Category Archives: Cool Projects

Circuits and Code — Fall 2014

imageCircuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Thursday, 4 December 2014, starting at 6PM at M5. There will be pizza, posters, and a presentation. Please sign up using EventBrite (circuitsandcode-dec2014.eventbrite.com) so we know how many people are coming!

If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.

The 7:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.

See you there! Again, please sign up using EventBrite (circuitsandcode-dec2014.eventbrite.com) so we know how many people are coming!

— Chuck Malloch

M5 Museum – Data Storage on Magnetic Tape

Hey ECE people!  Surely you’ve seen the M5 museum on the way in the door.

What you may have seen, but didn’t know you saw, were these large rolls of magnetic tape.  10.5″ diameter, to be precise.

Each roll holds about 2400′ of tape.  That’s, like, half a mile.  Look a little closer, and you’ll see some cryptic labeling.

BPI stands for “Bits Per Inch,” and CPI stands for “Characters Per Inch,” which, because the characters are in ASCII, is another way of saying “Bytes Per Inch.”  BPI and CPI convey the length of tape required to store one bit or byte of information.  The tapes have 9 tracks, meaning that there are nine parallel stripes going lengthwise down the tape.  Each track holds one bit, so there are 9 parallel bits across the width of the tape.  SO COOL.  ~Patrick

The Y-Zone

For those of you who know about M5’s DIY t-shirt printing machine, and wondering what happened to it, don’t worry….M5 will soon create a YUDU Zone, where anyone in the ECE Department will have the opportunity to put their creativity to the test. For those who would like to know more about this, I’ll just say that when in the Y-Zone you will design and print your own pictures, quotes and more on your own t-shirt.

If you’d like to get a feel for it, check out this YUDU tutorial:
http://www.whatdoyudu.com/tutorials/default.aspx
And stay tuned for more info on the Y-Zone.

UMass Amherst engineering students get into Intel sponsored competition

In exactly 5 months and 7 days, two senior design project teams along with their faculty advisers from our ECE department will be participating in the Intel-sponsored Cornell Cup USA competition that will be taking place at Disney World!!!!!

The two teams are the Automated Aero-Painting System (AAPS) and the Augmented Reality teams, whose advisors are Professor Moritz (with Professor Grupen from the Compsci department serving as co-advisor) and Professor Wolf, respectively. To find out more about these teams and their projects visit the links bellow:

AAPS –  http://www.ecs.umass.edu/ece/sdp/sdp12/moritz/

Augmented Reality – http://www.ecs.umass.edu/ece/sdp/sdp12/wolf/

For those who don’t know about the Intel sponsored college-level embedded design competition please visit http://www.systemseng.cornell.edu/intel/. The competition is a great way to apply the skills you attained throughout your college career, and it is an exciting way to wrap up your college career as well. I mean its Disney World!!!

 

Peace,

-Edmar G.

Did ya know? – M5’s Sealed Concrete Floors

Hey everyone, did you know that this past summer, a huge operation that involved the UMass Physical Plant, some of the M5 staff, and several volunteer ECE students led to the sealing of M5’s concrete floors? Well now you do.

The somewhat dusty floors of M5 has been banished using technology! And all it took was laboriously shuffling the furniture and general stuff between Euler’s Good room (formerly known as the Good Room), the Pi Room (formerly known as the Round Room), and the Shop in order for the crew from the Physical Plant to apply several coats of sealant on the concrete. The greatest effect of this is that the floors are much easier to sweep, and consequently reduced the amount of dust in M5. So enjoy one of M5’s newest features, and help keep M5 clean!

-Rodrigo

 

Impomptu Kirby dance on the clean floors:
<( ** )> <(**<) (>**)>  ^( ** )^
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Saturday workshops at M5

Let it snow… Let it snow

While NE anticipates a storm

very little know

M5 is ground zero.

 

It is 12 pm, October 29th, M5 opens its doors for engineering students to come expand their traits upon Chuck’s Xbee and Sean’s PCB design workshops.

Why Xbee? Well… XBee radios can be used to replace long wires in distributed electronic projects. These radios can replace serial communications links as well as pass digital and analog data. They are small (the size of a quarter), inexpensive, and can be configured to run a long time on a coin-cell battery. Applications include monitoring power consumption, instrumentation and control of distributed processes, investigation of network topologies and protocols, and cool gestural enhancement of electric guitars. Chuck’s hands-on seminar focused on digital and analog line passing and serial communications.

Across from the XBee workshop room, other students learn PCB layout and circuit prep for manufacture. By using Eagle Editor, Sean and his assistants, Edmar and Rodrigo, took students through the fundamental steps involving circuit layout/design and circuit preparation for manufacture.The coolest thing about this workshop is that students get the opportunity to materialize circuits that are products of their own ideas for their own purposes. The workshop allowed these engineering students to absorb the necessary specs behind the organization of circuit components before the design is sent for the ultimate PCB product.

**Pictures will soon be posted…

-Edmar G.