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PRODUCT SHOWCASE Altronics MP3 Player, Amp Kit If you’re looking for a way to “go mobile” with your MP3 music collection, then check out the new Altronics K2770 MP3 Player kit. It works with a standard IDE hard disk drive, meaning it can store gigabytes of music – up to 10,000 tracks, in fact! The kit comes with a pre-punched and silk-screened metallic silver case, and includes a graphical LCD display along with an array of push-button switches for player control. You can even drive the beast with an infrared remote control! The DIN-sized case can house one 3.5-inch hard drive (not supplied), a pre-assembled MP3 jukebox PC board, LCD display module, front panel PC board and power supply PC board. The MP3 jukebox PC board forms the core of the player. Its main functional components consist of a PIC micro, MP3 decoder and stereo D-A converter. Included on the board are connectors for an LCD module, IDE hard drive, power supply, switch inputs and stereo signal output. Almost all on-board components are surface-mounted, which probably explains why Altronics is supplying this part of the kit pre-assembled and tested. The power supply and front-panel boards are supplied as kits of parts. These boards are relatively simple and assembly should not present too much of a challenge to those familiar with the pointy end of a soldering iron. Internal wiring is surprisingly simple too, with the LCD module mounting “piggy-back” on the MP3 board. Hook-up to the hard disk drive is via a conventional 40-way ribbon cable. The unit should work with most ATA-compliant IDE hard disk drives. For use in a car, a 2.5” laptop drive is mandatory as these are much more shock tolerant. However, you’ll need to purchase a 3.5” to 2.5” adapter kit. One negative is that the kit doesn’t provide an easy way of transferring your MP3s onto the hard disk. You must physically remove the drive and plug it into an IDE port in your PC in order to get the files onto the drive. We would not recommend this to anyone www.siliconchip.com.au unfamiliar with the internals of their PC. Audio output from the player is via twin RCA sockets.The unit can be powered from a 12V DC regulated or 13.8V DC unregulated source. Amplifier add-on Altronics also offer a companion 15W stereo amplifier kit. With this add-on, all you need are two bookshelf-style speakers for a complete, stand-alone jukebox. The amplifier is based around Philips TDA1519 amplifier modules, as used in the SILICON CHIP 12V Stereo Amplifier (May 2001). A single PC board carries all of the components, with the amplifier modules bolting up to a small heatsink at the rear of the case. The kit is supplied with a look-alike pre-punched metallic silver case. Twin RCA sockets and an unregulated DC output is provided at the rear for connection to the player unit. Plug-in screw terminal blocks are used for the speaker connections. Note that unlike the player, this unit is mains-powered. Mains input is via an IEC socket and a small (80VA) toroidal transformer. Summary The K2770 MP3 Player kit boasts a host of features that would make it useful for a variety of applications. With a DIN-sized case and 12V operation, it should work well as part of a monster car audio system. Using the automatic random play mode, it could also be used as part of a “canned music system”, such as in a PA setup or as part of a “music on hold” service. Specs at a glance: ·· · 122 x 32 graphical LCD Shuffle & sequential mode playback Stop/play/pause/next track/prev track/ ·· ·· skip/manual track selection Automatic random playback mode Supports multiple directories, ID3V1 tags and “artist-title” track naming Detailed track statistics shown on LCD Standard DIN sized case Special pricing The K2770 MP3 Player kit normally retails for $329, but is currently available at the special price of $299. This includes an A1013 infrared remote control. The K5101 Stereo Amplifier kit retails for $149. Contact: Altronic Distributors PO Box 8350, Perth Business Centre,6849 Tel: 1300 797 007 Website: www.altronics.com.au AUDIO MODULES broadcast quality Manufactured in Australia Harbuch Electronics Pty Ltd 9/40 Leighton Pl. HORNSBY 2077 Ph (02) 9476-5854 Fx (02) 9476-3231 November 2003 59 New DPO family from Tektronix Tektronix, Inc. has announced the TDS700B family of new digital phosphor oscilloscopes (DPO) which feature the most advanced triggering, signal fidelity and analysis capabilities of any oscilloscopes on the market at comparable price points. The 4GHz TDS7404B, the 2.5GHz TDS7254B and the 1.5GHz TDS7154B provide more than 400,000 waveforms per second waveform capture display. Designers can implement data rates up to a Gigabit per second (1Gb/s) and rise times on the order of 100 picoseconds (100ps). The TDS7000B Series DPOs waveform capture rate is orders of magnitude better than existing digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs) in delivering faster accumulation of signal data for both critical insight into signal behavior and indepth analysis. Qualified triggers help designers hone in quickly on problems due to errors that are considered faults only when they occur after qualifying events or time. Other triggers include a broad selection of edge, timing, setup/ hold, fault, and event triggers. This new trigger system features trigger jitter as narrow as 1.0ps RMS and the circuit can detect glitches as low as 110ps. The new DPOs uniquely address both hardware and software clock recovery by a new, continuously variable (1Mb/s to 3.125Gb/s) built-in Computer/Notebook USB TV box with FM radio Want to watch TV (or receive FM radio) on your computer or notebook? Or play standard (composite) video (eg, from a VCR) on your computer? Just connect this nifty little device from Microgram to your USB port. There are connectors for a TV anten- na, FM antenna, S-video in, composite video in, audio in and audio out. A full function remote control is also included. It supports USB 1.1 on a Pentium computer (166MMX min.) using Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP. Recommended retail is $179.00. Contact: Microgram Computers PO Box 8202, Tumbi Umbi NSW 2261 Tel: (02) 4389 8444 Website: www.mgram.com.au Tech-Rentals has R&S FHS3 Handheld Spectrum Analyzer Tech-Rentals has recently acquired a number of Rohde & Schwarz FSH3 handheld spectrum analyzers; for short or long term rental or purchase. With small dimensions and a large display, it has an upper frequency limit of 3GHz and numerous measurement functions. It has been specifically designed for mobile applications, including areas of mobile communication such as installation, maintenance, servicing and fieldstrength measurements, as well as use in labs and universities or by electronics hobbyists. The integrated Windows software provides relevant documentation allowing the user to track changes in the case of recurring measurements. The measurement results can be stored in the common graphics formats, as text files or in Excel format, complete with 60 Silicon Chip date and time and all settings. Contact: Tech-Rentals Tel: 1800 632 652 Website: www.techrentals.com.au hardware clock recovery circuit or by integrated software clock recovery tools, embracing the widest range of serial standards. Contact: NewTek Sales Pty Ltd Tel: (02) 9888 0100 Website: www.newteksales.com.au Who said the floppy is dead? Many PCs these days do not have floppy disk drives. That’s fine until you need to read a floppy! Proving that the 1.44Mb/1.4Mb formats are not yet dead, Targus Australia has launched a new “Slimline” external floppy drive that powers up from the USB port. This neat little drive (14 x 10.4 x 1.8cm) is completely plug’n’play. The first time it is connected, the notebook recognises the device and treats it just the same as a built-in. The easy hot-plug installation means it can be connected and disconnected while the notebook/PC is in use and the simple, one cable USB connection means no tangled wires or clumsy ‘power bricks’. With an expected retail price of $109.95, the Slimline can read and write to 3.5-in floppy disks including 720K/1.44Mb Windows (2000, Me & XP) and 1.4Mb Macintosh formats. It carries a full 12-month warranty. Contact: Targus Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (02) 9807 1222 Website: www.targus.com.au www.siliconchip.com.au SILICON CHIP WebLINK How many times have you wanted to access a company’s website but cannot remember their site name? Here's an exciting new concept from SILICON CHIP: you can access any of these organisations instantly by going to the SILICON CHIP website (www.siliconchip.com.au), clicking on WebLINK and then on the website graphic of the company you’re looking for. It’s that simple. No longer do you have to wade through search engines or look through pages of indexes – just point’n’click and the site you want will open! Your company or business can be a part of SILICON CHIP’s WebLINK . For one low rate you receive a printed entry each month on the SILICON CHIP WebLINK page with your home page graphic, company name, phone, fax and site details plus up to 50 words of description– and this is repeated on the WebLINK page on the SILICON CHIP website with the link of your choice active. Get those extra hits on your site from the right people in the electronics industry – the people who make decisions to buy your products. Call SILICON CHIP today on (02) 9979 5644 Our website is updated daily, with over 5,500 products available through our secure online ordering facility. Features include semiconductor data sheets, media releases, software downloads, and much more JAYCAR JAYCAR ELECTRONICS ELECTRONICS Tel: Tel: 1800 1800 022 022 888 888 WebLINK: www.jaycar.com.au WebLINK: www.jaycar.com.au BitScope is an Open Design Digital Oscilloscope and Logic Analyser. PC software drives BitScope via USB, Ethernet or RS232 to create a powerful Virtual Instrument. BitScope is available built and tested or in kit form. Extensive technical details are available on the website. Great for hobbyists, university labs and industry. BitScope Designs Contact: sales<at>bitscope.com Contact: sales<at>bitscope.com WebLINK: bitscope.com WebLINK: bitscope.com A 100% Australian owned company supplying frequency control products to the highest international standards: filters, DIL’s, voltage, temperature compensated and oven controlled oscillators, monolithic and discrete filters and ceramic filters and resonators. Hy-Q International Pty Ltd Tel:(03) 9562-8222 Fax: (03) 9562 9009 WebLINK: www.hy-q.com.au JED designs and manufactures a range of single board computers (based on Wilke Tiger and Atmel AVR), as well as LCD displays and analog and digital I/O for PCs and controllers. JED also makes a PC PROM programmer and RS232/RS485 converters. Jed Microprocessors Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9762 3588 Fax: (03) 9762 5499 WebLINK: jedmicro.com.au Free simulator program, tutorial SPLat Controls is an Australian manufacturer of embedded programmable controllers who supply OEM users world-wide with off the shelf and custom control solutions. SPLat have developed a tutorial and companion simulator program for users wishing to implement PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control functions. www.siliconchip.com.au International satellite TV reception in your home is now affordable. Send for your free info pack containing equipment catalog, satellite lists, etc or call for appointment to view. We can display all satellites from 76.5° to 180°. · Hifi upgrades & modification products - jitter reduction and output stage improvement. · Danish high-end hifi kits - including pre- amps, phono, power amps & accessories. · Speaker drivers including Danish Flex Units plus a range of accessories. Soundlabs Group Syd: (02) 9660-1228 Melb: (03) 9859-0388 WebLINK: soundlabsgroup.com.au Av-COMM Pty Ltd Tel:(02) 9939 4377 Fax: (02) 9939 4376 Tel:(02) WebLINK: avcomm.com.au WebLINK: avcomm.com.au We specialise in providing a range of Low Power Radio solutions for OEM’s to incorporate in their wireless technology based products. The innovative range includes products from Radiometrix, the World’s leading manufacturer. TeleLink Communications Tel:(07) 4934 0413 Fax: (07) 4934 0311 WebLINK: telelink.com.au The program is called PIDassist and simulates a controller and a target process. It can also be used as a data acquisition tool for characterising the process and also includes an automatic code generator that produces the SPLat program code required to implement the control function. The tutorial is located in the online SPLat Knowledge Base and contains a thorough but non-mathematical treatment of the theory of PID controlment of an engineering course in Universities or TAFEs. To access the tutorial and download a free copy of PIDassist, go to the SPLat website at: splatco.com. SC au/splat/pidassist1.htm Contact: SPLat Controls 2/12 Peninsular Bvde, Seaford Vic 3198 Tel: (02) 9878 5544 Fax: (02) 9878 6366 Website: www.splatco.com.au November 2003 61