ECpE Senior Design


Previous Projects - Dec 2006


Jump to Project:
Dec06-01: FM Transmitter for MP3 Player
Dec06-02: Parking Meter – Phase #6
Dec06-03: Job Offer/Continuing Education Evaluation
Dec06-04: Geek Binary Alarm Clock
Dec06-05: Database of Services for Disabled Adults and Children
Dec06-06: A Wireless Identification System to Assist Sight-Constrained People
Dec06-07: Fermentation Vessel Control and Automation
Dec06-08: MotoFreedom
Dec06-09: Garage Parking Indicator


Project Number: Dec06-01   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: FM Transmitter for MP3 Player
Description: This device will receive an input signal from an MP3 player (or the results of project May06-01) and rebroadcast it. The device is to receive it signal input from the headphone jack of an MP3 player and its power input from the cigarette lighter/power socket in an automobile. It should be easily tunable to transmit on any desired frequency in the FM band (88-108 MHz). The ability to preset multiple selectable frequencies within this range is also desirable. The minimum transmission distance is to be at least twelve feet. It should recognize when there is an input signal and turn itself on automatically or when there is no input signal and automatically turn itself off after one minute.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Grant Blythe EE Anthony Hunziker EE
Luke Erichsen EE Jacob Sloat EE

Project Number: Dec06-02   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Parking Meter – Phase #6

Description:Previous teams have developed an automated parking meter that includes a dual-processor (with redundant memory) master and a single-processor client to serve a parking lot with up to 999 parking spaces. This team will help support customer testing beginning this semester and will help produce a second client unit. Each client does/will include a coin acceptor, printer, keypad, and display. All communications to/from the master unit are/will be through a client unit.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson

ISU Parking Division
Attn: Doug Houghton

Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Kristen Goering EE Ryan King CprE
John Scapillato EE Justin Smith CprE

Project Number: Dec06-03   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Job Offer/Continuing Education Evaluation

Description: Many high school and college students need assistance in planning for the next stage of their life. Possible choices may include attending a tech school, a community college, a university, a graduate school, or accepting one of multiple job offers. The objective of this project is to provide assistance in making the best choice for that particular individual. A previous senior design team has developed most of an Internet-based program to assist in evaluating job offers based on personal preferences regarding a large number of parameters. The objective of this project is to complete the job offer evaluation portion and to design and develop the continuing education portion.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson Client:
Senior Design
Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Stephanie Cox CprE Randy Gebhardt EE
Matthew Lien EE Luke Wenz CprE

Project Number: Dec06-04   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Geek Binary Alarm Clock

Description: The purpose of this project is to develop a digital alarm clock to display the current time in binary format. The clock is to be capable of displaying its results in either twelve-hour format (XX:XX:XX with an AM/PM indicator) or twenty-four hour format (XX:XX:XX). Other features (stopwatch, elapsed time, dual time zone) may also be implements if possible. It is also to include a settable alarm function, be self-correcting for daylight saving time changes, and be able to ride through power outages of at least two hours in duration. The resultant end product is to be implemented to the level of a completed consumer product, including PCB layout, supporting power supply, and attractive case. Additional requirements for commercial production should be evaluated if possible.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Diana Calhoun EE Matthew Koch EE
Kelly Melohn EE Yesuratnam Thommandru CprE/ComS

Project Number: Dec06-05   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Database of Services for Disabled Adults and Children

Description: In keeping with some previous senior design projects (such as EPICS – Engineering Projects In Community Service), which provided valuable aid and services to persons in very unfortunate circumstances, this project offers its participants not only a challenging design experience from which to learn but also an opportunity to use their technical capabilities to help those truly in need. The Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS) has recognized that even the most well-informed social welfare professionals (system end users) often are not aware of all the possible options available to provide aid and services to all potential welfare applicants. Many databases are available to the end users that list the types and sources of aid and services that may be available to potential applicants under a large variety of conditions and requirements. IDHS has requested that an access system be developed to help the end users access these databases in a more efficient and comprehensive manner to better identify potentially available aid and services for their applicants. The system is to be designed so that it provides guidance to the end user in identifying and entering into a single, online form the specific information, circumstances, and needs of an applicant. Using this information the system then should extract from the databases all meaningful options for aid and services that might be available to the applicant. The system should evaluate and prioritize these potential options to indicate which are the most applicable to the applicant’s needs and circumstances. Using the applicant information initially entered once above, the system then should prepare for submission the various applications needed to request the appropriate aid. As an initial step in the development of such a system only one of the major databases available to the IDHS will be considered. It is envisioned that the system will eventually be expanded to include all of the databases and information sources available to IDHS and other state and federal agencies.

Faculty Advisor(s): Manimaran
Client: Marion Kresse
Iowa Department of Human Services

Team Makeup:
Kyle Curran CprE Seth Gillespie ComS/CprE
Carlos Ortiz CprE Ryan Wiegel CprE

Project Number: Dec06-06   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: A Wireless Identification System to Assist Sight-Constrained People

Description: Identifying food products once they have been purchased and brought home is a difficult task for a person with little or no sight capabilities. The ability to scan barcodes and determine whether the can contains beans, peaches, or soup is currently available as a computer hardware/software add-on. The problem is that it is not practical to carry a group of cans from the kitchen to another room where a computer is located each time a meal is being prepared. The objective of this project is to design, implement, test, and document a portable wireless device that could be placed in the kitchen. This device could be used to: (1) scan a barcode on an unknown can, (2) wirelessly transmit the barcode to the person’s computer in another room, (3) receive back from the computer the description of the can’s contents (chicken noodle soup), and (4) speak the can’s contents in a synthesized voice. Since barcodes exist for more items than food, the system should be easily expandable to these other items.

Faculty Advisor(s): Wang Client:Iowa Department of the Blind
Curtis Chong, Program Administrator
Field Operations and Access Technology Iowa Department for the Blind
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: (515) 281-1361
Fax: (515) 242-5781

Team Makeup:
Jerad Harmsen EE Nicholas Kayser EE
Daniel Ketcham CprE/EE Rajesh Venkatachalam EE/Fin

Project Number: Dec06-07   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Fermentation Vessel Control and Automation

Description: A mock fermentation vessel is available for use by senior chemical engineering students to conduct experiments in their final laboratory course. This vessel currently uses archaic methods to operate the equipment and to collect data.

A new method of operating the equipment and collecting data is desired. It should incorporate LabVIEW software and will require some new instrumentation. Those involved on the project will need to identify the appropriate equipment to use and write LabVIEW code to collect all necessary data. They will also need to install and test the new equipment and software in the laboratory, and provide information about the equipment, including instructions on how to use the LabVIEW program that is written. Funds will be provided to purchase new equipment, and some is already available in the ChE laboratory. In addition, a ChE senior student will be available to provide expertise on the fundamentals of the fermentation vessel and may be available to participate more fully on the project.

Students selecting this project should have a basic understanding of LabVIEW or the desire to learn LabVIEW programming, and should be interested in instrumentation and automation of industrial processes. They must be willing to work with engineers on a multi-disciplinary team and be able to understand basic principles of fermentation.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chen Client:Stephanie Loveland
ISU Dept. of Chemical Engineering

Team Makeup:
Andrew Arndt EE Adam Daters EE
Bradley Deserano EE Austin Striegel EE

Project Number: Dec06-08   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: MotoFreedom

Description: Alzheimer’s disease and dementia currently affect a large and growing segment of the population. Most people who are initially diagnosed with these conditions will not be immediately placed in a care facility, but will remain in their homes for years before requiring a higher level of care. However, they will not be able to live on their own; a close family member typically stays in close contact in order to take care of them. This situation can become extremely stressful for both the caregiver and the cared-for due to the constant presence required to ensure the safety of the cared-for person. This stress can eventually cause a significant degree of caregiver fatigue that may even begin to manifest itself in deteriorating health of the caregiver.

Current solutions include taking the cared-for person along when the caregiver leaves the house or leaving a note in a prominent location for the cared-for person to read any time they get nervous about being left alone. The first solution is only practical for some errands, and doesn’t mitigate the fatigue issue. The second solution is effective for some circumstances, but doesn’t provide the caregiver and cared-for with an ability to communicate, and, thus, may not provide either caregiver or cared-for significant peace of mind. An alternative, as conditions deteriorate, is to pay for someone to take care of the patient for awhile in order to give the primary caregiver a chance to take a break from the routine and to do other things such as shopping. However, this can be a significant expense, and may not be practical for many people facing this situation.

The objective of this project is to design, implement, test, and document an inexpensive, easy-to-use communications system that employs a large easy-to-read display that can be mounted in a home. With this system the caregiver could leave a message for the cared-for person, which could be updated remotely by the caregiver. For example, an original “I’m shopping for groceries” note could be updated to include “I’ll be home in 10 minutes” near the end of the shopping trip. The system must also provide a one-button push-to-talk capability to enable the cared-for person to communicate directly with the caregiver. It could also include a camera function, allowing the caregiver to check in on their loved-one remotely without ostensibly intruding. Communications technologies to be considered should include, but not necessarily be limited to, cellular and unlicensed systems, such as Family Radio Service (FRS.)

Faculty Advisor(s): Kim Client: Motorola
Team Makeup:
Andrew Charlet CprE Donghoo Kim EE
Ahad Mir EE Shariq Siddiqui EE

Project Number: Dec06-09   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Garage Parking Indicator

Description: The goal of this project is develop an electronic device for installation in a garage that will indicate when a vehicle reaches the correct parking location in either of two parking spaces. This is an electronic equivalent to the old trick of hanging a tennis ball on a string so that it just hits the windshield when the vehicle is in the correct position. The device should automatically turn on and off when a vehicle is entering (or leaving) the garage.

Faculty Advisor(s): Tuttle Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Kevin Finck EE Lars Kulseng CprE
Richard Seals CprE Daniel Wiltse EE