The Embedded Muse

Since 1997 the Embedded Muse has provided hardware and software tips about building embedded systems.

Free twice/month e-newsletter about embedded systems, now in its 23th year. No hype, just down-to-earth technical talk about how to build embedded systems - both firmware and hardware.42,000+ engineers subscribe. Muse subscribers are eligible for our monthly giveaways: oscilloscopes, debugging tools, etc.

"One of the first questions we ask prospective employees is if they read The Embedded Muse," - Mike Katz, Northrup Grumman.

"We've had several excellent candidates from The Embedded Muse job ads, including a few hires. You do better than recruiters!" Andy Kunz, Team Spektrum

To subscribe to The Embedded Muse, enter your email address and press submit.



Back issues are here.

Freebies: Eevery month we run a giveaway of something cool. Past giveaways include bench oscilloscopes, USB scopes and logic analyzers, books, development boards, power supplies and much more. Only Embedded Muse subscribers are eligible to win. Enter the contest here.

Given the mention of Heathkit in the January 4 Muse, and the focus on history in both of this month's Muses, this month's giveaway is a circa 1949 VTVM from Heathkit.

Giveaway -  a 1949 Vacuum tube voltmeter

What's a VTVM? These used to be ubiquitous in labs but are unknown today. It's a vacuum tube voltmeter. Maybe you have one of those cheap Radio Shack volt-ohmmeters (VOMs). They typically have a terrible input impedance so will load circuits, giving erroneous readings. A VTVM feeds the input to the grid of a vacuum tube ("valve" to our British friends), giving the meter a very high (on the order of 10 MΩ) impedance.

The meter doesn't work. I took it apart and found the power-supply capacitor is bad; probably the others need replacing, too. The selenium rectifier works, but I'd replace it with a silicon diode. This would be a fun repair project. A manual with schematics is here.

Privacy policy: We never, ever, reveal your email address to anyone, despite promises of wealth, fame, recovery of lost youth and desperately-needed full-body makeovers. The only email you'll get from us is The Embedded Muse, unless you correspond with us, in which case we'll respond. Unlike so many other newsletters, we don't even track links. And the web site does not use cookies (to further respect your privacy, we don't use any sort of analytics).