The Webwatch Link list
from Electronics Australia

Covering the Webwatch column
from May 1997 to June 1999

Please report any broken links to me ( at Electronics Australia, and I'll fix the address in the next update.
I would also appreciate any suggestions for a colour scheme for this page as well...

July 1999:
The Tiger is one of a new breed of uP that gives unheard of performance in a tiny (46-pin DIP) package. 20MHz clock speed, 128KB flash RAM, 128KB CMOS RAM, analogue inputs, the list goes on... if you want to find out more on the Tiger, go to JED's website and download a raft of data sheets and other info.
And speaking of microcontrollers, RobotOz are a good source of bits for Basic Stamp based robots, with servo motor controller boards, Stamps, Stamp books and so on. Worth a look.
CadSoft's site is the home of the Eagle Layout Editor PCB design package. The Eagle Layout Editor is a Windows based schematic capture and PCB routing tool with all the usual features, as well as a couple of useful tools such as 'copper pouring'. You can download a free demo version from the site, and to help you drive the package there is a step-by-step slideshow presentation.
Icesoft tech a site recommended by EA reader Jo Mount, and it is one of the most 'no frills' datasheet finder that I've come across. It sure works though, and it's nice and fast too.
Douglas Self has certainly made a name for himself in the audio engineering field, and quite rightly so. He is a very technically competent person, and has designed (and written about) a large number of ultra high quality amplifiers, preamps, and other pieces of audio equipment. Doug's site covers a lot of his work, including photos and details of many of his designs. It is also the home of a number of Doug's articles on audio design principals, including detailed discussions on power amplifier distortion, advanced mixer design, noise, distortion and dynamic range.

June 1999:
News for nerds: Stuff that matters. Slashdot is a sort of computer/electronics news service that seems to pick up on the interesting, intriguing and otherwise different stories in the computer/Internet world. It is, however, much more than that, as it is one of the few news sites around with a genuine sense of humour.
I covered Intusoft many moons ago, but they've updated their site and have lots of juicy SPICE download goodies for you. There's the SPICE library of the month, where you can download a model library for free (When I checked, they were giving away one covering opto-isolators), multimedia demos, heaps of documentation and free SPICE utilities.
Seldom do I see someone cover a topic in such detail, and it's a topic that will interest many readers: interfacing the I/O ports on a PC with the outside world. The Boondog site covers both the hardware and (perhaps more importantly) the software you'll need to get your PC interface up and running, and they do it with step-by-step instructions.
If you hop along to this site you'll find a list of over 20 Australian electronics websites linked together as part of the Australian Electronics Web Ring. The idea is that electronics companies, enthusiasts, and anyone else who has a site that relates to electronics in Australia can join, and become part of the 'link loop'. You'll find a number of familiar names and companies there already, including Dontronics, who are the ones putting in all the work needed to maintain the ring.
Nick's Pinout Page is another one of those information overload sites that contains so much stuff, that you wonder how anyone could have enough spare time to collate it all...
Nick's specialty seems to be connectors, and in the huge list presented here you are sure to find the one you are looking for.

May 1999:
I have reader Collin Burchall to thank for suggesting that I feature The MiniDisc Community Page. It contains just about everything you would want to know about MiniDiscs, as well as FAQs, reviews of MiniDisc players and info on labels and cases.
I know that I've mentioned Questlink's EE Design Center before, but it really is a useful and informative site. I used it just the other day to look up some RAM chips, and it was the only site that had them listed. If you are interested in anything from application notes through to parts availability and EDA tools, add it to your bookmarks.
Catbird's Nest is an interesting site, run by an interesting man. Fred Stewart has compiled this Library of Practical Electronics, and it comprises around 2500 articles, letters, comments and notes from the sci.electronics newsgroups.
If you have a MIDI instrument and a sound card in your PC, then John Loadsman's home page will be of interest. On his MIDI interface page he covers the design and construction of a Port-Powered MIDI Interface for both Macs and PCs, with stripboard layouts and circuit diagrams.
Some time ago I mentioned the SimmStick, a small Australian designed microcontroller development system which looks for all the world like a SIMM memory module. SimmSticks are designed to clip into a standard SIMM socket and provide a standard interface. SimmSticks are gaining popularity and in an effort to help SimmStick users, offers a number of SimmStick resources, including a list server and direct links to SimmStick suppliers around the world.
EVEN IF YOU ARE just a casual reader of EA, you'll no doubt know of Oatley Electronics. Oatley is one of the few companies around where you can purchase surplus hi-tech equipment at bargain basement prices. Their site is the home of the Oatley Electronics Summer 1999 catalogue, and it is backed with many wondrous items that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else, particularly at hobbyist prices.

April 1999:
The Australian Electric Vehicle Association website covers, er -- electric vehicles in Australia.
They keep up with the latest in EV news, including the Sunrace99 rally that recently ran from Sydney to Melbourne.
Thomas Alva Edison was certainly a busy bloke -- he patented over 1000 inventions in his 60-year career, and apart from everything else he left us with a number of audio and video recordings safely hidden away in the US Library of Congress.
Hidden, that is, but not forgotten. The Edison Home Page offers not only a timeline and biography of the man, but a number of Edison's early films digitised and available for download in MPG or QuickTime format.
Paul Stanley has built a baby PC based on a 386DX-40 processor, and instead of the large beige steel case we've all grown to hate, he's gone and made a custom wooden box for it instead. Check out his site for all the details on 'The Coffin', as he calls it.
Home Cinema Choice review a wide variety of home cinema equipment, and they also pass on some information that could be of great use to anyone who has recently bought a DVD player. Information on how to 'modify' the players to play region 1 discs for example...
Furbys were all the rage last Christmas, with Hasbro selling the furry robotic toys just as fast as the factories could pump them out.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) Furbys don't always live as long as planned, and so this page is dedicated to a Furby Autopsy. It's all good fun, and in reasonable taste, so go and have a laugh.

March 1999:
The Free Online Dictionary of Computing contains over 11,000 definitions of (deep breath): acronyms, jargon, programming languages, tools, architectures, operating systems, networking, theory, mathematics, telecoms, institutions, companies, projects, products, history, and in fact just about everything to do with computing.
The Jargon File is one of the largest and most interesting computer lexicons on the net, as it contains not only the explanation of the word or phrase, but also its origin. Scattered throughout this huge dictionary are stories, folklore and detailed explanations covering just about every conceivable aspect of computing.
Jeff Frohwein's GameBoy Tech Page: needless to say, a number of people have put the GameBoy to use in many varied and useful ways, including a sonar fish finder, MIDI processor and of course the inevitable robots. This site is an ideal starting place in getting GameBoy schematics, emulators and even programming languages.
If you are into digital electronics, then you're missing out big time (as they say) if you haven't heard of Clive Maxfield and his series of books on the subject.
Gray Creager's home page. Among other things you'll find a listing of over 620 IC manufacturer's website addresses. Gray seems to update the list quite regularly, and he also maintains a list of semiconductor companies that have been bought out or otherwise acquired, to help you find the right site.
Confused by DVD? All those regional codes or 'Locales', the need to 'flip' disks or not, the dreaded Divx format -- it can all get a bit complicated. If you aren't up to date with all the various formats and acronyms, then hop along to this site where you'll find the DVD Frequently Asked Questions list.

February 1999:
The Jumbo! Downloading Network offers a huge number of file downloads in many categories, including screensavers, games, business software and just about anything else you can think of.
If you are interested in the many different forms of Dolby sound encoding, whether it be Dolby Digital/AC-3, Pro Logic or Surround, go and visit this site where they have articles on everything from the rather technical 'Parametric Bit Allocation in a Perceptual Audio Coder' through to a history of multichannel audio.
If you are looking for information on an IC or electronic component, or want to know who can supply it, you'll know how frustrating it can be finding up to date details. So, try PartMiner, a stand-alone program that links to an online database of up-to-date semiconductor info.
These guys have quite a range of amplifier schematics available for download, and there's data for a selection of valves, as well a link to the TDSL2 valve data search engine hosted at the Duncan site. (at
try this site for info on the new VQF compressed sound format. VQF is similar to MP3 (Mpeg Layer 3), however it provides a compression ratio up to 30% higher than MP3. There's no free lunch though -- playing a VQF file takes around twice as much processor overhead as a standard MP3 file, but with today's CPUs that shouldn't be a problem.

January 1999:
This site covers the ins and outs of DSOs, so if you are lucky enough to own a digital scope, this is a good site to explore.
Contains many useful files (and a lot of source) for everything from assembly coding through to Delphi components. There really is tons of stuff here -- demo programming, graphics, sound, utilities and even Java and CGI code too.
An interesting site, with a robotics page covering the construction of several robots, and a promise of regular updated as various models are developed.
A successful mix of guitar amplifiers, vacuum tubes, and design tools such as SPICE modeling. It's also home of the Tube Data Sheet Locator, probably the largest vacuum tube data source on the web. They also maintain a huge database of valve amplifier schematics available on the web as well.
Craig Hart maintains an interesting site for anyone involved with repairing PCs. He has programs to check out APM support, identify PCI parameters, test memory, and even display PnP resource allocations.

December 1998:
Parallax are known the world over for their range of microcontroller modules known affectionally as Basic Stamps. Their website is, I suppose a Stamp heaven, with masses of info on perhaps the world's most popular micro.
Cell phones, CD players, microwave ovens -- if you want to know how they work you have two options: you can ether pull them to bits, or hop along to this site where you'll find some very detailed accounts on the internal workings of all sorts of everyday objects.
The latest craze on the internet is the MPEG Layer 3 Audio Compression standard, known as simply MP3. With it, you can achieve compression ratiod of around 12:1, reducing a 15 minute recording to around 3MB. Because of the high audio quality and small file size, MP3 are an ideal way to download music from the internet, so try out some small shareware player programs like WinAmp from this site.
If you are looking for some MP3 files to play, your best bet is to search on one of these meta search engines with the words 'MP3' and the name of the song you are looking for.
This is a good site to start from, as it which strives to act as a central hub for the Internet's MP3 community.

November 1998:
Valves, tubes, bottles, call them what you will, but you'll find them all here on Mike's Electric Site.
As well as offering their services in the field, the site provides a great deal of information on the subject of extracting audio recordings from media ranging from old acetate discs through to modern tape.
If you want to design your own printed circuit board but don't know where to start, try this site. Here, George H. Patrick III has outlined the PCB process from schematic through to the finished board, and covers just about everything you need to know in attempting a PCB design.
If you are interested in early computers (as I am), you might like to see Bob Lash's Memoir of a Homebrew Computer Club Member page. It's not a big flashy site, but he speaks of the joy of spending a month's salary on a little bag of 256 bit RAM chips, and laboriously typing in byte-by-byte some floating point math routines that Steve Wozniac had given him.

October 1998:
Know the difference between an EPP and ECP parallel port? OK, then, do you know how to talk to it with your latest circuit?. Well, I didn't until Craig Peacock drew my attention to his site, which covers it all in great detail...
Telsat communications offer a fair amount of info on satellite television on their web site. There are full technical specs on all their products, including antennas, LNBs, receivers and decoders, along with FAQs and beginner's guides to boot.
I can categorically say that I have never seen so many electronics related links in one place. Thanks to reader Ross Herbert, I can now tell you about Samuel M. Goldwasser's Bookmarks; hundreds of 'em in fact. It's enough to put Webwatch out of business...
Thanks also to Paul Hetrelezis for finding this site's new address
THE VIDEO UNIVERSITY contains a large 'Free Library' of articles and guides an a diverse range of topics, mostly on the theme of recording and editing your own productions.
RANDY FROMM is quite a character, his page is the home of the Technical Department, and it contains such jems as 'Take a Triac and Call Me in the Morning', which is an article on understanding the thyristor family of solid-state switches. There's lots more along the same lines, so check it out.

September 1998:
Building your own PC really isn't that difficult you know, especially after looking through this site.
The Electronics Plus web site covers a fair amount of ground, with sections on the operation of faxes and photocopiers (both of which are very good), cable descrambling, and several simple projects to build.
Car audio is always a hot subject, and the site can give you heaps of stuff on the subject.
Does your computer have LRF support? Do you know what LZW stands for? Go to the biggest acronym and abbreviation index that I've ever seen, and find out.
The Nano Art Gallery at is very good -- Cherry Blossoms in a Clear Stream is quite beautiful, as are the Gold Moon and Desert Passion photos.
Consider this the next time you are online: one white pixel uses up 34,475,867,928 electrons per second. An average 14" screen uses 18,237,881,012,857,875,948,329,134,987 electrons per second. These electrons are destroyed and cannot be used again. See what's being done to save the electron.
If you are having trouble with your VCR, then pay a visit to this site, where Philip Kuhn offers a listing of Q&As on just about every aspect of owning and operating a VCR.
And if you are still suffering from a blinking 12:00 on your VCR, check out this site which covers the time setting procedures for a multitude of VCRs.

August 1998:
Contributor Bob Parker recommends the Spread Spectrum Scene web site, and it has quite a lot on offer, including a goodly number of RF and antenna design programs.
It was recently pointed out to me that Dejanews gives newsgroup access to anyone on the web, and with a simple and unobtrusive registration you too can be reading what people have to say in, or even
is the FAQ I mentioned a couple of months ago, and...
(Thanks go out to Paul Hetrelezis for finding this site's new address)
... is a site run by Paul Domaille, a Computer Engineer and Engineering Director, and it offers a fair number of hints and tips on repairing everything from computer monitors through to satellite systems.
OK, Here's a good idea: the Consumer Review web site gives you the chance to tell the world what you think of that digital camera you just bought, or loudspeaker, or video game, or amplifier...
The electronics Plus web site covers a fair amount of ground, with sections on the operation of faxes and photocopiers (both of which are very good), cable descrambling, and several simple projects to build.
Car audio is always a hot subject, so if you see your car as merely a speaker box on wheels, this site should be of great interest.

July 1998:
Electronics Australia's own home page with a HUGE file download area.
Western Electric sure know their motors -- electric ones, that is.
This site covers the interesting topic of how to bend space-time in your basement...
Terminal One have a couple of sections on electronics and robotics, as well as electric cars and aircraft.
a collection of computer science bibliographies.
The Virtual Museum of Computing -- interviews, corporate histories, computer simulators and a list of virtual exhibits.

June 1998:
Protel, PCB design software
4QD: info on motor control, DC power control, electric vehicles and go-karts, plus useful stuff for all you robotics people out there.
*** This site has moved. Any info on its current address would be appreciated. ***
The first and only Variac on the web is great fun -- just don't blow it up...
Charles Brush's site has lots of info on Tesla coils, Jacob's ladders, arc lamps and other high voltage frivolity.
Questlink have what they call an 'absolutely awesome' index of integrated circuits, semiconductors, components and EDA tools.
These lentil-sized micro display screens give 640 x 480 full colour images.
Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine lives again -- as a java applet on the web.
John Walker's Index Librorum Liberorum is, in my opinion, one of the best sites on the web.

May 1998:
The University of Guelph (in Ontario) has an excellent tutorial on the more mathematical side of electronics.
Constants and Equations Pages. Here you'll find lists of all the equations, mathematical and planetary constants, indices, and coefficients you could ever need, and many more you won't...
Arn Roatcap offer a few notes on, and some great images of, stepped attenuators
Microconsultants' web site. There are several articles on such diverse subjects as automobile detection, calculating CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Codes), and a very good one on power factor

April 1998:
The system optimisation page covers everything from CPU comparisons to hidden settings in your BIOS.
Internet guide to electronics offers basic electronics information, and help for newbies with things like buying a DMM.
Pic of the PICs -- Dontronics' site has all things PIC, and lots of juicy files in the Download Dungeon...

March 1998:
Pitsco's Ask an Expert lets you ask experts in the field your own questions.
*** This site has moved. Any info on its current address would be appreciated. ***
Short Circuit Website: A new Australian site where you can post (and answer) electronic queries. There's lots of links, too.
The Science Club brings together Science Fairs from all over the world.

February 1998:
This site has gone. try selecting one from the list of mirror sites at:
The Hardware Book is the Internet's largest free collection of connector pinouts.
Intusoft's home page: SPICE software galore, with lots of links.
The automotive electrician's meeting place -- exchange hints and tips on automotive electrical repair.

January 1998:
The Digital Music Zone covers electronic music in its many forms...
Brookdale Electronics' Crystal Net has data on over 4000 crystals, VCOs, VCXOs and TCXOs.
Softaid's Embedded Web is the place to go if you are into embedded systems. The offer a free newsletter, and a whole page of techie jokes as well.

December 1997:
Beam Robotics
EE Design Center
Philips Passive Components

November 1997:
*** This site has moved. Any info on its current address would be appreciated. ***
Electronic Schematics
R.C.S. Radio
Data Bookshelf

October 1997:
Electronics Information online.
Electronics Information Online Tomi Engdahl's Electronic Info Page FAQ

September 1997:
WWW VL -- Electrical Engineering
The Speaker building page
Chip Directory

August 1997:
The IBM Patent Server
VAF Research
Fluke Corporation

July 1997:
The Electrical Engineers Circuits Archive
Australia's Telerobot on the Web
SETI League

June 1997:
The 'Ants' a micro-robotics project at the MIT Artificial Intelligence labs in Michigan.
JED Microprocessors design and manufacture a range of small industrial and scientific computers.
Science Hobbyist is a collection of interesting -- and different -- links to science resources on the net.

May 1997:
The US Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA)
Emona Instruments
Textronix scope museum

Please report any broken links to me ( here at Electronics Australia, and I'll fix the address in the next update.

Save this page as WEBWATCH.HTM on your system as a handy reference,
and don't forget to download the update every month from Electronics Australia's home page

If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions for Webwatch, feel free to drop me a line...