Course Overview

Welcome to ECE 445! If you've looked at the course Calendar, you've probably already noticed that this class is quite different from most other classes in the department. The class only meets as a whole for the first few weeks of the semester. During these lectures you will meet the Course Staff, learn about specific assignments, requirements, and resources for the course, and have a chance to meet other students to share ideas and form teams. These are some of the most important weeks for the class since the decisions you make during this time will determine what you'll get out of this class and, in many ways, how much you'll enjoy it.

Outside of lecture, you are expected to be working on your own to develop ideas and form teams. You are also expected to actively participate on the Piazza discussion board to exchange ideas, receive feedback from course staff, and eventually get your project idea approved. Once your team has a project approved, you will be assigned a TA, with whom you will have weekly meetings. Think of your TA as a project manager. Keep in mind that they are not there to do the work for you. Rather, they are there to keep you on track, point you towards resources (both within and outside of the department), and evaluate the result of your efforts.

Expectations and Requirements

We have high expectations for students participating in ECE 445. You are soon to be alumni of one of the top ECE departments of the world. Our alumni hold themselves to high technical and professional standards of conduct. In general, projects are expected to be safe, ethical, and have a level of design complexity commensurate with the rigor of the ECE Illinois curriculum. Requirements for specific assignments due throughout the semester can be found by looking through the Grading Scheme for the course. Please read through this documentation well before each assignment is due. Specific due dates can be found on the course Calendar.

Below are a few words of wisdom to keep in mind throughout the semester to increase your enjoyment and success in the course:

Pocket Pedal - A Bluetooth Controlled Effects Box

Kaan Erel, Alexander Van Dorn, Jacob Waterman

Pocket Pedal - A Bluetooth Controlled Effects Box

Featured Project

Our idea is to make an inexpensive alternative to traditional pedal powered guitar effects boxes. Essentially, we hope to implement a single aftermarket effects box that can be remote controlled via a mobile app. This low-power, Bluetooth connected application can control the box to change effects on the go. The hardware within the effects box will be able to alter the guitar's signals to create different sounds like echoing, looping, and distortion effects (and possibly more). These effects will be implemented using analog circuits that we will design and construct to be controlled by an app on your phone.

This project eliminates the expensive buy-in for a guitarist hoping to sound like any number of famous musicians with multiple effects pedals. On top of this, it also aims to get rid of the clutter that comes with the numerous pedals and boxes connected to an amplifier. Many pedals today don't even have a visual interface to select effects through some sort of menu. The app will also provide a much more handy and portable visual representation of the possible effects all from the phone in your pocket!

Team:

Jacob Waterman jwaterm2

Kaan Erel erel2

Alex Van Dorn vandorn2