast. On the other hand , LCD

T.L :::"~I Ti"-j~ T

screens, with their limited pixel counts
and often poor contrast ratios, are the
AREA worst performers.
.9- AREA \ jJ1.
2" = ~~~~N2 1.jJ62
" = 3.50 IN2
The clarity and contra st rating provided
in the table are strictly the author's judge-
I = 1.08 IN2 ;/ ' -

ments, and are based on his comparisons

\ ?' V'~
between sets.
/-d Adj ustments: The trend by manufac-
turers in recent years has been to delete
RATIO: 1.21.9 = 413 RATIO: 1.611.2 = 413 2.16/1.62 = 413 some of the traditional user controls from
their TV sets. Among the controls that
FIG. 2-DIAGONAL MEASURE versus viewing area for t hree popul ar poc ket-TV sets. The Panasonic have slowly begun to disappear are ver-
TA-1030P Is shown In a, the Sinclair FTV21s shown in b , and the Cit izen 03TA is s how n in c. tical hold , contrast , and brightness . One
reason for that is that modem integrated
circuitry can control many of those pa-
differen t accessories . Therefo re, when rameters automatically, thereby eliminat-
shopping with our chart, look for specific ing the need for user overide. Another is
lO FEET- - - - - j

model numbers . cost. The e limination of seldom -used
lFOOTr I Price: The prices shown are the man- controls does make the set a little less
I C ~"_:C~EE~ __ - - 1 ufacturer 's suggested retail prices in effect formidable to operate, but it also reduces

. __-.=:i:'
---C 15" at the time this article was compiled. As your contro l over what you watch.

EYE r---- i -
-l with most other types of cons umer-elec-
tronics products , substantial discounts are
usually available, either from dealer s or
Speaker: If you don't expect much in
the way of good sound from these sets,
you won't be disappointed. Speaker loca-
from mail-order houses . tion plays a role in the sound quality, with
FIG. 3-A 1.S-INCH SCREEN, viewed at a dis- Size: The dimen sion s, given in inches , the worst performing units being those
tance of 1 foot, will yield the same viewing angl e
as a 15-inch screen viewed at a distance of 10 are approximate, and may not include with the speakers mounted at the rear.
feet. minor protrusions such as switches or re- Further, some sets are barely audible at
tracted antenna s. The intention is to give maximum volume in noisy surroundings,
Other shades are created by turning on you an idea of relative size. The designa - such as a fast-food restaurant. Earphones
various mixtures of the primary-color pix- tions of wide , high , and deep are made are provided or available with all units, if
els. If all the TFT 's in a region are turned with the assumption that the user is look- you can tolerate typical earp hone quality.
on, no light gets through and the image ing at the surface of the unit that contains The best sound was provided with the ster-
appears black. If none of them are turned the viewing screen . eo earp hones included with the Sony
on, all the primary colors get through and Screen characteristics: Some sets of- FD -30A and the Magnavox BF3901BK.
the image appears white. fer color but , with the exception of the Where quality ratings are provided (only
Panasonic Cl-Itll , you'll be disappoin ted on those sets tested), the rating was rela-
Charting the sets if you expect picture quality that rivals tive to other pocket TV's.
While the meaning of many of the en- your home color-TV set. That' s because Computer monitor : Because of those
tries in Table 1, our comparison chart, are all of the color sets, except the CT-lOl, use TV set's small size, their use as a comput-
obvious, some require further explana- an LCD instead of a CRT. While some er monitor is o bvio us ly marg in al.
tion. So, before discussing the individual LCD sets are surpri singly good , most However, the set's ability to display a 32-
TV sets, we' ll first explain each of the have a way to go before they will equal the or SO-column comp uter screen is useful as
chart headings. The notes and the remarks performance of conventional CRT's a benchmark in determining its resolution
at the end of the chart provide much addi- The screen sizes are given in inches capabilities . For all sets, the computer
tional informat ion. measured diagonally, as is the convention signal was coup led via a UHF modulator
Ma nufacture r or source: Most pocket with TV-screen specifica tions. However, (channe l 15) with a stub antenna. Where
TV sets are still relatively hard to find in that can be very deceptive when dealing available, displays coupled via a video or
local reta il stores . Large electro nics stores with small-size sets . For example, the external -antenna input were also evalu-
that carry many brands of TV and video 1.5-inch Panasonic sets have a viewing ated .
equipment are the most likely sources . If area that is only about 50% of a 2-inch Accessories: The large range of in-
you can't find a set you are interested in scree n (that's probab ly why both Pan- cluded and optional items are shown in
locally, you may wish to write the man- asonic sets come with magnifiers). Figure this section of the chart . Most are self-
ufacturer for assistance. Also, some lux- 2 shows how diagonal measure relates to explanat ory, but further information can
ury catalogs, such those available from viewing area for three popular screen be found in the discus sion of each individ-
Markli ne and The Sharper Image , fre- sizes . Note that the TV-standard 4:3 as- ual set.
quently offer pocket-TV sets . pect ratio is maintained for all sets.
Mod e l : It 's not unu sual for so me That is not to say that a 1.5-inch screen Next time
pocket TV sets to look alike and yet be is too small. It depends upon how far it is Of course , there's a lot more to be said
different in performance. Some are made from your eye. Figure 3 shows that a 1.5- for the various TV's than can be sum-
by one manufacturer for another, but spec- inch diagonal screen one foot from your mari zed in a chart. Next time. we' ll
ifications may not be the same although eye subtends the same viewing angle as a provide in-depth , no -p unc hes-pu lle d
appearance is ident ical. For examp le, the 13-inch diagonal television screen 10 feet evaluations of many of the pocke t-TV set c
Citizen 03TA and the Radio Shack Pocket- away. currently available. If you are contemplat- r:<
vision-S look almos t identical, but use a Probably the most important screen ing purchasing one of those sets, it is a
different screen technol ogy and include characteristic in determin ing the accept- round-up you won't want to miss. R-E

Learn all about what might be
the ultimate scrambling system
in this month's article.



at several of the sim-
pler scrambling techniques that are cur-
from a video signal (currently a very pop-
ular scrambling technique), the resulting
signal would drop to zero at regular inter-
rently in use. All of those rendered the vals. Those regions of zero signal, or Over the next few months, Radio-
picture unwatchable by either reversing "holes," would occur at the points where Electronics will be presenting a se-
the video polarity or altering the sync in the sync pulses would be found normally. ries of articles describing the tech-
such a way that the receiver's sync circuit- As we've previously seen, it is a simple niquesused by pay-TV and cable
companies to scramble their signals.
ry could not lock onto the video signal. matter to restore the normal sync pulses
While specific circuits for specific
However, all the methods discussed using a locally generated sync signal. scrambling systems wUl be discussed,
thus far have one major fault: They are they are presented for informational
"static." By that we mean two different Scramb ling the picture and experimental purposes only.
things. First of all, the scrambling al- Here's a thought to ponder for a mo- Therefore, parts lists, parts suppliers,
gorithm does not change over time. Once ment: All of the previously discussed and additional technical support will
the scrambling technique has been deter- "scrambling" techniques in fact do not not be available for those circuits.
mined, it is relatively simple to come up scramble the picture . All they do is dis-
with a circuit that will unlock it. Further, rupt the normal video waveform in such a
nothing has been done to alter the order in way that a conventional TV receiver can would be to tum the TV set upside down.
which the video information is transmit- not reproduce a watchable image. But suppose we began the scan at the
ted . The video signal is still transmitted But what if we could actually scramble midline of the picture . Then the bottom
line by line, frame by frame, in the same the picture? Normally, a scene is scanned half would appear above the top half and
order as it was scanned . The audio is usu- by the video camera and broken up into things would appear to be cut in two. By
ally unaltered, though it may be hidden on pixels . Those pixels are transmitted to the now you of course realize where we're
a subcarrier. receiver one by one . At the receiver, the heading . We could cut the picture into
Let's expand on that a bit. The static pixels are reassembled in the order in four strips and scan them in 2, 4, 3, I
scrambling systems used on most pay-TV which they are received to recreate the order. The result would be a nearly unre-
and cable-TV systems are not difficult to original picture . cognizable picture .
decode because of the following: However, in theory there is no reason to Continuing on, suppose we scanned
There is a horizontal sync pulse (or scan the picture elements in any particular the 262Yz lines per field in any random
hole) every 63 .5 microseconds, and a new order. The picture could be thought of as a order. The resulting picture would be un-
field every 16.68 milliseconds . jigsaw puzzle, with each piece repre- recognizable-like an unassembled jig -
The video signal at every instant has a sented by a pixel. The puzzle could be put saw puzzle .
(f) fixed relationship with the scene that was together in any order without affecting the Finally, we could break up each line
~ scanned to produce that picture . final image that results. In a conventional into random segments and scan them in
o All necessary decoding or unscram- TV system, scanning is done from left to random sequence in each line. All the
~ bling information is present in the video right and top to bottom, but that is not the pixels would still be there, but the picture
&l signal, or on another frequency or chan- only scan sequence that is possible. would look like nothing more than color-
uJ nel in a cable pay-TV system . What would happen if we reversed the ful confetti. It would be as if someone tore
6 Changes in picture content between ad- scan process? That would cause the TV the picture into tiny pieces and threw it on
~ jacent frames is generally insignificant. picture to be inverted top to bottom , left to the floor.
a: Thus, if the sync pulses were stripped right. A quick "descrambler" for that Of course, there is a significant dif-
ference between what is theoreticall y pos- restrict the order in which that data is prior to eac h fie ld dur ing the vertical
sib le and what is practical. For instance. retrieved. Thus, the order of the pixels blanking interval. For maximum security
at the receiving end. conventional, mag- within a line may be scrambled (called both line dicing and line shuffling can be
netic-deflection CRT's are simply incapa- line dicing), the order of the lines in a field used with changing algorithms .
ble of disp laying a picture generated by may be scrambled (called line shuffling), To give you a better idea of the level of
comp lex sc anning satisfactorily. Further. or both . security that those systems could provide.
the sweep circuitry in conventional TV Let 's expand on that thought. The pix- let 's stop and consider the number of pos-
receivers is not capable of generating the els of video data stored in memory could sible combinations of segments that line
type of high-speed . high-precision wave- be thought of as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle dicing and line shuffling can give us. If we
forms needed to properly drive the CRT. It stored in a box . If we could assign a nu- were to dice a line into 8 segments, there
is , of course , possible to redesign the sync merical code to each piece, and if we had would be 8! (read 8 factorial) possible
circuits and the CRT so they are capable of a map or chart showing where each piece combinations. For those unfamiliar with
providing the appropr iate drive signals: should be placed , the puzzle could be factorial computations, 8! = 8 x 7 x 6
but the TV set that would result would be assemb led without wondering where each x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x I = 40.320.
prohibiti vel y expensive. piece fits or having to figure out what part Now consider the number of lines in a
of the picture it represe nts . field-rounding down, there are 262. If
Introducing digital scramblin g That code could be assigned in one of all of the lines in a field were shuffled ,
There is , however, another approach- several ways. One would be to break up there would be 262 ! different possible
use digital technology. Thanks to modem each line into eight segments. Using a combin ations. (If you don 't mind , we' ll
VLSI tech niques , the cos t of a digital binary numbering scheme, the segments leave the actual comput ation as an exer-
scra mbling system is rapidly becoming would be numbered from 000 at the ex- cise for an adventurous reader.) And that's
affordable. Let's see what's involved . treme left to II I at the extreme right. The ju st for one field; there are some 60 such
It is a relatively simple task to represent ordering of the line could then be altered fields per second, 3 ,600 per minute , and
the luminance and chrominance informa- during transmission . At the receiver end, 108,000 per half hour. Add a constantly
tion of each pixel in digita l form . Each the segments would be placed in memory changing algorithm and addressa bility
pixel could , for example, be represented in the order in which they are received. into the equation and you have a video
by sixteen different luminance levels and The proper sequence of segments could " pirate's" nightmare.
sixteen different chrominance levels. If be relayed to the receiver in many ways. For those unfamiliar with the concept,
that were done, any pixe l could be de- For instance, it could be hidden in the addressability allows you to send certain
scri bed by one of the 256 possible com- horizontal blanking interval, put on a sub- sig na ls - s uc h as d e sc ra m bli ng a l-
binations that would result. Further, if our carrier, etc. Once the rece iver has the gorithms-only to those decoders that
digital system used 8-bit "words ," any proper segme nt seq ue nce, it is easy have been registered as belonging to pay-
pixel could be comp letely described by enough (0 pull the stored segments out of ing subscribers. Addressable decoders are
one byte of data. memory in the proper order. now being used by many of this country's
A standard TV set , one with a band- What makes such a scrambling system largest pay-TV distributors.
width of 3.5 - to 4-MHz. has a resolution so hard to break is that the encoding can A block diagram of a system capable of
of about 250 vertical lines . That trans lates be changed at any time. Each line could carrying out the scrambling we've ju st
to a resolution of 250 pixe ls per line . (On be scramb led in a different manner. Or all described is shown in Fig. I. In that sys-
a 25-inch set , which would have a screen the lines in one field or frame could be tem, data stored in memory is first read
width of abo ut 20 inches , such resolution scrambled in one way and all the lines in out, then incoming data is read in. The
would allow you to see details that were as the next field or frame in another. result is a delay of one field (or line or
small as abo ut Via inch.) Thus, all of the If line shuffling is used , the lines can be frame, depending on the system). Be-
information contained in a line cou ld be sent to the receiver in any order. If that is cause of the times involved (remember, 60
stored in a 256-byte memory. done, the decoding algorithm can be sent fields are displayed per second), the effect
If we wished, even more video infor-
matio n could be stored easily. For in-
sta nce, e ach fie ld has 262.5 lines .
However, only 249 .5 to 241.5 lines are DIGITIZED SCRAMB LED VIDEO CONVERTER VIDEO
actually displayed; the rest are lost to ver-
tica l retrace . That mea ns that a comp lete
field of vide 0 can be stored in a 256 x 256
= 64K memory.
Of course, once that data is stored, we
will need to retrieve that data at a fairly
high rate If a usable video image is to be GENERATOR SYNC
displayed. For instance , if we are storing
our data by field, remember that 60 such
fields are displayed per second. Thus our
access rate must be 60 x 64K = 3.84
megabytes per second. Those of you fa-
miliar with the capab ilities of current dig- AUDIO
ita l tec hno logy will rea lize that the DI GITIZED SCRAMBLED AUDIO D/A SCRAMBLED
hardware needed to impleme nt such a sys- C
tem is available, but not inexpensive. C<
Now the fun begins . Once the data is FIG. 1-A DIGITAL-SCRAMBLING SYSTEM Is shown here In block diagram for m. An unautho rized
safely in memory. there are few rules to viewer would fin d tha t descrambllng that signal Is a near impossi ble task.

that the age of affordable digital scram-
bling has arrived. That system is used by
HBO and other satellite programmers to
limit access to their uplinked signals. The
video scrambling method used by MIA-
COM is rather primitive , and easily un-
locked . The audio is another matter. It is
scrambled using a sophisticated digital
technique, one that makes use of a con-
stantly changing algorithm and the ad-
dressability of the Linkabit decoders .
Breaking that system should prove to be a
formidable task.
8 Another scrambling method 8

Before we leave the area of theory, let's

look at one more possible approach to
scrambling the video. That system intro-
duces a switchable time delay that alters
the spatial relationship between suc-
cessive horizontal lines .
A block diagram of the system is shown
in Fig. 3. As you can see in that figure, the
technique makes use of one or more delay
lines. That allows for various amounts of
delay, or no delay at all, to be selected for
each horizontal line. The result is that a
normal signal, like the one shown in Fig.
4-a, becomes one with severe ghosting
and distortion, like the one shown in Fig.
such as line shuffling were used, a normal video can turn a normal video Image (a) Into one with
Image (a) would be reduced to colorful confetti severe distortion and ghosting (b).
(b). Scrambling and picture quality
One consideration with any scrambling
of that delay is nonexistent. Of course, the system is how it affects the quality of the alistic. It is something that should be
data is read in in the sequence in which it picture seen by paying subscribers . Gated considered when deciding whether or not
is received, but is read out in the order sync and sinewave, and related methods, you wish to receive a scrambled premium
determined by the code generator. The introduce deliberate interference into the system.
code generator establishes the order of the video signal. While decoders do a good However, digital scrambling may affect
scrambling under direction of the" sync" job of removing the interference, they are video quality in a very different way.
signal. Note that that sync signal is the not perfect. There is always some residual Higher resolution, reduced video noise,
scrambling algorithm that we spoke about video noise or interference left over. On a and reduced interference problems are
previously. The result is that a normal good quality, large-screen receiver or vid- just some of the improvements possible
picture, like the one shown in Fig. 2-a will eo monitor the effect is noticeable and with digital-TV technology. That's why
become completely scrambled, like the may be objectionable. Further, with the digital TV is currently such a hot topic.
one shown in Fig. 2-b. use of audio subcarriers , the bandwidth of All of those advantages could also be
As indicated in Fig. I, there is no reason the audio that is received is somewhat passed on to the viewer of a digital-scram-
that digital scrambling need be limited to reduced , resulting in less than optimum bling system, especially if the video were
just video. In fact, the task is much easier audio quality. viewed on a high-quality, high-resolution
with audio, and just as effective. Most If you were watching commercial TV monitor. Just as the order of assembly
movies, concerts, etc ., are not very en- on a 19-inch portable TV set, none of that does not affect the waya completed jigsaw
joyable if they can't be heard as well as may be of great consequence to you. But puzzle appears, the scrambling/descram-
seen . if you are paying a premium for premium bling process would have no detrimental
All of this is not pure speculation. programming, you would expect quality effect on the way the displayed video
Those of you familiar with the much her- video and audio. Unfortunately, scram- would appear. In fact, one proponent of a
alded MIA-COM Linkabit system know bling may make that expectation unre- digital video-scrambling system claims
that the improvement in the signal-to-
noise ratio over that of the baseband video
LINE INFO RMATI ON would be about 2 dB.
VIDEO Next time
(J) INFO RMATION So far we've seen some of the many

S:2 different ways that programmers could
o VIDEO scramble their signals to prevent access by
I- IN unauthorized viewers. And we've exam-
oW ined those systems at the block-diagram
W level. But what about the circuitry neces-
o sary to implement those scrambling /de-
o FIG. 3-IN THIS ANALOG scrambling system, adding varying amounts of delay to the video will result scrambling systems? That's our topic for
a:: in spatial displacement of the horizontal lines. The result is a video image with severe distortion. next time. R-E
1. Hz
Who says a frequency counter mus t be big and
expensive? Our little counter can measure signa ls in
gigahertz range, and it can be built for under $60 !


TH E PRI C ES O F VARIOUS T YP ES OF T EST contains all the circuit ry nec-

ins truments have been dropping like essary to count, generate gate
ducks in a shooting gallery the past few signals, latch data , and drive a
years. The latest victim is the frequency multiplexed LED display. It also
counter. When dig ital frequency counters has an M IP (Meas ure me nt In
first appeared in the early 1950 's they were Progress) output, and con-
very large, very expensive , and, by to- tro l inputs for decim al-
day's standards, very limited. However, poi nt placemen t and gate
inexpensive LSI freque ncy-counter IC' s time.
and high-speed ECL prescalers have been The second key part is the
developed in the past few years. RCA CA3 179 amplifier/pre-
Those IC's allow us to offer you a high- scaler. It is an ECL part with an
performa nce , hand-held frequency coun- exceptio nal bandwid th of 1200
ter for under $60 . It can measure the fre- MHz and with excellent sensitivity.
quency of signals ranging from I Hz to As you c an see in Fig . 2, th e
1200 MHz , and it has sensitivity under 25 CA3179 's 500 -MH z input has a
mV throughout most of its useful range. sensitivity of about 10 mV rms
In fact, using a 19-inch telescopic anten- above 100 MHz. Below that fre-
na, we can measure the output of a \110- quenc y, sensitivity is inversely
watt, 146-MHz hand ie-talkie that is lo- related to frequency, rising to
cated more than 20 feet away! Our fre- 125 mV at frequencies below
quency counter has many other features about 2 MHz. As you can see
rivalling units selling for several times its in Fi g . 3, th e C A317 9 ' s
price . Comp lete specifications are shown 1200 -MHz input is about
in Table I. 25 mV over th e 300-
1000-MHz range.
Design Philosophy The CA3179 requires a
Our main design objectives were to sing le five-volt supply,
produce a I-GHz co unter with good sen- and it runs barely warm to
sitivity, and with minimal size and cost. the touch . That makes it the
To meet those objec tives we selected two only IC of its kind we know of that c....
key parts: Intersil's LSI frequency coun- doe s not run hot in normal opera tion. C
ter, the 7216D (IC I in Fig. I), and RCA's Last, it is inexpensive and easy to find. ~
ECL prescaler, the CA3179 (lC2) . A few other inexpensive components
The Intersil IC was chosen because it round out our frequency counter. Refer-
provided to control S EN S IT IV IT Y (5 I) and
GATE T IM E(54) .
Range 1- 1200 MHz
Gate time (fast) 0.25 second
Circuit Description
(slow) 2.5 seconds Referring now to the complete circuit
Resolution 100 Hz (fast gate time) diagram in Fig. 4 , you can see that the
1000 Hz (slow gate time) output of the CA3179 is fed through the
Display Eight 0.28-inch high, 7-segment LED D I/Q I circuit. Those components serve to
displays, common -cathode . Decimal boost the l-volt output of the CA3 179 to a
point indicates MHz. Leading zero
standard TTL level. Then , depend ing on
Sensitivity (1-10 MHz) 100-150 mY rms
the position of RA NGE switc h 52 -b, the
(10-1000 MHz) 1- 35 mY rms signal is passed directly to the 7216 , or
(1-1 .2 GHz) 10-150 mY rms through the divide-by-four circ uit built
Accu racy :!: 1 PPM RTXO time base , from the two " 0 " flip-flops in IC3 .
= 1 count in LSD The other half of the RA NGE switch
Timebase aging 0.1 PPM/month (52-a) controls the voltage at pin 3 of the
Input impedance 50 ohms CA3179. When pin 3 is high , the signal
Gate LED Illuminates duri ng count applied to pin 9 is fed through an extra
Input connectors 2 BNC female jacks internal divide-by-four stage before it is
Input power 9-14 VDC, 150 mA, internally regulated
Six AA Ni-Cd cells (7.2 volts)
amplified and output on pins 4 and 5 .
Optional battery pack
AC adapter and batter y charger 9 VDC, 300-500 ma When pin 3 is low, the sig nal on pin 13 is
Input power connector Va-inch jack, center positive simply processed for output without being
Case 0.060-inch anod ized aluminum divided internally.
Size 3.9 x 3.5 x 1.5 (inches) We use a 3.9 0625 MHz crystal for our
Weight 8.5 oz, 13 oz with battery pack time base; the crystal yields a fast gate
time of 0 .256 second . The displayed fre-
quency equals the input frequency divid-
ed by 1000 in thefast mode . In slow mode ,
gate time is 2 .56 seco nds . The displayed
500-MHz0-- - - _ - - - -1 7 64 frequency equals the input frequency di-
vided by 100 in the slow mode .
PRES CALER Switch 54 , GATE T IME , perform s two
AND functions . First it selects the app ropriate
(IC2) gate time according to which digit output
1 200- M HzU---~_-----J 7 256
of ICI the RA NG E input is connected to .
INPUT Another of the 7216's inputs is also con-
3.90625-MHz trolled by 54 : the DP SELECT input. The
decimal point of the digit output to which
'='. Ct. C'. C,. ,=,. ,=,. Ct. CI.
, , , , ,-, t I '"

that pin is connected will be the one that
lights up. In our case, the correct decim al
point illumin ates, according to the posi-
tion of 54, to provide a readin g in MHz .
MEASUREMENT Self-oscillation
+ V....AtNIr-J Due to the high gai n, balanced-input
amplifiers in the CA3 179, self-osc illation
FIG. 1-BLOCK DIAGRAM OF THE FREQUENCY COUNTER reveals that only three IC's and a few can occ ur with no input signal present.
discrete components are needed to produce a high-performance 1-GHz counter. The result is a random , cons tantly-chang-
ing count. Although that does not affect
little power. RANGE switch 52 allows you the performance of the co unter, it can be
to select either the divide-by-four output distracting .
lOa or the direct output from the prescaler. To settle the disp lay we added SEN-
Your chose n signal is then passed on to SIT IVIT Y swi tch 5 I and the associated re-
s;::: 75 ICI , which proce sses it for outp ut on the sistors and capac itors. When the switc h is
LED displays , two four-digit, common- on, the RC networks eliminate display
cathode, multiplexed displays with 0 .28 - bobble. The differe nce in sensitivity var-
5 inch high digits. ies with frequency. For example, at 150
The circuit is powered by an external MHz, normal sensitivity is typically 15
10 20
100 200 300 400 500 AC adapter or an optio nal built-in Ni-Cd mY rms, and high sensitivity is about 6
FREQUENCY-M Hz battery pack (which is trick led charged by mY rms. But at 850 MHz , normal sen-
FIG. 2-RMS SINEWAVE SENSITIVITY of the the ada pter). Se parate sw itc hes are sitivity is typically 40 mY rms and high
CA3179's 500-MHz input is a flat 15 mV f rom 100 sensitivity is abo ut 25 mY rms.
o to 450 MHz. ~ 200 .-----.-~---.-~-.---.--" The MIP output of ICI drives Q2, which
oa:: ~~ 100f--+--+--+-+--+-+--H in turn drives LED!. When it is illum i-
nated , a measurement is in progress. The
ring back to Fig. I, the output of the pre-
sca ler is fed through a level translator and
U) 50 100 300 500 700 900 1100 LED goes out for a fraction of a second
W then to two " 0" flip-flops configured as a FREQUENCY-MHz between measurement s.
o divide-b y-four counter. We use a 74L574 FIG. 3-RMS SINEWAVE SENSITIVITY of the
For greatest accuracy, trimm er C8 can
is dual-D flip-flip because it is inexpe nsive be adj usted so that the output of the os-
CA3179's 1200-MHz input is a fairly flat 25 mV
a:: and readily available, and because it uses from 300 to 950 MHz. cilla tor is exac tly 3 .906250 MHz . For

J3 1 ~' 5V
-INPUT C15 ,T- T2 r- - T
..l- I .i,
00' 14 11 ~ ,1
R15 :: t S
1 110 113 114 C6 3JOU C9 CI
G O SET 12 0 SET RESET 39pf 16pf C8
Jl 001
1200MH, IC3-. , IC3-b Il - RI2 l 23pF
1m! ~1200MH' l\ 74lS74 n ~~ CLK l\ 74LS74 I 10K
9 3 500 MH, a.L.J a .L (f) l EDI
C4 52' 8 II --I~ CLK GND II ~!EAS~!!.EMENT

470pF IC2 RAN GE ~ _ 2'"_____ __, I~ PRDGRES~
' RI
' R4
01 I ~ I
o ~
' CARBON lO Lw.--
r-t- ( HOl
& Q2 390625

14 4 ; cu MH'
110K 1 16 171 8111 12

; T~1 1 II

I C3
IK S2b
22 MEG

~r l1
-<>-- - RAN_E


128 [ 1 25 26

RIl I 14
10K RI4 le l
ICM721 6DIPI Vee 18
10K 10K
, , A ,
Ii/if ~ 8 7 6 5 4 3 1 1 CN TL a b c d e f 9 D.P_

f? 11 10 9 8 6 4 5 3 I 20 17 16 19 21 15 22 23

R9 100
BMII5 0 sv
I 10K pF
- C 0

F l00"F C1<
/ I / I I I I I I I / / I / I I
16V / /. I I. / /. I /. / I. / I. I I. 1 /.

FIG. 4-SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM OF THE FREQUENCY COUNTER is a model of design simplicity.

Transistor Q1 and associated discrete components translate IC2's ECl output into a TIL level for IC3
and IC1.

greatest frequency stability, C7 should be recharging them . That should prevent a regulated voltage, however, the timebase
an NPO type, and C9 an N750 . In case discharge " memory" from formin g at circuit should maintain I-PPM stability
you're wondering, temp erature causes al- less than the full rated output voltage. at room temperature . Both temperature
most no change in capacitance in an NPO Voltage regulator IC4 provides a regu- stability and accuracy are almost totally
capacitor; the capacitance of an N750 ca- lated five-volt DC output when S3 is dependent upon the crystal used.
pacitor will decrease 750 parts per million closed . Regul ated voltage is especially The counter circuitry by itself draws
for each 1C increase in temperature. important to the timebase oscillator, be- about 120 rnA; in combination with the
The power supply is a standard 7805 cause , as the batt ery 's volt age varied battery charger, about 150 rnA will be
circuit. Input voltage can range from 9- 14 throughout its life, so would the frequen- drawn. The optional Ni-Cd battery pack
volts DC; input should never exceed 14 cy of the timebase. Erroneous measure- should give up to 5 hours of continuou s
volts. Diode 02 protects the circuit from ments would result. With a good source of operation, which is more than adequate
an accidental reversed- voltage input. for most portable requirements . In any
Power input jack 11 has a switch con- case, we recommend that your DC source
tact. When no plug is present , the contacts be able to supply at least 300 rnA for safe
are closed , so the negat ive terminal of the and reliable opera tion.
battery is grounded . When a plug is pres-
ent, RI9 appears in the battery's ground
~"" 1~
\ \ \ \\ \
y~' ~.-+ That's about all there is to the circuit-
so let's build a frequency counter!
circuit; that resistor is what provides trick- ~ '- CUT -
PC board
le-charging . With a 9-volt input, a charge
current of 25-45 rnA will be provided . ~
~ SLOT For ease of construction, we recom-
Charging occurs even when POWER switch mend use of a double-sided PC board .
S3 is off. You should ensure that charge You can buy an etched, plated, labeled ,
current never exceeds 45 rnA; adjust the SOLDER LOCATION S and solder-masked board from the source
value of RI 9 if necessary. mentioned in the Parts List, or you can
The Ni-Cd battery pack specified in the etch you own board using the foil patterns
Parts List is rated at 45 rnA. This means shown in " PC Serv ice."
that a charge curren t of 45 rnA will fully For flexibi lity, the PC layout has a
charge a co mpletely discharged pack in number of extra pads and holes to accom-
about 14 hours , and that the batteries modate capacitors of various sizes and
won't be harmed by cont inuous charging shapes. That applies to C2, C3 , and C4,
at that rate (or less). For maximum battery and to trimmer C8 . We designed a partial C
life and ca pacity, Ni-Cd 's should occa- micro-strip layout for the input connectors !:(
FIG. 5-A BNC CONNECTOR must be modified
sionally be "de ep cycled" several times as shown in a so that it can be soldered to the PC (12 and 13) to simplify assembly and to
by completely discharging and then fully board as shown in b. approximate a 50-ohm input impedanc e.
In addition, the PC board has two notches
PARTS LIST at the top to accept modified BNC con -
nectors, and another notch along one side
All resistors are Y4-watt,5% unless oth- DISP1 , DISP2-DL-4770 , four-digit, for the power-input jack JI. The notches
erwise noted. seven -segment , common-cathode for the BNC connectors should be 0 .365"
R1-510 ohms, carbon composition multiplexed display (Utronix) wide and 0.250" deep. The power-jack
R2, R4-100 ohms , carbon composition LED1-standard red LED notch should be 0.430" wide and 0.150"
A3-56 ohms, carbon composition D1-1N914 switching diode deep.
A5-1000 ohms D2-1N4001 rectifier
A6--220 ohms Other Components Construction
A7-2,200 ohms S1-S4-subminiature DPDT slide switch
A8-22 ohms J1-Va-inch power jack with switch Our frequency counter was designed
A9-A14-10,OOO ohms J2, J3-BNC connector, female , for quick and easy assembly; by following
R15-330 ohms bulkhead mount, modified (see text) the directions you should have no trouble
A16--22 megohms XTAL1-3.9062S0 MHz crystal, parallel building, testing, or calibrating the instru-
A17-270,OOO ohms resonant, 22 pF, HC-18 case. ment. We'll call the "front" side of the
A18-20,OOO ohms Miscellaneous 3116" high by W' OD nylon board the side that the switches and the
R19-82 ohms. 1/2 watt, 10% spacer, IC sockets , PC board, case, displays are mounted on.
Capacitors power pack, etc. First modify the two BNC connectors
C1, C2, C15-0.001 fl.F ceramic disc Note: The following items are available
as shown in Fig. 5-a. Using a hacksaw ora
C3, C4-470 pF ceramic disc from Optoelectronics, lnc., 5821 N.E.14
C5-100 pF ceramic disc Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 33334: PC modeling file, cut a YJ6-inch slot beneath
C6, C10, C14-0.1 fl.f ceramic disc board (no. PCB-1200H), $16; Kit includ- the center post of the BNC connector,
C7-16 pF ceramic disc , NPO ing PCB and all parts less cabinet (no. leaving 3;\6 of an inch beneath the flange.
C8-1-23 pF trimmer 1200HK), $59.95; Anodized cabinet Then solder each connector to the board
C9--39 pF ceramic disc, N750 with red lens (no. CAB-1200H),. $20; as shown in Fig. 5-b. The connectors are
C11-10 fl.F, 16 volts, electrolytic Power adapter/charger (no. AC-1200), soldered to the adjoining ground planes
C12-220 fJ-F, 25 volts, electrolytic $7.50; Ni-Cd battery pack (no. on both sides of the PC board; that makes
C13-100 fJ-F, 16 volts, electrolytic NiCd-1200), $20; TelescopingAF an- the installation both strong and well
Semiconductors tenna (no. TA-100), $12; Vinyl zipper
grounded. The center conductors of the
IC1-ICM7216DIPI universal frequency case (no. CC-70), $10; 50-ohm 1 x pro-
counter (Intersll) be (no. P'100), $18; Wired, tested and BNC connectors should also be soldered
IC2-GA3179 ECL pre-scaler (RCA) calibrated counter (no. 1200H), $110. tn- to the PC board now.
IC3-74LS74 dual "D " flip-flop dividual components also available. Next, on the back side of the board, as
IC4-780S S-volt regulator (TO-220 case) Florida residents add 5% sales tax. All shown in Fig. 6, install the low-profile
Q1-PN3638A transistor (ECG159) orders add 5% tor shipping and han- components (the diodes and resistors),
Q2-PN5139 transistor (ECG108) dling. followed by the IC sockets, then the ca-
L pacitors, etc. Be certain to observe proper
polarity when installing the diodes, the
electrolytic capacitors , the IC sockets, the
battery connector, and, on the front of the
board, LED! and the displays. By the
way, we found almost no difference in
performance with and without sockets,
but using them makes servicing easier.
Since the counter will be dealing with
rather high frequencies, RI-R4 and
CI-C4 should be installed with minimum
lead length . Also, resistors RI-R4 should
be the non-inductive, carbon-composi-
tion type; the other resistors may be either
composition or film types . Capacitors
CI-C4 should be small ceramic disk or
monolithic ceramic types . All input com-
ponents should be installed as neatly as
To complete the back side of the board,
install the voltage regulator (IC4), trim-
mer capacitor C8, and all small capaci-
tors . Bend the leads of the regulator so
that its body is parallel to the PC board. A
heatsink is unnecessary. Next install
power jack 11 and transistors QI and Q2.
Clean flux off the front side of the
(/) board, and then install the switches,
o DISPI and DISP2, XTALl, LED!, and
Z R2, according to Fig. 6. The LED should
a: be mounted above a spacer 3;\6 inch in
oUJ length . The displays should be mounted
flush against the board. When installing
FIG. 6-PARTS PLACEMENT DIAGRAM. Most components mount on the bottom of the board. The
6 switches, displays, R2 and LED1 are shown In dashed lines; they should be mounted on the opposite
the displays, the IC sockets, and any other
s-c side of the board . The leads to the battery attach to the bottom side; BNC jacks J2 and J3 should be components with numerous solder con-
a: soldered to both sides of the board. nections, it's best to solder two or three

Calibration and final assembly
To calibrate the counter, let it warm up
for at least Yz-hour, connect a stable signal
of known frequency to the proper input
jack, and then adjust trimmer capacitor
C8 for proper disp lay. Use the highest
frequency you can and the SLOW gate time
in order to get maximum resolution and
Remem ber that a counter's accuracy is
specified in PPM (Parts Per Million) , and
if a reading is I PPM high at one frequen-
cy, the counter will read I PPM high at all
frequencies. At I MHz a 100 PPM error
would , in many applications, be insignifi-
cant. But a 100 PPM error at I kHz would
be quite significant. So calibrate the coun -
ter carefully !
When it is calibrated, you can mount it
in its case, see Fig. 8. If you use the case
mentioned in the Parts List, the PC board
just slips into it. The BNC connec tors and
the power jack should line up with the
holes in the case perfectly. Drop a red
plastic filter over the displays and then
screw the case together. You're ready to
start using your 1.2-GHz frequency coun -
ter now!

Usage hints
Keep in mind that the counter requires
only a few millivolts to make an accurate
reading-seldom more than about 50 m V.
Inexperienced users commonly overdrive
the frequency counter-and that could
ca use erroneous readings or circuit
damage . Signals of several volts or more
should be loosely coupled by a small ca-
pacitor or picked up inductive ly by a loop-
type probe or antenna. When connec ting
the frequency counter directly to a circuit,
FIG. 7-oNCE AL L COMPONENTS are in place, clean the bo ard and check your work for any shorts or use a 10K series resistor to reduce ringing
opens . and to lighten the load on the test circuit.
Other than following those simple precau-
tions, you should have no trouble using
- you're satisfied that the board is in good the cou nter.
shape , install the IC 's. Your board should Since the the price-to -performance
now appear as in Fig. 7. ratio of this circuit is so good, you may
want to install one permanently in a piece
Initial check-out of equipment such as a ham rig or a com-
Set the SENSITIVITY switch to NORM mercial radio transmitter. That way you
and the GATE switch to FAST. With the could have a continuous indication of out-
RANGE switch in either position, apply put frequency, and any drift could be cor-
power. The GATE LED should blink and rected before it caused interference to
the disp lay shou ld indicate .000 with stations transmitting on nearby frequen-
leading dig its blanked. Move the GATE cies .
FIG. 8-0NCE INSTALLED IN ITS CASE, th e switch to the SLOW position. The display Or, for a very handy and versatile piece
counter makes a neat, compact, and easily should now read .0000, and the GATE of test gear, you could combine our circuit
transportable test Instrument. LED should blink at a slower rate . Now with an inexpensive function generator in
move the SENSITIVITY switch to H IGH ; the a single cabinet. Also, it would be easy to
pins, check for alignment, correc t if nec- display should show a random, changing adapt our circ uit for automoti ve or marine
essary, and only then solder the remaining count on both ranges. use . If you do, be sure to wire a V4- to Yz-
pins. A small piece of double-sided foam If the display is dim or blank, remove amp fuse in series with the counter's
tape should be placed under the crysta l to power, and make sure all IC's are installed power input line.
insulate its case and to provide a shock correctly. If so, check the orientation of As you can see, our frequency counter
mount. Finally, install the electro lytic ca- all the diodes and electrolytic capaci tors . is so inexpens ive and so easily adaptable
pacitors, CI 2 and C13, on the rear side of Re-check the PC board for shorts and that new applications for it seem to sug- C
the board. opens if necessary. Finally, your power gest themselves! You'd better start build- !:(
Now clean the board and check it thor- source may be weak or dead, or a switch ing several-you'll use 'em before you c.o
may be bad . know it! R-E ce
oughly for solder shorts and opens. When Ol

L-.-o,-ef--- .....,.-I I-~Y. - I
If you think that a sensitive
FIG. 2-DELUXE RADAR DETECTOR adds a buffer amp lifier and an audio powe r amp to drive a
radar detector is a speak er.
complicated and expensive
piece of equipment, have we op-amp stage to be used for additional
buffering, and that makes for a more sen-
got a surprise for you! sitive detector.
The first op-amp in each circuit (l CI -a)
GREGORY HODOWANEC functions as a current-to-voltage convert-
RA DAR D ET ECfO RS ARE US U ALLY CO M PLI- er. Then , in the economy model (Fig. I) , a
cated and expensive devices, but a sim- ICI -b buffers the output to drive the piezo
ple, yet effective, detector can be built in a buzzer. Potentiometer R5 sets the switch-
small plastic case for less than ten dollars! ing threshold of ICI- b; norma lly it is ad- (I)
~ 0.8
The circuit, which can be tuned to re- justed so that the circuit barely triggers on <..>
spond to signals between 50 MHz and 500 background noise , then it' s backed off a ~0 .6

GHz, is a modified version of the author's bit. That should provide plenty of sen- ~04
", '
gravity-wave detector presented in April 's sitivity to incident RF. ~0.2
issue. We'll actually present two different Resistors R3 and R4, and capacitor C4, O.O'4~~~....L..~---L--L--1--'_L-.:::4-
I .
circuit s, an "economy" and a " deluxe" serve to "split" the supply voltage . To get 10 ; .J .01
model. more sensitivity from the detector, those b
components could be eliminated and two FIG. 3-VARY THE LEAD LENGTHS OF C1 to
How they work series-connected nine-volt batteries used tune the input circuit.
The econom y mo de l 's sche matic is instead. In that configuration, the jun c-
shown in Fig. I, and the deluxe model's tion of the batteries would be connected to
schematic is shown in Fig. 2. The main the point where R3 , R4 , and C4 now Construction hints
difference between the two circuits is that meet. Alternati vely, for mobile operation, Whichever detector you choose, build
the economy model simply drives a twelve volts could be tapped from your it in a non-metallic case so that incident
piezo-electric transducer directly from an car's cigarette-lighter jack . RF won 't be blocked. However, make
op-amp, while the deluxe mode l uses an The deluxe model functions in a similar sure that only RI provides feedback to the
LM386 audio power amplifier to drive a manner, except that ICI- b is configured as detector 's input. Since the gain of the de-
small speaker. Doing that allows the extra a x 20 buffer amp lifier to dri ve the tector is so high , unwanted feedback can
LM386. Potentiometer R2 adjusts thresh- force the input stage into continuous os-
old here , and potentiometer R5 functions cillation, rather than the "ri nging" os-
as a volume control. cilla tion tha t dec ays in time . Shou ld
In both circuits, input capacito r C I unwanted feedback become a problem , a
functions as a " transmission-line" that small capacitor (0.005-0.01 u.F) across
CI intercepts both electrical and magnetic resistor R4 may help, as maya 20G-500
.22 components of incident radar signals . u.F capacitor across the battery.
While it is a low-Q circuit (it is very broad- Perfboard construction is preferable to
band), the response may be further op- . PC-board construction because reduced
timized by trimm ing C I's lead lengths for wiring capac itance and the absence of a
the desired frequency, as shown in Fig. 3. ground plane will reduce the chance of
en To detect typica l road-radar systems, the unwanted feedback . Likewise, it's better
o + input capacitor's leads should be about to use a small shielded speaker for output
Z C3
o IOO ....F 0.5-0.6 inches long. because magnetic (and gravitational) en-
ex: 16V In both circuits the detector provides a ergy from the speaker could feed back to
oW " ring ing," or slowly-decaying outp ut the input. So keep CI as far from the
with a resonance of about 400-600 Hz for speaker as possible .
6 the component values shown. Feedback The detector should perform properly
s-c needs only one IC and a few discrete compo- resistor RI may be adjusted for another with little adj ustme nt. After applying
ex: nents . " ring" frequency, if desired . continued on page 97

Our amp's high-power output, low distortion, and easy construction make it a must for
audiophiles who demand the very best! .



cussed how the phono
preamp and the analog switching sections
We use yet another NE5534A in the
tone-control stage; that op-amp is config-
ured as a negative-fee dback unity-gain
op-amps that have higher input offset volt-
ages than FET-input types like the TL071.
Since we are using the NE5534's in gain
of our amplifier work. Let's go on now amplifier when the BASS (RlO8) and TRE- stages, offset error is multiplied and there-
and.examine the volume/ tone/balance cir- BLE (RlO9) tone controls are set to their fore appears as a large DC offset at the
cuit, the power amps, the speaker switch- flat (mid-position) settings. Both BASS output of the [C. The same proble m oc-
ing circuit, and the power supply. and TREBLE contro ls operate with a "con- curs with the phono preamplifier. That's
stant-turnover, variable-s lope" charac - why we use non-polarized DC-blocking
Volume/tone control circuit teristic. Slope refers to the amount of capacitors following each NE5534A.
Whichever source is chosen to drive the boost or cut the circuit applies, and is a
ampl ifier, the signals from that source go maximum of 6dB/octave for our circuit. Power amp
throu gh seve ra l stages of processing. Turnover refers to the frequency at which Moving on to th e power amp lifier,
Let's look at each in tum . boost or cut occurs; our circuit uses a shown in Fig. 6, let's discuss a little of our
The output of analog switch IC2 is fed turnover frequency of 1 kHz for both bass design philosophy before getting into the
to IC lO5, shown in Fig. 5, which func- and treb le contro l circu its. When the actual circuit details . Our desig n, which
tions simply as a high-impedance, unity- wiper of the BASS contro l is rotated toward is based on Hitachi application notes, did
gain buffer that drives the volume control, the input side of the ap-amp, gain below I not come easily. Indeed, most of the de-
RH O, and the STEREO/MONO switch, Si i. kHz is increased; similarly, the TREBLE velopment of the amplifier as a whole
The wiper of the volume control is fed contro l causes the gain of frequencies revolved around the power amp lifier.
(J) ' to IClO6, another NE5534 A , that is con- above 1kHz to increase. We tried many differe nt circuits in
nected, in this case, as a non-inverting The tone-contro l amplifier drives the many different configura tio ns . Some
o amplifier with a gain of 5.7. In addition to BALANCE and MUTE controls via a 6.8 J.LF were completely symmetrical desig ns
a: that gain, the op-amp provides a low-im- non-polarized electrolytic capacitor. The
lJ.J pedance source to drive the tone-control mute circuit is a 20-dB attenuator com-
with double-differential input stages and
so on. We tried cascode driver stages and
lJ.J circuit. posed of RI4 1 (680 ohms) and RI42 (68 source degeneration in the MOSFET out-
o ohms). The attenuator is switched into the put stages. We also tried varying the driv-
~ ' Adapted from material published by Electronics circuit by S3 , MUTE. er stage currents to obtain the best overall
a: . Australia By the way, the NE5534's are bipolar distortion and slew rate.
+ 15V
- 15V---) +
"C11 8
T+ Rl08
Rl33 16V -= C119
l 8pF
R137 l OOK R138 35V
4.7K 22K BASS 22K
Rll0 18pF

"Cl1 + --r-
10!'-F I
l6V I
: "= - l~ 6800
I ~"=
ON R142
I 680

I - 15V
tC2 PIN 3 I 10!'-F I I S10-a lMUTE
(lC 9 PIN 131
FIG. 1 I
I r- ----- - -..JI R1I1 TO
10K ,....>-r=:.JPOWER
- - S11 COMPONENT IN I I : I r.- - - - - - - - - - - - - "=- .J (g~~)


boos t or cut, volume and balance control, mut ing, and stereo /mono selection.
After a ll th at we conc luded that RF reg ion. Resistor RI 44 functions as a wide range of operati ng curre nts makes
Hitachi's design was the best overall for "stopper" that reduces any tende ncy, on them idea l for use in a low-distortion au-
both sim plicity and performance . And we the part of the amplifier, to osc illate super- dio driver stage.
discovered one rather surprisi ng fact: per- so nically. For full power output the input Those two discrete differe ntial ampli-
formance of the power amps is quite de- to the power amp lifier should be about 1.5 fiers provide all the voltage gai n of the
pendent on the layout of the printed circu it volts rms. power amp lifier; the MOSFET output
board. In fact, eve n subtle change s in Transis tors QI05 and QI06 form a dif- transistors are operated in source -follower
layout made quite dramatic reductio ns in ferentia l pair, and QI07 acts as a consta nt- mode , which gives slig htly less than unity
distortio n. We' ll present what we believe current " tai l." By virtue of diodes 0101 voltage gain . No source degeneration re-
is the best layout next time . But for now, and 0 102, the base- bias applied to QI07 sistors are used in the output transistors.
let's see how the power amplifier works . is abo ut 1.3 volts . That sets the current We foun d that we were able to dispense
The BALANCE con trol (shown in Fig. 5) through Q I07 at about one milli amp ; that with those resistors and thus gain lower
is coupled to the power amplifier via a current is shared eq ually by Q I04 and distortion .
1- f.LF no n-polarized capac itor. Str ict ly Q I06 . And, as in the RlAA preamp cir- Nor does there appear to be any need to
speaking it should be possi ble to omi t that cuit , the co nstant-current source improves take measures to ens ure curre nt sharing
capacitor because CI28 (the 6 .8-f.LF ca- the PSRR of the amp lifier. b e t we e n t he para lle l-co n nec ted
pacitor at the output of ICI07) should The balanced outp ut signals from the MOSFETs (by using sma ll source re-
block residual OC across the ba lance con- collectors of transistors QI05 and QI06 sistors). In practice, if one MOSFET be-
trol. However, if C l29 were eliminated , are co upled to a second differential ampli - comes warmer t hat its part ne r, it s
Q105's bias curren t cou ld flow through the fier, cons isting of QI09 and QIlO , whic h tra nsconductance (gai n) is reduce d ac-
balance co ntrol as well as through R145, forms a "curre nt mirror," a circuit often cordingly; thu s it is temperature-co mpe n-
Q105's 22K base-bias resistor. used in IC op-am ps . The curren t mirror sated auto matica lly.
By itself that would be harmless , but he lps us obtai n high e r gain from the The 500-o hm trimpot, R156 , co n-
the signa l presented to the power amp lifier stage, as well as better linearity over the nected between the collectors of Q108 and
would vary as the BALANCE co ntrol was full range of outp ut voltage . In fact, the Q llO sets the bias applied to the MOSFET
rotated. In addit ion , whatever OC offset curre nt mirror gives a greater voltage gates; that bias determines the qui escent
was presen t at the input would be ampli - swing than co uld be obtai ned with a sim- outp ut curre nt. The amo unt of curren t is a
fied, and would lead to an increase in the ple clas s-A driver stage with a boo t-strap - compromise between minim um distortion
residual DC voltage at the output of the ped collector load. and output-stage power dissipation . Since
power amplifi er. Hence, the output of the Tran sistors Q108, Q109, and QIlOeach the power amplifier emp loys a 65-vo lt
p ush-pull amplifiers compo sed of has a maximum collector voltage rating of power supply, even a small current results
QIl l-Q1l2 and Qll3-Q Il4 would be- 250 volts; they are intended for use as in high power dissipation . So quiescent
come unbalanced , so output distortion class -B video-driver stages in televisio n current must be set carefully. c
co uld result. reveivers. That voltage rati ng in conj unc- Zener diodes D I06 and Dl07 , in co m- !<

Also , C129, RIM and C I30 function as tion wit h their 100-Mhz gain-bandwidth bination with Dl 04 and Dl 05 , determine <0
a low-pass filter that removes signals in the prod uct and good beta linearity over a the maximum voltage that can be deliv- Ol

C134 ..,...
100f.LF ...L..
lCOV -=


C131 0104 0111

.015 IN914 2SKl34
R155 9.1V
22K lW
INPUT ~t--' ''N'o..-...--...+-tI
FI G. 5 lCOV IN914
'-U.-+---J 500fi IN47394A 0 113
IW 2SJ49

R149 R150 R157

4.7K 4.7K lOon Rl58
C138 Cl39
!-= ' OOf.L F
1-= .22 0 109

FIG. 6-THE POWERAMPLIFIER is built around two discrete bipolar differential amplifiers and power
MOSFETS for output drive.

ered to the output transistors . Any signal Cl 43 and C243, but found that high power dition, an arc is likely to result as the
in excess of 10 volts will be clipped. In operation of the amplifier caused them to moving contact opens the circuit. So , as
that way the diodes form an effective over- fail quickly; they developed short -cir- the contact moves to the "de-energized"
drive circuit and prevent excessive power cuits. However, we found that dual di- position, that arc will be more likely to
dissipation in the event of a short circuit. electric (mixed pa per and polyester) flow to ground than back into the circu it
The gate of each output transistor has a capacitors , normally specified for power- causing damage .
series-connected 220 -ohm resis tor that line interference suppression, work fine in However, because of the high supply
function s as a "stopper" to prevent RF that circuit. See the Parts List for more voltage used in our amplifier, an arc could
oscillation. Fuses are included in the out- information. be maintained even if the relay contacts
put-transistor supply lines to protect the were fully open . If that does occur, the
speakers should the output transistors fail. Speaker switching power amplifier fuses will blow. There is a
The fuse clips also provide a convenient The main and remote loudspeakers are very slight chance that the amplifier itself
way of measuring curren t (or voltage, controlled with two relays rather than an could be damaged, but it is cheaper to
when they are replaced by resistors) for expensive, high-current 4-pole switch. repair an amplifier than to replace a loud-
trouble- shooting or setting the quiescent The relays also simplify wiring require- speaker.
current. ments, as we don 't need to run heavy
Voltage gain of the power amplifier is loudspeaker wiring to and from the front- Headphones
determined by the ratio of the 22K and the panel SP EAK ER SELECTER switch, S12. In- One small drawback to using the relays
IK resistors (R155 and R156) at the base stead, Sl2 control s the coils of the relays, for loudspeaker control is that the head
of Q106. The lower cutoff-frequenc y of so only low-curren t wiring is required for phones are permanently connec ted to the
the circuit is determined by 47 IJ-F capaci - that connection. amplifier. They are not muted at power-
tor C132; that capacitor is in series with The DC supply for the relay coils is on, but they are protected from DC faults
IK resistor R151. suppl ied by the loudspeaker protection by the 330-ohm feed resistors (RII2 ,
A final refinement involves the RLC circuitry discussed below. When no fault R212), which will limit any fault current
network (LI01, RI64 , and C143) in the is present , the outp ut of that circuit goes to a safe amount.
output circuit. That network is used to high, and that energizes the coils of both The lack of muting is a problem since
(/) render the amplifier unconditionally sta- relays, through resistors R4 and R5. Di- the phono preamplifier takes a little while
o ble. We use a toroidal air-core inductor in odes D2 and D3 quench the EMF spike to stabilize . During that time the amplifier
oa:: that network, as a solid ferrite core can that is generated when the relay coil is de- is liable to em it some unpleasant sounds
I- give rise to distortion, particularly when energized. via the headphon es if the volume control
oUJ the amplifier is delivering a great deal of The moving contacts of the relays con- is advanced .
UJ power. nect to the loudspeakers while the unused We solved that problem with the net-
o It is necessary to use a special capacitor stationary contacts are grounded . The rea- work attached to IC2 (shown in Fig. I last
o-c in the output network . We orig inally in- son for this is that, if a large DC voltage is time), the analog switch that controls tape
a:: stalled metallized polyester capacitors for generated in the amp lifier by a fault con - monitoring. That IC has an IN H IBIT pin
All res istors V4-watt, 5% unless other- C2, C3-0.047 ILF, polyester 0 1, 0 4 -017 , 023 , 0101 -0i05 ,
wise stated. C4, C5--47 ILF, 50 volts, non-polarized 0201-0205--1 N914
R1, R3-10,000 ohms C6--100 ILF, i 6 volts , electrolytic 02, 03, 018--022 , 0 108 , 0109 , 0208,
R2-220,000 ohms C7-Q.01 p.F, 250 volts, polyester 0 209--1 N4002
R4, R5-47 ohms, )h watt C8-C1 i-8000 ILF, 75 volts, electrolytic 024-0 99, 0 110-0 199, 0 210-0 299--un-
R6-R9 , R11- R14, R1 6, R18-100,OOO Ci 2, C13-1000 p.F, 25 volts, electrolytic used
ohms C23-C 99, C144 - C199 , C214, C225, 0 100, 020Q-1N752A , 5.6-volt , Y2-watt
R10, R1 5, R17, R19, R100, R102, R1 04, C226 , C244-G299--unused Zener diode
R158, R163, R165, R167, R200, R202, C100, C200-0.082 p.F, polyester 0 106, 0107, V206 , 0207-1N4739A, 9.1
R204, R258, R263, R265, R267--470 C101, C107, C11 3 , Ci42, C201, C20 7, volt, 1-watt Zene r diode
ohms C213, C242-Q.i f.l.F, polyester LE01-LE09-Standard red LED
R20 , R21, R22, R23 , R146- 22, 000 C102, C202--47 J,l.F, 25 volts, electrolytic 0 1,03,04-BC547
ohms , )h watt C103, C203-100 pF, ceramic 02-BC557
R24,R25,R10l ,Rl03,R105,R166 ,R168, C104, C204-Q.0033 ILF, polyester 05-BC327
R201 , R203 , R20 5 , R266, R268 - C105, C20 5-220 p.F, i6 volts, electrolytic 06--099, 0 115-0199, 0215-Q299-un-
56,000 ohms Ci06, C112, C206 , C212-100 p.F, 25 used
R26, R121, R129, R132, R134, R229, volts, electrolytic 010Q-Q103 ,020Q-Q203-2SC2545
R231, R232, R234-270,000 ohms C108, C208-10 pF, ceramic 01 04,0204-2N5485
R27, R1 28, R130, R1 44, R228, R230 , C109, C209-Q.Oi8 p.F, 2%, polyester 0105-0107,0205-0207-BC556
R244-2200 ohms Ci10, C21O-Q.068 11F, 2%, polyester 0108 ,0208--BF470
R28, A159 -R162 , R259-R262-220 C111 , C21i -2.2 f.l.F, 50 volts, non-polar- 0109 ,0110, 0209, 021Q-BF469
ohms ized 01i1 , 0112, 021 i , 0212-2SK134
A29--130 ohms C1i2 , C2i2-100 ILF, 25 volts, electrolytic 0113,0114,0213,0214-2SJ49
R30, A31, R136, R1 51, A236, R251-1000 C11 4-10 f.l.F, 25 volts, electrolytic Other components
ohms Ci15 , C215-10 f.l.F, 50 volts, non-polar- B1, 82-Size AA Ni-Cd battery
R32-1500 ohms ized F1, F2-Fuse, 250 volts, 5 amps
R3s-:.R99, R169-R199, R269-R299-un- C11 7, C2i7-Q.056 ILF, polyester J1-Stereo headphone jack
used C118-2200 p.F, rs volts, electrolytic J100-Ji03 , J200-J203 , Ji 04 -J107 ,
R106, R206--150,OOO ohms C119, C127, C219, C227-18 pF, ceramic J204-J207-RCA Phono jack
R107, A207- 300,000 ohms Ci21, C221-50 p.F, 50 volts, non-polar- J108-J1 i1 , J208-J211-speaker con-
R108, A208-100,OOO ohms, potentiome- ized nectors
ter C122, C222-Q.01 p.F, polyester LiOO, L20D-see text
R109, R209--25,000 ohms, linear poten- C123, C124, C223 , C224-0.0047 J,l.F, Li01 , L201-6.8 llH
tiometer polyester P1, P2-9-pin SIP plug, 0.1-" centers
R110, R21Q-50,000 o hms, logarithm ic C128, C228-6.8 p.F, 16 volts, non-polar- RY1 , AY2-0POT relay
potentiometer ized S1-S9-SPST normally open , momen -
R111, R211-10,000 ohms, linear potenti- Ci29, C229--1 v-F, i OO volts, non-polar- tary contact
omete r ized S1D-OPST toggle
R112, R212-330 ohms Ci30, C23Q-330 pF, ceramic S11-SPST toggle
R113, R213-150 ohms erst, C231-Q.015 p.F, 250 volts, poly- S12-2P4T rotary
R114, R214-180,000 ohms ester S13-SPST togg le switch, 250 volts AC
A115, R215--68,000 ohms C132, C232--47 ILF, 25 volts T1- 117 VAC primary, dual secondaries;
R116, R117, R2i 6, A217--820 ohms C133, C233-15 pF, ceramic 90 VCT and 30 VCT
A118, Ri 23, R218, A223-39 ohms C134, C138, C234, C238-100 llF, 100
R119, A219--1 200 ohms volts, electrolytic Miscellaneous: Battery holder forSi and
R120, R22Q-2700 ohms C135, C136, Ci39, C140, C235, C236, 82 , PC-mount fuse clips, Ferrite beads ,
R121,R221-390 ohms C239, C24O-Q.22 f.l.F, polyester n -mm x 25-mm coil forms
R122, R222--82 ohms C137, C141, C237 , C241-22p.F, 100 Note: The following components are
A124, R224-3900 ohms, 1%, metal film volts, electrolytic available from Dick Smith Electronics,
R125, R225--47,OOO oh ms, 1%, metal C143, C243-0,15 J,l.F, 250 volts, dual-di- lnc. , P.O. Box 8021, Redwood City, CA
film electic (Philips type PKT-P) 94063 ; 800-332-5373 (orders) 415-368-
R126, A226--iO ohms Semiconductors 8844 (Inquiries). Complete kit of all
Ri27, R227--4300 ohms IC1, IC2--4052 4POT analog switch parts (No. K-3516) InclUding PC
A133, R135, R149, Ri 50, R233, R235, IC3--IC6--4011 CMOS NANO gate boards, heatsinks, screened front and
R249, R25Q-4700 ohms IC7-74C14 CMOS hex Schmitt trigger rear panels, and transformer T1, $299
R137, R138, R143 , R145, Ri48, Ri55, IC8--4013 CMOS dual 0 flip-flop plus $10 shipping. Separate compo-
R237, R238, A243 , R245, R246, R248, IC9--7815 i s-volt positive regulator nents: set of two PC boards (No. KH-
R255--22,OOO ohms IC1Q-7805 5-volt positive regulator 0106), $49.00; 2SC2545 transistor (No.
A139, A1 40, R239 , R24Q-3900 ohms IC11- 7915 i5-volt negative regulator KZ-1683), $0.39 each; 2SK134 tran-
R14i, A147, R24i, R247-680 ohms IC12-IC99, IC10S-ICi99, IC20S- sistor (No. Z-1815), $4.50; 2SJ49 tran-
R142, R232-68 ohms IC299--unused sistor (No. Z-1816), $4.50; transformer
R152, R252-12,OOO ohms, 1 watt IC 100 , IC102 , ICi03, IC105, IC2 00, T1 (No. KM-2000), $57.00; case lnelud-
R153, R154, A157, R253, R254, R257- IC202, IC203, IC205-TL071 low-noise Ing panels and heatslnks (No. KH-
100 ohms op-amp 2700), $115. All component orders
Ri56, R256--500 ohms, trimmer IC101 , IC106, IC 107, IC201, IC206 , must add $1.50 for handling plus 5% of
R164, R264-6.8 ohms, 1 watt IC207-NE5534AN bipolar op-amp total price. California residents must
Capacitors IC104, IC204--4053 CMOS triple SPOT add 6.5% sa les tax. Orders outside
C1, C14-C22 , ens, C12Q-10 p.F, 50 analog switch U.S. must include U.S. funds and add
volts, electrolytic BR1-400-volt, to -amp bridge rectifier 15% of tota l price for shipping.

that open s all switches. The network con- At power-on Cl is a virtual short-circuit. more pleasant headphone listening.
nects to that pin and simply prevents sig- This mean s that pin 6 is pulled high, so all
LOUdspeaker protection circu it c...
nals from the pr eceding stages from the switches in the IC are open . Then , as C
passing on for a second or two at power- the capacitor charges , pin 6 is pulled low, A portion of the signal from each chan- ~
on . and signals can pass on to succeeding nel's power amplifier is fed to the speaker CD
The muting network works as follows. stages. The delay that results makes for protection circuit shown in Fig. 7. The ~

FROMPOWER immune to normal output voltages . But if
AMPLIfiERS one of the amplifiers develops an exces-
FIG 6 TO sively negative DC voltage , QI will tum
,--_ _.........J" '- "'
54 on . That turns on Q2 and removes the bias
LEFT RIGHT voltage from Q4; that in turn switches off
R20 R24 Q5 so that no power can be fed through 54
22K R21 56K (shown in Fig. I), the speaker-selector
II2W 22K switch that controls the coils of the relays.
C6 + By the same token, if one of the power
100p F amp lif iers deve lops an excess ive ly
16V positive DC voltage, Q3 will be forward
biased. That again removes the bias from
Q4 and Q5, preventing power from reach-
R22 ing the switch that controls the operation
22K of the relays.
1/2W Note that the protection circu it is effec-
tively fail-safe . If a malfun ction prevents
47J,IF the rel ays fro m operati ng, the lo ud -
50V G1 speakers will be disconnected from the
C4 R23 BC547
47/iF 22K amplifier, so they will be safe from any
50V 1/2W potential damage.
FIG. 7-THE SPEAKER PROTECTION CIRCUIT will disable the the output control relays (RY1 and
The loudspeakers are muted (i . e., the
RY2-shown in Fig. 1 last time) whenever the voltage produced by the output transistors becomes relays are disconnected) for three seconds
excessive. after power-on . That works as follows.
When power is first applied, the 15-volt
supply to Q5 is available almost instantly,
but Q5 is unable to tum on because the
base of Q4 is at ground potential, so it,
r-- - - - , too, is off.
I SRI I The reason Q4 can ' t turn on is that its
1 I base is supplied via 56K resistor R25 .
- I ~..!.I':"
+-~""'''''--~---<l That resistor is supplied by 100 ILF capaci-
I I 8000~~ tor C6, which is a short circuit at power-
I 75V on. After power-on, C6 charges slowly
L- + L_ _
- ---' - _ J .----- ......-~-4 via 270K resistor R26. Eventua lly Q4
turns on, soQ5 can tum on and energize
- 66V the relays.
Switch-off thump
Another problem we faced was a loud
thump from the loudspeakers whenever
023 the amplifier was turned off. After investi-
IN914 +7.4V
gation, we discovered that the problem
R32 was caused by the rapid collapse of the
1.5K l5V supply, which supplied the op-
C17 + 81
10j.tF T 1.2V amps in the preamp lifier stages enough
SOV ~B2 jui ce to give a thump before the output
1.2V relays released. If uncorrected, such
C7 GNO thu mps co uld eventually damage the
01 speake rs.
250V The solution was to isolate the op-am p
-7 .5V
supply. We did that by installing a IN4002
R31 diode (022, shown in Fig. 8) in series
- 15V
lK with the + 15-volt supply line , and by
increasing the value of decoupling capaci -
FIG. 8-THE AMPLIFIER'S POWER SUPPLY is built around a toro id al power transfor mer and it
includes a trickle-charger for the CMOS-memory batteries, 81 and 82 .
tor CI18 by IClO6 (the tone-control driver
in Fig. 5) from 10 to 2200 ILF. That large
protectio n circuit does not protect the am- if a large low-freq uency sig nal is pre- capacitor keeps the op-amp energized un-
plifier-it protects the loudspeakers. If a sented to the circuit for an extended period til the relays open . Hence , no switching
(/) fault occurs in the amplifier that results in of time . That could happen for a variety of transie nt can get through to the speakers,
a a large DC voltage at an output , a loud- reasons ; for example , if the amplifier be- preventing the switch-off thump.
oa: speaker could be severly damaged . The came unstable and bega n to motorboat.
f- loud speaker protection circ uitry prevents Bo th power am p lifier outp uts are Power su pply
aw that from happening by de-energizing the monitored via a low-pass network cons ist- The schematic of our power supply is
W relays that contro l the loudspeakers when- in g of the fo ur 22K-o hm resistors shown in Fig. 8. In order to reduce induc -
o ever an excessive DC voltage is sensed at (R2G-R23) and the two 47 -ILF non-polar- ed hum, AC is provided by a dual-second-
o-c the output of a power amplifier. The pro- ized capacitors (C4 and C5). The two ca- ary toroidal transformer, shown in Fig. 9.
a: tection circuit also de-energ izes the relay paci tors render the protection circuit contin ued on page 74
MARTIN CLIFFORD DID YOU KNOW: THAT SOLID-STATE ELEC- Most of us believe that the age of solid-
tronics can trace its roots back to 1835? state electronics began with the invention
In this, the first installment That radio signals can be demodulated of the transistor; Bardeen and Brattain of
using sulfuric acid or nitric acid? That oil- Bell Laboratories produced that first crys-
of our new, occasional series filled variable capacitors were once used tal triode in 1948. However, lost in the
about the early days of radio, in radio receivers? That a single crystal mists of history is the fact that true solid-
detector can be used as a radio receiver? state receivers have been with us since
we look at the original That there are some radio receivers that about 1918 .
"solid-state" receivers. never need to be turned off, have no on/off In more recent times, the term solid-
switch, and do not require battery or AC state has been so firmly associated with
power? Or that lenzite, zincite, bornite, germanium, and subsequently with sil-
tellurium, and chalcopyrite are all semi- icon, that no one should be blamed for
conductors? thinking that those are the only materials

Thl Barly Days 01 IIDIO


suitable for use in semiconductors . Yet least some improvement over those with
there are numerous materi als that are ju st no tuning at all.
as suitab le. Amon g them are carborun- Another problem was that the output of
dum (silicon carbide); galena (a crystal the crystal detector consisted of both an
sulphide of lead); molybdenum ; lenzite; audio signal and an RF carrier; both were
zincite (an oxide of zinc); tellurium; bor- passed directly to the headphones. Subse-
nite (a sulphide of iron and cooper); cha l- quentl y, a small capacitor was placed
copyrite (also known as copper pyrites); a across the headphones to bypass the RF

and cerusit e. Except for carborundum , a HEADPH ONES carrier.

~"'' '
manufactured materi al also used as an Also, it was found that selectivity could
abrasive , all are material s that are found in be further improved by adding a second
nature. slider to the tuning coil. The radio shown
CRYSTAL DEl in Fig. 3-a incorporates both those im-
Early solid state ~I
SINGLE-SLIOE provements; the schematic for that circuit
The fact that certain materials have rec- TUNiNG COIL is shown in Fig. 3-b.
tifying propertie s (that is, they allow cur-
rent to flow in one direction only) has been FIG. 2-TO IMPROVE SELECTIVITY a sllde- Improved designs
known since 1835, thanks to the research tuned coli can be used (see a). The schematic of As time went on , various methods were
a crystal set that used such a coll is shown In b.
of one Munk Af. Rosenshold . At the time used to improve tuning. In one arrange -
a laboratory curiosity, his discovery was ment, shown in Fig. 4-a, the single-slide
largely forgotten until it was unearthed tuner was used as the prim ary winding of
again by F. Braun in 1874 . an RF transformer. The secondary wind-
However, a practical use for that discov- ing, which was tapped , was wound on a
ery was not found until many years later. It form that could travel into the primary by
came at at time when interest in radio was means of a pair of rods. That resulted in
heating up and many early experimenters triple tuning. The primary was tuned by
had radio setups in their attic or basement the single slider; coupling was adjusted by
workshops . moving the secondary in or out of the
Rectifiers are key components in sim- primary, and finally, the appropriate sec-
ple radio detectors . Along with vacuum ondary tap could be switch selected by the
tubes, early experimenters turned to sol- operator. The schematic for the circuit is
id-state rectifiers made from one of the shown in Fig. 4-b.
substances that exhibit natural rectifying Since most crystal radio receivers are
properties . Since mo st of tho se sub- "powered" by the radio signal itself, they
stances are crystalline in nature, such rec- require no voltage supply or battery. (They
tifiers were called crystal detectors; radi-
os that used such detectors were called
crysta l radio sets, or simply crystal sets. 8

The simplest radio

Early vacuum-tube rectifiers , such as
the UX-20IA and UV-199 triodes, cost
about $15. Since $15 a week was consid-
ered good pay for a workman back then,
and since crystal detectors cost only a
small part of that amount , many experi-
menters turned to crysta l sets . Such radios
were among the simplest possible, con-
sisting of just a crystal detector and a
headset. See Fig. 1.
The crystal set of Fig. I has its virtues , b
but it also has plenty of faults. Selectivity FIG. 3-FOR EVEN GREATER selectivity, re-
is non-existent; after all, that radio has no ceivers with double-slide-tuned coils were de-
veloped (a). The schematic of such a set is
tuning circuits . So whatever the radio re- shown In b. Note the Inc lusion of a capaci tor a
across the headphones. Its purpose was to by-
pass the RF carrier.

ceives is what you hear-the strongest
~ LEAD-IN signal dominates, and all the rest provide
background noise.
The earliest effort at improving selec-
(f) tivity was to add a tuning coil like the one
o shown in Fig. 2-a. That coil consisted of
enamel insulated wire wound on a round
a: form ; experimenters often used cylin- b
oW drical oatmeal boxes as the coil form . The FIG. 4-IN THE CRYSTAL SET SHOWN in a the
...J -= ~ GROUND slide-tuned collis used as the primary of an RF
W amount of inductance could be selected
transformer; the secondary had multiple taps
o FIG. 1-THE SIMPLEST CRYSTAL RECEIVER using a metal slider. The tuning method and was wound on a form that could be moved
o<l: co nsists of an antenna, a detector, headphones, was crude , but the radio circuits that in- In to or out 01the primary. The schematic of the
a: and a ground. cluded that coil (see Fig. 2-b) did offer at circuit is shown in b.

was weak. Those two factors eventually
caused the carborun dum detector to fall
out of favor, but not before it gave rise to
some interesting circuit innovations.
DETECTOR One of those was the concept of the
amplifier. The ear ly amplifier shown in
Fig. 6 was a mechanical one known as the
Brown amplifying relay. The leads identi-
fied as A and B were connec ted to the
output of the detector. The signal current
through relay coil Ml caused relay arma-
FIG. 5-BATTERY POWER was needed In crys- ture v to vibrate, thus varying the magnet-
tal sets that used carborundum detectors.
ic field around winding R2 of the second
relay. That caused the current supplied by
the battery to be varied at an audio rate.
+ That curre nt flowed through the head -
r phones, producing sound. In some in-
A Bl stances a series arrangement was used; the
..!. current from the battery drove still another
E mechanical amplifier.
The need for clumsy tuning coils was
finally eliminated through the use of a FIG. 8-A VARIO-COUPLER, or variometer, con-
variable capacitor, then known as a con- sisted of two calls mounted in such a way that
denser. For a while, however, variable ca- one could be rotated within the other.
pacitors were used in conjunction with
single- and double-slider variable coils.
Two examples of capacitor-coil-tuned cir-
cuits are shown in Fig. 7.
some sort of amplification was often used with In some of the more advanced sets, a
carborundum sets. Here, a popular mechanical vario coupler, sometimes called a vari-
amplifier of the time is shown. ometer (see Fig. S), was used. That con-
sisted of a pair of coils mounted in such a
way that one could be rotated within the
Ordinarily, the variable capacitors used
were air types; that is, the dielectric be-
tween the stator and rotor plates was air.
Air, though , has a dielectri c constant of I.
To inc rease th e capaci ta nce witho ut
adding more plates, one design had the
variable capaci tor positioned in a leak- INSULATINmJ
proof, transparent case , filled with oil. Oil WAX SEAL
has a dielectric constant of five, so the L.-- --LEADS
capac itance of such a capacitor is five b
times that of one with an air dielectric FIG. 9-TWO CATWHISKER DETECTORS. A
a (assuming all other variables to be the variable contact type Is shown in a; a sealed,
same). One such capacitor had 17 plates fixed unit is shown in b.
and a to tal maxi mum capacitance of
0.0004 J.LF, while another had 43 plates we've not looked at the detector itself and
and a maximum capacitance of 0.001 J.LF. how it was made . It is time now to correct
Anyone who has had any contact with that oversight.
radio knows that the antenna plays an im- Crystal detectors were available in two
portant role in determ ining the quality of basic forms: contact and combination. Of
the received signal. Antennas were even those , the contact detector was cheaper
more important in the days of the crystal and more popular.
set. That's because that design made no A single crysta lline substance was used
provision for amplification. Thus , the in the contact detector. A small bit of
':' b
strength of the signa l heard was wholly spring wire , ca lled a catwhisker, was
FIG. 7-THE SELECTIVITY OF CRYSTAL SETS dependent on the strength of the signal placed so that it made contact with a point
was further Improved by the addition of a varia-
ble capacitor. Here two des igns, one (a) using a delivered by the antenna. Some of the on the crysta l. In early detectors, the cat-
single-slide-tuned call, the other (b) a double- sche mes devised were quite elaborate ; whisker was designed to be variable be-
slide-tuned coil, are shown. others were quite simple . For apartment cause finding the most sensitive spot on
dwellers, a bedspring was a popular alter- the crystal was a trial-and-error pro -
also require no on/off switch .) However, native to an outdoor design; the ground cedure . See Fig. 9-a.
that is not always the case . connection was made to a cold-water or The catwhi sker was usually made from
One detector that was popular for a radiator pipe. stiff phosphor bronze , but in more expen-
while was made from carborundum. As sive detectors silver or IS-karat gold was
you can see in Fig. 5, a receiver design The crystal detector used. The wire was coiled, with a small
using that detector requ ired a voltage So far, we've spoken about how crystal straight ex te nsion e nding in a blunt
source. Further, the output of the detector detectors were used in ear ly radios. But poin t-an arra ngement much like that

used in the first point-contact transi stors
many years later. There were two conn ec-
tions to the crystal detector: one to the
catwhisker and another to the cup holdi ng
the crystal.
Later on, fixed-position catwhiskers in
sealed containers became available. See
Fig . 9-b.
The combin ation crys tal detector con-
sisted of two different crys tals in close
contact. Various comb inations of miner-
als were tried, includin g bornite and ei-
ther zincite or copp er pyrites . Anothe r
combination detector used tellurium and

~- 1.&.
~ ~.~I!~ iiiiiiiiiIli~
AN EARLY WIRELESS RECEIVER. With this set-up, which was part of amateur station 1-WP,Warwick,
RI, cir ca 1913, the operator was able to log stations from Maine to Florida. Note the variable-contact
catwhisker crystal detector, 23-plate tuning capacitor, and double-slide-tuned coil.

quently had to be reposit ioned or re-

a placed . Se condly, the detector us ed
exposed acid, which is dangerous.


rectifying material was nitric acid or diluted sul- S
phuric acid.
c chalcopyrite (copp er pyrites). The chief
advant age of the combination detector :In-r-r-~"'''TT''"--r--..,1
was that it was less susceptible to vibra- '----45
PRIMARY 1' - -- - 20
tion than the catwhisker type.
'. =:;:~
. Some of the many different types of 32 TURNS
,- , .
d crystal detectors are shown in Fig: 10. TAPPED AS OF NO. 28 WIRE
We 've so far looked at all of those save SHOWN TAPPED AS SHOWN
PRESSURE- _ one- the Perikon detector, invented by
FIG. 12-YOU CAN BUILD this crystal set (a)
ADJUSTMENT Pickard in 1906, and shown in Fig. IO-b. using modern components. Winding details for
SCREW That detector used a small, cone-shaped the coil are shown in b.
piece of zincite. The zincite could be posi-
tioned so that it contacted one of several
segments of cha lcopyrite located on a cir- Building your own
SWG cular plate . By selecting which segment We hope this article has aroused your
of chalcopyri te was used , the de tector interest in the electronics of days gone by.
CARBORUNDUM could be " tuned ." If you want to recapture some of the flavor
As we stated earlier, mos t detec tors of the early experim enter s, perhaps you'd
were made using a crystalline materia l. like to try building your own crystal re-
However, "most" is not " all. " One detec- ceiver. If so , the circu it shown in Fig . l2-a
(f) tor that was at least briefly popular was the can be built using modem parts.
~ electroly tic detector, shown in Fig. II. In that circuit we've replaced the slide-
o The design of that detector was similar to tuned coil with a tapped one . (Finding a
cc that of the catwhisker, but nitric acid, or a slide-tuned coil these days would be near-
oW dilute solution of sulphuric acid, was used ly impossible.) Full details of the coil are
W in place of the crystal. Despite that detec- given in Fig 12-b. Just about any diode ca n
o ble-contact catwhisker (a), Perikon (b), com -
tor's high sensitivity, it had disa dvan- be used for the detecto r. For best results,
o bination crystal (c), fixed-contact catwhisker tages. One was that the wire tended to curl plan on using an outdoor antenna that' s at
cc (d), and carborundum (e). away from the acid -so the wire fre- least 75 feet long . R-E

How to


Design OSCILLATOR Circuits


Here's the first installment of our new back-to-school series that teaches you
all about oscillators, multivibrators, and digital clocks.

OS CILLATORS OF O N E SORT O R ANOTHER Basic definitions tive-resistance device such as a tunnel di-
are at the heart of all kinds of devices There is some overlap between the ode. If you're unfamiliar with any of those
ranging from radio transmitters to digital terms oscillator, multivibrator, and clock , devices or terms, hold on-we'll discuss
computers. So, at one time or another, and in conversation people have a tenden- each below.
everyone involved in electronics-both cy to blur the distinctions between those A feedback oscillator uses an active
hobbyist and professio nal-must build an terms even further. But for our purposes device (a transistor or an op-amp, for ex-
oscillator, a multivibrator, or a digital- let's use "oscillator" to refer to all three ample) as an amplifier; a special network
clock circuit. A simple oscillator, for ex- kinds of circuits. In fact, let's define os- connected to the amplifier provides a con-
ample, might be used to generate the car- cillator to mean any circuit that produces trolled amount of positive feedback. That
rier frequency in a radio transmitter. A a periodic waveform--one that produces allows the circuit to work regeneratively.
multivibrator that produces squarewaves simi lar outputs at regular intervals of By way of contrast, filters of various types
might be the heart of a test instrument time . That output could be a sinewave, a (lowpa ss , highpass, notch , bandpass ,
such as a function generator. A digital squarewave, a triangle wave, a sawtooth etc .) work degeneratively. In other words ,
clock is a spec ial mult ivibrator that is wave, a pulse train, or some other wave- in a filter, feedback compone nts are used
used in most digital logic and computer shape . The important point is that it re- to decrease the amplitude of a frequency
circuits. peats at a regular interval . or a range of frequencies; in an oscilla tor,
In this series we' ll examine the two As we said , there are two basic types of those components are used to increase the
major types of osci llator circuits in detail. osc illators : relaxation oscillators and amplitude of a frequency or a range of
We' ll start off this time discussing relaxa- feedback oscillators . The basic difference frequencies .
tion osci llators ; then we' ll go on to the between the two is that the feedback os- With those basic distinctions in mind,
basic theory of feedback oscillators . And, cillator is built from active circuit ele- let's discuss relaxation oscillators now;
because they are more common ly used ments-those that provide gain, whereas we'll catch up with feedback oscillator s
than relaxation oscillators, we 'll spend the relaxation oscillator is built from pas- below.
the bulk of our remaining installments sive devices- those that do not provide
discussing feedback oscillators . In par- gain. A neon-lamp oscillator
ticular, we' ll talk about LC and RC sine- Some relaxation oscill ators are built A simple neon-lamp rela xati on os-
wave oscillators of all types, one-shots, from electronic devices that pass little or cillator is shown in Fig. I. The lamp con-
crystal oscillators, and digital clocks built no current at voltages below some thresh- tains a low-pressure inert gas-neon- in
from both TTL and CMOS IC' s. Along old, and that pass a relatively large current a glass envelope with a pair of electrodes. c,
the way we' ll give many practica l circuit at voltages above that threshold. Exam- When the voltage across the electrodes c
examples that you should have no trouble ples of that sort of device are neon lamps exceeds the ionization potential of neon ~
adapting to your needs . We have a lot to and UJT's (UniJunction Transistors). (VT in Fig. 2), the gas will glow. It will
do, so let's get started. Other relaxation oscillators use a nega- continue to glow as long as the voltage

and VH , as well as by the RI-Cl time
+ R1
rI B1 NE1 C1 The unijunction transistor
The UJT is a spec ial semiconductor
device that has one emitter, two bases, and
no collector. Its basic structure is shown in
FIG. 1-THE NEON-BULB OSCILLATOR is a Fig. 3-a, and its schematic symbol is
classic relaxation oscillator. shown in Fig. 3-b. The UJT is built from a
single chunk of silicon; the bases are ju st
the electrode s at the ends of the block.
The emitter forms a PN jun ction with the VOLTAGE
block. Like most other PN junctions, the FIG. 5-TUNNEL DIODE'S CHARACTERISTIC
VH curve reveals that, below Vn current Increases
UJT' s PN junction will not conduct when
a it is reverse biased . However, it will con-
as voltage increases. Voltages above VT cause
> current to decrease-and that allows oscillation
duct when it is forward biased ; usually 0.6 to occur.
to 0.7 volts is sufficient to get current
a.. flowing.
~ '-------==-=------

R1 R2 IN37t2 R1
~---<) B 2 FIG. 6-THIS 27-MHZ OSCILLATORcan be used
as a low-power citlzen's-band signal generator.

across the resistor increases, current flow-
ing through the resistor will also increase.
E 0 - - --t1l
~--_o B 1
A devi ce wi th negat ive res is ta nce ,
however, operates in the inverse manner:
FIG. 4-THE CLASSIC UJT OSCILLATOR is a In other words, as voltage across the de-
a relaxati on type; it provides a narrow spike at the vice increases, the current that fl ows
B1 terminal. through the device decreases.

The tunnel diode (also called an Esaki
A UJT relaxation oscillator is shown in diode after its inventor) is a negative-re-
Fig. 4 . Its frequency of oscillation is set sistance device; its characteristic curve is
by RI and Cl in conjunction with the shown in Fig. 5. Note that, in the region
B1 characteristics of the UJT. When the cir- labeled PRZ (for Positive Resistance) , the
cuit is turned on, the BI-emitter junction device function s in the normal manner-
is unbiased, so no current flows through increased voltage causes increased cur-
FIG. 3-THE UJT'S INTERNAL STRUCTURE Is R3 . Capacitor CI begins charging rent. However, in the NRZ (Negative Re-
shown in a, and its symb ol Is shown in b. through resistor Rl. When the UJT's sistan ce) region beginn ing at VT ' the
threshold voltage is exceeded, the UJT opposite is tru e-increa sed voltag e
across the lamp 's electrodes exceeds the turns on . Capacitor CI is quickl y dis- causes decreased current.
holding voltage, VH in Fig. 2. When the charged by the low-impedanc e PN junc- A tunnel-diode oscillator is shown in
lamp is not ionized , it conduct s no cur- tion , so the UJT quickly turn s off. A Fig. 6. That circuit was popular in the
rent. That is the situation at all potential s narrow pulse thereby appears across R3 . 1960's for tuning up citizen's-band gear,
below VH' The popular NE-83 lamp has a Typical UJT' s need very little tum-on and for other uses at frequencie s near 27
VT of60 to 100 volts, anda VH of60 volts. current (OA- 12 I-LA), and that makes them MHz. With the component values shown,
The circuit works like this: When power useful in high-impedance circuits for de- the circuit will oscillate in the 27-MH z
is applied to the circuit, Cl begins to tectin g very small amounts of current. region using a 27-MHz 3rd overtone crys-
charge . When the voltage across it ex- Also, oscillators with frequencies ranging tal. A similar circuit can be used to cause
ceeds VT' the lamp ionizes and its resis- from I Hz to I MHz may be built from a tunnel diode to oscillate in the UHF and
tance drops to a very low value. A series UJT's. microwave regions. In that type of ap-
resistor may be necessary to prevent the The third major type of relaxation os- plication, strip-line tuners and cavities are
lamp from being destroyed by the sudden cillator is built from a negative-resistance used to establish the resonant frequency.
onrush of current. Anyway, that low-im- device , the tunnel diode. Let's find out In general, as you can see , relaxation
en pedance path allows CI to begin dischar g- what negative resistanc e is, and then let's oscillators are simple, so they're good for
o ing . Discharge continues until the voltage see a practical example of how a tunnel getting a quick-and-dirty periodic wave-
o across the lamp falls below VH" At that diode may be used . form , and for specialized uses. However,
ex: point the lamp de-ionizes and reverts to its feedback oscillators built with active de-
olJ.J high-resistance state . Then CI begin s Negative resistance vices are much more flexible, and , there-
lJ.J charging again , and the cycle repeats . What is negative resistance? Let 's ap- fore, much more widely used . So now
o Hence, the voltage across Cl varies be- proach that question in a roundabout way. let' s take a look at the theory behind feed-
15 tween VH and VT" The circuit's frequency A garden -variety resistor funct ions ac- back oscillators.
-c continued on pa ge 74
ex: of oscillation is determined by both VT cordin g to Ohm's law. When voltage

: .


Universal Battery Charger

Don't let yourbattery-powered portables run out of energy unexpectedly!
Keep your batteries fully charged with this inexpensive circuit.


O NE C O R O L L ARY TO MURPH Y' S L AW with a wide variety of voltages and current familiar AA, C, and D cells. However,
states that things always go wrong at the capacities. The circuit was specifically they are manufactured in larger cases that
worst possible moment. One example fa- designed to recharge gel-cells, but it can range in size from a cigarette-pack to an
miliar to electronics enthusiasts is the way also be used to recharge Ni-Cd's and any automobile battery, and even larger. Gel-
that batteries tend to go dead just when other type of battery that needs a constant- cells are made by (among others) Pan-
you need them most. In addition, if you current source, a constant-voltage source, asonic (Battery Sales Division , Division
use many portable devices-a Walkman, or both. The values of a few resistors need of Matsushita, P. 0. Box 1511, Secaucus,
a " boom-box," a portable TV, a portable to be altered to accommodate batteries of NJ 07094), Globe (P. O. Box 591, Mil-
computer, flashlights, and toys-the cost various voltages and currents. The simple waukee, WI 53201), and Saft (P. 0. Box
of batteries can become excessive. design equation s used for resistor selec- 1886,711 Industrial Blvd., Valdosta, GA
One way to cut costs is to use re- tion are presented below, but first let's talk 31603-1886).
chargeable batteries . And if your portable about gel-cells. Common gel-cell batteries come with
battery-eater has a DC INPUT jack, you've voltage ratings that range from 2 to 24,
got an easy way to save some cash and to The low-down on gel-cells and in current capacities ranging from 1.2
go longer between recharges. All you Before we get started, it's worth point- to 120 AH (Amp-Hours). The AH rating
have to do is wire up a cable that connects ing out that the term " battery" really re- refers to the amount of current that can be
a high-current-capacity battery-pack of fers to any collection of two or more delivered over a period of time; 20 hours is
the proper voltage to your portable. single " cells," alth ough the term is usually the specified period of time. For
The problem is that the price of a com- loo sely applie d to si ng le -cell power example, a battery might be rated at 2
mercial charger may cause you to think sources like AA cells. The gel-cell battery volts and 30 AH . That means that the
twice about convertin g from conventional is a relative newcomer to the world of battery should be able to deliver a current
non-recharg able ce lls. However, with the rechargable batteries; its name is really a of 1.5 amps (30/20) continuously for a
circuit presented here , there 's no longer shortened from of "gelled-electro lyte bat- period of twenty hours.
an excuse. Not counting a case , the total tery cell." A properly treated battery should last
cos t of the feweasy-to-obtain components Basically, the gel-cell is very similar to for years, but an improperly treated one
in our circuit shouldn' t exceed $10. And a modem automotive battery. The gel-cell may last only a few month s, or even
that' s for all new parts; by using spare provides high power density in a sealed, weeks. For example, the author's first gel- C
part s you could reduce your co st to multi-cell , mainten ance-free, lead-acid cell battery lasted only about six weeks, ~
nothing! battery. Gel-cells are not manufactured in because he was ignorant of how to take (0
The circuit can eas ily recharge batteries small cases like those that enclo se the care of it. After uncovering and applying CXl

the informati on related here , his seco nd 1.25 V = 0 .125 W. Just to be safe, use a

one is already more than a year old and liz-watt flame-proof resistor.
still going strong. That takes care of current, but what
The most common means by whic h a about voltage? Take a look at Fig. 2. There
gel-ce ll battery is abused is "deep-cy- an LM317 is configured as a conventional
cling;" that term refers to the practice of constant-voltage regulator. In normal ap-
dischargin g a battery dee ply and then 0 ' - - - - - - - - - - - - 'T
plications, the manufacturer recommends
over-charging it. That practice is some- FIG.1-A CONSTANT-CURRENT CHARGER can that RI have a value of 240 ohm s. The
times appropriate for Ni-Cd's, but it is be built from an LM317. The value of R1 is what value of R2 is what determines the output
determines the charging current. seethe text for
definitely inappropriate for gel-cells. Our voltage, and its value may be arrived at by
information on how to calculate its value.
charger can' t repair a damaged or abused a fairly compl ex equation . It 's usuall y
gel-cell battery; it's up to you to treat your simpler to wire up the circuit with a 5K or
batteries with care. a 10K potentiometer, set the output volt-
The number of ce lls in a gel-cell battery + V IN age, and then substitute the close st stan-
is equal to the battery's nomin al voltage dard fixed resistor for the potentiometer.
divid ed by two. A 12-volt battery there- OC We've got a current regulator and a
fore has six (1212) cell s. Each cell has a INPUT _ voltage regulator now. But how do we put
2.3-volt output when it is fully charged, them together? See Fig. 3.
so a 6-cell battery, nominall y rated at 12
volts, actually has a fully-charged output FIG. 2-A CONVENTIONAL VOLTAGE regUlator The complete charger
of 13.8 volts. is easy to build with an LM317; the value of R2
sets the output voltage.
Let's discuss the overall operation of
You can tell when a gel-ce ll battery is the circuit and then show how to calcu late
nearly discharged by the fact that, under a resistor values. When power is applied to
no-load or low-load conditi on , it will have 01 the circuit, SCRI is off, so there is no bias-
an output voltage that is near its full rated IN4004 current path to ground; thus, the LM317
output. However, wh en the batter y is R1' acts as a current regulator. The LM317 is
placed under a moderate to heavy load, connected to the battery through steering
voltage drops by about 4. 6 volts. diode D! , limiting resistor RI, and bias
' R6
The reason for the two-cell drop is that a VOLTAGE resistor R2 . That portion of the charger is
discharged cell actually reverses polarity similar to the circuit shown in Fig . I
and acts as a load that "cancels" the volt- above. The steering diode was added to
age of a good cell. So you might measure IN PUT prevent the battery from discharging
only about 9.2 volts (13.8-4 .6 = 9.2) through the LED and the SCR when
across a 12-volt battery that needs to be power is removed from the circuit.
recharged . And speaking of charging, R4' 'RS As the battery charges, the voltage
let's find out how to do it now. TRI P across TR IP- PO INT potentiometer R5 rises
POiNT and at some point turns on the SCR. At
Charging methods that point , current from the regulator can
Gel-cell batter ies from differe nt man- SEE TEXT flow to ground, so the regulator now func-
ufacturers are made in different ways, and FIG. 3-THE COMPLETE CHARGER is a hybrid tions in the voltage mode . When the SCR
they have di fferen t chargi ng requ ire- of the previous circuits. When the SCR Is off, the turns on, it also provides LED! with a
circu it functions as a constant-current source;
ment s . Man y batterie s can be charged when the SCR is on, the circuit functions as a path to ground (through R3). So , when
using the circuitry described here, but you voltage regulator. LEDI is on, the circuit is in the voltage-
should check with the manufacturer of regulating mode; when LED! is off, the
your battery to be sure . circuit is in the current-regulating mode.
A common and re liable meth od of we' ll actuall y need an unregulated DC
charging is as follows. First , a regulated , supply of about 19 volts. Calculating resistor values
con stant current that is equal to 10% of' Now let's find out how to calculate the
rated output is applied to the battery. For Circuitry resistor values. Assume that we're still
example , a 12-volt I-AH battery would The constant-current charger is right talkin g about a 12-volt, I-AH battery.
start off with a chargi ng current of 100 out of the manufacturer 's data book. As Let' s start with the VOLTAGE adjustment
mA oVoltage must be moni tored ; when it shown in Fig. I, the heart of the charger is potentiometer, R6 . First we have to calcu-
reaches 90% of rated output, the circuit an LM 317 adj us ta b le reg u lator. A n late a multiplic ation factor, F; that can be
removes the co nstant-current source and LM3 17K can supply as much as 1.5 amps found from:
applies a regulated voltage to complete of current if it has proper heatsinking; it
charging . The switchover is necessary to can also handle as much as 37 volts. If
prevent over-charging in case a battery is your battery requires a higher charging PARTS LIST
left co nnected to the charger for a long voltage, you can substitute an LM317HV, All resistors are Y-4-watt, 5% unless oth-
period of time. The battery can float- which can handle as much as 57 volts . To erwise noted.
charge in that way indefinitely. increase cu rrent , yo u co uld use an R1 , R3, R4, R6---see text
You may be able to use a charging cur- LM338, which can provide five amps of R2-220 ohms
R5, R6-ten-turn trimmer potentiometer,
en rent different than lOo/o--forexample, for current at a maximum of 32 volts. Calc u-
o see text
" fast-charging ." However, if you use a late the value of RI from the charge cur- Semiconductors
Z different current , follow the manufac- rent (Icc) you need , and from the 1.25-
o IC1-LM317 variable-voltage regulator
a: turer 's recommend ations carefully. volt bias required by the LM3 17: Dl-1N4004
oUJ To determine the voltage the charger LED1-standard LED
R1 = 1.25/lcc
will have to supply, you' ll have to mult iply SCR1-G103B, 800 rnA, 200-volt SCA
6 the number of cells in your battery by 2.3 For a I-AH battery, Icc = 0.1 A, so RI = Miscellaneous
o and then add 5, to allow for circuit losses. (1 .25/0.1) = 12.5 ohms . RI's wattage is SPST toggle switch, PC board, inputand
To charge our example 12-volt battery, determined in the usual manner: 0.1 A x output connectors
circuit before proceeding .
2. App ly power to the circ uit and check
TABLE 1- EVERREADY Ni-Cd CHARGE CURRENT for smoke and other signs of catastrophe.
Fix any mistake s.
Size Charge 3. Connect a 4 .7K resis tor to the circ uit
Number Current Voltage where the battery would normally.
CF15 AA 50 mA 1.50-1.60
CH15 AA 50 mA 1.35-1.45
4. App ly power to the circuit and measure
CH35 C 120 mA 1.35-1.45 the voltage acros s the 4 .7K resis tor. That
CH50 o 120 MA 1.35-1 .45 voltage sho uld be abo ut 13.8 , or your cal-
culated output voltage . If the measured
voltage is much different from what you
expect, measure the voltage across the
F = (Vc d1.25) + 1 So, in our case, SCR. If you do n't meas ure abo ut 0 .7
volts, the SCR has not turned on, so adjust
In that equation Vee is the battery's full- R4 = 13.8/0.05 = 276n. TRIP-POINT potentiometer (R5) unt il the
charge output voltage; in our case , Ve e Round ing up to provide extra current lim- LED turns on . If the LED won't turn on,
= 13.8 , so F = (13.8/ 1.25) + I = 12 .04 . iting , the closest standard value is 300 the SCR may be bad .
Then we calculate the value of R6 as: ohms, which should work fine . 5. Connect a voltmeter across the output
R6 = F(R1 + R2) Regarding the SCR, it must be able to termi nals and adjust the VOLTAGE control
handl e the bias current of the LM3 17K (R6) so that the meter indicates your cal-
We already saw that RI has a value of 12.5 when the latter is in the voltage mode , and culated Vcc- 19 volts, in our case .
ohm s; R2 has a value of 220 ohms , so R6 it must be able to withstand the full , no- 6. De-energize the circu it and co nnec t an
= 12 X (220 + 12 .5 ) = 2800 ohms . That lo ad vo ltage s u pp lie d by yo u r DC ohmmeter bet ween the wiper of the TRIP-
value is approximate ly what is required to source- 19 volts in our exa mple . The POI NT potentiometer (R5) and gro und .
obtain the end-of-charg e voltage we need. SCR spec ified is rated to handl e 200 volts Adjust R5 so that the meter reads zero
The value is an approx imation because it at 800 rnA; it should be able to handl e any ohms . That will disab le the current-to-
doe s not take into account the voltage battery you' re likel y to come across. voltage shift. Remove the ohmmeter and
drop acro ss the SCR. So we simply round the 4 .7K res istor.
up to the next highe st value , and use a 5K Construction 7. Connect a partially-discharged gel -cell
potent iom eter for R6 . That will allow you Layout and asse mbly are quite simple; battery to the output term inals of the
to adju st the circuit for use with batteries a foil-pattern for a print ed-circuit board is charger. Be careful to observe proper po-
having different voltag es . shown in " PC Service. " A stuffing guide larity! The LED should not light ; if it
The manufactu rer reco mme nds that R2 is shown in Fig . 4 . Stu ff the board , solder does, steering diode Dl is in the circuit
have a value of about 240 ohms. The se- the co mponents, and then check your backward .
ries combination of RI and R2 is within 8. Con nect a voltmeter across the battery,
5% of 240 ohm s, and that's close enough . apply power to the circuit, and measure
You may have to adjust the value of R2 to the voltage across the battery. If the bat-
accommodate a different charge curren t, tery is not discharged enough , Ve e may
voltage , or both , or if you use the high- be reached before you have a chance to
current LM3 38 . See the 1982 Voltage adjust R5 . If your meter indicates Vee
Regulator Handb ook by National Sem i- now, you 'll have to discharge your battery
conductor (2900 Semiconductor Dri ve , P. further and try aga in. Wha t you want to do
O . B o x 5 809 0 , S a n t a C lara , CA is adjust R5 so that the SC R trips just after
9505 2-8090) for more inform ation . Ve e is reached .
Next we need to dete rmin e the value of 9. Partially discharge the battery and reset
TRIP-POI NT potentiom eter R5 , which sets R5 severa l times unti l you're satisfied
the voltage at whic h the SCR turn s on. We with the accuracy of the trip-point setting.
have found empirica lly that, if the end-of-
charge voltage is less than 20 volts, a 5K 1- DC + DC 51 Charger use
unit will work . For voltages grea ter than INPUT INPUT POWER Whe n charging a battery, you' ll want to
20 volts, a 10K unit will work. take an occasio nal look at LED1. After it
The value of the LED 's curre nt-limiting FIG. 4-PARTS-PLACEMENT DIAGRAM for the turns on, interrupt power for about three
resistor, R3, is easy to calculate: complete vo ltage/current charging c ircuit
shown In Fig. 3. seco nds . That allows the SCR to unl atch.
R3 = (Vee - 2.2)/20 mA Re-apply power, and, if the LED re-il-
lum inates qu ick ly, the battery is fully
R3 = (13.8 - 2.2)/0.02 = 580n.
work to make sure that the semiconduc- charged. If not, let the battery charge lon-
You may want to subst itute a lOoo-ohm Y2- tors are all oriented correct ly. ger and then repeat the test.
watt resistor fo r R3. Doin g that will pre- Before applying power, set both trim- You can also use this circuit to recharge
vent dam age to the LED when the charger mer potentio meters (R5 and R6) to the lead-aci d and Ni-C d batteries. You' ll have
is used with batt eri es havin g voltages middl e of their ranges; and don' t conn ect to re-calc ulate resistor values to provide
greater than 12. the DC so urce or a batte ry to the charger the appropria te charg ing curre nt, which
The last value we need to calculate is yet. You mu st calibrate the charger first. can be obtained from manu facturers' data
that of R4 , which limits the c urrent that We' ll continue working with a 12-volt , 1- books . We show the required charge cur-
ca n be applied to the gate of SC R1. That AH battery; substi tute the appropriate val- rent for severa l common Eveready Ni-Cd
current could blow the SCR if the TRIP- ues for your battery where necessary. cell s in Table I as a point of reference.
PO INT potentiom eter were turned too far in 1. Connect an ohmmeter across the VO LT- When charg ing a (non gel-cell) lead-
the direct ion of the output of the regulator. AGE adjustment potentiometer (R6). Ad- acid or Ni-Cd battery, power should be
The value of R4 may be determ ined thus: ju st R6 so that the ohmmeter indicates the removed when the LED lights up, or over-
calculated set-point value-2.8K, in the charg ing may occ ur, and the battery may
R4 = Vc d50 mA exa mple . Remove the ohmme ter from the be damaged . R-E

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tions .A dated Re p ly Card is in clude d . Ifyou want the Ma in Selectio n ,you s imply do
nothing - it w ill be sh ippe d a u tomatically. If you wan t an Alte rnate Selection - or Name _
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contin ued from page 60 continued from pa ge 66 we can substitute the right side of equ a-
tion (2) into the numerator of equation (3)
One winding feeds a lOA 400V bridge to obtain:
Amplifier and feedback network
rectifier, which in turn feeds four 8000 -fJ-F O UTV
capacitors . That we ll -filtered supply The essential com ponents of a feedback Ay = - - (4)
oscillator are, as shown in Fig . 7, an am- V IN
powers the output amplifiers .
Th e ot her wi ndi ng of the torrod ial plifier and a feedback network. The am- As we saw above:
plifier could be any amplifying device- a
transformer provides a 30 VCT output
transistor, an op-amp, even a tube . The (5)
that is rectified and filtered with 1000 fJ-F
feedbac k network could be built from
capacitors C I2 and C13. Separate positive
vario us combinations of resi st or s and So , rearranging things:
and negative three-term inal regul ators ,
co mponents such as ca pacitors, indu c-
IC9 and ICII , provide fully regulated
tors, and crystals. A purel y resistive net- (6)
work is seldom used in an oscilla tor
because a network of that type is not fre- Now we can substitute the right side of
quenc y-selective . It might oscillate , but at equ ati on (6) int o the denominator of
a frequency we would have little control equation (4) to arrive at a comp lete ex-
over. pression of the circuit's gain:
However, we're gettin g a little ahead of
ourselves . Before gettin g into the detai ls A _ Vo x Ay(oL)
v - V + V (7)
of circuits and component s, we really o F
FIG . 9-THE LARGE TORO IDAL TRANS - Now we define a factor B that represents
FORMER and filter capacitors provide low-rip-
ple + 1- 65-volt outputs. the ratio of feedb ack voltage to the output
+ 15V and -15V supplies for the op-
amps . As we just stated, 0 22 provides an B = ~ (8)
isolated positive supply for the op-arnps ,
The negative supply that feeds the ana- By rearranging equation (8) we see that:
log switches is derived from the - IS-volt
supply via a simple resistive divider com - (9)
posed of R30 and R3I . We can get away FIG. 7-THE FEEDBACK OSCILLATOR'S gain
with using that simple scheme since the equations are based on thi s ci rcuit model. so we can substitute the right side of equa-
CMOS Ie's draw only about 100 fJ-A of tion (9) for VF in equation (7), yielding
current , and that loads the resistive divid- ought to approach the feedb ack oscillator
from a more theoret ical point of view. So _ V o x Ay(oL)
er negligibly. A
y - V + BV (10)
The positive supply must provide more let's see what the conditions for oscilla- o O UT
current than the negative supply because tion to occur are . We'll do that by derivin g Our job is nearly complete; what we
the LED 's are fed from the positive sup- the gain equation for the circuit. want to do is eliminate VD from the pre-
ply. Hence a 7805 regul ator is used . The ced ing equation . By substituting the right
220-ohm resistor (R28) between the out- Feedback amp math side of equation (2) into equation (10) we
put and the ground terminals of the reg- To begin with , let's simply name a few see that:
ulator has about 23 mA of current flowing of the quantities that we'll be working V o x Ay(oL)
throu gh it, and that current in conjunction with. Let' s call the open-loop gain- the Ay (11)
with the 15 mA flowing out of the ground gain that would be obta ined with no feed- Vo + B (AV(OL) x Vo )
te rmin al imp resse s about three vo lts back-of the amplifie r AV(OL)' Gain That allows us to eliminate VD :
across 130-ohm resistor R29. That raises when the feedback loop is connected is Ay(oL)
the output of the regulato r from five to Av-and that's the quantity we're trying Ay = (12)
1 + BAY(OL )
eig ht volts. The latter voltage feeds the to find an expression for. The circuit's
LED 's, and diode 0 23 isolates that volt- output voltage is VOUT' and its input volt- And that' s we set out to find. The quantity
age for the CMOS memory circuit. age is VIN' The output of the feedb ack B x Av(o L) in the denominator of equ a-
network is Vp and the difference between tion (12) IS the loop gain of the circuit, and
Standby power V IN and V F is V D ' In othe r wo rds , its value is imp ort ant in determin ing
Two nickel-cadmium batteries are used VD =V IN- v, whether a circuit will oscillate .
to supply standby power to the CMOS The gain, or transfer f unction, of any A feedback circuit will oscillate if two
Ie's . The batteries provide just enough circ uit is simply the ratio of its output conditions are met: I. Loop gain is unity
voltage so that the flip-flops retain their voltage to its input voltage . For the ampli- or more, and 2. The feedback signal is in
co ntents when the main power is switched fier in our model circuit, we would ex- phase with the input signal. Those condi-
off. Diode 0 23 ensures that the the LED 's press that relationship as: tions are known as the Barkhau sen Crite-
don 't drain the battery. Note that the ria . For the feedback signal to be in phase
f) minu s rail is not powered by the batteries. with the input signal we need a total phase
~ That is because we are only interested in AY (OL ) (1) shift of 360 degrees. And since a typical
J maintaining power in the logic circuits . amplifier inverts the signal, or provides
:c Also , when the main power is on, the In other words , 180 degrees of phase shift, the feedback
TI battery is trickle-charged via R3Z. network must provide an additional phase
:ct That (finally!) completes the circuit de- V O UT = A Y (OL ) X V o (2) shift of 180 degrees. There are many ways
:) scription. Start warming up your solder- of providing that phase shift; next time
~ ing iron; next time we' ll go on and build And since the overall gain (A v ) of the we'll show how to do it using coils and
a:: an amplifier ! R-E circuit can be expressed as: capacitors. R-E
One of the most difficult tasks in build -
ing any construction project featu red in
Radio-Electronics is making the PC
board using just the foil pattern provided
with the art icle. Well, we're doing some -
thing about it.
We've moved all the foil patterns to this
new section where they 're printed by
themse lves, full sized, with nothing on the
back side of the page. What that mea ns
for you is that the printed page can be
used direct ly to produce PC boards!
Note: The patterns provided can be
used direct ly only for direct positive pho-
toresist methods .
In orde r to produce a board direct ly from
the magazine page , remove the page and
carefully inspect it unde r a stro ng light
and/or on a light table . Look for breaks in
the traces, bridges between traces, and in
genera l, all the kinds of things you look for
in the final etched board . You can clean up
the published artwork the same way you
clean up you own artwork. Draft ing tape
and graph ic aids can fix incomplete traces
and doughnuts, and you can use a hobby
knife to qet rid of bridges and dirt.
An opt ional step, once you're satisfied
that the artwork is clean, is to take a little
bit of mineral oil and carefu lly wipe it
across the back of the artwork. That helps
make the paper transluscent. Don't get
any on the front side of the paper (the side
wit h the pattern) because yo u' ll con-
tam inate the se nsitized surface of the
copper blank. After the oil has "dried" a
bit-patting with a paper towe l will help
speed up the process -place the patte rn
front side down on the sensit ized copper
blank, and make the exposure . You' ll
probab ly have to use a longer exposure
time than you are probab ly used to .
We can't tell you exactly how long an
exposure time you will need but, as a start -
ing po int, figure that there's a 50 percent
increase in exposure time over litho-
grap hic film. But you' ll have to exper iment
to find the best method for you. And once
you find it, stick wit h it. Don't forget the
"three C's" of making PC boards-eare,
cleanliness, and consistency.
Finally, we would like to hear how you
make out using our method . Write and tell
us of your successes, and failures, and
what techniq ues work best for you. Ad-
dress your letters to:
14-- - - - - - 3.75 I Nt H E S ------~
Depa rtment PCB
THE COMPONENT SIDE of t he freque ncy counter board is shown 500-8 Bi-County Blvd .
in a full-s ize mirror image. Farmingdale, NY 11735


I...14-------3.75 INCHES-------.~I
THE DISPLAY SIDE of the frequency counter board in a full-size mirror image.



DC-60 MHz DC-100 MHz

4 Input, 8 Trace, Portable 4 Input, 8 Trace, Portable
Typical Frequency Of Froin DC To 70 MHz, -3 dB Typical Frequency Of From DC To 120 MHz, - 3 dB
(10 MHz margin over the specified frequency response) (20 MHz margin over the specified frequency response)
Reliable Time Difference Between Channels Reliable Time Difference Between Channels
Built-In TV Sync Separator Jitterless Circuitry For Stable Triggering
3 Year Warranty 3 Year Warranty
88-5710 - $1245 88-5711 - $1695
88-5710C - With Counter $1799
88-57100 - With Counter/OMM $1995
88-5711 C - With Counter $2295
88-57110 - With Counter/OMM $2495
SS-5705-DC-40 MHz
DC-40 MHz
SS-5706-DC-30 MHz
DC-100 MHz
Digital Storagescope E

3 Input, 6 Trace (SS5705); 3 Input, 3 Trace (SS5706)

Versatile Trigger Capability With TV-SYNC
Jitter-Free Circuitry And Variable Hold-Off
High Accuracy For V And H ( 2%)
Accurate Calibrator (Amplitude 10f0 And Frequency 1%)

100 MHz Analog And Digital Bandwidth
40 Ms/s Sampling Rate
Cursor Measurement (Analog And Digital)
4 Waveform & 7 Set-Up Memories
GO/NO GO Judgement
88-5705 - $899 08-6121 - $5550
88-5706 - $749 08-6121 A - With Envelope Mode $5950

DC-10 MHz
DC-200 MHz Digital Storagescope
4 Input, 8 Trace, Portable Built-in GP-IB (General-Purpose Interface Bus)
Reliable Time Difference Between Channels High-Brightness CRT
Freerunning Ground Facility 3-Channel 10 MHz Oscilloscope Function
High-Grade 6 Inch Quadrupol e-Lens, Dome Mesh CRT 8-bit x 2048 Word/Channel, 1j.ls/word Digital Storage
Combination Trigger Probe (SS-0071) Optional Both Real-Time And Digital Storage Waveforms Can Be
3 Year Warranty Displayed On The CRT Simultaneously

88-5712 - $2999 88-5802 - $2750

Instruments For Your Success

430 Commerc e Boulevard , Car lstadt, NJ 07072 PHONE: (201) 935-5220; TLX . 710-989-0255
T H O SE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN FOL- Satellite Transponder Descri ption
low ing the ups and downs of the G1 12 Request TV
ho me-TY RO indust ry are aware W5 24 The FUN Chan nel
t hat seve ral pieces of legislation 24 PPV (The pay-per-view channel)
are pending before Congress. Lit- S1 11 HSN (Hos pital satellite network)
21 BTN (Baptist telecommunications)
tl e of that legislat io n is like ly to be 21 VMT (Vanderbilt medical television)
made into law this year, and, even AD1 8 CHC H (Hamilton, Ontario)
if it should, little of it seems li kely 9 WDIV (Detroit NBC affiliate)
to benefit our industry. 10 WXYZ (Detroit ABC affiliate)
When HBO f irst an nounced it 14 TCTV (Sherbrooke, Quebec)
18 CITV (Edmonton, Alberta)
planned to start de livering 21 WTVS (Detroit PBS affiliate)
scramb led signals, there was wide- 22 BCTV (Vancouver CTV affiliate)
spread opposition to both p lans 23 WJBK (Detroit CBS affiliate)
and planners. M IA-Com, in par- W4 11 CTNA (Catholic telecommunications)
ticular, and other firms were cru -
cial to the distribut ion of scram - know ledge t he st rength of the $12.95 co l lected, t he rest is re-
blin g eq uipment; t hose firms have TVRO lo bby, b ut t hey be lieve that tained by the cab le o pe rator.
been ju stl y cr iticized for t heir lack differe nces betwee n use rs and How ever, some cab le ope rators
of p reparedness. But befo re sup pl iers wi ll sort itse lf o ut i n the have offe red HBO to TV RO owners
scra mb l i ng beca me officia l, a marketp lace wit h no Co ngressio n- fo r as littl eas $6.75 per mon th. As
th en -d efi ant trade -i nd ustry asso- al in tervent ion . you mi ght suspect, HBO has tried
c iat ion believed that scramb li ng The propo sed leg islatio n rel ates to pu t a halt to t hat so rt of p ri ce-
wou ld not happen, and t hat it to two largely-unresol ved issues: undercuttin g. O ne cab le ve ndor
wou ld not hu rt if it di d. How ever, it access to sc ra m b le d pro g ram- (in A rka nsas) offered HBO fo r a
d id hap p en , and it did hu rt - ming, and th e price of t hat access. ve ry low pr ice; t hat co m pany w as
badl y. Access it self is a matter of littl e dis- to ld t hat HBO wou ld no lon ger ac-
Ma ny people who hop ed that pute . Virtua lly all cab le-program- cept orde rs fro m subsc ri be rs liv-
scramb ling would never come to ming serv ices h av e in di c at e d ing o utsi de of t he cab le ope rator's
pass pi nned their ho pes o n var i- w i lli ngness to offe r se rvices to co unty. That effectively shut dow n
ous pieces of legis lat io n intro- TV RO owners . t he compa ny's natio na l sa les
d uc ed early in 1984. H ad that effo rt.
legislatio n passed, it wo uld have Monopoly? W hat presently galls t he TVRO
de layed scrambling for at least two Price is a more difficu lt issue . For indu st ry is that, to date, virtua lly all
years, and it might have gotten the examp le , just what is a fair price ma rketi ng of descramb l ing ser-
FCC invo lved in the fray as a medi- for the TVRO owner to pay for vices has bee n done o nly by the
atorbetween the disputing par- HBO? If you subscribe directly cab le prog ramme rs (e.g . H BO ),
t ies-TVRO users and program from HBO, the price is $12 .95 per and the cable franchises. But t here
suppliers. month. But some cab le vendors has been no program marketing
However, hearings regard ing have bee n offering services to ca- by firms in vol ved in t he satellite-
the pe nding legislation were held ble subscribers for $9 to $10, and TV i ndu st ry. Those f irms have
en in early March of this year, and at that is $2 to $4 per month less than cried "fou I ! " And t hey have
z least one additio nal round of hear- t he typica l cable subscriber pays claimed t hat pr ices are bei ng set,
oa: i n gs is planned. But the con- for t he same service . A nd it's inter- monopoly-like, by cab le-prog ram
gressmen responsib le for both the esting to note that, when the dish vendors.
--l hearings and the legi slat io n see lit- owne r buys directly f rom HBO, the
tl e chance that any legis lation will loca l cab le o perator rece ives a $5 Price is important
6 b e enacted th is yea r. Th ey ac- per mo nt h "sa les commiss io n ." In Perhaps as many as 20 d iffe rent
a: * Editor-in-Chief, Coop's Satellite Digest effect, HBO retains $7.95 of the program services are now sched-

uled to sc ram b le their offerin gs; year ago, i nve ntories ar e exces - gets help fr om fe de ral legis lati on
several are indicated in Tabl e1. The sive , and new mode ls ar e not in six to eig ht month s, th e indu stry
cost of unscramblin g all of th o se bei ng rel eased by man ufacturers. may go under. That's not a pretty
serviceswill amount to a fai r p iece The reason is that con sum er s are prospect to say t he least ; it re-
of chan ge for the co nsu mer be- de layi ng purchases unti l they see minds us of th e spee d with whi ch
cau se po ssibl e incompat ibili t ies who is going to scramb le what, t he CB-rad io market sudd en ly co l-
between different syste ms may re- when it w ill be done, ho w com- lapsed some te n years ago und er
quire different de scramblin g hard- patible it will be , and how much it di ff erent ci rc umsta nces .
ware . Con sequentl y, man y peopl e w ill cost . Hopefull y th in gs w on 't go th at
feel that the total monthl y charge Thin gs have gotten so bad that ro ute . But, i n th e i nte r im, we ' ll
for descramb ling will be so hi gh as Congressman Tauzin of Louis iana, co ntin ue to exam ine th e growing
to discourage the sale of new a rare Capitol -Hill proponent of amo unt of confusio n t he p ro gr am
h o m e -TV RO sy ste ms . In fact , t he need for legislation , is p redict- scramb le rs are creat ing in t he mar-
t here are indication s t hat th ere w ill ing t hat, unless t he TVRO ind ustry ket place . R-E
be 50% fewer systems sold in 1986
than w ere so ld in 1985. Th e co n-
clusion is that the pri ce of d e-
scrambling a nu mber of differ ent,
and very possib ly incompatibl e
systems is a key factor holdin g
down sales of new system s.
Help from Congress?
Legi slat ion might be abl e to hel p The First
TVRO vendors . But key mem ber s
of Congress show no interest in
pushing legislation that attempt s
Five Years!
to rescue a faltering indu st ry. Th e
attitude , as one member of Con - THE MOST COMPLETE report on the mushro oming
gress noted , seems to be : "Adopt- home T VRO' industry ever compiled, written as only the
in g legislat io n to rescu e h om e 'father of TVRO' could have prepared. More than 1000
dishes will ult imate ly resul t i n page s (!) tracing the complete story of home TVRO ,
mo re legislat io n to rescu e so me lavishly illustrated with equipment photos , schematic
diagrams, equipment analysis reports . Bob Cooper,
ot her industry. There is no end to the first private individual to own and operate a TVRO
t his once it starts; the marketplace (1976) has collected and polished hundreds of indi-
mu st sort it out ." vidual reports into a unique 'collector's edition' which

Ico ::- ;
The prob lem is that the market- clearly explains the TVRO phenominon in North Amer-
ica. From Coop's first 20 foot 'monster' dish to the
pl ace to date has not been doing a present day 5 foot 'C-band' TVROs , the fascinating
SAT.U lTl:
ver y good jo b of "sorting it ou t." DIQIST t, ... .
growth of TVRO equipment and its legal status unfolds
Di sh sales are much worse than a for you.
THIS TWO VOLUME SET totaling more than 1,000 pages is available for the first time
to readers of Radio-El ectroni cs at special discount pricing . Originally so ld at $100
Interested in TVRO? per two-volum e set, a limited supply is now available ONLY throug h this advertise-
ment. PLUS, you will also receive a special extraordinary bonus; the 200 page ( + )
For nearly two year s Bob Cooper has October 1984 edition of CSD/Coop's Sate llite Digest. This very special edition of
provided a no-charge kit of printed mate- CSD is a best-seller in the TVRO indust ry, with the most comprehensive collection of
rials that describes the challenges of and TVRO facts and fig ures ever compiled. Combined with the 1,000 page 'CSD
opportunities in selling TVRO systems to- ANTHOLOGY' report, you have instant reference to everything you will ever need to
day. With the present intense interest in know about the state of the home TVRO industry. It is MUST reading for every person
scrambling systems, Coop's CSD has in, or thinking about 'getting into,' any segme nt of the home TVRO world .
made available a new no-charge service.
The SCRAMBLE FAX hotline is a 24-
hour-per-day te lephone ser vice that
provides accurate , detailed, and hard-to-
-------------------------------- _ _ SEND CSD ANTHOLOGY/2 Vols. + CSD Bonus .
find facts concerning the changeover to _ _ SEND CSD October '84 Special Issue ONLY.
scrambling in the satellite communica- NAME COMPANY _
tions industry. Information describing sat-
ellite receivers tested for scr amb ling
compatib ility, sources for authorized de- CITY STATE _ _ ZIP _
scramblers, wholesale rates of scram-
bling equipm ent and services- all are
provided on the SCRAMBLE FAX hotline. Payment: $60 US funds (Antho logy + Bonus), $15 US funds
There is no charge for that service, other CSD Oct. ONLY; payable " CSD ANTHOLOGY."
than your long-distance telephone ex- Shipping charges prepaid. Enter order to: CSD Anthology,
penses. Simply dial (305) 771-0575 for a Radio-Electronics Magazine , 200 Park Av. S., New York, NY ~

concise and timely three-minute capsu le C

10003; or call 305-771-0505 for credit card orders ONLY. r
report that covers the latest in scrambling
news. ~

I nexpensive robotics arm s


ro boti cs fo r very long to und er-
sta nd t hat t he vast majori ty of real-
w orld app licat io ns in volve a me-
chan ica l arm of so rt so rt. However, STRUCTURAL MEMBER
few affordab le arms are availab le
fo r hobbyi st and ed ucatio nal pur- +lTIJ ;; ~-~-~MOTOA
po ses. ~-_.... C l l = J MOTOR
For exam p le, at least three co m-
pani es sup ply arm systems t hat are - CONTRO L BOX
used i n ed ucat io n . Th o se ar ms
cost betwee n o ne and two t ho u-
sand doll ars; and it is my beli ef
t hat th at's beyo nd t he ran ge of FIG.l
mo st h ob byi st s and man y sma ll
ed ucatio nal in sti tuti on s. (w hic h I highly recomm end as an u rations . Each fi nger co mes w ith
At th e ot he r end of the scale , fo r ed u cat io n al exe rc ise), t h e f irst tw o p ieces of non-slip rubbe r fo r
seve ra l y ear s Radio Sha c k h as thin g th at strikes yo u is its lack of t ractio n .
b een mark etin g an arm cal le d motors-there's o nly o ne, and it Tw o c ustom-desig ne d m ot or s
A rma t ro n f or l e ss t h a n $3 0 . can move six different joints. in clu d e co mp lex in tern al gea ring
How ev er, it s purely m ech anical The ne xt pot entiall y-exp en siv e mech ani sms, and each moto r can
nature makes it hard to interfa ce to it ems are ge ars. M o st ar ms (in- pr od u c e a to rque of 50 i nch -
an electrica l control system (but cludin g Radio Shack 's) are fill ed o unces. The o ut p ut shaft of th e
see t he M ay 1985 issue of Radio- with gears of vari ou s sizes and mot or is an octago nal mal e plu g
Electronics for on e approach .-Ed- confi guration s. And rarely can a t hat fits snug ly in to o ne of seve ral
it or). Un til recentl y, I knew of no sto ck catalog gear perfo rm th e d e- su p p lied str uctu ra l e le me n ts .
o t her ar ms in th e und er- $100 sired fun cti o n ; thu s gears mu st be Electri call y, t he motors are co n-
range . Let's look at wh y th ere have d esigned and manufactured fo r nected to the base t hro ug h spe-
been no in exp en sive robot arms . each ind ividu al app licat io n. That ci all y d esign ed cab les t hat have
makes it ha rd for hobbyists to fi nd easy-to -use two-pi n p lugs.
What's in an arm? gears th at are suita b le fo r b uild ing To give yo u an id ea of w hat you
Yo u mi gh t wo nder ju st w hat an arm f ro m scratc h. can do with th e Robotix, I bui lt a
makes ro bot arms so expe nsive. So, if part s are expe nsive o r sim- six-jointed arm from two kits - i n
We are used to electro nics d evices pl y un av ai labl e , h o w ca n t he seven mi nutes ! It can rotate about
bei ng agg ress ive ly p ri ced-aft er ro boti cs hobbyi st get an arm to ex- t he ve rt ical axis, and move at t he
a l l, I C 's a re m ad e of sa n d ! pe rime nt wit h? shou lder, elbow, and wrist; and it
H ow ev er, ro b ot ar ms are mo stl y It happ en s th at M ilto n Brad ley inco rporates a two-f inge red gri p-
mech ani cal , and mech ani cal lin k- has begun mar keti ng a kit , t he pe r. Ve rtica l-axi s rotati o n allows
ages require ex pe ns ive machi n- Rob o tix, t hat w i l l allow yo u to t he arm to t ransfer a part o r object
in g. Even in exp en sive pla sti c pa rt s b ui ld an expe rime nta l arm for a from o ne area to anothe r alo ng a
are made fro m mold s t hat are cost- su rp risingly low p rice -on ly $39! hor izon tal arc. For $78, t hat's im-
ly to m ake. The kit co nsists of a two-fi ngered pre ssive!
M otors can also be ex pe nsive, m anipulator, a rotati ng base i n You co uld bui ld a simp le arm
b ut cl ever design can redu ce th e w hich the batt er y su pp ly is lo - f ro m a sing le Robotix kit by fo llow-
numb er of m ot or s t hat are re- cate d , co u nte rweig hts, and nu- in g t he ill ust ratio n in Fig. 1. Th e
quired . For ex am p le, wh en you m er ou s oth er pa r ts for co n - arm is not capab le of lift in g an au-
tak e apa rt Radi o Shack 's Armatron str uctio n of arm s in var io us co nf ig- tomobi le, bu t yo u co u ld use it

Get A Complete Course In
learn qu it e a b it about the kinds of Don 't expect th at yo u' ll be abl e to
probl em s that robotics designers
face. Whe n you master the basics,
use a parall el printe r o ut p ut port.
Th ose po rts req u ire hand shakin g
yo u can extend th e arm's reach by
ad ding another structural member
signals that our ci rcuit does not
supp ly.
t hroug h a suppl ied coupler. But For yo u Ap ple II owners, Crab- 8 volumes, over 2000 pages,
how do yo u master the basics? app le Systems (118 Com me rci al inclu di ng all necessarymath and
Street, Po rt land , ME 04101) has a physics. 29 examinations to help
Arm fun d ament als product specifica l ly d esign ed to you gauge your personal pro-
A d evi ce used to transport mate- drive t he Robotix motor s. For you g ress. A truly great learning
rial s from one p lace to another is TRS-80 Colo r Co mp uter fans, MJR experience.
call ed a t ransfer mechan ism . In its Digital (Mason Road, M il fo rd , NH Prepare now to take advan-
sim p lest for m, a t ransfer mec ha- 03055) h as a b o ard with con- tage of the growing demand for
ni sm can be a gripper and a rota ry nector s that allows di rect co nnec- people able to work attheengin-
ind exin g tabl e that allows the t io n to t he Robo tix ; software and ee ring level.
robot t o g rasp an ob ject and pl ace expe rime nts are also incl ud ed . Ask for our brochure g iving
it on th e table in another p lace. A Th e re al p robl em s begin only complete detailsof content. Use
rotary tran sfer mech ani sm is prob- afte r you 'v e got t he hardware all your free information card nu m-
ber, or write us di rect ly. $89.95,
ably th e id eal way fo r peo pl e o n a ho ok ed up . If you 've never at-
Postage Inclu d ed. Satisfaction
limited bu dget to begin in vesti gat- t empt ed to contr ol an e l ec - guaranteed or money refunded.
ing ro botics arms . trom echanical arm before, I sug-
Ther e are many typ es of grip - gest t hat yo u start with a sim p le
pers. Electroma gn ets can be used devi ce before movin g on.
to gri p fe rrous met als; t he advan- O ne of the f irst lesson s you 'll
ta ge of an electro mag net is that it learn is that it 's hard to determine
doesn't requi re mu ch to co nt ro l it . how far to move each joint when Technical
A smal l vacuu m pump co n nected moving to ward an object. There is Books, Inc.
throu gh a tube is anot he r pos - a t reme ndo us amount of literature 1203 Grant Ave.
sibili t y. H ow ever, gri p pe rs w ith availab le on meth ods of control- Rockford , IL 61103
two (o r more) fingers are t he mo st lin g mechanical arms. Most invol-
comm on and t he most popul ar be- ve complex mathematics. That's
cau se of t hei r ve rsatility. another reason to start with a sim-
After yo u' ve settled on the basic pl e arm .
m echani cal co nf ig u ration, it's ti me An yway, keep in mind that the
to get th e hardw are w ired up. Th e t ra ns fe r mechanism moves
Robotix m oto r run s o n three vo lts t hroug h space in an arc, so keep
and draws approximately 170 mA th e area surround in g t he robot
wh il e stalli ng. A simp le re lay ar- fr ee. For a fir st ex p eri m ent , try
ran gem en t (li ke t he one shown in m akin g your arm locate a light
"Buildin g You r O w n Ro bot ," Ra- pl astic block at location A. Then
dio-Electronics, M ar ch 1986, p. 50) t he arm should gra sp the block
can be bu ilt t hat w ill allow yo u to and move it to a new location, B.
rev er se m ot o r directi o n und e r Because the sim p le arm has no ca-
co mp uter contro l . p acit y fo r v erti cal m oti on , the
That circ uit cou ld be extended block mu st be pla ced at A after t he
to add as many motor co nt ro ls as grippe r arriv es th ere. O t herwi se,
are ne cessary. Fo r simu ltaneou s t he gr ippe r w ill di slod ge t he ob-
control of severa l motors , add an ject as t he grippe r app roaches it.
enable circuit and dupli cate t he di- Your co ntrol pro gram sho u ld
rect i on- con tr ol c irc uit fo r eac h f low so met h i ng li ke t hi s: Fir st
m otor used . move t he arm to A I and th en o pe n
As fo r in t e rf ac i n g , the re are the gr ippe r. Wai t fo r a key p ress
man y b rands of perso nal com put- from t he user (t hat 's yo u) to indi-
ers, so we ca n offer no prec ise cate t hat t he b loc k h as b e en
guide lines about spec ific ways of placed b etween t he jaws of t he
interfacin g a m oto r-con t ro l circuit gripper. Clo se t he gr ip pe r, and
t o parti cul ar models. Suffice it to move t he arm to B. Finall y, rel ease
say th at you m ust have some sort t he gr ipper.
of par all el outp ut p or t. Com-
mod ore VIC's, C64 's and C128's Reader request
have a " use r port" th at can be If yo u own a Heath HERO 1, I'd c...
used. Mo st othe r brand s of per- like to hear fro m yo u. You don 't ~
son al co m puter s w i ll requi re a have to say wh eth er yo u li ke it , ju st
sep arate p arall el in t erface card . t hat yo u ow n o ne . R-E


Dead -set servicing
start servici ng a completely dead L6
TV set. If th e ci rcu it-b reake r trips C3
as so on as yo u turn th e set on , MULTIPLIER
yo u' ve got a " crow bar sho rt " in it . R2 R3
And chanc es are tha t it 's in th e B + R4
sup p ly. So get out yo ur ohmmeter, -=
lo cat e t he B + secti o n of yo ur
cha ssis, and start hunting. R5
Af ter yo u find the B +, unplu g
th e set, di scharge all large capaci-
tors, and sta rt measurin g th e resis-
t anc e f ro m v ar i o us po int s t o
gro u nd . You sho uld alway s me a-
su re fairly hi gh resistances , at least ~_---. BOOST
SOK, or even more . If yo u do find a 850V
resistance of zero (o r cl o se to it),

yo u' re in the ri ght neighborhood.
In fact , the input filter capacitor is
probabl y sho rte d . But if yo u me a-
sure say 1S-20K to ground , th e
short is so mew here farther down
.1 01

the " B + -string. " So continue mea-
suring resistance at other points.
Chances are that your problem will
be due to a sho rted capacitor.

Replacing capacitors +143V

If you replace a sho rte d hi gh-
voltage capacito r, be su re t hat th e FIG. 1
rep lacem en t has a good mar gin of
safe ty. For examp le, if a capacitor to m . But if repl acin g t hat capacitor doze n causes?So check the w ho le
norm all y has 300 volt s ac ross it , doesn't clear up the t ro uble, and chass is ver y carefully for so me -
use a capacitor w ith a ratin g of at all th e nea rby co mponents seem th ing o dd- li ke a so ld er-b lo b i n
least 4S0 vol t s; 600 volts is better, of to be OK, start checki ng fo r other the w ro ng place. I w o rked on on e
co u rse. pro b le ms . Th in gs li ke i nco rrect set t hat had a dead short som e-
If yo u repl ace a sho rte d o r leaky bi as o n an audio -outp ut stage or whe re and I ju st couldn 't locate it.
capacito r, and yo u r pi cture im - even t he horizon tal-output stage Finally I saw a dribble of solde r
pr oves, but st ill has pro bl em s, t he can wreak havo c. A nd ch eck all of co ncea led under a terminal poin t.
t5 one that yo u repl aced may have set the hi gh-vol t age stages, like the Afte r removing it , the set wo rked
z off a chain react ion tha t affected o ne show n in Fig. 1, fo r normal like a ch arm.
a? o t he r co m po ne n ts . Rem o v e o pe rat io n, because tro u b le t here So wh en yo u run into one of
o power and chec k ot he r co m po- can disrupt oper ation severely. t hose m on st ers , take up yo ur
~ nents in th e vi cinity. Of course, a dead set co uld be o h m mete r, set it o n it s lowe st
6w A sho rte d filter ca pa c ito r is caused by ot her thin gs, too-but range, and start checking th e re-
o about th e o nl y simp le thin g th at have yo u eve r seen any p ro b lem sistance of th e B + st ring until you
Ci can cause th e "dead -set " sym p- t hat couldn 't have at least half-a- fi nd th e troubl em aker! R-E

SERVICE But yo u do n't reall y need a sche-
mati c. Co nnect an ext ernal 12-vol t

QUESTIONS power supp ly to each of th e two

supplies and measure th e cu rrent
drain . Now you can substitu te a
OSCILLATION IN RCA CTC-l07 transformer with the app ro p riate
I had several problems with an RCA current rating. If yo u really need a
CTC-107. I replaced the flyback as schematic, Sams provides detail s \ ,:,V
well as se veral small transistors in
the voltage regulator circuit. Now I
on several chassis in the 7000 se-
ries. Look at those schematics and B.S.E.E. \
have vertical lines on the right side
of the screen, and the set interferes
see if one resembl e s your s ;
chances are you'll be abl e to find
with other sets in the vicinity! -T. o ne that's close enough . That 's THROUGH HOME STUDY
M., Virgin Islands. what I used to do . Our New and Highly Effective Advance d-Place-
ment Program for experienced Electronic Tec h-
From th e so und of it , yo u r set is nicians grants credit for previous Scho oling and
ge n e r at i ng para sitic o scill ati on SHORTED FLYBACK? Professional . Experience , and can greatly re-
duce the time required to complete Program and
so mew he re. Scope it o ut , es- Thanks for your suggestion about reach graduation. No residenc e sc hoo ling re-
pecially the DC supp ly lines. Loo k using a reduced line voltage when I quired for qualified Electro nic Technicians .
Through this Spec ial Prog ram you can pull all of
fo r any sign of "fuzz" on th e sig- was blowing new transistors. That the loose ends of yo ur elect ronics backg ro und
nal ; that indicates the presen ce of helped a lot, but now I've got a new tog eth er and earn you r B.S.E.E. Degree. Up-
problem. As you suggested, I put a grade yo ur status and pay to the Engineering
st r ay or para sitic os cillation . Level. Advance Rapidly! Many finish in 1 2
Chec k all capacitors; sco pe th e DC milliammeter across the fuse months or less. Students and graduates in all 50
" hot" lead of each and lo o k fo r holder and gradually raised the line States and thro ughout the World. Established
Over 40 Years ! Write for free Descripti ve lit-
f uzz, etc. If the capaci to r is open voltage. Normal current is 320 mA; erature .
yo u' ll see garbage; there sho uld at only 45-volts AC Igot that much! I
be non e with a good capacito r. Try me asure about 10 KV of HY, but
brid gin g a suspect capacito r; t hat nothing else. Do you think the
sho uld show whether t hat one is flyback is the culprit?-H. 5., Austin,
causing the probl em. TX.
I can say t his : It certainly could
. VOLTAGE PROBLEM be! If yo u get some HV, the f lyback CIRCLE ' 81 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
I replaced a blown fuse and the hori- is trying to work , b ut it's drawing
zontal output transistor in m y set, too mu ch cu rrent. That ind icate s a See Radio Electronics
but the transistor still ran hot. The poss ib le "AC short; " t hat is, some-
Magazine Contructors
integrated flyback wasdefective, so I thing that doesn't show up in an
replaced it. But the transistor still ohm meter test, but does show up Project June '86
runs too warm! What gives?-P. G., when the flyb ack is d rive n by a
Columbia, sc. normal signal.
I can think of two po ssibl e Ch eck the fl yb ack w ith t he well-
cau se s. Either the volta ge reg- calib rated eyeball. See if any of the
ulator isn' t working prop erly, or smaller windin gs loo k dark o r d is-
the bias on th e horizontal o ut p ut co lo red . M easure th e resistance of
tran sistor is incorrect. Ch eck both al l w i nd ings, especia lly the big
of those and yo u sho uld so lve yo ur one . If any has low resistance, look
problem . You might also check the out; that may be t he sign of short-
out put drive whil e yo u' re t her e. ed turn s, and one is all yo u need ! This Great Littl e
D igit al o h m meters, w hich can power supply is a must for every
Electronic Enthus iast and Electronic Student. Use it to
FRENCH CONNECTION? read as t enth s of an ohm , are very power and test circuits and 1000 other uses. Very easy to
bu ild - even the beginn er co nstructor shou ld have no
I've got a surplus chassis labeled hand y for that type of measure- trouble - Just follow the plain English step by step
"Morse-Electrophonic 7900." I've me nt. FEATURES: Output variable between 3 and 30 Volts
Sho rt ci rcuit Protecti on. Full 1 Amp out put over enti re
been looking for service data on it voltage range 0 Load switchi ng 0 Current limiting fully
without any luck. It needs a power DC ON CRT HEATER? variab le-twin selec ta ble rang es. Dual Scale Meter
Separate eart h termi nal provided. Housed in
transformer with two 12-volt wind- Here's one I've always wondered Deluxe " ASS" instrument case.
SPECIFICATIONS: oOutput Voltage - 3 to 30 Volts
ings and a separate winding for the about. Why is there a DC voltage on o Output Current - 0 to 1 Amp (fully variable) 0 Load
Regulation - Better than 0.29% fro m 0 to full load
clock-chip, a 5387 AA. The chassis the CRT's filament?-B. M., Hast- o Output Ripple - Less than 2mV RMS.
may be Canadianbecause the back is ings, MI. Save Over $50
marked in French.-T. 5., Pahrump, Than ks, Bill; th at's on e qu estion On Commercial Units
NY. I'm sure of the answer to! DC is
Non , mon sieu r! Pas d e Francais, app lie d to the heater of t he CRT in K 3210 Fantastic Value $49.95
c'es t Americain (by way of th e Far orde r to red uce t he stress be- ADD $4 SHIP AND DELIVERY
East.)! That c hassis wa s used in twee n t he cathode and th e heater la;li~ij3I!ji;MIJi.:t.tj;I.I.]~ I f4
seve ral brand names. Sams do es and to avoid pos sible heater-cath- F 7530 $4.50 Inc . Postage
not sho w an address for th e mak er, ode sho rts. If that happen ed, the IMTRONICS INDUSTRIES LIMITED ~

11930 31 st Court, St. Petersburg <0

but th ey do li st several mod el s. t ube wo uld be inoperab le. R-E FLORIDA U.S.A. 33702 Ol
Phone 813 577 9010
-- -196-ON
- -- - - - - -
More on memory management CIRC UITS EDITOR

ANYONE W H O HAS EV ER BU I LT A SYST EM signal s. Given those param eters, sort o f probl em when we as-
that uses memory fo r o ne thing or let's see what w e have to do to add sembl ed th e d em on stration ci r-
another should be familiar w ith more memory to th e circuit. cuit. Thi s time, however, there's no
t he truth of Grossblatt's Twelfth hand y-d and y address lin e to d o
Law : There 's no such thing as too Memory banking th e job fo r us. But , eve n thou gh
much memory. No matter how yo u implem ent w e have to lo ok elsewhe re for an
No matter how mu ch m emory th e circuit , th e bas ic id ea is to an sw er, th e pro bl em is basicall y
yo u de sign into yo ur system , it's a " page" or " ban k" additional mem - th e same now as it was t he n . We
fo rego ne co ncl usio n that you 'll ory into the system . To understand need some so rt of sw itc h to to ggl e
w ind up using all of it , and whe n the id ea of bank-selecting memo- from on e page to anoth er.
yo u do , you' l l start lo o k in g for ry, take a loo k at Fig. 1. Sinc e our Th e whole probl em of gettin g
ways to increase it. It's like buying basic system can deal d irectly with from o ne bank of memo ry to an-
a new ho use . I know many guys
who swo re they'd never need
more t ha n eight room s. Two years CO N T RO L L E R
lat e r they had fin ished th e attic
and the basement, and they we re
eyeballing the garage!
U nfort unate ly, it tak e s more
than a ham m er and some nail s to MEMOR Y
add m o re m em ory to an el ec - B.tl N I<
t ron ics system . And it's slightly d if-
fic u lt to add mem o ry to a system
t hat 's already usin g th e fu ll w idth
of its address bus. That's the prob-
lem we started talki ng about at the BAN K I BA NI< 2 BI'I N 3 8A/\/I<'4
e nd of last month 's di scu ssio n.
The re are severa l ways to so lve that
prob lem, and each has un iq ue ad- FIG. 1
vantages and di sadvantages. W e'll
use t he circu it we put togeth er last
time to exam ine on e so l ut io n;
othe rs are certa in ly po ssibl e.
Yo u' l l reca ll that, since we're AooRe;ss
d eal in g w it h 512 bytes of m emory
space , t he address bus is nin e bits
wide . We use t he most sig n ifica nt
address bit to select one of two
FIG. 2
256-byte banks of memory auto-
o matically, and that gives us 512 o n ly 512 byt es of m em ory, eac h ot her is o ne t hat co mp ute r d esign -
bytes of co nt in uo us memory. Let's p ag e o f mem ory will have 512 ers face all th e tim e. For exampl e,
a: assume, for purpos es of di scus - byt es. But in o rde r fo r us to access any eig ht -b it co m pu ter that f ea-
r- sio n , that our memory syste m is differ ent pages, w e need a sig nal tures 128K of mem or y uses some
...J m anaged by a co nt ro lle r that has that the system can use to ge ne r- sche me to sw itc h between two 64K
o an eig ht-bit data b us , a nin e-bit ate appropriate pag e-sel ect sig - ban ks.
s-c address b us, as well as t he usual nal s. You co uId alway s do the job with
a: set of read, write, contro l, and I/O We were faced with th e same mechani cal SWitch es, but th at's a

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way is to use "soft switches" to do ch ips . Since we're j ust starting to
t he togg li ng fo r us. "Soft switch- fi nd out how to bu ild and use soft
in g" is a term t hat computer peo- sw it c h e s, let 's take the most
pl e use all th e t im e; it rep resent s a stra ig htfo rward des ig n app roach .
techniqu e t ha t we 've used over Afte r we've got t he system work-
and ove r in th e ci rc u its we've p ut ing , we' ll see w hat we can do to
togeth er. A ll it m ean s is t hat we p ut sim p lify t hings .
a d ecod er o n th e ad d ress bus and Memory is add ressed in our sys-
let it w atch fo r a parti cul ar add ress. tem fro m 000 to 1FE We have to
Wh en th at ad d ress sho ws u p, th e pick fo ur addresses to use as our
soft sw itc h de tects it and cha nges soft-switc h lo cati o ns. In a real-
t he state of it s o utp ut. wo rld system t here wou ld proba-
A s wi th any o t he r probl em in bly be circuit cons iderations that
.........~* .. ,
logi c des ign , t he f irst tw o ste ps are wo u ld d ictate w hich locations to
to d ecid e exactly w hat you wa nt to
do and t hen to draw a good b lock
use. But since we ' re buildin g our
circ uit from the ground up , we can
~\~;: :: ..
.; '

~., vr
di agram of t he circ u it. So, first , pick any addresses we want. Let's iZi!~ I Ulnl
let 's say t hat we wa nt to piggy-back take t he four highest addresses in No cos tly sc hool. No com m u ti ng to clas s .
fo ur ba nks of m em o ry and have the system and d efine t he m ac- The Or iginal Home-Study course pr e-
o u r new ci rc u itry select t he desi r- cording to th e table show n in Fig. pares you for the "FCC Comme rc ial Radi o-
telephone License". This valu able license
ed bank by f lippi ng a co uple of soft 3-a. As you can see , the hi ghest is yo u r " ti cke t" to thou s ands of exc iting
switc hes. address (1FF) selects th e first page, jo bs in Com munications. Radio-Tv. Micro-
Seco nd, t he b lock d iag ram in 1FE selects the second page, and wave. Co m p uters. Radar. Avonics and
Fig . 2 in di cat es t he t h ree basic ele- so on. . m ore ! You don't need a college degree to
quali fy, b ut you do n eed an FCC License .
men t s we' l l n eed : Th e detector A starting point for the circuit No Need to Quit Your Job or Go To School
senses t he ad d ress we' re looking we need is show n in Fig. 3-b . Since This prove n cou rse is easy. fast and low
fo r and causes t he d eco de r to put the four addre sses we're looking cost! GUARANTEED PASS - You get your
out a sig nal that we can then latch fo r are all at the top of mem ory, th e FCC Licens e or money refunded. Send for
seven most significant lines will all
to co ntrol o u r syste m. Nowthat we
know w hat we need , let 's see w hat be hig h when one of tho se ad - r----------------------,
we have to do to build it. dresses is acce ssed . That m ean s I FCC LIC ENS E TRA INING, Dept. 9 0 I
Th e d etect or is a snap-we 'v e we can use an eight-input N AND : P.O . Box 2223 , San Francisco, CA 94126: c,
I Please rush FREE deta ils immediately! I ~
put togeth er m any of t hem d u rin g gate as the front end of our circuit.
th e last few yea rs. You can use any- So, any ti me t he NAN D gate outputs I ADDRESS I CD
I I 00
th i ng f rom a sim p le gates-o n ly ap- con tinued on page 90 L2 ~~ ~~~~ ~ ~_J m

Tuning "eyes" and Ave CON TRIBUTING EDITOR

LA ST T IME WE LO O KED AT ONE POPULAR would be a good idea to provide a

adva nce in early radi o circuits: t he visible ind ication of tuning status .
automatic tuner. This mo nth we ' ll The magic eye was one popular
take a loo k at severa l other, more tuning indicator. It is a tube-like
controve rsial adva nces : t uni ng in- d evice that mounts in a socket
d icators and Automatic Volume similar to a panel -light socket . A
Co ntrol (AVe) circu its. If you ever metal bracket holds the tuning eye
wonde red how a " magic-eye" tun - and the socket so that the top of
in g i nd icat o r works, or how to the tube is visible through the
tro ub leshoot one, you' ll fi nd ou r front of the cabinet. A fluore scent
discussion valuab le . coating and a "shadow" indicate
relative signal strength. The small-
The Truetone model D925 er the shadow, and the larger the
Our A ntiq ue of t he Mo nt h , f luorescent area, the better a sta-
made by Western Auto, is a fi ne- tion is tuned in . A tun ing eye was
lo o ki ng radio t hat i nco rporates often considered as ju st another of
seve ral of the advanced feat ures the set's tubes , so it was te sted
we' ll be d iscuss ing. It has a magic- with the other tubes when a ser-
eye tun ing indicator and push b ut - vice man repaired a set.
to n tu ning, as we ll as a to ne co n- FIG.l The magic eye is similar to a
tro l and the ab i l ity to rece ive patented by Major Armstrong after dual -triode tube that has a com-
shortwave sig nals . To override t he the war. Because of patent-rig ht mon cathode . One triode is con-
p us hbuttons, the sp ring- loaded contention, supe rhet sets didn 't nected to the set's Ave circuit; it
tuning k nob is pu shed in . The really become widely availab le un - determines the brightness with
seven-tube (not counting the mag - ti l the early1930's. However, as late which the fluorescent part illumi-
ic eye) superhet uses a type-80 rec- as 1940 , TRF ( Tuned Radio nates. The other triode is really the
tifier t ube, and it has an IF of 455 Frequency) receivers were sti ll indicator; its plate is the fluores -
kHz . being bu ilt. But lon g before patent cent target , and its grid , which is
Automatic tuning devices l ike restrict ions were eased, hobbyists controlled indirectly by the other
that on t he Truetone model 0925 began converting th eir set s from triode , is what actua lly determines
d id littl e to hol d t he cost of a radio info rmation publi shed in rad io brightness.
down; and cost, in the early1930's, magaz ines. If you com e acro ss one The eye works as follows . When
was of prime conside ration to of those altered sets, you 'll never a signa l is not tuned in, the Ave
manufacturers . But not all circuit be able to track down an accurate voltage wi ll be very pos itive. That
im p rovement s increased cost. In schematic. wi ll decrease the current flow
fact, one of the most important ad- Along with circu it refinements through the seco nd triode, so the
vances actually reduced co st in the like the superhet, accessories like "shadow" area of the fluorescent
~ fin a I a n a I y s is . The s u p e r - tunin g indicato rs became popular. scree n will increase. But as a sta-
z heterodyne circuit reduced inter- The tuning aids we 'll discuss were, tion is tuned in, AVe voltage de-
~ ference and im p ro ved reception in a sense, a spin-off of Ave cir- crease s, so more current f lows, so
o to such an extent t hat pounds of cuits. Of course, if a set was prop- the illuminated area increases .
~ shie lding could be eliminated. er ly aligned, and if the dial pointer
o During World Wa r I, many engi- was set accurately, you could tune Tuning-eye troubleshooting
o neers worked on the super- stations in with few problems . But Problems with the eye shouldn't
0:: heterodyne circu it , which was f irst manufactu rers t h o u g h t that it be difficu lt to diagnose, especial ly
if you have an antique tube tester magic eye, the smaller the shadow,
like my NRI model 70. First test the the better the signal. Here'sa few LEADER FROM NLS
regular triode section of the tube hints on Shadowgraph trou-
with the usual short and emission bl eshooting.
tests. Then check the eye section; If the screen is completely dark, !
but watch the fluorescent screen, first check the pilot lamp. If the $53~O "v
not the meter, while making the lamp i s go o d but the sh ad o w ':-
test. Without the tube tester, only doesn't change when tuning, & TEST
a limited continuity test can be check the AVe. If that checks out, LEADS
done. If the tube tests OK, there's you may have to open the case to
a good chance you 've got a prob- examine the meter movement.
lem in the AVe circuit. Tuning indicators went hand-in-
If your radio produces no audio, hand with AVe. But so far we 've
but the tuning eye still appears to been talking about Ave circuitry
operate, your set's RF stages are as if it came into exi stence with no
probably in working order. The birth pains at all. However, that's
problem is probably in the audio not the case; let's see why.
output stage or in a speaker. If the
set is dead and the eye has a red The birth of Ave The new NLS Model AP-105 DMM
incorporates 9 functions and 23
ranges for a mere $53.30. AC and DC
glow, you probably have a defec- In the 1920'sthere was much de - volts, resistance, DC current, con -
tive power supply. bate in radio circles concerning ductance, NPN and PNP transistor test
You might be baffled by a re- the merits of Ave versus its cost. as well as diode and battery test are
ceiver that works OK, but whose Was the added cost of an extra all included .
eye doesn't close, especially if the tube, an extra socket, a tuning in- Model AP-105 is the price/perform-
eye and the Ave check out. In that dicator of some sort, and other ance leader in the world of DMMs.
case, the problem may be a re- parts worth it just to get a receiver Available, locally, from Metermaster
sistor connected to the fluores- that didn't blast or fade? As we'll and ElL.
cent plate. That resistor may be see below, Ave helped to sell radi-
located in the socket of the tuning os; but even so it took pat ience to Non-Linear Systems
eye . Remove the eye from its sock- tune in a station while watching an 533 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach ,
et, and carefully pry the socket indicator. Later, many listeners CA 92075 USA (619) 481-4300

open with a small screwdriver. tired of watching the tuning in- CIRCLE 193 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
Measure the resistor and replace it dicator just to be able to see what
if necessary. It'll probably be a their ears were already hearing. MICRO-TEL
high-valued unit-100,000 ohms or Most people who thought that A COMPACT RADIO MODEM
so. Ave was unjustified lived in areas
of good reception . Also , they at-
Other tuning indicators tached little importance to the
In the late 1920's there were a popular hobby of DX'ing. And
dozen or more different kinds of they thought that programming on
tuning indicators, including a not- distant stations wasn't high
too-popular tuning meter. Such quality. They were often, but not Microtel is a ruggedly designed
meters have fancy escutcheons always, right. Programs ori ginating portable UHF Radio/Modem
and make fine collectables. As a from independent stations some- suitable for a wide range of line
station was tuned in, the pointer times were amateurish, as those of sight data communication .
would swing to the right. There is stations couldn 't afford to hire the
also an indicator that makes an au- best entertainers. APPLICATIONS
dible sound when the station isn't Industrial System Datalinks
However, even people in good Instrument to Computer Datalink s
tuned in properly. signal areas sometimes suffered Warehousing & Stock Cont rol
A popular tuning indicator in the effects of interference. For ex- Data Coms Between Fixed and
Mobile Stations
the 1930's was the Shadowgraph, ample , if a receiver had an antenna
used on Philco and other sets. By tuner or a loop-operated super-
opening its case, it becomes ob- het, any nearby radio could be FEATURES
Available with 5 or Single Channel
vious that it's really a meter-type overloaded by a deafening squ eal. 12 Volt Operation
tuning indicator. The moving vane Those in favor of Ave usually
RS232 Data Input/ Output
serves to obscure light emanating wanted to-or could only-li sten Variable Baud from 100 to 1200
from a pilot lamp inside the meter. to distant st at io n s. Not all re - Wide Range of Accessories Available
The movement of the vane is con- ceivers were located in the shad ow
trolled by the AVe. As the vane of the transmitter. Al so , by that
moves, it changes the size of the time , consumer radios had to be MEASUREMENT DEVICES LTD .
11211 Richmond Ave. Suite 106
shadow from the pilot light; that simple to operate. Hou sewives, c:....
Houston, TX 77082
shadow is then imposed on a cel- shopkeepers, and other worker s Tel: 558-7745 !<
luloid screen. The screen is visible wanted to listen to the ir radio s
on the front panel, and, as with the while going about their daily rou-
111111111111 MOL 11111111111 111
tin e. Havin g to make frequ ent vol- two tubes th at are o pe rated 180 de- The pentode
um e adju stments was a nu isance grees o ut of ph ase wi th each other. In t he past we've d iscussed t he
to th em as it in terfered with th eir In ot he r word s, o ne tub e amp lifies o rig in of the di o de and the t riode.
tasks. t he p o siti v e, and t he oth er, the The screen- grid tube has also been
negative, half- cycle of a sig nal. men t ion ed . Now let's talk about
Audio amplifiers Th e gr ids of t he two tubes are the p entode, wh ic h was an -
Aft er t he RF and AVC stages co nnected to oppo site end s of the noun ced in the early mo nt hs of
co mes the audio ampl ifi er. Many sec o n d ary of t he inpu t t ra ns - 1930 by the CeCo manufacturing
designs were popula r, but an inter- fo rme r. Th e pla tes of t hose t ubes compa ny. Of course, it's called a
estin g on e is the pu sh-pull ampli- are co n nec te d to oppos ite ends of pen tode because it has five ele-
fier, whi ch was popular in lar ger, th e primary windin g of th e o utp ut ments in cl uding a catho de and a
more expensive antiqu e radio s. tran sformer. Both t ra nsfo rmers plate like a diod e, a control grid
Th e pu sh-pull amp lifier is al so hav e cent er ta ps t hat are co n- like a tr iode , and a screen grid fo r
called a balanced amp lifier. It has nected to AC gro und . t he p late li ke a tet rod e. CeCo 's in-
novati o n was to add a scree n grid
betw een t he cathode and th e con -
Radia- Ilealraniali.
tro l grid .
BOOKSTORE CeCo said its five-ele ment t ube
was t hree t imes as powerful as th e
scree n-grid t ube . That procl am a-
o 150 TVDescrambler $3.00 o 111 Hands On Electronics #1 $4.50
tio n b ro ug ht mu ch cr it icism fro m
(Jan., Feb. 1981) o 112 HandsOn Electronics # 2 $4.50 ot he r radi o m anu f actur er s, de-
o 151 Bu ild Your Own Robot $12.00 o 113 Hand s On Electronics # 3 $4.00 spi te p ro m ises to share advances
o 152 8-Ball Satellite TV o 114 Hands On Electronics # 4 $4.00
and ci rc uit d esign s. Cri tics said
Antenna $5.00 o 115 Hand s On Electronics # 5 $4.00
o 106 Radio-Electronics back issues (1986). . $3.00 o 115A Hands On Electronics # 6 $3.50 th at t ube sales we re already low
Write in issues desired _ o 116A Hands On Electronics (Jan-Feb '86) . . $3.50 and t hat a new tube was unn eed ed
o 105 Radio-Electronics back issues (1985) . . $3.50 o 154 VCR Repairs $3.00
Write in issues desired _ o 155 IBM Typewriter to at th e t ime . They also said t hat th e
o 104 Radio-Electronicsback issues (1 984). . $4.00 Computer Interface $3.00 pen t od e was n 't rea lly n ew, as it
(Feb., Dec. 1984 not available) o 125 Radio-ElectronicsAnnual 1985 : . $3.50 was already in use in Euro pe, es-
Write in issues desired _ o 126 Radio-Electronics Annual 1986 $2.50
o 103 Radio-Electronics back issues (1983).. ..$4.00 o 156 How to Make PCBoards S2.00 pec ially in Eng land.
(Jan., Feb., May 1983 not avai lable) o 157 All About Kits S2.00 Furth ermo re, itwas un clear how
Write in issues desired _ o 158 Electro Importing Co . Catalog $5.95
t he pe ntode cou l d be u se d .
o 102 Radio-Electron ics back (1918) (1 76 pp)
issues (1982) $4.00 o 159 Low Frequency Receiving Techniques H ow ev er, CeCo engi n ee rs sa id
(Jan., Feb., June 1982 not available) Building and using VLF Antennas . .. .. S6.00 tha t t he mo re power fu l pent od e
Write in issues ceslrec _ o 160 New Ideas - 42 circuits for
o 101 Radio-Electronics backissues (1981) .. $4.00 experimenters S3.50 woul d in crease t ube sales because
(Jan., Feb., Mar., May, Nov., Dec. 1981 not o 161 Descrambling (Feb., 1984) S2 .00 radi o s co ul d be made wi th few er
available) o 162 Build Your Own Satellite TV Receiver S7.00
tub es; thu s, rad ios would cost
Write in issues desired, _ o 163 Receiving Satellite TV S7. 00
o 153 Etch your own PC boards $3.00 o 164 Modern Electrics (April 1908) S3 .00 less, and mo re peopl e w ould b uy
th em-by the milli ons! And t hat,
of co u rse, w ould in cre ase t u be
To order anyof theitems indicated above, check offthe If you need a copy of an article that is in an issue we
ones youwant.Complete the order form be low, include indicateis unavailableyou can order it directly from us. sales.
your payment, check or money order (DO NOT SEND We charge 50 per page. Indicate theissue (month & Of co u rse , t he pe n to de did
CASH), and mail to Rad io-Electronics, ReprintDepart- year), pag es and article desired . Include payment in
ment , 500-B Bi-County Boulevard, Farmingdale, NY full, plus shipping and handling charge . Make checks
surv ive. By t he end of 1930 seve ral
11735. Pleaseallow 4-6 weeks for delivery. payable to Gernsback PUblications. Inc. pentod es were available: t he 238
and th e 247. The o rig inal pe ntode
ARTI CLE was probab ly made fro m a 24
scree n-grid t ube , a tetrod e. Usin g
t he same base and enve lo pe , t he
PAGES MONTH YEAR ext ra gr id was attached to a termi-
nal o n the side of t he t ube base,
in stead of addi ng anothe r p ro ng to
the t ube base. In later designs, t he
MAIL TO: Radio-Electronics I suppressor gr id was usually co n-
Reprint Bookstore, 500-B Bi-County Boulevard, Farmingdale. NY 117.35 All payments must bein U.S. funds I nected to the t ube's catho de in ter-
SO.01 to $5.00 S1.00 $30.01to 40.00 S4.75 OUTSIDE USA & CANADA
S5.01 to S1 0.00 S1.75 S40.01 to 50.00 $5.75 Add 100% for sea .mail I Hobbyi st s and othe r expe rime n-
S10.01to 20.00 $2.75 $50.01andabove $7.00 Add 200% for air mail I te rs we re quick to purch ase t he
$20.01to 30.00 S3 .75
Z Total price of merchandise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ _
new tu bes from the m ail- o rd er
o hou ses. Again , t hey we re guide d
a:: Sales Tax (New York State Residents only) . $ _
I- Shipping (see chart) $ _
oW by in formati on and circuits in t he
...J Name _ rad io magazines. It's unlikely t hat
W Total Enclosed $ _
o Address _
yo u' ll f ind any of th ose early pen-
o-c tod es aro und . If yo u do , co nside r
l~ ~ ~ ~ yourself lu ck y. R-E
~-------------------- ---- -------------------- ---- -- ------------------~
"- .

H ...
: ....- t
Vol. 3 No.7 July 1986 ,j-.lll$IlIllllIlIt. :.....
; t ""

7 More On Modems ' : F"' T.::~ .

~ --- ...
Here's all you 'll need to know if yo u're having trouble getting your
modem to "talk." Herb Friedman See Page 11

11 Protocol Converter
Sometimes it takes a protocol converter to get things hand shaking
properly You can b uild this one yourself. R.L.L. Hu

15 Touchscreen Technology
Surface Acous tic Waves are changing the face of Touchscreens.
Here's an update on what to expect from this new techno logy
Marc Stem

3 Editorial

4 Letters

4 Computer Products

5 Software Review See Page 15

SAW-Surface Acoustic Waves provide an additional dimensi on
to this new to uchscreen from Zenith . Reflectors along the top of
the screen bounce the acoustic w aves being transmitted from left-
to-right at the top, to detectors along the bottom. Result? Another
axis-full of informatio n! See page 15.


Making an old er printer perform like a new printer is always worth
the d oing, and we have a story on Retrofitting Printers to tell you
how. And if you'd like to get yo ur Commodore to talking, d on 't
miss this article on how to con struct a speec h synthesizer. To finish
up a dynamite issue, read the tutorial o n designing single-transistor
switch ing circuits .

2 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986

G'mon, you guys!
M. Hervey Gemsback,
-Each month your ed itor has a series of jobs to do, and one of the toughest editor-in-chief, emeritus
of them is picking the articles that w ill appear in print. We try to select a
balance of articles that w ill appeal to the most interest. And we select Larry Steckler,
these from the articles that are submitted by people just like you. But there EHF, CET: publisher & editor in chief
are other mitigating factors that you may not know about. Because we are
limited in space, smal ler articles have a far-better chance. The piece that Art Kleiman,
wil l fill two or three pages in the magazine is more apt to see the printed editorial d irector
page than the one that runs ten or twelve pages and has to be serialized Byron G. Wels,
over several issues. And right now there happens to be a shortage in the ed itor _
files of the short articles. Brian C. Fenton,
Here are some guidelines: Begin by looking through this issue (and managing ed itor
previous issues) to seewhat sort of thing we publish. Got an idea that Carl Laron,
seems to fit? Send me a letter and tell me about it. If we haven't just bought associate editor
an id entical story from somebody else, if we haven't just publ ished one like Robert A. Young,
it, You'll probably get a letter back asking you to proceed . Now you w rite assistant editor
the story, making sure it's double-space typed,'wit h ample borders all RubyM. Yee,
around. Be sure your name and address are on the cover sheet. Refer to the production director
figures sequentially in the text. In other w ords, don't talk about Fig. 3 and Karen 1\.Icker,
then Fig. 1. production advertising
Your diagrams needn't be perfect, but make 'em legible enough for our Robert A. W. Lowndes,
artist to re-drew Use the same format we use in the magazine, and do production associate
provide a parts list. We'll need captions aswell. Geoffrey S. Weil,
And of course, we need good, clear, black and white photographs. production assistant
These must be captioned as w ell, although photographs (as you'll see) do Andre Duzant,
not take figure numbers. technical illustrator
Programs (if they're needed) should be run off on a printer w ith a new Jacqueline P. Cheeseboro
ribb on, as we reproduce yours exactly. Keep the width to three and one- circulation director
half inches, p lease, and proofread carefully before sending it in. Arline R. Fishman,
Afterthe ed itors review the article, if you've done a good job, you'll be advertising director
getting our check in payment for it, and some months later (there's a lot of
lead time) you'll be seeing it in print, yes, with your name on it! You're an
author! Computer Digest
Gernsback Publications, Inc.
Executive offices
500-B Bi-County Blvd.,
Farmingdale, NY11735
Byron G. Wels President: Larry Steckler
Editor Vice President: Cathy Steckler


Larry Steckler

ComputerDI\le st ls published monthly as an Insert In Radio- Electronics magazine by Gemsback Publications.
Joe Shere
Inc., 5OO-B BI-Count y Blvd., Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735. Seco nd-Class Postage Paid at New York, N.Y. and
additio nal mailing offices . Copyrigh t <!:> 19B6 Gemsback Publicat ions, Inc. All rights reserved . Printed in U.S.A.
1507 Bonnie Doone Terrace
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
A stamped self-addressed envelope must acco mpany all submitted manuscript s and/or artwo rk or photographs if 714-760-8967
their ret urn Is desired should they be rejected. wedisclaim any responsibilit y for the loss or damage of
manu scripts and/or artwo rk or photographs w hlie In our possession or otherwise.

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 3

~. -..~. ~.. ~.. ,~, ,.-. -
-- ..-.. ..,-...."
- .-
, .. -

.-......-...-....-. -- .~ ~

IBM Compatible systems:

PCSX ~~aw,;~~ ft~~~~rd'~+ svstern Light Chasers? located on the backs of the units.
PCFX 4 . 77 I full - mhz XT svste m
2S6 AT system I read the Remote Pow er S.R., Eugene, OR.
XT & 286 Afforda ble-Trans-Pottables
Hard -D isks / Prun ers ,I Monit ors Contro ller article w ith great S.R., we've seen some p retty-
CllI !e: OUI 10\11 C'Ull.c-d." pl ICes
interest. Properly programmed, soph isticated power controls, but
co uld n't this be used to control many of 'em bring along as many
Sam ple pnces
d isco lights?'I'm not a programmer problems as they solve. Most of us
PCFX Kit Form myself, but co uldn't somebody use simple, switched, multiple
Complete: 640K RAM come up with a suitable software outlet strips. Not fancy, but very
Turbo M-board. 2- package for this?-D.5., Ventura, convenient.
Drvs , AT tyle USA CA.
made or 5151 sty le O kay you guys, ge t b usy! Glare
keys , mono-gr aphics I have a glare probl em w ith my
card & TTL Amber Pay yo ur money monit or screen and have seen
In all honesty, I must say the those glare-red ucing panels. Do
Mon. w/ swivel base co mputer is highly overrated . A t they work? Do you think it is a
included. Complete. my family's insistence, we bought worthwhile investment?-EK.,
one and now it's used mostly for Bo ise,ID.
$875 p laying games, when it's used at Some people like them, others
all. There are a lot of other things I don 't. I use one all the time. It
286(A T) Kit Form could have used that money for eliminates glare, makes the blacks
512K RAM M-board. and feel I should have done better b lacker, and I wouldn't be without
1-360K Drv . TTL by investing in a few video games it. It seems to be a matter of
Amber Mon. w/ at a much-low er cost.-S.D., personal taste.
Wayne, NJ.
swivel base Mono- See the letter that follows. More To Learn
Graphics , 100 key- There's so much more for kids to
keyboard . Complet e. And ta ke your cho ice. learn these days! Should n't our
Our family co mp uter has ed ucatio nal system be
$1475 become the hub and center of our modernized?-R.T., Reno, NV
activity It's truly a solution looking You've hit on one of my "hot
286- A TP or FX-ATP for problems! And the more we buttons!" At one time, back in the
Kit Form use the thing, the more 205, there were only two branches
AT or FX compatible applications we find for it. Frankly, I of engineering- Civil or Military.
can't see how we ever got along You co uld count the number of
Portable - kit. w ithout it in the past, but we're co untries in the world on the
286 or FX M-board. sure glad it's here now!- R.L., fingers of both hands. These days,
1-360K FD , Mono- Washington, D.C. w hen a book is written, its
Graphics, TTL Amber See the preceding letter. obso lete b efore it s p ublished! Yes,
mon. built-in . tberes a lot more to learn today,
Complete, On our projects yet no more time is allotted to that
I've seen some of the projects in learning. I don't know what the
286 $1498 ComputerDigest that I'd like to answers are, but we 'd better start
bu ild, but have never tried my seeking them out before its too
FX $920 hand at constructing anything
electronic. Is it hard to do?- T.J.-
Warr an ty on ISHVAR's kits are for 9 month s
Call for price on FCC approv ed asse m b led
A ustin, TX. Free Adv ice
& te sted sys t e ms Start w ith something simple, Is usually worth its cost. But I've
<Ha rd -D ISk syste ms include 4 mega-bytes and get the feel of wire-wrapping bee n offered a jo b in the
of pubh c-domam soft ware)
as a starter. Once you get your feet computer ind ustry and have been
Cruzen MSP- lO 160 cps Dot- Matrix S253
20 Meg XT Hard -D ISk , 1/2 hi ""Icontrl r $440 wet in this field, and have a to ld it's a "d ead -end" job that
33 Meg 1/2 ln w/con tr oller $S98 success or two, there'll be no offers a good salary, security, b ut
Call: 1-209-561-3139 stopping you. absolutely no advancement.
Should I take that job?-S.B., San
ISHV AR Technology Computer Power Remo, CA.
43571 Sierra Drv . Hwy l. Three
Rivers, Ca . 932/1 I'd like to know what others are I say take the job! There are no
tiM , XT . "r . 1. U.s. . Ll D of [1 M C" ' f
doing about cont rolling power to dead-end j obs, j ust dead -end
TlPJon C.a 'OI c... ' ..I ' ud ' n(.M .. ',.c.u I""~loct lo Cl
IO da ' .. c..,.to.t . ... . lI.. , .. .. II. 1lI
their co mputers. My on/off people. As long as you can learn,
switches are inconveniently it w ill be worth it.
4 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986
d eletion, paragraph moves and boilerplate insertion.
While word or line deletio ns are "permanent" in the
sense that they cannot be undone, anything marked as
a block can be deleted and then recalled if necessary
because marked b locks are stored in a "b lock buffer"-

REVIEW a reserved area of the computer's memory-from

which the block can be recalled, moved or copied .
The capacity of the b lock buffer depends on the
particular version of pfs:WRITE. The MS-DOS version
pfs: WRITE-Simplified word processor has a 100-line capacity, other versions have less
capacity. If you try to move or co py more than the
-.At last count there were some 1000 word processing rated block capacity only the first 100 lines will b e held
software packages for personal co mputers . Most of in the block bu ffer. The remainder is lost unless the
them were so co mplex and co nfusing that they b lock is d ivid ed into manageabl e segments of less than
required hours of practice and study before they co uld 100 lines.
be imp lemented . On the ot her side of the co in, is The Define Page mod e sets the page parameters-
Pfs:WRITE, a simp lified word p rocessor that can be how the d ocum ent appears on the screen-and also
learned in about 30 minutes and w hich can d irectly permits insertion of a two-line header or footer, w ith
integrate data from inventori es and filing systems into pagination in the second line of the footer. Both can be
business corresponde nce and d ocum ents: Essentially, a positioned (l , R, () independent of the general page
program tailor-mad e for the technician and small format, and both can be programmed not to print on
service shop. the first page of the d ocument.
Perhaps the b iggest advantage how ever, is that this Both und erline and boldface are built into the
p rogram is just about d esigned for yo ur own need s prog ram, along w ith a simp lified means to insert any
without req uiring any compromi se o n your part. It's numb er of p rinter control co mmands anywhere within
easy to learn, and once yo u do learn it, it's ready to go the document, either d uring or after prep aration. A
to work. primary set-up printer control co d e(s) can be
Unlike the word processors designed for producing programmed as part of the pri nt routine.
long documents, pfs :WRITE is intend ed for b usiness The print mode operates through its own menu,
co rresp ondence, reports and memos or customer which among other features permits user selection of
notices . Prep aration of the mailing envelope is hand led the kind of printer, page pause, number of copies,
as a part of a document's preparation . Conventional page ind ent, justified margins, auto matic p rinter set-up
methods require the envelope to be prepared cod es, and integratio n from the pfsJ ll E p rogram. Any
ind ep endently of the d ocument. You must use a data at all, of any kind, that is stored is a pfsJll E data
separate envelope format, or make a sep arate run of file can b e inserted in a pfs:WRITE document. It could
mailing labels to be affixed to enve lopes for that "j unk b e names and addresses (no t unusual), or a reminder
mail" look. The pfs :WRITE system has none of this. The to a customer to renew the service poli cy on his TV or
pr int mo de automatically dete:min es the reci p ient's VCR. If it's stored in a pfs:FllE it can be programmed
address from the position of the document's date, w ith unusual ease to be automatically merged into the
automatically p rints the envelope correctly, and then document.
returns to the d ocument format. Even the automatic Unforunately, the print routine has a qui rk that can
addressing is unusual. The program prints the entire effect non-busin ess documents. It's line spacing
address regardless of its length. Doesn't matter if it's conforms to the conventional business practic e of
two lines or eight lines, the ad d ress is printed w ith no using the same general spacing for the entire
b lanks w here ad d ress lines 'are "missing." d ocument. Alth ough the user can select either single or
The program's operating mod e is selected from a doub le line spacing, unlike most other word
MAI N MENU that p rovides 1) Typ e/Edi t; 2) Define Page p rocessors, they cannot be co mb ined . p fs:WRITE
(how the document appears o n the screen); 3) Print cannot print d ouble spacing and have text insertions
(with separate pri nt menu); 4) Get/Save/Remove (a disk that are single spaced. You can have single spacing
file); 5) Clear (erase current document from memory); w ith double spacing generated w hen the document
6) Proof (Integrated optional spelling checker) and 7) was created, b ut not vic e-versa. On the other hand, the
E) Exit (leave p rogram). MS-DOS version of pfs:WRITE does allow indenting
Docu ments are created or merged (boilerplate) in and justification ind epend ent of the general page
the Typ e/Ed it mod e, which creates the screen image of format.
a page in a typewriter complete with a ruler line at the pfs :WRITE is exceptiona lly easy to learn and use.
b ottom . The d isp layed text close ly resembl es the There are only 20 command s, all of w hich appear on a
actual printed copy on a line-by-l ine basis, including help screen. It is, in fact, possib le to run the program
cente ring of the individual lines. Page breaks (bottom d irectly from the help screen. The manual (at least the
of the p age) are shown, and a status line und er the MS-DOS version) is a gem, o nce again proving the rule
ruler indicates the actual page number and the line that "The thinner, the better. "
number of the cursor. The text itself is created and pfs:WRITE-Software Publishing Corp., 1901 landings
ed ited usin3 co nventional overwrite, insertion, Drive, Mountain Vievv, CA 94043 . ~~

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 5

For more details use the free information card inside the back cover

SURGE SUPPRESSOR, the SL Iv, is a and pr ints headers and foote rs

multi-outlet device de igned to protect thro ughout the user's doc ument, as
co mp uters and ot her microprocessor- commanded. Speed keys let the user
based eq uipment from overvoltages. access Word Writer commands q uickly,
The mode l SL IV offers non degrad - using a minimum of keystrokes.
ing, permanent pro tection within oper- The Word Writer 128already includes
ating parameters, and effect ively elimi- an 85,000 word-spe lling checker, a
nates computer downti me, component built-i n 5-f unction calcu lator, "pull-
damage, and nuisance failures caused down" menu technology, and a full-
by transients. It also features a 15-amp screen format. It can be used by itself, or
circ uit breaker w ith reset switch, status- interfaced w ithTimeworks DataManager
ind icator lights for the circuit breaker separate board, included with t he 128, Swiftcalc 128, and Sylvia Porter's
and suppression c ircuitry, and three model GMX Micro-20, provides RS-232 PersonalFinancial Planner Each of those
high -q ualit y gro unded rec ep tacl es, level translation, and 4 DB-25 type con - programs carry a $69.95 retail p rice.
wh ich accommodate most CPU/printer/ nectors for the serial ports. A DC-to-DC Backup d isks are available for Time-
converter suppl ies the -12 volts. works' registered users for $14.70. -
The model GMX-Micro-20 ispriced at Timeworks, 444 Lake Cook Road, Deer-
$27.50.-GMX, Inc., 1337 West 37th field, IL 60015.
Place, Chicago, IL 60609.


WORD -PROCESSING SYSTEM, is an has126 keysand is designed to go with
enhanced version of Timew o rks Inc., SmartKey 5.0 Keyboard Enhancement
Word Writer 128 prog ram for the Com- software.
modore 128 co mputer. The SmartKey software allows the
The upgraded Word Writer 128, an 80- userto redefi ne the keyboard for spec if-
CIRCLE 11 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD column professional word-processing ic needs. It also definesspecial 24 func-
system fo r home and b usiness use, tion keysto the user's use and simp lifies
CRT co nfigurations and other multi-plug works in C-128(128k)mode w ith either a complex commands by defining single
setups. 40- or 80-co lumn monitor. Additional key macros.
A ny computerized eq uipment sys- features now includ e On -screen high-
tem drawing up to 15 amperes is appro- lighting, right-margin j ustification, super-
priate for protection by the model SL IV; script and subscript, headers and
that includes microcomputers, comput- footers, and speed keys for more expe-
er termina ls, intell igent photocopiers, rienced users.
electron ic cash-registersystems, memo- On -screen highlighting allows the
ry typewriters, and medi cal analysis printer to underline, italicize, bo ldface,
eq uip ment. or use all three together at the press of a
The model SL IV is priced at key. It also allows the user to see each
$224.00--Transtector Systems, lnc., highlight on-screen before hard copy is
10701 A irport Drive, Hayd en Lake, ID pr inted . Superscript and subscript
83835. d isplays and prints numbers in super- CIRCLE 14 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD.
script or subscript for fast footnote ref-
SINGLE-BOARD COMPUTER, the erences. Head ers and footers d isplays The Style 3270 keyboard is PC com-
mode l GMX Micro-20, comb ines a patible. It sends IBM PC synchronous
Motorola MC687020 32-bit micro- format and responds to handshake and
processor and an optional MC68881 reset signals from the IBM PC and Xl
floating -po int coprocessor with 2 Add itional features include : Cherry MX
megabytes of 32-bit w ide RAM, up to full travel gold crossbar contact config-
256 kilobytes of 32-bit wide EPROM, uration key mod ule; full N-key rol lover
four serial ports, an 8-bit parallel port, a with auto-repeat and chassis ground.
5.25" floppy disk contro ller, a SASI pe - The unit is 1.133" from enclosure base
ripheral interface, and a clock w ith bat- to center point at home row-keycap
tery backup. 16-b it expa nsion con - top. It also has keyboard micro with 16-
nector allows the add ition of off-the - deep FIFO and scanning phase in the
shelf or custom I/O interfaces. event that FIFO is filled .
The board, measuring 8.8" x 5.75", The Style 3270 enhanced keyboard is
mounts on and uses the same power p riced at $195 .00. With SmartKey
connector and supply voltages as a software included , the price is $245.00
standard 5.25" d isk dr ive. Power re- complete.-Cherry Electrical Prod-
qu irements are + 5-volts DC at 4.5A ucts Corp., 3600 Sunset Avenue,
max., and + 12-volts DC at 125Ma. A CIRCLE 13 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD. Waukegan, IL 60087. ....CD~

6 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986

When your modem won't talk...

Herb Friedman

-A modem is the easiest pe rip heral to interface w ith a "straight across," meaning computer terminal #2
personal computer. You simp ly con nect them together co nnects to mod em terminal #2, co mp uter terminal
through matching p lugs and everyt hing works. But #3 co nnects to modem terminal #3, etc.
theory falls down be fore practice w hen the software The prob lem co mes in w hen the co mp uter's serial
becomes sophisticated, or a manufactu rer has taken I/O has co nnect ions intend ed for a pr inter the so-
short cuts and left o ut circuits because "the average called DCE w iring order. The functions of DCE terminals
user probably won't ever need them." Unfortunately, it #2 and #3, among ot hers, are reversed; if you co nnect
often works o ut that the c ircuit, w ire, or signal indi cator
that's "m issing" or unconnect ed is the one that's DCDN NECTDR
requ ired by your software or the co mputer itself. SIGNAL
Alt hough virtual ly all conventional RS-232 I/O FU NCTIDN DTE DIRECTID N
TD __ -----. TD
modems utili ze the 25 terminal sub miniature D- CDMPUTER MDDEM
connectot it takes o nly three con nections from your

computer to its modem to establish co mmunications ---.
TD 2
using a non-automatic modem. A t the computer itself RD 3
these connections are usually labl ed as TD (t ransmit), RTS (READY TD SEND) 4 ---.
RD (receive), and "common," w hich is always terminal

#7. Altho ugh there is supposed ly a "standard," TD can SIGNA L COMMDN 7 ....-.

be terminals 2 or 3, and RD can be terminals 3 or 2.
(Some manufacturers use Tx for RD and Rx for TD------and RI(RING INDICATDR) 22
don't ask why.)
Much mumbo-ju mbo has go ne into describ ing the MDDEM
TD and RD connections because the original RS-232 DCD NNECT DR
"standard" was murky on the subject. When co nnecting SIGNA L
a personal computer to a mod em it's easy to keep track
TD __ -----. TD
by rememb ering that TD, or transmit, means the output MDDEM CDM PUTER
signal from the computet while RD means the input
signal to the co mputer. Unfortunately, yo u w ill find the
modem's connections are probably also labl ed TD and
RD, so what do the connections represent at the
modem? Whether at the computer or the modem TD


means t he computer's outp ut signal and RD means the SIGNA L CD MMD N 7 ....-.

computer's input signal; connect the computer's TD CD(CAR RIER DETECT) 8 --+-

terminal to the mod em's TD terminal and the DTR(D ATA TERM INAL READY) 20
computer's RD terminal to the modem's RD term inal. RI(RING INDICATDR) 22 ---.
Straight-across wiring ASYN CHRDNO US MDDEMS
If a computer's RS-232 I/O connections are intend ed
FIG. 1-ALTHQUGH THE DTE AND DeE wiring order uses the
for connection to a modem the wi ring order of the same descr iptive terms for the funct ions, the signal direction
connections is called DTE and w ill be w hat is called is comp letely oppos ite.

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 7

DCE comp uter terminals "straight across" to the mod em DETECT (CD) "high" from terminal # 8 by a simple
nothing w ill happen because neither the computer nor shorting w ire.
modem w ill know w hat's go ing on. The way o ut of the The CARRIER DETECT is the hand shake that mod ern
DCE/DTE bind (if you d on 't know w hat goes w here) is co mmunications softwa re is looking for because the CD
to match the TD and RD terminals on the com puter to "high" is generated only when the modem senses the
the mod em, w hich means "c rossing" the co nnections, "carrier to ne" p rod uced by the mod em at the remot e
that is, co nnecting DCE co mputer terminal #2 to co mp uter. Because reception of a carrier means the
modem terminal # 3 and com puter terminal # 3 to modem is actually "talking" to the remot e co mp uter,
modem terminal # 2. Make a copy of Figure 1, w hich the CD "high" is often used as the "master handshake"
shows the differences between the DCE and DTE for the comp uter, so it is ofte n internally co nnected
w iring order for RS-232 D-conn ect ors. w ithin the modem and also ap pears as the CTS (CLEAR
Modem co mmunications would b e simp le if all you TO SEND). If a carrier tone isn't being received the
had to do w as match the TD and RD co nnect ions, and, modem isn't talking to the remote co mp uter, hence, it
this is all yo u have to do w ith an acousti c modem, is not cl ear for sending data from the co mp uter. (There
w here yo u di al up the remot e computer and place the really is a logic to all RS-232 co nnections w hen they
telephone's handset in a pair of cups on the modem . co ncern a co mp uter and a modem-not a printer. )
But much modern software, and sorne rnod ems, won't If the software is only loo king for a "mod em ready"
w o rk w ith such a simp le co nnection b ecause they handshake it might check only the the CTS and CD
require some form of electrical "hand shaking," rneaning handshakes. How ever, some software intended for use
an electrical signal that inform s either the modem, the w ith automodems w on't do anythin g until is "sees" the
co mp uter, or both that the oth er d evice is ready to DSR (DATA SET READY) handshake, the reason b eing
receive data. Dependin g on the particular software that the software automatically d ownl oad s
used, handshaking might b e required from both pro gramming for the auto-modem's internal
acoustic and direct- connect modems-the kind that's microprocessor, forces the modem to go "on-lin e," and
"pe rmanent ly" connected to the telephone line : and causes the modem to dial o nly w hen the software sees
handshaking is generally need ed w hen using an through the DSR handshake that the modem is actually
automodem-the kind that can automati cally answ er a turned on . After dialing, the modem w ill time-out
call or dial out. For examp le, to prevent an automodem reception of the CD handshake. If it d oesn't receive a
from answ ering every ring they are generally CD handshake w ithin a specifi ed tim e period it w ill
d esigned-or pro grammed by a swi tch- not to go disc onnect the modem or di sconnect and redial.
"on-line" until a DTR (DATA TERMINAL READY) A lthough software can force a Hayes-compati bl e
"handshake" is received from the computer, the DTR automodem to go off line by transmitting a co mmand
being a digital "high" that tells the modem that the code such as ATHO (meaning the modem should go
terminal is ready to send and receive: it is usually "on hoo k"), some sof tware causes an automodem to
provided by a terminal or computer's DTE w iring order disconnect by forcing the computer's DTR handshake
on terminal #20. "low" The modem sees the 10 \1'/, assumes the co mp uter
is turned off, and drops off the line. But a problem can
Handshaking arise w hen using the DTR to di sconnect the modem
Sof twa re intended for use w ith an auto mode m looks from the telephone line because not all sof tware and/
for a hand shake from the modem that indicates the or co mp uters sup port (p rovide) the DTR, and not all
modem is turned o n and ready, unfortunately, unlike the modems w hich claim to b e Hayes-compatible
co mp uter's DTR handshake there is no real stand ard for respond to the DTR; they go disconn ect from the
the "mode m ready " handshake. Many modems create teleph one line o nly if a direct ATHOco mmand is
three handshakes, and only one, two, or the full three received from the computer. If either the comp uter or
might b e req uired by the co mmunications software. To the modem don't support the DTR, and the softwa re-
make certain the software receives w hat it co nside rs to or the user cannot provid e an ATHO command-the
be a "correct" hand shake the modem might internally modem literally gets "stuck" and won't di sconnect
connect several terminals o n the connector so that a unless its p ow er suppl y is physically turned off.
single modem hand shake ap pears on the D-conn ector Handshake signals always appear at the same
as two or three handshakes, forcing the co mp uter to modem terminals if the modem emp loys a
"see" the req uired handshake. conventional 25 terminal D-connector. (The D-
A modem usually outp uts a "high" DSR(DATA SET co nnector is only a general "stand ard" for convenience;
READY) signal on terminal #5 w hen power is appli ed . some manufacturers of external modems emp loy
This tells b oth the com p uter and its software that the proprietary co nnectors.) D-connect ions at the modem
mode m is "ready for use." (Note that this is the are always DCE and are w ired as shown in Figure 1. On
eq uivalent of the DTRterminal # 20 hand shake signal the ot her hand, co mp uters can have either a DTE or
from the comp uter; it's one of the co nnect ions yo u DCE w iring order. If they are DTE the co nnectors are
might have to cross-wire.) w ired, as p reviously mentioned , "straight across." But if
A nother mod em hand shake is the CTS (CLEAR TO the com puter's serial I/O is w ired DCE then several
SEND) "high" from terminal # 6. This hand shake can be wi res- not ju st the signal pair-must be crossed if full
used for ju st about anything, b ut for p ersonal hand shaking is to be attained . Your co mp uter or the
computers it is often co mb ined w ith the CARRIER software might not require all the handshakes p rovide d

8 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986

Rates: Ads are 2W x 2718". One insertion$825. Sixinsertions $800 each . Twelve
insertions $775. each . Closing date sameas regular rate card . Send order with
R-E Computer Admart remittance to Computer Admart, Radio Electronics Magazine , 500-B Bi-County
Blvd ., Farmingdale , NY 11735. Direct telephone inquiries to Arline Fishman, area
code-516-293-3000. Only 100% Computeradsare accepted for this Admart.'
256K 64Kx4 150 ns $4.85
256K 256Kxl 100 ns 5.95
256K 256Kxl 120 ns 3.90
256K 256Kx1 150 ns 3.47
128K 128Kxl 150 ns 4.92
64K 64Kxl 150 ns 1.60
27512 64Kx8 250 ns
27C256 32Kx8 250 ns
27256 32Kx8 250 ns
27128 16Kx8 250 ns
27C64 8Kx8 200 ns
2764 8Kx8 250 ns
2732 4Kx8 450 ns

.. ..
6264Lp15 8Kx8 150 ns
6116LP3 2Kx8 150 ns
. ,. . . .
~urRA~T F~s~;~~~~ ~~r~;sp;~~ .uPoo
::.":"D.~ .. ~1~s~ o":";::.~; ' (918) 267-4961
".. ,-0. SUI ! - Prices sho wn abo ve are for April 28, 1986
""--tal b'-....l pr-c. Pn::.,..qea Iactw91 PIe-. -e*l NI*D' ~ ~en

~""~E..--.rdNl " 1I.OO,1Ilf1"rkwltyar. ., l u.ool



Starting with a review of
6 x rate $800.00 per each insertion. computer principles, this 6 x rate $800.00 per each insertion.
Reaches 229,044 readers. boo k describes typical L...-_...L.._---J Reaches 229 ,044 readers.
Fast reader service cycle. machine-code instructions followed by a Fast reader service cycle.
Short lead time for the placement of detailed description of the Z-80 instruction Short lead time for the placement of
ads. set. Assembly language prog ramming is ads.
also discussed with examples . Z-80 hex
Call 516-293-3000 to reserve space. Ask machine-code and assembler instructions Call 516-293-3000 to reserve space. Ask
fo r Arline Fishman. Limited numbe r of are given intabularform , along with in-our for Arline Fishman . Limited number of
pages available. Mail materials to: connections for the Z-80 and te associated pages available. Mail materials to:
Computer Adm art , RADIO -ELEC- devices... .Order your copy from Electronic Computer Admart , RADIO-ELEC-
TRONICS, 500-B Bi-County Blvd., Farm- Technology Today Inc., PO Box 240, Mas- TRONICS, 500-B Bi-County Blvd., Farm-
ingdale, NY 11 735 . sapequa Park, NY 11762. Price is $6.95 ingdale, NY 11735.
plus $1 .00for shipping.

by the modem . If all the software wa nts is a "mod em combine the DSRand CD handshakes, using the CTS as
ready" handshake before it transmits data, then just the the "power on " handshake. It makes no difference
DSR- meaning modem power is on-would be whether DSR or CTS is con nected to the CD, but usually
adequate, although the CD is preferred because then doesn't mean always.
the software know s for certa in that it is linked up w ith Finally, there is the modem's RI (RING INDICATOR)
another computer. There is much software around that handshake on DCE terminal 22, w hich is intend ed for
appears to go on-l ine w hen it's actually working into an use by software that controls automodems. The RI is a
unconnected modem because the software is "high" that ind icates a telephone is ringing; it causes
respond ing to the DSRhandshake, which only means the software to force the modem to go "off hoo k" (to
the modem is powered-that's all. co nnect to the telephone line).
As a general rule of thumb, the more sop histicated
the software the greater its use of handshaking w ith the
If it still won't wo rk modem, so w hen yo u can't get a computer to talk to its
If everything is connected together and the modem modem check that the various signal and handshakes
st ill w o n't work w ith the comp uter, doublecheck the go to the right terminals on both the modem and the
mo dem 's DSR and CTS terminal connections. computer before you start looking for glitches in the
So mewhere along the line the DSRand CTS got tangled software. More of ten than not the problem is usually
and the Hayes and some Hayes-co mpati bl e mod ems one or more "reversed " co nnections......CD~

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 9

Electronics Pa erback Book s

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and Pin I'm
Conn..ailo,., Con"ftc.tJon


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10 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986
Allow X-on/X-off devices to interact with lead-control devices.

R. L. L. Hu

- When physical differences exist between devices,

special adapters and interface converterscan resolve
the problems of electrical and mechanical
interconnection (for example, interfacing between
RS232 and RS422 circuits which differ in signal level
and connector size). However, when logical
differences exist, then a protocol or code converter is
required. Protocol and code converters are used in
situations where communication between devices
cannot proceed due to lack of comprehension of each
other's data. They "bridge the gap" for differences in
transmission mode, transmission code, communications
protocol, etc. THE COMPLETED CONVERTER, ready to use. Considering
This article describesa protocol converter that w ill the mass ive task it performs, it requires very little space and
allow RS232 asynchronous terminals or CPU's which even less attention.
operate in X-on/X-off (also called OC1 /0C3, Control-Q/
Control-S) protocol to communicate with devices that port w hich supported only X-on/X-off software
use RS232 lead control for handshaking (e.g. RTS, CTS). handshake. The use of this converter has freed the host
Specifically, this project was developed to run a serial program from all timing considerations (insertion of
pr inter with hardware-busy handshake from an RS232 delays or filler characters), and resu lts in faster and


3 3
RX0 RX 0

4 RS232
SERIAL ,...---
RS232 2
- \ PREVIOUS '---
F. F.

+Vo o o - - OSR



- Vee 0 - -


FIG. 1- B LOCK DIAGRAM provides an easy means to overview the circuit and gain
sufficient grasp to make it easy to understand. See text.

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 11

more reliable operation. Notable features of this project accept more data. When the printer buffer is almost
are that it is powered by the RS232 signal lines and it full, the printer sends the host an X-off character to
does not even use a UART or ACiA chip! The who le stop the data transmission. Meanwhile, the printer
circuit is built using standard d igital CMOS chips. continues to print the data in its buffer. When the buffer
content is reduced below a certain threshold, the
Description printer sends the host an X-on character to resume the
First, a quick overview using host-to-printer interface data transmission. Thus, during normal printing, the
as an example of the X-on/X-off protoco l in operation. printer buffer is kept nearly full by the host, resu lting in
The printer keeps track of how manycharacters are in maximum throughput on the printer.
its buffer and signals the host w hen it can and cannot Refer to the block d iagram in Figure 1 to see how this
(OTE) +Voo (OCE)

4 10
12 0 S
11 TP1
- 8
2 R a
2 0 a 13
74C74 _
4 1

7 IC4c
P-'-----<~>---.. TO ALL 0 I NPUTS 4
R3 02
50K 03
o IC5
74C161 PE

r.D1 Il

PL a71-'9=---_ -=--1 0 a~-------'-l

o3 a R5
74C165 l OOK
2 0
+ Voo
FROM 07 06
+Voo JP3 1N4148
+ C2
I 16V

C4 I
74C86 04 10ilF

1N4148 + I

20V 08

12 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986

is accomplished in the converter. Serial data from the form a voltage inverterwhich is powered by the
host is passed directly to the printer. The BUSY line oscillator/driver combination of IC4d and IC1c and d .
from the printer is, however first fed to the converter. This generated negative supply voltage is used by the
The converter then sends the appropriate control code op amp lO b, to drive the RS232 line to the host.
to the host unit, but only when there has been a The baud rate clock is built using a Schmitt Tri gge~
change in the BUSY line state. The changes in states are IC4, making possible a simple and rel iable oscillator
detected by "remembering" the previous BUSY state w ith only a resistor and a capacitor. This eliminates the
and comparing it wi th the present BUSY state. need for the more-expensive crysta l and baud-rate
Now look at the schematic diagram, Figure 2, for the generator chip. The baud rate clock was set to run at
following detailed description. The power for this 2400Hz (2400 baud) in the prototype unit. This baud
converter is derived from an active RS232 control line, rate can be changed by using different values for R4
the usual choices being DSRor DTR. D4, DS and C3, C4 and C1 . Just make sure to set the same baud rate on the

o ;a.... FIG. 3-THE PC BOARD is shown above -

(solder side, component side to left) full

size for those who desire to fabricate their
0 0 1 0 0 0 own boards. See parts list for name and

o 11 01 00 10~
address of source for completed circuit
boards. Solder side is above, component
side to the left.

0 0 0 00 0 0 0 [

S:. feZ'
z z z
r-, (0

a: a: a:

L.::0 0"0 .0 6 11653


AGR AM, component side of


OB~ 5 a: a:

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 13

PARTS LIST minimize co nstruction errors and to save time. A layout
for the pr inted c ircuit board is provid ed full size in
Semiconductors Figure 3. See parts-p lacement d iagram for location of
D1-D7-1N4148 Diodes co mponents on the PC b oard (Figure 4).
D8-1N52368 Zener, 7.5V (optional)
IC1-74C86 XOR Gates Calibration
IC2, IC3-74C74 Flip-Flops Connect the co nverter board to the host unit. Check
IC4-4093 Schmitt Triggers the vo ltage level of + Vd d and - Vee. Note that the
IC5-74C161 Counter magnitude of the -Vee w ill be ab out 1.2V less than
IC6-74C165 Shift Register
IC7- l M358 Op Amps
+ Vd d , d ue to the two d iode drops at the inverter
circuit. Make sure the RS232 vo ltage levels do not
Resistors exceed 15 vo lts; + 15 b eing the recommended
All resistors Y4 watt, 5% unless otherwise specified maximum vo ltage for o pe rating the CMOS chips . Install
R1-1 0,OOO ohms a zener d iode in the c ircuit if necessary Check and
R2, R5-R8-100,OOO ohms adj ust R3 for an o scillator frequ ency of 2400Hz. This
R3-50,OOOohms, 10-turn potentiometer frequ ency does not have to be very accurate, since
R4-68,OOO ohms each start bit synchronizes the receiver clock of the
UA RT/ACIA in the host. Timing errors are thus non-
Capacitors cumulative.
C1, C5-.01 p.F, 50V
C2-47 p.F, 16V Troubleshooting
C3, C4-10 p.F, 20V
If yo u have problems in making the converter w ork
Miscellaneous properly, the be st way to troubleshoot is through a
PC board , hardware, wire, solder, Etc. terminal program on the host. Install jumper JP1. This
Plastic box (Radio Shack RS 270-221) jumper w ill force b it 6 of the trnsmitted code high,
wh ich means that DC1 /DC3 control codes wi ll now be
The following are available from Capulum Ltd., 814 d isplayed as letters 'Q' and 'S'. Then, w ith the
Proctor Avenue, Ogdensburg, N.Y. 13669 : printed converter co nnected between the host and the printer,
circuit board, double sided with plated-through holes take the printer offlin e and send enough characters to
for $12. Assembled and tested unit, complete with
fill the printer b uffer (effectively generating a BUSY
connectors for $49. Add $2 for postage and handling .
New York residents must add sales tax. Money order signal). You should then receive a DC3 code (now
or Visa. (613) 726-1966. d isplayed as letter' S') bac k in your terminal program.
Take the printer bac k online. The pr inter should start
p rinting and yo u should receive a DC1 code (letter 'Q')
host and the p rinter (while it is possib le to transmit and as soon as the buffer empties. If the order of the
receive at two d ifferent baud rates, nothi ng useful received codes is reversed , invert the BUSY signal by
would be achieved here). tieing jum per JP2 to ground instead of + Vdd . If you
The "previous state" c ircuit is b uilt using flip-flop s receive garbage characters, check the baud rate, w ord
and XO Rgates. The BUSY line from the pr inter is length, stop b its and parity. The host should be set up
samp led at each clock cycle. If it has changed from the to accept baud rate of 2400, 7 data bits, 2 stop bits
previous tim e it was samp led, the o utput of IC1a XOR and no parity (same as 7 data bits, mark parity and 1
wil l go active low This signal initiates the seq uence stop b it). If nothin g is received at all wh en the p rinter is
necessary for transmission of X-o n/X-off code. During taken offline and onlin e, then scope test test point TP1
these transmission s, the BUSY line is not samp led . on the converter. A negative-goin g pu lse should be
The parallel-to-se rial circ uitry is mad e up of shift observed each time the printer goes busy or not -busy.
register, b inary co unter and flip-flops . The shift register Presence of pul ses here indicates the fault to be in the
is load ed w ith either X-on (hex 13) or X-off (hex 11 ) shift register, co unter, or RS232 driver circuitry. Abs ence
ASCII cod e, d ep endi ng on the present state of the of pu lses here would suggest problems in the
BUSY line. The b inary co unter co unts out 10 p ulses (1 "previous state" flip-flop circuitry. Be sure to remove JP1
start, 7 data, and 2 stop bits) and upon co mpletion, w hen you are finished . O ne final note: The frequen cy
allows the "p revious state" circuitry to be up d ated of the oscillator d oes change w ith the circu it vo ltage,
once again. so set the frequ ency at the vo ltage at which the
The RS232 receiver and driver are construc ted using co nverter w ill operate. A lternatively, you can install the
low power op amps. The op amp d river prov ides the optional zener d iode DB, provided DSR or DTR line
bi polar o utput necessary to drive the host RS232 TxD vo ltage is suff icient. This way, the frequ ency w ill not
input line. change w ith d ifferent line vo ltage. A current limiting
resistor in p lace of j umper JP3 is need ed if DSRor DTR
Construction line is powered by an external p ow er sup p ly and not
The bu ilding of this converter is straightforwa rd . by an RS232 line driver.
There are no critica l components. The prototype unit The author's manuscript wa s printed using WordStar
was b uilt using a Scotchflex 3303 Breadboard Kit. w ith X-on/X-off prot ocol , the protoco l converter and a
How ever, use of the PC board is recommended to lead con trol serial printer. ~CD~

14 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986

... !

Something new has been added. ..

Marc Stern

-Based on surface acoustic w ave (SAW) technology, FIG. 2-USING ARRAY TECHNOLOGY, the Zenith system re-
lies on a transmit transducer and an upside-down mirror
the Zenith system relies on piezoelectric elements to image receiver to produce an acoustic wave system that
generate SAWs. Acoustic reflector strips on each edge bathes a CRT screen system with soundwaves. It is used in
of the tube face send the SAWs across the screen and the horizontal and vertical plane.
an invisible matrix of touchpoints is created. (See Fig. 1)
When the matrix is broken by a touch, an amp litude emitted. Traveling along the top edge of the screen, the
dip is created. The timing and depth of the dip SAWs run into an array of partial reflectors, positioned
indicates the location and pressure of the touch. 45 degrees to the direction of wave travel.
This concept was first developed in the early1970s
in a system which used a set of parallel SAW beams, in Wavelets
the same manner that infrared LED touch systems are This array produces wavelets which travel vertically
used today. Rows of transducers are placed on down the face of the screen. Because of the
opposite edges of a glass panel and are cycled; one positioning of the reflectors, wavelets coming from
transmit-receive set is turned on at a time. In this reflectors farther to the right lag behind those w hich
system, transmission attenuation on one of the possible are reflected further to the left.
paths determines the position of the touch. Eventually, this train of wavelets reaches an upside-
The need for transducers along a minimum of two down mirror image of the upper array at the bottom of
edges imposes a cost penalty. To reduce costs, Zenith the screen panel. The wavelets hitting the receive array
rethought the concept and borrowed from reflective are directed toward the receive transducer to the left.
array technology to complete its acoustic touchscreen. Note that the later wavelets produced to the right are
The reason it proved attractive enough for Zenith's w ork further delayed by a longer retum path. (See Fig. 2)
is its good signal-to-noise ratio and the absence of The planned delay of wavelets produces a
spurious reflections or transducer ringing. continuous signal with a long rectangular envelope. The
Using a single transducer in the upper left corner of screen panel is covered by a continuous flow of
the touchscreen panel, a short burst of SAWs is wavelets w ith differenttransit times and each point on
the time axis corresponds to a specific vertical path
along the screen panel.
The attenuation dip caused by a touch appears in
the output signal and ind icates the position.
This system uses a fixed frequency in the 4 to 10
MHz range. The signal must be weighted so the
amplitude of the signal remains constant across the
screen panel, rather than decreasing exponentially over
time. The designers, therefore, lowered the reflectivity
of the array closest to the transmitter, where the signal is
the strongest and used the highest reflectivity available
at the other end.
Because of technical considerations, such as the
SAW's velocity on soda-lime glass, it was found the
optimum placement of the reflective elements is 0.75
mm, positioned at 45 degrees. In the perpendicular
plane, spacing is 0.53 mm, or half a wavelength. A 50
percent d uty factor means the strips should also be
0.27 mm wide. They are 5 microns thick. Therefore, the
FIG. 1-THE ZENITH ACOUSTIC TOUCHSCREEN system is reflective elements can be screen printed on a panel.
the first to offer three-dimensional touch points. It uses
acoustic wave technology to create a matr ix of inaudible
Pressure dependable
soundwaves across the tube face, providing a depth coordi-
nate as well as vertical and horizontal points. A surface w ave w ill be more deeply attenuated as a

JULY 1986 - ComputerDigest 15

finger is pressed harder on a screen and thus the
signal's d ip is deeper.
Functions can be designed in which take advantage
of it. To move a cursor a user might be instructed to
press lightly and to make a program choice he might
be instructed to press firmly.
In operation, the Zenith SAW system is three-
dimensional. It generates the usual X and Y axis points,
but also a pressure point. Available in one to 16
pressure levels, it can generate a maximum resolution of
50 touch points per inch. Thus, a 14-inch CRT can have
a total of 512 by 384 touchpoints.
In the acoustic touch system, the piezoelectric
elements can be mounted d irectly on the surface of
the cathode ray tube or they can also be placed on a
glass overlay. When they are excited ,electrically, they
emit SAWs, which are reflected off the reflective strip
FIG. 3-THE SAW SYSTEM is highly versatile. It can be inte-
arrays mounted along each edge of the tube surface. grated with a graphics tablet to control a personal comp uter
They send the SAWs across the screen and create the or terminal.
invisible matrix of touchpoints.
When a finger breaks the sound w aves, two or more becomes part of the glass, it can be clearer than the
transducers sense it and a microprocessor locates the traditional resistive-membrane system. It is less prone
sources of the break at its horizontal and vertical to damage from sharp instruments.
crosspoints. And, because SAWs are affected by the The second type of touchscreen technology works
amount of pressure app lied, this system can not only in a similar manner to the acoustic wave, except that it
generate the traditional X and Y information common to uses banks of LEDs and infrared detectors. In this
other forms of touch systems, but also a Z or third system, LED transmitters are placed along the X and Y
positional input that is based on pressure. axis and receivers are placed opposite them. The LEDs
transmit vertically and horizontally, from the bezel
Three-dimensional surrounding the CRT screen, and where a fingertip
Because it can generate an extra dimensional input, it interrupts the LED beams input is generated.
is possible for the SAW system to be more versatile This type of system wi ll generated an X-Y position,
than the standard touchscreen system. Most standard but is incapable of generating a third dimension.
touchscreen systems can generate touchpoint
resolutions from 1,024 by 1,024 to nearly 4,000 by More flexibility
4,000, but these are only two -dimensional (X,Y) inputs The Zenith system is important because of the
which, w hile they do yield good positional inputs, fail added flexibility it gives to a touchscreen system. A
to yield any other information. Add ing the pressure or system can be programmed to recognize the increased
Z axis allows a company to build in more functionality pressure and can then ask if a userwo uld like to take a
because a system cannot only place the touchpoint in new or extra action. It can be programmed to ask a
space, but it also has a pressure reference w hich can user if the action sought is the correct one.
serve another function. The SAW system can be programmed to take a user
The resistive-membrane system is the more common through several steps in a program just by pressing the
type. It's been used for years and relies on a grid of screen a little harder.
resistive elements. When the elements are pressed a Finally, because it relies on transducers surrounding
current corresponding to the X and Y axes is the CRT, there is no d iminution of the screen's visibility
generated. and since only two piezoelectric sensors are used and
Generally transparent, the typ ical resistive or resistive- a corresponding number of receivers, the system has
membrane touchscreen may have a layer of dots few parts and should be trouble-free.
sandwiched in its construction. Although these dots This isn't the first time Zenith has used SAW
are largely for shov-; they help a user locate where an technology. It has used this technology for years in
input is generated. The resistive element is the television sets. It's the novel approach in touchscreens
important piece of the sandwich and it is a transparent that makes it interesting and because of its reliability
layer of metallic material that has been included in the and relatively low cost, it should be appeal ing to
membrane's construction. When this comes in contact broad areas of the market. It's a technology with the
with a second element a' current from a touchpoint is potential to reshape the market in its own image.
generated and a microprocessor senses the input. Additionally, it wi ll have impact beyond the CRT
The drawback wit h is that it cuts down on the market. Because it's an add-on, it can be used with a
visibility of a CRT because of the number of layers that wide variety of products. For example, it can become
are superimposed on the glass. part of a graphics tablet package (See Fig. 3). This w ill
A resistive system relies on the current between a allow the user fingertip control of a computer. It's just
fingertip and the resistive element on glass. Since it another use of this versati le technology.....CD~

16 ComputerDigest - JULY 1986


CORNER {'>~ !
Amateur packet switching HERB FRIEDMAN,


tion" of most major manufacturing
fi rms, few if any great tech-
nological breakthroughs are now
made by hobbyists in basement 8
workshops. Aside from the enor-
mous expense involved, the de-
velopment of a highly technical
communications device or system
often requires assistance from per-
sons familiar with unrelated tech-
nologies-persons usually
beyond the reach of the "crazy
perfesser" working alone in a
damp basement or a converted How it works to node D the computer at node A
garage, The idea behind packet radio is assembles data until it has a block
But there is still one source of shown in Fig. 1-a. For purposes of of predetermined size. When the
manpower (personpower?) skilled discussion, let's assume that data node senses that the communica-
in many conceivable tech- originates as entries on a key- tions line is clear it transmits an
nologies: amateu r (ham) radio. board, just as an actual message address-where the data is going
From its vast pool of hundreds of might originate, But that data to-and then the data.
thousands of technically-informed could be chunks of a large If data must be echoed through
hobbyists you can come up with a database, programs, or just about a repeater in order to reach its des-
handful of experts on just about anything else that can be repre- tination, other nodes pick it up
any technology-people who are sented in digital form. and pass it along. As shown in Fig.
just itching to open up new fron- Each station in a packet network 1-b, the signal might travel through
tiers in communications. It is that is called a node, and two or more nodes Band Cbefore they actually
spirit of adventure that has trans- (possibly all) nodes are connected reach node D. Obviously, then,
formed many specialized tech- together by a simplex (single-wire) nodes Band C must be smart
nologies and obscure laboratory circuit. That circuit could be an ac- enough to know that they have to
phenomena into viable communi- tual wire, or it could be a line-of- pass the signal on.
cations systems. sight radio link, a repeater, or even Since all nodes share a single
The latest contribution by the a satellite circuit. Or it could be circuit something must untangle
amateurs is something called any combination of those. The their transmissions . Again, that is
"packet radio." Yes, you can say point is that in a simplex circuit part of the protocol. When A is
that there's nothing new about stations send and receive on the finished transmitting to B, B at-
packet communications . And same wire orfrequency. Each node tempts to retransmit that packet to
that's true. Packet communica- recognizes special protocol sig- C. However, suppose that, at the
tions is used by computer net- nals that switch the node from re- very moment B is ready to trans-
works and some megabuck com- ceive to transmit mode, that mit, C sends a packet of data to D.
munications systems, but it's the generate " b usy" signals, etc. B then gets a "busy" when it polls
hams who are making packet radio For example, node A and node C, so it waits until the circuit is
a very popular form of communi- D might be across the room from clear. Depending on the system, 0 c...
cations; packet may even replace each other, or they might be across might transmit through C and B to ~
SSB, RTTY, and even FM repeaters the country from each other. In E even while B was storing data
for anything but chit-chat. any case, to send data from node A that is to be passed through B.
(Things do get complex and might purposes packet communication s ginating node. That signal in forms
get a bit confusing at first, so re- multiplexes a simplex communica- the ori ginating node that the pack-
read the preceding paragraph if tions path. et has been properly received and
you find it necessary.) While data pack ets are usually a that the next packet can be trans-
While all that is going on, A is predetermined size (e . g ., 256 mitted.
assembling the next block of data, bytes), message packets are usu- On the other hand, if something
which it will transmit to B as soon ally a typed line; that is, all charac - caused a reception error, the re-
as the circuit is clear. As you can ters up to the carriage return. If ceived checksum will not match
see, the data is handled in small you type a line and enter a carriage the transmitted checksum, so an
packets which are put on the sys- return, the node accepts that as a ACK will not be sent to the ori-
tem one at a time. The destination packet. If you type three lines and ginating node. It therefore knows
node assembles the packets in its then a carriage return the node ac- that it must repeat the transmis-
memory into a single file, docu- cepts all characters in those lines sion. The originating node will
ment, or whatever. When it re- as a single packet. continuously repeat the transmis-
ceives a signal that it has received The protocol includes check - sion as long as necessary until it
the last packet, it feeds the entire sum and ACK (ACKnowledge) sig- receives an ACK, or an abort signal
file into the user 's computer nals which en sure that packets are from the receiving node. That's the
where it can be saved for use when received error-free . The checksum way communications integrity is
needed. is a value that is a mathematically maintained through many nodes,
As you can see, at any given time determined by the data in the thousands of miles of wire, and
there may be bits and pieces packet. Every packet is transmitted geographically-distant radio cir-
(packets) of various data files pass- with a checksum value. Each re- cuits.
ing through various nodes. For ex- ceiving node in the signal path cal- Right now, hobbyi st packet
ample, while B is waiting for C to culates a checksum from the data it equipment is expensive. But , as is
"unbusy" so it can transmit a pack- receives and compares that value common in this industry, some-
et to D, B might be transmitting a with the checksum transmitted by one will probably figure out a way
packet from Eto A. Since the com- the originating node. If that check- to put a complete node on two
munications protocol prevents sum matches the transmitted VLSI lC's that cost less than .$29.95.
more than one node from trans- checksum , the receiving node And we'll be happy to see that hap-
mitting at a time, for all practical sends an ACK signal to the ori- pen! R-E

with a really neat feature. We can there's no way of predicting which

DRAWING BOARD make it latch data on either a high states the latch 's output lines will
continued from page 85 or a low trigger by tying the be in when the system is first
POLARITY input (pin 6) high or low. powered up. Zero, one , or even
The signal from the NAND gate is several of the memory banks
a low, our circuit is addressing one active low, so we'll tie the POLARITY could be enabled when you first
of the soft switches . The two least pin low. So, whenever a low is pre- apply power. That last possibility
significant bits of the address bus sented to the STORE input (pin 5), exists because the 4051 can have an
(A7 and AB) will determine which the data at the latch's inputs will be illegal output state-more than
bank of our memory system to en- stored. They'll also appear at the one high output-if much noise is
able. latch 's outputs. present at power up.
Since we only want to enable The circuit works like this: Previously, when we were faced
one bank at a time, the second When one of our soft-switch ad- with that sort of problem , we used
part of our circuit has to be a one- dresses shows up on the system an RC network to generate a
of-four decoder. There are several address bus , the output of the quick-and-dirty reset pulse to
lC's we could use , but it's always a NAND gate goe s low. That allows make sure that things were set up
good idea to keep the idea of sys- the 4051 to transfer that signal to the way we wanted them . But if
tem expansion in mind. The 4051 the output selected by address you examine our circuit, you 'll see
shown in Fig. 3 is a one-of-eight lines A7 and AB. Since a low is also that it is, unfortunately, too com-
switch that we've used here be- presented to the STO RE input of the plicated for that type of reset. A
fore. It's a CMOS analog switch 4042, the state of the fou r 4051 out- simple reset pulse just won't work
that can handle either analog or puts are latched and transferred to since there are so many variables
digital signals; the digital mode is the memory enab le lines. The re- involved. A hardware reset would
selected by tying pin 7 low. The sult : the selected bank is enabled have to control all the circuit ele-
data presented to the D input at pin and the other three banks are dis- ments, so it would be very difficult
en 3 is transferred to the output se- abled. to design.
Z lected by the A0--A2 inputs (p ins But there are other ways to solve
~ 9-11). Since we're decoding four Caveats that problem.
tw banks of memory with two inputs, There are a few considerations However, we 're out of space for
we'll use the most significant se- you should keep in mind when now, so we'll have to wait till next
o lect line (A2) to enable the lC. using that arrangement, or a sim- time to see the solution, and also
is The last part of the circuit is a ilar one, to control a banked mem- wrap up our discussion of memory

a: latch . The 4042 is a four-bit latch ory system. First, you'll notice that management. R-E
A sl ChallenBe "0 ESClon
Let's cut through the Radar Detector Glut. We challenge Escort to a one on one Distance and Fa/sing 'duel to the
death' on the highway 'of their choice. If they win, the $10,000 check pictured below is theirs.
By Drew Kaplan
We've put up our $10,000. We chal-
lenge Escort to take on Maxon's new
Dual Superheterodyne RD-' $99 90 radar
detector on the road of their choice in a
one on one conflict.
Even Escort says that everyone com-
pares themselves to Escort, and they're
right. They were the first in 1978 to use
superheterodyne circuits and they've got
a virtual stranglehold on the magazine
test reports.
But, the real question today is: 1) How
many feet of sensing difference, if any, is
there between this top ofthe line Maxon
Detector and Escort's? And 2) Which
unit is more accurate at interpreting real
radar versus fa lse signa ls?
So Escort, you pick the road (contin -
ental U.S. please) . You pick the equ ip-
ment to create the false signals. And
finally, you pick the radar gun .
Maxon and OAK will come to your
highway with engineers and equipment
to verify the results. And oh yes, we'll
have the $10,000 check (pictured) to
hand over if you beat us by more than' 0 Just imagine the sophistication of a City/Highway button reducesthe less
feet in either X or K band detection. device that can test a signal 4 times in important X band reception in the city.
BOB SAYS MAXON IS BETTER less than , /4 of one second. Maxon's Maxon 's long range detector comes
Here 's how it started. Maxon is a mam- technology is mind boggling. complete with a visor clip, hook and
moth electronics prime manufacturer. But, using it isn't. This long range de- loop dash board mounting, and the power
They actually make all types of sophis- tector has all the bells and whistles. It cord cigarette adaptor.
ticated electron ic products for some of has a separate audible sound for X and K It's much smaller than Escort at just
the biggest U.S. Electronics Companies. radar signals because you've onlv got 3W' Wide, 4*,' deep and' W' high. It's
(No, they don't make Escort's). about' /3 the time to react with K band . backed by Maxon's standard limited war-
Bob Thetford, the president of Maxon There's a '0 step LED Bar Graph Meter ranty. Note from Drew: ') Use of radar
Systems Inc., and a friend of mine, was to accurately show the radar signal's detectors is illegal in some states.
explaining their new RD-' anti-fa Ising strength . And, you won't have to look at 2) Speeding is dangerous. Use this
Dual Superheterodyne Radar detector a needle in a meter. You can see the Bar detector to help keep you safe when you
to me. I said "You know Bob, I think Graph Meter with your peripheral vision forget, not to get away with speeding.
Escort really has the market locked up:' and keep your eyes on the road and put
He said, "Our new design can beat theirs". your foot on the brake.
So, since I've never been one to be in
second place, I said, "Would you bet ..,
$10,000 that you can beat Escort?" And,
as they say, the rest is history.
By the way, Bob is about 6'9" tall, so if
we can't beat Escort, we can sure scare " 0 "'1)1." l: H ll l ' O" .: ", .....-::. ::-

the you know what out of them . But, Bob CHECK OUT RADAR YOURSELF
and his engineers are deadly serious RISK FREE
about this 'duel'. And you can bet that Put this detector on your visor. When
our $10,000 is serious. it sounds, look around for the police .
We ask only the following. 1) The public So, just turn on the Power/Volume There's a good chance you'll be saving
be invited to watch. 2) Maxon's Engin- knob, clip itto your visor or put it on your money in fines and higher insurance
eers as well as Escort's check the radar dash. Then plug in its cigarette lighter rates. And, if you slow down, you may
gun and monitor the test and the results. cord and you're protected. even save lives.
3) The same car be used in both tests. And you 'll have a very high level of If you aren 't , 00% satisfied, simply
4) We do this test during the summer protection. Maxon's Dual Conversion return it in its original box within 30 days
when it's warm. (I'm from California, and Scanning Superheterodyne circuitry for a courteous refund.
anything be low 800 will do me in.] combined with its ridge guide wide band To get your Maxon, Dual Superheter-
5) We'd like an answer from Escort no horn internal antenna, really ferrets out odyne, Anti-Falsing Radar Detector risk
later than June 1, 1986 and 30 days radar signals. free with your credit card, call toll free or
notice of the time and place of the con- By the way Escort, we'll be happy to send your check for just $99 110 ($4 P&H).
flict. And, 6) We'd like them to come have our test around a bend in the road Order No. 4407. CA res add tax.
with a $10,000 check made out to OAK or over a hill. Maxon's detector really OK Escort, it's up to you . We've got
if we win. picks up 'ambush type' radar signals. $10,000 that says you can't beat Maxon
SO,WHAT'S And the key word is ' radar' , not trash on the road. Your answer, please?
signals. The 4 test check system that Escort i, reg iltered trademark of Cincinnati Microwave.
Ok, so far we've set up the conflict. operates in , /4 second gives you ex-

Now let me tell you about the new dual tremely high protection from signals from DA K Dept.RE37
superheterodyne technology that lets other detectors, intrusion systems and c,
Maxon leap ahead of the pack. garage door openers. ~ INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED c
It's a technology that tests each sus- So, when the lights and X or K band !<
pected radar signal 4 separate times sounds explode into action, take care, For credit card orders c81124 hours a day 7 days II week
before it notifies you, and yet it explodes there's very likely police radar nearby. CALL TOLL- FR EE... 1-800-325-0800
into action in just' /4 of one second. You 'll have full volume control, and a 8200 Remmet Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91304
TUBES , new, unused . Send self-addressed, stamp- WHOLES ALE catalog of unusual money making
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RESTRICTED Technical Information : Electronic
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(No refunds or credits for typesetting errors can be made unless you clearly print or type your verters and descramblers. Lowest prices ever. Cata-
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2 3 4 5
MuI1l-ChanneI 1.9 to 2.7 GHz
40dB Gain True Parabolic 20 Inch Dish
6 7 8 9 10 Compl ete System $99.95 (plus shippi ng)
Dealerships. Qty. Pricing, Replacement Parts
PhilliPS-TeCh ElectroniCS
PoD. Box 8533 SCottsdale. AI 85252
11 12 13 14 15 ($42.75) LIFETIME (802) 847-7700 IS100 Cre<lit.II phon.... dorsl)
WARRANTY M" t" Card' Vi" COO',

16 ($45.60) 17 ($48.45) 18 ($51 .30) 19 ($54.15) 20 ($57.00)

CATALOG : Cable conve rte rs, both kits and as-
sembled units. N12 minicode $98.00 Jerrold 400
$99.00. Pulse descrambler kit (assembles in half
21 ($59 .85) 22 ($62.70) 23 ($65.55) 24 ($68.40) 25 ($71.25) hour) $74 .00, built $120.00. Satellite descrambler
kit $119, built $190. Surplus components. hobby kits.
Send $1.00 MJ INDUSTRY (formerly minute kits),
Box 531, Bronx. NY 10461.
26 ($74.10) 27 ($76.95) 28 ($79 .80) 29 ($82.65) 30 ($85.50) BUGGING devices, long range self powered FM
phone bug, $14.95 kit. Sensitive FM mini mike kit,
$14.95. High power professional FM wireless mike
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M/C. Catalog. $2.00 SPY STUFF, 2575 Baird Rd.
Penfield, NY 14526, (716) 586-3950.
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