Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 2 (Outside Lab) - Purchase Planning

This group meeting was spent planning for a shopping trip tomorrow, since attempting to buy materials online has proven rather too confusing. The team wrote down a more concrete list of required materials (this has changed slightly since the first submission of the design proposal), and also made the decision to use an old gallon-size plastic jar as the prototype water-reservoir.
The shopping list for tomorrow is found below.

  • 110-120V AC aquarium pump, submersible
  • 20-25 feet of plastic tubing
  • household AC outlet, box, & cover
  • relay (for using the 5V DC output to power the custom 110V AC outlet; we plan to ask employees for recommendations)
  • battery adapter for powering the Arduino (most likely a 9V-to-barrel-plug mechanism)

The team is also looking into several different possibilities for creating the custom 110V outlet, one of which appears to involve powering the outlet directly through a wall wart, while still allowing the Arduino to operate as a control system.

A breadboard starter kit has been ordered and will arrive on Friday. In the meantime, Parm and Davina are currently learning how basic circuits work using breadboard simulators on the Internet. These simulators also provide the capability of programming a virtual Arduino with the virtual breadboard, which promises to prove very helpful.
Figure 1. A simple circuit on a virtual breadboard.
Figure 2. A virtual Arduino running through a simulation of code.

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