I’m Simon, a rising senior at Lowell High School. I have two years of experience with Java, but no experience with circuitry at all. By joining BlueStamp, I want to get some hands-on experience with electronics. During my time at BlueStamp, I got to experiment with and blow up small electronics, and learn why they blew up afterwards. After six weeks of experimentation and research, I managed to pick up a lot of knowledge about electronics.

Final Project

Internals of Final Project

Schematics

Libraries and code

My final project was going to be the sensor bracer, but due to unforeseen technical difficulties, it is now the sensor box. I decided to do the sensor bracer/box because it’s not only a very interesting little device, but it can also come in handy when I go out camping, or if I get lost. Also, I picked this project since I would need to learn electrical engineering to integrate all of the sensors into one circuit. Not only would I get a cool set of sensors, but I would learn a lot making it as well.

Milestone 3

For my third milestone, I got the display¬†working, and displaying information obtained from the sensors. The coding wasn’t very hard. All I did for the coding was to have the display¬†display words that the sensors gave me. The wiring was a lot harder. One misplaced wire led to the entire system not working. One problem I ran into was a broken pushbutton switch. I spent a good part of the day meticulously checking connections with the multimeter, until I realized that the wires weren’t the problem. Now, everything works fine, and all I have to do now is to clean up the wires, hot glue the thing onto a bracer, and use it.

Milestone 2

For my second milestone, I got the compass and the GPS working. Those two sensors were harder than the previous two, the GPS in particular. After downloading the libraries, I then had to make sense of the functions defined by the libraries, and integrate it into one Arduino project. The one roadblock I got into was that I couldn’t project with two different baudrates with one port. The GPS used 115200 bauds, and the compass used 9600. I wanted to switch between one display and the other, but that wouldn’t work. At the end, I ended up having to upload the compass code into the Arduino, demonstrating it, then uploading GPS code afterwards. I plan on getting the temperature sensor and the LCD display working.

Milestone 1

For my first milestone, I got the light sensor and the humidity sensor working. The process wasn’t very hard, actually. First, I looked up how the sensors were supposed to be wired. Then, I soldered the sensors onto a board, soldered wires and connected them to the sensors, and stuck the wires onto the Arduino. After that, I just downloaded libraries, and got inputs from the sensors. From then on, I just had LEDs turn on whenever I got a certain reading from the sensors. I learned how to install libraries and how to get readings from the Arduino by the end of this. For later, I plan on getting other sensors and the LCD working.

Theremin Starter Project

My starter project was the Theremin, an instrument that can be played without physical contact. I decided to make this instrument because I love music. I play in the orchestra at my school, and have played bass for 7 years. The Theremin was my very first engineering project, so I had a lot to learn, ranging from soldering things to figuring out what each part of the Theremin did. When I finished the project, I was surprised that it actually made sound. I half-expected it to break down, or not work at all. I was also puzzled at how it detected motion. There were no sensors or anything, it was just a piece of metal. Turns out the long wire that I thought was pointless was actually an antenna, and detected things in an electromagnetic field around it. Even though it didn’t work perfectly at the end, I had a lot of fun messing around with the thing and annoying everyone in the room.

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