My First Project Experience

I would like to remember always my first project I worked with 2 of my college friends for about a week. It would be better if I call that a mini-project of school. The reason is, the project is not upto the standard expected from a college student. Yet we worked whole heartedly. My core is ECE and our project is to model a robot for a soccer competition in a popular college. Since we belong to ECE and it is our first attempt to expose ourself to the outside, we concentrated on the electronic control parts of the robot.

We used base from a toy car. And we used relays (I would like to call that an electromagnetic switch) to switch the direction of wheels like right and left, front and back. Transistors, as switch, controlled the relays. And we got a 315 MHz transmitter and receiver from Ritchie street ( a popular place in Chennai, to get electrical, electronic and computer accessories). We used HT12E (encoder) and HT12D (decoder) ICs to encode 4 bits (for four controls - left, right, front, back) into one single line in the transmitter end (remote) and to decode serial data into 4 bits in the receiver (robot). These signals are used to activate 4 relays and in-turn control the direction of 2 DC motors.

We have been working on this for 1 week. The reason for so long time is that, we had problems activating the relay using the transistor. We were not able to form a compatibility between decoder output, transistor and switch. And for finding out the correct resistors value (we were a little weak at circuits) to make the switching circuit work, we took lot of time. When we are finally done, and when we used batteries and checked the circuit, we found that the relay circuit drew more power from the battery and the batteries were quickly draining (I think we dint get the right transistor for switching). But we had no other go at that time as it is the last day.

Through out the night we have been giving final touch to the robot. And morning, on event day, I was half asleep. And I am not able to participate in the event. Though I went there with my friends. We have reached the place. And when we had a final test, we found that there is some short circuit in the PCB. And later we found that the transmitter is not working. We were all out and were sitting hopeless. But by luck, our friends have taken car circuits with us. Quickly we used those circuits and what we made is actually a car (instead of a robot). We played the first round. Luck came with us, our opponent robot stopped working when on stage. The people conducting the event requested as to put one goal, and we will go to next round. But though the opponent robot is stationary we dint put any goal and said that "No, No. Not against incapable opponent." That was very funny. At last they allowed us to next round where we lost.

We encouraged ourselves by saying that we went to first round for working hard for one week. We still laugh at what happened on that day. Really a project experience to keep in mind for life time.


Post a Comment