Table of Contents:
Starter Project   First Milestone   Second Milestone Final Milestone Final Documentation

My name is Matthew and I am a rising junior at the Ramaz Upper School. I am an avid reader of the sci-fi genre, love playing video games, playing tennis, and watching tv. I have been playing sports such as, tennis, golf, chess, and basketball from a young age, and continue do so. In addition, I also have been playing piano for approximately four years. I also have been an avid businessman from a young age as well. I have mastered arbitrage and have been implementing my skills into the stock market and various stock simulators. However, I have realized that the world is far greater than investing, but it requires progress and modernization, which can be achieved through engineering and programming. While I program on my spare time, which led to my fluency in languages such as Python, I have not had much more time than the engineering club to implement my skills. That is why I am here at BlueStamp, to develop and enhance my skills through my two projects, a BigTime electronic watch and a water filtration system.

I really enjoyed BlueStamp because it created a different learning and work environment. BlueStamp acted as my introduction to the world of engineering and all of its different areas. I hope to use what I have learned at BlueStamp in future projects and endeavors. I now have the confidence and ability to approach new problems and projects, and try and solve them. I truly had a great time at BlueStamp while learning and having fun.

Final Documentation: 

Below is my final video, which is my completed water filtration system with its multiple components.

Matthew's Final Video - Water Filtration System!

Here are some pictures of the final version of the apparatus:

bio1    bio2

bio3    bio5

Here is my circuit schematic for the PIR motion sensor and NeoPixel strip:

Circuit Schematic:

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 11.17.56 AM

Unfortunately, the website I used to design my schematic did not have certain components. For the black component on the top of the page is the PIR motion sensor. Also, the NeoPixel on the bottom of the picture is a strip of 60 of those NeoPixels.

Here is the link to my Arduino code for the PIR motion sensor and NeoPixel program.


Build Plan

Bill of Materials

Final Milestone: 

For my final milestone I interfaced a PIR motion sensor and a NeoPixel strip to illuminate in multifarious patterns and hues when motion is detected, which is displayed in the final video above. This is implemented in the clear tubing, where the water flows when exiting the biosand filter apparatus. The code and circuit schematic is listed above in the “Final Documentation” section.

Now that I have finished the entire project, I had the opportunity to actually test the water for its potability. The water tester was not able to calculate the ppm’s of the initial dirty water, however, for the water produced by the biosand filter the result was 470 ppm’s. Lastly, the water’s potability after applying the chlorine solution was 123 ppm’s.

Main Intensive Project:

Second Milestone:

Matthew's Second Milestone - Water Filtration System!

My second milestone is the electrochlorination system. This system is a chlorine producing unit, which operates by running an electrical current through two electrodes, an anode, a titanium mesh, and a cathode, a mixed metal oxide, which is a type of ruthenium oxide, which allows for electrolysis on the salt water solution, which then the produces chlorine. The electrodes are connected to wire that connects to a 12V battery, which powers the system. The electrodes are located in a clear pipe, which is covered by a diffusion plates that prevents debris from destroying the electrodes. The water first goes through a reducer, and then it goes through the diffusion plate, and then reaches the location of the electrical current. The electrical current is the cause of the electrolysis that is occurring on the salt water solution. The salt water solution is run through the electrochlorination system 5 times, allowing for the production of chlorine. The actual chemical reaction for this process is as follows:

2NaCl + 2H2o + 2e-- → NaOH + Cl2  + H2

As it is run through 5 times a second reaction occurs:

NaOH + Cl2  + H2  → NaClO + H2o + Cl2

First Milestone:

For my main intensive project, I built a water-filtration system. My first milestone for this project is the biosand filter. This water treatment system is used to remove turbidity, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. This particular biosand filter contains two different sections, a 4 in. diameter PVC and a 3 in. diameter PVC, which contains the same materials. The materials in the apparatus are large gravel, small gravel, and pool sand filter.

Matthew's First Milestone - Water Filtration System!

The first material inserted was 2 in. of large gravel (height), which was stabilized by an aluminum leaf strainer, which was secured by using 4 bolts. I then placed 2 in. of small gravel (height) beneath the large gravel, and secured that using a fine mesh, which was also stabilized by 4 bolts. Below the small gravel was 10.75 in. of pool sand filter (height), which was secured by filter cloth, and held up by another 4 bolts. Once this water runs through this whole process, it reaches a 4 in. to 3 in. reducer, and then goes through all of the same dimensions of the same materials featured above. Once the water runs through the 3 in. PVC, it goes through 3 in. to 2 in. reducer, and runs through 3 in. of 2 in. PVC, which acts as a connector to a PVC cap. On the bottom of the PVC cap there is a brass elbow, which connects a valve, which then connects to clear tubing, where the water goes into a separate bucket. The science behind this system is in the materials itself. The small gravel and large gravel are responsible for the removal of heavy sediments and large metals. The pool sand filter is responsible for the removal of smaller dust particles as well as the partial removal of bacteria and viruses.


Starter Project:

Matthew's Starter Project - Big Time Watch

For my starter project, I built the big time watch. The way it works is a crystal oscillator uses the mechanical resonance of an oscillating crystal to send clock signals, which are forms of electronic signals, to an ATMega328, which is a type of a microcontroller. The micr0controller uses its counter to count the frequency of oscillations from the crystal.  The microcontroller is preprogrammed to know that 1,000 oscillations occur in one second. Once the counter counts 60,000 oscillations, it send pulses to the 4 seven-segment displays, which updates the time by minutes. 

I soldered two capacitors, a resistor, a battery holder, the microcontroller, and the seven-segment displays to a PCB. The 3V battery is what powered the whole process. Once I attached the multiple components to their designated areas, I then placed the 4 acrylic plates on the watch, and screw them together. I then weaved the band in the two holes in the acrylic plates. 



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