A Burning Feeling of Disparity Turns into a Cooling Feeling of Accomplishment
When I think about BSE (Blue Stamp Engineering) two words come to mind; learning experience. In this exclusive engineering program, I was challenged not only to comprehend the basics of my selected field of engineering, but was also required to apply it to your my chosen project. Even though the program gave me obstacles that required intellect, and determination, the successes were definitely a source of excitement and enjoyment.
If I had to describe the projects, which each individual selected, I would have to go with engaging and demanding. I don’t know if it was the pressure of having seasoned and knowledgeable engineers as a support group that caused each participant, including myself, to choose a project that was difficult, or my personal thirst for something foreign and challenging that lead to my project. I choose to build a laser audio transmitting circuit, which is based on the scientific fact that sound can travel on light waves. This fact being considered, I used a 5v laser as my light transmitter and a Cds photo resister of 1K ohm – 1.15K ohm as my receiver and compatible to any device that plays audio in mp3 and mp4 format. Going in there a few clouds of doubt that such a project could be completed within in six weeks.
These clouds of challenge seemed to precipitate failure, as late in the 5th week my device did not work. I borrowed the program soldering iron, wire, I bought batteries and collected every schematic and spent the entirety of that weekend reviewing and reconstructing my entire circuit. As the weekend wearied on, it seemed my efforts were futile as Sunday night as did Friday ad Saturday, proved that nothing had changed. I remember being conflicted on whether or not to flip my audio transmitter. I did this, figuring I couldn’t project that already seemed dead, and I fixed my circuit accordingly, and surprisingly I heard a subtle but definitely existing buzzing static noise coming from the computer speakers when I used my device. This was on July 31st of 2011. Being as optimistic as possible I pursued the not so promising buzzing as a break through and followed it. I reconstructed the circuit one more time to receive more ideal voltage to resistance ratios, and configured my computer speakers to be mono input, and flipped the audio jack on my circuit. I tested into the morning of the next day and at 3: 47 am of August 1st 2011, I heard my music from phone playing on my computer and my device was between the two. I would never forget the burning feeling of disparity turn into a cooling feeling of accomplishment as the first song to ever utilize my device successfully, Wooh Da Kid – Decisions, played and woke my mother. My project finally worked.
My personal favorite part of the program is actually having my device work. There is nothing comparable to such a feeling of accomplishment especially when its something you created and put your heart and mind behind. That excitement was the exact feeling I received from participating in the BSE program. After finding my abilities and passion through the BSE program, I truly recommend this program to anyone who knows that they want to pursue a career in engineering, those who have considered it, and those who are just curious about engineering in general. If you fit into any of these categories, then the BSE program is undoubtedly worth both your interest and acknowledgment.
Please take a look at my documentation and videos!
DESIGN FILE: Kadeem’s Schematic showing the simple receiver, the transmitter, and a modified receiver with amplifier.
Video of my starter project, a light organ kit from Electronic Goldmine:
Video of a project milestone: proving the signal is transmitted via the laser from the function generator to the oscilloscope:
This final two videos show the project working. First without an op-amp circuit and then with the op-amp circuit: