Mariama B.

Hi, I’m Mariama and I’m an upcoming sophomore at Promise Academy 1. For my starter project originally I had decided to build the Voice changer but as I was building the PCB, it was becoming too damaged to be able to function so I chose to build the Minty Boost charger. I decided to build the Minty Boost charger because I noticed it is similar to my main project, which is the charging of Lithium Polymer Batteries with a Solar Panel. With the Minty Boost charger I would have more insight on my main project and I would be building a portable charger powered by 2 AA batteries and a circuit.

 

Reflection

When I first heard about BlueStamp I thought it would be similar to a lecture class, turns out it was nothing like how I imagined it to be. BlueStamp is  actually the opposite, it requires a lot of thinking on your own and it is very hands on. The program allows you to pick your project, and build it from start to finish with little to no help. I was able to learn what a code is and how to apply it to my intensive project. I learned about different circuits and their components. I also learned how to solder certain components into specific areas on the circuit. If there’s anything my time at BlueStamp has taught me is to have fun , and  that things won’t always go my way. There were times where I wanted to give up, times where I thought  this isn’t for me and, times I thought I won’t be able to finish my project in time, but with the help of all my instructors I was able to persevere through all the hardships. I’m glad I came into this program because I was eager to try electrical engineering and learn to code and I did. BlueStamp has saved me a lot of time and money because now I know that I don’t want to do electrical engineering. I don’t know exactly what I want to pursue in the engineering field but I still plan on going into an engineering field in the future. Thank you BlueStamp instructors and Thank you BlueStamp!

Engineer
Mariama B

Area of Interest
Computer Science, Law, Engineering
School
Promise Academy 1
Grade
Incoming Sophomore

Final Milestone

For my final milestone I was able to use coding to map out my  battery voltage using LEDs. The way I did this was by hooking up jumper wires from the Arduino, The Battery Babysitter, and the USB port for negative and positive connections. At first I used the potentiometer to do this but then I found out that I could just code my Arduino to do the same thing the potentiometer was supposed to do. My greatest challenge was learning how to code because I had so much to learn that I didn’t know about coding. I had to learn about “ If ” and “ Then” statements and I also had to put together different libraries so that the code would upload to the Arduino. At last I was able to complete my entire project.

Second Milestone

My second milestone was completing a Solar powered USB charger circuit that would be using solar power to charge the LiPo battery, which can then be used to charge my cell phone. My circuit consists of a solar panel, a LiPo battery, a USB power boost chip and a battery babysitter chip. By putting together these components I was able to charge my phone by using solar power. This involved soldering and a lot of research. I had to research all of my components and how they function because one minor error could cause a major setback. Although I did my research, I still shorted the battery babysitter chip. I shorted my circuit in many different ways, such as burning some parts of the board including a power indicator LED. Without getting that LED to turn on, I wouldn’t have been able to tell if the solar panel was charging or not, which would be extremely dangerous because if the Lithium battery overcharged without my knowledge then it would explode. As you can see this was a major setback, which forced me to start coding (milestone 1) with different components that I have to later incorporate into my project. My first modification which was shown in milestone 1 using LEDs, in milestone 3 I will replace the LEDs with an LCD display that will indicate the battery percentage of the LiPo battery.

First Milestone

My first milestone was mapping out my analog voltage for my battery using a potentiometer. This involved using an Arduino,a breadboard and learning how to code, so that i would be able to program my LEDs to light up when they reach a certain amount of volts. The potentiometer measures up to five volts. Using a serial monitor you can read the volts you are switching to, so when the potentiometer is twisted to 1 volt 1 LED lights up, when it is at 2 volts, then 2 LEDs light up,and so on and so forth. Using code I was able to set the limit of the number of  volts the potentiometer could reach, along with that I programmed the potentiometer to light up 1 LED if the voltage was greater than 1 and i did the same with the other LEDs based on the number of volts there were. The potentiometer was used to mimic the Lithium battery that will be powered by the solar panel. My next milestone will be connecting the solar panel,the LiPo battery, the battery babysitter and the Arduino.

Starter Project

For my starter project I built the Minty Boost charger. It has a few components that contribute to its function, such as five resistors,  four capacitors, a diode, two batteries, an inductor, a chip and  an IC socket. Each of these components have to work together in order for the circuit to transfer energy to all of them. The four resistors are used to identify what being charged and one of them are used to improve the high current capability of the PCB. There are two different pairs capacitors on the circuit, one pair is called ceramic capacitors C1 stabilizes output and C2 stabilizes input voltage. The other pair is called electrolytic capacitors which also stabilizes input and output voltage. The Diode allows energy to be transferred in one direction from the batteries to the USB and the IC socket protects the chip from being damaged. Finally the Inductor stores energy by producing magnetic fields.  As it arrives at its maximum the chip opens up its circuit releasing all of the energy. When the magnetic field decreases the current reaches its max causing the voltage to increase which is why the electrolytic capacitors are highly significant, the electrolytic capacitors stabilizes the voltage

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