My name is Jacinta and I am a rising sophomore at Promise Academy High School. My starter project was the MintyBoost, a battery powered portable charger. I figured it’d be pretty useful considering I’m always on my phone and it’s always dying. My main project was an Led Bracelet. Honestly I have no specific reason for why I chose this project. I’ve never done any type of engineering before so when I saw the cool video of the bracelet I thought it’d be awesome if I could make something like that. Being in the bluestamp program, I learned that you cant always ask for the answers. Everything doesn’t come easy, you’ve got to know how to figure some things out on your own. I’m glad I joined the program, I enjoyed it. I met lots of new people and learned some cool things about engineering.
My main project is the 3D printed LED bracelet. For my first milestone I finally got my neopixels to light up in the bracelet. The neopixels are powered through 3 wires, a positive wire(red), a negative wire(black), and the data line(white). The positive and negative wire send power through the pixels while the data line sends the signal to the pixels from the code programmed into the trinket. I programmed the trinket, also known as a microcontroller, using Arduino. There is a 3.7V battery that connects to the trinket to power the circuit. Initially I had problems getting the lights to respond to the code, but after manually downloading a few drivers and changing the pin number the code began to work. I also had some problems with the 3D printer, it was having malfunctions for a couple days but eventually I was able to print my bracelet. For my next milestone I plan on adding an accelerometer to the circuit to get the bracelet to catch movement and interact with the environment.
My starter project was the Mintyboost v3.0, a battery powered USB charger. While making the Mintyboost I ran into a few problems. I needed to perform numerous acts of soldering and desoldering. I soldered two of the capacitors in the wrong way. Capacitors can store and discharge electrical charges. I discovered that the polarized capacitor has a positive and a negative wire, which needs to be placed a certain way to work correctly. The inductor opposes a change in the electric current, while the resistors reduce the electric current. This mostly helps to avoid over charging the device. However, without the most important component , the IC chip (integrated circuit), the Mintyboost wouldn’t be working at all. The IC chip is a bunch of electronic circuits on a small plate and is used to electrically interconnect the circuit elements. The chip switches the current’s path so the energy flows from the inductor to the capacitors and doesn’t hit ground. The inductor will transfer the energy to the polarized capacitors. The capacitors will store the energy and then release 5 volts instead of the original 3 volts that the batteries give off. I finished my project in a day and a half, it was fun and pretty easy. I can’t wait to start my Intensive Project.