Howerd Oakford Curriculum Vitae part 2

Projects from 1981 to October 1994, not in chronological order :

Computer Solutions Ltd

Three "MAPCON" reports. Feasibility studies into the application of computers in industry : Lens centring system, Requirements Definition System ( see next project ), label plotting system for pressure gauges,


RDS Requirements Definitions System for JET Fusion experiments supervisory system. This program is used to test the safety systems in safety-critical areas such as the Joint European Taurus fusion experiments. It used the multitasking features of PDP11 polyForth to simulate separate functions, and utilised over 100 tasks in the system.

Golden River

"Retriever" rugged data logger : polyForth implementation and machine specific drivers in CDP1802 polyForth. These units are placed by the side of the road to log traffic flow.

Grant Instruments

"12-bit Squirrel" data logger, polyForth implementation, machine specific drivers and application program in CDP1802 polyForth. General purpose data loggers.

Forth, Inc. / Avco Inc ( October 1985 to March 1986 )

Programming of PC-like hardware and graphics display terminals for King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh HVAC/alarm system. The project involved programming over 400 computer clusterForth network in Huntsville, Alabama, USA 8086 and PDP11 polyForths.


IC lead strength tester. Applies destructive/non-destructive force to IC interconnect leads by positioning .005 inch hook, measures strength of bond. 68000 polyForth, including assembler serial drivers for 3 axis stepper motor controllers.

Dartin Medical

X-ray controller. PC/AT host with 8086 polyForth and 8051 target with 8051 chipForth. Features include EGA graphics, CRC and checksum protected communications link and safety-critical fail-safe design.

Broner / Protos

Multichannel capacitance measurement system. Amstrad CPC6128 host in Z80 polyForth and CDP1802 target used as remote data multiplexer. This is used for a Shape-meter design, to measure the deflection of 24 rotor sections caused by the stress profile of sheet steel as it is being milled. The sensors detected the deflection of each of the bearing supports by measuring the capacitance between two steel plates.

Multichannel data acquisition system ( DB1528 and DB1529 boards). PC/XT host with EGA graphics, custom designed 8051 based Microprocessor Controlled ADC board with 48 channel strain gauge amplifier/multiplexer. High performance, low drift circuit design for remote data acquisition. 8086 polyForth and 8051 chipForth. This is the strain-gauge version of the capacitance system developed previously. The PC data logging and display program featured averaging of each rotor section, graphical display. auto calibration and zeroing modes, remote storage of calibration values in the 8051 processor board and CRC protected secure communications protocols.

Profilometer for steel mill. Nineteen channel LVDT system for on-line measurement of profile of work rolls. Design of electronics, PC based display program and mechanics of probe assembly. Includes 8086 polyForth programming, multichannel input boards ( DB1528 and DB2500 ).

Eight channel non-contact temperature probe interface board with thermocouple amplifiers. Optional multiplexer output for connection to "intelligent" ADC board for remote data acquisition. Hardware design and data logging program on host PC in 8086 polyForth.

Control and display hardware for non-contact temperature probe. State machine logic design.

8 channel air pressure transducer and multiplexer for use in their proprietary Air Bearing Shapemeter. Used in conjunction with the DB1528 Microprocessor Controlled ADC board.

4 channel speed sensor. Hardware ( 80C51FA based ) and software for 4 independent channels of pulse counter/timers with selectable frequency from 0.1Hz to 10kHz. Used on Broner's proprietary Shapemeter range for rotational speed measurement. Compatible with the other Broner products including PC display program. Extensive use of the 80C51FA PCA ( Programmable Counter Array ) and interrupt code.

Crystal Communication

Pay-telephone anti-theft alarm. Hardware design features include very low current operation.

Atlanta Audio Visuals

Graphics and Image Processing program on Commodore Amiga, in 68000 J-Forth. Pattern recognition from TV camera image. Interface to frame-grabber plu&play card, software to detect specific pattern.

Hardware design of pattern recognition support logic and TV frame decoder, software in 8051 chipForth to detect vertical "zebra" stripe pattern from a TV camera.

"JIVE" computer game accessory. Hardware and software design of low-cost infra-red spatial detector for coumputer games consoles. Patent applied for.

Sinar Technology

Desk-top version of their portable Moisture Computer, model A92. CDP1802 polyForth. Hardware and software design.The original portable design using CDP1802 microForth, was developed by Howerd Oakford as an employee of Sinar Technology / Rofin Ltd from 1978 onwards.

MNET ( Moisture NET ) PC based graphical database for moisture content v. capacitance calibration curves. polyForth 8086 program. Includes CRC protected serial communications protocol, remote test and calibration modes for the Sinar range of agricultural moisture meters. Easy-to-use program to allow product specific data to be transferred world-wide using acoustic modems. Information database and CRC/Checksum protected serial protocol.

Dongle protection software using SoftlokII for MNET. PC programs may only be run when a dongle with the correct password is plugged into the printer port.

Acoustic Coupler Modem. Hardware and software for low-cost data transfer system using the standard telephone network using 8051 chipForth. R&D and In-Circuit Emulation techniques used to find the optimum modulation system for wide range of telephones. PC based program to control Sinar's Moisture Meters remotely, including calibration of units in the field.

Upgrade of Moisture Meter 80C31 program to meet US "Handbook 44" moisture measurement requirements. Included "Audit trail" data logging software to allow traceability of moisture meter calibration.

Upgrade of Desk Top Moisture Meter hardware and software from CDP1802 microForth original to 80C32 chipForth


Testing of RF and microwave convertors using Hewlett Packard HP8561B spectrum analyser and HP8620C sweep oscillator, Marconi MI6500 amplitude analyser, MI2022A signal generator and MI 2440 frequency counter.

JBC Systems

Load Cell Integrator. 8051 based unit, programmed in 8051 chipForth. Measures speed and loading of a conveyer belt, then calculates total load transferred. Includes interrupt driven multitasker, LCD and keypad routines written in 8051 assembler, and menu driven user interface.

Conveyor Belt Computer. Hardware and software desiign using 8051 chipForth for mark II version of LCI unit, with extended software and hardware software features.

Rowecon Systems' customised program for the Conveyor Belt Computer system, including a Shift Performance Report printout and User Option menu.

Hardware design of : Coaxial cable tester, Computer network cable tester, LED speed indicator .

Beckford's customised program for the Conveyor Belt Computer system, including a Loadout control menu.

Isolated current-loop output board for CBC units. Twelve bit DAC design, FET power stage for high accuracy.

Programming of dual store RAM protection software in 8051 chipForth. Two copies of all data are kept, each with a chacksum. In the event of data corruption, data is copied from the remaining backup store ( if possible ). This allows the hardware to be used in hostile environments, such as stone quarries, where the risk of electrical damage is high due to lightening strikes etc.


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