Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 3 (Outside Lab) - Experimentation & Further Study

During this meeting, the team members continued to familiarize themselves with the purchased materials, including the AC receptacle and electrical box. Parm and Le attempted to figure out how to create a custom AC outlet that is controlled by the Arduino, but generally found Internet resources confusing on the topic. The team is at present unsure of whether the custom outlet would have to connect directly to a wall outlet, and whether the Arduino can be powered by the same power supply or if it needs a wall wart of its own. This raised questions of whether the necessity for so many cords and wires would compromise our goal of a simple, clean aesthetic design.

In the meantime, Michelle figured out what modifications the aquarium pump required for the project's purposes, and Davina began to learn about controlling the Arduino through serial ports (USB) and coding a very basic GUI in Qt. A screenshot of the in-progress code and GUI—which controls the brightness of an LED—can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1. In-progress Qt code and GUI.

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