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MRGS Electronics

The programme of learning in Electronics centres on learning to build, interface and program microcontroller based projects. A full textbook written for the courses, a software application developed to support student learning and all student resources can be found at

Year10 half year

At year10 our half year course students (4 classes) begin learning with a simple darkness detector circuit on breadboard where they are familiarised with standard components, the concept of schematic to layout and the input/process/output model of electronic circuits.

Then they progress to using a simple development board setup (ATTiny461 AVR microcontroller) and learning about simple input and output interfaces using LEDs, seven segment displays and switches. Programming progresses from simple LED sequence flashing to electronic dice, musical tunes and traffic lights. Programming uses BASCOM-AVR a BASIC cross compiler from MCS Electronics.

Year 10 full year

Students carry out the same units of work as the half year course and then design, make and assemble the PCB for an audio amplifier based upon the TDA2822 1W stereo AMP. They then go on to design a case (using Sketchup) to house both projects and build it.

Year 11 (full year- NCEA level 1 Technology)

AT year 11 students progress to using an alphanumeric LCD and learn about ADC and some simple logic programs using another ATTiny461 development board. ADC projects include an LM35 temperature sensor and a voltmeter. Students design a PCB for a 5V regulator and then progress to designing and building a variable PSU PCB based upon a variable voltage regulator such as the LM317, LM338, LM350, LT1084 or L200C. To pass this aspect of the course students must carry out trialling and testing of circuits based upon their own research into datasheets for these regulators.

Year 12 (full year NCEA level 2 Technology )

In previous years students have designed and programmed their own digital alarm clocks this year students are undertaking a project which involves identifying a situation that could be improved upon by collecting and monitoring data. Students often monitor temperature or some other environmental property and collate and graph their results. Students learn about more complex interfaces and the use of state machines to assist them in programming. A development board using an ATMega16/644 and 4 line LCD forms the basis for most projects.

Year 13 (Level 3 NCEA Technology and scholarship)

In their final year at school all students must identify their own client and develop a project to meet the clients needs. A development board with a graphics LCD and ATMega16 form the basis of most projects. Students need to research their own interfaces and many develop extensive and complicated projects, and some students progress to programming in C. Students have enjoyed much success in Scholarship, Bright Sparks, New Zealands national science and technology fair Realise The Dream and international science and technology fairs. A selection of projects from previous years includes:

Smart measuring device Remote garden monitoring and sprinkler system (bilingual- English & Chinese)

Remote controlled lawn mower

Auto levelling camera tripod

American Football thrower

Handheld USB to USB transfer device

Window cleaning robot (year12)

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