Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introduction to Motor Control (Workshop 4) - Detailed Guide

Guide Contents

I. DC Motors
II. Servo Motors
III. Stepper Motors
IV. Demo Part 1: Assembling the Circuit
V. Demo Part 2: The Code

I. DC Motors

DC Motors come in two variants - brushed and brush-less. Most DC motors are brushed, especially small motors. They use graphite brushes, magnets, and coils of wire to create motion when a voltage is applied. Brushed motors are good when positional actuary is not important. Brush-less motors do not have graphite brushes and use sensors or a separate motor driver. They have less friction but are more complex to use. (See Workshop Guide 3 for a demo involving a DC motor.)

II. Servo Motors

Servo Motors use a small DC motor, a potentiometer, and a gear train. The gear reduction applied to the DC motor increases the output torque, making the motor easy to use. Servos specialize in high positional accuracy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IEEE Winter Design Competition!

Don't have anything to do over the four long weeks of winter break? Enter the Winter Design Competition!

The Winter Design Competition is almost exactly like the Open Design Competition except for a few small differences:

       - It runs from now until January 28th (The tentative date of the ODC Workshop 5).
       - It has a prompt.
       - No need to sign up.

The prompt of the competition is simple - make something that can teach someone math. It doesn't matter what shape, size, or method it takes, just make it teach math and that's it!

The project will be judged by our officers using the official rubric for the final Open Design Competition and there will be prizes for the winner and runner up! (Official rubric attached in a forthcoming email.)

First Prize: A Raspberry Pi (literally a computer the size of a credit card) and 20 bonus points towards your final Open Design Competition score in March!

Second Prize: A $20 Gift Card to Sparkfun and 10 points towards the Open Design Competition!

This is a great opportunity to stay fresh over break and sharpen your design skills for the competition. Not only that, but you might win an awesome prize and get a leg up on the competition in March!

Good luck!


Workshop 4, Motor Control Tonight (Tuesday, 12/10) at 7pm (TIME CHANGE)

Notice - Workshop 4 has been moved to 7PM in ENGR 100 (location is the same).

Besides an exciting presentation and demo on motor control, will have pizza and drinks and will be going over the Winter Design Competition!

See you there!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Open Design Workshop 4 - Motor Control - Tuesday December 10th at 6pm (With Free Pizza!)

Take a break from studying this Tuesday the 10th at 6pm and come join us in Engineering 100 for the last Arduino workshop of the semester! You'll get to learn all about motor control with the Arduino, play around with the DC and Servo motors in your kits, get the official scoop on the Winter Break Design Competition and enjoy some free Pizza!

See you there!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Code for Workshop 3

double val;
void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);     //  setup serial
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(12, OUTPUT);
void loop() {
  val = analogRead(A0)-123;    // read analog input pin 3
  float Temp=CtoF(val);
  Serial.println(Temp);    // print to screen
  if (Temp > 85) {

double FtoC(double F)
   return ((F-32)*5)/9;
double CtoF(double C)
  return ((C*9)/5) + 32;

Monday, November 18, 2013

Workshop 3 - Clark A104

Remember, Arduino Workshop 3 is Tuesday night at 7pm! The location will be CLARK A104.

Come prepared to learn all about analog circuits!


Friday, November 15, 2013

IEEE Open Design Competition Workshop 3 Tuesday at 6PM!

Hello everyone,

We will be holding the third Arduino Open Design Competition Workshop Tuesday, November 19th, at 6PM! (Location TBA) The third workshop will cover all things analog circuits, a must-have for most Arduino design projects.

As always, make sure to bring a well-charged laptop and your kits!

See you Tuesday,

Cameron Bloom
IEEE CSU Student Chapter President
Colorado State University

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Introduction to Arduino Programming (Workshop 2) - Detailed Guide

Workshop Contents

I. C, C++, and the Arduino IDE

II. Variables
III. Methods
IV. Conditional
V. Loops
VII. Demo - Pseudo Code Version
VIII. Demo - Code and Testing

I. C, C++, and the Arduino IDE

Programming on the Arduino is done with a variant of the C Language specific to the Arduino IDE. There are a few small differences, mainly regarding added functionality to relate to the Arduino properly, but for the most part programming is done in what can be thought of as C Language. 

C is the oldest programming language that is widely used today (created in 1972) and is a terrific language to start off with. It is considered a "High Level" language, meaning that on the spectrum of programming languages, it is closer to the English Language than machine code (all 0s and 1s). C is also very fundamentally similar to C++, Java, and many other modern languages, making it relatively easy to jump into one of these other languages from C. 

C isn't by any means a perfect language - there are a good handful of things that it can not do or that it is not good at doing, bit it is still an incredibly versatile, powerful language that works perfectly for programming Arduinos.

There are several key components to programming in C; this guide will cover those from a theoretical perspective that should be applicable to several other languages. The examples used will be in C to demonstrate proper C syntax.

Note: You can add comments to your code by putting two backslashes before any thing that isn't code. This way you can type notes in the program that don't affect the actual program. This is a good way for anyone reading the code to understand in plain English what is going on. It becomes more and more valuable as the program gets bigger and more complicated.

//This is a comment. 


This is also a comment.

Look for comments in the example code for further explanation.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Open Design Competition Arduino Workshop 2 - Introduction to Arduino Programming TUESDAY, 11/5 at 7pm!

We will be having our second Arduino Workshop of the year this Tuesday, November 5th at 7pm in Engineering 100! This workshop will be about programming - we will go over everything you need to program your Arduinos and then make our own Hangman game! 

Similar to last workshop, make sure to bring your kit and a fully charged computer with the Arduino IDE software on it. If you still need to purchase a kit and/or breadboard we will have both at the workshop available for purchase. If you missed the first workshop you can visit our in-depth guide here: http://csuieeedesign.blogspot.com/2013/10/introduction-to-arduino-workshop-1.html

See you then!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Introduction to Arduino (Workshop 1) - Detailed Guide

**If you have not purchased a kit and/or breadboard and would like to do so, please email me and we can arrange for you to do so. This workshop guide assumes you have purchased an Arduino kit or have an Arduino Uno.**

Workshop/Guide Contents:

I. Arduino Kit Contents
II. Introduction to the Arduino Uno
III. Installing the Arduino Software
IV. The Arduino IDE
V. Demo Part 1 - Hello World!
VI. Demo Part 2 - On-Board LED Blink
VII. Demo Part 3 - External LED Blink

I. Arduino Kit Contents

To start off, there are a number of different components included in your kit. They include:

1: Arduino Uno
The Uno is a microcontroller used to make almost any small embedded design you can think of. The Arduino is programmed via your computer and a USB cable and runs an infinite loop while power is provided to the board. We will discuss the board in further detail in the next section.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ODC Workshop 1 - Introduction to Arduino

Hi Everyone,

We will be having our first Arduino workshop tonight, Tuesday the 22nd at 7pm in Clark A102. Each team needs to bring cash or check for their kit, a breadboard if you have one, and a fully charged laptop with a dependable internet connection (any type is fine). We will be:

                - distributing kits
                - going over the contents of the kits
                - introducing the Arduino Uno in detail
                - getting the Arduino connected and interfaced with your computer
                - running two short, simple demos on your Arduino

This is a very important workshop so make sure to have at least one of your team members there to buy your kit and get started. If you can't make it, the workshop will be posted online later this week.


Cameron Bloom

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome to the Start of the Competition!

Emails have been sent out regarding our first workshops and competition details. Please let me know if you haven't gotten an email with that information and I will send it to you. 


IEEE President

Monday, October 7, 2013

Arduino Kit Contents

To participate in the Open Design Competition workshops, you'll need a kit.  The kit contains everything you need for the workshops and to get you started on your team's project. Below is a list of components found in your Arduino Kit. PSoC kit contents will be coming soon.

In the kit you'll find:
- An Arduino Uno    
- A servo motor
- A DC motor
- LED's
- A temperature sensor
- Resistors
- A Diode
- A Transistor
- A USB cable (for your Ardunio)

The kit costs $35 and by registering with your kit selection as Ardunio, you will place your order. Kits will be picked up and paid for at our first workshop (the week of the 14th, details coming soon.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The 4th Annual CSU IEEE Open Design Competition is here!

Hello Engineers!!!

The 4th Annual CSU IEEE Open Design Competition is here! Assemble your team, sign up, and get ready to have a blast!

What is the Open Design Competition?
The Open Design Competition is the most fun and rewarding project you can work on all year. Why? Because you can make anything you want! Either by yourself or with an all-star team of your friends and class mates, you'll start with a powerful and versatile hobby electronics kit, learn everything you need to know about micro-controllers, programming, and hobby electronics in our evening workshops, and then set out to dream up, design, and build the greatest project you can think of! It can be anything you want - a robot that plays guitar, a crazy light-up bike, a lawn mower that mows the lawn by itself, your own Daft Punk helmets, or anything else you can think of - the possibilities are endless!!

I'm so busy! Why should I add yet another thing to my schedule??
The Open Design Competition is more than just another thing on your to-do list - it's an opportunity to leave the classroom, skip the theoretical work, and get your hands dirty designing and building something that you are passionate about! And once it's done, in late March, you will get to show it off to your peers, your teachers, and members of industry at the final design competition! Last year we had engineers from a dozen different companies come to campus and judge projects and we gave out nearly $1000 dollars in prizes!! Once it's all said and done, you'll have a completely unique project on your resume, something that employers love to see and will gladly take a second look at when considering you for internships and jobs. An Open Design Competition Project can be a game changer for your career.

How can I learn more?
We'll be holding informational meetings next Monday (9/30) and Tuesday (10/1) nights at 7pm in Engineering E104 - you can get the whole scoop about the competition, talk to former participants, and get all of your burning questions answered!

I'm ready! Where do I sign up??!!
When you're ready, go here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XY8GGKT and sign up! Registration closes at midnight Wednesday, October 9th.

Visit this website for news as soon as it's available and let me know if you have any questions! Thanks to our sponsor Wolf Robotics for making this all possible!

The greatest competition of your college career is about to begin...what are you going to make?

Cameron Bloom
IEEE CSU Student Chapter President
Colorado State University

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Late Open Design Competition Entries PLEASE READ

If you have not sent me a report and filled out the survey for the competition, you can still present and compete Saturday (the 20th), but there is some work you need to do RIGHT NOW:

1) I need a report for your project before the end of Friday. This doesn't have to be formal, but it should include a brief overview of the project, any schematics/circuits/code/anything else, a detailed budget, and any sources you used. (Email to cbloom8@gmail.com).

2) I need you to fill out this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DQ632DB

The final competition starts at 10am in the Cherokee Park Ballroom of the LSC. Business casual dress is recommended but not required. Judging will take place between 10am and approximately noon. Judges will include industry members and CSU faculty.

Let me know if you have any questions! We can still accommodate your late entries but we will need the utmost cooperation from you to make sure it happens.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Workshop 5

Hi folks,

Tomorrow (Wednesday the 6th) is our last workshop.  It will be at 7pm in Clark A202.  Please bring everything in your kit, a breadboard, and snag a 15 Ohm resistor (if you borrow it from the ECE labs, be sure to return it).

We are focusing on the design process, ie - how to go from idea to finished project.  A lot of folks don't know what they are making yet, or don't know how to make what they've come up with.  We'll go over this as well as how to improve your designs to their highest potential.

We will be going over the rules of the competition again in more depth at the beginning.  I will write a document in the next few days with the rubric and hard-set rules and send it to you.  I will also work on getting this and other workshops up on youTube this weekend.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Workshop 4

Hi folks,

Workshop 4 will be Wednesday, January 30th at 7pm in Clark A 202.  We will be focusing on hacking.  If you haven't already picked one up, please find a PS/2 mouse to tear apart.  These are the ones that use the green, round connectors and NOT USB.  Check your old electronics boxes, thrift shops, grandma's house, ect.  If you have trouble finding one, I picked up a few extras that you can purchase from me for $5 cash.  Please email me if you want to buy one - first come, first serve.

If you still haven't picked up your servo, you can pick it up during this workshop.  If you have time conflicts, feel free to email me to set up a time/place to pick it up.

I will try to get Workshop 3 online soon.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MiniDC and Workshop 3 Time/Place

Hey folks,

We will be starting the judging for the MiniDC at 6:30pm tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan 23) in Clark C142.  If you need an extension cord to power your project, please bring one.  After we get through the judging, we will jump right into the third workshop on motors, solenoids, and motor control. Please bring a fully charged laptop, everything in your kit, and your servo. If you haven't picked up your servo yet, those will be available for pickup as well.

I plan on ordering pizza putting up a movie during judging, so if you don't have a project, you should still come in, get a slice, and check out other folks' mini projects.  There will also be door prizes for the folks that show up before the workshop.

See you there!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Workshop 3 and MiniDC

Hey folks!  

The MiniDC and next workshop will be this upcoming Wednesday (the 23rd) at 7pm.  I'll get the room to you when I have it (still waiting on room confirmation), but it will likely be in one of the Clark classrooms.

If your MiniDC project needs an external power source (ie needs to be plugged in), it would be smart to bring an extension cord if you have one. If you are unable to make it but have a project to submit, make a video of you explaining and demonstrating your project and send it to me.  We will be awarding a Raspberry Pi and 3D printed prizes for the best projects.

The workshop will focus on motors and motor control as well as how to work with solenoids.  I had planned on doing a servo workshop and posting it online over break, but I decided against it.  Servos are very simple things to work with and I thought it would be better to show you guys everything in person and be able to answer questions than to put an ambiguous video online.

As always, email me with any questions.