Project Tools PLUS

Introduction Project Tools PLUSProject Tools PLUS is our complete electronics teaching and learning programme. It features all of the modules and information provided in  Project Tools , plus two additional modules that introduce popular I.C. and PIC based systems (see pink tabs above for details and screenshots). 

Its library of commonly-used subsystems and CAD tools, is used to design and make 5 stage systems in seconds and build ready-designed projects to explore these subsystems further.

Project Tools PLUS is available with a range of licenses to suit most budgets and school requirements.
Text and images may be copied and pasted for use as hand-outs or project guides in the classroom (please see copyright details).

Hardware to use with Project Tools PLUS

The two extra modules: “Extended Systems and Subsystems” and “PIC Circuits and Systems” are aimed at learners now extending their core knowledge and understanding of practical electrical circuits and electronic systems. 

Systems designed may be easily modelled with the:

 SmartStart Modelling Module  

and made into take-home projects with the:

 FastTrack PCB
PIC Project Board PPB.



1 – Extended Systems and Subsystems ModuleIn this section we will look at Project Tools PLUS additional module – “Extended Systems and Subsystems”:

1 – Extended Systems and Subsystems (screenshots below)

Extended Systems and SubsystemsThis module allows learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of a wider range of components and subsystems through:-
– Fourteen investigatory activities: Based on systems built from Project Tool’s library of subsystems (including the Op Amp Comparator, 555 Astable/Monostable, RC networks, potential dividers etc).
– The “On Track” system design tool: used to generate circuit diagrams, PCB designs + legend, system voltage testing points and parts lists with just one click via its 5-stage system block diagram. This tool uses Project Tools’ library of Subsystems and may be also used to make and test the above fourteen investigatory activities.
-Additional information describes how the photographic process is used to make PCB’s and the ideas to be considered when identifying a new opportunity to design a useful electronic control product.

Features and Screenshots:


Extended Systems and Subsystems welcome screen.

The grey strip on the left is used to access: subsystem libraries, 14 investigatory activities, 5 stage PCB/circuit designer and PCB manufacturing guide.
Extended Systems and Subsystems
Library of 14 input (white), process (yellow) and output (blue) subsystems, may be cut & pasted for research purposes.

Introduces: Potential Divider circuits, + and - going switch triggers, transistor switch, Darlington Pair amp, RC timer, Thyristor latch, output buffers, Op Amp Comparator, 555 Timer Astable, 555 Timer Monostable, sourced and sinked inductive and non-inductive outputs.
Subsystems Libraries
Fourteen ready-to-use practical control system activities introduce QuickLink's library of input, process and output subsystems

Selector table allows you choose from the example systems and activities by identifying the main components used.
Ready designed example systems may be made using "OnTrack" designer.

White, yellow and blue titles show if the main subsystem is an input, process or output.
Subsystems Projects
Examplar projects provide a helpful guide to designing useful control products.

Fully illustrated guide provides step-by-step instructions to safely producing PCB's from PCB masks.
Project Ideas
"OnTrack" design tool allows 5-stage open-loop or closed-loop circuits to be made from the library of subsystems.

After descriptions of the subsystems have been placed in the block diagram, with one click the tool displays:-

OnTrack PCB Designer Tool
1, The circuit diagram.

Systems and circuits sequentially placed with voltage testing points shown on the diagram to assist manufacture and testing.
OnTrack Circuit Designer
2, The PCB mask and legend plus optional "exploded" version which allows groups to make each subsystem separately and then daisy chain them back together.

3, Subsystem voltage testing points marked on the PCB mask.
OnTrack PCB Designer
4, Parts Lists for use with PCB legend and when ordering components.

Subsystems have been designed to use components commonly used in the classroom and requiring minimal stock.
OnTrack Parts List

2 – PIC Circuits and Systems ModuleIn this section we will look at Project Tools PLUS additional module – “PIC Circuits and Systems Module”:

2 – PIC Circuits and Systems (screenshots below)

This module allows control systems previously created with Project Tools to now incorporate a PIC as part of the designed ‘process’ stage. These new systems may be modelled and tested with real components by simply adding the PIC POD extension module to the SmartStart Module. Alternatively, new systems may be built using the PIC Project board (PPB), when take-home soldered circuits are required. 
The PIC project board has an identical size and layout of its input and output components when compared with the Fasttrack board. It operates from the same higher 9 volt supply, but offers superior control features via its 5 I/O control pins.
The PIC circuit design tool provides an excellent way of introducing the added benefits of PIC systems and allows for greater extension work and differentiation to be carried out in class projects. Individually generated project guides, showing hundreds of alternative PIC circuits, may be printed for use in the classroom (please see copyright details). 

Features and Screenshots:

Design and "Model" 1000 + systems.

Icons describing the required input sensors/switches and outputs are dragged onto the block diagram.

The PIC "Modelling" icon is selected to show how PICPOD connects to the SmartStart module.

Circuit diagram shows subsystems sequentially, for ease of making.
PICPOD and Block Diagram
Design and "Make" 1000 + systems.

Icons describing the required input sensors/switches and outputs are dragged onto the block diagram.

The PIC "Making" icon is selected to show how input, process and output components are placed on the PIC project board (PPB)

Circuit diagram shows subsystems sequentially for ease of making.
PIC Circuit Board and Block Diagram

See Project Tools Software