Hello my name is Modesto. I am a rising junior attending Bronx Latin High school located in Bronx, New York. There are various reasons on why I have made my decision to attend BlueStamp. One reason why I have decided to attend BlueStamp is to increase my intelligence in engineering. Engineering programs are very rare in the area where I live and BlueStamp is a perfect opportunity to achieve hands on experience. Another reason why I have decided to attend BlueStamp is to simply make my friends and family proud. Ever since was a young child, I have always dreamed of making my loved ones proud by chasing my dream career and doing something that is enjoyable to me, which is engineering. Engineering will be a great way to get around the obstacles in life and will also become the medicine to my illnesses. With the help of my instructors and my loved ones my dream of become an engineer will soon become a reality.
The starters project that I have decided to build is called the TV-B-Gone. It is a small device that is capable of turning a TV on or off. In order to build this you need 4 IR LEDs, a PCB circuit board, 4 transistors, a oscillator, a microcontroller, 2 resistors, a electrolytic capacitor, a ceramic capacitor, a 6mm tact switch button, an LED and a battery holder. The 4 IR LEDs send signals or data to your desired TV in this case to turn it on or off. The transistors amplifies the signals being sent from the microcontroller in turning the LEDs on or off since the signals produced by the microcontroller is weak. The oscillator makes sure that the microcontroller is performing its functions at the correct speed at the right time. The microcontroller stores all codes and turns the LEDs on and off. The resistors sets the brightness of your LEDs. The two capacitors store electrical energy. The button activates your TV-B-Gone. The LED indicates if the device is functioning properly. And finally the battery holder holds the battery.
MAIN PROJECT: LASER TURRET
The main project that I have decided to build here at BlueStamp is a laser turret. The laser turret is based off of an Arduino Uno and uses a buzzer, two 180 degree rotating micro servos and a laser module.The 2 servos are motors which will help make the laser module rotate for better looking effects.The buzzer is what makes noise when shots are fired from the laser module. And the laser module is what projects the laser beams from the laser turret. Finally, the Arduino is what commands all these components to work a certain way at the correct time. All of these components are connected to PWM pins. PWM stands for pulse width modulation. PWM pins simulate 0 to 5 voltages by changing the portion of the time the signal spends ON versus the time the signal spends OFF to achieve analog results with digital means. All components are also connected to ground pins. The microcontroller on the Arduino runs off of a random number generation program, so at the beginning of the program the microcontroller chooses a random starting position for the 2 servos between 0 and 180 degrees, since the servos are able to rotate 180 degrees. Along with the servos, the microcontroller also chooses a random number of shots the laser module will fire between 5 and 20 milliseconds. After this specific number is chosen randomly, the servos then get into their starting positions and wait. The buzzer will then go off for every shot being fired from the laser module and for however long the laser is active. For every shot being fired, the two servos will also rotate . This process is repeated until all shots are fired. Once all shots are fired the program will go back to the top. The microcontroller will then choose a new random starting and ending position for the 2 servos and a new random number of shots the laser module will fire and this whole process will repeat.
While attending BlueStamp and building my main project, I have encountered a certain problem that has made me fall behind for quite some time. The problem I faced was not knowing how to type codes. Here at BlueStamp it was my first time working with Arduino UNO and its software. I did not know where to start with my coding and didn’t even know what variables were and what role they played in the programming. Eventually with the help of my instructors and countless hours of research, I found out how to program my Arduino to make my project work how I wanted it to work. While at BlueStamp there were also things that I enjoyed experiencing. Living in a borough with mostly Hispanics and Blacks, I wanted an opportunity to share my love for engineering with other ethnicities as well. The amount of diversity at BlueStamp made this desire of mine come true. I also enjoyed having the privilege to have hands on experience with mechanics while attending BlueStamp.