View Full Version : NEED Help

05-02-2008, 06:35 PM
I have a senior project coming up and i'm supposed to use a prop chip and i have absolutly no idea of what to do for the project.......please reply with any ideas you may have

Graham Stabler
05-02-2008, 06:38 PM
It's your project so you should come up with the ideas.

Check instructables.com, make magazine blog and hacked gadget blogs for inspiration and spend some time actually thinking about it.


05-02-2008, 10:29 PM

Agreed.· I am assuming this is some kind of Engineering course.· I am also assuming that you have worked through the fundamentals of electronics.

Being that you are an Engineer who understands electronics, I would image you have thought at some point "It would be great to see [insert idea here]"

Being an Engineer is not copying and pasting somebody's work from an online forum.· Being an Engineer is seeing a need for something, and developing a product or process to meet that need...There is a big picture to look at with these projects... They aren't about having·the 'perfect'·science fair project to show off to the teacher.·

The big picture is the time that you put in finding an issue, and developing a solution to that issue.· You can copy somebody else's project...but in order to learn the big lesson that you will be *forced* to use every day on an engineering job, you need to think of the project and do it yourself. (One student in a class of mine didn't do his project on electronics at all, but made a circuitboard to hold the components the teach asked for...)

That being said, the Propeller is a great controller for interfacing most devices.

Ken Peterson
05-02-2008, 11:26 PM
I don't think priceou86 is necessarily looking for a solution, just some ideas. One can be a good engineer and good at making things work, but be lacking (perhaps temporarily) in the inspiration to invent something - especially on short notice. I am faced with this challenge in my job all the time. Sometimes you just draw a blank.

Usually, an engineer will be·tasked with solving·a problem, and he or she will dream up a solution possibly employing the Propeller.· In this case priceou86 is being tasked with making the Propeller do something.· The question is what.

priceou86: What are you interested in? What do you like to spend time doing? Do you have hobbies?


Post Edited (Ken Peterson) : 5/2/2008 4:33:44 PM GMT

05-03-2008, 03:16 AM
I'm not an engineer, but I got plenty of ideas, just not enough time to realize all of them.. and not enough _lust_ :)

One piece of advice (from a chemist!): You do not need the greatest idea in the world (unless you have a small thing), just one, properly implemented, cleverly done, with professionalism. Not something some school kid put together in 5 minutes. There was some thread at mikrocontroller.net the other day about a guy in Sweden who built a demo machine with just 1 atmega88. One. The soft is great has all you will want and VGA graphics and sound. That was clever, that was well done, simple. It may not be useful for much more, but it works. The propeller as the hydra has shown has loads of capabilities, but high-def multicolor graphics (15 bit or so)... is something that is lacking (128x96 does not count as high-def). There is enough raw power to draw mandelbrot real-time at high-def high-color, after all Vogue and Mr.H shown that that was possible back in 93 on a 486 at 50 MHz, and won the compo (google for crystal dream II) (quite less power than a propeller sans memory)..
Pick something, read the threads pick ideas if you do not have one now, and implement something that shows that you can. The rest... comes along http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Paul Baker
05-03-2008, 04:58 AM
The nice thing about senior projects is that you don't have to be original, I remember in my senior class that roughly 1/3rd of the senior projects were alarm systems (I went the other way and·designed and had fabricated a subthreshold logic family on silicon, still have a few of the dice packed away in my box of momentos). The downside of taking the road most traveled is that you better do a good job because it will be very apparent when you don't. You should use the course curriculum to your advantage, if you learned how to interface with a stepper motor then if you choose a project which has a stepper motor, your code for that part of the project already done.

Another factor to consider is your time frame, I am assuming that you have roughly 1 month to do your project. If you were given the project at the beginning of the semester and waited this long, then you are seriously behind the 8-ball because it is very apparent how much time a student spent on the project. If however you were assigned the project within the last month then that helps frame what your teacher/advisor is expecting as far as project complexity. You should pick a project which can be implemented with various levels of features, finish the essential part of the project then use whatever time remains to add additional functionality to the project. This way you know you'll have a working project, and the only question is is how feature rich your project is.

You will notice that we won't give you a concrete answer, this is for two reasons. First with only a short time remaining you have to be motivated, which means it has to be something that interests you. What may be interesting to me, may bore you to tears. Second, since our products are used in education we get posts like yours near the end of each semester. And there has been a history of students asking for project ideas, then trying to co-op the person who made the suggestion into doing thier project for them. This first starts of with "how do I do this?" and just slides into them asking for code examples for everything, then code examples on how to tie all the software together. I'm not saying this is what you are up to, just stating why we aren't likely to give concrete ideas.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do,

Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Post Edited (Paul Baker (Parallax)) : 5/2/2008 11:40:29 PM GMT

05-03-2008, 08:51 AM
Even a casual forum reader might have dozens of ideas by now.
Look at the "magazine" posts for example. Good luck.

An engineer develops products that result from someone's research.
Need is the mother of an invention, hard work is its father.

jazzed·... about·living in·http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley)

Traffic is slow at times, but Parallax orders·always get here fast 8)

05-03-2008, 08:04 PM
That is a myth. Laziness is the mother of invention, and greediness is the father. Necessity and hard work are distant cousins. :-0

www.madlabs.info (http://www.madlabs.info) - Home of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Robot

05-03-2008, 11:24 PM
@Jonathan: That brought a smile to my face - you're spot-on.

For a long time I've been saying: if you want something done right or quickly; give it to a lazy person - they will always find the quickest route to the solution, and they won't want to re-do a bad job http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Anyone else find it strange that the person who started this post hasn't responded ?


www.norfolkhelicopterclub.co.uk (http://www.norfolkhelicopterclub.co.uk)
You'll always have as many take-offs as landings, the trick is to be sure you can take-off again ;-)
BTW: I type as I'm thinking, so please don't take any offense at my writing style http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

05-04-2008, 12:59 AM
Suppose it depends on whether such lazy persons have any needs :)
Would be great if no effort was required for acceptable results.

jazzed·... about·living in·http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley)

Traffic is slow at times, but Parallax orders·always get here fast 8)

05-12-2008, 07:37 PM
Look i apologize for not stating b4 that I go to a tech 2 year school, I am not a engineer. I'm a tech who does not know much about this chip. Because the prof. that has been "teaching" it. barely knows anything about it.....So I'm sorry that i'm not as smart as you engineer folks. And i'm not asking anyone to do it for me, i just can't think of any place to start because I don't really know of the possibilities, or capability of this chip.


05-12-2008, 08:33 PM
Don't be discouraged by the philisopical nature of our conversations, The pun over Mother neccesity was too erresistable for most anyone on this forum, and I doubt it had anything to do with you personally.

Look thru the forums, completed projects, and especially the PE Kit labs! Most teachers just want to see that you a learning something about the course. Find what interests you and go after it. Your project could lean hard towards the software side(" ie. a program that does some heavy computations to test the chips capabilities. Or if your good with circuits you could drive some equipment! Hey, Bells and whistles are what sells a lot of otherwise impractical devices) How many people, who don't even smoke, have bought a cigarette lighter just because it had an led light on it and some funny saying on the side?

The only thing funny I found with your post is the ironic fact that this whole website is made up of nothing but ideas. If it's not here, look in the stamp forum for some. It doesn't take a lot to cross over a 5V project to a 3.3V one.

Speaking of Ironic truths such as Lazyness being the mother of Neccesity! Here is a saying that has stopped more young people from trying out their ideas than anything. >>>> Anything worth doing, is worth doing RIGHT<<<<<<.

I've adopted this one. <<<<<<<Anything worth doing, is worth doing wrong.>>>>>>

My first failure took me 6 months to realize it was not going to work. I can spit a failure in less than 24 hours these days.
If this type of work is your desire then let it drive you and put the deadline for the project on the bottom of the list of motivating factors. If this line of work requires deadlines and whips and chains, maybe you should look harder at your major!

Whatever you do,..... Good Luck, and For pete's sake don't loose your humor!!!!!!

05-12-2008, 09:17 PM
Thank you

05-13-2008, 05:00 AM
Reminds me of a course I had once, about microontrollers.
During the first hour the teacher handed out the datasheet for the i8051/52 controller, and briefly discussed it.
Then he told us to 'Build something with a sensible input, sensible output and with this microcontroller in the middle. If you have questions regarding the tools in the lab or where to order parts, then I can be found in my office. Other than that, you're on your own...'

A friend and I built a digital timer with 4relays(support for 8, but the last 4 would require a daughterboard), with LCD, 4 buttons, countdown timer, 10 programs that could overlap, and even an Y2K-compatible clock(accurate to about 1second/week with a bit of tweaking... )
If I was to build it today, I'd make one big change, though... Battery backup...

It all ended up as 3000 lines of assembly code.
We got a 1.5(1 is perfect, 4 is passing, barely, and 6 means the teacher takes you out back and beats you with a clue-stick) on the project, and a stern message that had we included any comments in the code, we might have scored better.

A Timer is a 'very common' project, so if you go that route, you'll have to do something exceptional now, if you want a good grade.
(Mine was built in 1992.)

Another tip...
At the lab they had a stovetop they used for heating etching-solution. This stovetop was the remains of an earlier experiment, and had been donated by the manufacturer a couple of years earlier when a group of students made them a digital thermometer/clock for the stove.

Lesson one; Feel free to ask local industry for projects. The worst they can do is say no, and at best they may give you some kit to work with...

The students was told by the manufacturer that the thermometer ABSOLUTELY HAD TO be correct at room temperature. It didn't matter if it was 5 degrees (Celsius) wrong when baking. The customers WOULD notice it if it displayed the wrong temperature while cold, and would not care if the manual said that was normal. Also, the user would soon learn to compensate for any errors at high temperature without any complaint...

Lesson two; It's not always immediately evident what is important in a project...

Don't visit my new website...

Ken Peterson
05-13-2008, 10:59 PM
priceou86: The reason I asked earlier about your hobbies is that sometimes you can imagine a device related to your hobby (i.e., if you golf - how about a handy score keeper?). Once you imagine such a device, you can think about how you might implement it using a particular device like the Propeller. In this case you can have a couple of buttons, a three digit LED display, a propeller, a battery, etc. Fairly simple.