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Senior Project Proposal - to Develop Portable Lab Equipment and Software Interface

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Lenora Vidaurrazaga

& Christina Meyers

CET 402L

Senior Project

Prof. Kavianpour

DeVry University

Spring 2005

Project Proposal

Due: April 8, 2005

Table of Contents:

Executive Summary....................................................................................1

Introduction..............................................................................................2

Project Operation.......................................................................................7

Project Scheduling (Gannt Chart) ..................................................................11

Bill of Materials.......................................................................................13

Future Use and Expansion...........................................................................14

Hardware Schematics.................................................................................15

Hardware and Software Block Diagrams..........................................................18

Bibliography.............................................................................................20

Executive Summary:

Objective:

The objective of our senior project is to develop portable lab equipment and software interface for first year college students. The idea of our project is to allow portability and convenience for students to perform basic electronic labs at home. It is meant as a learning tool to generate a comprehensive, hands-on guide for students to use on their own time, while still being cost effective. Our project will utilize the 68HC12 Axiom board, custom built variable power supply and function generator, LCD, and keypad, interfaced with a PC using custom built oscilloscope software and a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Our project will employ a high level programming language using C++ for the development of the oscilloscope data, graphs, and mathematical operations. Our project will use Visual Basic to develop the GUI that will display information and allow a menu selection for the components being used, such as the waveform and frequency. It will also incorporate Assembly language to communicate between the 68HC12 and the PC.

Block Diagram:

Application:

The project will first require a password using the keypad and displaying a confirmation on the LCD. It will then require the setting of the desired voltage on the power supply, which can be checked on the LCD. The function generator will be responsible for generating the preferred waveform. The GUI will then display menu options to select graphing utilities used for the oscilloscope and then display the graph with the options selected.

Future Expansion:

This project could also include a multimeter and curve tracer. It could also be improved by having a higher voltage and a better regulated power supply. The function generator could also have higher bandwidth and frequency.

Cost:

Estimated total cost is $316.

Introduction:

When we visualized our senior project, we decided that engineering and electronic students in college could make use of portable, inexpensive, simple equipment in order to demonstrate concepts off campus. This equipment would not necessarily have all of the functionality and versatility of the lab equipment, but it would be useful in demonstrating concepts. The current lab equipment is great for school, but if students have a need to use the equipment at home such as to finish labs, learn more, or just hobby use, they are left without an inexpensive alternative with the equipment currently on the market. Our solution was to address these issues with our project which we named "Lab In A Box." This would allow students to have a portable oscilloscope, power supply, and function generator at a greatly reduced cost.

The labs performed at DeVry University usually only requires low bandwidth and low voltage equipment. The power supplies in the labs are DC with the capability of +6V and ±25V. The function generator is a 15MHz waveform generator that is capable of sine, square, triangle, and saw-tooth waveforms. The oscilloscope is 100MHz and has functions such as voltage, time, trace, setup, auto-scale, Voltage peak-to-peak, and so on. When researching the previous labs done for EET and CET students, we found that no more than 25V is used at any given time in a lab. There were requirements though for a dual power supply as well as a function generator and oscilloscope. We also found that we mainly used the sine wave for the labs and that 6 KHz for the function generator would be sufficient.

There are many oscilloscopes on the market. There are both hardware to software oscilloscopes that range in price from $150 to $10,000. Considering the performance we are seeking, comparable prices would be from $150 to $725. There are many hardware manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard and Instek. The Hewlett Packard 54600B is the model used in the DeVry labs which ranges from $1200 to $2550. There are a few software manufacturers as well. Some can be downloaded for free while more advanced programs can cost up to $725.

There are also many function generators on the market as well. There are a variety of software and hardware function generators in any range from $185 to $10,000. Some of the manufacturers include Hewlett Packard, Instek, and Tektronix. The Hewlett Packard 33120A is the one used in the labs at DeVry. This has an average price of $1350.

Also, another piece of lab equipment used is the DC power supply. This is a hardware device used only for powering circuits and equipment.

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