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Wanted: Capstone Project Suggestions

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Sep 12, 2006.

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  1. Guest


    I'm taking a non-calculus based Electronics I course at a local
    community college using Malvino's text, _Electronics Principles_. My
    goal is to work for hospitals repairing medical equipment. This
    semester we are covering the text's following chapters:

    * Semiconductors
    * Diode Theory
    * Diode Circuits
    * Special Purpose Diodes
    * Bipolar Transistors
    * Transistor Fundamentals
    * Transistor Biasing
    * AC Models
    * Voltage Amplifiers

    By the end of the semester, I need to turn in a capstone design
    project. I'm looking for ideas for a project that will be challenging.


  2. On 12 Sep 2006 14:22:01 -0700, in
    Duh, how about reading it?
    Or are you asking something more profound?

    Never heard of malvino anyway cos I'm ancient

  3. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Start with a crystal set, then add a transistor, then add another
    transistor and a speaker. Then, on another breadboard, build
    an oscillator, a modulator, and an output stage, and talk to
    your receiver. :)

    For extra credit, build in 80 db noise immunity, or build it
    for VHF. ;-)

    Good Luck!
  4. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    What's a capstone?

  5. Tim Auton

    Tim Auton Guest

    A device for reading a project idea which does not yet exist would be a
    truly wonderous thing. But I suspect it's beyond a basic electronics

    Does anybody know exactly what 'Voltage Amplifiers' encompasses (and
    excludes)? It's not a familiar technical term to me, though of course
    its literal meaning is clear enough.

  6. BobG

    BobG Guest

    I thought the thread was about Capstone 30KW microturbines that are
    being used for landfill gas energy recover.
  7. 1. The top stone of a structure or wall.
    2. The crowning achievement or final stroke; the culmination or acme.

    It's current educational jargon for the final project in a curriculum.
  8. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Ah, a "class project" or a "senior project." Impressive terminology.

    Capstone is also a high-end microwave cae suite, I think.

  9. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Hi, Ed. Malvino is one of the standard texts for technician track
    courses. It's a good book. But, like any textbook (I think the
    current edition is over 1100 pages), the teacher will be jumping back
    and forth and skipping around.

    I'd hope by this time you have a pretty good idea of your capabilities
    and potential in the class. But you may not yet know the things you'd
    need to knopw to figure out what a real learning experience project
    would be.

    Tell you what. Why don't you try asking the teacher for advice. I'll
    bet he/she'll be happy to oblige, and offer you suggestions for
    projects that not only will be worthy of a good grade, but will be a
    learning experience that will reinforce your classroom experience.

    Good luck
  10. Since you're looking at medical equipment repair, you want to do
    something related to that, like an amplifier for EKG or EEG or EMG, or
    something to automatically read equipment leakage current, or generate
    simulated heart waves or something. Maybe you could design the project
    around a microcontroller, so it could do multiple things. You can get
    evaluation kits for some of them for less than $100.
  11. I meant to say, you _might_ want to do something related to that. :)
  12. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    Do hospitals repair their own equipment?
  13. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Guest

    Create a working cell phone jammer that will fit in my pocket and jam
    cell phones in a 25yd radius around me. You could then market it as
    a driving safety device which "Keeps others focused on the task at hand,
  14. There is no RF technology in the course. So, I'd do it at baseband
    audio. Make an amplifier that converts microphone signals into a current
    flowing in an n-turn (*) frame antenna, about 0.5 m square. Now make a
    receiver with a bobbin-type ferrite-cored inductor (around 22 mH) as the
    magnetic antenna. Talk from your magnetic transmitter to your magnetic

    This is easy to get going, but there's quite a lot of subtlety in there.
    For example, the signal spectrum is different at different places in the

    (*) This will work for any value of n, but there is an optimum value,
    depending on the supply voltage to your amplifier and the maximum
    current it can deliver. The antenna has inductance as well as
    resistance. This has interesting effects, both locally to the amplifier
    and globally to the system performance, which you can analyse in
    different ways and write a 3-voume novel on.
  15. The course is all about analogue. Suggesting a microprocessor is
    predictable but inappropriate.
  16. Guest

    Our "small-town USA" hospital did, and probably still does, when
    possible. A year or two ago, I chatted with an older gentleman who had
    been one of the techs, there. They had a "shop" area with lots of
    spiffy Tektronix and HP test equipment. Apparently, a lot of medical
    equipment also needs to be regularly tested.

    - Tom Gootee
  17. Guest

    Or (since I used to be a crossword addict): apogee, peak, pinnacle,
    summit, top, zenith...

    - Tom Gootee

    "He who lives in a glass house" should not invite "he who is without
  18. John Ferrell

    John Ferrell Guest

    Think about a curve tracer. It can be pretty simple or very elaborate.
    A signal, pulse or function generator?
    Switcher type power supply?
    An audio amp for bench work.
    A 555 timer from discrete components?

    John Ferrell W8CCW
  19. Even if the capstone project is only for the particular course, most
    analog stuff ends up digitized at some point or other, and it wouldn't
    hurt to learn something about that process. In any case, he's free to
    take what he likes and leave the rest.
  20. But he hasn't learned about microprocessors, so his capstone project is
    most likely to fail. I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

    I gave him something that appears to suit his course, has challenges at
    several levels but is easy to get working to some extent. It even
    includes its own yardstick of effectiveness - the range over which
    communication can be achieved. With the antennas I specified, a range of
    several feet, even through walls that don't contain significant amounts
    of metal, is possible.
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