Or, perhaps you can just explain
the true purpose of your article. Want
to know if anyone's awake?
Long time reader of Nuts & Volts
I studied Figure 6, the CAD
drawing of the Digiencabulator and
could not see how this could work.
Then, I realized that it was using the
wrong hexnuts. I’ve included a
drawing (Figure 4) that shows the
proper ambihelical hexnuts. Thanks.
joke that originated with General
Electric in the 1960's (http://en.wiki
The “Turboencabulator” was
considered funny enough to have
been copied and updated since then
by such companies as Chrysler
eBzlg) and Rockwell Automation
-nss4), not just once, but twice
-VDfw). I added and embellished the
concept with some other obscure
technological April Fool’s jokes that I
had enjoyed from around the Internet
(TCP-IP/OCP being one of my
favorites). I hoped to
introduce these to some
readers that may never
have seen them, and
to some who would
consider them old
friends. Please don't
blame Nuts & Volts for
the content as I am the
sole author and they
simply print what I
provide to them. I hope that my future
columns will be more to your liking.
Just goes to show the truth of old
adages, “Dying is easy, comedy is
hard” and, of course, “there’s no
accounting for taste.”
the one also labeled as LED1 — is
missing in the diagram. Using free
software from one of your advertisers,
I came up with with a neat little PC
board based on the schematic shown
and was about ready to send off an
order, then I noticed what seems to
be an error.
Response: LED1 is the infrared
LED emitter. LED2, LED3, and LED4
are regular LEDs. The design will
alternately flash LED3 and LED4.
The LED1-LED4 in the Parts List is a
mistake and should not include LED1.
If you wish to have the circuit
flash two sets of LEDs (four in total),
duplicate the oscillator formed with
Q5 and Q6. Connect this in parallel
with the existing oscillator between
+ 9 VDC and the drain of Q4.
Thank you for your interest in this
— Paul Florian
NOT FOND OF FOOL’IN
The bar has been lowered.
Shame on Nuts & Volts for publishing
such a stupid article. For an April
Fool's joke, it sucks. Not funny, not
entertaining, just plain stupid!!! Old
stuff to boot. One page of a good
hoax would have been great. Come
on Nuts & Volts, you can do better.
— Vern Graner
Response: Thank you for taking
the time to write. I really do
appreciate when folks provide
feedback (good or bad) as I am
constantly trying to improve my
I'm sorry the content of the
Personal Robotics Column in the April
issue of Nuts & Volts was not to your
liking. So far, yours is the sole negative
feedback I've received on the article.
You are correct in that the subject
of the article was "old" as it was a
repackaging of a classic April fool’s
The Railroad Crossing Signal
project in the December ‘07 seemed
like a fun thing to do since I am a
train person. However, there seems
to be something missing in the
schematic shown. Looking at the
Parts List, there looks like there
should be four red LEDs, as well as
one IR LED.
I’m guessing that the LED1
shown on the far left of the drawing is
the IR LED since it can only have one
state, i.e., turned on, since it goes
from +9V to R1 to ground. If I
guessed right, one of the red LEDs —
Long time subscriber ...
What happened to the “Getting
started with PICs” section?
It is missing in the current issue.
While PICAXEs are neat, they aren't
as powerful or have the range of
applications PICs do.
Please bring back the "Getting
started with PICs" section.
Also, you appear to be
redesigning your magazine ... or it’s
a slow article month. Reviewing ink
systems? Please keep the magazine
focused on electronics and electronic
If I wanted general product
reviews, I would go to the Internet.
Broadening the scope of a targeted
magazine like this is a quick way to
lose your readers.
Response: In order to diversify
the content in each issue, all of our
microcontroller columns run alternate
months. — Ed.
June 2008 109