Weekly Progress

Cornell University, ECE 476


April 5, 2004

This was the first week of the project and we spent our time revising our original project idea. We decided that that idea would require about as much time in the Emerson machining lab as it would in the microcontrollers lab. We didn't make much progress beyond this.

April 12, 2004

This was the first week of the project and we used our time working on the project to research the relevant standards involved and the parts that we would need to complete the project. We completed an order to Digikey through Professor Land for these a few kinds of each type of component that we needed.

April 19, 2004

We have made a decent amount of progress in the past few weeks. Our code is rather developed in terms of the user interface, which is primarily through the LCD display. The command structure of the buttons is in place and we are working on implementing a function that plays the recorded signal to the device of interest. We have written a recording function but until we have both written we do not really know how well either one works. If we get done with the software early, we will try to work o making the remote actually remote. We are prepared however, to accept the fact that our remote, if intended for commercial production will never sell, because it would need to be attached to a starter board, well beyond the range of any remote. Overall, progress is not as fast as we had hoped since we are planning on testing early.

April 26, 2004

Thus far our progress this week has been to make this beautiful website that is hopefully very much in it's infancy. When we are done, we hope to incorporate a lot of graphics and much more user interfacing.

We also finished our project this week and demoed it. We were able to properly accept and transmit back to our test radio several meters away. The beam is rather directional though and should be needed to point directly at the radio for it work. We finished the rest of the website as well this week. So ends our journey with microcontrollers in the lands of ECE 476. Our experiences will carry with us in a lifetime to come.

Some tips for future students regarding the final project:

1. Pick an easy project - not because you may be lazy but simply because it is far more comfortable working with a close deadline when you know you can attain the final goal.

2. Start early - so that you can gloat at your friends when you finish early, and you will if you start early unless you failed to obey tip #1.

3. Bring some food to lab - because during final project lab times, the TA's will do so also since Bruce isn't there and they will make you very hungry.

4. Make a good website - everyone will be impressed and your final project will probably be able to sustain more glitches in achieving the same grade.

5. Soldering sucks. Not too much more to say about that. If you want to try, the hint from people who have done it is thus: heat up the wires that you want to solder with the iron first, and then just press the solder onto the two wires, instead of melting the solder onto the iron and then attaching the melted stuff to the connections. I have not verified the successfulness of this procedure, but I have been assured that it is better. My advice is to deal with the emotional loss of having to part with your final project, but it is worth keeping.

6. Work hard - simply because you will feel better when you finish.