EPROM programmers and other electronic things

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First, there are some things you can download from this page:


I enjoy designing and building electronic gadgets.

Back around 1990 I decided to finally do something about a latent interest in electronics. After reading a few books, buying a breadboard and a few other bits and pieces, I built my first project. Nothing ambitious, just a simple thermostat temperature controller. (Some years later, I re-did the design and published it in Electronics Australia.)

It didn't take long before I started reading further, this time into digital logic. This lead logically (no pun) to some reading on microprocessors. I borrowed an excellent book on basic microprocessor architecture and function from the library. Sadly I didn't keep a record of the title or author even though it was very good.

My next project was more ambitious. I decided the best way to learn about microprocessors was to build a functioning circuit. It so happened that I wanted an automatic sprinkler system for the garden so that's what I built. But before I could really get into that project, I needed to program EPROMs that would hold the code to run my microprocessor. So I designed and built an EPROM programmer. The Mark I designed was modified and written up as a construction project for Electronics Australia. The programmer hardware runs from an IBM PC parallel port and, even though it's fiddly to put together, it was very popular.  The kit suppliers sold many hundreds or more of these. The programmer will take EPROMs from 2716 to 27256 without modification. There are also modifications that enable EPROMs up to one megabit to be programmed (see links at top of this page).  As noted elsewhere though, this programmer has been superseded by a version published more recently in Silicon Chip magazine in Australia (the new design was done by the fomer editor of Electronics Australia).

Anything that runs from a PC port needs PC software to run it. That was an excuse to learn 'C' and you will find a link to the interface software for the programmer that I wrote in 'C' at the top of the page, complete with source code.

The irrigation controller was completed and ran for some years but was eventually abandoned once I started learning about microcontrollers.  I've only worked with the Microchip PIC microcontrollers but have now done a number of projects.  One of them is the plant propagation controller.  More recently, I've created a thermostat with digital readout.  Contact me if you are interested as I may be able to make one up for you.  None of these projects have been published although I have just finished another one which I have submitted to Silicon Chip.  I'll provide a link once it is published.