This course helps electrical engineering seniors make the transition into industry through self-chosen team projects. To do so, the course emulates the day-to-day life of a real engineering design environment creating what numerous students have called their favorite class. Students put together what they have learned, develop teamwork and leadership skills, and gain in-depth practical knowledge in a topic that excites them. Moreover, Senior Design Projects make a good addition to a resume. Many employers consider a good Senior Design Project to be just as valuable as internship experience.
ECE 445: Senior Design Projects - [Link]
Drone writes: Now you can 3D print in glazed ceramics at Shapeways. Great! I need some big HV insulators for the electric chair I’m building. Interestingly, prices are based on surface area. [via]
Glazed Ceramics is perfect for any application such as a plate, cup or bowl as it is the first 3D printed food safe material available on Shapeways. Shapeways 3D Printed Glazed Ceramics material properties are exactly the same as standard ceramics as it is produced with fine ceramic powder which is bound together with binder, fired, glazed with lead-free, non-toxic gloss finish.
3D printed glazed ceramics – [Link]
I spent some time during Thanksgiving to build an automatic cat feeder but I’m just now getting around to writing something about it. Our cats want to be fed at 6am but I don’t want to get up to do so. This aims to get them fed and back to bed without waking us up! All the good stuff after the break.
Automatic cat feeder – [Link]
Something that a project that I’m working on has me doing is using a serial to parallel IC (think 74HC595) to control leds. However, rather than drive the leds directly from the pins, I opted for the use of transistors. After testing this out, it became apparent to me that perhaps the leds might be too bright, so I went in search of a simple PWM generator.
Yet Another Simple Pot-controlled 555 PWM generator – [Link]
Here is an old ham radio operators trick for cleaning wires for soldering that are old and corroded. It is hard to find this technique printed anywhere! I am a ham, NH7ZE, and learned it from my elmer (mentor). I am passing it on. I hope it helps people who need to clean wires:P Please vote!!!
How to perfectly clean wires in minutes!!! – [Link]
You may have already seen Matt Richardson’s wonderful Snail Mail Push project. Our Arduino projects guy, Riley Porter, has put together a snail mail hack of his own. His new workshop is in his backyard, far from his mailbox. Rather than having to walk to the box obsessively to see if mail has arrived, he developed a prototype for this wireless device that alerts him to the mail’s arrival. It’s a wireless Arduino system with a photoresistor sensor that detects when the box is opened and alerts Riley, via a wireless connection and an Arduino, in his shop.
Building a Wireless Snail Mail Notifier – [Link]
This very entertaining take on the classic most useless machine gag is not quite so patient as its ancestors. Oh sure, it does what they all do: When you turn it on, it turns itself off. And it’ll do that over and over again. But, much like my college roommate, the machine has its limits, and it’s probably wise not to push it too far. [via]
Angriest Most Useless Machine – [Link]
ximite computer. [via]
The Maximite is a small and versatile computer running a full featured BASIC interpreter with 128K of working memory.
It will work with a standard VGA monitor and PC compatible keyboard and because the Maximite has its own built in SD memory card and BASIC language you need nothing more to start writing and running BASIC programs.
The Maximite also has also 20 input/output lines which can be independently configured as analog inputs, digital inputs or digital outputs. You can measure voltage, frequencies, detect switch closure, etc and respond by turning on lights, closing relays, etc – all under control of your BASIC program.
The Maximite computer – [Link]
Many 5volt chips will working with the output from a 3.3volt part. An example is the Arduino, it sees 3volts or more as a ’1′. A 3.3volt device with 5volt tolerant pins, such as the Bus Pirate, can interact with an Arduino despite the voltage difference.
This table shows common logic threshold voltage levels and where they’re compatible. This is a big help for projects that need voltage translation. [via]
The graph provides a comparison of Input and Output [I/O] logic switching levels for the CMOS, TTL, mixed CMOS/TTL, ETL, BTL, GTL, and Low voltage glue logic families. The graph above provides a comparison between the Input and Output [I/O] logic switching levels for CMOS, and TTL logic families.
The graph shows 5 volt CMOS, TTL, and mixed CMOS/TTL IC devices, and 3.3 volt LVTTL LVCMOS IC devices. BTL and GTL [Bus Driver] IC are shown for comparison. Note many Low Voltage [LV] CMOS families are 5 volt tolerant [not damaged by applying 5v to the input pins]. The output logic levels above are defined by the Terms section below. For a review of Noise Margin numbers and a short description of many of the IC logic families, refer to the Logic Family Selection page.
Voltage threshold chart – [Link]
Circuitguy shares some tips for reading datasheets. There’s a lot of good advice in here, and it’s well worth checking out. He writes:
“Datasheets Lie.” I’m sure we’ve all said it before. I’ve said it myself, and I still catch myself saying it. Just because we say it, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Most datasheets are, in fact, very accurate and representative of the part. Sometimes you have to read all the lines to find the truth between the facts.
Datasheets (Don’t) Lie – [Link]