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Week 7: 7/10/7 -7/14/17

This week I started working on making schematics for the accelerator board for the Half-scale boogie team. One of the major problems for me was the fact that the wires were all over the place and the fact that multiple boards were required. My solution to that was make a general one for all of the board, and for each PCB make a smaller one. The next issue was making sure that the wiring was correct, because the wiring is valuable and there may not be time for me to design the PCBs in Diptrace. The last issue that I have is to make sure that I document everything well, so that the next team can do it and not wonder what happened and what is going on. Another benefit would them not needing to email me and wait for my response and me to remember what I did. Intersolar was amazing, and I got to see a lot of the companies that work in the area. Here is today's presentation.

Week 6: 7/3/17 to 7/7/17

This week I learned about regulated power supplies from Professor Parent. He explained it is valuable to have a constant voltage source because it can change how the circuit works. For example, in my Introduction to Engineering course, the robot missed the beacon twice because we didn't account for the power levels changing, and the robot seemed to lack a voltage regulator. I worked on practicing what I learned by making a basic power supply circuit with a LED, and a LDO. I then made sure that the Gerber Files were ready to be used and worked on a schematic for an accelerator board. I got the breadboard design from the Half-Scale team.

Week 5: 6/25/17-6/30/17

This week I have been working on learning more about circuit design using the old EE98 (the Introduction to Circuit Analysis course at San Jose State) textbook. The textbook was helpful for showing how to solve the problems step by step. I worked on using the mesh method and learning superposition, which was interesting and was a lot easier to use for some than the nodal method. I was also given the opportunity to learn more about power supplies from Professor Parent. It will be nice to do some more hands on stuff.

Week 4: 6/19/17 to 6/23/17

This week I worked on learning some basics of circuit analysis using Khan Academy and the notes and online homework of Professor Parent's Introduction to Circuits (EE 98) class. I started off reviewing the concepts from previous physics and engineering courses, so that my foundation wasn't as shaky as before since I haven't taken all of the pre requisites. After reviewing that, I learned some terms that would make it much easier to understand what I would be doing later. Some of them were node, mesh and loop.

The second step was learning both Kirchhoff's voltage and current circuit laws. The first one states that the voltage difference through one complete loop or mesh is zero. Kirchhoff's second law states that for every node all the incoming currents add up to zero. These laws provide the backbone for Nodal Analysis and Mesh Analysis methods to set up the systems of equations. I had more struggles making the systems of linear equations than solving it using the e…

Week 3: 6/11/17 to 6/16/17

This week started off with getting the PCB files ready to be manufactured. I first started off by using the tests in Diptrace to see if the PCB would work the way that I had set it up. I had to redo the conversion from the schematic to the PCB program because it wasn't the correct dimensions and I didn't trust that the converter did it correctly. After struggling with the design for a few days, I scrapped it. I redid the converter process and moved the parts the way that they will plug into the Arduino. Because of all the hassle without using the auto router, I decided to use it. It saved a lot of time and work.

The next step was to submit the design for a design review. I showed it to Professor Parent, a Electrical Engineering professor at San Jose State. We emailed back and forth about the project, and the only thing that he could see that was wrong that the RFID was, on the schematic was getting 5 V when the part was only was set at 3.3 V. After we checked out the datasheet…

Week 2: 6/5/17 to 6/9/17

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This week started off with a presentation that was supposed to summarize last week and show the goals of this week, and last Friday's presentation became a Monday presentation. The slideshow was supposed to a team effort, but the only other person that was working on the one-twelfth model was at an appointment.

I worked on the schematic, but quickly I knew that I would have to make a lot of the patterns because the parts didn't exist installed in the libraries of Diptrace. The first problem was figuring out that components are made before patterns because they are used for the schematic. Next, making sure that the components have a pattern with pins connected, not the board mounts, was important and was a good learning experience. The longest part and I am still working on it is making sure that the PCB has no errors, which is a problem because I have so little experience.

Here is the PCB so far:

And the slideshow:

Week 1: 5/30/17 to 6/2/17

The first week of the SPARTAN Superways program started on Tuesday, May 30th. After we were introduced to the general parameters of the project and the reason why public transportation needs to be sustainable and how cars are not human-friendly, the team broke up into the subteams by the model that they were working with. My team was the 1/12th scale model team and was only two people, and our projects were on two different sides of the model. We broke the presentation into two sides, and we had to do a pro and a con each. I had a few snags getting to read the report and looking for a pro, so I completed my part by lunch. The con was easy to find because it was the reason for my job. After lunch, I started to play around on Diptrace and helped my partner with his slides.
On Wednesday, I meet with Chris Hansen to talk about the specs for the Arduino shield that he led the effort to make in his senior project. He told me all the parts that would have to be hand soldered because the PCB …