Using Radio & Infrared Signals in Electronics

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What the Heck Is RFID?

With all the recent hype over radio frequency identification (RFID) and the requirements to implement it, you might think that RFID can turn water into wine, transform lead into gold, and cure the world's [more…]

Examining the Elements of a Basic RFID System

Learning the fundamentals of RFID can be overwhelming. By understanding the basics of how data travels in waves and then through a network in an RFID system, however, you gain a solid foundation for greater [more…]

The Basics of Radio Electronics

Radio — the electronic technology if not the audio programming — has never been more popular than it is right now. In the 1930s and '40s, there was only one use for radio: broadcast audio signals. Today [more…]

Radio Electronics: Who Really Invented Radio?

The history of electronic radio technology is plagued by controversy over the question of who actually invented the thing. The answer most often given is Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, but many others [more…]

Radio Electronics: Transmitters and Receivers

There are many natural sources of radio waves. But in the later part of the 19th century, scientists figured out how to electronically generate radio waves using electric currents. Two components are required [more…]

Radio Electronics: Amplitude Modulator (AM)

The original method of electronically encoding sound information on radio waves is called amplitude modulation, or AM. It was developed in the first few decades of the twentieth century. AM is a relatively [more…]

Radio Electronics: Frequency Modulation (FM)

Signals that interfere with an intentional electronic broadcast are called static, and static is the main drawback of AM radio. To counteract static, a better method of superimposing information on a radio [more…]

Radio Electronics: The Genius behind FM Radio

One of the great inventors in the history of radio electronics was an engineer named Edwin H. Armstrong. Born in 1890, he was fascinated with electrical technology from a very young age. At the age of [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Use Your Crystal Radio

Once your crystal radio circuit is built, your antenna is up, and your ground wire is connected, your electronic device is ready to go. It’s time to put your crystal radio to the test. Follow these steps [more…]

Electronics Projects: A Simple Crystal Radio Circuit

A basic crystal radio receiver circuit consists of just a few basic electronic components: an antenna and a ground connection, a coil, a variable capacitor, a diode, and an earphone. [more…]

Electronics Projects: Materials for a Crystal Radio Circuit

A crystal radio is a good project to hone your electronics skills. You’ll need a handful of parts to build your crystal radio. The following is a recommended list: [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build the Coil for a Crystal Radio

When you look at a crystal radio, one of the simplest of all useful electronic circuits, the first thing you’re likely to notice is the large coil. The coil usually consists of 100 turns or more of small-gauge [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Assemble the Crystal Radio Circuit

Before you embark on assembling the various electronic parts of a crystal radio, you will need a base and a few other parts. Here’s a list of the parts you’ll need to assemble the circuit: [more…]

Radio Electronics: Foxhole Radios

In World War II, electronically-inclined GIs would often build their own crystal radios from whatever materials they could scrounge up. These were called [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Add an Antenna to a Crystal Radio Circuit

A good, long antenna is an electronic component vital to the successful operation of a crystal radio. In general, the longer the antenna, the better. If possible, try make your antenna at least 50′. Longer [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Ground Your Radio Antenna

A good ground connection is every bit as important as a good antenna in do-it-yourself radio electronics. The best way to create a good ground connection is to use a metal cold water pipe. [more…]

Electronics: Introduction to Infrared Light

Many electronic circuits detect the invisible light that’s commonly called infrared. Infrared light is light whose frequency is just below the range of visible red light. Specifically, infrared is light [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Detect Infrared Light

There are several ways to detect infrared light in an electronic circuit, but the most common is with a device called a phototransistor. You can buy a phototransistor for less than a dollar at RadioShack [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build a Common-Emitter Proximity Detector

The combination of an infrared light-emitting diode (IR LED) and a photodiode is often used as a proximity detector, an electronic gadget that detects when an object is nearby. [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Create Infrared Light

The easiest way to electronically create infrared light is by using a special light-emitting diode (LED) that operates in the infrared spectrum. Infrared LEDs [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build a Common-Collector Proximity Detector

A proximity detector is an electronic gadget that detects when an object is nearby. It can be made by combining an infrared light-emitting diode (IR LED) and a photodiode. [more…]

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