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South Asia’s Most Popular Electronics Magazine march 2009 Vol. 41 No. 3

Stage All Set for

hdTV
Make A Versatile Flexible Circuits
Frequency Counter Getting Better
Scatternets Rekindle A Smart Charger
Hope in Bluetooth for Li-ion Batteries
Vol. 41 No. 3

41st Year
march 2009 Contents Departments
Since January 1969
of Publication 28 Technology Focus
Stage All Set for High-definition TV EFY-CD......................................................... 08
LETTERS ..................................................... 12
www.efymag.com Qs&As.......................................................... 16
Career
36
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Editor : Ramesh Chopra Empower Yourself with Circuit Ideas.............................................. 81
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100 Reading the Datasheets of
Electronic Devices—Part 1 of 3
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Do-IT-Yourself
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A Versatile Frequency Counter
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Photolithographers, B-38, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-I, New Delhi, on the first day
of each month and published from D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi
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112
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Bluetooth Scatternets: A Cost-Effective


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Solution for Communication


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 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro ni c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
EFY-CD Page

In this Month’s

Focus on
Multimedia
TOP 4 software Video DVD Maker. Video DVD pages, audio and video. And combine
Maker is a flexible, easy-to-use and fo- these different elements into a single
MultiMedia Office
cused DVD maker. It allows you to get file that meets the ISO standard open
high-quality output, even if you don’t document format.
know the subtleties of recording tech- FreeMat. FreeMat is a free envi-
nology. The intuitive interface leads you ronment for rapid engineering, scien-
through a comprehensive set of logical tific prototyping and data processing.
steps to capture and output DVDs. It is similar to commercial systems
Video DVD Maker enables you such as MATLAB from MathWorks
FreeMat to capture video from various video and IDL from Research Systems. It is
devices, including TV tuners and Web open-source and runs on Windows,
cameras, as well as import video from Linux and Mac OS X.
any video file, including AVI, DivX, Scilab. This open-source soft-
XVID, MPEG-4, MPG, WMV, ASF and ware provides a powerful computing
MOV. You can easily play these videos environment for engineering and
on your home DVD player after burn- scientific applications. It includes
ing to a CD/DVD. hundreds of mathematical functions
Scilab
Avidemux. Avidemux is a free with the possibility to add interactively
video editor designed for simple cut- programs from various languages (C,
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ing projects, job queue and powerful Abiword 2.6.6. AbiWord is a
Abiword 2.6.6
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 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Letters
Invitation very soon. Subscription numbers are
DTH TV
Border Security Force Communication currently not available on the website.
and IT Directorate, CGO Complex, The article titled ‘Which DTH TV for
New Delhi, is a subscriber to EFY mag- Designing Low-Power You?’ published in February issue, was
authored by Amit Goel, with some in-
azine. The articles published in EFY are Products puts from Uma Bansal. We are sorry, Mr
very educative and these are passed on Thanks for publishing the article series Goel’s name was inadvertently left out as
to technical staff in the ranks of DIGs, ‘Designing Low-power Products Using author of the article.
Mr Goel has several years’ experi-
commandants and deputy comman- MSP430 Microcontrollers’ in January ence in the field and runs his own blog,
dants. On behalf of the directorate, we and February issues. I request you to which can be seen at “http://amitslab.
invite writers of such topics as new publish a similar kind of article series com/blog”
telecom services on the way, WiFi and on Cypress CY3270 and Texas Instru-
WiMAX, 3G audio management and ments’ MSP430RF2500 microcontrol- providing supply to essential loads
telemedicine to deliver lectures at our lers. in the event of failure of a particular
headquarter. I also suggest you to provide a phase, whereas the three-phase ap-
B.S. Kushwah, DIG reference booklet on MSP430F2013, pliance protector provides supply to
Through e-mail CY3270, Atmega16 and MSP430RF2500 the appliance only when all the three
instruction sets and pin configurations phase are available. Notwithstanding
EFY-CD Content with EFY magazine every quarter. the foregoing, selection of these two
Many thanks for providing Ubuntu op- It would be useful to hobbyists, stu- circuits was also based on the readers’
erating system in the EFY-CD of Janu- dents and professionals in working on feedback.
ary issue. It’s a very good operating projects or preparing for interviews.
system. Please publish some software Maneesh Sharma Heart Rate Meter
and circuit diagrams for program- Navi Mumbai Regarding the ‘Microcontroller-based
ming the Atmel microcontroller under Heart Rate Meter’ project published in
Ubuntu operating system. Circuit Ideas of May 2008 issue, I have the following
Subrat Kumar Mallik Anniversary Issue queries:
Through e-mail I have been a regular reader of EFY for 1. In the software program, it is
 Please include: many years. In January issue, I have mentioned that time is noted down
1. Free software like OCR in the noticed that: after the end of three crossings. Are
EFY-CD. 1. In ‘Running LED Lights’ circuit, these three crossings related to P, R, T
2. Buyers’ guide on car stereos in a 12V transformer has been used. I feel waves? In practice, while measuring
the magazine. a 7.5V or 9V transformer will be a bet- ECG, the ECG waveform also consists
Jiji Abraham ter choice for logical and economical of time period after ‘T’ wave of the
Kochi reasons. first ECG and before ‘P’ wave of the
2. In ‘Top 10 Circuits,’ two emer- second ECG waveform. Thus the time
Test for Technocrats gency light circuits and two 3-phase should be read before ‘P’ wave of the
I suggest EFY to conduct a technical application circuits have been includ- next ECG.
test for the technocrats nationally. This ed, which are electrical in nature. You 2. The time taken from time-count
will help those who are doing research should publish a variety of circuits for register is converted in terms of the
work in various fields of electronics. different readers. number of 4ms intervals. I don’t under-
Anshul C. Kansara Rakesh P. stand why 4ms interval is taken?
Navsari Through e-mail 3. How can I stop the ambient light
EFY: Thanks for your feedback and from interfering with the readings?
Software Codes interest in EFY magazine. As regards Ms Amruta Pise
The software codes of technical arti- your observations: Mumbai
cles published in EFY magazine are 1. Use of a 12V transformer in the The author Prof. K Padmanabhan
provided only in the accompanying ‘Running LED Light’ circuit is alright replies:
CD. I request EFY to provide all the in a hobbyist circuit design. Optimisa- 1. Do not confuse ECG with the blood
codes online. I have subscribed to EFY tion can always be done by the users flow signal into the finger. It is just
magazine online, but could not find the for whatever reason they may think the blood flow signal that is used for
subscription number after login to this appropriate. counting here. Refer to the waveform
site. Please tell me where can I find it. 2. The two emergency light circuits shown in the article.
Gerard Canekeratne are quite different and these were 2. You can use any unit for measur-
Oman chosen based on the readers’ feedback ing time, provided you know the basic
EFY: Thanks for pointing out an area on EFY website. The automatic phase unit; just as you can measure weight in
for improvement. We have taken up changer is designed for balancing the grams or kilograms, depending on the
this project, and it will be implemented loads on different phases and also for measured value.

1 2 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Letters
Here 4 ms is well-nigh sufficient. resistor. Connect the cathode (pin 16)
If we measure in 1ms units, we’ll get to GND.
a larger number for the time unit be- 2. There is no particular name for
tween two (blood) pulses, and we will the enclosure, but I have used the enclo-
then be using a larger divisor to find sure of an electronic choke and made a
the rate of blood flow per minute. slot according to LCD dimensions.
3. The problem of ambient light has 3. Since reed switch is encapsulated
been explained in the text. Please read in glass, it does not require any special
the article thoroughly and your doubts coating.
will be cleared. 4. In the article, I have given the
formula for modifying the program for
Speedometer-cum- any wheel dimensions. First, calculate
Odometer the radius of the wheel and then use
I have constructed the ‘Microcontrol- the formula given in the text to get the
ler-based Speedometer-cum-Odometer’ constant. I have illustrated these steps
project published in Nov. 2008 issue, as in the article, so please read carefully.
per the instructions given in the text.
I have downloaded the ‘hex’ file but Mobile Bug
nothing was displayed on the LCD Regarding the ‘Mobile Bug’ project
screen. Also, the Assembly program is published in January 2008 issue, I have
not clear. Please help. the following queries:
Anil Patil 1. It is mentioned in the article that
Ulhasnagar the circuit can sense the presence of an
 Regarding this project, I have the activated mobile phone. Does it mean
following doubts: a switched-on mobile phone without
1. How to make the LCD module call/SMS/data transmission?
illuminate? 2. Can we use an FM radio’s tel-
2. What is the name of the box escopic antenna in place of the 12.7cm
that encloses the LCD module and the (5-inch) antenna shown in the circuit
circuit board, and how to fix it in the diagram?
handle-bar? Prakash
3. Do I need to provide water-resis- New Delhi
tive coating for the reed switch? The author D. Mohan Kumar replies:
4. What changes are to be made in 1. The mentioned circuit senses an acti-
the program and the circuit, so that it can vated mobile phone. That is, switch on
be used in my Honda Unicorn bike? the circuit and it will detect the signals
Roshan George V. in response to a call, SMS or video re-
Cochin cording in the mobile phone.
The author Arun Kumar Vadla replies 2. A small telescopic antenna can
to Anil Patil: be used. The antenna is not necessary
If you are testing the project on a if the 0.22µF capacitor is protruding
simulator software, nothing will dis- from the case.
play on the LCD. You have to test
the project in real hardware after Staircase Light
programming the microcontroller, In the ‘Staircase Light With Auto
first with ‘init eeprom.hex’ program Switch Off’ circuit published in Janu-
and then with ‘speedo.hex’ program. ary issue, the schematic diagram is
The Assembly code is well commented. wrong. Pin 2 of IC 555 appears at two
You’ll find explanation of each line of locations.
the code. I have been using this speed- Ramasamy
ometer since one-and-a-half years and it Mysore
is working well without any problem. EFY: Thanks for pointing out the print-
Reply to George Roshan: ing error in the circuit diagram. In the
1. Backlight connections are usually circuit tested, pins 6 and 7 of 555 timer
made at pins 15 and 16 of the LCD are shorted at the junction of resis-
module. The anode (pin 15) should be tor R7 and capacitor C4. Kindly read
connected to +5V DC through a series wrongly-printed pin 2 as pin 7.

1 4 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Qs&As

Q1. What is the difference be-


tween condensers and capaci-
ular mobile phones, a keypad type of
device is used, which is mounted sepa-
can be damaged by sharp objects. Re-
sistive touchscreen panels are not
tors? rately from the screen of the cellphone. affected by outside elements such as
Sunil Prasad Whereas in touchscreen cellphones, dust or water.
Through e-mail a touch screen is a cellphone display Capacitive. In the capacitive sys-

A1. From electrical engineering


point of view, condensers
screen that also acts as an input device.
The touchscreens are sensitive to pres-
tem, a layer of an electroconductive
material (most often indium tin-oxide)
and capacitors are the same. However, sure; a user interacts with the mobile that stores electrical charge is placed on
you may often come across condens- applications by touching pictures or the glass panel of the monitor. When a
ers also being referred to as devices words on the screen. user touches the monitor with his fin-
used to condense vapour into liquid, a Most mobile phone keyboards are ger, some of the charge is transferred
range of laboratory glassware used to basic in that they use a tactile surface to the user, so the charge on the capaci-
remove heat from fluids, heat exchang- you are accustomed to touching, and tive layer decreases. This decrease is
ers installed in steam-electric power underneath is a basic rubber peg (black measured in circuits located at each
stations to condense turbine exhaust dot) which travels some depth until it corner of the monitor. The computer
steam into water, air coils used in encounters resistance in the form of calculates, from the relative differences
HVAC refrigeration systems, a group the actual keyboard surface which is in charge at each corner, exactly where
of lenses mounted below the stage of sometimes called a ‘bubble board.’ This the touch event took place and then
an optical microscope to concentrate is basically a semi-circle of aluminium relays that information to the touch-
light, and condenser microphones that shaped in the form of a dome and screen driver software.
convert sound waves into an electrical provides that springing effect of key One advantage of the capacitive
signal. and feedback on your finger when you system over the resistive system is
An ideal capacitor is character- press down and the button regains its that it transmits almost 92 per cent of
ised by a single constant value called at-rest shape and normal position. the light emitted from the monitor,
‘capacitance.’ This is defined as the Touchscreen technologies used whereas the resistive system transmits
ratio of the amount of charge in each in mobile phones include resistive, only about 75 per cent. This gives the
conductor to the potential difference capacitive and surface-wave based capacitive system a much clearer pic-
between them. The unit of capacitance system. ture than the resistive system. Also,
is thus coulombs per volt, or farads. Resistive. The resistive system the capacitive system has a very long
Higher capacitance indicates that more consists of a normal glass panel that is life (about 225 million clicks). The
charge can be stored at a given voltage. covered with conductive and resistive bad news is that this touchscreen type
In practice, the insulator allows a small metallic layers. These two layers are cannot be activated by contact with
amount of current through, called leak- held apart by spacers, and a scratch- inanimate objects (e.g., the gloves that
age current. The conductors add a series resistant layer is placed on top of the you might be wearing).
resistance (specifically called equivalent whole setup. An electrical current runs There are mainly two subtypes:
series resistance), and the insulator has through the two layers while the moni- one cannot register more than one
an electric field strength limit resulting tor is operational. touch at a time, while the other, called
in a breakdown voltage. When a user touches the screen, ‘MultiTouch’ (used in Apple iPhone
The properties of capacitors in a the two layers make contact exactly at and iPod) does.
circuit may determine the resonant fre- that spot. The change in the electrical Surface wave. Surface-wave technol-
quency and quality factor of a resonant field is noted and the coordinates of ogy uses ultrasonic waves that pass over
circuit, power dissipation and operating the point of contact are calculated by the touchscreen panel. On the monitor
frequency in a digital logic circuit, en- the processor. Once the coordinates are of a surface acoustic wave system, two
ergy capacity in a high-power system, known, a special driver translates the transducers (one sending and the other
and many other important aspects. touch into something that the operat- receiving) are placed along the ‘x’ and
ing system can understand, much as a ‘y’ axes of the monitor’s glass plate.

Q2. What is the working principle


behind touchscreen mobiles?
computer mouse driver translates the
movements of a mouse into a click or a
Also placed on the glass are reflec-
tors—these reflect an electrical signal
How do they differ from ordinary mo- drag. The change in the electrical cur- sent from one transducer to the other.
biles? What are their drawbacks? rent is registered as a touch event and The receiving transducer is able to tell
Anuja Wadatkar sent to the controller for processing. whether the wave has been disturbed
Through e-mail Resistive touchscreen panels are by a touch event at any instant, and can

A2. Mobile phones may use two


types of input devices. In reg-
generally more affordable but offer
only 75 per cent clarity and the layer
locate it accordingly. When the panel
is touched, a portion of the wave is

1 6 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Qs&As

+12V
+5V RL1
DEVICE 1

LED1
N/O
RNW-10K x 8 230V
INTERNET C1 AC
1µ R2 50Hz
16V N/C

RL2
DEVICE 2

LED2
20 10 N/O
230V
1 19 1 18 AC
2 R3 50Hz
18 2 17 N/C
CELLULAR

R1 C1
PHONE

56K 33p 17 3 16 RL3


IC1 IC2 DEVICE 3

LED3
4 16 4 15 N/O
AT89 ULN 230V
BLUETOOTH AC
MODULE
XTAL C2051 15 5 2803 14 R4 50Hz
BLUETOOTH

5 N/C
14 6 13
C2 RL4
13 7 12 DEVICE 4

LED4
33p
N/O
230V
CTS-1

RTS-0

12 8 11
RX-1
GND
TX-0

10 9 AC
VCC

CELLULAR R5 50Hz
PHONE N/C
COMMUNICATION
ADAPTER RL5
DEVICE 5

LED5
N/O
230V
R2-R6 = 2.2K AC
RL1-RL5 = 12V, 1C/O RELAY R6 50Hz
XTAL = 11.052MHz LED1-LED5 = 5mm RED LED N/C

Circuit for home appliance control via Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone

absorbed. This change in the ultrasonic locks and lights from a cellphone? a 20-pin, 8-bit microcontroller with 2
waves registers the position of the touch Premrashan Nair kB of Flash programmable and eras-
event and sends this information to the Bangaluru able read-only memory (PEROM), 128
controller for processing.
The wave setup has no metallic
A3. The circuit of a simple cell-
phone-based device-control
bytes of RAM, 15 input/output lines,
two 16-bit timers/counters, a five-vec-
layers on the screen, allowing for 100 system using bluetooth communica- tor two-level interrupt architecture, a
per cent light throughput and perfect tion link and microcontroller is shown duplex serial port, a precision analogue
image clarity. This makes the surface above. It can be easily designed by en- comparator, on-chip oscillator and
acoustic wave system best for display- gineering students and hobbyists. The clock circuitry.
ing detailed graphics (both the other advantage of bluetooth technology is The ULN2803 (IC2) consists of
systems have significant degradation that it doesn’t require line-of-sight for eight npn Darlington-connected tran-
in clarity). Surface-wave touchscreen signal transmission from the transmit- sistors, which are ideally suitable for
panels are the most advanced of the ter to the receiver. interfacing between low-logic-level
three types, but these can be damaged This device control system over- digital circuitry and the higher cur-
by outside elements. comes the problems of manual switch- rent/voltage requirement circuits such
Another area in which the systems ing (on/off) of different devices as lamps, fans or other similar loads for
differ is the way stimuli is registered through bluetooth-enabled cellphone a broad range of computer, industrial
as a touch event. A resistive system communicating with the bluetooth and consumer applications. It is used
registers a touch as long as the two lay- module interfaced with the micro- here for driving the devices through
ers make contact, which means that it controller. It is a simple and cost-ef- relay contacts. You can write a simple
doesn’t matter if you touch it with your fective design to solve the problem of software program for the microcon-
finger or a rubber ball. A capacitive remote control for whatever reason it troller of the bluetooth-enabled cell-
system, on the other hand, must have a may be. phone, employing simple coding and
conductive input, usually your finger, The circuit consists of a cellphone decoding of remote signals to perform
in order to register a touch. The surface attached to a bluetooth adaptor (one switching of devices.
acoustic wave system works much like could use a cellphone having inbuilt
the resistive system, allowing a touch bluetooth), a bluetooth module inter- Answers compiled by Air Cmde (Retd) P.D. Badoni
with almost any object—except hard faced with microcontroller AT89C2051,
and small objects like a pen tip. a driver IC ULN2803, five 12V relays, Letters and questions for publication may be
LEDs and associated discrete compo- addressed to Editor, Electronics For You,

Q3. How can we interface a blue-


tooth module with a micro-
nents.
At the heart of the circuit is micro-
D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase 1, New Delhi
110020 (E-mail: editsec@efyindia.com) and should
controller to control devices like door- controller IC AT89C2051 (IC1). It is include name and address of the sender.

1 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Fact-filled AND the most happening current affairs from around the world

Technology News
‘Evolving’ robots
Taking cue from biological evolution,
the scientists have developed a robot
with a software ‘brain’ that automati-
cally grows in size and complexity as
its physical body develops. The only
but major difference is that it does this
trick in hours.
Existing robots cannot usually
cope with physical changes—the ad-
dition of a sensor or new type of limb,
say—without a complete redesign of
their control software, which can be
time-consuming and expensive. So
artificial intelligence engineer Chris-
topher MacLeod and his colleagues
at the Robert Gordon University in World’s first flexible electronic book from Plastic Logic
Aberdeen, UK, created a robot that
adapts to such changes by mimicking claims to have developed the world’s prerequisite for automated cars.
biological evolution. “If we want to first flexible electronic book with a The new devices are known as
make really complex humanoid robots bendy screen that can withstand a lot optical clocks because lasers measure
with ever more sensors and more com- of tumble. the frequency with which electrons in
plex behaviours, it is critical that they Currently, the two most popular e- atoms vibrate. This enables them to di-
are able to grow in complexity over books on the market, the Sony Reader vide time into even tinier increments.
time—just like biological creatures and Amazon Kindle, are paperback The most advanced clock, created
did,” he says. book-sized devices that use B&W elec- by researchers at the National Institute
The brain of Macleod’s robot as- tronic ink displays. These consist of of Standards and Technology (NIST) in
signs new clusters of ‘neurons’ to a plastic sheet containing pixel-sized Boulder, Colorado, measures the vibra-
adapt to new additions to its body. voids, each filled with B&W ink par- tions of electrons in mercury ions and
The robot is controlled by a neural ticles. Electric fields attract the ink to can go 1.7 billion years without missing
network—software that mimics the the top of these voids to display print. a beat. A normal wristwatch, by con-
brain’s learning process. This compris- The problem is, the transistors that ap- trast, loses about a second every week.
es a set of interconnected processing ply these electric fields sit on a layer of The most exciting developments
nodes which can be trained to pro- glass, making the displays fragile. are likely to come in the field of global
duce desired actions. Such actions are Plastic Logic has perfected a way positioning systems (GPS), which track
shaped by adjusting the importance, or of printing polymer transistors onto planes, ships and cars. GPS devices
weighting, of the input signals to each a layer of bendy plastic, allowing the receive microwave signals sent by
node. Certain combinations of these screens to flex and bounce. This device satellites and, by measuring the time
sensor inputs cause the node to fire a will have wireless Internet connection these take to arrive, can pinpoint the
signal—to drive a motor, for example. and a touch screen, allowing use of a location of an object on Earth to within
If this action works, the combination is virtual keyboard for annotating text. 10 metres.
kept. If it fails, and the robot falls over,
the robot will make adjustments and Optical clocks are the future Universal charger
try something different next time. A new generation of clocks, called opti- for mobile phones
cal clocks, can keep time without miss- We all need to buy a charger with
Flexible electronic books ing a beat in almost two billion years. every new mobile phone. What if
Screen breakage is a common com- These clocks are so precise that they you can charge your phone from any
plaint about today’s electronic books. will allow satellites to track moving available charger? This would not
However, UK-based Plastic Logic objects to within less than a metre—a only make life easier for mobile phone

2 0 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
consumers, but would be good for the The free My Phone service will en-
environment too. able you to access, manage and back
The GSMA and 17 leading mobile up your personal information on your
operators and manufacturers said at device to a password-protected Web-
the Mobile World Congress that they based service. With automatic syncing
are committed to implementing a and backup, you can count on your
cross-industry standard for a univer- contacts, appointments, text messages
sal charger for new mobile phones. and other information being kept up to
The aim of the initiative, led by the date and easily restored should you lose
GSMA, is to ensure that the mobile or upgrade your phone. You will also
industry adopts a common format for be able to automatically upload photos
mobile phone charger connections and and video from your Windows phone
energy-efficient chargers resulting in directly to the My Phone service.
an estimated 50 per cent reduction The new Windows phones are
in standby energy consumption; old expected to be available in the second
chargers currently generate more than half of 2009.
51,000 tonnes of waste a year.
The group plans to make a universal Solar-powered touch phone
charging solution widely available by Samsung Electronics has unveiled a
year 2012. It will use Micro-USB as the solar-powered, full-touch-screen phone
common universal charging interface. called ‘Blue Earth.’ By charging with
So by January 2012, the majority of all the solar panel located on the back of
new mobile phone models available will the phone, users can generate enough
support a universal charging connector power to call anytime anywhere.
and the majority of chargers shipped Blue Earth is made from recycled
will meet the high-efficiency targets set plastic called PCM, which is extracted
out by the OMTP (Open Mobile Termi- from water bottles, helping to reduce fuel
nal Platform)—the industry body who consumption and carbon emissions in
developed the technical requirements
for universal charging solution.

Next-gen Windows phones


Microsoft is working with partners
across the industry to deliver a new
generation of Windows phones. These
phones will be based on Windows
Mobile 6.5 and feature a new user
interface and a richer browsing expe-
rience. In addition, they will feature
two new services: My Phone, to sync
text messages, photos, video, contacts
and more to the Web; and Windows
Marketplace for Mobile, a new mar-
ketplace that will provide direct-to-
phone mobile applications and can
be accessed from both the phone and
the Web.
The Windows Mobile 6.5 home
screen will keep you up-to-date on
important information by providing
a dashboard-like experience to items
such as new e-mails, texts, missed
calls and calendar appointments. The
improved touch-screen interface makes
it easy to take action with a finger. Samsung Blue Earth solar-powered phone

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the manufacturing process. The device,
including charger, is free from harmful
substances such as brominated flame
retardants, beryllium and phthalate.
Simple to set the screen brightness,
backlight duration and Bluetooth to
an energy-efficient mode, the unique
user interface allows the user to be
energy-efficient with just one click of
‘Eco’ mode. Through the ‘eco walk’
function the user can count his steps
with an in-built pedometer, calculating
how much CO2 emissions have been
reduced by walking as opposed to
motor transport. This unique function
allows the user to calculate the value
of this footprint through the number
of trees that have been saved.
The phone comes with a five-star
energy-efficient charger which uses CSR’s 802.11n range of devices add Wi-Fi to mobile devices
standby power of less than 0.03W.
card. This USB modem (MF645) will The UniFi UF6000 range is fully
Power meter from Google enable you to watch digital television compliant with IEEE802.11e QoS, Wi-
Google is developing a tool called Pow- on a computer or laptop over a 3G Fi Alliance WMM Power Save and
erMeter that will show people their connection. As the MF645 supports a 802.11n power saving, ensuring the
electricity consumption in near real time download rate of up to 7.2Mbps, it of- lowest possible power consumption.
on a secure iGoogle gadget. The Internet fers a user experience that is similar to
giant is partnering with a host of electric traditional TV sets. 3D graphics in HDTV devices
utilities, device makers, regulators and The graphical user interfaces offered
other technology companies to deliver World’s smallest by today’s set-top boxes (STBs) and
the data to consumers. 802.11n devices digital TVs are primarily static and
The Google PowerMeter is a piece Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) claims two-dimensional, and generally do
of software that people can view online to have launched the world’s smallest not provide the level of performance
to see how much electricity they are us- and lowest-cost range of 802.11n com- demanded by the new Web-based
ing every time they leave an appliance patible devices to add to its Connectiv- interactive services. These services re-
‘on’ overnight. ity Centre line-up. At less than 16 mm2 quire a new breed of STB and TV user
“If 5.3 million people used the new of silicon, the UniFi UF6000 range of interfaces, based on advanced graphics
tool and cut back their electricity con- Wi-Fi chips are designed as embedded technologies.
sumption by 10 per cent, they would Wi-Fi products, making them a low- STMicroelectronics offers broad-
save the equivalent of a gigawatt of cost way of adding an 802.11n-enabled casters, operators and STB and digital
power—enough to power a large city,” Wi-Fi to mobile devices. TV manufacturers advanced 3D graph-
said Kirsten Olsen Cahill. As more smart and feature-phones ics effects within its latest high-defini-
The electricity-monitoring project start to include Wi-Fi, the UniFi UF6000 tion video consumer platforms. Based
is also consistent with Google’s goal Wi-Fi range provides manufacturers on its latest generation of HD STB proc-
of organising all the world’s informa- with a low-cost route to integrate Wi-Fi essors, including the STi7105, STi7111
tion, Cahill said. Getting it to work, into handsets without compromising and the recently announced STi7141,
of course, will require aligning the on performance or PCB space. together with advanced software
interests of government, utilities and By combining the UF6000 with libraries, these digital consumer TV
manufacturers of things like sensors the company’s recently launched low- platforms offer advanced 3D graphic
for electricity meters. cost GPS and Bluetooth chip, BC7830, acceleration capabilities for a new gen-
CSR claims to offer customers Wi-Fi, eration of user interfaces, enabling 3D
World’s smallest TV data card Bluetooth, GPS and FM transmit and dynamic effects, such as transparency,
ZTE claims to have developed the receive at a combined silicon area of mirroring, rotation and zoom-in and
world’s smallest TV data card and also 27 mm2—in comparison to competing zoom-out; graphical compositions, or
the world’s first plug-and-play data solutions that are 40 per cent bigger. animations, combined with live HD

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video pictures; and HD-resolution dynamic 3D-looking user
interfaces.

Share your whereabouts with friends


Google has launched a new service, Latitude, that lets cell-
phone users share their location with friends. The service is
part of Google Maps for Mobile—the company’s mapping
software for mobile phones—but can also be used through
a gadget loaded onto its iGoogle customised home page. It
will work in 27 countries.

Google Latitude

Latitude can be downloaded on the mobile phone and in-


vitations can be sent to friends and family to join the service.
The location-based service only works with prior permission
from the other person. Privacy settings can be adjusted in
Latitude so that you share as much or as little about your
location as you want, with whom you want.
So for each person, you can choose to share your avail-
able location or your location when you travel to a different
city, or you can be completely unavailable. Everything is un-
der your control and, of course, you can sign out of Latitude
at any time. The service also allows the user to communicate
with friends through text messaging, instant messaging or
a phone call.
The application is independent of mobile operators and
can be downloaded free from the Google website.

Futuristic transport system


The implementation of an intelligent transport system (ITS)
in India may now be postponed for some time.
ITS refers to the use of new technologies like mobile
phones and the worldwide web to guide traffic within a city.
Once the system is in place, you can get mobile alerts while
driving, indicating the routes with high traffic congestion
and suggesting alternative route.
It also means toll collection can be made electronically,
which can enable you to drive through toll gates without
facing a traffic snarl. In the case of an accident, an in-vehicle
emergency e-call can be generated to the nearest emergency

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 2 5
point. The system can also provide in- with access to branded news content
formation about parking space at any powered by Pressmart. By selecting
location in the city. the WAP link ‘Daily News’ on your
The system is futuristic, but the fear Motorola phone, you can receive free
is that terrorists can access informa- news content and access your favourite
tion each moment on traffic trends in newspapers while on the go.
a city. They can know where the traffic Newspapers offered on the service
is most congested so as to cause maxi- include Indian Express, The Financial Ex-
mum damage. Officials also fear that press, The Asian Age and Deccan Chroni-
the central control room—from where cle. A GPRS connection is required to
the entire ITS facility of a city will be access the free news content.
coordinated—can become the target
of a terror attack, exposing the city to New Internet technology
great risks. Atoall.com has launched a new In-
ternet technology that uses keyboard
Emergency alert via mobile shortcuts to access Google, Orkut,
In an emergency you can register a Yahoo!, Microsoft and similar such
missed call on Softspin’s server. The popular sites. For example, if you want
server, in turn, will send text messages to visit Google, you will have to type
to the pre-saved numbers anywhere in the following three consecutive let-
the world with details like the location ters in the keyboard, ‘gghhjj.com.’ To
of the call, the mobile service provider visit Orkut, you will have to just type
and the country. This way, the service ‘ookkmm.com.’
alerts your friends and family that you The technology makes it easier for
need help.
Softspin’s server
number needs to
be saved under a
speed dial on a mo-
bile or a landline to
enable a quick call.
“A message also
reaches the caller
saying that help is
on its way. Even
if the network is
jammed, messages
do pass through as
they don’t require
much bandwidth,” Atoall.com’s search engine
Vinay Sathe, man-
aging director of Softspin, says. the illiterate to use the Internet as in or-
The service, Saviour, is available for der to access a Website, one has to type
a lifetime registration fee of Rs 200 and three letters twice on the computer
Rs 120 as yearly subscription. keyboard which are in a straight line;
e.g., ‘C’ or inverted ‘C,’ ‘V’ or inverted
Live news on the mobile ‘V,’ twice, followed by dot (.) com or
Motorola India and Pressmart Media, ctrl+enter (for www. .com). Shortcut
a digital publisher, have announced keys are located together on the key-
a live news-on-the-mobile service on board, e.g., rrddcc.com, ccddrr.com,
MOTO VE66, MOTOSURF A3000 and mmjjnn.com and nnjjmm.com.
MOTOROKR EM35 phones slated for This technology search engine in-
distribution in India. vention also allows users to access their
The service will provide you favourite games sites, videos, etc.

Check efytimes.com for more news, daily


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Technology
focus

Stage All Set for


high-definition TV
Currently, HDTV broadcast does not take place in India, but the scene is hotting
up with broadcasters producing content for HDTV and consumer electronics
companies offering HD TV sets and set-top boxes

uma bansal are trying to switch consumers at a est-level resolution offered within the

T

premium for HDTV set-top boxes as digital TV category. We can also infer
he highest form of dig- INX Media and STAR TV are already that HD is digital, but not all digital TV
ital television is all set to producing content on HDTV. This is is HD. HDTV has a 16:9 aspect ratio,
storm India. The greatest expected to take off by mid 2009. With which is the same as that of a movie
push has come from the so much of activity happening in this theatre screen.
government’s announce- space, it is good time to dwell on the HD resolution is listed in two dif-
ment that DD (Doordarshan) will subject. ferent forms: “number of lines + type
broadcast the Commonwealth Games of scan” or “number of pixels” (vertical
in high-definition (HD) format. HDTV What is HDTV? by horizontal).
programming through cable/satellite There are two modes of TV transmis- Tarun Jain, country head-India,
also is coming to India very soon, as sion: analogue and digital. Digital Hitachi Home Electronics, gives a
the film industry has geared into HD TV comes in standard, enhanced and breakdown of the HD formats listed by
production. high-definition formats. Standard has how manufacturers label them on their
For the end users, HDTV sets a resolution of 480i, enhanced is 480p, product summaries:
are already available in the market. and high-definition is 720p, 1080i and • 720p or 720×1280 - 720 lines, pro-
Direct-to-home (DTH) TV operators 1080p. Therefore HDTV has the high- gressive scanned

HDTV LCD range by Samsung

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Technology
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Bravia W-series HDTV by Sony

• 1080i or 1080×1920 - 1080 lines, How does it differ from


interlaced scanned conventional TV?
• 1080p or 1080×1920 - 1080 lines, Jain explains that high-definition pro-
progressive scanned grammes are encoded with a type of
The number of lines/pixels and resolution: 720p, 1080i or 1080p. The
type of scan matter because more number stands for the amount of lines
lines/pixels and faster scan equal embedded within the signal. The letter
a better picture. In ranking the HD describes the type of scan the televi-
signal formats, 720p and 1080i are sion uses to display the picture. The
virtually equal in overall resolution, ‘i’ means interlaced and the ‘p’ means
while 1080p is the best. HDTV also progressive.
provides a cinematic theatre experi- The number of lines on a televi-
ence with Dolby Digital surround sion is important because it allows for
sound. greater detail in the image. This is a

Analogue vs Digital TV
In the basic analogue TV, the signals are transmitted as continuously varying radio
waves. In fact, the video is transmitted in AM mode, while the audio is transmitted in
FM.
Like radio, analogue TV is subject to noise, interference (such as ghosting and
snow) and attenuation with distance. In addition, the analogue TV signals require a wide
bandwidth for their video and audio signals, which restricts the resolution and overall
quality of the image.
On the other hand, digital TV is transmitted as a series of binary numbers 0’s and
1’s (data bits of information). Computer processing is used to compress it, so it can be
transmitted in a fraction of the bandwidth taken by the equivalent analogue TV signal. The
freed-up extra space can be used for additional video, audio and text signals.
As the signal is basically ‘on’ or ‘off,’ the viewer either sees an image or nothing at all.
There is no signal loss due to attenuation as distance from the transmitter increases. In
case the viewer is too far from the transmitter, there is nothing to see.

3 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Technology
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essentially nearly doubles the quality definition TV is effective if it is used for
of picture. viewing DVD titles, etc.
R. Zutshi, deputy managing direc-
tor of Samsung India, says that high- What all is required for
definition TVs offer the best TV view-
HDTV reception?
ing possible. HD format contains more You may ask “Do I need a special TV
and finer detail than other formats, so to be able to see HDTV?” The answer is
images can have almost lifelike clarity. that only high-definition televisions can
The picture quality can be stunning, display HD content in the HD resolu-
especially on a large, wide-screen set. tion. Enhanced-definition televisions
In technical terms, HD images have can display HD content in a 480p reso-
higher definition, meaning more pic- lution, which is DVD quality. All other
ture elements (lines or pixels) make up televisions that are analogue of standard
each image. digital will not be able to display HD
HDTV provides wide-screen picture content in an HD resolution because
quality with compact disk (CD) sound they lack the technology to do so.
quality. It has over twice the sharpness As is clear, anyone who owns
and clarity of analogue TV broadcasts a high-definition television can get
together with a far superior colour high-definition content. One has three
resolution. With HDTV, problems such options: over-the-air signals, cable or
as double images from ghosting or satellite. Over-the-air high-definition
multi-path, snow caused from a weak signals are those that a typical rooftop
signal and picture sparkles from im- antenna would receive. The signals are
pulse noise are a thing of the past. These digital and encoded in HD. Over-the-
problems often seen on a conventional air signals are free to receive. The only
television broadcast just do not occur on cost out of pocket would be for the
high-definition TV. Also, the sound for equipment needed to receive them. To
conventional TV is only stereo. receive HD programming from a cable
However, currently, HDTV broad- or satellite provider, you would need
cast does not take place in India, and to subscribe to their HD package if
the usage of HD resolution is limited to they have any. This subscription may
HDTV by Hitachi DVDs or other media only, so a high- not be free. The provider might require

Sources of HDTV Signals


You can receive HD signals from the following sources:
1. Over the air with an antenna. Over-the-air signals are free to receive. However, to
receive these signals, you need an HD tuner. Latest HDTVs have an HD tuner built into them.
For HDTV televisions without a built-in HD tuner, a separate set-top HD tuner box can be
rented from a cable or satellite company, or purchased.
similar concept to digital photos and
2. Cable or satellite service. To receive HD programming from a cable or satellite provider,
how dpi determines print quality. you would need to subscribe to their HD package if they have any. This subscription may not
In the conventional TV system, be free. The provider might require a minimum length of service. You require a set-top box
waves are scanned at 480i. This means issued by the cable company, to receive HD content. DishTV and Reliance Communications
that at a given point of time four hun- (BIG TV) are among the satellite TV providers in India who plan to offer HDTV-ready set-top
dred and eighty (480) lines of pictures boxes.
are sent by the broadcaster to the 3. Blu-ray disk can store over nine hours of high-definition (HD) video on a 50GB disk.
4. A DVD-R can also store up to three hours of HD video content, readable by Blu-ray
television. The lines alternate between
player, PlayStation 3 video game console or Blu-ray drive installed in a PC, depending on
odd and even in a succession that is too encoder settings.
fast for the human eye. 5. Video game consoles. The latest generation of game consoles is more HD-friendly.
HDTV sends around a thousand While Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 let you enjoy HD gaming, the Wii will not. The PlayStation
eighty (1080) or seven hundred and 3 also doubles as a Blu-ray movie player.
twenty (720) lines, which is more 6. If your computer graphics card supports the standard SVGA resolution, it can be used
than double the conventional TV. By to output video to an HDTV’s ‘PC input’ jack.
7. The DVI or HDMI interfaces of newer computer graphics cards can be used to output
almost doubling the amount of lines in
video to an HDTV.
combination with the type of scan, HD

3 2 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Technology
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Components of a typical satellite HDTV system; courtesy Wikipedia

a minimum length of service. ing DVD player through an HDTV.


An integrated HDTV has an HDTV In India, Samsung offers two HD-
tuner built into the TV. So you don’t DVD players. The Samsung 1080PK
have to purchase an external box to is a full-HD DVD player with USB
receive HDTV. However, if you sub- host and HDMI cable included. The
scribe to a cable or satellite service, Samsung F1080 is full-HD stylish DVD
you may have to purchase their box to player with HDMI cable included.
receive their HD channel service. Kishalay Ray, general manager-
In comparison, an HD-upgradable, marketing, Sharp Business Systems
HD-ready, or HD-compatible TV has (India), says that not many Blu-ray titles
all that you need to watch HDTV, but are currently available in the Indian
you must add a set-top box to receive market, not making it worth buying at
HDTV signals. this stage. However, DVDs can output
When you are not in a mood to the video at 720p or 1080i resolution via
watch television shows, you can con- their HDMI jack if it is available in the
nect your HDTV to an upscaling DVD DVD player as well as in the TV set.
player or a Blu-ray DVD player. In If one is a gaming freak, game
order to take full advantage of this consoles have been making a slow but
viewing option, your HDTV needs to steady conversion to high-definition.
have either an HDMI or DVI-HDCP The latest generation of game consoles
connection. is even more HD-friendly. All of the
Jeremy Hang, division head-Bravia Xbox 360 game titles run at 720p or
Display, Sony India, explains that up- 1080i, meaning these can look just as
scaling DVD players match the pixel good as standard DVDs.
resolution of a standard DVD to that
of your HDTV. Although the quality is Programming other than
not the same as watching your DVD in
HD?
true high-definition, there is a definite HDTV allows programming other than
improvement in the image quality of the HD content to be displayed on the
your DVDs when played on an upscal- screen. There is no drop in quality: On

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 3 3
Technology
focus
HDTV sets, the native resolution is
higher, hence the lower resolution can
Major Contributors
be easily accommodated without affect-
to this Report
ing the quality. • Tarun Jain, country head-India, Hitachi
Home Electronics
Types and cost of • R. Zutshi, deputy managing director,
HDTV sets Samsung India
• Jeremy Hang, division head-Bravia
HDTVs are available in liquid-crystal Display, Sony India
display (LCD), plasma, digital light • Kishalay Ray, general manager-
processing (DLP) and liquid-crystal-on- marketing, Sharp Business Systems
silicon (LCoS) technologies. However, (India)
currently the mainstream technologies
are LCD and plasma. tional SD programmes originally filmed
The cost of HDTV sets varies ac- in the standard 4:3 ratio, when seen on
cording to the size and quality of tech- an HDTV monitor, will have empty
nology. The comparatively high cost margins to the left and right of the im-
of HDTV sets may be a ‘turn off,’ but age because 16:9 wide-screen aspect
HDTVs offer excellent picture quality ratio is the standard for digital HDTV.
coupled with a big screen experience. You can choose to fill this unused dis-
Plasma and LCD HDTVs are wall- play area by stretching the SD shows
mountable and save space too. horizontally to fill the screen, but this
will only distort the image.
Availability of HDTV sets Normally, the HDTV transmission
Most high-end plasma and LCD TVs is provided through satellite and the
are HDTV-capable. Sony’s Bravia LCD same may not be available on free ba-
TVs let you enjoy full advantages of sis. In such a case, you may be required
HDTV technology. With slim and stylish to subscribe to HDTV with the service
designs, these can fit anywhere in your provider.
home. Samsung too has a complete port- HDMI, or component video cables,
folio of HDTV and HD-ready LCD TVs: must be used to support high-definition
the Full HD LCD Series 6 and 5 and the signals. HDMI is an all-digital connection
HD ready Series 4 and 3. In the case of that allows both HD audio and video to
plasma televisions, the Full HD Series 5 pass through a single cable. If you use
and the 3D Ready Series 4 have also been older video cabling standards like com-
launched in the Indian market. posite or S-Video for connections from
a cable box or satellite dish, you will get
Issues with HDTV only an SDTV-quality picture.
To be able to receive HD content, you Another drawback of HDTV is that
need to have an HD-ready TV set or TV most of the operators do not fully fol-
set with built-in HDTV tuner, which is low HDTV specifications. So the HD
comparatively expensive. Also, tradi- picture quality is usually not as good
as promised. Operators tend to use
slower bitrates or lower resolution to
HDTVs are available in accommodate more channels within the
liquid-crystal display limited bandwidth, which reduces the
(LCD), plasma, digital video quality.
light processing (DLP) While on an analogue TV, the
and liquid-crystal- interference causes the picture to
on-silicon (LCoS) slowly deteriorate from bad to worse,
interference in HDTV broadcast will
technologies. However, freeze, skip, or display ‘garbage’ in-
currently the mainstream formation. 
technologies are LCD
and plasma. The author is a deputy editor at EFY

3 4 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
careers

Empower Yourself with


Power Electronics
To continue its growth trajectory, India would need a lot more emphasis on
the power sector. So a career in power electronics could prove to be a good
take-off for you

the government looks to pump in more


with respect to public expenditure,
thus ensuring continuous job creation.
For this reason, the power sector has
the greatest element of anti-cyclical be-
haviour, thereby maintaining a healthy
growth rate”.
Bhatnagar also outlines the new
recruitment plan for his organisation.
The recruitment trends of PSUs also
are in accordance with his comment.
NTPC itself has recruited about 1225
professionals last year and is planning
to hire more than 1000 engineering
and management professionals every
year over the coming years. Other
power companies—private- as well as
public-sector—would also have high
manpower requirements in the coming
years in view of the growth opportuni-
 Sudeshna das mense scope and opportunity. ties present.
Large investments from private-

P
ower is one of those sectors The power story… sector players like Tata Power, Sterlite
which are showing a promise of Let’s first probe a little deep inside Industries, Jindal India Thermal Power
growth and expansion amidst India’s growth story. It is well known and Lanco Group are increasing the
the economic slowdown clatter. It may that the growth of a country can be chances of new job creation. Moreover,
even benefit from the current recession. sustained only if its infrastructure private players in energy management
Its steady rise can be attributed to the keeps pace with it. Power is the most sectors like Conzerv, Enercon and APC
immediate need for infrastructure. prominent vertical amongst the infra- are also in hiring mode. Bhatnagar
As corporate majors look to cut structural sectors. According to a mid- feels that power will be the highest
costs and increase productivity, the term report released by Assocham, it job-generating sector by 2012.
one way they are likely to achieve topped the list of the most preferred
this is through introduction of a cost- investment sectors with 18.4 per cent of Be a part of the
effective power solution. In fact, the the total infrastructural investment.
power game
Target Mission of India ‘Power for The current economic recession Since the power sector comprises a
All by 2012’ would mean achieving doesn’t seem to have had any sig- wide range of firms from fairly large
the target of 1000 kWh (units) of per nificant impact on job opportunities and mature companies to the SMBs,
capita consumption of electricity by in the power sector. Commenting on the manpower requirement also varies
this period. Hence, if you wish to an upbeat employment scenario in accordingly. The skill requirements are
make your own contribution to the the power industry, Sunil Bhatnagar, vast and there is room for professionals
growth story of emerging India, this director, Parker Power System, says, in product design and development,
is one sector that will provide im- “In times of an economic slowdown project engineering, product manage-

3 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
careers
ment, marketing and sales. Profession-
als who have a superior understanding In the times of an economic
of electronics, instrumentation, electri-
cal, mechanical and power engineering slowdown, the government looks
are required amongst others.
Most of the companies have ambi-
to pump in more with respect to
tious expansion as well as diversifica- public expenditure, thus ensuring
tion plans. Companies like NTPC have
taken a number of steps to emerge as an continuous job creation. For this
integrated power company with pres-
ence in coal mining, hydel power gen-
reason, the power sector has the greatest
eration, power trading and power dis- element of anti-cyclical behaviour, thereby
tribution. Accordingly, there are huge
job opportunities for new entrants. maintaining a healthy growth rate.
While there is still a shortage of —Sunil Bhatnagar, director, Parker Power System
quality manpower in the power sec-
tor, this seems to be easing out with gies and better instrumentation may social responsibility.
changing preferences among the fresh finally open up new job opportunities.
engineers from IT to core fields like Adjunct systems operating with core Power in your pocket
power and other heavy industries. infrastructure, such as smart energy Let’s check whether this field is power-
“We do find that entry-level technical management systems for commercial ful enough to fill your pocket to a good
graduates are still charmed by the IT and industrial units, may be a right extent. You could be part of a major
industry, however this trend is chang- choice for your career. project as a junior engineer and grow in
ing and bright youngsters are choosing You may ask “How to get an entry 10-12 years’ time to head major projects.
careers in the power industry looking ticket?” A decent technical background Speaking of salary prospects, fresh
at the long-term growth perspective,” (ITI, diploma or graduation) along with engineering graduates usually start
says Anil Kumar Challyil, technical fundamental knowledge can secure at Rs 200,000-Rs 350,000 per annum
services manager, Arrow Electronics. your job ticket. However, for some and can grow into either generalist or
As an electronics professional you fields requiring specialised knowl- specialist roles. However, the scene is
may find your place in the power edge such as R&D, recruiters look for a little daunting for diploma holders as
circuit design section of a solutions postgraduates and doctorates. Many their starting salary range is usually Rs
providing firm. But opportunities are employers take campus recruits and 150,000 to 200,000 per annum.
present even in the maintenance, in- train them directly in different areas Even at this moment of economic
strumentation and control sections of of power projects to prepare them for downturn, the power sector is offering
any power plant. Work opportunities various roles in the company. Thank- salaries in the range of Rs 500,000 to Rs
in the power sector primarily include fully, most of the big players in this 1 million per annum for professionals
creation, expansion and enlarging of sector still believe in talent building with 5-7 years of experience. It should,
existing units by utilising both renewa- rather than raiding. This was further however, be noted that for design-re-
ble and non-renewable energy sources. confirmed by Neelam Kumar, execu- lated roles, the salary is usually closer
Upgradation of the existing capacity tive director and head of the depart- to the upper limit. Nonetheless, if you
through modernisation of equipment ment-power electronics, Aplab, who grab an international opportunity,
and introduction of new technolo- considers talent building as a part of the minimum salary may move up to
around Rs 2 million within five years.

We do find that entry-level technical graduates Explore the power circuit


I believe, up to this point, you have got
are still charmed by the IT industry. However, enough boosters from the opportuni-
this trend is changing and bright youngsters are ties-to-be-grabbed in the power field.
So get ready now to explore the power
choosing careers in the power industry looking circuit. The power field is specifically
suitable for engineering professionals
at the long-term growth perspective. with multidisciplinary interests, such
—Anil Kumar Challyil, technical services manager, Arrow Electronics as magnetics and mechanics. Exciting
and technically satisfying careers can

3 8 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
careers
well-regulated output voltage in pres-
We believe in building our ence of variations in the input and load
currents.
talent pool by inducting young I have already mentioned the met-
professionals and grooming them ric of power process. High efficiency
is a must for any processing system.
into competent power professionals The primary reason for this is not to
save money on one’s electricity bill or
through various HR interventions. conserve energy. Rather, according to
We have developed a well-structured system power rule, it is impractical to design
a low-efficiency converter which can
for recruiting fresh engineering graduates and produce high voltage output.
The next thing that you need to
diploma holders at the executive level. We recruit know is the application of power elec-
people not only on the basis of qualification and tronics. A basic design is modified ac-
cording to the need of the application.
skill repertoire but, more importantly, also for Let’s consider an aerospace application
of power electronics. In the power
their attitude and cultural fit with the company. system of an earth-orbiting spacecraft,
We even arrange training programmes for a solar array produces the main power
bus voltage. A DC-DC converter con-
students of different technical institutes. verts the bus voltage into the regulated
voltage required by the spacecraft
—Neelam Kumar, executive director and head of the department-power electronics, Aplab
payloads. Battery charge controllers in-
be pursued in the fields of technical concerns. In addition to technical skills, terface the main power bus to the bat-
marketing, design engineering, project recruiters are also looking for com- teries; this controller may also have a
management, and integration and petencies such as interpersonal skills DC-DC converter. The power systems
servicing. and drive for end results down the of almost all spacecrafts and aircrafts
If you consider the application ranks. Don’t get nervous. You are not follow this simple scheme.
of power electronics, I must say it is expected to know everything but your On the other hand, in an electrically
present wherever there is a need for learning ability should be high as a lot driven vehicle, batteries are charged
control and conversion of electric of training takes place on the job. by converters that draw high-factor
power. It may be the tiny converter of sinusoidal current from a single-phase
your mobile phone in the range of some Powerful fundamentals or a three-phase AC line. The batteries
milliwatts, or a giant one of hundreds Keep in mind that power electronics is supply power to the variable-speed
of megawatts in a high-voltage direct- primarily concerned with the process- AC motors to propel the vehicle. The
current (HVDC) transmission system. ing of electrical power using electronic speed of the AC motor is controlled
The main metric of power electronics is devices. So the key element is the by the variation of the electrical input
energy efficiency. And as a professional switching converter. All other devices frequency. The inverter produces
you are expected to acquire knowledge are improved versions of it. three-phase variable output to control
and skills needed to design practical In general, a switching converter the speed of the motor as well as the
power electronics systems. If you can comprises three ports—power input vehicle. In some applications, a DC-DC
achieve it, then control, instrumentation port, power output port and control. converter steps down the original volt-
and maintenance of power systems will Converters are even classified accord- age to a lower level according to the
automatically be on your fingertips. ing to the nature of these ports. For electronics need of the systems.
Largely, this is a technical field example, in a simple DC-DC converter, The list of examples may be end-
and so domain expertise and process the DC input voltage is converted into less. So instead of mugging up the
knowledge are very important. Because a DC output voltage by changing its nitty-gritty of individual systems,
of the technology-driven nature of this magnitude. The device may perform try to understand the function of the
field, professionals must at all times some additional functions like rectifica- individual elements, so that you can
keep themselves abreast of the latest tion and inversion of voltage, thereby use them to design the power system
improvements and technological up- acquiring the names ‘rectifier’ and of your choice. You may put special
gradations that are taking place instead ‘inverter,’ respectively. The third port, emphasis on various common systems
of focusing only on their departmental i.e., control, is required to produce a to recheck your understanding. A

4 0 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
careers
general understanding of locomotives,
battery chargers for telecommunica- In the IT/ITES segment, with
tions, inverter systems for applications
involving renewable energy generation energy efficiency and reduction of
such as wind and photovoltaic conver-
sion, and also general power utility
operational costs becoming critical
systems may help you comprehend business goals, two major trends
any unknown power system that you
may come across. in data centre infrastructure design
Know the elements of are notable today: power efficiency and power
power electronics distribution.
Undoubtedly, one of the things that —Pramod Agashe, COO of APW
makes power electronics interesting is
its incorporation of elemental concepts techniques. How the models can be to AC and DC equivalent circuit model-
from diverse set of fields. As a power refined to account for loss elements ling and resonant conversion and chalk
electronics professional, you may come such as inductor-winding resistance out possible solutions. Last but not the
across the basics of analogue circuits, and semiconductor ‘on’ resistance and least, update yourself on the latest tech-
electronic devices, control systems, voltage drops? nological advances in this field.
power systems, magnetics, electric ma-
chines and even numerical solutions. Realise the field Prepare for the future
Thus the practice of power elec- Now that you are aware of the basic challenges
tronics requires a broad understand- elements, it’s time to realise the modus Bear in mind that technological ad-
ing of electrical as well as electronics operandi of the actual devices. Switch vances are meant to increase energy
engineering. In addition, there are fun- realisation would be a good starting efficiency and reduce operational cost.
damental concepts which are unique to point. Knowledge about majority car- As a result, the present era is solely
power electronics and require special- rier devices like MOSFETs and minor- dedicated to green energy and energy-
ised study. ity carrier devices like BJTs, IGBTs and saving equipment. Understand this
Let’s start with the switching mode. thyristors is must. Additional knowl- hidden demand and keep pace with
High-frequency switching makes con- edge like the operation of unidirec- it. Your final-year project may be on
verter modeling the central element of tional switches to handle discontinu- the utilisation of solar energy or wind
your study. You need to know how ous conduction mode, may give you an energy to run a traditional power sys-
to put a converter in equilibrium. The edge over your competitors. tem—a solar power fuel dispenser, for
principles of steady-state converter Converter circuit is another impor- example. In fact, there are many ingen-
analysis including inductor-volt-sec- tant matter that needs thorough under- ious ways to improve power efficiency
ond balance, capacitor charge balance standing. Basically, circuit manipula- through various innovations.
and small ripple approximation are of tion, transformer isolation along with According to industry veterans like
great importance. Try to get a clear idea circuit evaluation and design related Pramod Agashe, COO of APW, tradi-
of how these principles are applied skill sets are in high demand. Try to get tional power distribution units often
in boost (capable of voltage increase), familiar with converter dynamics and fail to cope with today’s high-density
buck (capable of voltage decrease) and control. The basic understanding of computing environments, so designing
cuk (capable of inverting the voltage modelling and averaging approaches of efficient power distribution system
priority) converters. For example, ripple will be an added advantage. for data centres may be a good chal-
approximation greatly simplifies the In the next step, you have to per- lenge. Any of these real problems may
analysis, especially in a well-designed form the actual design job by apply- be your next food for thought.
converter where the switching ripples in ing all those techniques and concepts Perhaps, at this moment the di-
inductor current and capacitor voltage discussed so far. Controller design and lemma about your career prospect is
are comparatively small with respect to input filter design are the two major driving you nuts. Boost up your brain.
the DC component. challenges in this field. Dig down the power field. It will pro-
Another important element is Your next challenge is to provide vide you not only a secure job but the
circuit modeling. You are expected to a solution for real-life systems. Go be- opportunity to be an active part of a
understand how the DC transformer yond your textbook and enter your own nation-building story. 
model is manipulated and solved power electronics design laboratory.
using conventional circuit analysis Try to collect some problems pertaining The author is a research analyst cum journalist at EFY

4 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
EFY
REPORT

Salary Survey
electronics Industry Maintaining a vigil
has the current economic downturn affected the salaries in the Indian
electronics industry? Where does it leave employees, as far as prospects of
increments in april are concerned? While attempting to figure out the answers
to these questions, we surmised that, though employee wages are under the
highest scrutiny, it’s time to perform one’s way to a healthy hike

 SudeShna daS increase. This, however, should not be of quarters of 2009, while 67 per cent
a cause of concern for the cream of the foresaw either no imminent change in

I
f you are earning your bread and crop. An EFY research bureau survey the numbers or were unsure.
butter by working for the Indian of 105 firms suggests that the huge do- As expected, cost cutting seemed
electronics industry, it’s time to mestic need and savings-based econo- to be high on the
take up more responsibilities and my of the country help position agenda of
heighten your performance. Returns electronics as one of the few Consumer
at the workplace will now be commen- industries poised for mod- Others Electronics
surate with your performance more erate staffing growth (Value-added 10%
than ever. in 2009 in spite of the Resellers)
On the salary front, it signifies global slowdown. So 12%
salary structures becoming more job seekers in the In-
Components
performance-based, critical functions dian electronics in-
taking centrestage and support func- dustry may heave 14% Industrial
tions witnessing marginal or no salary a sigh of relief! ics 5
% Electronics
E l e ctron 32%
The bird’s egic ace)
Strafet nce & Sp
Methodology eye view (De
Communication
To assess compensation trends in the Indian Has recession hit In-
electronics industry, EFY’s research bureau
& Broadcasting Computer
dian electronics pro-
collected data on salaries across a range of 15% Hardware
sectors and companies. The survey covered
fessionals? Of course 12%
entry-level professionals, with an average it has; though not as
Verticals
work experience of 0-2 years, to top-level dramatically as it has im- surveyed
executives with more than 10 years of work pacted professionals in some
experience. The salary data was compiled of the other sectors. As recruitment most executives.
from 105 companies belonging to these budgets are stretched tighter, many With respect to human resource, this
sectors. organisations are on the lookout for cost-consciousness implies “doing
Since salary data is confidential, names
innovative and cost-effective ways for more while paying less” as companies
of the companies have not been revealed.
The industry ver ticals covered under talent management. The cost head that raise the bar of expectation. They also
the survey are consumer electronics, has risen most rapidly in the recent hinted that the top management was
industrial electronics, computer hardware, years is the ‘pay package.’ Hence, it is taking a salary cut to help companies
communication and broadcasting, strategic also the one that is being met with the tide over.
electronics, components and other specific highest level of scrutiny now. Though India is one of the highest
sectors. Information was collected from The survey found that approxi- paymasters in Asia, the same cannot be
small, medium as well as large companies.
mately 18 per cent of current employ- said for the electronics industry, par-
However, most of the responses came from
medium-sized companies. The results of the ers in the industry planned to increase ticularly in the second half of the fiscal
analysis are presented here. the number of full-time employees year 2008-09. There is a salary freeze in
in their firms within the first couple most companies. However, the salary

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 4 3
EFY
REPORT
what’s on offer?
Salary range for entry level Salary range for mid level Salary range for senior level
80 Entry Level, Tier-I (0-1 year) 80 80
Mid Level, Tier-I (2-5 year)
Entry Level, Tier-II (1-2 years) Mid Level, Tier-II (5-10 years) Senior Level (More than 10 years)
70 68 70 70

60 60 58 60
Responses in %

Responses in %

Responses in %
50 48 50 50

40 40 40 36
32 33
30 30 28 30 26
21 22 21
20 18 20 20
11 10 11
10 10 10 10
8 7 6
5 3 2 2 3
0 0
0 0
0-1 1-2 2-5 5-7 7+ 0-2 2-5 5-7 7-10 10+ 0-7 7-10 10-15 15-20 20+
Salary range in the unit of Rs 100,000 Salary range in the unit of Rs 100,000 Salary range in the unit of Rs 100,000

cases, firms, in fact, reported a decline


hike or freeze? in salary levels. Availability of surplus
manpower as well as negligible profits
Hike pattern for entry level Hike pattern for mid level due to economic sluggishness were the
80
underlying reasons.
Fiscal ’08-09 80 Fiscal ’08-09
70 Fiscal ’07-08
70 Fiscal ’07-08 71
Expected pay package
60 60 Pay packages offered to electronics
Responses in %

professionals are proportional to their


Responses in %

50 50

40 40 40 experience and hierarchy. These also


30
32 31
28 30 vary with the educational background
26 25
20
23
of the employee, with degree holders
20
10 11 9 12
14
10 11
13
16
attracting higher salary levels within
10 10
10 8
5
2
6 the same band than diploma holders
0 0 0 0 0 0
0
0- 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 20+ Amt
0
0- 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 20+ Amt with similar experience.
Hike Pattern for Entry Level in % Undecided Undecided
Hike Pattern for Mid Level in %
In fiscal 2008-09, due to a dip in the
average salary growth, entry-level em-
bracket for middle- and sen- ployees more or less remained in the
techno-commercial ior-level managers has been
adjusted. This indicates that
same salary bands. Take the youngest
group of employees, for instance, who
jobs gain favour companies are now gradually have less than one year of experience;
getting their middle-manage- 68 per cent of this group continued to
Highest paying job functions
Highest Paying Job Functions ment strategy right and using draw salaries under Rs 200,000 per an-
salary as a tool to retain em- num and 18 per cent stayed within the
33
R&D 24 ployees for better leadership Rs 200,000-Rs 500,000 bracket. Very
18
roles. Companies seem to few firms hired freshers, with most,
Administrative 37 have become selective about such as Cadence Design Systems, pro-
6
Fiscal ’08-09 the kinds of employees they viding free internships at best.
Production 10 Fiscal ’07-08 need to retain and have ac- However, at entry-level, candidates
41
cordingly adjusted the salary with less than two years of experience
Sales & Marketing 24
quotient. The growth in an typically receive between Rs 100,000-Rs
2 average salary for a given 500,000 per annum as CTC. Employees
Others* 5
position has been nominal in receiving Rs 200,000-Rs 500,000 per an-
0 10 20 30 40 50 fiscal 2008-09 in comparison num get increments as their experience
*Other include HR and Finance Responses in %
to the previous year. In some levels increase. In a few cases, the CTC

4 4 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
EFY
REPORT
2 million range. This trend
trends in training reflected in the Rs 2 million+
Training Provision Training Duration salary bracket too. This was
Training Duration
Training Provision indicative of the drop in
98 72 lateral hiring, especially for
Yes Upto 15 Days
higher roles.
97 54

Fiscal ’08-09

No
2
3
Fiscal ’07-08
15-30 Days 8
21 Fiscal ’08-09
Fiscal ’07-08 Hike or freeze?
Considering the current cir-
7
Paid Training 38
78
30-90 Days 33 cumstances, should the em-
ployees expect ‘increments’
Unpaid Training
12
62 90+ Days
0
5
in April, or is this word
irrelevant in today’s con-
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Responses in % Responses in %
text? It’s a mixed bag for the
industry. Although only 10
per cent of the respondents
Rs 1 million with 34 per cent reported ‘no hike’ in the survey, only
more flexibility? people receiving more than a few firms like LG Electronics India
Rs 500,000 a year. The most actually handed out a definite amount
Flexible Work Options
Flexible Work Options noticeable shift in trend was to employees of all levels—it handed
visible in the group having out an average increment of 14 per
Yes 67 over five years of experience. cent to its employees in January 2009.
58
While 57 per cent of these Most firms were not certain about the
Fiscal ’08-09 senior employees drew above amount of increments they intended to
Fiscal ’07-08
No 33
42
Rs 500,000 a year, 22 per cent dole out to staff. For instance, around
of employees moved into the 80 per cent firms have decided to limit
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Rs 700,000-Rs 1 million band the increment to 15 per cent; only 5 per
Responses in % versus the 10 per cent in the cent have decided to provide a hike of
2-5 years of work experience more than 20 per cent. The scene is a
daunting one if you compare
it with last year’s, when 28
paternity leave per cent of the companies
Paternity Leave Option PaternityPaternityLeave Duration
Leave Duration were ready to provide more
than 21 per cent hike for the
Paternity Leave Option Upto 15 Days 75
87 same level.
Things, however, pan out
63
Yes
50 13 Fiscal ’08-09 differently at the managerial
Fiscal ’08-09 15-30 Days
Fiscal ’07-08
19 Fiscal ’07-08 level with around 71 per cent
37
of the respondents stating
No
50 30-90 Days
0
6 that increments at this level
were more closely associated
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
0 with individual performanc-
Responses in % 90+ Days 0
es. In some companies, like
0 20 40 60 80 100 A.V. Systems, top-level ex-
Responses in %
ecutives voluntarily declined
to accept pay hikes and even
may even rise to anywhere between Rs range. This is a clear indicator of the paid a cut from their bonuses to help
500,000-Rs 700,000 per annum, depend- efforts made by companies to retain their firms stay afloat.
ing on the candidate’s qualification, middle-management talent.
skill set, critical aspects of the job and However, the trend changed at Techno-commercial jobs
payment practices of the company. the senior level, which comprises gain favour
For mid-level employees with employees with more than ten years The existing human resource demand
around 2-5 years of experience, the of experience. Twenty-six per cent of in the electronics industry stems pri-
pay packet ranged from Rs 200,000- these employees stayed in the Rs 1.5- marily from the junior and middle

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 4 5
EFY
REPORT
management levels in sales and mar- Training could be the key
keting functions. Given the present A lull across the salary front could spell
economic scenario, firms have an acute out an opportunity elsewhere. Accord-
focus on conceiving new business as ing to 98 per cent of the respondents,
well as capitalising on every possible improvement in staff training is a
sales opportunity. The highest paid valuable way of proofing their busi-
job function in an organisation, once nesses for the future. In fact, roughly
again, has corresponded with this new 78 per cent of the surveyed firms pro-
focus. Forty-one per cent of companies vided paid trainings across all levels
reported sales and marketing as the to improve internal efficiencies and
highest paid function in their organi- processes, which is quite promising in
sations, compared to 24 per cent last comparison with the 38 per cent figure
year (fiscal 2007-08)—a huge increase for 2007-08.
of 17 per cent. Apart from the usual expectations
Furthermore, new-age employers pertaining to remuneration, there is
prefer to perceive prospective employ- also the demand in some quarters,
ees as complete packages, endowed especially from the design engineers,
with more than just one specific skill. for a flexible work environment. Pres-
Even the requirements of a technical ently, two-thirds (67 per cent) of the
job can no longer be satisfied solely by firms surveyed, supported alternative
technical competencies; economic and work schedules or flexible timings,
business process knowledge as well along with compressed hours of the
as requisite soft skills are heralded week—work for the same number of
as cardinal. Knowledge of enterprise hours in lesser number of days. Last
resource planning (ERP) systems, par- year, the figure was 58 per cent. It
ticularly in the field of sales automa- clearly indicates that flexibility is a
tion, is deemed ‘nice-to-have.’ major strategy of the firms to retain
Surely, companies worldwide key talent.
are also looking for innovative prod- The scenario may not be so coop-
ucts as well as new business models erative in matters like paternity leave.
to establish a niche for themselves Though the proportion of firms (63
amidst the competitive clutter. In this per cent) allowing paternity leave was
context, research and development higher than last year (50 per cent),
(R&D) is turning out to be a key area companies seemed to be getting strin-
where skilled professionals are getting gent about the number of days leave is
rewarded now more than ever. This granted for. None of the firms allowed
is confirmed by Mr Basavaraj, manag- more than one month of leave, with
ing director of Neural Systems, when more firms (12 per cent higher than
he says, “In a nutshell, it is an ideal 2007-08) stipulating around 15 days
situation to invest in long-term plans only.
emphasising on R&D and IP with To sum up, the electronics indus-
adequate, talented manpower.” This try in India appears to be marching
fiscal, 33 per cent of the respondents right ahead, unfazed by the turmoil
identified R&D as their highest paying around it. While talented individuals
function, which is 9 per cent higher in other sectors may be struggling to
than last year. find stepping stones in times when
Among the sub-segments of the lay-offs and hiring freezes are the
electronics industry, telecom is show- order of the day, the employees in the
ing the maximum promise of growth. Indian electronics industry have more
It doesn’t come as a surprise therefore than a bright chance to override the
that R&D and business development recession and kickstart their careers
activities in this sector offer the high- in this industry. 
est pay packets for almost all levels of
employees. The author is a research analyst cum journalist at EFY

4 6 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Manufacture

FLEXIBLE CIRCUITS
getting better
Circuits that stretch, fold or twist will improve numerous devices. One particular
application is biomedical sensors that can be comfortably implanted in the
human body

 Dr S.S. Verma boards, is a technology for assem- shape, or to flex during its use.
bling electronic circuits by mounting

E
lectronics circuits till now are fab- electronic devices on flexible high- Developments so far
ricated mostly on hard substrates. performance plastic substrates, such The original method for flexible CMOS
This rigidity imposes shape limi- as polyimide. Circuits can be designed circuits comprised a 2- to 3-microme-
tations for electronic equipment. Though in configurations from simple, single- tre circuit layer sitting atop a plastic
miniaturisation of integrated circuits has sided conductive paths to complex, substrate as much as 100µm thick.
helped to a large extent in giving the high-density, three-dimensional as- It could curve around a small roll of
desired shape to electronic equipment, semblies utilising a variety of fabrica- coins. But the new version has a total
much more can be achieved with the tion materials from low-cost polyester thickness of only 1.7 µm, including
latest developments in the fabrication of to mid-range PEN to high-density the plastic, which gives it the ability to
flexible circuits. adhesiveless polyimide Novaclad. Ad- wrap around a rod whose diameter is
Flexible circuitry reduces the size ditionally, flex circuits can be screen- roughly 85 µm.
and weight of a finished product. It printed silver circuits on polyester. In LCD fabrication, glass is used as
allows increased circuit density and Flexible electronic as- the substrate. If a thin, flexible plastic
eliminates bulky connections and semblies may be or metallic foil is used instead of glass,
wiring. And the added ability to fold the entire system can be flexible, as the
the circuit expands the boundaries of film deposited on top of the substrate
design and packaging.

The underlying technology


Flexible electronics, also known
as flex circuits, or flex circuit

is usu-
ally very thin
(of the order of a few
micrometres).
OLEDs are normally used in-
stead of a backlight for flexible dis-
plays, making a flexible organic
manufactured light-emitting diode display. Flexible
using the same com- solar cells have been developed for
ponents as used for rigid powering satellites. These cells are
printed-circuit boards, allowing lightweight, can be rolled up for
the board to conform to a desired launch and are easily deployable,

4 8 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Manufacture
which makes them a good match for allowed to cool and contract. Relaxing 2. Electrical connections where the
the application. the strain causes the circuit layer to assembly is required to flex during its
Bendable, twistable electronic buckle and form wavy patterns like normal use, such as folding cell phones
circuits whose performance nearly the bellows of an accordion. It’s the (dynamic application)
matches that of conventional CMOS folds and wrinkles that give the circuit 3. Electrical connections between
chips, have been reported. These the ability to stretch and bend without sub-assemblies to replace wire har-
circuits, developed by a team of re- breaking. The researchers said that in nesses, which are heavier and bulkier,
searchers at the University of Illinois laboratory tests, the circuits showed no such as in rockets and satellites
at Urbana-Champaign (USA), are built signs of fatigue even after a few hun- 4. Electrical connections where
from ribbons of silicon only a few dred stretch-and-release cycles. board thickness or space constraints
nanometres thick that are mounted on are driving factors
flexible plastic substrates. The same Applications abound The researchers are entering into
group or researchers has developed an Flex circuits are often used as con- partnerships with physicians for devel-
improved plastic circuit that is not only nectors in various applications where opment of flexible biomedical devices
flexible but also stretchable and fold- flexibility, space savings or production that can be implanted in the human
able. To make it foldable, they looked constraints limit the serviceability of body in a more comfortable manner;
at the behaviour of everyday objects rigid circuit boards or hand wiring. for example, an implantable sensor
and decided to make the circuit much In addition to cameras, a common ap- that will monitor electrical activity in
thinner. plication of flex circuits is in computer the brain to help predict the onset of
The researchers made plastic cir- keyboard manufacturing; today, most epileptic seizures. The device may also
cuits by transferring thin ribbons of keyboards use flex circuits for the work in reverse, sending electric pulses
silicon onto glue-coated plastic using a switch matrix. that head off the seizures. This requires
patterned rubber stamp. But before the Flexible circuits are advantageous a device that will conform to the rip-
ultra-thin silicon layer is applied to the in numerous applications: pled geometry of the brain. 
substrate, the plastic is heated, causing 1. Tightly assembled electronic
it to expand. Once the circuit layer is packages, where electrical connections The author is from Department of Physics,
deposited and chemically bonded to are required in three axes, such as cam- S.L.I.E.T. (deemed to be university), Longowal,
the expanded substrate, the plastic is eras (static application) District Sangrur (Punjab)

5 0 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION

Microcontroller-Based
Ring Tone Player sunil ku
mar

 Subhajit Roy frequency.


A cylindrical air column with both

M
obile phone ring tones sound ends open vibrates with a fundamental So λ =2L1
like real audio recordings. frequency. Each end of the column Frequency n1 = V/λ (where ‘V’ is
It’s not because of the way must be an antinode, with one node at the velocity of sound)
the melodies are composed, but the the centre for By putting the value of ‘λ,’ we get:
protocol behind playing the melody. the air motion. n1 = V/2L1
The ring tone text transfer language Therefore if If length is half, then:
(RTTTL) is behind those wonderful ‘λ’ is the wave- Frequency n2 = V/L1
lullabies and songs you have on your length of the n1/n2 = (V/2L1) × (L1/V) = 1/2
mobile phone. sound pro- or n1 = 2n2
Basically, a ring tone is the sound duced by an Thus halving the length doubles
made by a mobile phone to indicate an open cylindri- the frequency, i.e., frequency n1 is cre-
incoming call or text message. Here we cal air column, ated with one octave higher (2n1).
present a microcontroller-based ring its length ‘L1’ If the length is made quarter of the
tone generator. Fig. 1: Fundamental
frequency vibration in an
will be: original, the frequency becomes 4n1,
open air column L1 = λ/2 (λ/4+ i.e., two octaves higher.
The basics λ/4) If n1 is octave 1, then
The lowest resonant frequency of a vi- n2 is octave 2,
brating object is called its fundamental then
frequency. Most vibrating objects have n3 is octave 3,
more than one resonant frequency and and so on.
those used in musical instruments If the length is
typically vibrate at harmonics of the doubled, the fre-
fundamental. A harmonic is defined as quency is halved.
an integer multiple of the fundamental That is, the fre-
Fig. 2: PWM signal, where Ts1, ts1 and D1 are the time period, half time
period and duration of note 1, while Ts2, ts2 and D2 are the time period, half
quency becomes
Parts List time period and duration of note 2 n1/2, which is one
Semiconductors: octave lower.
IC1 - AT89C51 microcontroller In music, fre-
IC2 - 7805, 5V regulator Table I quency n1 is called a
T1 - BC337 npn transistor Nokia RTTL Frequencies (Hz) note. The pitch of a
D1-D4 - 1N4007 rectifier diode
LED1 - 5mm LED (For Octave 4 to Octave 7) piano key or guitar
Resistors (all ¼-watt, ±5% carbon): No. Octave=4 Octave=5 Octave=6 Octave=7 string is described
R1 - 330-ohm by the note.
1 A 220.000 440.000 880.000 1,760.000
R2 - 8.2-kilo-ohm According to
R3 - 10-kilo-ohm
2 A# 233.082 466.164 932.328 1,864.655
musical frequency
R4 - 1-kilo-ohm 3 B 246.942 493.883 987.767 1,975.533
conventions, there
Capacitors: 4 C 261.626 523.251 1,046.502 2,093.005
are twelve notes in
C1 - 1000µF, 25V electrolytic 5 C# 277.183 554.365 1,108.731 2,217.461
C2, C6 - 0.1µF ceramic disk
all, namely, A, A#,
6 D 293.665 587.330 1,174.659 2,349.318
C3 - 10µF, 16V electrolytic B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F,
7 D# 311.127 622.254 1,244.508 2,489.016
C4, C5 - 22pF ceramic disk F#, G and G#, where
8 E 329.628 659.255 1,318.510 2,637.020
Miscellaneous: ‘# ‘sign indicates a
9 F 349.228 698.456 1,396.913 2,793.826
X1 - 220V AC primary to 9V, sharp note.
500mA transformer 10 F# 369.994 739.989 1,479.978 2,959.955
According to
XTAL - 11.0592MHz crystal 11 G 391.995 783.991 1,567.982 3,135.963 Nokia RTTTL spec-
LS1 - 8-ohm, 1W speaker
12 G# 415.305 830.609 1,661.219 3,322.438 ifications, note A

5 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
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Reference designs
Application notes
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cONSTRUCTION

Table II
Values in Hex to be Loaded to Timer 1 (Oscillator Frequency 11.0592 MHz)
Notes a a# b c c# d d# e f f# g g#
Octave 4: A4=220 Hz F7D1 F847 F8B6 F91F F982 F9DF FA37 FA8A FAD9 FB23 FB68 FBAA
Octave 5: A5=440 Hz FBE9 FC23 FC58 FC8F FCC1 FCEF FD1B FD45 FD6C FD91 FDB4 FDD5
Octave 6: A6=880 Hz FDF4 FE12 FE2D FE48 FE60 FE78 FE8E FEA3 FEB6 FEC9 FEDA FEEB
Octave 7: A7=1.76 kHz FEFA FF09 FF17 FF24 FF30 FF3C FF47 FF51 FF5B FF64 FF6D FF75
Octave 8: A8=3.52 kHz FF7D FF44 FF8B FF92 FF98 FF9E FFA3 FFA9 FFAE FFB2 FFB7 FFBB

is not specified
for a particu-
lar note, the
default values
are assumed.
After get-
ting the notes,
you must
calculate the
duration for
which a note is
to be played:
Number
of notes per
second to be
played (N) =
60/beats per
minute (b)
=60/125
Net dura-
Fig. 3: Circuit of microcontroller-based ringtone generator tion D in sec-
onds for which
with octave 5 has a frequency of 440 32p, 32c, 32p, 8d, 32p, 8c, 32p, 8g, 32p, a note is to be played = No. of notes
Hz (refer Table I): f, 8p, 16c, 32p, 32c, 32p, 8c6, 32p, 8a, per second × (Default note duration)/
A5 = 440 Hz 32p, 8f, 32p, 8e, 32p, 8d, 32p, 16a#, 32p, (Duration specified for the current
So we get: 32a#, 32p, 8a, 32p, 8f, 32p, 8g, 32p note)
A6 = 880 Hz (A5x2) 1. The first section is the name of = N×d/dn
A7 = 1760 Hz (A6x2) the RTTTL melody, i.e., ‘Happy Birth- = (60/125) ×(4/8)
The space between two consecutive day Song.’ = 30/125
octaves like A5 and A6 is divided into 2. The second section defines the So to play music, all you need to
eleven equally spaced parts on the log- default values for the file. There are do is to get the RTTTL ring tone of the
arithmic scale. Thus there are twelve three categories of default values: du- particular music, then read its note and
equally spaced notes per octave: A5, ration (d=4), octave (o=5) and beat per generate the frequency for the calcu-
A#5, B5, C5, C#5, D5, D#5, E5, F5, F#5, minute (b=125). lated duration (D).
G5, G#5 and then A6 starts. 3. The third section describes the “If the note is dotted; for example,
RTTTL is a simple text-based for- melody. ‘2b’ (here ‘b’ denotes note, not beats
mat that you can use to create ring It is a set of notes separated by a per second), the duration is made 1.5
tones. An RTTTL file is made up of a comma. The notes are given in the fol- times, so that D=1.5D.”
single string divided into three sections lowing format: Generation of PWM frequency.
separated by colons (:). Duration (dn) Note Octave Since we are dealing with digital
In the example of a Happy Birthday 8 c 6 systems, we need to generate PWM
song given below: where ‘dn’ is the duration of the (pulse-width-modulated) signals from
d=4, o=5, b=125:16c, 32p, 32c, 32p, present note. port pin P2.0 of the microcontrol-
8d, 32p, 8c, 32p, 8f, 32p, e, 16p, 16c, If either the duration (dn) or octave ler. A PWM signal consists of ‘high’

5 4 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m



cONSTRUCTION
period calculation as follows:
1. Timer 0 for calculating
the duration (D)
2. Timer 1 for calculating
the half time period (ts)
The CPU takes certain
number of clock cycles to ex-
ecute an instruction. The sim-
plest instruction takes a single
byte of code and executes in
one machine cycle. The stand-
ard 8051 machine cycle is equal
to twelve oscillator cycles.
We have used a 11.0592MHz
Fig. 4: Actual-size, single-side PCB for the microcontroller-
crystal.
based ring tone generator So time period =
1/(11.0592×106) = 0.0904 µs
Time period of a machine
cycle = 0.0905×12 = 1.085 µs
Timer 0. Timer 0 is a 16-bit
timer that is used for dura-
tion ‘D.’ It is loaded with
value DC00H. Therefore the
number of machine cycles
taken by the timer before it is
reset=FFFF–DC00+1=2400H=
9216 in decimal.
Therefore time taken ‘t’
= 9216×1.085 µs
= 0.001 second
So after timer 0 is set, it will
take 0.001 second to reset.
Fig. 5: Component layout for the PCB For 1-second duration,
the timer needs to be set
(P2.0 = 1) and ‘low’ (P2.0 = 0), i.e., the 1/0.001=100 times.
bit remains ‘high’ for a certain period For duration ‘D,’ timer 0 needs to
of time and ‘low’ for the same period be set Dx100 times.
of time (refer Fig. 2). Timer 1. The half time period is
Time period of the note (Ts) = ‘ts.’
1/frequency of note Therefore the number of machine
Therefore, cycles needed = ts/1.085 µs
Duration of ‘high’ bit (time for If the value of the timer is ‘x,’ then
which P2.0 is ‘1’)= Ts/2 = ts1 (half-time FFFF–x+1 = ts/(1.085x10-6)
period) From this equation, the value of ‘x’
Duration of ‘low’ bit (time for can be calculated.
which P2.0 is ‘0’)= Ts/2 = ts1 (half-time 1’s and 0’s are continuously gener-
period) ated from port pin P2.0 at an interval
So you need to use two timers for of ‘ts’ seconds alternatively until dura-
duration D and half-time period ‘ts.’ tion ‘D’ (in seconds) completes (refer
Use one timer to generate 1’s and 0’s Table II).
at a time interval of ‘ts’ and the other
timer to interrupt the PWM signal after Circuit description
time interval D. Fig. 3 shows the circuit of the micro-
We have used two timers for time- controller-based ring tone generator.

5 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION
At the heart of the circuit is microcon- filtered by capacitor C1 and regu- This process continues until the end
troller AT89C51. It is a low-power, lated by IC 7805 (IC2). Capacitor C2 of music data is reached. Thereafter,
high-performance, 8-bit microcontrol- bypasses the ripples present in the it starts playing the music from the
ler with 4kB Flash programmable and regulated power supply. LED1 acts beginning.
erasable read-only memory. It has 128 as the power-‘on’ indicator and re- Nokia RTTTL ringtones can be
bytes of RAM, 32 input/output (I/O) sistor R1 limits the current through downloaded from the following web-
lines, two 16-bit timers/counters, a LED1. sites:
five-vector two-level interrupt archi- An actual-size, single-side PCB for 1. http://www.2thumbswap.
tecture, on-chip oscillator and clock the microcontroller-based ring tone com/members/tones/nokia/tones_
circuitry. generator is shown in Fig. 4 and its nokia_latest.html
The 11.0592MHz crystal provides component layout in Fig. 5. 2. http://nokiatone.ifrance.com/
the basic clock frequency to the mi- nokiatone/rtttf.htm
crocontroller. Port pin P2.0 of the Software 3. http://ringtones.frostzone.com/
microcontroller provides the ring The program plays “happy birthday index.htm
tone melody signal for speaker LS1. to you” in RTTTL ring tone format 4. http://arcadetones.emuunlim.
Transistor BC337 is used for amplifica- using the microcontroller AT89C51. com/files.htm
tion. The power-‘on’ reset signal for The source program, written in As- RTTL ringtones can also be tested
the microcontroller is generated by sembly language and assembled us- on the computer, the software for
the combination of capacitor C3 and ing assembler ASM51, is self-explana- which can be downloaded from the
resistor R2. Switch S1 provides manual tory and easy to understand. link ‘http://arcadetones.emuunlim.
reset to the microcontroller. Initialise timer 0 and timer 1 as com/files/nokring_full.zip.’
The 230V AC mains is stepped 16-bit timers with predetermined (Refer “A Cell Phone Player Em-
down by transformer X1 to deliver value. When you start timer 0, the data bedded in Microcontroller” by Manoel
the secondary output of 9V, 500 pointer register is loaded with memory Gomes de Andrade for details.)
mA. The transformer output is recti- address labeled as ‘SONG.’ After play- EFY note. The source code and other
fied by a full-wave bridge rectifier ing the current note, the control jumps relevant files of this article are included
comprising diodes D1 through D4, to the next note and it starts playing. in this month’s EFY-CD.

ringtones.asm
$mod51 RET DB 1,24,0FDH,06CH
FLAG EQU 07FH PLAY_NOTE: DB 0,6,0,0
SPEAKER EQU P2.0 CONTINUE: DB 1,48,0FDH,045H
BEGIN: CLR A DB 0,12,0,0
ORG 0000H MOVC A,@A+DPTR DB 1,12,0FCH,08FH
AJMP MAIN MOV R0,A DB 0,6,0,0
INC DPTR DB 1,6,0FCH,08FH
ISR: CLR A DB 0,6,0,0
ORG 000BH MOVC A,@A+DPTR DB 1,24,0FCH,0EFH
LCALL ACTION MOV R1,A DB 0,6,0,0
RETI INC DPTR DB 1,24,0FCH,08FH
ORG 0050H CLR A DB 0,6,0,0
MAIN: MOVC A,@A+DPTR DB 1,24,0FDH,0B4H
MOV TMOD,#00010001B ; MOV R2,A DB 0,6,0,0
MOV IE,#82H ; INC DPTR DB 1,48,0FDH,06CH
MOV TH0,#0DCH CLR A DB 0,24,0,0
MOV TL0,#00H MOVC A,@A+DPTR DB 1,12,0FCH,08FH
SETB TR0 MOV R3,A DB 0,6,0,0
MOV DPTR,#SONG INC DPTR DB 1,6,0FCH,08FH
MOV R0,#02 RET DB 0,6,0,0
LOOP1: ACTION: DB 1,24,0FEH,048H
ACALL PLAY_NOTE CLR TR0 DB 0,6,0,0
CJNE R0,#02,CARRY_ON CJNE R1,#0,DO2 DB 1,24,0FBH,0E9H
SJMP MAIN ;end of mu- CLR FLAG DB 0,6,0,0
sic has been detected so start again SJMP DO3 DB 1,24,0FDH,06CH
CARRY_ON: DO2: DEC R1 DB 0,6,0,0
ACALL PLAY DO3: DB 1,24,0FDH,045H
SJMP LOOP1 MOV TH0,#0DCH DB 0,6,0,0
PLAY: MOV TL0,#00H DB 1,24,0FCH,0EFH
CLR EA SETB TR0 DB 0,6,0,0
SETB FLAG RET DB 1,12,0FCH,023H
SETB EA SONG: ; HAPPY BIRTHDAY DB 0,6,0,0
RUN: JNB FLAG,STOP ; R0 R1 R2 R3 DB 1,6,0FCH,023H
DO: CJNE R0,#0,START DB 0,6,0,0
SJMP RUN DB 1, 12, 0FCH, 08FH ;R0=1 DB 1,24,0FBH,0E9H
START: MOV TH1,R2 indicates there is a note to played DB 0,6,0,0
MOV TL1,R3 DB 0,6,0,0 ;R0=0 DB 1,24,0FDH,06CH
SETB TR1 indicates there is no note to be played DB 0,6,0,0
HERE: JNB TF1,HERE DB 1,6,0FCH,08FH DB 1,24,0FDH,0B4H
CLR TF1 DB 0,6,0,0 DB 0,6,0,0
CLR TR1 DB 1,24,0FCH,0EFH DB 1,48,0FDH,06CH
CPL SPEAKER DB 0,6,0,0 DB 2,0,0,0 ;R0=2 indicates
SJMP RUN DB 1,24,0FCH,08FH end of music
STOP: CLR SPEAKER DB 0,6,0,0 END 

5 8 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION

PC-BASED WIRELESS
STEPPER MOTOR control
mar
sunil ku

 V. Mariyappan signals are transmitted from the RF Parts List


transmitter and received by the RF

S
Semiconductors:
tepper motors find lots of ap- receiver. IC1 - HT12E Holtek encoder
plications in process control, IC2 - 7806, 6V regulator
machine tools and robotics. Es- Circuit description IC3 - HT12D Holtek decoder
IC4 - CD40106 hex inverter
pecially in robotics and process control, Fig. 1 shows the block diagram for IC5 - ULN2003 Darlington array
it is necessary to control the stepper PC-based wireless control of a stepper T1-T4 - BC547 npn transistor
motor from a remote place. motor. The signals from the parallel T5 - BC548 npn transistor
Here we describe how to wirelessly port of the PC are interfaced to the RF D1-D4 - 1N4148 switching diode
D5-D10 - 1N4007 rectifier diode
control a stepper motor from a remote transmitter through an encoder. The TX1 - TX-433 RF transmitter
place by using RF modules. For this encoder continuously reads the status RX1 - RX-433 RF receiver
wireless stepper-motor control system, of the relay switches, passes the data LED1 - 5mm LED
you need to design and develop the to the RF transmitter and the transmit- Resistors (all ¼-watt, ±5% carbon):
R1 - 1-mega-ohm
required hardware and software. The ter transmits the data. At the receiving R2-R5 - 10-kilo-ohm
parallel port of the PC is used to con- end, the RF receiver receives this data R6-R9 - 1.2-kilo-ohm
trol the direction of the stepper motor and gives it to the decoder. The de- R10 - 1-kilo-ohm
R11 - 47-kilo-ohm
at the transmitter side. RF interface is coder converts the single-bit data into
R12 - 3.9-kilo-ohm
used instead of IR to overcome all the four-bit data and presents to the step- R13 - 470-ohm
drawbacks of the IR interface. The PC per-motor driver. Now, the driver per- Capacitors:
forms the corresponding C1, C3 - 100µF, 16V electrolytic
Table I action, i.e., it rotates the C2 - 0.1µF ceramic disk
Output Power and Current stepper motor clockwise
C4 - 10µF, 16V electrolytic
Miscellaneous:
Drain w.r.t. VCC or anticlockwise. BATT.1 - 9V battery
VCC O/P Current Remote control. BATT.2 - 6V, 4.5Ah battery
For remote control, we S1, S2 - On/off switch
5V DC –0 dbm 1.0 mA DIP-SW1,
have used the Holtek
12V DC +9 dbm 3 mA DIP-SW2
- 8-way DIP switch
Fig. 2: Pin encoder-decoder pair - 25-pin D-type male
configuration of HT12E and HT12D. connector
Table II of the rf
transmitter Both of these are 18-pin
Technical Specifications of module DIP ICs. Encoder HT12E has eight address and
RF Receiver RX-433 Operation of Holtek another four address/data lines. The
Description Value HT12E and data set on these twelve lines (address
H T 1 2 D . and address/data lines) is serially
Working voltage 4.5V-5.5V
HT12E and transmitted when transmit-enable pin
Bandwidth 12 MHz
HT12D are TE is taken low. The data output ap-
Sensitivity –103 dbm
CMOS ICs pears serially on DOUT pin. It is trans-
Data rate 4800 bps
with a work- mitted four times in succession.
Max. data rate 9600 bps ing voltage The data consists of differing
Standby current 1, 2 mA
Fig. 3: Pin configuration of the r a n g e of lengths of positive-going pulses for
Antenna Whip, strip line or helical rf receiver module 2.4V to 12V. ‘1’ and ‘0,’ the pulse width for ‘0’ be-
ing twice the width of the pulse
for ‘1.’ The frequency of these
pulses may lie between 1.5 and 7
kHz depending on the resistance
value between OSC1 and OSC2
pins. The internal oscillator fre-
quency of decoder HT12D is 50
Fig. 1: Block diagram for PC-based wireless control of a stepper motor times the oscillator frequency of

6 0 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION

Fig. 4: Transmitter circuit for wireless stepper motor control

encoder HT12E. The values of timing circuits are chosen here for approxi- pins four times in succession, the valid
resistors connected between OSC1 mately 3kHz frequency of the encoder transmission pin (VT) is taken high.
and OSC2 pins of HT12E and HT12D, (HT12E) at Vcc of 9V and 150 kHz of The data on pins AD8 through AD11 of
for the given supply voltages, can be the decoder (HT12D) at Vcc of 5V. the HT12E appear on pins D8 through
found out from the graphs given in The HT12D receives the data from D11 of the HT12D. Thus the device acts
the datasheets of the respective chips the HT12E on its DIN pin serially. If as a receiver of 4-bit data (16 possible
(included in this month’s EFY-CD). the address part of the data received codes) with 8-bit addressing (256 pos-
The resistance values used in the matches the levels on A0 through A7 sible channels).

Fig. 5: Actual-size, single-side PCB for the transmitter circuit Fig. 6: Component layout for the PCB shown in Fig. 5

6 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION
shown in Table I.
The pin configuration
of the transmitter module
is shown in Fig. 2.
The RF receiver RX-
433 is a 433MHz module.
Its pin configuration is
shown in Fig. 3, while the
technical specifications
are given in Table II.
Transmitter. Fig. 4
shows the circuit of the
transmitter for wireless
stepper motor control.
The receiver address to
be transmitted can be set
with the help of 8-way
DIP switch SW1. When
any of the switch con-
tacts is open the respec-
tive pin will be at logic
1, and when any of the
Fig. 7: Receiver-cum-decoder circuit for wireless stepper motor control switch contacts is closed
the respective pin will be
Once the frequency of the pair at logic 0. The data pins are pulled high
is aligned, then on ground of any via resistors R2 through R5.
data pin of the encoder, LED1 of When pin 2 of the parallel port
the decoder should glow. You can goes high, transistor T1 is driven into
also check the transfer of data on saturation and relay RL1 energises. Pin
pins AD8 through AD11, which 10 (AD8) goes low through relay RL1
is latched to D8 through D11 pins contacts and a ‘0’ is sent at that data
of the decoder once TE pin is mo- position, while other data pins repre-
mentarily taken low by grounding sent logic-1 state. The logic circuitry at
it through diodes D1 through D4. the receiver-decoder end decodes the
RF transmitter and receiver. RF data appropriately for controlling the
transmitter and receiver modules stepper motor.
from Alpus India, Mumbai, have An actual-size, single-side PCB for
Fig. 8: Actual-size, single-side PCB for the receiver-cum-
been used for RF remote control. the transmitter circuit (Fig. 4) is shown
decoder circuit The RF transmitter TX-433 is in Fig. 5 and its component layout in
AM/ASK type. Its features in- Fig. 6.
clude: Receiver and decoder. Fig. 7 shows
1. 5V-12V single-supply opera- the circuit of the receiver-cum-decoder
tion for wireless stepper motor control.
2. On-off keying (OOK)/am- Assuming that identical address is
plitude shift keying (ASK) data selected on the encoder and decoder,
format when any of the data pins of the PC’s
3. Up to 9.6kbps data rate parallel port on the transmitter side
4. +9dBm output power (about is low, the corresponding data pin
200m range) of the decoder will go low. The data
5. SAW-based architecture outputs (D8 through D11) of HT12D
6. A 45cm wire is adequate for are fed to inverters N1 through N4,
the antenna which, in turn, are connected to driver
The output power and current ULN2003. The low output of ULN2003
Fig. 9: Component layout for the PCB shown in Fig. 8 drain for Vcc of 5V and 12V are drives the stepper motor. When any

6 4 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
cONSTRUCTION
T5 into saturation and LED1 lights anticlockwise) depends on the switch
up. function.
An actual-size, single-side PCB for When the program (WSTEPPER.
the receiver-cum-decoder circuit (Fig. C) is loaded and run, the screen shows
7) is shown in Fig. 8 and its component the welcome message. Pressing any key
layout in Fig. 9. will lead to the main screen shown in
Fig. 10. The main screen displays three
Software messages. Pressing ‘c’ key rotates the
The software program for the user stepper motor in clockwise direction,
interface to control the stepper motor while pressing ‘a’ key rotates the step-
is written in ‘C’ language. The signals per motor in anti-clockwise direction.
Fig. 10: Main screen of wireless stepper motor
are generated by the outport( ) func- The program can be terminated by
control tion. The speed of rotation of the step- pressing ‘q’ key.
per motor can be varied by changing EFY note. The source code and
data is received, valid transmission the argument of the delay( ) function. other relevant files of this article are
(VT) pin goes high to drive transistor Direction of rotation (clockwise or included in this month’s EFY-CD.

WSTEPPER.C
/*PC BASED WIRELESS STEPPER MOTOR CON- tact”}; getch();
TROL*/ int j; }
#include<stdio.h> char ex1[31]={“Email-marietech2003@ya-
#include<conio.h> hoo.co.in”}; void clock(void)
#include<dos.h> int k; {
void main() void clock(void); int p=0x0378;
{ void anty(void); char e;
void dub(void); char ch; clrscr();
char ex[26]={“Programmed by clrscr(); textcolor(14);gotoxy(31,12);
V.MARIYAPPAN”}; textcolor(14);gotoxy(20,6); cprintf(“CLOCKWISE DIRECTION”);
int i; cprintf(“PC BASED WIRELESS STEPPER MO- textcolor(9);gotoxy(1,25);
char ex1[22]={“Programming Language: TOR CONTROL”); cprintf(“Press any key to stop”);
C”}; textcolor(11); gotoxy(24,14); do
int j; cprintf(“FOR CLOCKWISE ROTATION PRESS {
char ex2[28]={“Operating system: Win- ‘c’”); outport(p,1);
dows 98”}; textcolor(11);gotoxy(22,16); delay(200);
int k; cprintf(“FOR ANTICLOCKWISE ROTATION outport(p,2);
char ex3[39]={“PC BASED WIRELESS STEPPER PRESS ‘a’”); delay(200);
MOTOR CONTROL”}; textcolor(9);gotoxy(31,20); outport(p,4);
int l; cprintf(“FOR EXIT PRESS ‘q’”); delay(200);
clrscr(); ch=getch(); outport(p,8);
for(l=0;l<39;l++) switch(ch) delay(200);
{ { outport(p,0);
textcolor(14);gotoxy(21+l,9); case ‘c’:clock();break; sound(1000);
cprintf(“%c”,ex3[l]); case ‘a’:anty();break; delay(200);
delay(50); case ‘q’: nosound();
} clrscr(); }
sound(1900); { while(!kbhit());
delay(500); for(j=0;j<29;j++) getch();
nosound(); { dub();
delay(100); textcolor(9);gotoxy(27+j,14); }
for(i=0;i<26;i++) cprintf(“%c”,ex[j]);
{ delay(30); void anty(void)
textcolor(11);gotoxy(27+i,16); } {
cprintf(“%c”,ex[i]); for(k=0;k<31;k++) int p=0x0378;
delay(30); { char e;
} textcolor(9);gotoxy(26+k,15); clrscr();
for(k=0;k<28;k++) cprintf(“%c”,ex1[k]); textcolor(14);gotoxy(30,12);
{ delay(30); cprintf(“ANTI CLOCKWISE DIRECTION”);
textcolor(9);gotoxy(26+k,18); } textcolor(9);gotoxy(1,25);
cprintf(“%c”,ex2[k]); outport(0x0378,0); cprintf(“Press any key to stop”);
delay(30); textcolor(14);gotoxy(1,25); do
} cprintf(“Press any key”); {
for(j=0;j<22;j++) getch(); outport(p,8);
{ exit(0); delay(200);
textcolor(9);gotoxy(29+j,20); } outport(p,4);
cprintf(“%c”,ex1[j]); default: clrscr(); delay(200);
delay(30); textcolor(12);gotoxy(33,1 outport(p,2);
} 4); delay(200);
sound(1800); cprintf(“WRONG KEY outport(p,1);
delay(500); PRESSED”); delay(200);
nosound(); for(i=0;i<5;i++) outport(p,0);
getch(); { sound(2000);
dub(); sound(1000); delay(200);
} delay(100); nosound();
nosound(); }
void dub(void) delay(100); while(!kbhit());
{ } getch();
int i; dub(); dub();
char ex[29]={“For any clarification con- } } 

6 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
first look!
the latest Home and office products

World’s First 200Hz LCD TV multimedia


Watch action and sports without jerks on Sony BRAVIA Z450A
Projectors
ment to the next level.
Give edge to your business
The advantages of this new presentations with Sharp’s PG-
technology can be noticed espe- F320W and PG-F255W
cially in action scenes or sports
broadcasts as it reduces jerkiness by
Price:
creating an additional, transitional PG-F255W: Rs 75,000
picture that is inserted into fast- PG-320W: Rs 99,000
moving sequences. By increasing
the number of images, the Bravia
Z450A can display even the fastest
sports scene smoothly without a
Price:
132cm: Rs. 359,900 blur. The transitional images are
117cm: Rs 243,900 created by examining the pictures that
102cm: Rs 183,900 immediately precede and follow the
Sony claims to have introduced the next image in the sequence. For exam-
world’s first LCD TV with MotionFlow ple, MotionFlow looks at the flight of
200Hz technology in India. With its a cricket ball, to work out how it gets
ultra-smooth picture enhancement, the from the player’s bat to the sky, and
Bravia Z450A takes home entertain- inserts the relevant transitional images.
Sharp Business Systems (India) has

Gen-next Keyboards and Pianos


expanded its multimedia projection
systems lineup with the launch of PG-
Price: 320W and PG-F255W. Designed for
The new keyboards and pianos from Casio KEYBOARDS: business users, these projectors prom-
come with Indian tones and rhythms CTK-2000: Rs 6495
CTK-3000: Rs 7995 ise quality, flexibility, ease-of-use and
CTK-4000: Rs 9995 portability.
CTK-5000: Rs 13,995
WK-500: Rs 18,995 The projectors are WXGA
WK-200: Rs 13,995 (1280×800-pixel resolution) compatible
PIANOS: and provide 16:9 wide-screen viewing
AP-200: Rs 49,995 area, which is 1.3 times wider than
PX-720/ PX-720C: Rs 44,995
CDP-200R: Rs 29,995 standard XGA (1024×768-pixel resolu-
CDP-100: Rs 21,995 tion). The advanced optoelectronics
technology maximises light output,
Casio India has launched a new range The Privia pianos come with natu- providing crystal-clear images in
of digital pianos and keyboards that ral key touch and majestic sound qual- high brightness. The 3X colour wheel
combine tradition with technology. ity, while the Celviano range of pianos includes yellow and cyan, in addition
The multifunctional keyboards come have an elegant design with rich reso- to red, green and blue, reproducing
with special features. Audio-in terminal nance. GenNext digital pianos blend an highly realistic colourful pictures.
lets you connect the MP3 player and improved AIF sound source with 128- The PG-F255W and PG-320W boast
play your own music along with the note polyphony, which makes their of upwards of 2500 and 3000 ANSI
song. With the mike attachment, you tone quality very similar to acoustic lumens with an impressive 2200:1
can karaoke, with live music played on pianos. Some pianos also have Indian and 2000:1 contrast ratio, respectively.
the keyboard. You can sample sound tones and rhythms, SD card slot, pitch Both the models are ideal for use with
from an audio device and use it while bender, audio-in terminal and rhythm WXGA laptops, in small- to medium-
playing. editor. sized venues.

6 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
first look!
Affordable Portable Music System
Mobile Phones Hear your iPod the Bose way

Say goodbye to headsets as LG


The Bose SoundDock portable
launches its first Intenna
FM radio phones digital music system bring your
iPod tunes to life for all to hear.
Price: Your iPod can be enjoyed out
GB110: Rs 3100 loud in more locations, without
GB106: Rs 2100
compromising sound quality.
The system is easy to
The LG GB110 and GB106 mobile use: Just dock and
phones don’t require you to attach a play your compat- Price: Rs 23,513
headset while listening to FM radio. ible iPod. It charges
So there are no hassles associated with while you enjoy music with no inter- rechargeable batteries. The rotating
using a headphone. Equipped with ruptions. iPod docking station disappears for
Intenna FM radio, the phones let you The system reproduces your fa- storage and protection during transit.
listen to unlimited songs and tune into vourite tunes with fullness and clarity The moulded handle makes it easy to
favourite music shows, sport reports, unusual for a portable system. And carry this iPod accessory from place to
updates and other information without it’s so compact that you can take it just place. A custom remote easily controls
adding headset to the phone. about anywhere, even outdoors. the system and basic iPod functions
Both the handsets are packed with A rechargeable lithium-ion bat- including playlist navigation. The aux-
an extremely strong battery that gives tery (included) provides more power iliary input lets you play other portable
up to ten hours of talktime, 3.8cm and longer playing time than most sources too.
colour display, extensive phonebook
memory and a stylish leatherite
carry pouch to save the phones from
scratches. While the GB106 packs in
Portable DLP Projectors
an anti-theft mobile tracker, the GB110 The BenQ CP270 and MP727 are good for business travelers
comes with additional features like a
1 GB VGA camera, a micro SD card
slot, an expandable memory of up to BenQ’s new projectors aim at
2 GB and MP3 playback. providing optimal solutions
for frequent traveling profes-
sionals.
The 1.5kg Commuter Series
CP270 is ideal for business travel-
ers and small offices. It projects Price:
at native XGA (1024x768) resolution CP270: Price not available
and features a high brightness of 2000 MP727: Rs 168,000 plus tax
ANSI lumens with a high contrast ratio
of 1000:1. Further, its 30-second quick- mens, which makes it perform in black-
cool feature allows the projector to cool out conditions to well-lit environments.
fast even after long usage hours. Contrast ratio is as high as 3500:1.
Targeted at the industrial sector, For multimedia users, the MP727
the MP727 high-brightness projector is projector has HDTV compatibility,
equipped with a host of features that integrated 3-watt speaker and HDMI
suit the needs of small- and medium- 1.3 (with HDCP). The universal audio
size businesses. This intelligent and remote lets you easily adjust the vol-
automatic projector gives high-quality umes of all audio devices connected to
output in almost any condition. The the projector, such as external speakers,
projector has a brilliant 4300 ANSI lu- DVD player and notebook.

7 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
first look!
Tabletop Desktops Airtel IPTV
The HP CQ 2000 series desktops weigh only 3.5 kg and come loaded
with Compaq Bhasha vernacular interface
Service
Airtel’s digital TV interactive
The Compaq Presario CQ 2000 series and do what you need to.  The CQ offers telephone, broadband
and TV on a single line
of Hewlett Packard (HP) is a sleek, eco- 2000 is Energy Star certified for being
friendly machine at an affordable price energy-efficient.
of around Rs 18,990. Designed for the Bharti Airtel has launched the digital
modern households, this small device Price: Rs 18,990 plus taxes TV interactive—its Internet protocol
can easily replace your music television (IPTV) service. With this,
system and DVD player as Airtel delivers the triple-play advan-
you can attach it to your tage of telephony, broad-
LCD monitor and speak- band and entertainment
ers or simply enjoy online service to its customers. The
video clips on YouTube. triple-play service will be
The CQ 2000 also comes initially available to custom-
with the Compaq My Bha- ers in Delhi, Gurgaon and
sha software—a commu- Noida.
nication enabler providing Airtel digital TV inter-
vernacular interface. active claims to bring many
With a 6-in-1 digital firsts to the TV viewing
media reader and USB experience: Interactive 2.0
drives, all you need to offers a completely interac-
do is plug-in, sit back tive experience including
the freedom of ordering pizzas
and movie tickets from the

Ultra-Short-Throw Projector comfort of your TV set. Time-shift


TV transforms TV into a two-way ex-
perience, allowing you to pause and
Hitachi’s CP-A100 projector eliminates shadowing effects

The presenter’s shadow on the screen jection capability means that the
during a presentation and the projector Hitachi CP-A100 projector can
glare which blinds the presenter, have be mounted very close to the
been the two major problems with the screen. This brings additional
projectors.  Hitachi has developed an convenience, viewing comfort and
ultra-short-throw projec- safety while eliminating shadowing
tor that overcomes these effects common with conventional Entry cost: Rs 3999
problems. projectors.
The dramatic reduction The high-quality 3LCD panel rewind live TV as well as auto-record
in throw distance (ca- provides crisp, flicker-free images and store favourite programmes for
pability to project at XGA resolution. Brightness seven days. Movie-on-demand with
an image onto a level is 2000 lumens 100 blockbuster titles means you can
203cm screen in normal mode view movie of your choice at any
from a dis- and 2500 lumens time. 
tance of in bright mode. The  The entry cost for the Airtel dig-
merely 24.8 contrast ratio is 400:1. ital TV interactive subscriber is Rs
cm) and the In whisper mode the 3999 only. This includes a one-time
introduction projector has quietness of activation cost, Internet connection
of a high-angle pro- 28 dB—the same as that of with modem and landline, and set-
Price: Rs 125,000 a guest room in a hotel! top box.

7 2 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Buyers’
Guide

Personal
Music Players
Personal music players are available in a multitude
of formats, sizes and feature sets. So you are
bound to get confused in selecting the right one.
Here are the guidelines for a smart buy

iPod touch

Uma Bansal There is loss of quality with each sub- dedicated CD players, MP3-enabled

P

sequent copy. Storage becomes head- mobiles and portable MP3 players.
ersonal music players are ache when collection grows bigger. Of these, MP3 players are ubiquitous
of two types: analogue and On the other hand, the quality of today.
digital. Analogue players digital music varies from average to Portable MP3 players. These are
are long-play gramophone excellent depending upon the conver- continually evolving from simple
record/cassette type, while sion format and compression technique audio players to complex multimedia
digital players can be uncompressed used, quality and the technological devices. Most can show digital photos
(capable of CD playback) or com- advancement of replay device. Con- transferred from your computer, some-
pressed (capable of MP3/WMA/AAC sistency of music quality is very high. times with accompanying music. Many
playback). Playback devices are compact to ultra- can also play movies and music videos
The quality of analogue music is compact. And storage is no issue for downloaded from the Web.
excellent to start with but deteriorates compressed music. Among the flurry of models avail-
over the usage period of time. Also, able, Apple’s iPods account for ma-
mechanical devices are used for play- What’s available in digital? jority of MP3 players sold. Apple’s
back, which are bulky and prone to When going for a personal music success rests in part on its creation of
wear and tear. Portability is lesser. player, you have a choice between a self-contained digital entertainment

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 7 3
Buyers’
Guide
system. Its online iTunes store offers
a large library of online video content, MP4 players, also known as personal video players,
supplementing its dominance over let you view video clipping/video films apart from
online music sales. listening to audio. These score over MP3 players
MP3 players score high over mo- in that they have a larger display screen and can
biles on the following counts: support more formats.
1. The sound clarity of portable
MP3 players is far superior to MP3- flash memory are extremely sturdy memory digital music player range
enabled mobiles. and robust for usage on the move. The does not only look good, it can accom-
2. The battery life of MP3 players reason is these have no moving parts, modate unlimited music transfers or
can be up to 35 hours, without requir- so you can take them for jogging and even serve as a data storage device.
ing recharging even for weeks. your music won’t skip. They are the Some of the latest Walkman video
3. Some MP3 players come with smallest and lightest players, measur- MP3 players include NWZ-E436F/P
very high ease of use while searching ing no bigger than a pack of playing and NWZ-E435F/B. Both of these are
for the songs or storing and retrieving cards. Flash memory is available up compact and light-weight, come with
different album arts. to 64 GB. In India, you can get up to FM tuner, support high-quality video
There are hundreds of MP3 players 16GB only. Most users prefer flash playback and have a user-friendly
to choose from, all with their own ad- memory-based music players. MP3 interface for easy operation. The 4GB
vantages. Major brands of MP3 players players can also double as USB mem- NWZ-E436F/P is available for Rs 6490,
include Apple, Creative Labs, iRiver, ory sticks. Some may have expansion while the 2GB NWZ-E435F/B is priced
Philips, RCA, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony slots to add more memory via card at Rs 4990.
and Toshiba. Brands from smaller com- slots on the player. Hard-disk memory type. These play-
panies are also available in the market. However, MP3 players are little ers use mechanical parts and are prone
MP3 playback has also been incor- expensive in terms of per GB cost com- to usage issues when used while
porated into handheld products like pared to hard-disk type. skipping or dropped down. They are
CD players, cell phones and personal A good example of MP3 players is larger and heavier than flash players.
digital assistants (PDAs). Sony’s Walkman. Catering to music The memory capacity cost per GB is
Digital MP3 players can be differ- fanatics with countless CDs at home, low. In India, you can get up to 160GB
entiated based on the type of memory Sony’s collection of MP3 Walkman is hard-disk player. It can store up to
used: Flash and hard-disk. able to shrink your multitude of CDs 40,000 songs.
Flash-memory type. Players that use into just one small device. The flash Hard-disk MP3 players like Apple
iPods lead the portable audio world
in terms of storage. The limiting fac-
tor is usually price. In general, buy
as large a memory as you can afford,
but if you only need the space to hold
a thousand tunes, there is no reason
to spend the extra money for a 40GB
player.
Portable MP3 players can be further
differentiated based on the formats:
1. MP3-only audio players. Branded
good-quality MP3-only players are
available for Rs 1500 to Rs 6000. Chi-
nese unbranded versions can come for
as less as Rs 600-Rs 2000.
2. MP4 players. MP4 players, also

Philips personal audio player

7 4 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Wi n n ers of Diwali Dhamaka
1st Prize
Plasma TV

Mrs Poonam Kapoor, Director, EFY Group,


presenting the Plasma TV to
Ms Deepalaxmi, the First Prize Winner

2nd Prize 1. Mr Vilas Katke, Mumbai


2. Mr Earnest Selva Paul, Secunderabad
6. Great Lakes Instt. of Management, Chennai
7. Mr Rahul Singh Kotesa, Goa
MP4 Player 3. Mr Rishi Kumar, Delhi 8. Collage of Engineering, Maharastra
4. Mr Vijay Kumar, Bangalore 9. Bharathiyar Centenary Memori, Tamil Nadu
5. Sarada Instt of Tech. & Science, Khammam 10. Ms S Padhmalakshmi, Chennai

36. Perfect Communications, Ludhiana 59. Mr A.M. Panduranga, Karnataka 81. Vimala College, Trichur

3 Prize
37. Rajeev Electronics Pvt Ltd, New Delhi 60. Mr Manuvel Nadar M, Kerala 82. Rotary Midtown Library, Rajkot
rd 38. The Vazir Sultan College of Engg., 61. Mr Raghavendra C, Karnataka 83. Ms Snehal Joshi, Gujarat
Khammam 62. Mr Bharat H Karani, Mumbai 84. Mr Komel Bhojani, Pune
39. Mr R K Maharana, Orissa 63. Mr V R Aneesh, Kerala 85. The ICFAI Institute of Science &
Travel Bag 40. Mr Sajith Kumar V R, Bangalore 64. Mr K Sathianarayanan, Chennai Technology, Jaipur
41. Mr Pundalik Sutar, Mumbai 65. Sri Sankara Arts & Science College, 86. Mr Sachin G. Gune, Pandharpur
16. Mr N M Irshath, Kayalpatnam 42. Siemens Enterprises Communications Tamil Nadu 87. Mr Z Jatin Shah, Mumbai
17. Mr Vismay Buche, Hyderabad Pvt Ltd, New Mumbai 66. Mr Dinesh Malyiya, Rajasthan 88. R P Gogate College of Arts &
18. VVM's Shree Damodar College, Goa 43. Mr Sunil R, Kerala 67. Mr Labh Singh, Bathinda Science, Maharashtra
19. Mr P R Mantry, A P 44. Safa College Of Engg & Tech, Andhra 68. Info Instt of Engg, Coimbatore 89. St Edumund's College, Meghalaya
20. Dr Bhagwati Prasad, Span, Mumbai Pradesh 69. J R Communications & Power 90. Amity Electronics Corporation,
1. Mr Viraj Patel, Mumbai 21. Mr Sivaji Mopidevi, EATON, Pune 45. Mr B N V Prasad, Andhra Pradesh Controls, Trichy Mathura
2. Ms Shruti Verma, New Delhi 22. Mr Kishor Narkhede, Secunderabad 46. Mr Venkatesh V, Chitradurga 70. Al-Madina College of Computer 91. Mr Bhaskar N Chhibber, Pune
3. Ranganathan Engineering, Coimbatore 23. Industrial Training Instt, Pune 47. Mr B L Desai, Karnataka Science, Andhra Pradesh 92. Sangamner Nagarpalika Arts,
4. SRA Systems Ltd, Chennai 24. St Mira's College For Girls, Pune 48. Mr Krishna Prasad Y Bhat, Karnataka 71. Ms Vijayalakshmi K, Bangalore Maharashtra
5. Mr Sri Balaji M, Bangalore 25. Dr P K P Mahamood, Kerala 49. Mr Biswanath Das, Kolkata 72. Mr Deependra Kumar Rajput, 93. Mr Charan Jit Singh, New Delhi
6. Mr Ravinder Reddy Tumu, Bodhan 26. Mr Steve Antony Sequeira, Karnataka 50. Sivanandha Mills Ltd, Coimbatore Bangalore 94. Mr Sumanta Sarkar, Gwalior
7. Mr Anuraj Anand, Pathanamthitta 27. Indira Shiva Rao Polytechnic, 51. Shriram Instt of Engg Technology, 73. Mr Arvind Kumar, Kaithal 95. Mr Sanjay V M, Bangalore
8. Sloka Telecom Pvt Ltd, Bangalore Karnataka Maharashtra 74. Mr Ramakrishna V, Bangalore 96. Sree Narayana College of
9. Akashganga AME India Pvt Ltd, 28. V N Krishnaswamy Naidu, Coimbatore 52. Ms Lalita Bhardwaj, Sonepat 75. Centre for Environment Education, Technology, Kerala
Chennai 29. Mr Narendra K Sangame, Karnataka 53. City Power Conversion, Secunderabad Ahmedabad 97. Mr Satish Kumar Bidwaik,
10. Mr V Sundaresan, Chennai 30. Mr A Sudarshan, Virudhunagar 54. Mr Syan Kumar R, Cochin 76. Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Engineering Mumbai
11. Mr Darshan Kumar, Punjab 31. Mr Ramkumar R, Coimbatore 55. Mr Vinod Kumar P P, Kerala College, Tamil Nadu 98. Mr Suresh S, Kerala
12. Mr Om Prakash Kanoongo, Mumbai 32. Government Industrial, Chittoor 56. Mr Pankaj Bhagat, Hyderabad 77. Sandur Polytechnic, Karnataka 99. Sri Venkata Ramaswamy,
13. Mr Jaisingh Varma, Mumbai 33. Mr Biju Kumar J, Kerala 57. Mr Manoj Rakhyani, Madhya Pradesh 78. Mr Kirit P Budh, Gujarat Karnataka
14. Mr Niranjan Sahoo, Visakhapatnam 34. Mr T Vetrivel, Tamil Nadu 58. VLB Janakiammal Polytechnic College, 79. Mr Sadiq Hussain, Dibrugarh 100.Mr Tufan Sharma, Maharasthra
15. Mr K Parthiban, Tiruchirappalli 35. Fr Nijo, Principal, Kerala Tamil Nadu 80. Mr Kirit P Budh, Gujarat

EFY Enterprises Pvt Ltd, D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase 1, New Delhi 110 020 Ph: 011-26810601-03;
Fax: 011-26817563, E-mail: subscribe@efyindia.com, website: www.efyindia.com
Buyers’
Guide
known as personal video players, you can group songs on each disk workout routines, jogging or even
let you view video clipping/video according to artist, genre and other clipping to a shirt lapel for everyday
films apart from listening to audio. categories. use. Larger MP3 players are fantastic
These score over MP3 players in that A CD, with its 650 to 800MB stor- for playing video and enjoying music,
they have a larger display screen and age capacity (about 150 to 200 songs), but these are typically much more ex-
can support more formats than MP3 can hold more than ten hours of MP3- pensive and can be considered niche
players. Like MP3 players, these may format music at the standard CD-qual- products with far fewer accessories.
come in hard drive or flash memory ity setting. You can create MP3 CDs Appearance aside, a player’s design
versions. Good-quality branded MP4 using the proper software and your also goes hand in hand with its size
players are priced between Rs 2000 PC’s CD burner. and weight. This can vary a lot be-
and Rs 18,000. Cell phones. An increasing number tween devices, the lightest weighing
MP4 players from Humx are avail- of phones have built-in MP3 play- around 20 gm.
able in screen sizes ranging from 7.1 ers—some with controls and features Hard-disk players tend to be much
cm (2.8 inches) to 7.6 cm (3 inches), that rival standalone players. Some heavier than their flash counterparts
with built-in capacity of 1 GB, 2 GB cell-phone providers let subscribers due to the weight of the hard disk
or 4 GB. There are four models in all: download music over their networks. and the larger battery required. Light-
MP252, MP342, MP432 and MP522. Song capacity is often determined by weight and sleek flash-memory-based
All are MLC flash memory-based and the size of the external memory card, players are the current style state-
support rechargeable Li-ion battery, as well as the phone manufacturer, ment.
20 FM channels, numerous audio and carrier or music provider. Whichever MP3 player you choose,
video formats (MP3, WMA, WAV, make sure you’ll be comfortable using
DAT, VOB, MP4, MOV, ASF, ASX and What to look for in an the device. Look for a display that is
WMV), e-book and game function. mP3 player? easy to read. Also, the controls should
The MP252 and MP432 also support Size, weight and design. Let’s face it, be easily accessible.
RM/RMVB, AVI, FLV, 3GP and MPG aesthetics go a long way. Just like mo- Audio format. MP3 (Moving Pic-
formats. bile phones, MP3 players have become tures Expert Group Audio Layer 3)
CD players with ‘MP3’ compat- fashion accessories. The player should is just one of the many formats you
ibility. Other than flash-memory and also be lightweight, compact and easy can play on digital audio players. It
hard-disk portable players, many of to operate with one hand. Some MP3 is a digital audio format encoded on
today’s portable CD players also let players are so small that these can computer from a source such as CD.
you play digital music saved on disks. hang off a keychain, while others will The files are compressed but retain
But these don’t support the copyright- barely fit in your hand. near-original sound quality. Most
protected formats from online music Tomonori Moroda, division head, MP3 players can play one or more
stores. Controls and displays are as personal audio, Sony India, says that other compressed audio formats
good as in portable MP3 players, and the smallest players are great for too, such as Advanced Audio Cod-
ing (AAC), Ogg Vorbis (OGG) and
Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio
(WMA). Make sure that your player
is compatible with MP3, WMA and
AAC at least.
Here’s how these audio formats
differ:
WMA. A Windows Media Audio
file is about half the size of an MP3 file,
but offers similar sound quality.
If you want to fit as many songs
as possible onto your audio player,
look for WMA compatibility. A 60GB
WMA-compatible MP3 player can
store up to 30,000 songs in WMA for-
mat—or just 15,000 in MP3.
MP3Pro. It has better audio quality
than MP3, but isn’t widely popular
Humx MP4 player among manufacturers.

7 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Buyers’
Guide
Pros and cons of MP3 players
Pros
• Most MP3 players are compact and light
• With the lack of moving parts, unlike CD players, there is no chance of skip, whether
the user is jogging, on a bumpy car ride or cycling
• These can store large collections of music, thus usually supporting your playlists on
a single device
• Often contain extra features such as radio
Cons
• More expensive than older-format devices
• Some storage formats (such as MP3) could be superseded
• Encoding files and transferring data can be time consuming and require other devices
such as PCs
—Tomonori Moroda, division head, personal audio, Sony India

OGG. Ogg Vorbis format has ex- depends on the memory used. As
cellent sound quality and is gaining mentioned earlier, in India you can
popularity. get up to 16GB flash player or up to
AAC. Dolby’s Advanced Audio 160GB hard disk player. A 1GB player
Coding format is used in Apple iPods can store around 250 songs (16 hours
and can be downloaded from Apple’s of music).
Internet music store ‘iTunes.’ Hard disk-based players can store a
WAV. It’s uncompressed audio, just fairly large collection of songs, but are
as you would hear on a standard CD. expensive and not as sturdy as flash
Storage capacity and format. memory-based players.
The storage capacity of an M3 player Some players may use memory

Sony NWZ-B130F series

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 7 9
Buyers’
Guide
cards such as MultiMediaCard (MMC), 4. More consistent and higher-qual-
SecureDigital, CompactFlash and ity metadata
MemoryStick (for Sony) for storage. In Software bundled with the player.
case you have a handheld gadget like Good bundled software is a great bo-
cellphone or digicam using memory nus as the quality of your recordings
card, make sure that you choose an depends on the quality of software
MP3 player that accepts that particular you use.
card too. Media player is the software used
Battery type, replaceability and for playback of multimedia files. Typi-
life. Most players come with an inbuilt cal features of such a software are:
rechargeable battery. When you con- 1. Rips music from a CD and saves
nect it to your computer or laptop, the it as an MP3 file
battery gets charged automatically. 2. Burns MP3 file to CD or DVD
After full charging, it can play audio 3. Organises MP3 files with ID3
for up to 15-30 hours and video for up data tags
to 2-6 hours depending upon the brand 4. Allows you to create your own
and model of player you are using. playlists
Battery life of no less than 12 hours It’s important that the media player
for music and four hours for video is software is supported by the operating
a good bet. Rechargeable batteries last system of your computer.
up to three years depending on the Some common software are iTunes,
usage. Real Player, Windows Media Player,
A few players have battery bays Quick Time and KM player.
for AA or AAA batteries. Generally, Other extra features (like FM tuner,
users don’t prefer the recurring cost of voice recording, games, etc). Most
replaceable batteries. MP3 players come with FM tuner. FM
Display. The display lets you eas- comes very handy for current news
ily select your music by artist, album update and change in music enter-
or genre. It is also useful when you’re tainment. Lots of college students are
looking for a particular radio station. using voice recording feature very in-
In audio formats, the displays avail- novatively. They record lectures in the
able are 2.5cm black & white (capable classroom and prepare notes at leisure.
of one to three lines), 2.5cm colour and This helps them focus on the content at
3.8cm OLED. the time of lectures. A 1GB MP3 player
In video formats, the screen size can support voice recording of up to 65
varies from 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) to 8.9 hours, while a 2GB player can support
cm (3.5 inches) with 262,000 colours. up to 135 hours.
The screen type varies from TFT to FM tuner and voice recording are
QVGA/WQVGA. The resolution also standard features on all Philips digital
varies from 128x128 to 240x400. players. Also, high-end players from
Hard disk players may come with Philips come with inbuilt noise cancel-
a colour screen for song info and for lation feature.
viewing your digital photos. Accessories. Flash-based MP3 play-
Music store. Online music buying ers need speakers and amplifiers for
is not very prevalent in India but is a loud sound. Lots of docking systems
normal practice in West. The benefits are available for these music players.
of online music buying are: The small and sleek players can be
1. Offers instant, legal access to worn on the body as ornaments. The
hundreds and thousands of songs related accessories are available in
2. Allows you to preview/prelisten various shapes and sizes. Philips pro-
and purchase individual songs instead vides high-definition earphones with
of the whole album noise-isolation technique. 
3. Legal source complies with copy-
right laws The author is a deputy editor at EFY

8 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
circuit
ideas
Triple Power Supply s.c. dwiv
edi

 Sandip Trivedi and P.D. Lele is used for op-amp-based analogue


circuit experiments.

T
his low-cost, multipurpose Fig. 1 shows the circuit of the triple in positive and negative regulated
power supply fulfils the re- power supply, while Fig. 2 shows the power supplies. LED1 glows to indi-
quirements of almost all labora- pin configuration of the regulators cate that +5V is available, while LED2
tory experiments. Nonetheless, it can used in the circuit. Transformer X1 indicates that –5V is available.
be easily fabricated by hobbyists. steps down the mains power to deliver Switch S1 is used for mains ‘on’/
A single transformer is used to the secondary output of 18V-0-18V. ‘off’. Using switches S2 through
build this triple power supply. Regula- The transformer output is rectified by S4, any of the three supplies can be
tor IC LM317 generates variable power full-wave bridge rectifier BR1, filtered independently turned off when not
supply of 1.25 to 20V, 1A. The dual by capacitors C1, C2, C3, C7 and C8, required in a particular experiment.
±12V, 1A power supply is generated and regulated by IC1 through IC5. This reduces unnecessary power dis-
by regulators 7812 and 7912. Similarly, Regulator IC1 (LM317) provides vari- sipation and increases the life and
dual ±5V, 1A power supply is gener- able voltages (1.25 to 20V), while IC2 reliability of the power supply. Since
ated by regulators 7805 and 7905. and IC4 provide regulated +12V and the circuit uses three terminal regula-
‘On’/‘off’ switches (S2 through S4) –12V, respectively. The output of IC2 is tors, only capacitors are required at
select the required power supply. Vari- fed to regulator IC3 (7805), which pro- the input and output. The use of few
able power supply is used to study the vides fixed +5V. Similarly, the output components makes the circuit very
characteristics of devices. Fixed +5V of IC4 is fed to regulator IC5 (7905), simple. The three terminal regulators
power supply is used for all digital, which provides fixed –5V. Capacitors have heat-sink provision to directly
microprocessor and microcontroller C4 through C6, and C9 through C11, deliver 1A output current. To ensure
experiments. Dual ±12V power supply are used for further filtering of ripples the maximum output, do not forget to

HEAT SINK

S2 = FOR VARIABLE VOLTAGE IN IC1 OUT


3
LM317 2
S3 = FOR +12V AND +5V S2 1
R1
ADJ. +1.25 TO 20V
S4 = FOR –12V AND –5V 120

S1-S4 = ON/OFF SWITCH C3


0.1µ
VR1 GND
2.2K
+12V
POT

S1
ON/OFF HEAT SINK HEAT SINK
SWITCH
IN IC2 OUT IN IC3 OUT
1 7812 3 1 7805 3
X1 S3 2 2
F1
1.5A GND GND
R2
FUSE
BR1 330
C1 C4 C5
L W04 1000µ C2 100µ 10µ
+5V
C6
230V AC 35V 0.1µ 25V 16V 0.1µ
50Hz
BR1 LED1
N W04

GND
X1 = 230V AC
PRIMARY TO 18V-0-18V, C7 C8 C9 C10 R3
1.5A SECONDARY 1000µ 0.1µ 100µ 10µ 330
TRANSFORMER 35V 25V 16V C11 –5V
0.1µ
GND GND
1 1 LED2
BR1-W04 2 IC4 3 2 IC5 3
1.5A, BRIDGE S4 IN 7912 OUT IN 7905 OUT
RECTIFIER

HEAT SINK HEAT SINK

–12V
GND

Fig. 1: Tripple power supply

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 8 1
circuit
ideas
earthing tag.
5. If the 18V-0-18V
transformer is replaced
with 15V-0-15V trans-
former, the output
voltage of the variable
supply using LM317
Fig. 2: Pin configurations of regulators will be correspond-
ingly lower.
use heat-sinks for the regulators. 6. If proper voltages
The three-terminal regulators are are available, go to step
almost non-destructible. These have Fig. 3: Proposed cabinet for power supply 7. Otherwise, check the
inbuilt protection circuits including connections.
the thermal shutdown protection. Even 1. Collect all the components shown 7. Connect variable regulator
if there is overload or shorting of the in the circuit diagram. LM317 to the circuit and check 1.25V
output, the inbuilt overload protection 2. Connect switch S1, fuse, trans- to 20V output by varying the 2.2-kilo-
circuit will limit the current and slowly former and mains cord to the assem- ohm linear potentiometers.
reduce the output voltage to zero. bled PCB as well as the box. 8. Now connect ICs 7812, 7912, 7805
Similarly, if the temperature increases 3. Keep the multimeter in DC volt- and 7905 to the circuit and check their
beyond a certain value due to excessive age range (more than 25V DC) and output voltage.
load and heat dissipation, the in-built measure the DC voltage across ca- 9. Connect terminals, potmeter,
thermal shutdown circuit will reduce pacitors C1 and C7 (1000 µF, 35V). This switches and indicator LED on the
the output current and the output volt- voltage should be around 18V×1.41=25 front panel of the box and complete
age (gradually) to zero. Thus complete to 26V DC. Check both positive and the connections. Close the box by us-
protection is provided to the circuitry. negative voltages with respect to ing screws.
Assemble the circuit on a general- ground. Precaution. At the primary side of
purpose PCB and enclose in a box as 4. It is advisable to use three-wire the transformer, 230V AC could give
shown in Fig. 3. mains cable and plug. If you are using lethal shocks. So be careful not to touch
The step-by-step procedure to build any metallic box, earthing wire/pin of this part. EFY will not be responsible
the triple power supply for the labora- the mains plug should be soldered to for any resulting loss or harm to the
tory follows: the body of the metallic box using an user. 

unique Water Pump Controller


edi
s.c. dwiv A R4
12K S1
ON/OFF
B SWITCH

7 R6
3 +
 D. Mohan Kumar IC1 6
220
T1

H
µA741 +
D1 BC558 12V

ere is a simple solution for 2 4 1N4148 DC

automatic pumping of water


to the overhead tank. Unlike C1
220
other water-level indicators, it does 25V N/O

not use probes to detect the water level R5


MOTOR

VR1 LED4
10K 12K D2
and hence there is no probe corrosion PRESET 1N4007 N/C
C2
problem. It has no direct contact with
RL1
470µ 230V
25V
water, so the chance of accidental leak- L AC N
50Hz
age of electricity to the water tank is RL1 = 12V, 1 C/O RELAY
also eliminated. Two important advan-
tages of the circuit are that the water Fig. 1: Water pump controller

8 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
circuit
ideas
pumping of water.
Assemble the circuit on a general-
purpose PCB and enclose in a suitable
cabinet. Solder the white LEDs-LDR1
assembly on a separate PCB and use
a separate power supply for it. Mount
LEDs behind the LDR. Otherwise, light
from the LEDs will affect the working
Fig. 2: Sensor circuit of the circuit. Connect LDR1 to the main
circuit board at ‘A’ and ‘B’ points.
level never goes below a particular Fix the LEDs-LDR1 assembly on
level and no modification in the water the inner side of the water-tank cap as
tank is required. shown in Fig. 3. Orient the LEDs and
Fig. 1 shows the circuit of the wa- the LDR such that when the water tank
terpump controller. The circuit uses an is full, the light emitted from the LEDs
LDR-white LEDs assembly to sense the Fig. 3: Sensor assembly and reflected from the water surface
water level. It forms a triggering switch falls directly on LDR1. The distance
to energise the relay for controlling the level and the face of LDR1 is minimal. between the upper level of water and
pump. The LDR-LEDs assembly (shown When white light falls on LDR1, the the LEDs-LDR setup should be mini-
in Fig. 2) is fixed on the inner side of the voltage at the non-inverting input (pin mal, ensuring that water doesn’t touch
cap of the water tank without making 3) of IC1 increases and its output goes LDR1. Otherwise, the circuit will not
contact with water. The light reflected high. This high output makes pnp function properly. By using more white
from the water tank is used to control transistor T1 non-conducting and the LEDs, this distance can be increased.
the resistance of LDR1. relay remains de-energised. LED1 also Cover the LDR with a black tube to
When the water level is high remains ‘off.’ Since the water-pump increase its sensitivity.
enough, light from the white LEDs power supply is connected to the nor- You can fix the main unit at a
(LED1 through LED3) reflects to fall mally-open (N/O) contacts of relay convenient place and connect it to the
on LDR1. This reduces the resistance RL1, pumping is stopped. LEDs-LDR assembly through wire.
of LDR1, increasing the voltage at the When water level falls, the amount Select the relay according to the horse-
non-inverting input (pin 3) of IC1. of light reflected to LDR1 decreases power (HP) of the water pump. After
IC1 is used in the circuit as a voltage and its resistance increases. This re- arranging the setup (with maximum
comparator. Resistors R4 and R5 form duces the voltage at pin 3 of IC1 and water in the tank), adjust VR1 until
a potential divider to fix half of supply its output goes low. This low output LED1 stops glowing. In this state, the re-
voltage to the inverting input of IC1. from IC1 makes transistor T1 conduct. lay should de-energise. When the water
Normally, when the water tank is Relay RL1 energises to close the N/O level decreases, the relay automatically
full, LDR1 gets more of reflected light contacts and the motor starts pump- energises to connect mains to the motor
because the distance between the water ing water. LED1 glows to indicate the and it starts pumping water. 

THREE-COMPONENT FLASHER
 T.A. Babu

S
ince this flasher system uses edi
s.c. dwiv
only three components, it is rel-
atively easy to build and install.
It can be used for signal flashing, haz-
ard warning and alternate flashing. rent rating of 5A.
At the heart of this circuit is a The working of the circuit is very
single-pole double-through (SPDT) simple. Initially, bulk capacitor C1
contacts relay (see Fig. 1). It is a 12V, charges through resistor R1 and the
400-ohm, single-changeover (1C/O), bulb filament. When capacitor C1
PCB-mounted relay with contacts cur- charges, relay RL1 energises and Fig. 1: Simple flasher circuit

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 8 3
circuit
ideas

Fig. 4: Circuit of alternate flasher

the left or right.


Fig. 2: Circuit of turn signal flasher
The circuit of the hazard-warn-
throws its contacts to the other posi- Fig. 3: Circuit of hazard-warning flasher ing flasher is shown in Fig. 3. Used in
tion. Capacitor C1 holds the contacts vehicle lighting systems, it flashes all
until there is enough charge to keep charge stored in the capacitor. The ‘off’ the four bulbs when hazard-warning
the relay energised. Bulb L1 (12V, 5W) time is controlled by the discharging switch S3 is ‘on.’ During hazard warn-
glows for a while through the N/O time of the capacitor. ing, switch S2 can be in the left or right
contacts of the relay. When the charge The signal flasher is a four-bulb position.
in the capacitor ceases, the relay con- system as shown in Fig. 2. Two bulbs The alternate flasher circuit is
tacts return to their initial normally- are used at the front of the vehicle and shown in Fig. 4. It flashes the lamps
closed position. the other two at the back of the vehicle. alternately when the system is acti-
The charging cycle repeats to give The primary function of the ‘turn’ sig- vated. This type of flasher is typically
a flashing effect in the bulb. The ‘on’ nal flasher is to flash the lamps when used in emergency vehicles and school
time of the flasher is controlled by the the ‘turn’ signal switch is activated to buses. 

In-Car Food and Beverage Warmer

edi
s.c. dwiv

 Ashok K. Doctor

T
his is a very useful
device for those
who are frequently
on the move. It will keep
your tea, coffee or food
warm while consuming
little power.
The circuit is simple.
The ubiquitous timer 555
is used as a free-running astable mul- nected in reverse direction to facilitate Power transistor T1 is Darlington type
tivibrator. Diodes 1N4148 are con- maximum variation of the duty cycles. with 5A capacity and output of more

8 4 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
circuit
ideas
than 60 watts. The chosen discrete watts. The consumption of current will only two wire connections. Use wires
components assure fixed frequency of be significantly less if fewer coil ele- that can carry more than 6A current.
1 Hz (approximately) at pin 3 of timer ments are connected in parallel through Fix the coil elements below an alumin-
IC1 (555). Resister R1 and potmeter VR1 toggle switches S2 through S4. Each of ium or steel rectangular plate which
(1-mega-ohm) allow adjustment of the these switches has a 6A rating. is at least 1mm thick. Do not forget
duty cycle. The higher the duty cycle, Assemble the circuit on a general- to insulate the heating plate from the
the higher the output of the heater. purpose PCB. Mount power transistor elements. Use the car battery for the
You can connect up to five 10W TIP120 on a thick heat-sink. Isolate the power supply with a proper current-
heating elements in parallel, totaling 50 circuit from the heating elements using carrying-capacity wire. 

WHITE LIGHT FOR REFRIGERATOR


 Uday ShEnde The circuit is transformerless
and uses a capacitor for provid-

N
ormally, the refrigerator lights ing the power supply to the white edi
s.c. dwiv
are yellow in colour and go LEDs. Mains input is fed to capaci-
bad very often. If you want tor C1 and resistor R1, rectified by a
a long-lasting white light for your re- bridge rectifier comprising diodes D1
frigerator, this circuit is especially for through D4, and filtered by capaci- white LEDs in 2×8 parallel-connec-
you. The circuit is easy to install inside tor C2 to provide sufficient voltage tion configuration.
the refrigerator. Also, it consumes very to drive the white LEDs. Resistor R2 Assemble the circuit on a gen-
little power compared to the traditional limits the current flowing through eral-purpose PCB along with 16 white
yellow bulb. the LEDs. The circuit uses 16 bright LEDs. Connect the LEDs in series with
resistor R2. Take out
the two wires from
the usual bulb con-
nection and connect
to the circuit. After
connecting the supply
wires, wrap electrical
tape around the wires
properly. Enclose the
entire PCB (exclud-
ing LEDs) in a plastic
box and wrap the box
properly with tape to
seal it against mois-
ture. 

Smart Hearing Aid sani the


o

Devrishi Khanna and when sound is detected. The sensi-


Rohit Modi tivity of the detection section and the
‘on’ time duration of the sound am- microphone, earphone, and sound

N
ormally, hearing aid circuits plifier circuit can be set by the user. detection and amplification sections.
consume battery power Also the circuit uses only a single The sound detection section employs
continuously once they are condenser mic for sound detection a quad op-amp IC LM324 (IC1(A)) and
switched on. The circuit given here and amplification. a timer NE555 (IC2). The sound signal
saves battery power by switching As is clear from the above, this received at the mic is pre-amplified
on the sound amplifier section only hearing aid consists of a condenser by transistor BC549 (T1). The voltage

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 8 5
circuit
ideas

at its collector is fed to the inverting IC1(A) triggers the NE555 timer and its is fed directly to amplifier stage. The
terminal (pin 2) of op-amp IC1(A), output goes high for a preset duration. output from pin 7 of IC1(B) is fed to the
which is used as a comparator. The R4 and C2 are the timing components base of transistor T2. The weak signal
reference voltage (Vref) at the non- for setting the time duration. The high received at transistor stage T2 is further
inverting terminal (pin 3) of IC1(A) output of the timer is directly used as amplified by transistors T3, T4 and T5.
is set using preset VR1. The preset is the power source for the sound ampli- An earphone to listen to the sound is
also used to control the sensitivity of fier section. connected between the collector of T5
the sound signals received by the cir- The sound amplifier section is built and ground. It is recommended to use
cuit. The output from pin 1 of IC1(A) around transistors T2 through T5. The a mono earphone with volume control
is fed to the trigger input (pin 2) of last amplifier stage T5 (pnp transistor attached.
timer NE555, which is configured in BC558) drives the earphone. The sound With 9V DC supply, when sound is
monostable mode. signal received from the mic is fed to detected through the mic, the amplifier
When sufficient sound signal the non-inverting pin of the second section is automatically triggered and
strength is detected at the base of tran- op-amp of IC1(B) which is wired in the current consumption of the circuit
sistor T1, the pulsating voltage at its unity follower configuration. The unity is about 96 mA. When the amplifier cir-
collector exceeds the reference voltage follower mode resolves the problem cuit is ‘off,’ the circuit draws a current
at pin 3. As a result, output pin 1 of of impedance mismatch which would of about 6 mA only, thus saving con-
IC1(A) goes low. The low output from have occured if the output of the mic siderable amount of battery power. 

8 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Software
section

LAN-based Online Exam


 Rahul Bagai to the client. The question database
is stored at the server end. The client

U
sing this program, examina- accesses the database from the server sani the
o

tions can be conducted online machine and displays the contents on


for students of various sub- its output screen.
jects in schools and colleges. The ex- The project includes three Java
amination result along with solutions source code files: ServerOnline.java, ConnectDatabase1.java and Clien-
to the questions is displayed at the end tOnline.java. There is an Online
of the exam. Exams.mdb Microsoft Access data-
The questions are randomly gener- base file which contains the list of
ated from a bank of questions stored questions and answers. The detailed
in a database maintained by the ad- questions are saved in GIF (graphic
ministrator. These are multiple-choice interchange format). The ‘Questions
with four possible answers. Each Fig. 1: First page on the client PC and Answers’ folder contains the
question is worth one mark. The stu- images of the multiple-choice ques-
dent has to select one subject at a time, tions. There are also some other images
so the questions will be on that topic and MP3 files included for the project.
only. For example, a subject may have All the image and MP3 files are linked
many chapters and multiple questions to the MS Access database through
related to that chapter are stored in configurations as explained under the
the database. From here, only 15 testing steps.
questions from selected chapter are
generated randomly for the test. The Operation of the program
software has the facility to store many Fig. 2: Instructions for the students 1. As soon as the client program is
chapters under one particular subject. started, a Java applet page as shown
The exam paper will be made up of in Fig. 1 loads into its output screen.
some questions taken from every Here the student can select his class
topic/chapter. (10th or 12th) and the subject (physics,
The administrator can change this chemistry, biology or mathematics) for
content by adding new topics and which he wants to give the exam. In
changing the number of questions for the database for this project, we have
each topic. He can add any number of included sample questions on biol-
questions and topics. Fig. 3: Screenshot to select a chapter ogy and mathematics only. As soon
The student can answer each ques- as a radio button corresponding to a
tion by clicking a radio button, so from particular subject
four possible answers only one answer is selected using
is selected per question. After answer- mouse, the client
ing all the questions, the student machine needs
needs to click a button at the bottom. to connect to the
All the answers by the student are database stored
stored in the PC and the marks scored in the server ma-
displayed. chine. So click
‘Connect to Da-
Software program tabase’ button to
The program is developed using J2SE start the test.
software development kit (JDK1.6) and 2. Next, the
MS Access application on a Windows instruction page
XP machine. It is designed on a cli- is loaded. It dis-
ent-server architecture which operates plays some in-
only when the server provides services Fig. 4: Screenshot of the online question structions to be

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 8 7
software
section
followed. Click ‘Continue’ button
(refer Fig. 2).
3. Select a chapter of your choice
using a pull-down menu (refer Fig. 3).
4. Start attempting the questions
(refer Fig. 4). The questions here are
generated randomly from the database
stored in the server machine. You can
select the respective radio button for
your choice of answer.
5. As soon as you select an option,
click ‘submit’ button to submit the an-
swer and move to the next question.
Note that chapters stored in the Fig. 5: Test report
database can store any number of
questions but from those questions, (d) Type ‘Data Source Name’ as
only 15 are displayed on the client side ‘OnlineExams’ while observing case
for each test. sensitivity. Fig. 6: Solutions to the questions
At the end of 15 questions, a test (e) Assuming that all the relevant
report is generated (refer Fig. 5), where programs of this project are stored go to the next step to run the client
you can view your performance. under ‘D:\Rahul’ folder, locate program.
To view the correct answers after the database stored in ‘D:\Rahul\’ The steps for compiling and run-
the test, just click ‘Get Answers’ button by using ‘Select’ button of the same ning the client program are the same as
on the test report screen (refer Fig. 6). window. When the database is se- mentioned above. That is, click ‘Start/
lected, you will see the path of your Run’ option followed by ‘cmd.’ Open
Testing steps to run the database under ‘Database’ of the same ‘D:\Rahul’ folder and give the path of
program on a PC window. the JDK files.
Using a single PC, server and client (f) Click ‘Ok’ to complete the con- 8. Now instead of ‘ServerOnline.
programs can be run at the same time. figurations. java,’ type ‘ClientOnline.java’ against
Here, the server program is under the 4. Run the server program. All the the prompt.
control of the administrator and the questions are stored in ‘Questions If you run the ClientOnline pro-
client program is accessed by the stu- And Answers’ file of ‘Rahul’ folder. gram successfully, you will see the
dent. To achieve this, first the server Open the command prompt from screen as shown in Fig. 1. A PC can
program is made to run, followed ‘Start\Run...’ option and type ‘cmd’ handle multiple clients, so you can
by the client program as explained from the keyboard. Open ‘Rahul’ minimise the current client operation
below: folder from ‘D’ drive. Type the ap- and open another client program on
1. Download ‘Java SE Develop- propriate path against the prompt as the same machine.
ment Kit (JDK) 6’ from ‘http://java. given below:
sun.com/javase/downloads/index. “Path = c:\program files\java\ Testing steps to run on
jsp’ website. jdk1.6.0\bin” two PCs
2. Install JDK in your machine. By This is the path where the JDK files 1. Make sure that the PCs used for the
default it is installed under ‘c:\pro- like javac, java and appletviewer are project are connected on a local area
gram files\java\jdk1.6.0\bin’ direc- located. network (LAN).
tory. 5. Now type command ‘javac Serve- 2. Place ‘Rahul’ folder in server and
3. Install MS Access application rOnline.java’ to compile the ServerOn- client machines. This is mandatory.
program and configure the data source line.java program. If you have set the Next, follow Steps 1 through 3 under
for accessing MS Access database from path correctly, you will find class files sub-heading “Testing steps to run the
Java as follows: under ‘d:\rahul.’ Else, you will find program on a single PC.”
(a) Open ‘Administrative Tools’ error. Ignore warnings, if any. 3. Provide an appropriate path
from ‘Control Panel.’ 6. Next type ‘Java ServerOnline’ on for JDK as mentioned in Step 4 of the
(b) Now open ‘Data Sources’ first command prompt to execute the above sub-heading. Compile the Serve-
(ODBC) and click ‘Add’ button. software. You will see “Server Started rOnline.java program and run it on the
(c) Locate ‘Microsoft Access Driver’ !!!” in the next line. server machine.
(*.mdb) and click ‘Finish.’ 7. Minimise the window and then 4. On the client PC, the Connect-

8 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Software
section
Database1.java file, which is located both ConnectDatabase1.java and Cli-
under ‘Rahul’ folder, requires the IP entOnline.java programs.
address of the server. So open the 6. Run the ClientOnline.java pro-
ConnectDatabase1.java source file and gram. You will see the program output
replace ‘localhost’ with the IP address as shown in Fig. 1. Click the appropri-
of the server wherever ‘localhost’ ap- ate button to proceed for the online
pears. Save the file and close it. exams.
5. Provide an appropriate path for EFY-CD. All the relevant files and
JDK as mentioned in Step 4 under the source codes of this article have been
previous sub-heading, and compile included in this month’s EFY-CD.

serveronline.java
import java.net.*; BufferedReader is = null;
import java.io.*; PrintStream os = null;
import java.sql.*; Socket clientSocket = null;

public class ServerOnline { Connection conn;


public static void main(String Statement stmt;
args[]) {
try { String chapterSelected = “”,pass;

DriverManager.registerDriver(new public connection(Socket client-


sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver()); Socket) {
this.clientSocket = clientSocket;
}catch(Exception e) {
System.out.println(“Error oc- try {
cured : “+e.getMessage()); is = new BufferedReader(new
} InputStreamReader(clientSocket.getInput-
new ServerClass(); Stream()));
} os = new
} PrintStream(clientSocket.getOutput-
Stream());
class ServerClass implements Runna-
ble { }catch(IOException e) {
try {
Thread t; clientSocket.close();
ServerSocket echoServer = null; }catch(Exception ex) {}
Socket clientSocket = null; System.err.println(“Unable to
setup stream “+e);
ServerClass() { return;
try { }
echoServer = new ServerSock- t = new Thread(this,””);
et(1111); t.start();
}
}catch(IOException e) {
System.out.println(“Could not public void run() {
start server.” + e );
System.exit(1); try {
}
conn = DriverManager.
t = new Thread(this); getConnection(“jdbc:odbc:OnlineExams”);
System.out.println(“Server started stmt = conn.createStatement(Resu
!!!”); ltSet.TYPE_SCROLL_INSENSITIVE,ResultSet.
t.start(); CONCUR_READ_ONLY);
}
}catch(Exception e) {
public void run() { System.out.println(“Error oc-
try { cured : “+e.getMessage());
}
while(true) {
clientSocket = echoServer. try {
accept();
connection con = new connec pass = is.readLine();
tion(clientSocket);
} if(pass.equals(“1”)) {

}catch(IOException e) { tableName =
System.err.println(“Not listen- is.readLine(); //subject-
ing.” + e); Selected
System.exit(1); tableName +=
} is.readLine(); //classSe-
} lected
}
ResultSet rset = stmt.
class connection implements Runnable { executeQuery(“Select * from “+tableNa-
me);
Thread t; rset.last();
String tableName = “”; //this gets os.println(rset.get-
the name of the tablename from where String(1)); //lastSNo
the question and options are to be re-
trieved rset = stmt.
String requestQuestion = “”; executeQuery(“Select * from “+tableNa-

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 8 9
software
section
me); lected); }
while(rset.next()) { rset.last();
os.println(rset.get- os.println(rset.get- }catch(Exception e) {
String(2)); //chapterNos String(1)); System.out.println(“Error oc-
os.println(rset.get- cured while sending/retrieving data:
String(3)); //chapterNames rset = stmt. “+e);
} executeQuery(“Select * from “+chapterSe- }finally {
} lected + “ where QNo = “+requestQues- try {
tion); clientSocket.close();
else if(pass.equals(“2”)) if(rset.next()) { is.close();
{ os.println(rset.get- os.close();
chapterSelected = String(2)); //send ques- stmt.close();
is.readLine(); //chapterSelected tion conn.close();
os.println(rset.get-
requestQuestion = String(3)); //send An- }catch(Exception e) {}
(String)is.readLine(); swer }
os.println(rset.get- }
ResultSet rset = stmt. String(4)); //send hint }
executeQuery(“Select * from “+chapterSe- }

clientonline.java
import java.awt.*; Group(); JRadioButton chemistry = new JRadi
import java.awt.event.*; bg.add(physics); oButton(“Chemistry”);
import javax.swing.*; bg.add(chemistry); chemistry.addActionListener(this);
bg.add(biology); add(chemistry);
public class ClientOnline extends bg.add(mathematics);
JFrame { JRadioButton biology = new
JButton connect = new JRadioButton(“Biology”);
public ClientOnline() { JButton(“Connect to DataBase”); biology.addActionListener(this);
connect.addActionListener(this); add(biology);
JTabbedPane jtp = new JTabbed- add(connect);
Pane(); } JRadioButton mathematics = new
jtp.addTab(“Class 10th”,new JRadioButton(“Mathematics”);
Class10th()); public void actionPerformed(ActionE mathematics.
jtp.addTab(“Class 12th”,new vent ae) { addActionListener(this);
Class12th()); add(mathematics);
getContentPane().add(jtp); if(ae.getActionCommand().
equals(“Connect to DataBase”) && sub- ButtonGroup bg = new Button-
addWindowListener(new WindowA- jectSelected != “”) { Group();
dapter() { try { bg.add(physics);
public void windowClosing(Wind new ConnectDatabase1(classS bg.add(chemistry);
owEvent we) { elected,subjectSelected,1,1,0,img,img,r bg.add(biology);
dispose(); andomQnoStored); bg.add(mathematics);
}
}); }catch(Exception e) { JButton connect = new
} System.out.println(“Could JButton(“Connect to DataBase”);
not connect to the database Server connect.addActionListener(this);
public static void main(String !!!”+e); add(connect);
args[]) { } }
ClientOnline clonlie = new Clien- }
tOnline(); public void actionPerformed(ActionE
clonlie.setSize(400,150); else if(ae.getActionCommand(). vent ae) {
clonlie.setVisible(true); equals(“Physics”)) { if(ae.getActionCommand().
} subjectSelected = “Physics”; equals(“Connect to DataBase”) && sub-
} } jectSelected != “”) {

class Class10th extends JPanel imple- else if(ae.getActionCommand(). try{


ments ActionListener { equals(“Chemistry”)) { new ConnectDatabase1(classS
subjectSelected = “Chemistry”; elected,subjectSelected,1,1,0,img,img,r
String subjectSelected = “”; } andomQnoStored);
String classSelected = “10”; }catch(Exception e) {
String[] img = new String[15]; else if(ae.getActionCommand(). System.out.println(“Could
int[] randomQnoStored = new int[15]; equals(“Biology”)) { not connect to database !!!”);
subjectSelected = “Biology”; }
public Class10th() { } }

JRadioButton physics = new else if(ae.getActionCommand(). else if(ae.getActionCommand().


JRadioButton(“Physics”); equals(“Mathematics”)) { equals(“Physics”)) {
physics.addActionListener(this); subjectSelected = “Mathemat- subjectSelected = “Physics”;
add(physics); ics”; }
}
JRadioButton chemistry = new JRadi } else if(ae.getActionCommand().
oButton(“Chemistry”); } equals(“Chemistry”)) {
chemistry.addActionListener(this); subjectSelected = “Chemistry”;
add(chemistry); class Class12th extends JPanel imple- }
ments ActionListener {
JRadioButton biology = new else if(ae.getActionCommand().
JRadioButton(“Biology”); String subjectSelected = “”; equals(“Biology”)) {
biology.addActionListener(this); String classSelected = “12”; subjectSelected = “Biology”;
add(biology); String[] img = new String[15]; }
int[] randomQnoStored = new int[15];
JRadioButton mathematics = new else if(ae.getActionCommand().
JRadioButton(“Mathematics”); public Class12th() { equals(“Mathematics”)) {
mathematics. subjectSelected = “Mathemat-
addActionListener(this); JRadioButton physics = new ics”;
add(mathematics); JRadioButton(“Physics”); }
physics.addActionListener(this); }
ButtonGroup bg = new Button- add(physics); } 

9 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Power Supply

Charging Lithium-Ion
Batteries
Properly restoring energy using the latest battery technology for today’s portable
products requires careful consideration. An understanding of the charging
characteristics of the battery and the application’s requirements is essential in
order to design an appropriate and reliable battery charging system.
Linear and switch-mode charging solutions for Li-ion batteries are presented
here. Also given are the guidelines and considerations that should be taken into
account when developing any battery charging system
Each application is unique, but
one common theme rings through:
maximise battery capacity usage. This
theme directly relates to how energy is
properly restored to rechargeable bat-
teries. No single method is ideal for all
applications. An understanding of the
charging characteristics of the battery
and the application’s requirements is
essential in order to design an appro-
priate and reliable battery charging
system. Each method has its associated
advantages and disadvantages.
It is the particular application
with its individual requirements that
determines which method will be the
best to use.
Far too often, the charging system
is given low priority, especially in cost-
sensitive applications. The quality of
the charging system, however, plays a
key role in the life and reliability of the
battery. In this article, the fundamen-
tals of charging Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
batteries are explored. In particular,
linear charging solutions and a micro-
controller-based, switch-mode solution
shall be explored.

Li-ion charging
The rate of charge or discharge is often
expressed in relation to the capacity of
 Scott Dearborn batteries as a prime power source is on the battery. This rate is known as the
the rise. As a result, a burden has been C-rate. The C-rate equates to a charge

P
owering today’s portable world placed on the system designer to create or discharge current and is defined as:
poses many challenges for sophisticated systems utilising the bat- I = M × Cn
system designers. The use of tery’s full potential. where ‘I’ is charge or discharge current

9 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Power Supply
current of 100 mA.
Typically, manufacturers specify
the capacity of a battery at a 5-hour
rate, n = 5. For example, the above-
mentioned battery would provide
five hours of operating time when
discharged at a constant current of
200 mA. In theory, the battery would
provide one hour of operating time
when discharged at a constant current
of 1000 mA. In practice, however, the
operating time will be less than one
hour due to inefficiencies in the dis-
charge cycle.
So how is energy properly restored
to a Li-ion battery? The preferred
charge algorithm for Li-ion battery
Fig. 1: Li-ion charge profile chemistries is a constant-current, con-
stant-voltage algorithm that can be
broken up into four stages, namely,
trickle charge, constant-current charge,
constant-voltage charge and charge
termination (refer to Fig. 1):
Stage 1 (trickle charge): Trickle
charge is employed to restore charge
to deeply depleted cells. When the cell
voltage is below approximately 3V, the
cell is charged with a constant current
of 0.1C maximum.
Stage 2 (constant-current charge):
After the cell voltage has risen above
the trickle-charge threshold, the charge
current is raised to perform constant-
current charging. The constant-current
charge should be in the 0.2C to 1.0C
range. The constant current does not
need to be precise and semi-constant
Fig. 2: Capacity loss vs undercharge voltage current is allowed. Often, in linear
chargers, the current is ramped-up as
the rated capacity in the cell voltage rises in order to mini-
Ah and ‘n’ is the time mise heat dissipation in the pass tran-
in hours at which ‘C’ sistor.
is declared. Charging at constant current rates
A battery dis- above 1C does not reduce the overall
charging at a C-rate charge cycle time and should be avoid-
of ‘1’ will deliver its ed. When charging at higher currents,
nominal rated capac- the cell voltage rises more rapidly due
ity in one hour. For to over-voltage in the electrode reac-
example, if the rated tions and the increased voltage across
capacity is 1000 mAh, the internal resistance of the cell. The
Fig. 3: Typical linear solution a discharge rate of constant-current stage becomes shorter,
1C corresponds to a but the overall charge cycle time is not
in amperes, ‘M’ is the multiple or frac- discharge current of 1000 mA. A rate reduced because the percentage of time
tion of ‘C,’ ‘C’ is the numerical value of of C/10 corresponds to a discharge in the constant voltage stage increases

9 4 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Power Supply
proportionately.
Stage 3 (constant voltage): Constant
current charge ends and the constant-
voltage stage is invoked when the
cell voltage reaches 4.2V. In order to
maximise performance, the voltage
regulation tolerance should be better
than 1 per cent.
Stage 4 (charge termination): Un-
like nickel-based batteries, it is not
recommended to continue to trickle-
charge Li-ion batteries. Continuing Fig. 4: Typical, fully integrated, linear solution
to trickle charge can cause plating
of metallic lithium—a condition that
makes the battery unstable. The result
can be sudden, automatic and rapid
disassembly.
Charging is typically terminated by
one of two methods: minimum charge
current or a timer (or a combination
of the two). The minimum current
approach monitors the charge cur-
rent during the constant voltage stage
and terminates the charge when the
charge current diminishes in the range
of 0.02C to 0.07C. The second method
determines when the constant voltage
stage is invoked. Charging continues
for an additional two hours, and then
the charge is terminated. Fig. 5: MCP73843 charge cycle waveforms
Charging in this manner replenish-
es a deeply depleted battery in roughly age can vary from 90Vrms to 132Vrms of 9V to 18V.
2.5 to 3 hours. for a standard wall outlet. Assuming Constant-current charge rate and
Advanced chargers employ ad- a nominal input voltage of 120Vrms, accuracy. The choice of topology for a
ditional safety features. For example, the tolerance is +10 per cent, –25 per given application may be determined
the charge is suspended if the cell tem- cent. The charger must provide proper by the desired constant current. Many
perature is outside a specified window, regulation to the battery independent high-constant-current, or multiple-cell,
typically 0°C to 45°C. of its input voltage. The input voltage applications rely on a switch-mode
to the charger will scale in accordance charging solution for improved effi-
Li-ion charging: system to the AC mains voltage and the charge ciency and less heat generation.
considerations current: Linear solutions are desirable in
A high-performance charging system VO =√2×VIN×a–1O (REQ+RPTC) – 2×VFD low to moderate fast-charge-current
is required to recharge any battery REQ is the resistance of the second- applications for their superior size and
quickly and reliably. The following ary winding plus the reflected resist- cost considerations. However, a linear
system parameters should be consid- ance of the primary winding (RP/a2), solution purposely dissipates excess
ered in order to ensure a reliable, cost- RPTC is the resistance of the PTC and power in the form of heat.
effective solution. VFD is the forward drop of the bridge The tolerance on the constant-
Input source. Many applications rectifiers. In addition, transformer-core current charge becomes extremely
use very inexpensive wall cubes for loss will slightly reduce the output important to a linear system. If the
the input supply. The output voltage voltage. regulation tolerance is loose, pass
is highly dependent on the AC input Applications that charge from a transistors and other components
voltage and the load current being car adaptor can experience a similar will need to be oversized adding size
drawn from the wall cube. problem. The output voltage of a car and cost. In addition, if the constant-
In the US, the AC mains input volt- adaptor will be typically in the range current charge is low, the complete

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 9 5
Power Supply

Fig. 6: Switch mode SEPIC charger

9 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Power Supply
charge cycle will be extended. present. The maximum current drain
Output-voltage regulation accu- should be below a few microamperes
racy. The output-voltage regulation and, typically, below one microam-
accuracy is critical in order to obtain pere.
the desired goal: maximise the battery
capacity usage. A small decrease in Application examples
output voltage accuracy results in a Taking the above system consid-
large decrease in capacity. However, erations into account, an appropriate
the output voltage cannot be set arbi- charge management system can be
trarily high because of safety and reli- developed.
ability concerns. Linear solutions. Linear charg-
Fig. 2 depicts the importance of ing solutions are generally employed
output-voltage regulation accuracy. when a well-regulated input source
Charge termination method. It can- is available. Linear solutions, in these
not be stressed enough that over-charg- applications, offer advantages of ease
ing is the Achilles’ heal of Li-ion cells. of use, size and cost.
Accurate charge termination methods Due to the low efficiency of a
are essential for a safe, reliable, charg- linear charging solution, the most
ing system. important factor is the thermal design.
Cell temperature monitoring. The The thermal design is a direct function
temperature range over which a Li-ion of the input voltage, charge current
battery should be charged is 0°C to and thermal impedance between the
45°C, typically. Charging the battery pass transistor and the ambient cool-
at temperatures outside of this range ing air. The worst-case situation is
may cause the battery to become hot. when the device transitions from the
During a charge cycle, the pressure trickle charge stage to the constant-
inside the battery increases causing current stage. In this situation, the
the battery to swell. Temperature and pass transistor has to dissipate the
pressure are directly related. As the maximum power. A trade-off must
temperature rises, the pressure can be made between the charge current,
become excessive. This can lead to size, cost and thermal requirements of
a mechanical breakdown inside the the charging system.
battery or venting. Charging the bat- Take, for example, an application
tery outside of this temperature range required to charge a 1000mAh, single
may also harm the performance of Li-Ion cell from a 5V±5% input at a
the battery or reduce the battery’s life constant-current charge rate of 0.5C
expectance. or 1C. Fig. 3 depicts a low-cost, stan-
Generally, thermistors are included dalone linear solution. With a few
in Lithium-ion battery packs in order external components, the preferred
to accurately measure the battery charge algorithm is implemented.
temperature. The charger measures The MCP73843 combines high-accu-
the resistance value of the thermis- racy constant-current, constant-volt-
tor between the thermistor terminal age regulation with automatic charge
and the negative terminal. Charging termination.
is inhibited when the resistance, and In an effort to further reduce the
therefore the temperature, is outside size, cost and complexity of linear
the specified operating range. solutions, many of the external compo-
Battery discharge current or reverse nents can be integrated into the charge
leakage current. In many applications, management controller. Advanced
the charging system remains connected packaging and reduced flexibility
to the battery in the absence of input come along with higher integration.
power. The charging system should These packages require advanced
minimise the current drain from the equipment for manufacturing, and,
battery when input power is not in many instances, preclude rework.

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 9 7
Power Supply
protection, high-side gate drive and
current sense, and pulsed input current
(EMI concern).
The SEPIC topology has advantag-
es that include low-side gate drive and
current sense, continuous input current
and DC isolation from input to output.
The main disadvantage of the SEPIC
topology is the use of two inductors
and an energy transfer capacitor.
Fig. 6 depicts a schematic for a
switch-mode charger. A high-speed
pulse-width modulator (PWM),
MCP1630, has been utilised in a
pseudo smart battery charger ap-
plication. The MCP1630 is a high-
Fig. 7: Switch-mode charge cycles with and without PS700, 2200mAh speed, microcontroller-adaptable,
pulse-width modulator. When used
Typically, integration encompasses designer has to make a trade-off be- in conjunction with a microcontroller,
charge-current sensing, the pass tran- tween charge time, power dissipation the MCP1630 will control the power
sistor and reverse-discharge protection. and available capacity. system duty cycle to provide output
In addition, these charge-management Switch-mode charging solutions. voltage or current regulation. The
controllers typically employ some type Switch-mode charging solutions are microcontroller, PIC16F684, can be
of thermal regulation. Thermal regula- generally employed in applications used to regulate the output voltage
tion optimises the charge cycle time that have a wide-ranging input or a or current, switching frequency and
while maintaining device reliability by high input-to-output voltage differen- maximum duty cycle. The MCP1630
limiting the charge current based on tial. In these applications, switch-mode generates duty cycle, and provides
the device die temperature. Thermal solutions have the advantage of im- fast over-current protection based
regulation greatly reduces the thermal proved efficiency. The disadvantages on various external inputs. External
design effort. are system complexity, size and cost. signals include the input oscillator,
Fig. 4 depicts a fully integrated, Take, for example, an application the reference voltage, the feedback
linear solution utilising the MCP73861. required to charge a 2200mAh, single voltage and the current sense. The
The MCP73861 incorporates all the Li-ion cell from a car adaptor at a con- output signal is a square-wave pulse.
features of the MCP73843 along with stant-current charge rate of 0.5C or 1C. The power train used for the charger
charge-current sensing, the pass tran- It would be extremely difficult to utilise is SEPIC.
sistor, reverse-discharge protection and a linear solution in this application due The microcontroller provides an
cell temperature monitoring. to the thermal issues involved. A linear enormous amount of design flexibility.
Charge-cycle waveforms. Fig. 5 de- solution employing thermal regulation In addition, it can communicate with
picts complete charge cycles utilising could be utilised, but the charge cycle a battery monitor inside the battery
the MCP73843 with constant-current times at the reduced charge currents pack to significantly reduce charge-
charge rates of 1C ad 0.5C. Charging may be prohibitive. cycle times.
at a rate of 0.5C instead of 1C takes The first step to designing a suc- Charge-cycle waveforms. Fig. 7 shows
about one hour longer for the end of cessful switch-mode charging solution complete charge cycles utilising the
charge to be reached. The MCP73843 is to choose a topology: buck, boost, switch-mode charging solution. By
scales the charge termination current buck-boost, flyback, single-ended pri- utilising a battery monitor in the
proportionately with the fast charge mary inductive converter (SEPIC) or charging system, charge cycles can
current. The result is an increase of other. Knowing the input and output be significantly reduced. The battery
36 per cent in charge time with the requirements, and experience, quickly monitor eliminates sensing the voltage
benefit of a 2 per cent gain in capacity narrows the choices down to two for produced across the pack’s protection
and reduced power dissipation. The this application: buck or SEPIC. A buck circuitry and contact resistance by the
change in termination current from converter has the advantage of requir- charging current. 
0.07C to 0.035C results in an increase ing a single inductor. Disadvantages
in final capacity from around 98 of this topology include an additional The author is principal applications engineer at
per cent to 100 per cent. The system diode required for reverse-discharge Microchip Technology Inc., Chandler, USA

9 8 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
design
Part 1 of 3
Reading the Datasheets of
Electronic Devices
A thorough understanding of datasheets allows the designers to select the right
device for their application and subsequently exploit the potential of the device
to the fullest. Beginning this month in a series of three articles, we would focus
on how to read a datasheet and then go on to discuss the datasheets of two of
the most commonly used electronics devices representing discrete devices and
integrated circuits
 Anil Kumar Maini and
Varsha Agrawal

M
ost of the present-day electron-
ics designers and application
engineers do not find it neces-
sary to look beyond the first page of the
datasheets of the electronic components
or devices while selecting one for their
application. They consider the knowl-
edge of a few major specifications of the
device sufficient for the design exercise
that they wish to undertake. Though
it may be adequate in some cases, the
design where the components are chosen
without giving due consideration to the
information contained in the datasheet
may not be the optimal one.
The datasheet of a device reveals its
true character and hence its suitability
for a given application. In addition to
listing down the device parameters, it
gives the electrical and environmental
conditions at which these parameters Fig. 1: First page of datasheet of power Mosfet type IRF250
have been measured and also contains
information on variation of important ally available from manufacturers. The Surely, the technical data of a given
parameters as a function of other word ‘comprehensive’ is used here to device in the short-form catalogue will
relevant electrical and environmental differentiate between the datasheet of a not be as comprehensive as it would
parameters. It is vital information device found in a short-form catalogue be in the detailed catalogue. In the
particularly when you are designing a and another datasheet of the same de- condensed version, one is likely to find
circuit or a module that has to qualify vice available in the detailed version. salient features, major performance
stringent environment standards. A For example, a company manufactur- specifications, package information
comprehensive datasheet almost in- ing a range of semiconductor devices and electrical characteristics along with
variably includes application circuits may have one condensed catalogue the condition for which they are valid.
recommended by the manufacturer. containing data on all categories of On the other hand, a detailed datasheet
devices like diodes, bipolar transistors, offers a range of characteristic curves
Comprehensive and MOSFETs and thyristors that it manu- showing variation of important pa-
condensed datasheets factures. It may also offer detailed rameters as a function of other relevant
Both comprehensive as well as con- catalogues separately for each of these parameters and typical application
densed versions of datasheets are usu- categories. circuits.

1 0 0 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
    !
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
  
 
        
   

     !"
 
   


     
    
     

  

 
     
      
 
  
 

   
    
       

 
 
  
   

#  

               !
! " #  $%   &'(&) *+'% ,- *&) *+'%
design
capability and a low ther-
mal resistance… designed
primarily for half-wave AC
power control such as motor
controls, heating controls…
(taken from the datasheet
of S2800 series SCR)… high
photosensitivity, hermeti-
cally sealed… fast optical
sensor of high-modulation
bandwidth... (taken from the
data sheet of PIN photodiode
type BPX-65)… single-pulse
avalanche energy rated, na-
nosecond switching speeds,
linear transfer characteristics,
high input impedance… well
suited for applications such
as switching regulators, mo-
tor drivers, relay drivers…
Fig. 2: Package styles of op-amp type LM741 (taken from the datasheet
of power MOSFET type
IRF250 shown in Fig. 1)” are
representative of the first
page of the datasheet of the
device. This gives designers
a fair idea of the important
features and applications
without going through the
whole datasheet.
Device package outline.
A sketch with device dimen-
sions and lead identification,
outline of the package styles
of the device and other me-
chanical information are in-
cluded in this part. Quite of-
ten a given device is made in
more than one package style
either with no difference in
performance specifications
(such as medium-power sili-
con transistor type 2N6045/
MJE6045 made in TO220AB
Fig. 3: Internal schematic of op-amp type LM741
and TO127 package styles),
or with a minor difference
Common features ing features. All datasheets begin with (such as bipolar transistor 2N2222 in
A study of the datasheets of a variety typical applications as suggested by TO-92 plastic and TO-18 metal can
of devices, be they discrete or integrat- the manufacturer and the outstanding packages), and occasionally with a
ed circuit (IC), reveals a commonality features of the device. This informa- major difference (such as IC regulator
in the type of data and characteristic tion appears on the first page of the type 78-series in TO-92 plastic, TO-220
curves. These common features are datasheet and is an essential part of and TO-3 packages).
outlined in the following paragraphs. both condensed and detailed versions. Fig. 2 shows the package options
Typical applications and outstand- Statements like “It has high dv/dt for the operational amplifier LM741.

1 0 2 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
design

Absolute Maximum Ratings (Note 1)


If military/aerospace specified devices are required, contact the National Semiconductor Sales Office/Distributors
for availability and specifications.

LF155/6 LF256/7/LF356B LF355/6/7

Supply voltage ±22V ±22V ±18V


Differential input voltage ±40V ±40V ±30V
Input voltage range (Note 2) ±20V ±20V ±16V
Output short circuit duration Continuous Continuous Continuous
TJMAX
H-package 150°C 115°C 115°C
N-package — 100°C 100°C
M-package — 100°C 100°C
Power dissipation at TA=25°C (Notes 1, 8)
H-package (still air) 560 mW 400 mW 400 mW
H-package (400 LF/min air flow) 1200 mW 1000 mW 1000 mW
N-package — 670 mW 670 mW
M-package — 380 mW 380 mW
Thermal resistance (typical) θJA
H-package (still air) 160°C/W 160°C/W 160°C/W
H-package (400 LF/min air flow) 65°C/W 65°C/W 65°C/W
N-package — 130°C/W 130°C/W
M-package — 195°C/W 195°C/W
(Typical) θJC
H-package 23°C/W 23°C/W 23°C/W
Storage temperature range –65°C to +150°C –65°C to +150°C –65°C to +150°C
Soldering information (lead temp.)
Metal can package
Soldering (10 sec.) 300°C 300°C 300°C
Dual-in-line package
Soldering (10 sec.) 260°C 260°C 260°C
Small outline package
Vapour phase (60 sec.) — 215°C 215°C
Infrared (15 sec.) — 220°C 220°C
See AN-450 ‘Surface Mounting Methods and Their Effect on Product Reliability’ for other methods of soldering
surface mount devices.
ESD tolerance
(100 pF discharged through 1.5kΩ) 1000V 1000V 1000V
Absolute maximum ratings tell the designer the conditions that will damage the device. Remember these are
not maximum operating limits

Fig. 4: Absolute maximum ratings for op-amp type LF156/256/356

As you can see from the figure, it is architecture. This sometimes helps the
available in three packages, namely, designer to explain the device behav-
the metal can package, dual-in-line iour that is otherwise not described in
package and ceramic flatpak pack- the datasheet.
age. Absolute maximum ratings. Abso-
Schematic diagram. Detailed sche- lute maximum ratings (Fig. 4) contain
matic of the internal structure of the information on voltages, currents, pow-
device is also given in the datasheet. ers and temperature range that should
Fig. 3 shows the internal schematic of never be exceeded. As is evident from
operational amplifier LM741. It helps the figure, the maximum supply volt-
the designer to correlate the electrical age for operational amplifier LF356 is
features of the device with its internal ±18V.

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 0 3
design

Fig. 5: Performance curves of diodes 1N4001 to 1N4007

Performance curves. Perform- characteristics of the device, such characteristics) in the case of FETs,
ance curves of interest as a function as drain current versus drain volt- emitter voltage versus emitter cur-
of voltage, current, temperature, age (drain characteristics) or drain rent in the case of UJTs and forward
etc follow next. These include the current versus gate voltage (transfer voltage versus forward current in the

1 0 4 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
design
case of diodes. Fig. 5 shows the char- to 1N4007. ode current changes with temperature.
acteristics curves for diodes 1N4001 It could also be variation of the cath- The curve in the second illustration
ode voltage vs cathode indicates critical dependence of the
current as a function of dark current of the PIN photodiode
temperature (Fig. 6) in on the applied reverse bias voltage.
the case of a thyristor, or And the third demonstrates significant
dark current as a func- reduction in the transconductance of the
tion of applied reverse MOSFET at a fixed drain current with
bias in the case of a PIN increase in temperature. These are all
photodiode, or transcon- very important aspects of design and
ductance versus drain therefore should not be side-stepped.
current as a function of Electrical characteristics. Electri-
temperature in the case cal characteristics are usually given
of power MOSFET. The in tabular form indicating spread
curve in the first case in parameter values that is likely to
emphasises that the re- occur in a batch of devices in terms
Fig. 6: Thyristor-cathode voltage vs. cathode current for different
lationship between the of minimum, typical and maximum
temperatures cathode voltage and cath- values. It is a vital design input as in

Fig. 7: Electrical characteristics of Mosfet type number IRF250

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 0 5
design
These are always
an asset to the
designers, more
so for those who
are a little short
of design experi-
ence. Quite of-
ten, expressions
used to calculate
different compo-
nent values in a
given application
circuit are also
presented.
Fig. 8 shows
some of the appli-
cation circuits for
operational ampli-
fier LF356 given
in its datasheet.
The information
contained in Fig.
8 is reproduced
from the detailed
datasheet of LF
355/356/357 se-
ries of FET input
op-amps.

To sum up...
This part of the
article highlighted
the importance of
reading a datash-
eet and the host
of technical infor-
mation contained
therein. In par-
ticular, it focused
Fig. 8: Some application circuits of op-amp type LF156/256/356 on salient features
that are common
some cases, spread in values could be to the datasheets of all categories of
as much as an order of magnitude. devices illustrating the significance of
To substantiate the statement, the different parameters with practical ex-
datasheet of C122-series of SCRs from amples. The next part of the article will
RCA tells that its dv/dt rating could focus on semiconductor diodes.
be anywhere between 10V/s and …To be continued
100V/s. Similarly, the gate-source
threshold voltage of power MOSFET Anil Kumar Maini is the head of EOCM and Op-
type IRF250 could vary from 2V to toelectronics Division and associate director at
4V (Fig. 7). Laser Science and Technology Centre (Defence
R&D Organisation) and Varsha Agrawal is a senior
Application circuits. Application scientist in EOCM and Optoelectronics Division at
circuits are usually included only in Laser Science and Technology Centre (Defence
the detailed version of the datasheet. R&D Organisation)

1 0 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
do-it-yourself

A Versatile
Frequency Counter
Often, the need for a frequency counter is felt that operates in the LF, HF
and VHF ranges. The most common deterrents are the lack of programming
knowledge and the non-availability of VHF prescalers to bring down VHF to a
manageable HF range. Here we show how a commonly available low-cost radio
may be ripped apart and used as a frequency counter covering frequencies
from 500 kHz to 150 MHz
 Vasuki Prasad this section. It is used
only to keep track of

C
hinese radio company Kchibo COM1 1 36 VDD time.
makes radios based on the CX- COM2 2 35 FMIN The on-chip oscil-
A1619BM IC. This IC is a sur- COM3 3
lator is a NOT gate
34 VSS
face-mount version of the CXA1619BS, that requires an exter-
SEG0 4 33 AMIN
which most designers are familiar nal 32.768kHz crystal
with; FM boards available in the mar- SEG1 5 32 AM/FM-SEL to generate the timing
ket are built using this IC. Kchibo and SEG2 6 31 RANGE base.
other companies went a step ahead The adder/subtrac-
SEG3 7 30 NC
and thought of implementing a radio tor unit works like this:
frequency display, along with an alarm SEG4 8 29 IF70K A super heterodyne
clock, in their radios so that any station SEG5 9 28 AL-OUT radio receiver requires
can be tuned into, without doubting
SEG6 10
6610 27 AL-SIG
a local oscillator operat-
the actual frequency which the radio ing at a fixed frequency
is tuned to (no blind or approximate SEG7 11 26 CLKFREQ-SEL above the incoming
tuning). This is not a radio synthesiser; SEG8 12 25 NC signal’s frequency. This
it’s a conventional, mechanically tuned SEG9 13
fixed frequency is called
24 HR-SET
radio that sports a frequency display. intermediate frequency,
SEG10 14 23 MIN-SET
As opposed to conventional radios or IF. For commercial
which use a single IC (the CXA1619BS/ SEG11 15 22 AL DISP FM radios, it is 10.7
BM), the so-called digital radio uses SEG12 16 21 AL ON/OFF MHz for FM and 455
two ICs: the radio receiver IC and the kHz for AM/SW.
OSC IN 17 20 RST
UTC6610. Now, if the frequen-
At the heart of this project is OSC OUT 18 19 VLCD cy counter was reading
UTC6610. It comes in many pack- the actual frequency of
ages, but these radios use the chip-on- Fig. 1: Pin configuration of UTC6610 the oscillator, the user
board variety. The UTC6610 comes would have been put to
equipped with a frequency counter low-to-high) within a set period. great trouble in determining the actual
circuitry, prescaler for VHF, clock cir- The prescaler for VHF is a divide- receiving frequency. For example, for a
cuitry (time), on-chip oscillator, simple by-ten block that probably uses high- 100MHz signal to be detected, the local
adder/subtractor or offset unit, and speed CMOS circuitry to divide the oscillator is made to run at 110.7 MHz
LCD driver. As can be seen, this unit number of pulses. When a 150MHz (100+10.7=110.7 MHz). So to display
is completely self-sufficient. The only signal is fed to the prescalar, the output the intended receiving frequency, the
external components required are is 15 MHz. Datasheets specify 300mV UTC6610 subtracts 10.7 MHz from the
crystal and LCD. peak-to-peak input; higher voltages will counted frequency. This means that if
The frequency counter circuitry of destroy the IC. The prescaler is activated you are to use the UTC6610 as a fre-
the IC measures the frequency of the only in the FM mode of operation. quency counter, always bear in mind
incoming RF wave by counting the As regards clock circuitry, we’re that the actual frequency is 10.7 MHz
number of transitions (high-to-low or not interested in it and hence skipping higher than the displayed frequency

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 0 7
do-it-yourself

Modes of Operation
FM mode AM mode
Function details details
Input frequency range 11 to 150 MHz 0.5 to 30 MHz
Prescaler In operation Not in operation
Input voltage 300mV pk-pk recommended 300mV pk-pk recommended
Frequency resolution 10 kHz: 11.00 to 99.99 MHz 1 kHz: 500 to 9999 kHz
100 kHz: 11.0 MHz to 149.9 MHz 10 kHz: 0.50 to 29.99 MHz
Set in radio to 100kHz resolution Set in radio to 10kHz resolution for
SW and 1kHz resolution for MW Fig. 5: The brown PCB with the metallic shield,
which is our target
IF offset 10.7 MHz 455 kHz
70 kHz also available
Input resistance 150 ohms 2000 ohms

COL S1
AM
MHz
FM KHz
PM AL
DP2 DP1

(a)

Fig. 6: Opened up: The frequency counter


UTC6610 hidden away behind the LCD, while
the flip-flop circuitry (just to set FM, AM states) is
visible as the SMD transistors
Fig. 3: The radio

(b)

Fig. 2: (a) 4 digit-LCD and (b) image of the LCD

in the FM mode. In the AM mode, it is


455 kHz above the displayed frequen-
cy. 70kHz offsets are also available as
Fig. 7: The back side: RF shield-cum-LCD
an option in the FM mode, but we are mechanical support. Notice the purple and black
skipping this for now as the radios wire for VHF and HF input, respectively
we rip these modules from have no
70kHz IF.
The LCD driver converts binary
data into voltages necessary to drive
the LCD unit.

Opening up the radio


Fig. 4: Opened up radio; note that the brown
The best part about Kchibo KK-939B PCB is the frequency counter and LCD section
radio is use of minimal external points. and green PCB is the radio receiver
Also, it is simple to understand and
operate, has an LED light to illuminate frequency counter PCB (Fig. 9), you Fig. 8: The purple line leads to the take-off point
for the VHF oscillator (FM section), while the
the LCD, and looks good. I recommend will notice the solder joints marked VH rightmost black wire leads to the take-off point
beginners to buy this radio and rip it input, HF input, points ‘1’ through ‘5,’ for the AM oscillator
apart for a clean, high-performance FM and AM. VHF input is to be con-
frequency counter. nected to the RF source whose frequen- want to determine (up to 30 MHz).
To access the frequency counter cy you want to determine (from 11 to ‘1’ is an input point. It has to be
board, the radio (Kchibo KK-939B) has 150 MHz). HF input is to be connected kept at 0V for FM (VHF) operation
to be opened up. In the close-up of the to the RF source whose frequency you and 10kHz resolution in the AM mode

1 0 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
do-it-yourself
PCB provided by the manufacturer of
the radio, so as to come up with a quick,
compact, cost-effective RF counter.
To have a look at the IC, lift the
LCD, and you will see that the chip-
on-board (COB) is the UTC 6610 (see
Fig. 10).

Making the RF counter


1. Cut out the 5-wire ribbon cable. Un-
Fig. 12: Crude connection example solder it from the counter board.
2. Cut the VHF and HF input wires
A flip-flop comprising SMD transis- from the points on the radio PCB, not
Fig. 9: Close-up of the frequency counter PCB tors on the PCB locks the UTC in this the counter PCB.
mode until the AM button is pressed. 3. The counter PCB is now sepa-
Default mode on startup is the FM rated from the radio receiver PCB.
mode. 4. Solder a red wire to point ‘3’ of
Pressing AM button activates the the counter PCB. This is your positive
HF counter with frequency range of 0.5 3V supply wire.
to 30 MHz. The input is via the black 5. Solder a green wire to point ‘4’ of
wire (shown in Fig. 9); the colour may the PCB. This serves as ground.
differ in your radio. Set point 1 to Vcc 6. Connect a small switch between
for 1kHz resolution and RF input of point ‘1’ and GND and Vcc, as shown
0.5 to 9.999 MHz. Set point 1 to 0V for in Fig. 11. Push the switch to 1kHz
10kHz resolution and 0.5 MHz to 29.99 position for 1kHz resolution in the
Fig. 10: The chip-on-board is the UTC6610 MHz. Actual tests show it exceeds AM mode, and to 10kHz resolution for
75 MHz in this mode, which is good. 10kHz in the AM mode. The switch has
(HF opera- Reading on the display must be added to be kept in the 10kHz resolution mode
tion). Setting to 455 kHz to get the actual frequency. for proper VHF operation (FM mode).
it to Vcc in HF A flip-flop comprising SMD transis- With this, your crude-looking but
mode only sets tors on the PCB locks the UTC in this great-performance RF counter is set to
the display mode until the FM button is pressed. go. But bear a few things in mind:
resolution to Default mode on startup is the FM 1. Keep the VHF and HF wires as
1 kHz. ‘2’ is an mode. To activate the AM mode, this short as possible. Their length will not
output point button has to be pressed. affect the performance of the counter,
Fig. 11: Connect a small
switch between point ‘1’ for the radio Notice the blob of solder above the but the circuit under test (for example,
and GND and Vcc which lets VHF input point. This is the ground. the oscillator you might have built).
the IC know Of course, the clock pushbuttons 2. Couple the HF and VHF wires to
whether it’s the AM (SW/MW) mode are still working perfectly, so you may the RF sources via a 2pF capacitor.
or FM mode. ‘3’ is an input point at use them to set the clock too. You will 3. Preferably, replace the VHF and
Vcc (3V, do not exceed 3.3V). ‘4’ is the have to shift the SPDT switch (the HF crude wires with easily available
input point at GND. ‘5’ is the output switch which controls the radio ‘on’ 75-ohm cable TV coax. This provides
point that controls power to the radio, and ‘off’) to ‘off’ position in order to RF shielding and noise immunity to a
shutting off power to the IC when in activate the clock, and to ‘on’ position good degree.
clock mode. in order to activate the RF counter. Fig. 12 shows a crude connection
Pressing FM button activates the Please note that here we’re not try- example. Note how the green wire (HF
VHF counter with a resolution of 100 ing to use the UTC6610 directly. Most wire) is directly fed to the output of the
kHz and frequency range of 11 MHz of the hard work of wiring up the 6610 oscillator (very crude, do not attempt
to 150 MHz. The input is via the pur- IC, providing an LCD, making the PCB this), without any capacitor or buffer.
ple wire (shown in Fig. 9); the colour and adding components has been done (I admit this green wire belongs to a
may differ in your radio. You must set by the radio manufacturer; in this case, different counter, but the operation
point 1 to 0V for proper operation. The Kchibo. All we are attempting to do and concept are the same, as it too uses
display reading must be added to 10.7 here is to understand operation of the the UTC6610.) Once I disconnected the
MHz to get the actual frequency. UTC6610, and in turn operation of the counter from the oscillator I had made,

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 0 9
do-it-yourself
the frequency moved up by 1 MHz.
What is important to understand
here is: If you’re keeping the counter
connected to the output of a non-
buffered oscillator, the reading of the
counter plus 455/10.7 (as the case may
be, FM or AM mode, as shown on the Fig. 13: Suggested connection
LCD) will be the true reading. At-
tempting to count the frequency and Fig. 13 shows the suggested con-
then disconnecting the counter will set nection. Never connect the HF and Fig. 14: Another radio receiver example
the oscillator at a different frequency VHF counter pins together. Use sepa-
after counting due to the capacitance rate ports and coax cables for both. tions is much more. Besides, separating
and loading effect of the counter. The the counter PCB from the radio PCB
reading got then is invalid as the fre- Why it’s good for removes the luxury of pushbuttons
quency changes on the removal of the beginners? and flip-flops; which are present in the
counter. There are other radio receiver models KK-939B.
Keeping this effect in mind, it is available with more work to do (in It took me two month to under-
important to: terms of points). Fig. 14 shows an stand the operation of the counter
1. Use the 2pF capacitor. It causes example: As you can see, the number shown in Fig. 14. After all the UTC6610
minimal frequency shift due to mini- of lines is more, and more connec- learning and circuit decoding (exten-
mal capacitance effect, so that the tions have to be made in order to get sive), the KK-939 took only 17 minutes
reading obtained, and the frequency it working. But for a beginner, the KK- flat. That’s why it’s good for beginners.
after removing the counter from your 939B is a great radio with a great coun- Enjoy and have fun with your inexpen-
oscillator, don’t differ much. ter board. It has on-board flip-flops sive counter. The radio should be avail-
2. Buffer your oscillator. Buffer- that make the external connections able for Rs 250 or less. Have fun! 
ing of oscillators is very important to simple. In the case of the board shown
prevent your oscillators from being in Fig. 14, all the flip-flops are on the The author is from Manipal Institute of Technol-
affected by external components. radio PCB, so the number of connec- ogy

Statement about ownership and other particulars about


Electronics For You
FORM IV (See Rule 8)
1. Place of publication : New Delhi
2. Periodicity of its publication : Monthly
3. Printer’s Name : Ramesh Chopra
Nationality : Indian
Address : Electronics For You
D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area,
Phase I, New Delhi 110020
4. Publisher’s Name : Same as (3) above
Nationality
and address
5. Names and addresses of : EFY Enterprises Pvt Ltd
individuals who own the D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area,
newspaper & partners or Phase 1, New Delhi 110020
shareholders holding more
than 1% of the total capital

I, Ramesh Chopra, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of
my knowledge and belief.
Date: 28-2-2009
Ramesh Chopra
Publisher

1 1 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
wireless

Bluetooth Scatternets
A Cost-Effective Solution for Communication
The most popular application of Bluetooth is communication between
two directly paired devices. Here, we explore a less popular but powerful
application of Bluetooth which can help extend the range of Bluetooth
communication and provide a free infrastructure for communication
Scatternets: A set of
piconets
When there is a collection of devices
paired with each other, it forms a
small personal area network called
‘piconet.’ A piconet consists of a mas-
ter and at most seven active slaves.
Each piconet has its own hopping se-
quence and the master and all slaves
share the same channel. In a piconet,
the master and slave devices trans-
mit packets in even and odd slots,
respectively.
Two or more piconets connected
to each other by means of a device
(called ‘bridge’) participating in both
the piconets, form a scatternet. The role
of the bridge is to transmit data across
 Ahzam Ali Bluetooth is an evolving technol- piconets. Fig. 1 shows a scatternet
ogy. It has gone through three (stand- structure in which devices ‘a’ and ‘c’

B
luetooth is a low-power, low- ardised) revisions of the approved play the master role and device ‘b’ acts
cost and short-range wireless standard by Bluetooth Special Interest as the bridge.
technology. It was originally Group (SIG), the latest one being Blue- The scatternet formation has not
developed by Ericsson for short-range tooth 2.1 EDR (enhanced data rate) in been formally defined in the Bluetooth
communication between personal early part of 2008. The latest standard SIG specifications. As a result, numer-
devices, e.g., data transfer between supports enhanced usability, i.e., pair- ous protocols have been proposed.
a cellphone and a computer, or com- ing of devices by means of near-field While modeling ad-hoc networking,
munication with a printer. Bluetooth communication (NFC), enhanced in general, is complex, the additional
devices use the unlicensed ISM band security and broader range of device restrictions imposed by the Bluetooth
at 2.4 GHz. profiles. specifications—such as low cost of
Nowadays most of the mobile de- When a number of Bluetooth de- the device, low power consumption
vices, including mobile phones, MP3 vices communicate to each other in the and network resilience while using
players, digital cameras, video cam- same vicinity, there is a high level of piconets that have a maximum of
eras, PDAs, laptop PCs, tablet PCs and interference. To combat interference, seven active nodes—have created a
so forth, are equipped with Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology applies a fast
So you can exchange data between frequency-hopping scheme which hops P1 c P2

these devices without requiring the over 79 channels 1600 times per second. a b
MASTER
use of wires. Bluetooth is considered For devices to communicate to each SLAVE
to be a high-potential technology for other using Bluetooth they need to be BRIDGE
providing wireless communication in paired with each other to have synchro-
a home-networking environment. nised frequency-hopping sequence. Fig. 1: Scatternet structure

1 1 2 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
wireless
significant challenge. of the scatternet, it transfers its re-
sponsibilities to another device in the
Formation of scatternets scatternet.
There has been a comprehensive study There is a switching delay (called
to propose an efficient formation of con- ‘guard time’) introduced by bridges
nected scatternet. One important prob- Fig. 2: Showing efficient network after role
while they try to transmit packets
lem that exists with scatternet as well switching across the piconets. Eliminating the
as piconet formation is to keep track of unnecessary bridges from the net-
the device that comes in and goes out of work will improve the perform-
the network—since these are low-power ance of the scatternet. There exist
handheld devices with limited commu- various protocols and algorithms
nication range over Bluetooth. A device to optimise the roles that a device
connects to another device at random, assumes in a scatternet.
according to their 48-bit Bluetooth ad- We see in the following exam-
dresses and clocks, which control the ples how effective role assignment
hopping behaviour in inquiry or inquiry Fig. 3: Unnecessary bridge elimination can reduce the hop count while
scan states. Most protocols seek to re- routing a packet, help reduce
duce the scatternet formation time and packet collisions the number of bridges in the network
form fast routing algorithms. 7. Maximise the amount of data and result in an efficient scatternet
It turns out that a good scatternet throughput structure.
formation protocol should: Given a scatternet, you can evaluate In Fig. 2, the original network was
1. Be fully distributed and rely on its performance based on the number formed with ‘c’ as a bridge node and ‘a’
local information of piconets, the number of nodes per and ‘b’ as the masters on two different
2. Generate connected scatternets piconet, the number of bridge nodes, piconets p1 and p2. Using role switch-
3. Be resilient to the disconnection the number of roles per node, average ing, with the help of ‘c,’ improves the
of nodes anywhere in the scatternet traffic delay, throughput and maxi- structure of the scatternet (now formed
4. Provide multiple routes for ro- mum traffic delay. as a ‘piconet’), shortens the routing
bustness and be self-healing Numerous models have been path and eliminates the bridge delay
5. Limit the number of bridges proposed for constructing Bluetooth in the network.
6. Limit the number of roles a de- scatternets, some of which may require Fig. 3 shows another example of
vice can assume modifications to the existing Bluetooth better role switching operation that
7. Be aware of device resources specifications. results in an improved network struc-
While forming a scatternet, keep ture.
in mind that you are dealing with, in Role switching
general, small, energy- and process- Role switching enables two devices Scatternet applications
ing-power-starved devices. The fol- to exchange roles very rapidly, rather By now you might be wondering what
lowing points should be taken care of than reconnecting by executing the possible use these scatternets could be
while developing scatternet formation time-consuming inquiry and inquiry put to. Well, there are papers proposing
protocols: scan processes. The role switching voice communication between two mo-
1. Minimise scatternet construction operation involves fewer slots than the bile devices connected over a Bluetooth
time inquiry/inquiry scan and page/page scatternet, up to a distance of 100 metres
2. Minimise the amount of control scan operations in switching the roles in an indoor environment. One of the
data transmitted of the devices. popular applications developed by No-
3. Minimise the number of hops There are three major types of role kia, called ‘sensor,’ works on somewhat
required for communication between switching operations: similar principles. It lets users communi-
devices, in order to improve response 1. Combining. A situation where a cate to each other, bypassing the service
times single node works both as slave in one provider’s network, over Bluetooth.
4. Minimise power consumption. piconet and master in another. Sensor networks are another ex-
Master-and-bridge mode of operation 2. Splitting. A piconet with a large ample where the Bluetooth scatternets
requires more power than slave mode number of devices divided in two can be used. Since sensor networks are
5. Minimise the number of roles piconets with smaller number of de- generally ad-hoc, Bluetooth scatternet
assigned to nodes vices. can be used for communication of
6. Minimise the number of piconets 3. Take-over. When the existing sensors with each other and the base.
to provide faster routing and reduced mast or a bridge is about to move out This will eliminate the requirement of

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 1 3
wireless
developing a special-purpose protocol for Bluetooth scatternets. Also, there that broadcast information to all Blue-
for sensor networks. are quite a few papers which discuss tooth devices in the vicinity. So users
the point of organising the scatternet will be able to pull relevant informa-
Problems to be addressed in an efficient fashion, dealing with tion from the system.
The Bluetooth scatternet formation disparate aspects of scatternet opti- 2. Topology manger. It will enable
devices are generally small, running on misation. A proposal in ‘Bluetooth better configuration of piconets and
batteries, with low-powered CPU and Scatternet Formation for Supporting even scatternets.
low memory. At the same time, these are Device Mobility,’ by Chorng-Horng 3. Alternate media access physical
highly mobile and may frequently move Yang and Yi- Sheng Chen, deals with layer. It will enable use of some other
in and out of the network. This leads us mobility support in a Bluetooth scat- wireless technology for actual data
to think about: ternet network, but relies on a Blue- transfer at higher rate while maintain-
1. Topology and size of scatternets. tooth backbone network consisting of ing the initial pairing on standard
What is the optimal number of piconets devices that are not mobile. Another Bluetooth.
in the scatternet and how many nodes work done on similar lines is ‘Tracking 4. QoS improvements. These will
are there? The number of bridge nodes the Optimal Configuration of a Blue- enable audio and video data transmis-
increases (proportionally) with the tooth Scatternet’ by Csaba Kiss Kalló sion at a higher quality.
increasing number of piconets. The in- and Carla-Fabiana Chiasserini, which Nokia and Bluetooth SIG have an-
creases, in turn, incur significant over- deals with similar problem of redefin- nounced that Wibree (Nokia’s low pow-
head: loss of one or more time slots to ing the role of nodes in scatternets but er wireless communication protocol) will
readjust clocking when shifting from concentrates on improving the energy be a part of the Bluetooth specification
one piconet to another, more traffic efficiency of the nodes. Also, there are as an ultra-low-power Bluetooth tech-
than non-bridge nodes and increased numerous proposals for routing proto- nology, to be used in caller ID watches,
battery power consumption to perform cols including MANET (mobile ad-hoc sports sensors (used for monitoring the
these tasks. network) protocols. wearer’s heart rate during exercise) as
What is the optimal number of well as medical devices. A medical de-
piconets in which a bridge should par- Future in Bluetooth vices profile and associated protocols are
ticipate? The more the piconets with The new Bluetooth specification, called being developed by the Medical Devices
which a bridge communicates, the less the Bluetooth 2.1, is already published. Working Group (MDWG).
the time during which the bridge will It is fully backward-compatible with Bluetooth 3.0. The next version of
be available for dealing with traffic 1.1. The specification includes many Bluetooth after v2.1, code-named Seat-
from/to each individual piconet, thus new security and usability enhance- tle, is proposed to adopt ultra-wide-
increasing the likelihood of bottlenecks, ments. The most interesting of these band (UWB) radio technology. This
at the bridge itself. is incorporation of the near-field will allow Bluetooth use over UWB
2. Formation delay and resilience. communication (NFC) device, which radio, enabling very fast data transfers
How much time is required to con- helps in pairing of two Bluetooth de- of up to 480 Mbps, while taking the ad-
struct, optimise and maintain the scat- vices equipped with NFC chip by just vantage of very low-power idle modes
ternet? The ad-hoc, dynamic nature of bringing them close to each other. For of Bluetooth.
a Bluetooth network requires constant example, a headset can be paired with
modifications to the scatternet topol- a Bluetooth 2.1 phone having NFC Extending the scope
ogy to support devices that join and chip just by bringing the two devices Even though work on Bluetooth scat-
leave. How to handle the nodes that close to each other. Another example ternet is going on for about a decade
join or leave the scatternets? is automatic uploading of photos from now, it has failed to generate interest
3. Polling and scheduling. In what a mobile phone to a digital picture amongst general consumer electronics
order will the slaves be polled by the frame just by bringing the phone close goods manufacturers. Bluetooth scat-
master? Does the scatternet topology to the frame. Features like this and ternets find most of their use in sensor
impact the ability to handle scheduled other security enhancements will help networks. When there is a limitation
communications from slaves in sniff or Bluetooth gain user confidence. on setting up the communication in-
hold state? A lot of work is in progress in frastructure, Bluetooth scatternet could
4. Routing. Does the scatternet topol- the area of Bluetooth, to enhance and turn out to be a cost-effective solution.
ogy allow efficient routing of messages? widen the application of Bluetooth In future, as the processing power of
protocol. In the future, we may expect electronic devices grows and they be-
Work in the area features like: come more energy-efficient, Bluetooth
There are a number of papers discuss- 1. Broadcast channels. These will might see its way into already evolving
ing the effective routing protocols enable Bluetooth information points Bluetooth standards. 

1 1 4 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Recently introduced in India, From near and far

New Products
levels of system performance, capacity, ambient temperatures, with the best
Storage reliability and lower power consump- performance over the range of 13°C
tion. to 33°C.
Stylish hard drive Built for 8.9cm Tier 1 storage ap- TTL Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bangalore
Transcend Information, Inc. has an- plications, the 15K.7 and the NS.2 Fax: (080) 25291285
nounced a 6.4cm (2.5-inch) portable are said to be the largest-capacity, Phone: 25260646, 25251859
hard drive. The elegant and sleek Store- mission-critical drives offered at 600 E-mail: tmidirect@ttlindia.com
Jet 25F measures only 113.8×80.9×15.9 GB. The 15K.7 is claimed to deliver Website: ttlindia.com
mm3. It is designed for business travel- the highest performance of any 8.9cm
drive, while the NS.2 features the low- Handheld digital
est power requirement of any 8.9cm multimeters
Tier 1 drive. Messals Overseas (India) has intro-
Fortune Marketing (Seagate Distributor), duced high-performance, handheld
New Delhi digital multimeters (model Nos 1061
Phone: (011) 26414468, 26472491 and 1062) from Kyoritsu, Japan.
E-mail: sales@fortune-it.com These 50,000-count, true-RMS
multimeters have basic DC accuracy of
Test & measurement 0.025 per cent. They use high-perform-
ers and people who prefer an elegant ance, UL-standard fuses with user cali-
way to carry their data. Despite its Reference thermometers bration function. Peak-hold response
compact size, the StoreJet 25F has up Hart Scientific, a division of Fluke Cor- time is 250 µs. The multimeters can
to 500 GB of storage space, so you can poration, has introduced the Fluke 1523 measure AC/DC voltage up to 1000V,
easily transfer, store and share impor- and Fluke 1524 handheld reference current up to 10A and resistance up to
tant files and data. thermometers for platinum resistance 50 mega-ohms. Other functions include
Supertron Electronics Limited, Kolkata thermometer temperature and capacitance measure-
Phone: (033) 22131221-23 (PRT), ther- ments with diode test and continuity
E-mail: coordinator@supertronindia.com mocouple check.
and thermis- Messals Overseas (I) Pvt Ltd, Jaipur
Enterprise-class hard drives tor tempera- Fax: (0141) 2706639
Seagate has announced two new mem- ture meas- Phone: 2705361
bers of its Cheetah enterprise-class urement. The E-mail: messals_kew@dataone.in
hard drive family: the 15K.7 and the single- and
NS.2. For businesses that have an ex- dual-channel Tools & Equipment
isting investment based on a standard models fea-
8.9cm (3.5-inch) enterprise infrastruc- ture precision Energy saver
ture, the new Cheetah drives bolster components The Coolite energy saver by Conzerv
sustainability through easy drive/sys- and circuitry helps to save 10 to 20 per cent of
tem integration, and provide improved to put lab-quality measurement in direct lighting energy consumption
easy reach of field technicians and and runs lamps cooler. It looks simi-
engineers. lar to a computer’s CPU and has to
These rugged and affordable ther- be connected to the
mometers offer accuracy of ±0.002°C— lighting supply. Coolite
a level appropriate for high-precision is suitable for stabi-
field work in oil, gas and other in- lised lighting circuits in
dustries, where the current practice commercial buildings
is the use of toxic mercury-in-glass and complexes, hotels,
thermometers. Fluke guarantees hospitals, BPOs, cinema
the specifications in –10°C to 60°C halls, auditoria, stadia

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 1 5
(indoor/outdoor), educational institu- operation of logic signals, coil-winding Edimax Technology Co. Ltd, New Delhi
tions, residential buildings and apart- machines, photo lab equipment, sew- Phone: (011) 41608180
ments and all industrial facilities. It ing machines, packaging equipment, E-mail: renu@edimax.com.tw
filters harmonics injected to the line by conveyor belts, printing equipment Web: www.edimax.com
electronic lighting ballasts and reduces and CNC machines.
spikes in lighting circuits. Teknic Electromeconics Pvt Ltd, Bangalore Components
E Power Engineering, Chennai Fax: (080) 28520254
Fax: (044) 24337599 Phone: 28520389, 28520714 IGBT for xenon flash
Phone: 24337598 E-mail: tepl_wks@satyam.net.in Sanyo Semiconductor claims to have
developed the industry’s smallest
Inductive proximity sensor Air-dust cleaner IGBT for xenon flash to be used in
R.S. Electronics has introduced induc- Cecon Pollutech Systems has intro- portable camera phones and compact
tive proximity sensors that can detect duced a high-efficiency, portable,
the presence of a wide range of metallic air-dust cleaner designed to create
targets. This detection is accomplished dust-free atmosphere in conditioned
without contacting the target and is and non-conditioned areas. Clean-
mechanically wear-free. ing efficiency of this system is 0.1
The sensors are available in DC micron with power consumption of
as well as AC, in various sizes rang- 150 watts.
ing from M8 to M80, with various The wall-hanging cleaner is easy
to install with low maintenance cost digital cameras.
and nil consumables required for op- The new IGBT reduces its mount-
eration. It is highly useful for places ing area by 60 per cent compared
like currency chest and sorting areas to Sanyo’s current products while
in process control rooms of banks, tel- keeping the equivalent performance
ephone exchanges, research labora- required for light control of the xenon
tories, operation theatres, and other flash. This new product is ideal for
configurations and sensing distances. places requiring clean and dust-free portable camera cell phones as well as
Inductive micro box sensors, slot atmosphere. compact digital cameras.
sensors or any other type of sensor Cecon Pollutech Systems (P) Ltd, Lucknow The IGBT contributes to environ-
can be supplied as per the specific Telefax: (0522) 2386331 mental friendliness by incorporating
requirement. Phone: 2700202, 2391709 lead-free external terminals, halogen-
R.S. Electronics, Chennai E-mail: cecon5@yahoo.com free packaging and reduction of rare
E-mail: rselectronics75@ymail.com metals used. Smaller, thinner, and
high-performance package leads to re-
Foot switch Networking source savings and energy efficiency.
Teknic’s foot switch (type FS-99) is Sanyo Semiconductor (S) Pte Ltd, India Liaison
ideal for any light- to medium-duty Broadband router Office, Noida
application, with an electrical rating Edimax’s Ultra Range plus Wireless-N Fax: (0120) 4232108
of 16A, ½HP, broadband router is a 3-in-1 device. Phone: 4232106-8, 4232109 (Direct)
250V AC. It First, there’s the wireless access point, E-mail: puneet03_sanyo@airtelmail.in
can serve as which lets you
a foot-operat- connect to the Broadband signal amplifier IC
ed, ‘on’/‘off’ network without STMicroelectronics has introduced
switch for a wires. There’s a broadband signal amplifier IC that
wide range of also a built-in 4- supports higher frequencies and faster
motor-driven port, full-duplex response, as well as lower noise, than
and electrical 10/100 switch amplifiers used in current equipment.
devices. The switch is constructed with to connect your The TS617 supports up to 200MHz
a sturdy metal housing and can be wired-Ethernet operation, which will satisfy faster
used as an independent product, but devices together. broadband services such as 24Mbps
can also be supplied with an additional Finally, the router function ties it all ADSL2+, and VDSL offering up to
guard in different colours for certain together and lets your whole network 100Mbps download and upload
applications. share a high-speed cable or DSL Inter- speeds. It is also optimised for use
The switch can be used in net connection. in broadband powerline networking

1 1 6 • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
using standards such as HomePlug
1.0 and HomePlugAV. HomePlugAV
is a new standard developed by the
HomePlug Powerline Alliance which
will allow home entertainment devices
to share the Internet and TV, audio and
video using AC mains wiring instead
of dedicated network cables.
STMicroelectronics Marketing Pvt Ltd, Noida, camcorders and for fast transfer from
Uttar Pradesh the card to a PC.
Fax: 0120-4243417 Kingston Technology, Mumbai
Phone: 4243400 Phone: (022) 26592961
E-mail: techsupport_india@kingston.com.tw
Miscellaneous Website: kingston.com/asia

TFT monitor Video encoder


Moser Baer India has launched a sleek Axis Communications has introduced
and stylish LCD TFT monitor for those a highly compact and cost-effective
who have a knack for gaming, video one-channel video encoder with H.264
video compression.
The M7001 video encoder is perfect
for integrating small or large numbers
of analogue CCTV surveillance camer-
as into an IP-based video surveillance
system. Installed close to an analogue
camera, it converts analogue video
signals from the analogue camera into
digital video streams that are then sent

editing and other multimedia applica-


tions. The monitor (MBI TFTL5C) is
priced at Rs 7000, thus making it ideal
for low-cost entertainment and gaming.
Its other features are 38cm (15-inch)
wide display with high resolution, fast
response time of six microseconds and
aspect ratio of 16:10.
Moser Baer India Ltd, New Delhi over an IP-based network (LAN/in-
Phone: 26911570-74 tranet/Internet). The video encoder
Fax: (011) 26911860 also provides pan, tilt and zoom sup-
E-mail: manish.sood@moserbaer.in port to PTZ and PTZ dome cameras.
AXIS M7001 can deliver two simul-
SDHC video cards taneous video streams, one in H.264
Kingston Technology Company, Inc., and another in Motion JPEG, at full
has released a line of SDHC video frame rate in all resolutions up to D1
cards for use in digital camcorders. (720x480 in NTSC, 720x576 in PAL).
The SDHC video cards carry plenty of It drastically reduces bandwidth and
recording time and are available in 60- storage requirements without compro-
minute (4GB), 120-minute (8GB) and mising image quality.
240-minute (16GB) capacities. Axis Video Systems India Private Limited,
The cards feature a Class-4 speed Bangalore
rating, which guarantees a minimum Fax: (080) 40239111
data transfer rate of 4 MB/s, making Phone: 41571222
them ideal for use in the latest digital E-mail: prakash.prabhu@axis.com

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • M a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 1 7
 corporate news  new ventures  calendar  new appointments

Industry News
Semiconductor market In Focus
continues to grow
Satoru Ito to retire as NDS appoints director-sales
The total revenues of the Indian semi- Renesas chairman, CEO NDS India, a provider of technology
conductor market are poised to grow Renesas Technology has announced solutions for digital pay-TV, has
from $5.9 billion in 2008 to $7.59 billion changes in its management team, appointed Alan Dishington as the
in 2010 at a CAGR of 13.4 per cent. The with effect from April 1, 2009. The director of sales. Based out of New
total available market revenues are new appointments are subject to Delhi, Dishington will be reporting to
approval of the general shareholders’ Sue Taylor, senior vice president and
anticipated to climb from $2.53 billion
meeting to be held before the end of general manager, NDS Asia Pacific.
in 2008 to $3.24 billion in 2010 with a March 2009. Satoru Ito, chairman and In his new position, he will oversee
CAGR of 13.1 per cent, according to CEO since April 2006, will retire from all Indian business development,
a report by The India Semiconductor his position. Katsuhiro Tsukamoto, sales and pre-sales activities. He
Association (ISA) and Frost and Sul- currently president and COO, will be will be responsible for identifying
appointed as the company’s chairman and developing new business
livan (F&S).
and board director. And, Yasushi Akao opportunities for NDS end-to-end pay-
IT and office automation, wireless will take up the post of president, while TV solutions in India in cable, satellite
handsets and communication segments continuing as board director. (DTH) and IPTV.
are going to define the semiconductor
market growth. The semiconduc- Samsung appoints GM-IT Rathore is Videocon’s
tor market growth is expected to be volume sales chief marketing officer
driven by such products and services Samsung India has appointed Gurpreet Jaideep Rathore has been appointed
as set-top boxes, wireless handsets, Brar as the general manager for its IT as the chief marketing officer by
volume sales business. In this role, consumer durable firm Videocon.
the 3G rollout, deployment of WiMAX,
Brar will handle the company’s volume Earlier, Rathore was heading the
notebooks and smart cards. Opportuni- business, comprising LCD monitor, company’s Italy operations. Rathore
ties exist for semiconductors in LCD HDD, OMS and notebook PC product would be overseeing the marketing
TV, digital camera and storage Flash categories along with the company’s functions of all the brands for
memory markets. retail business for both the volume and consumer electronics and appliances
printer business in India. of Videocon across the country.
Telecom too shows growth
Defying the economic slowdown, the ices in different circles of the country. Technology (MAIT), the total PC sales
telecom sector has witnessed a robust From aggressive marketing to very low between April and September 2008,
growth. The companies are adding tariffs, these two companies are adopt- with desktop computers and notebooks
substantial number of subscribers ing every startegy to attract subscribers taken together, were 3.69 million units,
and this trend is persisting for the last in the circles they have launched their registering a growth of 12 per cent over
many quarters. For instance, the ag- services recently. Almost all companies the same period last fiscal. The sales of
gregate net subscriber addition during are increasing their network capacity, desktops stood at 2.91 million units,
the quarter ended December 2008 was setting up new equipment for technol- registering a growth of 12 per cent.
around 31.6 million resulting in a se- ogy adoption or spending more money Notebooks recorded a consumption of
quential growth of 10 per cent. to acquire new subscribers. 770,000 units, growing 13 per cent over
Indian telecom services providers the same period last year.
are at different phases of their growth Flat growth expected The desktop PC and notebook sales
cycles and have adopted different in PC sales in fiscal 2008-09 are expected to be 5.5
business models to attract new custom- Given the current macro-economic million units and 1.85 million units—
ers. Bharti Airtel, which is the market conditions and conservative buying almost the same as in fiscal 2007-08.
leader with around 25 per cent market sentiment in the market, the overall PC
share, is in a stable growth phase, sales in fiscal 2008-09 are expected to HDTV broadcast to start
thanks to its pan-India GSM service. remain at the same levels as in the last soon in India
The other two big players—Reli- fiscal at 7.3 million units. Doordarshan plans to broadcast next
ance Communications (RCom) and As per the findings of The Manu- year’s Commonwealth Games in high-
Idea—are launching their GSM serv- facturers’ Association for Information definition TV (HDTV) format. HDTV

1 1 8 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
will provide viewers a picture that is “This year, we expect the 7- and start making the 48.3cm (19-inch) LCD
16 times better than regular television. 8-megapixel resolution cameras to TVs, which will be sold at Rs 10,000.
The Information and Broadcasting continue to dominate the market. We
Ministry has asked for the Cabinet’s also expect to see the introduction of Philips Electronics India
approval for studios in four metros to full high-definition digital cameras in moves to new office
broadcast the games on HDTV, already the Indian market,” shared R. Zutshi, Philips Electronics India has moved
adopted by BBC and Sky Sports. deputy managing director, Samsung to its new office in Gurgaon. Based on
However, to get HDTV broadcast, India. the concept of work place innovation
the end user’s TV should be HD-ena- Samsung closed 2008 with a mar- (WPI), the new workplace is part of
bled. For that you can buy an HD-com- ket share of around 11 per cent in the the company’s approach to integrate
patible TV or a set-to box to make your digital still camera market. It is now business processes and leverage scale
existing TV HD-compatible. looking at doubling its volumes this and synergies across organisation. Pre-
year based on the introduction of nine viously, Philips had its offices spread
Delhi to get its SEZ new digital still camera models in the across Pune, New Delhi and Mumbai.
The Delhi government plans to establish first half of this year. Working from one office, at one
a special economic zone (SEZ) in the location, will offer employees an op-
capital. The government has also iden- ViewSonic remodeling its portunity to communicate and inter-
tified sectors for the setting up of SEZs, distribution plans act across divisional and functional
which include electronic hardware ViewSonic has announced its expan- boundaries.
and software, information technology- sion plan for India for the year 2009. According to Gerard Kleisterlee,
enabled services (ITeS), nanotechnol- The company is planning to introduce president and CEO, Royal Philips
ogy and biotechnology amongst others. in India its high-end products such as Electronics, “The new Philips India of-
No polluting industries will be allowed all-in-one PCs and netbooks. To unveil fice will be a trendsetter in work space
to set up inside SEZs, and environmen- these products, ViewSonic is remodel- design and ways of working, support-
tal clearance is a must for all projects ling its distribution plans for India. ing teams in their commitment to scale
except those dealing with ITeS. Alan Chang, managing director of up Philips’ presence in India.”
The proposed SEZ should also con- ViewSonic International, said, “Our
form to the land use pattern prescribed focus now is to scale up the Indian op- Moser Baer to install
in the overall Master Plan Delhi 2021, erations by launching unique concept rooftop solar PV in Surat
and only those proposals where the ap- product lines suited specifically to the Moser Baer Photovoltaic (MBPV) has
plicants already have adequate land as Indian environment of operation that won a contract from roads and build-
prescribed under the SEZ Act will be not only provide innovative solutions ings department of Gujarat to set up
considered by the government. to the customers but also set a bench- what the company calls one of India’s
mark for the industry to follow.” largest rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV)
Videocon forays into power In addition, the company would installations in Surat. The SPV system, of
backup business be launching a demo drive through approximately 135 kilowatt-peak (kWp)
Consumer durable major Videocon its key channel partners in the metro installed capacity, will run a 40kW load
has entered the power backup equip- cities. This would be later followed by for ten hours every day and charge a bat-
ment space with the launch of a range a country-wide aggressive marketing tery bank of 6000 ampere hours.
of devices. With this new venture, the initiative to educate the customers on Work on the project has already
company aims to reach a revenue of Rs the benefits of these concept products. started, and the complete system will be
5 billion by next year and further it to commissioned by April 2009. MBPV will
Rs 10 billion by 2011. Dixon to set up LCD TV unit also manage the operations and mainte-
The products will be available in Dixon Technologies, the owner of the nance of this site for seven years.
three variants (600VA, 800VA and consumer durable brand Weston, will
1400VA), in the price range of Rs 4990 set up a manufacturing unit for LCD RCom adds five million
to Rs 11,990. The company has also TV sets at Oragadam in Tamil Nadu. new subscribers
introduced batteries in the market. According to Dixon’s managing di- Reliance Communications has added
rector Sunil Vachini, “The 200,000 units five million new wireless subscribers
Samsung to launch per annum plant will service the South- on its network during January 2009.
nine digicams ern markets, while the company’s other With this achievement, the company
Samsung India is betting big on the LCD TV plant at Uttarakhand (having claims to have become India’s first and
digital camera market and plans to annual capacity of 100,000 units) will world’s first (apart from China) to add
launch nine new models in the first serve the remaining markets.” five million new subscribers in a span
half of 2009. Once operational, the plant will of 30 days, on its fully-IP enabled, next-

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 1 9
generation wireless network. Calendar of Forthcoming Electronics
The entry of Reliance Mobile in the Fairs/Exhibitions/Seminars
GSM segment has led to an expansion
of the market, with the company seeing Name, Date and Venue Topics to be covered Contact address for details
a 285 per cent rise in new subscriber CeBIT 2009 World’s leading event for Geeta Bisht
additions, within the first month of its March 3-8, 2009
Hannover, Germany
software, IT and
communication
Manager-International Fairs
Hannover Fairs India Pvt Ltd
nationwide GSM rollout. B-303 Dynasty Business Park
Andheri-Kurla Road

BEL signs MoU with Boeing





Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400059
Fax: (022) 40050683; Phone: 40050681, 82

and Astra Microwave E-mail: info@hf-india.com; Web: hf-india.com

Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Lim-


Information Management Technical conference on For registration, contact:
Technical Conference 2009 IM software Bangalore: 09322302220; Chennai:
ited (BEL) has signed an MoU with (IMTC 2009) 09381506258; Hyderabad: 09391351766;
March 4-6, 2009 Mumbai: 09373466010; Delhi: (011) 32921868
Boeing to jointly develop an analysis Hotel Le Meridian, Bangalore E-mail: imtc2009@onetwoonemarketing.com
and experimentation centre in India to The 3rd World Mobile Summit & Events on the worldwide Rebecca Lee
offer customers the ability to make bet- Sourcing Fair achievement of the mobile Room 629, West Tower
The 5th China Int’l Mobile phone industry supplier Tian’an High-Tech Plaza
ter informed decisions in modernising Sci-Tech Exhibition chain Phase II, Futian Distt., Shenzhen, China
India’s defence forces. March 6-7, 2009 Fax: (86755) 83293923, 83297552
Shenzhen Convention & Phone: 82507486, 83293923
“This joint facility will be staffed Exhibition Center, China E-mail: info@smca.org.cn
with local personnel who, with an Web: smca.org.cn

inherent understanding of India’s chal- Open Source India India’s biggest Abhay Kumar
Tech Days 2009 open-source event EFY Enterprises Pvt Ltd
lenges, will be most qualified to work March 12-14, 2009 D-87/1, Okhla Phase-1, New Delhi 110020
with the Ministry of Defence to explore Chennai Trade Centre Fax: (011) 26817563; Phone: 26810601, -02, -03
Chennai E-mail: info@efyindia.com, itadvtg3@efyindia.com
and identify the best ways to satisfy
17th Convergence India 2009 South Asia’s largest Bunny Sidhu, Vice President
their capability needs,” said I.V. Sarma, March 18-20, 2009 ICT event Exhibitions India Pvt Ltd
director-R&D, BEL. Pragati Maidan, New Delhi 217-B, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase III
New Delhi 110020
Working together, BEL and Boe- Fax: (011) 42795098/99
ing will develop in-country processes



Phone: 42795000 (Board)/42795031 (Direct)
E-mail: bunnys@eigroup.in
that allow for the development of local Web: convergenceindia.org

intellectual property as well as integra- IT India Fair, New Delhi Fair on computer hardware, India Trade Promotion Organisation
tion of other non-US products into our March 26-29, 2009 computer systems, Pragati Bhawan, Pragati Maidan
application software, New Delhi 110001
environment. network management Fax: (011) 23371492; Phone: 23371540
In another development, BEL and

and technologies, SAP
and ERP solutions,
E-mail: info@itpo-online.com, itpo@vsnl.com
Web: indiatradefair.com
Astra Microwave Products, a provider computer peripherals,
consumables, etc
of RF and microwave components
and sub-systems for critical defence International CTIA Wireless 2009 Global showcase of the
April 1-3, 2009 latest products and
Tulika Sen
Phone: (022) 42300800
and civilian applications, have signed Las Vegas Convention Center innovations in E-mail: tulika.sen@montgomeryindia.com

a memorandum of understanding
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA wireless telecom Jignesh Khamar
Phone: (022) 42300800 Ext: 801
(MoU) to form a joint venture com- E-mail: jignesh.khamar@montgomeryindia.com

pany. The joint venture will design, Global Sources Electronics & Electronics and Register online: www.chinasourcingfair.com
develop, prototype, manufacture, and Components China Sourcing Fair components fair
April 12-15, 2009
market RF and microwave products AsiaWorld-Expo (next to the
Hong Kong Airport)
for use in defense, space and telecom-
munications. GITEX Saudi Arabia 2009
April 19-23, 2009
8th international information
technology exhibition
Vaishali Dua
India representative—GITEX Saudi Arabia 2009

HP India partners with TERI


Riyadh International Exhibition Falcon Infocomm Pvt Ltd
Centre, Saudi Arabia 1207, Kailash Building
K.G. Marg, New Delhi 110001
Hewlett Packard (HP) India, in part- Fax: (011) 23323953; Phone: 23324288
E-mail: events.falcon@gmail.com
nership with The Energy and Resourc-
es Institute (TERI), has launched the Connect 2009
May 5-7, 2009
4th information and
communications technology
Pegasus Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd
2nd Floor, Business Centre
‘Hewlett Packard–TERI Schools’ initia- Karachi Expo Centre exhibition and conference Mumtaz Hassan Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Karachi, Pakistan Fax: (9221) 2410723
tive to improve environment projects Phone: 111734266 (Pegcon)
in schools. As part of the project, HP E-mail: info@connectit.com.pk
Web: pegasus.com.pk
India has awarded a grant of $250,000
comprising cash and technology re- Edutech Expo 2009
June 13-14, 2009
Hundreds of educational
institutions offering
EFY Enterprises Pvt Ltd
D-87/1, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1
sources to TERI for the programme. Pragati Maidan professional courses and New Delhi 110020
New Delhi training under a single roof Fax: (011) 26817563; Phone: 26810601-03
The primary objective of this partner-
Continued on page 121

1 2 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Continued from page 120

Calendar of Forthcoming Electronics ship is to create a motivated force


Fairs/Exhibitions/Seminars of students—leading to cleaner and
greener school campuses—and initiate
Name, Date and Venue Topics to be covered Contact address for details ecologically beneficial initiatives in the
Global Sources Electronics Electronics fair Register online: www.chinasourcingfair.com areas of energy, e-waste management
China Sourcing Fair
June 14-16, 2009
and greening of neighbourhoods.
Dubai International Convention & The initiative will help primary and
Exhibition Centre
secondary schools in Bengaluru, Chen-
EnterpriseIT2009
June 16-19, 2009
The 6th international
information technology
Agnes Leung
Senior Project Manager
nai and Delhi to take practical action
Singapore Expo exhibition and conference (Communications Events) to save energy and water while reduc-
ing their utility bills. It will support
for the enterprise No. 1, Jalan Kilang Timor
# 09-02 Pacific Tech Centre
CommunicAsia2009 The 20th international Singapore 159303 the schools directly with ideation, as
June 16-19, 2009 communications and Fax: +65 6233 6633
Singapore Expo information technology Phone: +65 6233 6638 well as in implementing their environ-
exhibition and conference E-mail: events@sesallworld.com mental initiatives. The initiative also
Web: sesallworld.com
involves providing HP technology to
InteractiveOne The 3rd international Media Exposition & Events
June 16-19, 2009 interactive, digital media 112-A, Sant Nagar, (GF), East of Kailash the schools, which will enable them to
Singapore Expo and entertainment New Delhi 110065 network with other schools and share
exhibition and conference Fax: (011) 41620861
Phone: 26445191/2 best practices.
Robotics & Automations
World Expo 2009
Exhibition on automation
industry
KMG Business Technology
C-3/803, Anushruti Tower Kshitij 2009
Aug. 20-23, 2009 Opp. New York Tower, New Thaltej Circle,
Pragati Maidan S.G. Road, Thaltej, Ahmedabad 380059 Students from all over India and
New Delhi Fax: (079) 26463145; Phone: 32410602 neighbouring countries made their
E-mail: info@kmgindia.com
presence felt at Kshitij 2009, the annual
Smartcards Expo 2009 Expo on smart-card Electronics Today
Sep. 10-12, 2009 technology and 104, Andheri Industrial Estate techno-management symposium of IIT
Pragati Maidan applications Off. Veera Desai Road, Andheri (W) Kharagpur.
New Delhi Mumbai 400053
Fax: (022) 26730547/48; Phone: 26730869-71 Kshitij 2009 was host to a lot of
E-mail: electoday@vsnl.net
events in which the participants had a
Expo Comm India 2009 Exhibition and conference Bimal Ghosh, Project Head chance to showcase their knowledge in
Sep. 17-19, 2009 on ICT Inter Ads Exhibitions Pvt Ltd
Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre 859, Phase-V, Udyog Vihar the fields of electronics, coding, hard-
New Delhi Gurgaon 122016, Haryana ware designing, aeronautics, robotics,
Fax: (0124) 4381162; Phone: 4524200, 4524106
E-mail: contact@interadsexhibitions.co.in mechanical engineering, chemical
Mobile Asia 2009 Platform for mobile handset International Venture Partners engineering and various other fields
Oct. 2-5, 2009 companies, mobile A-20, Lajpat Nagar-II, New Delhi 110024 of engineering, technology and also
Pragati Maidan accessories, VDS companies Phone: (011) 29840908
New Delhi E-mail: info@ivpindia.net management.
Global Sources Security Security products Register online: www.chinasourcingfair.com Of the forty odd events conducted
Products China Sourcing Fair fair during Kshitij 2009, the following
Oct. 12-15, 2009
AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong events were a special attraction for the
Electronics & Components Electronics and Register online: www.chinasourcingfair.com
students of the department of electron-
China Sourcing Fair components fair ics and electrical engineering all over
Nov. 20-22, 2009
Bombay Exhibition Centre the country: Anadigix (the electronics’
India Telecom 2009 Event on communication Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
circuit design competition) and Eureka
Dec. 3-6, 2009 arcade, customer premise Industry (the technical paper presentation com-
petition).
Pragati Maidan equipment, IT corridor Federation House, Tansen Marg
New Delhi New Delhi 110001
Fax: (011) 23320714; Phone: 23738760
E-mail: ficciexhibition@vsnl.net
LG may increase
Energy Tech, New Delhi
Dec. 14-17, 2009
Event on emerging power
technologies, sustainable
India Trade Promotion Organisation
Pragati Bhawan, Pragati Maidan
R&D investment
Pragati Maidan energy solutions, alternative New Delhi 110001 LG Electronics has announced its
New Delhi energy sources, energy Fax: (011) 23371492; Phone: 23371540
management and trends E-mail: info@itpo-online.com, itpo@vsnl.com long-term business plan and strategy
Web: indiatradefair.com to succeed in the current business en-
International CES 2010 International consumer Registration Help (inside US): CESreg@CE.org, vironment. Yong Nam, CEO of LG
Electronics, confirmed that the com-
Jan. 7-10, 2010 electronics fair 866-233-7968
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Registration Help (outside US): CESreg@CE.org,
301-694-5243 pany would not reduce—and could
Look up under ‘Events’ section in www.electronicsforu.com for a comprehensive list even increase—its investment in R&D,
Since this information is subject to change, all those interested are advised marketing, branding and design.
to ascertain the details from the organisers before making any commitment. The company has intensified its ef-

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 2 1
electronics consumer market.
Snippets The company, however, plans
to focus on low-end handset emerg-
Mobile number portability by August! ing markets this year with the aim of
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to start mobile number
portability (MNP) in major Indian cities by August and in the remaining cities by the end
boosting its global handset market
of this year. Bids had already been invited for providing the MNP switches. The faster share to more than 10 per cent from 8.5
penetration of 3G would enable people to use the services with greater accessibility. per cent last year.
“The global handset market in
BSNL rolls out 3G services 2009 is expected to shrink by about 5
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched next-generation 3G mobile per cent to 10 per cent led by weaker
services in the country even as the private operators are still waiting to get spectrum demand in developed countries,” said
through auction process. BSNL and public-sector unit MTNL (for Delhi and Mumbai) Skott Ahn, president of LG’s mobile
were given 3G spectrum last year ahead of auction for private players keeping in
mind the cumbersome tendering process involved in the public-sector procurement
communications division. “But emerg-
system. ing nations are expected to grow over
10 per cent (this year). Thus, we have
By 2011, Kerala to get ten IT parks to focus on emerging markets to main-
It will be a matter of time when Kerala will develop as the preferred IT destination tain our growth,” Ahn said.
in India, as the state would soon be equipped with over ten IT parks. According to Ahn also said that the company is
Ajay Kumar, secretary, Information Technology, Kerala, the hub-and-spoke model of targeting to increase the proportion of
development being undertaken in Kerala’s information technology sector will enable the low-end handsets it sells to more than
state to equip itself with over ten IT parks at various destinations by 2011.
20 per cent this year, from around 5 per
cent in 2008.
Samsung to invest in Chennai and Noida facilities Low-end handsets refer to mobile
Samsung India is going to invest $20 million in its Chennai and Noida facilities this
phones that are typically sold to con-
year to expand operations. Last year, the company had invested $200 million as part
of its global expansion plans. It had reported a turnover of $1.7 billion last year and has sumers for less than $100.
projected to grow 27 per cent approximately this year.
Forecast for PV cell and
China Mobile considering acquisition in India module manufacturing
China Mobile, which has the world’s largest number of subscribers (457 million), is equipment
considering an acquisition in India for expansion. The company, however, might face According to VLSI Research Inc., the
hurdles in India over security issues, especially because it has operations in Pakistan. photovoltaic (PV) cell and module
manufacturing equipment market for
forts to increase market share despite the discussions of how the two companies all cell technologies reached a value of
volatile economic situation. To achieve can best deploy their resources and $4.4 billion in 2008. Growth in the mar-
this, LG has reorganised its business expertise, continue to negotiate in good ket is expected to slow to 8 per cent in
portfolio to focus on areas with longer- faith and have set June 30, 2009 as the 2009 as demand for cells starts to cool
term growth potential and profitability. target date by which to enter into a and smaller manufacturers struggle to
Partnerships will continue to be a key definitive agreement to establish a joint secure the financing necessary to fund
element of the company’s marketing venture that will be mutually beneficial the next round of expansion.
activities to elevate its brand position. for both companies. However, the outlook for equip-
LG will continue to invest in future Sharp plans to start operating its ment suppliers this year varies by cell
growth engines such as solar power, new LCD panel factory in Sakai-City, technology. Providers of equipment
commercial air-conditioners and B2B Osaka, by March 2010 as originally for thin-film cell technologies will
solutions. scheduled. experience strong growth in revenues
in 2009 due to large order backlogs
Sharp, Sony postpone LG may shut down PC and long customer acceptance times.
LCD production business, to focus on In contrast, suppliers of equipment for
Faced with changes in the world low-cost handsets silicon wafer cell manufacturing are
economy, Sharp and Sony have de- LG is likely to shut down its PC busi- expected to see a decline from 2008 lev-
cided to postpone the establishment of ness globally owing to lower market els as customers with excess capacity
their joint venture to produce and sell response amidst economic slowdown. choose to fully ramp existing facilities
large-size LCD panels and modules, The company’s IT vertical contributes before committing to new equipment.
until March 2010. only 10 per cent to its overall revenues, Overall, this results in growth of 8 per
The duo will, through continued and it will not have any impact on its cent for the year.

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Interview

Thin-film modules reduce the


cost of energy generation
Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) is the global leader in
nanomanufacturing technology solutions with a broad portfolio
of innovative equipment, services and software products for
fabrication of semiconductor chips, flat-panel displays, solar
photovoltaic cells, flexible electronics and energy-efficient glass.
Dr Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and general manager
of Applied’s SunFab Thin Film Solar and Display Business Group,
was recently in India to announce that Moser Baer India is their
first Indian customer that will start volume production of thin-film
photovoltaic (PV) modules. On this occasion, Dr Thakur, along
 Dr Randhir Thakur
with Rajiv Arya, CEO of Moser Baer Photovoltaic (MBPV), spoke
senior vp and gm of to EFY’s Uma Bansal about the solar energy market and Applied  Rajiv Arya
Applied’s SunFab Thin CEO of Moser Baer
Film Solar and Display
Material’s advanced SunFab solar technology as a cost-effective Photovoltaic (MBPV)
Business Group option for clean renewable energy

Q
What is the current state of the solar energy technology
market in India and globally?
and beyond. Thin-film also has some technical advantages
for these types of deployments. For example, when a solar
RT: According to Solar Buzz, annual growth of the cell is shaded, the output of the entire module decreases.
global photovoltaic (PV) market has averaged a compound With the unique size of the SunFab produced panels, the cell
rate of just over 47 per cent since 2003 and strong growth is is as long as the module—up to 2.6 metres in length. This
expected into the foreseeable future. In 2007, world PV cell makes it very difficult for any shading to cover the entire cell
production was 3036 MW for crystalline silicon and 400 MW to the extent that it decreases power production. Addition-
for thin-film. Thin-film cell production now represents 12 ally, solar panels overall can lose power output when they
per cent of global PV cell production and this percentage is reach extremely high temperature, like in very sunny places
expected to increase. on hot summer days. Thin-film modules retain more of their
India is regarded as one of Asia’s fastest growing eco- power output than crystalline silicon under these conditions
nomic powerhouses and, as a result of this growth, there because of differences in the materials that make the cell.

Q
is increased demand for electricity. As a matter of fact,
India is the world’s third largest consumer of coal, which Which products use the thin-film PVs and what are the
accounts for more than half of India’s total energy genera- market opportunities for these products?
tion. However, even the current consumption of coal is not RT: Any product can use thin-film PVs. From applica-
enough to meet India’s demands. Of the estimated 132 GW tions as small as calculators to utility-scale installations and
of energy capacity in India, only 110 MW is derived from building integrated photovoltaics, the market opportunity
solar. is virtually endless.
Therefore the increased demand for electricity, coupled
with the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, represents sig-
nificant opportunities for all sources of renewable energy, Q
How does Applied Materials’ technology benefit Indian
customers?
especially solar. RA: The thin-film line that we have established with Ap-

Q
plied Materials is a fully-integrated PV module production
What are the benefits of thin-film PV over crystalline line that delivers leading-edge solar manufacturing capabil-
silicon cells? ity using advanced engineering, process equipment, automa-
RT: Each technology is well positioned to serve a unique tion and other key supporting technologies. The technology
market segment. For space-constrained areas such as resi- will provide innovative PV products that can significantly
dential and small commercial rooftops, crystalline silicon reduce electric power and utility costs and provide a cost-
panels are ideal because of their higher efficiency. effective option for clean and renewable energy.
For large commercial and utility-scale solar farms, thin- Thin-film modules can facilitate reduction in the cost
film offers tremendous cost-saving benefits that will help of energy generation for two reasons: thin-film amorphous
drive the cost of solar power generation toward grid parity silicon is more appropriate for warm climates and large

1 4 0 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
Interview
modules (5.7 m2) reduce the overall balance of system costs.
The net effect is that the customer gets power cheaper.
Q
What are your future plans with Applied Materials?
RA: We have just started production at this 40MW capac-
ity line, which is the largest thin-film solar line in India. This

Q
The technology is expensive. How long will it take to
make it affordable?
single-junction line has demonstrated the highest produc-
tion capacity to date for manufacturing the world’s largest
RT: Solar technology has already achieved grid parity in (2.2×2.6m2) solar modules.
several areas today. For example, California’s peak summer Next, we are building the second plant in Greater Noida
electricity rates hover above 35 cents/kWh in certain places, with AMAT. This is a 65MW tandem junction plant with
which is more expensive than unsubsidised solar power the same large-footprint module. The full-size product will
generated today at about 30 cents/kWh. In addition, solar generate greater than half-a-kilowatt per panel. We are also
power can be distributed across the grid to relieve pressure in advance stages of discussions with AMAT on our 500MW
on critical substations or transmission lines without the time thin-film plant in Chennai.

Q
or expense of re-wiring new transmission or distribution
facilities. What trends do you foresee in the Indian solar PV space?
As a resource for energy generation, solar is incredibly RA: The technological landscape of solar power is
abundant. Every day, the sun provides more energy than impressive: Crystalline silicon is the most mature tech-
we need for the planet. What this means is that from a cost, nology and has the largest market share, but it is in short
availability and rapid-deployment perspective, solar power supply. Thin-film is a maturing technology and poised
makes sense right now. for high growth. Also, it has the potential to reduce costs
Additionally, thin-film technology dramatically reduces significantly. Concentration PV is being rapidly developed
the amount of silicon needed to produce a module, thereby for the market and it has significant cost-reduction poten-
reducing costs. By applying our company’s 40 years of tial as well. Finally, nanotechnology is in the R&D phase
experience in driving down the cost of integrated circuits, and it has tremendous cost-reduction potential.
and more recently flat-panel displays, we’re also bringing As a trend we see more installations of solar PV for
advances in deposition process, automation and factory small, medium and large off-grid applications and large
efficiency to the thin-film production environment. All of solar farms for on-grid applications. Our effort is to work
these efforts further help to drive down the price of solar diligently in all PV technologies and bring the solar dream
power generation. to fruition to meet India’s energy needs.

w w w. e f y m ag . co m e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • 1 4 1
bookshelf
Fuzzy Logic and Fuzzy An Introduction to
Decision Making Mixed-Signal IC Test
The fuzzy logic provides and Measurement
an inference structure that This textbook is useful for ad-
enables appropriate human vanced undergraduate and
reasoning capabilities. On the graduate-level students as well
contrary, the traditional bina- as engineering professionals.
ry set theory describes events It assumes a solid background
that do or do not occur. in analogue and digital circuit
This book helps academi- as well as working knowledge
cians, researchers and stu- of computers and computer
dents in the fuzzy set theory programming. A background in
and fuzzy decision making. digital signal processing and sta-
It is written as a textbook for tistical analysis is also helpful.
the course in fuzzy logic and The book covers the testing of
its application at graduate, both analogue and mixed-signal
By: Dr G. Kannan By: Mark Burns,
postgraduate and doctorate Published by: Galgotia Publications circuits including many exam- Gordon W. Roberts
levels. Pvt Ltd, 5, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, ples. Digital testing is covered, Published by: Oxford University
The book is divided into New Delhi 110002 Press, YMCA Library Building,
but not extensively. Examples
Pages: 186; Price: Rs 200 Jai Singh Road,
two parts. The first contains and illustrations using state-of- New Delhi 110001
fuzzy sets, fuzzy relations, the-art industrial technology Pages: 684; Price: Rs 495
membership function and fuzzy decision making. The enrich the presentation through-
second part covers application of fuzzy logic, introduc- out. In considering the applications of this technology, the
tion to optimisation techniques and introduction to neural testing of large-scale mixed-signal circuits and individual
network. circuits is introduced.

The DSP Handbook: Robot Programmer’s


Algorithms, Applications Bonanza
and Design Techniques This book is aimed at those
who are ready to go beyond
This book is a hands-on guide to just building robots and start
digital signal processing (DSP) and programming them to perform
its applications. It provides you useful tasks.
with the training, tools and build- Using the versatile Robot-
ing blocks necessary to assess and BASIC programming language,
unlock the potential of DSP in your you’ll discover how to prototype
own products and services. your creative ideas using the in-
Mathematical analysis is pro- tegrated mobile robot simulator
vided as clearly and concisely as and then port your finished pro-
possible and real-time examples grams to nearly any hardware/
are liberally provided through- software configuration. You can By: John Blankenship,
Samuel Mishal
out the text. The book includes By: Andrew Bateman, even use the built-in wireless Published by: BPB Publications,
numerous design tips, describing Iain Paterson-Stephens protocol to directly control real- B-14, Connaught Place,
the ‘tricks of the trade.’ Also given Published by: Dorling Kindersley world robots that can be built New Delhi 110001
(India) Pvt Ltd, 482, F.I.E., Pages: 396; Price: Rs 297
are many written examples and Patparganj, Delhi 110092 from readily available sensors
descriptions of devices for most Pages: 664 and actuators.
mainstream DSP manufacturers. Price: Not mentioned The RobotBASIC program, along with all the programs
Real-time audio and visual DSP examples enable you to in this book, can be downloaded from ‘www.RobotBASIC.
experience the power and application of DSP from the very com.’ Adaptable and customisable programs help to solve
beginning. Four algorithm-packed ‘toolboxes’ allow easy realistic problems. Appendices detail RobotBASIC’s ex-
access to particular algorithms/models of interest. The ac- tensive commands and functions as well as the integrated
companying CD contains related applications. programming environment.

1 4 2 • m a r c h 2 0 0 9 • e l e c t ro n i c s f o r yo u w w w. e f y m ag . co m
subject & organisation index

Subjects Covered in This issue


Subject Page No. Subject Page No. Subject Page No. Subject Page No.
3D Graphics ....................................................... 24 Hard Drives (NP) ...............................................115 Multimeters (NP) ...............................................115 Software ............................................................... 8

3G . ................................................................... 122 HDTV . ............................................... 28, 30, 32-34 Music System ..................................................... 70 Solar PV ....................................................119, 122

Amplifier IC (NP) ...............................................116 HDTV Broadcast ...............................................118 Optical Clocks .................................................... 20 Solar-powered Phones . ..................................... 22

Battery Charging ........................................... 92-98 Hearing Aid (CI) . ................................................ 85 PC Sales ...........................................................118 Telecom .............................................................118

Bluetooth ....................................................112-114 IGBT (NP) . ........................................................116 PC-based Wireless Stepper Motor Thermometers (NP) . .........................................115

Broadband Router (NP) . ...................................116 In-car Food Warmer (CI) .................................... 84 Control (C) . ................................... 60, 62, 64, 66 Three-Component Flasher (CI) .......................... 83

Cameras, Digital . ..............................................119 Intelligent Transport System . ............................. 25 PCs . ................................................................. 122 Triple Power Supply (CI) .................................... 81

Capacitors .......................................................... 16 Internet ............................................................... 26 Personal Music Players . ................... 73, 74, 78-80 TV Data Card ..................................................... 24

Career, Power Electronics . .............. 36, 38, 40, 42 IPTV ................................................................... 72 Pianos ................................................................ 68 Video Cards (NP) ..............................................117

Charger, Mobile .................................................. 20 IT Parks ............................................................ 122 Power Backup ...................................................119 Video Encoder (NP) ..........................................117

Cleaner, Air-Dust (NP) . .....................................116 Keyboards .......................................................... 68 Power Meter ....................................................... 24 Water Pump Controller (CI) ................................ 82

Condensers ........................................................ 16 LAN-based Online Exam (SW) . .................... 87-90 Projector, Ultra-Short-Throw . ............................. 72 White Light for Refrigerators (CI) ....................... 85

Datasheets, Device ........................... 100, 102-106 LCD TV . ..............................................68, 119, 122 Projectors, DLP .................................................. 70 Wi-Fi ................................................................... 24

Desktop PCs ...................................................... 72 Microcontroller-based Ring Tone Projectors, Multimedia . ...................................... 68 Windows Phones . .............................................. 22

DSPs ................................................................ 142 Player (C) ..................................... 52, 54, 56, 58 Robotics ........................................................... 142

e-books . ............................................................. 20 Mobile Number Portability ................................ 122 Robots ................................................................ 20

Energy Saver (NP) ............................................115 Mobile Phones . .................................................. 70 Salary Survey ................................................ 43-46

Flexible Circuits ............................................. 48-50 Mobiles ............................................................... 26 Semiconductor ..................................................118


Abbreviations
Foot Switch (NP) ...............................................116 Mobiles, Touchscreen . ....................................... 16 Sensor (NP) . .....................................................116 C=Construction........... CI=Circuit Idea
Frequency Counter . .................................. 107-110 Monitor, TFT (NP) . ............................................117 SEZ ...................................................................119 SS=Software Section NP=New Products

Organisations Covered in This issue


Organisation Page No. Organisation Page No. Organisation Page No. Organisation Page No.
A.V. Systems ...................................................... 45 Dixon .................................................................119 Microchip ............................................................ 98 Samsung India ............................................. 32, 34

Airtel ................................................................... 72 Doordarshan . ....................................................118 Microsoft . .......................................................... 22 Sandisk . ............................................................. 74

Aplab ............................................................ 38, 40 E Power Engineering . .......................................116 Moser Baer . ..............................................117, 119 Sanyo Semiconductor .......................................116

Apple ............................................................ 73, 74 Edimax ..............................................................116 Moser Baer Photovoltaic .................................. 141 Seagate .............................................................115

Applied Material . .............................................. 140 Fortune Marketing .............................................115 Motorola ............................................................. 26 Sharp . .............................................................. 122

APW ................................................................... 42 Frost & Sullivan .................................................118 MTNL . .............................................................. 122 Sharp Business Systems (India) ............ 33, 34, 68

Arrow Electronics ............................................... 38 Google . ........................................................ 24, 25 NDS . .................................................................118 Softspin .............................................................. 26

Astra Microwave . ............................................. 120 GSMA ................................................................ 22 Neural Systems .................................................. 46 Sony ........................................................... 74, 122

Atoall.com . ......................................................... 26 Hart Scientific ....................................................115 NIST ................................................................... 20 Sony India ........................................ 30, 34, 68, 79

Axis Communications . ......................................117 Hewlett Packard (HP) . ....................................... 72 Nokia .................................................................114 STMicroelectronics . ....................................24, 116

BenQ .................................................................. 70 Hitachi ................................................................ 72 Parker Power Systems . ............................... 36, 38 Supertron Electronics ........................................115

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) ............................ 120 Hitachi Home Electronics ............................ 28, 34 Philips . ......................................................... 74, 80 Teknic ................................................................116

Bharti Airtel ........................................................118 HP India . .......................................................... 120 Philips Electronics .............................................119 Toshiba ............................................................... 74

Boeing .............................................................. 120 Humx .................................................................. 78 Plastic Logic ....................................................... 20 Transcend . ........................................................115

Bose ................................................................... 70 Idea ...................................................................118 Pressmart ........................................................... 26 TTL Technologies ..............................................115

BSNL ................................................................ 122 iRiver .................................................................. 74 R.S. Electronics . ...............................................116 Videocon ...................................................118, 119

Cambridge Silicon ............................................. 24 ISA . ...................................................................118 Radio .................................................................. 24 ViewSonic . ........................................................119

Casio India ......................................................... 68 Kchiloo . ............................................................ 107 RCA .................................................................... 74 VLSI Research ................................................. 122

Cecon Pollutech ................................................116 Kingston ............................................................117 Reliance Communications . .......................118, 119 ZTE . ................................................................... 24

China Mobile .................................................... 122 LG . ..................................................................... 70 Renesas ............................................................118

Conzerv .............................................................115 LG Electronics .......................................... 121, 122 Robert Gorden Univ. . ......................................... 20

Creative Labs ..................................................... 74 MAIT ..................................................................118 Samsung ...............................22, 74, 118, 119, 122

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Advertisers’ Index
Accord Communication (www.accordcom.com).............................69 Intron (www.intronresistors.com).......................................................127 Omron Electronic Components Pte Ltd
Advance Tech Services Pvt Ltd (www.advancetechonline.in)........6 Kaku Enterprises (www.toroidalhouse.com)...................................128 (http://ecb.omron.com.sg)................................................................143
Agilent Technologies India P Ltd (www.agilent.com)....................39 Keithley (www.keithley.com).................................................................14 Pantech Solutions Pvt Ltd (www.pantechsolutions.net)...............126
Bharat Electronics Ltd (www.bel-india.com)......................................63 Keptek Power Controls Pvt Ltd............................................................103 Penram Intl. Publishing (India) (www.penram.com)......................79
Binay Opto Electronics Pvt Ltd  (www.binayLED.com)...............111 Kitek TechnologiesPvt Ltd (www.kitektechnologies.com)..........128 Pla Components (www.plarelays.com).............................................129
Chetan Cabletronics Pvt Ltd (www.chetancabletronics.com).....124 Kits.................................................................................................................141 Qmax Test Technologies P Ltd (www.qmaxtest.com)..................117
Deltronik Engineers..................................................................................128 Lattice Semiconductor.................................................................................9 Radhika Agencies.....................................................................................125
Dynalog (India) Ltd (www.dynalogindia.com)...................................5 Linkwell Telesystems Ltd  (www.visiontek.co.in)..............................7 Rajmane Telectric P Ltd (www.rajmaneteletric.com).......................71
Edutech..........................................................................................................91 Live Wire Electronics (www.livewireinfo.com).................................21 Relaytronics/Insight Innovation (www.relaytronics.com)............37
ei-labz (www.emblitz.com)......................................................................23 Mac Net Technology................................................................................139 RS Components & Controls (I) Ltd (www.rsindia.com)...................3
Electromech (www.electromechindia.com)......................................128 Macroblock....................................................................................................49 S.M Semiconductors (www.aplusindia.com)...................................139
Electronic Annual Guide...........................................................................55 Mastech Delhi.............................................................................................127 Seoul Semiconductor (www.seoulsemicon.com)..............................11
Electronic India..........................................................................................138 Max Electronics (www.trontekindia.com)..........................................80 Siemens Ltd  (www.siemens.com/enterprise)...................................51
Electronic Project.......................................................................................101 Max Electronics (www.trontekindia.com)..........................................97 Signet (www.signet-instruments.com).................................................10
Electronics Bazaar.......................................................................................99 Max Technology & Co. (www.maxtechnoloindia.com)...............148 Solar EnergieTekchnik Ltd (www.infinitsolar.in)...........................126
EnterpriseIT 2009 (www.communicasia.com)...................................93 MDR Electronics (www.mdrelectronics.com)....................................33 Sparr Electronics Ltd (www.sparrl.com).............................................31
Falcon Electro-Tek Pvt Ltd  (www.falconindia.biz)..........................29 Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd (www.mecoinst.com).............................35 Subscription Form ........................................................................75, 76, 77
Farnell Electronics India Pvt Ltd (www.farnell.in)...........................15 Millenium Technologies..........................................................................129 Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd (www.sumitron.com)..............................19
Frontline Electronics Pvt Ltd (www.Frontline-Electronics.com)..10 Miracle Electronic Devices P Ltd (www.toroidal.com)..................101 Tadiran Batteries (www.tadiranbat.com)............................................61
Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (www.fujitsu.com)..............59 Mithra Electronics.......................................................................................57 Taiyo Yuden (S) PL (www.ty-top.com)..............................................101
Gunze Electronics USA Corp..................................................................89 Mornsun Guangzhou Science & Technology Co., Ltd....................17 Tektronix (India) Ltd (www.tektronix.com/2170)..........................147
Hitachi India Trading Pvt Ltd (www.hitachi.co.in)..........................27 National Instruments India (www.ni.com)...........................................2 TTL Technologies Pvt Ltd (www.ttlindia.com).................................34
Inde Enterprises...........................................................................................13 National Semiconductor (www.national.com)..................................53 upsinverter.com.........................................................................................123
Indian Service Machine (www.ismbangalore.com).........................71 Neelam Import Pvt Ltd...........................................................................129 VPL Infotech & Consultants (www.vplinf.com)...............................47
Innovators and Simplifiers.......................................................................30 Open Source Tech Days............................................................................41 Xtend Technologies Pvt Ltd (www.xtendtech.com)........................65
Instt. of Mobile Phone Tech. (www.britco.co.in)................................71 Omniscient Electronics Pvt Ltd  Young India Appliances (www.youngindiaappliances.com).....139
Integrated Services & Consultancy (www.instek.com).................146 (www.omniscientelectronics.net).......................................................25

EFY Magazine Attractions


During 2009
MONTH Tech Focus SURVEY/EFY REPORT eStyle Buyers’ Guide Trade Fair Participation

January E-waste Management Industry Forecasts Which Camera Phone?

Componex Nepcon India, New Delhi, Jaipur Book Fair,


February Artificial Space Satellites Budget Memorenda Which DTH?
Lighting Asia, Mumbai, Automotive Electronics, Bengaluru
17th Convergence India, New Delhi, Infocomm India,
March High Definition Television Salaries in Electronics Industry Which Personal Music Player?
Mumbai, Mobile China Expo, Shenzen (China)
April LED Lighting Embedded Systems Which Watch?

May Electronic SMT Components Chip, Circuit & Product Designers Which UPS/Inverter? Connect 2009, Karachi

Communic Asia 2009, Singapore


June New T&M Devices India’s Top Training Institutes Which Notebook?
EduTech 2009, New Delhi
July Mobile Entertainment Automotive Electronics Industry Which TV?

August The Open Source: Hardware? SMT in India Digital Camera/Camcorder?


ElectronicIndia, Bangalore
September IPTV Industrial Automation Home Security System Globaltronics, Singapore

October What’s New in Wireless India's Top 100 Electronics Companies Which DVD Player?

November Contract Manufacturing T&M Manufacture in India Which Home Theatre? China Electronics Fair, Shanghai

December Solar Cells: An Update Indian Solar Energy Industry Which New Gizmo? India Telecom 2009, New Delhi

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