Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chapter 4 - Experiment 24 Overview

I never got my Alarm System to work quite right back in Chapter 3... after re-checking the circuit board (this one was soldered, so any errors I made will be difficult to fix) I I still can't figure out why it doesn't work properly.

Experiment 24 is all about upgrades to that device. The author suggests using a 555 Timer chip to give a delay after you set the alarm (time to get out of the house)... as well as adding the keypad to activate and deactivate it with a code. Another 555 chip is suggested to add a delay before deactivation (to allow you to enter house and enter code before alarm goes off).

All three are great upgrades, but I've decided to move forward to Chapter 5 rather than go back and try to fix my Alarm System so these upgrades might (or might not) work. My intention with this blog was to perform all the experiments, but on this one I've read the text and understand what the upgrades will do... I may choose to come back and revisit this exercise when I'm done with the book...

I'd still like to see a fully functional alarm system with all these upgrades... so while I ponder doing it myself, I'll create a new contest here. I've got 2 more Maker's Notebooks as prizes. The first two readers who submit a video and a few photos of their upgraded Alarm System that works based on the Experiment 24 writeup will each get a copy. So, if you're working on the Alarm System now, set it aside when done and come back to it for Experiment 24 - you may win a Maker's Notebook if you succeed in getting it to work.

I'll be attending the WorldFest International Robotics Competition this week, so I'll start up with Chapter 5 this weekend. I've been looking forward to this chapter - it's got some very interesting projects to build.

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