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I need a project idea based on my strength or interest. :)

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Good day, everybody!

I am a 3rd year (final year) student in B.Eng E&E Engineering programme. I have to find a project title for my final year project within this week (before 24th Oct 2003). Well, it is not compulsory to get one for myself, since the school will assign one for those who can get it one their own. But I prefer to propose the topic, rather than taking the risk of getting a project that requires a knowledge that I am not good at. I have 20 weeks time for completing the project.

The list below describes my ability background.

Strength:
VBA (Visual Basic for Application – similar to Visual Basic)
Database (SQL)
ASP (Web programming)
Flash (Web programming)

Interest and currently doing self-learning:
PIC (microchip)
JAVA

Weakness:
Telecommunication (Fourier series etc)

I also have a general knowledge on:
Digital and Analogue Circuit
C++

I am seeking for an idea on my project title. Please suggest a good/interesting project title if u have one. Any opinion is welcomed. Thank you.
 

bmcculla

New Member
Hello,

You could design a web-based data aquisition system. Using an embeded mictrocontroller with ethernet to gather data, temperature, engine speed, etc. and host a web page showing the data. This would leverage you web design abilities while bringing in sime embeded micro stuff.

You could even save the data to a database on a host computer. You could also use the controller to control a porcess in addition to monitoring.

Ethernet based industrial data aquisition systems are a hot topic right now so your porject would be up to date.

I know Maxim, Zilog and Rabbit Semi have ethernet microcontrollers. Check the magazine "Circuit Cellar" for ethernet based microC designs.

Hope This Helps

Brent
 

Sherif Welsen

New Member
bmcculla said:
Hello,

You could design a web-based data aquisition system. Using an embeded mictrocontroller with ethernet to gather data, temperature, engine speed, etc ...

Would you provide me with a link or complete details about that project " Data Acquisition " wether it use the net or not.
Thanks in advance.
 

bmcculla

New Member
hello again,

I've seen some neat projects using a PCMCIA WiFi Card and an embedded controller. The PCMCIA interface isn't that complicated. You could do some cool wireless web stuff with this simple setup.

If you want something more software based you could implement a JAVA virtual machine on a microcontroller. You'd really know JAVA after that project. A real time operating sysem would also make a neat microcontroller software project.

Hope this helps.

Brent
 

bmcculla

New Member
Data aquisition is a very generic term; you can aquire anything you want. Data aquisition is the sampling of data from sensors of some sort. The web side of the project is just how the data is displayed/stored.

The system could sample and send sound data through the web. Video is going to require too much processing power for a simple microcontroller. The media player/ real player formats require complicated compression algorithms that are going to be hard to fit in the small code sizes of an 8 bit micro.

I'd recommend you start off sampling something simple like temperature that changes very slowly. The projects I've seen just parses through HTML Code in the MicroController and insert the data value. The modified HTML is then sent with a simple web server across the web.

Once you have that working you can sample and send something a little more complicated. You should look into XML for this. XML Is designed to allow data of any kind to be sent like HTML. The XML data can then easily be put into a database.

I'm not familiar with methods to send time critical or high bandwidth data like sound. You could theoreticaly just put the raw sound data into TCP/IP packets and send them across the web to a decoder that reasembles the samples to play. I wouldn't try this until you get something simple working though.

Hope this helps
Brent
 

Sherif Welsen

New Member
bmcculla said:
... I'd recommend you start off sampling something simple like temperature that changes very slowly. The projects I've seen just parses through HTML Code in the MicroController and insert the data value. The modified HTML is then sent with a simple web server across the web...Brent

Would you have a helpful link or a complete tutorial describing a detailed projects:?:
 
finally, my supervisor agree to let me have the project title "web-based data aquisition system"

.i have to submit a project specification to him. However, in that form, it states that the project have to be 80% of original idea, which i may find difficult, since this is just a PIC + ethernet, and i found many books/information on that.

How to make it 80% original as required?
 

bmcculla

New Member
I don't think you need to make all your hardware peices original- you just have to make the total application something new. Just think of something that isn't generally thought of as internet based and use that. In other words the data that you aquire and process makes your project unique.

Some ideas:

1) Web based AC Power quality and energy meter - Measure how much power your house uses as well as how sinusoidal the AC wave is. The web interface allows you to monitor your power consumption from a centralized location. The idea behind this is it allows the power company to adjust electricity supply or price for dynamic pricing based on the demand. Might help prevent things like east coast power outage.

2) Web based EKG - measures a persons heart rate and sends it over the internet to a hospital for monitoring. A EKG analog circuit is actually fairly easy to build- just make sure its battery powered so you dont electrocute anyone.

Or anything else you would want to know about from a distance.

Hope this helps
Brent
 
I have met a lecturer (he is from Private Sector). He asked, why don't we use a "standard method" which using a computer and connected with the device? it's cumbersome to connect the ethernet device to the socket.

He also stated the device might be useless as it requires a area that is full of wires and with ethernet ready condition.

furthermore, knowledge of Encryption is required as someone might break through the wire and aquire the sensitive information.

he said I might run out of time before i can complete this project...
 
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