Project Log

December 2nd, 2003: Lab Day 6

Where: Jobst 248

What got done:

Various things occurred in lab today. We have begun work on our project proposal as well as our initial presentation which are deliverables for EE 419. We spent the morning writing a project summary and the proposal. A short talk with our project advisor gave more insight on how what we need to have for both the proposal and presentation.

On the motor front we have found some motors that we believe will work well for our application. Maxon Motors sells assemblies of electric motors with gear shafts and encoders. This is really nice because we do not have to worry about hardware compatibility. They are designed to work as a single unit. This also lets us use a standard electric motor over a stepper motor. Stepper motors we found to be very heavy and use way too much current for our application. Also there are few vendors that sell very small stepper motors. Standard electric motors on the other hand are more common giving us a wider range to choose from. The Maxon motor we are looking at will require about 60 mA of current to run. This puts our estimated power budget to about 150 mA. We are still looking for more vendors for the motors to make sure we find the absolute best motor the first time since we will not have a lot of time to order new ones if our initial purpose should happen to fail.

On the power side of things we have found a few more solar panel suppliers. We are finding it hard to get high efficiency panels since we are students. Most people want to sell in only large quantities. However, we have a few options now so we will have to make some calls before the end of the semester. We have, however, called Phytech about our microcontroller and it turns out we can get a 15% discount because it is for educational purposes. We reviewed the purchase once again with our advisors and sent the order off to our lab director. Hopefully we can get the board before the end of break so that we can have have some experience with it before next semester.

What needs doing:

We are working on the proposal and presentation right now. Those are large assignments and will take some time to complete with any level of quality. Everything else can wait until they are done.