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Poster 18

Design Oriented Microcomputer Lab Project


Ronald P. Krahe
Penn State University-Erie

This course builds upon the students' introductory coucses in microprocessors and digital design. The objectives of this course are to introduce problem solving under uncertainly, the product development process, and low level interfaciig. The course consists of two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week for sixteen weeks. Approximately one sixth of the lectures are spent on the product development process, one third on learning the archiiecture and assembly language of tbe 8051 microcontroller, and the remaining half on specific design problems.

first at a fixed speed. then anywhere from fifty to one hundred percent of rated speed, under no-load to full-load conditions. The final lab adds serial communications between a PC and the embedded control, allowing remote selection and display of motor speed. All students complete the semester at different levels according to their abilities and successes along the way. Most completed the third group and a few went on to the final lab. Practical issues covered in the first display lab include familiarity with the 8051 m i c r o c o ~ l l e architecture, r low-level interfacing, output signal drive capability ind t i m i n g ,and LED characteristics. The next lab addresses driving multiplexed displays, average LED power, software delay loop versus interrupt timers, parallel processing, and qualification testing of acceptable flicker. The last introductory lab deals with polled versus intempt pushbutton inputs, input switch debounce in hardware versus software, and an added requirement to rapidly advance through the displayed
number.

In the beginning, a typical company organization is presented, and the concept of a development team is introduced. The class attempts to answer the questions: 1) What is the role of each department in the product development process; 2) what is each one especially interested in, 3) what can each member best contribute to the process; 4) specifically what is the role of the engineering member; and 5) what interaction does the engineering member have with each other member. The specification documents are viewed as a means of organized discussion of the product development amongst the team members. The customer representatives and the government regulatory representatives prepare the requirements specification; i.e. whar the customer wonts. This also usually includes' input from the service representative. Then the engineering and manufacturing members address these requirements, and answer them in the design specification; i.e. whar the company can provide. Finally, the quality assurance and reliability departments specify what tests will be run to insure that the &sign meets the requirements. This is spelled out in the qualification specification.
For each lab problem, the students must "buy into" the assignment by writing out the problem in the form of requirements, design, and qualification specifications before entering the lab. This helps obviate misinterpretation and justification of inadequate W w during lab. The teams of one or two students then w performance build the circuits on proto-boards, write and simulate the control m 0-2 program on the PC workstation, then download the program and test the complete product according to the qual spec. Most 0 0 hardware assembly and wiriig is also done before coming to lab. All labs contribute directly to the final project, a DC motor speed control and tachometer with PC remote. The labs are 2 m ! ? progressively more difficult, build on previous labs, and become P more open ended as the semester progresses. Initial labs include CO N displaying a single seven-segment digit, displaying a fixed 2 fivedigit number on a multiplexed display, and selecting and ci any fivedigit number via pushbuttons. The next lab 8 displaying ? covers reading and displaying the speed of the DC motor. In the 0 third group of labs, the students control the speed of the motor,
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The tachometer lab considers photodetector sensitivity versus maximum motor speed, time versus frequency measurement, the effects of ambient light, and polled versus interrupt speed sensor input. The speed control lab t r e a t s pulse width modulation versus linear motor drive, dealing with multiple timers, dealing with multiple interrupts, resolution of speed control, feedback control and instability. The final lab introduce PC interface to an embedded control via Rs232, and using polling and interrupts together.

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Ron Krahe received his BSEE from Case Western Reserve University in 1 % 9 , MJ3A from University of Utah in 1972, and MSEE from Gannon University in 1991. From 1969 to 1973, he designed and maintained aircraft ground test equipment for the US Air Force in San Antonio, Texas. From 1973 to 1977 he designed and installed an IBM 370 mainframe computer shop floor control system for Parker White Metal Company. From 1977 to 1989. he developed several microcomputer based control systems for medical equipment at American Sterilizer Company. In 1989,he joined Penn State University, Behrend College, and is presently Assistant Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology. He also does consulting on sensors and microcomputer controls. He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania, and is a member of IEEE and ASEE.
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1993 Frontiers in Education Conference

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