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					                        Team1. Progress Report1
                                                                          Team Members
                                                                        Nathan Allen Gingery
                                                                        Samuel Joseph Davis
                                                                              Ki Yong Kwon
                                                                        Bryan David Thomas
                                                                                    Feng Yu

                                                                          Dr. Terence Brown

        The project was going smoothly as we had planed over the past weeks. There
were some delays and unexpected problems, but we have managed to solve them. There
are four main aspects of progress report.

        We are currently constructing a prototype of the base and remote circuits on
protoboards. We have hooked up and tested the PIC, wireless chip, and voltage regulator.
We are currently working on getting a 7-segment display to show the current channel of
the wireless chip. We also have done problem shooting of a couple errors. When those
errors are resolved, we will implement a system that will allow a user to change the
channel with a push of a button. The last step will be hooking up the buzzer circuit to the
PIC. We are going to use last years circuit so it will be able to connect to a pin that
outputs a square wave at the frequency we want it to buzz.

Over the past few weeks, our progress in programming the bases and remote has been
significant. We have been able to implement the following functions:

   -   Communication with the XBee module
   -   Programming the XBee module from the PIC processor
   -   Operating the SSD (Seven Segment Display)
   -   Using the 40 MHz oscillator

We had originally planned to possibly do most of the programming in assembly
language. However, since we had experience in lab regarding programming in C, we
decided to stick with C.

A major accomplishment of the last few weeks regarding programming has been the
implementation of communications with the Xbee. Being able to seamlessly interface
with the wireless module allows us to treat it as another component of the
microcontroller. The biggest challenge in getting the Xbee to communicate with the
microcontroller was getting the baud rates to match. Although not terribly complicated,
we needed to use the provided formula in the PIC datasheet to calculate a constant which
we fed to a function which gave us the correct baud rate (9600). Further progress should
be made within the next few weeks to the point where the code is completely done. This
will give us more time to focus on the packaging, an area which we don’t have as much
experience with.


We had a meeting with the sponsor Mr. Blosser, and he gave us feedback of the final
proposal and suggestions for the project. He recommended using a discharge hose rather
than using a bulk fabric for the body of the base. We could not contact coated PVC fabric
manufacturers, because they only sell massive amounts of materials for industrial
purposes. If we use the discharge hose, we only need to sew the top and bottom part of
the body. There is a local retailer, so we could get samples easily. We went to the retailer
(Cathy co.) to check the real product. The product came in several different diameters and
we got samples of each. After the team discussion we decided to get an 8 inch diameter
discharge hose. The hose costs $6.17 per ft. Total amount of length we need is maximum
10 ft for two columns. Total cost will be $61.70. We have already ordered the hose, and
we will find a valve for the body.
There is a problem using discharge hose. The thickness of the discharge hose is 0.1 inch
which is too thick to use a regular sewing machine. We also have to make sure that seams
are airtight. So we came up with an idea to ask for help from an expert. We went to a
local shoe repair shop, and they were able to help the sewing problem. It will cost $30 per
column. Since we need two columns, total cost will be $60 for the labor.

For the base part, we decided to use the form from the original base. We checked a
couple of local stores such as Joann Fabrics and Michaels. We could not find exactly the
same material as the original, but we found two different foams which would be suitable
for our purpose. One is softer than the original material. We need three pieces to make
one base and the price of each piece is about $6.50. Total cost for two bases will be
$39.00. Another material costs $58.99 for one piece with dimension 3''x24''x90''. We just
need one piece of this to make two bases. Since two materials have different firmness,
further discussion will be needed.

We have spent $83 for components and $61.7 for the discharge hose. Total cost is
$144.70 out of $500. We are in good shape in terms of budget. Even though there would
be major spending on sewing and base material in a couple of weeks, it should not exceed
our budget.