Getting Parts for Your Project

Steps for obtaining parts

As soon as you know which parts you'll need for your design, it's a good idea to start acquiring them. There are several methods that varying widely in cost and waiting time. The primary methods are listed below, most desirable first.

Note: Each group has a budget of around $100 for parts and resources that may be charged to the ECE 445 course account. If small parts are needed, it is strongly encouraged that you just buy it yourself. Since there is no required textbook for the course, we figure the small monetary payout is more than offset by the savings in time and hassle for your group. Also, if you intend to keep your project when you're finished, we ask that you purchase the parts yourself.

Checkout Hardware from ECE 445

The Srivastava Senior Design Lab has a wide variety of hardware available for use in projects, including microcontrollers, DSP boards, LINX RF transmitters and receivers, GPS units, webcams and more. These things can all be checked out from you TA for use on your project. Please note that parts that you checkout from the lab must be returned by the end of the semester or your student account will be charged.

Please see the working inventory of all components available for checkout in the lab. This inventory is as inclusive as possible but there may be additional items around the lab - feel free to look around but items must be checked out through a TA.

Electronic Services Shop

The Electronic Services Shop in 1041 ECEB has many parts and components that are freely available to senior design students. You will find many of the passive components you are likely to need. You can check the Electronic Services Shop catalog for a list of parts available in the Electronic Services Shop. Note that there will be some items available that are not in the catalog, so you might want to check with the Electronic Services Shop staff if you do not see something you need on this list.

The Electronic Services Shop also has larger components, such as transformers or large batteries. You will need an instructor to check these out for you. All major parts provided by the service shop must be returned at the end of the semester.

MY.ECE

Parts may be special ordered from Amazon, Digikey, or Mouser through my.ece. Please refer to this tutorial for help using the my.ece purchasing app. Also, ask your TA or check your email for the ece 445 account number. This option requires TA approval before the order is processed. Once you've placed the order, email your TA to let them know there is an order waiting for their approval so that your order can be processed as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the order may be delayed! Since many part orders are usually placed with common vendors like Digi-key, these orders may be grouped into bulk orders placed on Wednesday and Friday.

Parts ordered through this method will be delivered to the ECE Supply Center.

ECE Supply Center

An alternative option is to have the parts ordered from the ECE Supply Center (located in 1031 ECEB). For this option, you will need to fill out an ECE Supply Center Ordering Form and have your TA sign it. Alternatively, you can charge the parts to your student ID if you need to pay for them yourself.

Free Samples from Companies

It should be mentioned that companies many times are willing to provide small quantities of their products to students engaged in design projects. You might consider approaching the manufacturer directly, particularly regarding their newer products which they are interested in promoting. Don't count on success with this, but it has often been very useful.

Personal Purchases

It is always possible and encouraged to purchase your own parts from a local store (Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.) or order them from online vendors. Personal purchases will not be reimbursed by the department.

The Business Office (last resort)

If all of these methods fail, your order will need to go through the ECE Business Office with the help of your TA.

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