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Journal 2

Tech Class 2 – Tuesday July 6, 2010

            Tonight was a very busy class! Because of the Canada Day ordeal, we decided to add two hours to tonight’s class, along with an additional two hours to next Tuesday’s class. With that being said, we had a lot of material to cover tonight within our 6 hours.

            Class started with a powerpoint presentation. We have a test next class therefore our prof had to make sure he introduced and explained everything he wanted us to know before the test. Tonight we talked a lot about circuits, sensing, control, and different motors. The first thing we did was review ohm’s law (v=i/r) and the different ways to use that formula. We looked at basic parallel (1/rt = 1/r1 + 1/r2) and series (rt = r1 + r2) circuits, and went over a few examples of using ohm’s law with those circuits. Next, we reviewed binary and decimal numbers. A neat little chart was given on how to easily convert binary to decimal, or vice versa. This seems like a great way for students to always remember how to convert back and forth.

            From there we jumped right into some activities involving phidgets and sensing and control. Along with the hardware kits, we again relied on computers to help us. Visual basic was again the program we used to help accomplish any sensing, switch, or other control type features. Visual basic is a program that uses codes, along with different text and command features to turn lights on and off using switches, or to sense distances from certain areas. We followed along some activities to better understand how things worked. For example, we used photocells, phototransistors, passive infrared sensors, radio frequency identification, pulse width modulation, and motors, just to name a few. All are unique in their own way whereby they sense by light, chips, or human movement for example.

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