engineering senior projects electrical + computer engineering 09

Electrical and Computer Engineering Senior Projects 2009

 



Digital Shower Controller
Electronic Rhythm Conductor
Formula SAE® Programmable Engine Control Unit
LED Interior/Exterior Lighting System
Motor Controller Efficiency Test Stand
Nebula Electric Guitar Effect Pedal
Portable Lock Firmware Data Transfer System
Remote-Controlled Lawnmower
“Smart” Automotive Window Control System
Solar-Powered Battery Management System
T8 Linear Fluorescent LED Conversion Lamp
Touch-Matic Transmission Shifter
Wireless Irrigation Control System
Valet and Security Door Control System

 

Digital Shower Controller

Digital Shower Controller System

Members
Stephen Dage
Jeremy Woyak    

Faculty Advisor
Richard Johnston

 

Project Description
The digital shower controller is a system for regulating the temperature and flow rate of a home shower. The product consists of two components, the user interface hardware and the valve system. The user interface is a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with four push-buttons. The push-buttons allow the user to set the desired temperature, flow scaling percentage, time, and duration of the shower, which are displayed on the LCD display. The valve system hardware features two servo controlled valves for regulating the hot and cold water supply. A sensor transmits the temperature of the water to the controller system. If users wish to change the water temperature, they press the appropriate temperature button, and the system will achieve the new temperature within two seconds. During normal operation, if the water pressure drops due to a user in another part of the house, the system will automatically re-adjust the valves so that the set temperature is maintained.

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Electronic Rhythm Conductor

ElectronicRhythm Conductor

Member
Aaron Davis    

Faculty Advisor
Robert Farrah

 

Project Description
The Electronic Rhythm Conductor is a large electronic metronome designed to help musical bands or ensembles keep tempo as they rehearse their music. The user operates a set of thumbwheel switches to program the tempo, which is indicated on a digital Light Emitting Diode (LED) display. The tempo plays with both an audible beep and an LED cluster flash, and can be started and stopped with a “Tempo Enable” slide switch. A switch controls power to the entire unit.

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Formula SAE® Programmable Engine Control Unit

Formula SAE Programmable Engine Control Unit

Member
Jonathan Ruszala   

Faculty Advisor    
Robert Farrah

Sponsors
Accurate Technologies
Bosch Motorsports
ETAS
Pi Shurlok
Wind River

 

Project Description
In this project, the student created a new engine control unit for Lawrence Tech’s Formula-style racing car that controls the vehicle with greater flexibility and functionality. The unit monitors data from all vehicle sensors, calculates the appropriate actions, and tailors its outputs based on internal calculations. The unit creates a stable underlying engine control platform that allows for the future integration of more advanced features, which may include controls related to active suspension, variable length intake runners, variable electronic turbocharger waste gate control, active brake biasing, and adjustable traction control.

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LED Interior/Exterior Lighting System

LED Lighting System

Members
Richard Grodzicki
Joseph Scheuerman   
Jesse Trudell

Faculty Advisor
Leonard Moriconi

 

 

Project Description
This product manages the flow of power to lighting systems used in public and industrial buildings. Under normal conditions, the power supply for a Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and emergency lamp system would be supplied by batteries that are charged by solar panels on the property. In the event that insufficient energy is supplied by the solar panels due to weather conditions or excessive power requirements, this lighting system would automatically switch from the solar panels to the electrical grid to maintain the battery supply voltage needed to comply with LED lighting requirements.

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Motor Controller Efficiency Test Stand

Motor Controller Efficiency Test Stand

Members
Nathan Clark
Stephanie Frederick   
Adrian Snyder
Dan Witting

Faculty Advisors
Robert Farrah
Richard Johnston

  

Project Description
The students designed a test stand to develop an energy management procedure that will produce a significant improvement in the overall performance of Lawrence Tech’s Formula SAE® Hybrid Element One development vehicle. The test stand will be used to optimize the efficiencies of the motor and motor controller system. An additional investigative element is to determine if the addition of regenerative braking will improve or degrade the performance of the kart.

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Nebula Electric Guitar Effect Pedal

Nebula Electric GuiterEffect Pedal

Member
Eric Thompson   

Faculty Advisor
Richard Johnston

  

Project Description
The Nebula combines all of the features a guitar player looks for in an effects unit. It is user-friendly, highly adjustable, cost-effective, and compact. With its wide variety of tones and options, the Nebula has a sound all its own. From fuzzed out modulated organ sounds to spacey laser ray gun sounds, the Nebula guitar effect pedal pushes the sonic envelope. Essentially four effects in one, the Nebula offers adjustable fuzz tones, octave up generation, multiple octaves down generation, octave up/down mix blend control, and global tone control. The unit also allows the user hands-free control of certain effects via foot switches. For added versatility the Nebula employs various adjustable potentiometers and expression controls.

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Portable Lock Firmware Data Transfer System

Portable Lock Firmware Data Transfer System

Members
Paul Downen   
David Koss

Faculty Advisor
Ronald Foster

  

Project Description
The Portable Lock Firmware Data Transfer System provides an easy and secure way to upload and activate new firmware into a door lock processor. It automates the process of updating firmware on mounted lock key readers and creates a cost-effective way to deploy updated encodings with a minimal amount of hardware. The design includes a portable device capable of receiving, storing, transmitting, and activating new firmware on an embedded processor and a graphical user interface for uploading compiled firmware files to the portable device.

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Remote-Controlled Lawnmower

Remote Controlled Lawnmower

Member
Monnie Holt   

Faculty Advisor
Richard Johnston

  

Project Description
The remote-controlled lawnmower gives the user the ability to mow lawns from a distance of up to 300 feet with a joystick that directs steering and control. When the safety bumper on the mower encounters an object, the mower reverses for one second and then stops.

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“Smart” Automotive Window Control System

Smart Automotive Window Controller

Members
Andrew Kaniewski   
Jonathon Moss

Faculty Advisor
Rakan Chabaan

  

Project Description
This product senses an automobile’s exterior conditions – rain, temperature, and amount of light – and reacts by opening or closing the car’s windows. When it is raining, the “Smart” Automotive Window Control System will automatically close the vehicle’s windows. During extreme heat, the system can be programmed to open the car’s windows by a small amount to allow the vehicle to cool before the driver enters and sits down. When the system senses darkness, the vehicle’s windows will automatically close.

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Solar-Powered Battery Management System

Solar Powered Battery

Members
Eric Willard
Patrick Williams   

Faculty Advisor
Robert Farrah

  

Project Description
This device combines the “green” energy conversion and mobility of a solar unit with the testing capability and resiliency of a traditional alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) charger. The system consists of four main parts: system control, battery testing, solar-powered battery charger, and AC-powered backup charger.

This system provides a flexible reliability not available in other products. Battery chargers are available to convert AC to DC and higher-end units often include built-in battery assessment capability. These units, however, require the charger to be plugged into an electrical outlet, which limits their flexibility. Solar-powered battery maintainers that provide a trickle charge to a battery operate only when the sun is shining. The Solar-Powered Battery Management System functions under both conditions.

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T8 Linear Fluorescent LED Conversion Lamp

T8 Linear Fluorescent LED

Members
Nathan Boos
Raymond Morency   
David Posigian

Faculty Advisors
Lisa Anneberg
Kelvin Shih

 

Project Description
The purpose of the T8 Linear Fluorescent LED (Light Emitting Diode) Conversion Lamp was to create an environmentally friendly, LED-based, low-energy light fixture that can be used to replace the typical two-by-four-foot T8 fluorescent fixtures. This LED fixture achieves similar lighting outputs and comparable maximum and minimum lighting ratios as the traditional T8 fixtures. This project satisfies current Michigan Energy Code and National Electric Code requirements, including having an optional battery backup circuit for emergency conditions.

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Touch-Matic Transmission Shifter

Touch-Matic Transmission Shifter

Members
Nidal Ali
Steven Gordon   
Arvin Manni

Faculty Advisors
Lisa Anneberg
Leonard Moriconi
Benjamin Sweet

 

Project Description
The “Touch-Matic” shifting system allows the user to change gears from park, reverse, neutral, and drive using a touch screen interface. This system eliminates the mechanical shifter assembly and replaces it with an electronically controlled direct current (DC) motor connected to the transmission swivel pin. Moving the swivel pin actuates the appropriate gear within the transmission, whose interior components are not changed by this project. A key safety feature is that the system will activate only when the brake pedal is depressed. The touch screen displays “P-R-N-D” and “Apply Brake to Shift.”

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Wireless Irrigation Control System

Wireless Irrigation Control System

Members
Christopher Antovski   
John Hartner
Nicholas Jaskowski

Faculty Advisor
Leonard Moriconi

 

Project Description
This project conserves water used to irrigate home and commercial lawns and farmland. The system includes earth moisture sensors that can be strategically placed to determine the need for water for different types of soils, i.e., sandy, clay, or loam, which may exist in a given section of land. In the event of rain, the system will disable the moisture sensors until the rain subsides and the sensors can determine the need for additional moisture. The system user also can determine and select moisture settings for different areas of the land.

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Valet and Security Door Control System

Valet and Security Door Control System

Members
Andrew Hudson   
James Parker

Faculty Advisor
Ronald Foster

 

Project Description
This project improves upon existing security door control systems by manipulating radio frequency (RF) technologies. The main components of this automatic entry system are a DC motor, microcontroller, and RF transceiver. The DC motor handles the opening and closing of the door. Because safety was a primary goal, the team utilized infrared obstruction detection as well as a current sensing circuit to prevent the door from closing on people and objects.

The microcontroller controls both power management and the data transfer for the transceiver. It uses two external inputs for positively controlling all door transitions. Security is maintained through the use of a unique RF transmission method that uses a double security feature: once a user card receives the proper code from the door, it then sends a completely different code to open the door.

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