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Silicon Chip January 2012

This month features an excellent introduction to the Arduino microcontroller platform. We look at the programming language and some of the tools that are available for this open source programming environment. Also this month we look at how to play music that is stored on a memory card, without using a PC. We look in detail into the connections and how the music is stored in the memory.

This month's projects include an easy to build Stereo Compressor. This is ideal for the cases when the sound volume may jump during ad breaks or when there is a widely different sound levels on recordings. This unit continously adjusts the signal level by amplifying the quiet passages and attenuating the louder passages, ensuring comfortable listening without continually adjusting the volume. Also this month, step back in time and build a simple AM radio, construction of 2 units are detailed with a small pocket size unit, similiar to the portable transistors of old and a retro-style mantel radio with large hand dial. Both units are very easy to build and result in excellent sound quality. Finally this month a 3-input Stereo Audio Switcher, if you have a wide number of input sources to your sound system but not enough sockets, this unit will allow you to switch the inputs using a standard infrared remote control. All projects come complete with circuit diagram and electronic parts list.

Part Code: SILCHIPJAN2012


  • Arduino: Introduction to Programming and Tools
  • Playing USB-Stick & SD Card Music without a PC


  • Stereo Audio Compressor
  • Simple AM Radio
  • Dorji 433MHz Wireless Data Modules
  • 3-Input Stereo Audio Switcher

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