Before I start let me give a brief intro about myself. I am Ameya, a first year student studying computers at NITK Surathkal( one of the premier educational institutes for engineering in India and the only one that has a private beach 🙂 ). Before I got here, I had no experience at making circuits at all: my optional at higher school was comp science, so I wasn’t really well acquainted with setting up circuits. Only a few weeks back, I actually saw for the first time what a soldering iron looked like!!
Recently, I attended a robotics workshop that took place at our college. A lot of us were awed at the limitless possibilities in that field. We were asked to form groups of three for the workshop. As a first assignment, we were asked to build a simple IR sensor circuit. It was meant to flash light, when a physical obstacle is encountered by the sensor. On my group were my roomie Vishwas and a close friend Ibrahim. Vishwas had some experience at circuits n stuff from his higher school. Ibrahim knew quite a bit too. And I had no clue about it all.. So, mostly with their help, we built our circuit, surprisingly quicker than everyone else. And I showed off to everyone, calling it an asshole detector, and how it flashes light when I bring it in front of the other person(I wore black, so it would be rendered ineffective against me: black is a bad reflector.. and it would detect everyone else)..
That was quite some time back. Last night, when we were sitting at the Nescafe parlor sipping coffee, suddenly the topic arose about the circuit. We thought we should take the circuit one step further. We had been provided with a microcontroller at the workshop. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to program it, as it would be useful for larger circuits in the future. So at 12 early morning, we sat up to devise a simple circuit, which would be controlled off a microcontroller. I suggested we make a circuit in which alternate LEDs blink for regular intervals of time. I can at least say that I am the better programmer of us three. So we started off… Me with the programming part and the other two with the circuitry. I finished my program quickly, and I waited as Vishwas and Ibrahim finished off with the circuitry. So we connected the controller to the parallel port and tried to burn(read as transfer of instructions from computer, not to be mistaken with ignition) the microcontroller. It was a failure( it turned out due to a loose connection). So we built the circuit again, examined the program for possible errors and burnt it again. We connected the battery, and Voila! The lights were blinking just as we had wanted them to. We went crazy with happiness. We checked the time.. It was 5:30 in the morning. We hadn’t slept the whole night over this!!
All I hope now is that we probably can build essential circuits so as to take part in our college tech fest coming soon.. Hopefully, we don’t end up waking up through the night over it the next time though…