What should I build?
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
Beer
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What should I build?


So I'm in school for electrical engineering. I can take a 1 credit pass/fail course where I design and build a project of my choice. I will be able to keep it (most likely) at the end of the class. I get the parts for free.

What should I build?

LED lighting is fairly simple. Although I could design and build my own drivers and controllers, have a sunrise, sunset, and moon cycle with an off cycle viewing mode that runs a lighting spectrum that is more pleasing to the eye (vs spectrum for optimal growing). Maybe even an internal clock with day of the week to run a different lighting cycle for the weekend. Program through Bluetooth or USB. Programming shouldn't be too difficult. Getting a spectrum analizer or the data to figure out the light intensity and shift during sunrise/sunset may be tough. Just making it slowly get brighter would be no fun.

Controll center to monitor tank parameters, manage CO2 levels, auto top off, and automated water changes. Maybe design it to run reef tanks or frag tanks and manage automated feeding for corals as well.

Automated fry growout system. Automated feeding and water changes multiple times a day. User would just have to manage maintaining live foods in the morning.

I have a couple ideas related to other hobbies:

Automated brewing system (I've had several versions in my head for a while now)

In skydiving, we use camera mounted helmets a lot, which pose a hazard. We have systems that allow us to jettison the entire helmet easily if a line were to get caught and cause a serious issue. I've been thinking of a way to mount the cameras (video and still camera, or possibly two of either for 3D) inside the helmet while still maintaining accessibility to camera functions, external view screen (which is required at certain points when doing videos for tandem students), and having easy access to camera ports and memory cards. The main issue would be a camera failure, how do you change out the camera?

Any ideas for a project?

I've got more, but none that can be finished in a semester. They would far exceed any budgit constraints. I'm not even sure I'll be able to finish my senior design project if I start it at the beginning of my junior year.

What is something that you could use to help you in your every day life? Some small annoyance that a simple device could alleviate.
Or maybe just something cool you would like to see built.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:29 AM   #2
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small remote controlled submarine(like 3" long)with a camera so you can get a fishes view of your tank
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:39 AM   #3
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^+1 and it should have little scissor arms for trimming plants :p
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty b View Post
^+1 and it should have little scissor arms for trimming plants :p

that would be sweet especially for DHG...

btw you asked what you should build,, never said we had to be reasonable

Last edited by flukekiller; 09-06-2013 at 12:34 PM.. Reason: horrible grammer
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:51 AM   #5
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Transparent aluminum...
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Transparent aluminum...
LOL- "Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor not a pool man!"
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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How about a DIY spectrometer and calibrate the spectrum to a PAR meter?
That way one can make a simple spectrometer and write a small program to calculate PAR values without needing to buy any light filters and such....
There are a bunch of designs like this.
http://publiclab.org/wiki/spectrometer
If you want to make it fancier, you can use a prism instead of a piece of a CD.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Transparent aluminum is real. Just look it up. Also known as aluminium oxynitride. Its not used since there are cheaper alternatives to be tanks made for whales.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #9
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Build a pipe organ using Arduino and motor driver circuits for the valve solenoids.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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This is simple you need to build the DeathStar all of your dreams of world domination solved with one simple project
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Transparent aluminum is real. Just look it up. Also known as aluminium oxynitride. Its not used since there are cheaper alternatives to be tanks made for whales.

HUh.. well fact imitating fiction always amazes me (OR is it?? "snicker").. Thanks
10 to $15 a square inch..
http://science.howstuffworks.com/tra...num-armor4.htm
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
HUh.. well fact imitating fiction always amazes me (OR is it?? "snicker").. Thanks
10 to $15 a square inch..
http://science.howstuffworks.com/tra...num-armor4.htm
On a side note "real" transparent aluminum..well sort of.
http://phys.org/news167925273.html

Quote:
In this week’s Nature Physics an international team, led by Oxford University scientists, report that a short pulse from the FLASH laser ‘knocked out’ a core electron from every aluminium atom in a sample without disrupting the metal’s crystalline structure. This turned the aluminium nearly invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #13
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I thought the submarine camera for the aquarium was brilliant... Definitely would be a different prospective and would probably freak the crap out of all of your fish lol
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:00 AM   #14
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I also really like the submarine idea that would be so cool i would want to buy one or build one myself.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:58 PM   #15
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As far as the transparent aluminum goes, I probably need to keep the project within the realm of electrical engineering. And someone already has that covered.

The submarine idea is cool, but unless I worked it so it was controlled through a tablet and sent a pov image back to the user, it would just be a remote controll submarine, which I'm sure you can buy online. I could automate it to trim plants, but the software would be too advanced for me to learn and exicute in one semester ontop of my other work.

The light meter does sound interesting. I'll try to look into that some more this week.
There is talk of a battle-bot competition....
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