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A DIY USB Flash Drive stands out

A combined flash drive memory stick and data logger that outsmarts commercial products is the lead construction project in the new November issue of Elektor Electronics magazine.

The design offers a choice of memory cards, two connectivity options plus data logging capability all in less than half the size of a credit card—beating its nearest off-the-shelf competitor.

Elektor Electronics readers can get hold of theirs for as little as £80, a third-less than rival products. The Elektor Electronics unit is available ready-built and tested from the magazine’s online shop or its readers’ services department.

The enhanced flash drive, like the magazine itself, is targeted equally at serious enthusiasts and professional users. Equipped with USB and RS-232 ports plus liquid crystal display (LCD) and data-logging options, the memory stick is the ideal tool for storing and transporting large data files between electronic test equipment and data loggers and a host PC.

Instead of using hard-wired memory chips it offers the choice of memory media (either MMC or SD cards) up to a maximum of 2 gigabytes. Data handling is looked after by an ARM7 microcontroller, for which specially written software can be downloaded free from the magazine’s website, www.elektor.com .

Users will need little prompting to find applications for the device. It is ideal in situations where electronic systems gather information at remote locations without online data links back to base. Thanks to its ability to plug both into the serial port of a microcontroller system and a USB port on a PC, Elektor’s versatile memory stick is ideal for transferring the data to a PC for evaluation.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.