Monday, March 23, 2015

Post-Spring-Break Schedule

Today, March 23: Complete system block diagram.  Include at least ten blocks and a list of at least ten major parts.

Looking forward:
  • March 30: Complete schematic and parts list (design reviews Monday and Thursday).
  • April 6: Complete board layout (design reviews Monday and Thursday).
  • April 13: Final submissions (DipTrace files to Jay on Monday).
 Parts update: Recommended micro USB connector with board locks: TE Connectivity 2040002-1 (and by "recommended", I mean everyone should use this connector; and by "should" I mean "must").

Monday, March 9, 2015

More Design Project Ideas

More design project ideas (an improved list, in no particular order):
  1. Audio signal processing and LED visualization for DJ performance.
  2. Clock displays: seven-segment displays with TBD synchronization.
  3. Clock POV display with TBD synchronization.
  4. Hand sensors and interfacing to a USB human interface device (the glove).
  5. Interactive buttons (such as shirt buttons) for the EE Proto bulletin board.
  6. USB drive with RFID authentication.
  7. VGA-output Etch-a-Sketch.
  8. VGA-compatible audio visualizer.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Design Project Ideas

Gathering some ideas for the design projects:
  1. A complete drum machine box.
  2. An analog synthesizer voice.
  3. A digital synthesizer voice (like the Meeblip).
  4. VGA-compatible audio visualizer.
  5. LED-driver audio visualizer (light organ).
  6. Lecture demonstrations for Controls.
  7. MIDI control board (such as this Kickstarter project).
  8. Drone synthesizer (for example, Drone Commander or Drone Lab).
  9. Clock displays: LED/analog? Voltmeters? Metric time? POSIX?
  10. Clock synchronization: GPS, WWV, or WiFi beacon-frame timestamp?
  11. Interactive displays for the EE Proto bulletin board.
  12. RF signal-strength meters and an AM-band spectrum analyzer.

Homework for Monday

Here are the items you should be working on for Monday:
  1. Feedback on Lab 4 assignment and projects.
  2. Idea for Lab 5 project.
  3. Design Project Proposal.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lab 4

In Lab 4 you will complete the layout of several independent circuits. We will get these designs fabricated, and you will assemble and test the circuits in Lab 6. There are three circuits that you will lay out for this lab:
  1. The surface-mount LED flasher that you completed as part of DipTrace Tutorial Day. 
  2. A simple microcontroller board. One possibility is a copy of the Arduino Micro, and you can find the schematic on their website. Other possibilities can be discussed with the staff.
  3. An analog drum voice. Schematics will be provided in class.
To complete this assignment, you must deliver the following documentation:
  1. Simulations of the first and third circuits in LTSpice
  2. A complete schematic for each circuit
  3. A complete bill of materials for all the parts (including source, stock number, and cost)
  4. A complete layout in DipTrace (suitable for fabrication)
Lab 4 is due Monday, February 23.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Drum Machine Documentaries

Homework: watch the following videos about the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

First up is a short trailer for an upcoming documentary called "808" (premiering at SXSW).



Second is an excerpt from the  BBC documentary "The Shape of Things that Hum".



If you have the time (82 minutes), the full documentary is on YouTube. It discusses a number of important electronic instruments, including the MiniMoog synthesizer, the vocoder, the Yamaha DX7, the CMI Farilight, the Simmons drum machine, the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer, the Roland TR-808 drum machine, and the Akai Sampler.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

DipTrace Tutorial Day

The class assignment for Monday (February 9) is to complete two tutorial projects in DipTrace. Before class on Monday, please complete the following homework:
  1. Get DipTrace installed on your laptop. See the Olin instructions here.
  2. Get the DipTrace Tutorial PDF file.
In class on Monday, we will complete the following projects:
  1. Complete the schematic and layout tutorial, pages 1 through 79.
  2. Complete a second layout of the "Astable Flip Flop" using only surface-mount parts.
    • Transistors: ON Semiconductor MMBT3904LT1G (SOT23 package)
    • Capacitors: 33uF  TDK Corp C3216X5R1C336M160AB (1206 package)
    • LEDs: Lite-On LTST-C170GKT (0805 package)
    • Resistors R2 and R3: 680 ohms (0805 package)
    • Resistors R1 and R4: 34 kilohms (0805 package)
    • 9V battery connector (use same through-hole connector)
Minimize the size of your PCB layout to save space. Save your second layout in a safe place when you are finished (we will get these designs fabricated as part of Lab 4).

After class on Monday, you may want to watch some of the (advanced) Video Guided Tour (should take less than 30 minutes). Make note of any jargon or concepts that you don't understand.

One additional project that we might get started, time permitting, is the layout of a simple microcontroller.  This design is based on the Arduino Micro, and you can find the schematic on their website.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lab 3

Reverse Engineering. Take apart and fully document a piece of commercial electronics (provided). Assemble a complete documentation package describing the circuit, components, and behavior of the object. Deliverables (as a web page):
  • Basic test results showing behavior
  • Block diagram of system
  • Bill of materials of all parts
  • Complete schematic of circuit
Document package is due February 12.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lab 2

Commercial Electronics Autopsy: Take apart a piece of commercial electronics (provided). Take pictures, study construction techniques, draw a block diagram, write a bill of materials of major parts (top ten), and find some data sheets, but don't draw a schematic. Make a list of the major components; the main integrated circuits are important, of course, but don't overlook interesting examples of passive components, sensors, connectors, switches (and other controls), internal cable assemblies, heat sinks, mechanical elements, etc. Deliverables (as a web page):
  • Link to service manual (if found)
  • Basic test results showing operation (or non-operation)
  • Pictures of the disassembly and the insides
  • Block diagram of the system
  • Bill of materials of ten major parts, with date codes and datasheets
  • Discussion of the mechanical design, including functional and decorative elements
  • Short presentation for informal show-and-tell session
If your item has an FCC ID code on it, be sure to check out if any of the FCC filings are public at http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/.
Extra credit for salvaging and reusing some interesting part from your autopsy (for example: motors, sensors, LEDs, switches, fans, etc.).