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12 ECE OpenLab Automated Equipment Checkout System
Abigail Starr
Alex Ortwig
David Hickox
Dhruv Mathur design_document1.pdf
Team Members:
Aditya Bawankule, David Hickox, Alex Ortwig, Abby Starr
(adityab2, dhickox2, aortwig2, amstarr2)

Checking out equipment in the ECE OpenLab takes a long time, and it is something that the OpenLab monitors have to do fairly frequently in our job. There are several steps to checking out equipment, including taking down the i-card information, getting the kit, and making sure all of the components are in the kit. One problem we experience frequently is that the kits often come back disorganized with the cables are missing. Additionally, this takes out a lot of time from our other lab monitor duties, such as working on projects, due to the distraction and the timely process of checking out a lab kit.

Solution Overview:
We would like to make a system that can handle equipment checkout, logging of data, and that would keep track of the parts in each box. We could have a locker style system, with one prox card scanner to check out the equipment, and in each locker have a scale to tell if the weight is the correct amount that we expect to return as well as an rfid or bluetooth based identifier per individual kit. We could also have logging and a web interface so that the lab monitors can keep track of which kits are being checked out, and if there are any issues with any of the kits.

Solution Components:
- Hardware:
- Locker Design & Lock
- Physical Locker housing
- Magnetic lock, is locked when power is off
- Solenoid lock
- Microcontroller
- Must be connected to the network to communicate with web interface
- NXP 1064 with custom pcb and ethernet connection
- Locker Controls
- Well labeled button interface (either physical or touch) with lcd for info
- RFID System
- Prox card scanner
- Equipment security
- Weight scales at the bottom of each locker ensure that materials are returned correctly assuming this is not cost prohibitive for the material needing to be stored
- Power
- Connected to AC Power 24/7 (people should be able to get lab kits at any time of day)
- AC-DC power supply purchased to ensure safety and reliability. DC-DC conversion for various power rails (student designed).
- Web interface
- Provide a system for the lab monitors to monitor the system and check on the state of the system remotely also alerts incase of fault states.
- Potential lab user facing side similar to the 391 big brother
- Potentially Microsoft Power BI visualization
- Locker touch screen interface
- User select which locker to open
- Prevents selection of empty lockers
- Displays what contents are in each locker
- Allow users to submit a report about a kit that has broken/missing parts
- Backend data storage
- MySQL database to store users of openlab and prox card information

Criterion for Success:
- Constant access to equipment, provided that ECEB power is running
- Self explanatory locker interface and powerful web interface for administration
- Semi-accurate kit verification system. Ethics regarding potential false accusations are of a high concern and will mean that lab monitor intervention is needed for any issues.
- User input system on locker functions without extreme unnecessary complications

Master Bus Processor

Clay Kaiser, Philip Macias, Richard Mannion

Master Bus Processor

Featured Project

General Description

We will design a Master Bus Processor (MBP) for music production in home studios. The MBP will use a hybrid analog/digital approach to provide both the desirable non-linearities of analog processing and the flexibility of digital control. Our design will be less costly than other audio bus processors so that it is more accessible to our target market of home studio owners. The MBP will be unique in its low cost as well as in its incorporation of a digital hardware control system. This allows for more flexibility and more intuitive controls when compared to other products on the market.

Design Proposal

Our design would contain a core functionality with scalability in added functionality. It would be designed to fit in a 2U rack mount enclosure with distinct boards for digital and analog circuits to allow for easier unit testings and account for digital/analog interference.

The audio processing signal chain would be composed of analog processing 'blocks’--like steps in the signal chain.

The basic analog blocks we would integrate are:

Compressor/limiter modes

EQ with shelf/bell modes

Saturation with symmetrical/asymmetrical modes

Each block’s multiple modes would be controlled by a digital circuit to allow for intuitive mode selection.

The digital circuit will be responsible for:

Mode selection

Analog block sequence

DSP feedback and monitoring of each analog block (REACH GOAL)

The digital circuit will entail a series of buttons to allow the user to easily select which analog block to control and another button to allow the user to scroll between different modes and presets. Another button will allow the user to control sequence of the analog blocks. An LCD display will be used to give the user feedback of the current state of the system when scrolling and selecting particular modes.

Reach Goals

added DSP functionality such as monitoring of the analog functions

Replace Arduino boards for DSP with custom digital control boards using ATmega328 microcontrollers (same as arduino board)

Rack mounted enclosure/marketable design

System Verification

We will qualify the success of the project by how closely its processing performance matches the design intent. Since audio 'quality’ can be highly subjective, we will rely on objective metrics such as Gain Reduction (GR [dB]), Total Harmonic Distortion (THD [%]), and Noise [V] to qualify the analog processing blocks. The digital controls will be qualified by their ability to actuate the correct analog blocks consistently without causing disruptions to the signal chain or interference. Additionally, the hardware user interface will be qualified by ease of use and intuitiveness.

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