Hello general populous,
We’ve been nice and busy lately. Having the opportunity to present to different crowds has been an awesome learning experience. We’ve been able to talk to more and more people about our device and SXSW and teacher conferences and we have another presentation scheduled soon with the Ann Richards Foundation. However, preparing the presentations has taken a lot of time out of our class and our actual device was no longer progressing. As I made it my goal to fix this issue, I realized that we are NOT down to the finishing touches like I thought we were. There is still a lot of work to do in order to get a working device by the end of the school year.
(RGB LED: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8718)
First off, the wiring was all kinds of messed up, so I scrapped all of it and started over, seeking fresh ideas from teachers and the internet. I found that we had some LED’s at school that produced a much more powerful light than we’d seen in our LED’s. I connected theses lights to our 9V battery in parallel circuits of two and produced some awesome light emission. With the white lights covered, I moved on to searching for better green lights. With a bit of research I found high power RGB LED’s on a lovely sight called Sparkfun (check out their website: https://www.sparkfun.com/) at a totally reasonable price. The order request has been submitted, so hopefully next week I’ll be able to implement our new lights with the new circuit design.
(Parallel Circuit on breadboard- Courtesy of J. Hess)
While working on the new circuit I decided to nix our power issue as well. The 9V alkaline battery works perfectly well, but doesn’t fit very well into our device. I did some more research and decided to take action on Zach’s suggestion to use Li ion batteries. Those have also been requested, along with a holder, and will hopefully be in soon.
Some other things that we’ve know we need but have done little to obtain are a plate to hold the lights in place, a lenses to intensify our light, and a reflective lining for the inside of the flashlight head. These are all issues I will address first thing Monday. We may need to reprint our device to accommodate these changes, so we need to get on top of things quickly.
(Possible lense for device: http://www.dx.com/p/19-8mm-led-acrylic-lens-for-flashlight-5-pack-41689#.VRcXrvnF_Z0)
Over all, we’re in a pretty good place, but the year is going to come to a close very quickly, so it’s vital that we stay focused through the end. I hope that when we finish this project we will have a device that we can be proud of.
Until then, stay safe,
Here’s annother awesome site for your making needs: http://www.adafruit.com/
Your project sounds like it’s coming along great! You should all be extremely proud of yourselves for not only sticking with your original project idea from last semester but also creating such an excellent outreach and audience now interested in your product. I’m not sure how far you want to continue with this product post graduation but if you want to actually create and manufacture these items then you might consider making a kickstarter video (https://www.kickstarter.com/) to help gain attention and support.
I think it’s awesome that you’re personally still getting a chance to use some of your electrical engineering skills to work on this project with. Based on your work with circuits, batteries, and LEDs, I assume that you’re (at least slightly) passionate about these electrical engineering skills.
Some advice for your future blog posts, you might provide an extremely basic summary of your project, because for someone (like me) who’s unfamiliar with your project, I found a little confusing reading about this project, because I was unaware of your end goal.
Also for other people reading this who might be possible supporters of your project, they might be extremely interested in the idea of your project but they just don’t know it. This may prove especially helpful in your outreach process.