Junior Theremin

Today I built the Junior Theremin, which is a electronic musical device that is designed to read any kind of interference in an electro-magnetic field, and then makes noise depending on the type and size of the interference. Then the electrons are transmitted to the PIEZO, which then produces the sound. This device has a lot of resistors because it is important to make sure that their is not a short. When there is no interference there is not resistance from the PIEZO and lights, so it is important to make sure that the circuit does not short. The Junior Theremin also has a two switches that can change the settings from continuous to discrete. The continuous setting has tones that do not end but the discrete makes specific notes. On the discrete mode, there is also a setting to change the pitch up and down one octave.

Next I am going to work on my TV-B-Gone kit which I am very excited to work on. I learned a lot on this project, especially about how electrolytic capacitors work and how the regulators work. It was very interesting to learn about the way that the electrons can sense the interference in their field.

Watch my video here:



Today I worked on the TV-B-Gone, which is very simply a universal remote that can turn on and off almost any kind of television. It works by sending electromagnetic waves that are at a variety of frequencies that are the same frequency that causes every other kind of TV Remote to work. The hardest part of this project was when I accidentally solder the chip socket in the wrong way, and then had to spend a lot of time working on unsoldering it using the solder sucker. It was very annoying but then about half way through I realized that the socket doesn’t do anything except bring the chip information down to the board, so as long as the chip was in the wrong way, it should work. After confirming this with my instructors, I finished it and then tested it out, and it worked. Although I would have rather not made the mistake at all, it was a learning experience, and it helped me understand the function of the chip socket better.

My next project is the Mini POV, which is very exciting because it is the first project that I have to deal with code, which is something that I have never done before.

Watch my video here:


Mini POV-6/25/14

Today I worked on the mini POV kit, which is works by flashing LED lights in the right order, so that when it is waved back and forth it displays a word. I was able to finish the soldering part of the project fairly easily, but then I had to make the code so that it would display something. I have never dealt with code, and I am not very effective in using computer programs, so it was very frustrating at first, but I did get the hang out it eventually. I spent over 2 hours trying to get it to work, and it was very difficult for me. When I was finished I did feel that I learned a fair amount about how computer codes work, which is important for me, because I need practice with it. I definitely need more work in order to become efficient with it, but I have made a fair amount of practice in one day.

Next I am going to be working on ultrasonic radar parking sensor, which is very exciting!

Watch my video here:


Ultrasonic Radar Parking Sensor-6/27/14

Today I built the Ultrasonic Radar Parking Sensor device. This was a very long project, because there were a lot of soldering joints that were needed to for it, so it took me a full day to complete. I made one very big mistake, because I forgot to solder the chip sockets on all of the joints. When I first did it, I taped the sockets down on all four corners, so that it would hold itself there. Then later I went back and soldered all of the others, but I forgot to do this on my last chip. This caused the chip not to work, and I spent about 30 minutes going over everything to see what went wrong. My mistake was only checking the top side of the circuit board, because I assumed that that is where the mistake would be. Then when I went to check if any of the solder was connecting, I realized my mistake. When I went back to finish this, I was able to get it to work.

I learned a lot about troubleshooting on this project, so that was very helpful, although I did find it very frustrating at the time.

Watch my video here:


Minty Boost

Today I worked on the Minty Boost project, that uses a battery pack to charge phones through a USB port. This is a very handy device, and although it is not very energy efficient(It uses a lot of battery power), it is helpful. This is my first project that I soldered on, and it was very hard to start off, but I started to get the hang of it. I did make some mistakes with soldering the diode because I accidentally soldered it the wrong way so I had to unsolder it using the solder sucker. It was nice to get the hang of the solder sucker, because I am sure that I will have to use it more in the future, so it was useful to start using it. I also had a lot of trouble understanding what each of the capacitors do, and how the electrons flow through the circuit.

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