- 1 MicroRobots
- 2 Trip to SP road
- 3 Intro to Components
- 4 Crazy switch
- 5 Resistance
- 6 555 oscillator
- 7 Arduino
- 8 Final Project
I have always preferred product courses over V.C , animation etc. as they have more of hands on work . When we got the course abstract for this cycle, initially I was looking for a two credit course as I didn’t want to risk with taking a 4 credit one. But the fact that, the abstract for this course some how held me back from choosing the 2 credit one , though not a product course but the thought of building up sensors, detectors interest me. I have never done any such projects in my school level as well. With this , I was worried over the fact if I could manage with physics and its related terms, as it had been a long term since I had studied it. It made it more easy when the class said it required no prerequisites.
First day started with introduction, where we were introduced to the components we were going to use to make our first robot. Learning to solder was a task for me! I was trying very hard to get the perfect soldering done. Every time I tried doing it I was soldering it in a wrong way, it was messy and at times during the attempts , thinking that it was soldered , I tried picking it up the wire would just come off . I am sure by the end of the class I will learn to solder it perfectly , and as neat as Mr. Bala showed it. Understanding the circuit wasn't difficult . When I actually started working over it, I faced difficulties with the connections. It was just getting confusing as I was unable to understand which wire had to go where. Finally I managed and completed the circuit. That feeling when it started working was just crazy. Though it was very basic the fact that I had made it myself made it special. Then attached the legs with U pins, and it was ready. The robot was running all over the place! 
We had a visit to SP road. Before that we had a theory class, it was getting interesting for me as I was able to recollect what I had learnt long back and was able to answer according. I relearnt a few things. Though being a theory class, the interactive session made it more lively and not boring. Later half we headed for SP road. The journey was way too tiring, we travelled by bus. It was very hot outside, and the bus ride was taking too long. We took a bus till majestic, after getting down at majestic we had a difficulty in find the next bus to SP road . SP road was quite huge and crowded as well. Asking directions to the people around we got into this lane where you just find hardware, electricals, machineries shops and nothing else. It was very fascinating, I was excited to see so many things of which I wasn’t even aware of. We walked and walked until we found om and Vishal electronics. At first we were unable to find it, as we were unaware of the costing we went to different shops, showed them the list and approximated the cost. Some of them had few materials, some of them would just guide us to other shops near by. It was getting irritating, as we had just spent 45-50 mins in searching. We finally found Vishal electricals, the place was crowded, there were people from different companies, industries who had come in search of specific parts. Some of them seemed known costumers , they were a bit surprised to see so many college students waiting . They askes about our work and why we needed the materials an so on. With this we handed our list to the shopkeeper and asked him to make set according. He told us it would take an hour or so we thought of having a look at the place. The shops were really close to each other. I was glad to see how the people were eager to help us. They actually guided us properly, told us the right shops where we can get stuff in good rates etc. Also, the shop we entered initially had few of the materials which we needed, but he still told us to go buy it from Vishal so that we get it all together and would be easy for us to handle. It really felt good and there was no sense of cheating although we had no idea about what the materials we were buying. The place was not very fancy, all you get there was this, we were hungry by the evening and couldn’t find anything around, fortunately we found a corn seller and filled our stomachs. We had been at that place since 3pm , standing out, sitting on the vehicles parked outside the shop in turns. The shopkeeper served us sugarcane juice since we had been there for a long time. We could see how tired even they were but they constantly attended us and made sure they make it fast. Finally the sorting was done and he made the bill according. Another problem rose when he calculated the bill. We all didn’t have enough money to pay. We then decided to cut down things, we still were falling short of it. We removed every penny we had and gave him still we were left with some amount. We asked him to discount us with that amount he wasn’t ready to listen we insisted a lot and told him that the ATM’s weren't working and that was all the amount he had. Somehow he agreed and let us go. The whole day was to exhausting and we were too tired to walk, in one we got to learn a lot of things, we tried being as spontaneous as we could. It wasn’t that easy but overall had a sweet bitter experience and a memory too!
This was just one amazing task. A lemon used in everyday life has the power to light up an LED! I had no idea about how this worked. When we were given this task I had this question in mind that how can we make a battery? When I looked over the internet all they showed was just use a lemon. Inserting a copper wire and a zinc galvanised nail into the lemon and your job is done! How can everyday objects be brought along with electronics resulting to fancy outputs was worth giving a thought.
This was were we actually had to “design” our own switch and that had to be out of the box of course! It was a good experience working in a group were we posed our ideas and built up according. It was just one easy mechanism, where the wire had to just get in contact with the battery some how and had to lit up an LED or turn on the buzzer . We made a switch where the LED and the buzzer makes a sound as we walk , also along with this when we open a book the LED glows. I felt so good when I saw people’s reaction back home, they were fascinated over it and wanted to know it worked whereas we knew how simple the mechanism under it worked.
This was the time when we stared getting into actual electronics, working with circuits. Introduction to resistance was a revision to the physics learnt back till the 12th grade. Arranging in series and parallel, using breadboard understanding its internal connections.
Potentiometer, Thermistor, LDR
Physics does wonders. LDR is like an magic component! You can make it work in multiple ways and every time come up with some fascinating results. That tiny component can do and control so many things. Potentiometer is a component which is like a controller which can control power supply and make things work the way you want. I wasn't at all aware of these components which we see in our daily usage electronics have these abilities.
When looking at these components they seem tiny and all look the same for some reasons!But it's so interesting to see and learn how each component works as a individual as well as when put into a circuit makes other dependable on itself.I tried experimenting making small changes and adding up multiple LEDs to see if worked the same or not. Experimentation was always fun as it came up with maximum failures and learning.
Transistor touch switch
This felt like I had some superpowers. Any person would be amazed when he/she will see that we are glowing the LEDs with our touch! That,s like MAGIC.All this is possible because of this tiny component. . Applying our body resistance to glow an LED this was something I had never seen before.
Making oscillator, changing inputs
I was absent on this day , I was not aware of the connection of the amplifier . I took help of a friend and did the connections. The circuit was too difficult to understand until I did it myself.
Making a toy from what we had learnt was the task. It was in short a test of what we had learnt and how we apply it . I wanted to make a toy which was moving , with LEDs as they always have fascinated me. I decided to make a boat. Using a motor I made a turbine and attached a LED and buzzer along with it. I made the connections on breadboard initially, then tried soldering to the PCB. I was fearing that it wont work after I solder but it did fortunately. After I made the circuit it was requiring more power for it to work properly, the LED was flickering so I gave them separate power supply, but even then the 3v supply wasn’t sufficient for the LED and the buzzer. I had to de-solder the entire thing and make changes. I learnt how arranging in parallel and series can make a difference to the power supply. I was kind of satisfied with what I had made , it wasn’t that of a great thing but there were tiny things I learnt overall in the process. 
Making your own amplifier(Project 2)
This was the worst experience I had the assignments till now! I was at a stage of giving up on the assignment. Making the amplifiers circuit initially was difficult , but I got a hand over once I did it. Starting with the assignment I made the circuit on PCB and soldered it. I made sure I did the soldering tidy enough. After completing the circuit I tried powering it , the circuit wasn’t working, I rechecked the connections but it still wasn’t. I tried making changes within ,thinking there would be some loose connections. In this I ended up breaking the speakers. I was disappointed but still the next day I tried wit new one. Re did the circuit with proper soldering this time . It started working but the bas was so bad that hardly anything could be heard. I thought there would be problem with the speaker. I tried attaching the speakers to my friends circuit and they worked fine! I was totally disappointed and felt like giving up on it. Re doing the circuit the third time was just a waste. I wasn’t able to understand where I was going wrong. I really wanted to make them as this was just one amazing thing which would have been handmade by me. I tried again with it , and this time finally achieved it! I was happy that I made them and not given up . Till now I have no idea where I had gone wrong but the fact that I was dedicated to what I wanted made me work hard over it again and again. 
I didn’t find working with Arduino that comfortable. Programming just wasn’t my thing. I tried every time but was difficult for me still to understand it. Maybe I have to work a lot to get a hand over it. I wanted to make more stuff not using an Arduino. But again, I am getting to learn something I haven't done before. I am sure I can always utilize this knowledge somewhere. At first we started with lighting up an LED wit Arduino. With this we wrote a program for blinking it. Later we saw the knight rider video and did the programming of it according in pairs. For the knight rider we built the program based on lighting and blinking the LED. But it was too long, so next day we learnt a shorter program loop for the same. This was where we learnt shortcuts to reduced down over the lengths of the program.
This was hard. The brain storming part was difficult, we had no idea about the coding. We searched the internet to get ideas. But just ideating wasn’t enough .we had to look if it was doable or no within the time period. We tried experimenting with the colour sensor as we found the way it works was way too cool. But we weren't able to do the connections so we chuck the idea. We decided on a concept that we would make a beating paper using servo and motion sensor. With this we started working, there was one point where we felt we wont be able to do it as things weren't working out the way we wanted. Searched for programming and circuit on internet, went through many videos and did the programming accordingly. We faced a lot of problems. It was hard to manage as the project was tiny and the connections were going loose and it ended up stopping the program every time. Finally we managed to do it and was working quite well. 
Starting with the project, we looked at different existing sites and researched according. We searched on different types of pollution and agreed to work on air pollution. With this we divided ourselves in groups. I was part of the circuit group. We did a basic research of how to go about it etc. we looked for different circuits and made connections according. Later, when it came to attaching the Bluetooth or the Wi-Fi shield we face little difficulties as we couldn’t find any proper source to help us out with it. We decide to chuck the idea and go with the SD card reader thing itself. On making the final connections we soldered it to the PCB. The sensor stopped working for some reason, we couldn’t figure out what was wrong so we had redo the circuit. Meanwhile, the others were working on website and infographics. We made sure at every point we keep updating our group members so as to let them know what all and how things are working. The project involved a lot of learning, at each point we got introduced to something new of which we were unaware. The overall result turned out to be quite satisfactory and it was worth the team efforts.