My name is Nigel and I will be a Senior at Lowell High School in the Fall. For my two projects I built a Voice Changer and Mini POV toy. These projects served as great introductions to engineering, teaching me about circuitry and soldering. My time at Blue Stamp sparked my interests in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Area of Interest
Lowell High School
This was the first project I worked on at Blue Stamp, a Voice Changer by Velleman. The toy is powered by a 9 volt battery, and uses a microphone and speaker to pick up one’s voice and alter the sound in various ways. I enjoyed this project because it taught me how you can convert sound waves to electrical current and back to into sound. My first task was examining all the parts and learning what each component does. Once I had a general sense of what the parts did, I soldered them to their specific points in the circuit board. Then by looking at the schematic, I had to decipher what each specific component does in relation to the others which allows this device to operate. Once the microphone pics up a voice, the current is channeled through one of four buttons to the main IC. The code within the IC can alter the current so that the sound coming out of the speaker is either higher or lower in pitch, vibrato, or sounds like a robot.
For my second project I built a Light Up POV Toy by Adafruit. Like my first project, this one was required a lot of circuitry and soldering. I had more fun with this project though because I was able to write the code myself and customize the light show it displayed. Once I soldered all my pieces into place, I ran into an obstacle. This project did not come with a schematic so I had to infer, use some educated guessing, and with the help of my peers, figure out how exactly my device worked. The device is powered by three AAA batteries, uses seven LED lights, and an IC along with several other components to project a mini light show. Each light is turned a different color at specific times so that when photographed with a long exposure camera, you can see an image.
Although my time at BlueStamp was relatively short, I learned a lot and had fun doing it. I had no previous experience with engineering when I arrived at BlueStamp, so I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately everyone I met was kind and friendly, and the instructors were eager to provide help. During my time there I built two starter projects which taught me about circuitry, mechanical engineering, and how to use various tools. Overall I had a great time at BlueStamp and I want to thank Robin for the tremendous opportunity.