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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:47 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 22
Graduate EE student here.

Im +1 for the LED and light meter idea. It sounds simple at first but you can really make it or break it from how much work you are gonna put in. I would be realistic about the ammount of time u can dedicate to a 1 credit hour project and a still be passionate about it after a whole semester. I kinda finished senior design early and was glad to do so, after awhile it was a ppain and It was really only a month or two of planning, one month of implementation, and 6 months of debugging and trouble shooting.

Also I took part on another 3week project that designed portable led units to put in boats / trucks as they transported produce to keep it growing / fresh and that was a blast. We had a lux meter and a light sensor and lots of bells and whistles which took plenty of effort but was worth it in the end.

Whatever u do make something where you can plot data and youll be sure to get an A
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 213
Remember... Optical is electrical engineering. If you haven't taken optics, might be a challenge. Any kind of advanced light meter would be good. It would also be useful. Microcontrollers are neat, but you don't use them much in your career. PLC programming is similar, but no reason to become a Pic pro.

The problem with the sensor project would be an off-the-shelf chip. Don't make the project a simple plug and code, unless you can blow the Prof away with novel cost-savings.

Make the project a way to emulate a complex PAR meter or similar with an array of color-filtered sensors. It shouldnt be very difficult, but the calculations will be great on a presentation.
If you need to snaz it up a bit, make the eventual goal of the project to embed this in a feedback system or a wireless system. A wireless self-powered PAR type meter would be easy to rig up(same meter as before but with solar/battery). You could argue that being able to distribute these in aquariums, indoor grow rooms, etc would be very useful. Feedback system sounds fancy but you are just talking about dimming an array of LEDs. Don't do this if you haven't taken Feedback though. Don't try to design a PID if you don't know what that acronym means.

The nice thing about this project, if your school pays for supplies, is that you might get an array of multi-color high powered LEDs and a PAR meter out of the deal. You also might actually create something useful for a lot of people, since you could just hand off your code.

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Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools -- guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus -- THAT, I CANNOT STAND! -Richard Feynman

Last edited by pucksr; 09-08-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: adding
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