Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electronics Project

  1. Feb 1, 2007 #1
    Hello,

    I am doing A level Electronics, WJEC. We have a project coming very soon, where we have to have various subsystems, and simulate a system. Could be anything really, from Washing Machine to Car Alarm system. So I was wondering, could anyone give me any ideas for a Project that would be simple to do, but diverse in the sense that a lot could be done on it.

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2007 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    How are you going to simulate it? Are you going to write your own simulation code, or use SPICE, or use some finite element simulation tools, or some combination?
     
  4. Feb 1, 2007 #3

    Sorry, my mistake, I should have been more clear. What I meant by simulate, is making a physical circuit, made up of sub-systems (using op-amps, logic gates, timers, and various other things like that). To simulate the functions of the product you are making, there are LED's (these are meant to be our outputs) which will represent certain things....i.e. a door lock releasing, or going into the next phase of washing (for a washing machine). But we will be making a physical circuit, made up of subsystems.

    What product shall I make? And any advice to get me started on some ideas, as I don't know where to begin.
     
  5. Feb 1, 2007 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, the classic is a traffic signal system at an intersection. You can add in the pedestrian push-buttons, pedestrian walk/don't walk signs, vehicle sensor loops, and even red light runner sensors and cameras if you want. Another add-on would be the IR over-ride systems used by fire engines in some cities (to get through intersections quickly). Remember to include the fail-safe modes that traffic light systems use -- first level of failure is to go to all red flashing.....

    That project is at the basic end of the spectrum, although adding in the stuff like the red light runner sensors and cameras spices it up a bit. At the high end of the spectrum would be something like a cell phone system simulation, with full CDMA encoding in a single frequency band, and cell-to-cell handoffs of signals as the signal source moved between cell coverage areas. Not sure what to use for the radio part of it....

    You could make a building access security system, with simple access cards (maybe with simple barcodes that you read with an optical emitter/detector element), a database of allowed codes on your PC (get the card swipes in via USB or some other standard interface), and control door locks and solenoids. Maybe add in some closed circuit TV with small cheap USB cameras and wrap the whole thing up in a nice GUI interface on the PC.
     
  6. Feb 2, 2007 #5

    sas3

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A home security system would be a nice project. you could add systems such as door or window open alarm, smoke or heat alarm, and/or water alarm. And run them through a logic circuit to determine what gets done for each occurrence.

    Berkman; Hi, Its nice to see some other Hams out here.

    KB9JNA (Scott)
     
  7. Feb 2, 2007 #6
    I have decided on the topic of my Project, its going to be a "Rain Alarm" which basically goes off when its raining. So...can anyone give me tips on what I could do with this?

    Remember, I'm not at degree level lol, just A level, so no complex ideas (I wouldn't know how to implement them!).

    I need to start off with a block diagram with my subsystems....I don't expect you to do it for me, just some ideas would be nice though :wink:
     
  8. Feb 2, 2007 #7

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Seems like the two main ways to detect rain would be conductivity change and physical drop detection. But either way you go will need to be weather-proof (obviously) for years of service. Any ideas about how to do that?
     
  9. Feb 2, 2007 #8

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Come to think of it, do some research into how weather station rain gagues work -- they must have had to solve this problem before.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2007 #9

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My father has a gauge that transmitts the amount of rain to an inside display. The outside unit fills to some level (0.2 inch if I rember correctly) then dumps the water for another fill. The data is accumulated on the inside display after each dump. You can keep track of the rain fall over a period of weeks or months. It's works really well.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?