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PComp: Switch Homework + Labs

Homework:

For the homework, I wanted to do something that would look cool, yet still be simple. I love the LEDs and I thought it would be cool to make LEDs look like the night sky that light up when you bring a “monocle” up to your eye.

I built the circuit so that the lights would all be parallel, and that way they would all light up at the same time when you touch the two parts of the monocle. The thing that I discovered is still unclear for me, is checking whether I built the circuit correctly or not. I want to avoid burning things out or producing short circuits when we move on to bigger projects, and just the whole concept of using the multimeter to check still feels foreign to me.
For the first step, I focused on building the “sky” part of the project on the breadboard, using a regular switch. I built the circuit, and it didn’t work. I troubleshooted it (switch was plugged in to the wrong place) and it still didn’t work. Then, I trouble shot it again (the transmitter after the switch was plugged in to the wrong place) and it finally worked! ::pat on the back::

 

After the basic circuit was built, I focused on the monocle aspect of it. The idea was to create two equal monocles out of tin-foil that when you touch them together and look through them, the night sky lights up. They are the switch! I connected one monocle to the power, and the other one to the resistor and the LEDs. Ta-da! Your own very night sky.

The monocle parts connected to the circuitThe monocle parts connected to the circuit

Lastly, I drew a moon and cut some holes on the construction paper so that only the heads of the LEDs would poke out, and they would look like the stars.

The face of the project, so that the LEDs look like stars
The face of the project, so that the LEDs look like stars

After that, I just assembled the whole thing and did some user testing. Homework 1, done!

User test off
User test off
User test on
User test on

 

Labs:

I found the labs this week to be very helpful. It’s very different to see someone making things, than to do them yourself; and figuring out all the circuits and switches and stuff makes me feel a little less intimidated by PComp in general.

I did the electronics lab and it went well, my first LED light up and the the two LEDs in series did too. I did notice that I probably messed up the first step, as I tried to measure the voltage in the resistor when the circuit was powered on and it was 0. I talked to someone though, and they told me you can only measure the resistor when it’s not plugged in (which I had done before), so now I know for next time!

 

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