Brian Palacios and Ramona Fittipaldi
On Monday, July 13, the morning started off with a lecture by Jared on transistors. Transistors have two primary functions: as an electronically-controlled switch and as a current amplifier. They were categorized as BJT, JFET, or MOSFET. The differences among the transistors and their applications were explored. The group then ventured to the lab, read chapter 9, and completed the activities in What is a Microcontroller?
After lunch, Jared lectured on 555 timers, which are integrated circuits (chips) that are used in various timer, pulse generation, and oscillator applications. Then we went back to the lab to continue to work on transistors and to begin working with 555 timers. One activity included building a circuit with a digital potentiometer (instead of a manually adjusted one), a transistor, and LED. The Basic Stamp adjusted the digital potentiometer, which in turn adjusted the LED’s brightness (see picture to the right). Then we read Chapter 6 “Recording Frequency” from the book Basic Analog and Digital and completed additional activities. To wrap up the day, many teachers worked on Chapter 8 “Frequency and Sound” from What's a Microcontroller?, where they were able to code different musical notes.