Thursday, October 15, 2009

Electronics for Intermedia

Well, the art class I was not super stoked about has become my favorite this term. I am not an expert at this stuff, but I am learning a lot about it in CMPS 10 and then this class is the fun version of computer science. It's like, how can I fabricate this? Not "how can I get all related knowledge in this field from the bottom up and write my own codes?".
I am especially bad at the arduino software, since I can literally only do the things we have talked about and even then only by looking in my notes and asking for help. Like, oh yeah, making a light blink.... got it. Making 2 lights blink? Um...... let's ask the TA. But it's a very supportive class. We do a lot of helping each other, which is nice, because I got to help people solder (kind of. by telling them what heat to put the gun on and reassuring them that it looked all right and the resistor is the right voltage "because look, it's red red gold brown", not really helping them like people help me write code by finding relevant tutorials and troubleshooting for me) and other people help me with the software and it is so nice. Always in school you are supposed to ask your peers but usually they don't know or only some students have the skills to help. But in this class someone who isn't a natural at this can help someone who is because the person who isn't has extra alligator clips or knows where the error is bc they just got that debugged by the TA. So it's really nicely collaborative. I helped a girl who has a much more sophisticated first project than mine by telling her you can hold wire in pliers when you strip it instead of wrapping it around your finger.
This is my "project". I don't know how to light it up. I might not be done on time (monday) because i wasted wednesday replacing my different colored clear LEDs (thought they were white or yellow, nope: white, red, dud*, red, yellow, yellow, green) with red ones so I could actually use it in my final project if I want. (initially I was going to do just a project to learn the concept but when i met with the prof to discuss my proposal he said to actually buy my briefcase and wire the leds to it so i didn't want my defective ones wired to it)
This is our wire and little components station. The bin in the foreground is of clear leds that I will test next time I want to use them, before I get out the solder and heat shrink plastic. (ugh.)
This is the coolest. It holds wires next to each other in alligator clips so your hands are free to solder. I love it. It makes me feel like such an inventor. However the magnifier is probably for breadboards or circuit boards or something, it is not useful to be and i have to bend it out of the way.
I am sorry for the quality of this picture. It is my final project. I have to go to class soon, so I can't explain it very much. Basically we had to design a labor saving device and have to manufacture at least a prototype this quarter. Mine saves me from checking on my keys and everything dozens of times by an RFID scanner than I scan my essentials past when I put them in my briefcase and then lights up an EL wire squid that reassures me I got my neccessary tools in the bag. If not all of them are scanned, the leds above will flash. I thought about a 2 way mirror/calendar component but it's quite expensive for the glass... my prof suggested mylar and a picture frame glass... I am not as keen on this anymore, once I understood how much a primitive rfid reader would cost and take to get set up. Actually now I like the idea of a freestanding one, which doesn't help bc it's not portable and would be a companion to planner not a replacement, but then again i don't need to cut a hole in a briefcase and get acrylic so it won't shatter and everything. And find a portable power source for a lightbulb in my briefcase.
*the dud may have been an ultraviolet one, but basically it did not make light so it is a dud.

1 comment:

Robert van de Walle said...

That is a good idea! If "everything" is in your purse, it lets you know. There could be a market for that!

It's a kin to the purse that has an exploding paint stain packet in it that goes off if the purse gets stolen.