Project 1: Teardown

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Your first assignment is to take apart an electronics object and document it. Some ideas of things and places to find them:

  • talking kids’ toys at the dollar store
  • an old CD player you have around
  • your old cell phone or digital camera
  • pick up something good at the Gowanus e-waste warehouse

Battery powered devices are best, as are ones that play sound, light up, and have buttons. Items that aren’t quite complicated enough for this project:

  • hair dryer
  • wired headphones
  • most kitchen appliances like toasters

Select something that’s easy to get NOW, do not order anything online for this project.

Do not select something that is dangerous to take apart, like a CRT monitor (ask Becky if you are unsure). Please be careful not to puncture or bend any lithium batteries that may be inside your object.

You will be evaluated based on the following guidelines:

  • Take lots of well-lit photos during the disassembly process
  • Consider taking video as well (optional but encouraged, consider timelapse)
  • Photograph all the parts spread out on a table in some kind of order (consider knolling your parts)
  • Identify the materials used for each component
  • Identify the manufacturing techniques/equipment used to make it
  • Look up part numbers on chips and find out what they do (searching the part number + “datasheet” helps)
  • Make a list of the tools and techniques you used to take it apart
  • Select two design elements that interest you and describe why you think the designer(s) made it that way

Your assignment will be turned in as a blog post here, with the following requirements:

  • Blog post title will follow format of Object Name + “Teardown”, for example “CD Player Teardown”
  • Blog post must be in the Teardown category
  • Due by 8pm Tuesday 9/17

For inspiration:

Here’s my first teardown from 2006, much simpler than the ones you’ll turn in but hopefully encouraging anyway!

Additional week 1 homework:

We won’t meet for class next week since I’m traveling, but the following week we will have two classes (regular time and a makeup class Thurs 9/19 2-5pm). To keep us on schedule, please complete the following for next class:

Sproutly

Meet Sproutly!

I’ve failed to properly take care of many plants I’ve had throughout the years. Forgetting to water them, leaving them too close to open windows during the winter, and forgetting what type of light settings they thrive in. I created Sproutly as a tool to improve my relationship with my plants and I hope that it’s something that is useful for you, too!

Sproutly consists of two main functions: it has a moisture and light sensor that will track the plant’s physical healthiness and a sound detection microphone that is installed to encourage you to speak with your plants. Speaking to your plants will help them thrive because we should all show them a little more love and care, AND the carbon dioxide emitted from your breath is crucial to their growth and survival.

The idea is that a light is connected to both sound and moisture sensors and the light will act as a visual notification system. Sproutly will remind you to speak with your plants twice a day and will also remind you when your plants need water. Additionally, it is an IoT object, so you will also get text notifications.

Materials Used:

Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266

Electret Microphone Amplifier – MAX9814 with Auto Gain Control

Chirp! The Plant Watering Alarm

NeoPixel Stick – 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery – 3.7v 500mAh

Lots of wires

1/4″ Thick Translucent White Acrylic Sheet

This is a work in progress, and here are my next steps: 

  1. connect moisture sensor to feather huzzah and write code
  2. incorporate text reminders through IFTTT