>>>READER-TO-READER QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
one in my barn with a four line x 40
or 80 character monochrome LCD
display and a membrane type
QWERTY keyboard. I work in
Rochester and would be willing to give
it to you if you contact me at: 300
Meridian Centre Blvd., Suite 100,
Rochester, NY 14618. I can also provide you with the dates and locations
of upcoming hamfests in your area.
3) Celery LLC (1-866-692-3537)
may have just the ticket for your email
using fax. Celery looks like ordinary
fax machine, but it does something
that most fax machines don’t — it
sends and receives email. To send an
email, you handwrite a note and feed
it into the fax machine. The recipient
then receives your note as an
attachment. As for incoming emails,
they come through like ordinary faxes.
One year of Celery’s black & white
service retails for $219 with the
device, or $259 for the device and
one year of color service. I haven't
contacted them but they may have
a plan that would work with your
existing fax machine at a lower cost.
Other possible options are the
"Mailbug" from Landel that uses an
integrated keyboard and monochrome LSC display which connects
directly to the phone line. Main: (408)
360-0480; Customer Support: (408)
360-0490; Fax: (408) 360-0499.
Finally, Presto is a new online
printing service that presents an innovative solution: The service allows you
to send email, including photo attach-
ments, to a Presto email address.
There, the service converts the email
and any attached photos into cus-tomizable layouts ready to print out
on a $150 HP A10 Printing Mailbox
(currently the only Presto-enabled
device). The printer receives and prints
information automatically. Because
the Printing Mailbox connects to the
phone line, it doesn't require an
Internet connection or a computer to
automatically check for and print content — which it does at intervals that
you schedule during setup. The Presto
Service costs $10 per month, or $100
annually. Phone: 800-919-3199.
#2 1) In the old days, you programmed your processor from the
front panel. Switches and paper tape
were the way things were done. For a
while, many microcontroller programmers were done using identical microcontrollers to program the other one.
It can be done; a boot strap approach
would be the best. Start with maybe
something like the 1802 based ELF
that was featured recently in Nuts &
Volts. Build a small controller board
from that to load your microcontroller
code into. Then, using a serial or
parallel programmable part (PIC, AVR,
Freescale, etc.), the elf could do the
programming. Once the microcontrollers can be programmed, build an
easier programmer for them, maybe
including an assembler/debugger.
2) I think I have an old Televideo
terminal in unknown state in my
storage room. I used the heck out of it
on CP/M machines, 15 years ago.
Recently (last couple years or so),
I remember seeing RS-232 based
terminals using a PIC chip and an LCD
display. The TI Silent 700 was a
thermal printer terminal, sort of like an
old teletype; no video display, that
sometimes had an acoustic coupler on
it. I think its max speed was 300 baud,
but could have been faster. The ones
I used were always connected to the
3) Most PCs can configure their
modem to fax mode, and some
software can be used to have the fax
modem work as a printer device.
There are fax services that will send a
received fax as an email attachment.
Yes, it is theoretically possible to use
the fax as a way to send and receive
email, and not too cumbersome.
[#2072 - February 2007]
I'm looking for a circuit diagram
that will let me know the status of a
fuse in a 12 VDC circuit and 120 VAC
circuit. It must light an LED to show
that the fuse has blown. It would be
used to monitor automotive fuses and
the fuses for an amateur radio station.
#1 Simply place an LED (check for
polarity) directly across the 12 VDC
fuse with a 510 ohm resistor value for
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