May Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The May issue of Circuit Cellar is coming next week! What is coming up in the May issue? Smart Agriculture, embedded software security, Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX SBCs, Raspberry Pi, drone design & more!—this 84-page magazine sets a delicious table of embedded technology articles for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of May 2020 Circuit Cellar:


Solutions for Smart Agriculture
By Jeff ChildIf you look at today’s Smart Agriculture landscape, all the challenges in that space lead to an Internet-of-Thing (IoT) solutions. Advances communication and sensing technologies are being married advanced data analytics in order to ensure agricultural production that’s s both sustainable and resource-efficient. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines how today’s MCU, sensor and wireless technologies are feeding today’s Smart Agriculture needs.

Build an Automated Pest Deterrence System
By Cole Gamborski, Cameron Phillips, Simon Fowler
Your garden is a home for your flowers, vegetables and fruit. Learn how these Camosun College students designed and built an automated pest deterrence system that uses an ML-trained Raspberry Pi to detect and identify pests and Bluetooth to communicate to its user. Their prototype base unit displays relevant information gathered by two field units.

Proximity Food Delivery Notifier
By Kenichi Kato
Home delivery of meals is very popular these days, and technology is only fueling that trend. But nobody wants food that’s gone cold because the delivery guy forgot ring the doorbell. Like any good engineer, Kenichi built a sensor-based solution designed to alert him wirelessly via Bluetooth that the food has arrived on his doorstep.


Datasheet: Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX SBCs
By Jeff Child
Products based on the various small-sized versions of the ITX form factor—Mini-ITX, Pico-ITX and Nano—ITX-provide system developers with complete PC-functionality and advanced graphics. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child explores the latest technology trends and product developments in these three ITX architectures. This Datasheet section updates readers on these technology trends and provides a product gallery of representative Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX SBCs.

Creative Mechanical Ideas for Embedded Systems
By Wolfgang Matthes
If anyone doubts that electronics tinkering as a hobby is on the decline, Wolfgang reminds us that there’s never been more rich resources available for such pursuits. With that in mind, in this article Wolfgang presents several mechanical ideas for embedded systems using small to medium-sized PCBs and common 19″ hardware such as 3U front panels and subracks.

Embedded Software Tools Bulk Up on Security
By Jeff Child
The evolution of embedded systems into complex, connected systems continues to provide new challenges for embedded software tool vendors. But they are rising to the moment, as security becomes more of a priority than ever. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child explores the latest technology trends and product developments in code analysis tools.

Broad Market Secure MCUs
By Colin O’Flynn
The new MAX32520 MCU from Maxim provides a number of security features that are normally found only in devices without public information available. Here, Colin explores a few of those features, and performs some hands-on testing to see how they hold up to the types of attacks they claim to defeat.


Intro to Ardupilot and PX4 (Part 2)
By Raul Alvarez-Torrico
In Part 1 of this article series, Raul gave an overview of a drone design using opensource autopilot platforms. Here in Part 2, he goes step by step and describes how to build, configure and test a DIY quadrotor drone with the PX4 platform.

Upgrading the Weather Tree
By Jeff Bachiochi
Argent Data Systems makes a pole-mounted sensor unit for collecting wind speed, wind direction and rain fall. It’s a great weather measurement system with which you can do whatever fancy interfacing that you choose. In this project article, Jeff creates an I2C slave that does all of the sensor work and presents the results in table form that can be accessed with a simple I2C connection.

Modernizing the Accuracy of an Antique Clock
By Aubrey Kagan
Antique electric clocks are both beautiful and elegant, but they really can’t provide accurate time keeping.  In this project article Aubrey, makes use of modern Cypress PSoC4 microcontroller technology to convert an antique clock into a device that can continuously keep accurate time.

Build a Soundfont MIDI Synthesizer (Part 1)
By Brian Millier
In this two-part article series, Brian discusses several ways emulate musical instruments with an electronic synthesizer, and the technologies they require. He then focuses on the Soundfont standard, setting up the groundwork for Part 2 where he programs and builds a MIDI wavetable synthesizer using Teensy 4.

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May Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min