About this project
Thank you kindly for taking an interest in my Multi-Sensor Electronics Learning Board Kickstarter campaign! Stretch goals have been added, and project videos can be viewed in the project updates!
Many thanks to everyone who helped to make this kickstarter so successful. It happened so quickly! That said, I will now be putting up stretch goals! For right now, I only have one, but I will add more by the 30th of January.
Stretch Goal#1 ($3000 - SUCCESS!): If this kickstarter receives more than $3000 in pledges, then I will include a 5mw laser attachment for all reward levels relative to pledges of $17 or more! This laser attachment will plug directly onto the power supply pin block for easy use!
Stretch Goal#2 ($6000 - Almost There!): Wow! I didn't expect such a great response! Thank you all so much for your pledges. For pledges of $17 or higher, I will be including an active-low buzzer attachment. This little guy packs a loud punch, and acts as an indicator. It can be used in laser tripwire circuits, earthquake detector circuits, clap circuits, etc! I'll be using this buzzer attachment in some of the upcoming project videos. It is very easy to use, and on its own it is Arduino compatible. If you have questions about this buzzer, please feel free to send me a question. I will be adding another stretch goal this week for $8000, but I need to come up with a clever and useful goal, so stay tuned!
Stretch Goal#3 ($7200): With the final days approaching, I'm going to throw this out there. I wanted to offer a component kit to anyone pledging $17 or higher if we are able to hit $7200 before this kickstarter has run its course. This component set is comprised of a programmed PIC microcontroller, two resistors, a red LED, and two capacitors. It will also come with a pin header for easy connection, and a schematic diagram. If this stretch goal is kit, I'll also make a video showing you how to put it together on a breadboard. The Function? This programmed microcontroller will be used to toggle logic. The learning board does not have a toggling function. This will allow for the users to easily make toggle on/toggle off circuits. This will even work with the infrared sensor output. The IR sensor output can have false triggers caused by ambient light. This chip will act to filter out said false triggers, and allow for the user to toggle perhaps the buzzer or relay attachment using most of the sensors. Of course, I'd make a video for it that would showcase the function. All you would need is your own breadboard or protoboard! I'm hopeful that we can make this happen!
Here are the main components for stretch goal#3:
My name is Patrick Mitchell, and I own a small online electronics store called Engineeringshock Electronics. Our inventory consists of mainly DIY electronic kits, modules and components. The majority of the wares located at http://www.engineeringshock.com/ are designed in house, and by me. In the past year, I have been spending more time on educational electronics such as the Multi-Project Electronics Learning Board. This Multi-Sensor Electronics Learning Board is essentially a little sister to that board, and the prototype PCBs are fresh off the press! The V1.0 board is Arduino compatible, and the V2.0 is both Arduino & Raspberry Pi compatible. My end goal is to have these neat little boards in schools and hobby stores across Canada, and the US within the next year, but in order to do that, I'll need the funding to produce them in volume. A chunk of the funding will go towards advertising, and the last of the funds will go towards having these boards professionally assembled at an outsourced location. This costs quite a bit of money. My fundraising goal is $1200, which will go towards just that! I sincerely hope that you'll find this project interesting enough to support it. There is a lot to be learned with these easy-to-use sets, and I hope that you'll take the time to watch my video!
Let's Talk Sensors!
I designed this board specifically with sensors in mind. There will be two versions of the board. One will support six sensors, and the second version will support seven sensors. I will be creating videos that go over each of the circuits that will be available to the public. The board on its own employs five sensors: Sound (Microphone), light (Light dependent resistor), vibration (Vibra sensor), magnetic (Reed switch), and IR (Infrared). The infrared sensor allows for you to read signals coming from your TV remote control! The first version of the board will come with PIR (Passive Infrared) motion detector plug-in capabilities. The second version will have both the PIR plug-in capability as well as thermistor plug-in capability (Heat sensor). The board is powered by a 9v 1A wall adapter. You simply plug it in, and you are ready to go! There will also be a relay board plug-in option that will allow for you to control AC devices with ease! Depending on how much you pledge, you can receive many different variations ranging from a bare printed circuit board, to the entire hardware set. The board also has a 555 timer circuit setup in Monostable mode, which allows for you to create long or short pulses based on sensor states, as well as two non-inverting amplifiers, one variable voltage reference (Variable resistor), and two voltage comparators. The 555 timer circuit employs a variable resistor that allows for you to lengthen or shorten pulse width, and the two amplifiers each have their own dedicated variable resistor to make precision adjustments to gain (amplification). There are more features, so I'll break it down simply, Here are the features:
1) 5x On-Board Sensors (Sound/Light/Magnetic/Vibration/Infrared). A magnet will be included for most rewards so that you can easily play with your magnetic reed switch.
2) V.1 – PIR (Motion Sensor) plug-in capabilities // V.2 - PIR + Thermistor plug-in capabilities
3) Relay plug-in capabilities
4) 2x Non-inverting operational amplifiers with adjustable signal amplification (Gain)
5) 2x Voltage comparators
6) 1x Variable resistor, which acts as a variable voltage reference (For the comparators)
7) 5mm power jack for plug-and-play operations
8) 555 timer based pulse widener (Monostable Configuration) with precision adjustment via variable resistor. A manual on-board momentary button trigger allows for easy calibration
9) Female-to-female wire connectors (Included in most rewards) allow for easy connections, and make the board easily interface with other circuits such as Arduino and other prototyping platforms
9) An on-board red 3mm LED indicator.
10) Comprehensive downloadable manual that will include links to the tutorial and project videos, as well as schematics, footprint descriptions, and troubleshooting tips!
11) There will be a minimum of five youtube videos that will go over each of the circuits on the board. These videos will be easy to follow, and practical. The math will be kept to a minimum. This board was designed for beginners after all!
The board has several areas that contain clocks of male pins. Each pin has it's own name and purpose. There is a power supply pin block that contains several regulated 5v pins and common ground pins. There is a comparator pin block that allows for you to connect to the positive and negative terminals of the two on-board voltage comparators. The sensor selection pin block allows for you to select between the magnetic sensor, the light sensor, the microphone, or the vibration sensor. The PIR pin block has three pins that allow for you to interface the learning board with the PIR motion detector accessory. The V2.0 board will have a thermistor pin block that will be used to interface the board to the thermistor accessory. Lastly, the main pin block will support the remainder of the input and output signal lines. Making connections between each block will be easy, and fun!
As mentioned above, I will be making a bunch of videos that will act as practical tutorials. We will discuss each of the circuits on the board over several videos. In school, I found great success in coupling basic theory and lab together. This is what I will be doing in the videos. The video below is a sample of what my videos are like. The product talked about in the video below is NOT the multi-sensor learning board, but it does employ comparator circuitry, so you will benefit in two ways by taking the time to watch the video. Firstly, you will have a chance to learn about voltage comparators in advance, and you will also see my method of teaching. The videos for the Multi-sensor electronics learning board will follow the same video format, although I will be including close-up images of the learning board so that you won't have a hard time mimicking the connections that I make in the video. Have a look if you have a few minutes!
As soon as this campaign is launched, I will begin work on the tutorial and project videos. These videos will be uploaded regularly to my youtube channel "Patrickikis". Once all of the videos have completed, I will begin work on the manual. The videos will likely take about two weeks or so to complete. The manual will only require about eight hours or so, give or take. The PCB design is almost complete for Version#2. I only require a few hours to make the necessary changes.
Two weeks after the campaign is launched, I will publish an update that will discuss the progress of the manual. This first publication will also include the links to the completed youtube videos. Each video link will have a detailed content description.
Three weeks after the campaign has been launched, I will ready the order for the PCBs and the components for the manufacturing company. Lead time for assembly will be about seven business days, and incoming shipping will take about three business days. I should be able to determine at this point whether or not this campaign will be successful.
By this time, it should be nearing the end of February. This campaign will only last thirty days, so at this point I will be aware as to whether or not I was successful in completing my goal to raise $1200. If successful, I will immediately have the manufacturing company assemble the units to about 80%. I will personally handle the remaining 20% of the assembly process in house. Each board will be tested thoroughly before being sealed in an ESD safe bag. This will take about two to three evenings to complete, depending on how successful this campaign is. The goal is to have all of the necessary materials ready for shipment by the end of February. At the very latest, the first week of March.
The Manual will be sent out within a week after the campaign has completed. This PDF file will be sent directly to your email. If your reward included an empty PCB, it will be sent out the same week in a small white envelope. All rewards should be in transit by no later than the end of the first week in March.
Risks and challenges
The great thing is that I honestly see very little challenge in completing the project. I have excellent and reliable component sources, and I have worked with a PCB assembly company in the past. They do great work! There is a small possibility that my primary part sources run out of stock of certain components, but such components would be easily re-sourced elsewhere.
That said, there is a lot to be done. I have to create the youtube videos and the manual so that when this campaign has ended, I am fully ready to distribute the rewards. I'm very experienced in both procedure writing, and video-tutorial creation. I have a youtube channel with more than three hundred electronic-based videos/tutorials, and I have been writing procedure and documentation for years. If you are interested in checking out this channel to see some of my past tutorials, please feel free to have a gander:
The real challenge will be to successfully achieve my goal of having these boards in hobby stores and schools within a year to a year and a half. Relative to distributing rewards on time, I see no issue at all!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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