Practical Electronics – May 2023
English | 78 pages | pdf | 19.44 MB

Spring is here at last!

The sun is out, the grass is green and it’s time to welcome you to the first springtime issue of Practical Electronics magazine. This month, we bring you the latest news on EVs and power generation, fun-to-build projects, insights into learning to use the Arduino, the perils of using op amps as comparators. how to get up and running with RC servo motors and much more.

Turning to this issue’s projects, we have our usual, generous helping of exciting circuits for you to build. First up is Part 2 of the impressive 500W Amplifier we started last month. Next, a Precision AM-FM DDS Signal Generator and last, but not least, an update to our very popular SMD Test Tweezers. The latter uses the same fundamental hardware as the October project, but swaps out the microcontroller with a newer, more powerful PIC that can accommodate expanded software. If you liked the first version then you’ll love the second one!

Is this me or a computer?

Thanks to recent advances in AI, this is an increasingly important question. Unable to resist the hype, I signed up for a trial run of ChatGPT – the latest AI ‘chatbot’ to hit the news. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect. I tried asking it some fairly straightforward, but varied questions just to see what it came up with. ‘What is a Laplace Transform?’, ‘How can I remember my dreams?’ and, with a nod to this month’s Circuit Surgery, ‘Do op amps make good comparators?’.
I was impressed. The answers were concise, accurate, written in proper English and – as far as I can tell – not just regurgitated from a Wikipedia page. I then tried a more challenging question: ‘Can you write 200 words for the editorial in a hobby electronics magazine?’ What returned was a little bland, but by no means generic. Drop in a few key words relating to 500W Amps or a PicoMite and it would be a pretty convincing piece of work. In short, this is an impressive technology that everyone should try:

I finished off my first AI session with, ‘Who is Matthew Pulzer?’ The answer came back: ‘I couldn’t find any notable public figure or known person with the name Matthew Pulzer. It’s possible that Matthew Pulzer is relatively unknown.’ Serves me right for asking,but I can’t argue with the answer!
Matt Pulzer

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