Oct. 17........Midterm
   
Midterm Projoect
 
 
The Project
 
The Spider is the first "package" we did with the bare board. It surprised me that making a board functioning is not difficult but "packaging" it encounters so many technical problems that we didn't expect.
When we first talked about the idea, "making a plate turn" is something I can easily imagine. But, mounting the device onto the ceiling is simply beyond my reach. HunSong explained how we were going to fix the board and the turning plate onto the bar, but there were so many uncertainties in my mind¡K"Will the wires hold the plate?", "How long should the wires be?". I find it hard to me to just have a clear idea about how to start.
 
Step-by- step
   
I learned from HunSong because she obviously has a very clear idea and breaks down all the steps so we deal with one problem at a time. First we tested the motor. The original idea was to fix the motor to some stick, instead of a circular plate. And we just fix the balloons on the two ends of that stick. What happened was when we hit one balloon off, the stick went seriously leaned and loss of balance stopped the motor. Also, at first we wanted to use a servomotor because it turned in two directions. However, the torque(is it the term?) it has is apparently much smaller than a gear motor and won't hold the heavy plate.
   
   
LEDs
   
Fixing LEDs on to the board is actually a simple act but when we have to take the balance of the whole board and the weight into account. We have to use the battery, not power supplies because it will turn when we power it. If the lines are fixed, it will be in a mess. Me(Lee) and HunSong tested the LEDs and found out that one capacitor can give power to up to 4 LEDs. Therefore the LEDs on the turning plate is actually in serial, not parallel. Putting them in parallel might work but we supposed it will run out power of the battery sooner than what we do now.
     
H-bridge:
   
It's very exciting to see Joon and Mellory trying out the H-bridge. I tried to fix one myself but got totally confused about PNP and NPN. I'm really glad that they actually solved the technical problem and we made the motor turn both sides with our bridge.
     
Other thoughts:
 
Earlier I worked with another group with their group project. It was a very simple device, a zoetrope. Basically we just used the motor and the pot to control the speed of it. (Another classmate had this code. I tried to control the motor with the pot but couldn't find out the range of the PulseOut and the motor turns at the same speed all the time¡Kstill trying.) But we encountered weird situation at the last minute. Right after we put everything up, using tapes and everything to fix them. The motor didn't move! At that time, the motor was already fixed to the cylinder for the zoetrope and tearing them apart made everything in a mess. We changed everything, capacitor, wired, pot, battery, but still the motor turned in a much slower way. It looked that there's something wrong with the circuit but we couldn't find out where. This gave me the idea that if I want to fixed something into a "package", I'd better make it easier for later changes.
 
What I have in mind
 
I was very excited when I knew we were going to make something for the Halloween party. But then it was totally blackout in my head; I didn't have the slightest idea about what to make. So I joined HunSong and her group. After we started the project, I started to think what I can do for the final project. I figure, every device is in simple idea, Input and Output. What we can do is to maximize the possibilities of their performance. Sensors, are definitely much better when functioning as an input device. People like a device usually when they can see the responses to their actions. I don't have great ideas or want to make something amazing in the future, honestly. I feel that on the technical side, there are always new and advanced devices. Maybe focusing on what I can do now and trying to develop it is what I can do for now¡K.. (yep, still have no idea¡K.)