Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zombie Movie Night Moved

Hi folks,

Due to construction in Clark A101, the new room is Clark A102. The time is still 7pm.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zombie and Pizza Night

IEEE is throwing a zombie movie and pizza night in Clark A101 on Tuesday, December 20th at 7pm. Anyone from any major is welcome to attend, so bring all of your geeky/nerdy/zombie-loving friends.

We are asking for $3 / person to help cover the cost of the pizza. If you plan on going, shoot me an email at electricityandairwaves (at) gmail.com or join the event on facebook here.

We are going to ask for  $3 / person to cover the cost of the pizza.

The event is at 7pm on December 20th in Clark A101.

As far as movie choices, I was thinking either Shaun of the Dead or the Dawn of the Dead. We could do another zombie movie, but these are a good start.

If anyone has a bluray player and some zombie movies and would like to donate them for the evening, send me an email at electricityandairwaves@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Workshop location

The workshop is in Clark A204 at 7pm.

Workshop 3 - Motors, Relays, and Solenoids

Hi folks,

Tonight's workshop (December 6th) is going to be on motors and driving high-current and high voltage circuits. It is one of the more practical workshops that we are going to be talking about, and one of the most fun because it opens up the door to homebrew robotics.  We will also talk about the terminal window and how you can use it to control your Arduino.

We will also be soldering together our power supplies, so be sure to bring you power adapter to the workshop.

I will get you the room we will be in this morning.  When I went to reserve it yesterday, the lady I would talk to was out of the office. It will be at 7 as always and should be relatively short.

See you there!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Workshop 2 - Analog Components and Digital I/O

Hey folks,

Tomorrow's workshop will be in Clark A 202 at 7pm.  Make sure to bring your kits.  I will try to get either a quick document or video put together to go over the basics of the circuit theory so that everyone is on the same page and the workshop will go more smoothly.  While the circuit theory is pretty simple, the applications might be a little bit alien to some of the electrical engineers, so I recommend reading/watching whatever I post (if just for the review).


My Aunt from Boston flew in and no one told me, so I wasn't able to take the time to make the video or the cheat sheet.  What you need to know boils down to this:

The super basic circuit theory stuff:  Ohm's law, resistors in series and in parallel.

The equation/setup for a voltage divider:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_divider#Resistive_divider
You will need this concept for many sensor circuits to work. This is because the resistance of many sensors changes as what ever they are measuring changes.  Photoresistors, for example, will have a much lower resistance in bright light than in the dark.  By using a voltage divider correctly, you can measure the voltage across it and figure out just how bright a light is (or how hot, how loud, how wet, how fast, ect).

Grounding a digital input pin (scroll down to the inputs section): http://csuieeedesignresources.blogspot.com/p/basic-circuits.html  This is VERY important, so look this one over.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nunchuck/Webcam kit signup form

Hey folks!

If you are interested in purchasing a nunchuck/webcam combo for $6 for more advanced workshops in the spring, please fill out the form here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RSVJBC7.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kits, Nunchucks And Webcams

Thanks to all who attended our first workshop. For those who could not make it this time, we still have 5 more kits that we will make available at the future workshops.

For the spring workshops, we are thinking about showing how to hook up WII nunchucks and USB webcams. The problem is we are already overbudget with all the stuff in the existing kit. We have a supplier for the nunchuck and webcam at $3 each so it would cost an extra $6 if we want to do a "SPRING KIT EXTRA++" Please comment if you are FOR or AGAINST this extra $6 expense. If people are more against, then we will do something else.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

First Workshop This Tuesday

Hello folks!

We will be kicking off the design competition this upcoming Tuesday with the first workshop in one of the Clark A rooms at 7pm (I will post the room Monday). If 7pm doesn't work for you, please send me an email and let me know. If more than two or three teams need to start at 8pm instead, we'll shift the time. The workshop should be 1.5 to 2 hours long.

For the first workshop you need to bring:
A charged laptop (any OS) with the software (found here) already installed. While your computer should not have any problems with the drivers for the software, I would recommend installing them anyways (found here). If you do not have a laptop, you can check one out from the library.

Money for your kit. Everyone asked for the full kit which is $35. You can either bring cash or a check written to Darrell Taylor who fronted the money to buy the kits.

Agenda for the first workshop:
- Design competition information (rules, structure, workshops, ect)
- Voting on budget and rules
- Get the kits handed out and put together
- An introduction to the the Arduino programming environment
- How to access and use libraries
- A basic calculator programming example using the LED "tube"
- A basic game (if we have time) using the LED "tube"

IMPORTANT: You, and your teammates, need to check this site frequently for event information and such as we won't be sending out emails for everything. There is an email subscription feature that you can use, but it doesn't always work, so don't rely on it.

Monday, November 7, 2011


There is no real registration deadline.  We will accept registrations up until April when the actual judging event takes place.  Note, though, that you can't do the workshops until you've registered, and workshops start the 15th.

If you find something about a registration deadline on this site, it was from last year and should be ignored.

The registration information can be found here: http://csuieeedesign.blogspot.com/2011/10/registration-for-2nd-annual-csu-ieee.html

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Workshop and Some General Information:

Hello folks!  The first workshop will be Tuesday the 15th around 7pm (this might change as folks see fit). This will also be the day that you need to pick up your kit.  Currently, we can accept cash or a check for $35 written to All Things Geek.  You will also need to bring a laptop or borrow one from the library. We will announce a time and a room sometime in the next week or so, so please check back often.  If you aren't able to come due to a test or other obligation, please send me an email, it is listed at the end of this post.

YOU NEED TO INSTALL THE ARDUINO SOFTWARE BEFORE YOU COME TO THE WORKSHOP. You can find the software here: arduino.cc.  This will make everything run much more smoothly if you do.

The first workshop will focus on getting you up and running with your Arduino and get you guys an introduction to programming.  The plan at the moment is to get you guys programming a basic calculator, and if we have time, we might make a quick electronic game (think Chuck-E-Cheese-esk arcade game).  You will learn the fundamentals of programming, using libraries, and several of the important programming features and nuances of the Arduino microcontroller platform.  All of the information that we talk about in the workshop will also be put on Instructables.com along with any code we use and some cheat sheets.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's make a calculator!

Here is the agenda for the first workshop:

  • Get Arduino software installed on any laptops.
  • Inventory the kits and glue them down to the plexiglass sheets.
  • Connect the display module wires.
  • We go over how the calculator program works. It already includes add and subtract.
  • You will then figure out how to add multiply and divide to complete your calculator.
  • If we have time, make a quick game.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Registration for the 2nd Annual CSU IEEE Open Design Competition

Alright folks, we go into another exciting year.  We are opening up registration for the design competition today and will run until November 6th.  You will need to do two main things to sign up.

1) Register here:

2) Purchase your kit at the first workshop (to be announced). This year, we can accept both cash and checks. Money from our sponsors is helping to pay for a great deal of the cost of components and is saving you roughly $45 over the retail cost.  What we do ask you to pay goes directly into the cost of components.

The workshop lineup this year is changing significantly from what we did last year and there might be some minor changes to the rules from last year.  Much of this site is left over from last year's competition, so a few bits and pieces might change from time to time. Check back frequently for up-to-date information and events.

Also, make sure to "like" the design competition page on Facebook for up-to-date info in a convenient place: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Design-Competition-at-CSU/147296381983049

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The kits for the the IEEE design competition are coming together nicely. The BOM is not finialized yet, as we are still working to get you as much as possible for your money. So far, the contents include:
  • Arduino Nano 3.0
  • 840-tiepoint solderless breadboard
  • 8 digit LED display board with 8 buttons and 8 bi-color LEDs
  • Microphone
  • JST power supply connecters
  • Nice flexable molded jumper wires
  • Some resistors and passives
  • A cute little micro servo
  • A 40mm linear potentiometer
  • A few dip switches and microswitches
  • Some two-row header pins
This list is not final, I just wanted to give you an idea of what you are getting your entry fee.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Open Design Competition 2011-2012

Hey folks!  We will be holding the competition again this year with some great new changes. Check back regularly for updates!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Judgement Day is coming!

The judged event will be Noon, April 16th in the BC Infil (Engineering B106). You are welcome to bring friends, family, ect if you'd like.

You will need to submit a basic report of your project by April 9th.  This doesn't need to be anything fancy, but needs to detail: your budget and bill of materials, your code, your circuit, any mechanical/concept work, as well as a "works cited" listing your sources for code, circuits, and anything else you used.

You are welcome to bring trifolds with an outline/pictures/ect of your project if you'd like.  Be prepared to answer questions such as, "How does your code work?", "How did you come up with this idea?",  "What were some engineering challenges?".....the ropes.  You should have a working knowledge of your project.

 Even if your project isn't complete or isn't working, you should still submit it anyways.  You still have a good chance of winning a prize if you've thought through everything well. Only a small portion of your score comes from the actual functionality.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Servo and IEEE Standards Workshop

Alrighty folks, the last workshop is tonight at 6pm in Clark A205.

We will be talking about servos, motors, and electrical mechanical movement as well as IEEE Standards.

The workshop will be a lot of fun, we'll be connecting servo motors to our boards, connecting the boards together, making a "servo protocol", and then making one Arduino control all of the others with the standard we create.

If you have wire strippers, please bring those in, otherwise, all you need is you Arduino, computer, and USB cable ;)

For more information on IEEE standards or to get an overview before the workshop, take a look here:

Update the firmware on your Arduino's 8U2

If you folks are having issues with your Arduino and not being able to talk to it, you should look into upgrading the firmware on the USB to processor bridge chip (in laymans terms).


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Project Design Workshop

Due to exams and people's events, this week's workshop will be online.  As facebook allows for longer videos, it has been posted there.  Please take a look when you get a chance ;)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hacking Workshop!

Welcome back folks! Wednesday, January 26th's workshop will be on hacking electronics. 

 It will be at 6pm in Clark A202.

You will need to bring, along with your computer and Arduino, an old keyboard with a PS2 connector.  The PS2 connectors look like this:
If you don't have a keyboard at home, you can get one for around $3 at a thrift shop.  It may be worth the time to ask ENS and computer lab directors to see if they have an extra one you can have for free.
If you have them, please bring wire cutters and an exacto (hobby) knife.

To make things go faster, you should cut off the PS2 connector close to the connector, strip back the outside sheath by 5 inches and strip each wire by a about an inch.

Your wire should look like this:
______________________          5 inches                   1 inch
                                           |===========wire===--------exposed wire
         cable                          |===========wire===--------exposed wire
_____________________|==========wire====---------exposed wire

I will supply wire and connectors to connect the keyboard to your Arduino.

See you there!