Tag Archives: 7-Segment Display

The Final Stretch


This was the first week that my group had all of our needed parts. Since we had previously put some parts together last week, we really only needed to add the new part that we got (the 7-Segment Display). See the picture below for a recap of what we built last week:

Last week’s progress


Arduino Progress

We began by installing our 7-Segment Display onto our Perfboard. We then powered up our prototype to see if the counter would work. Upon first setting it up, some of the LED’s on the 7-Segment Display did light up, but not in non-coherent ways. We then rearranged a few wires and got it so that when we clicked the push-button, the decimal point LED’s would turn on/off. After tinkering around a few more times, we were getting stumped with the push-button and 7-Segment Display. See the picture below for an example of how the 7-Segment Display would light up:

7-Segment Display Example

Luckily, we have incredibly smart classmates to seek help from. I would like to give a huge shoutout to our classmate, Norman, because he was incredible at taking the time to figure out with us where we were being challenged. Norman explained the Arduino code to us to give us a better understanding of what we would need to do in order to get our prototype working. Thus, we decided to jump straight to our PIR sensors since they fundamentally function differently than a push button.

We ensured that our arduino and sensors were working through following this online resource: https://learn.adafruit.com/pir-passive-infrared-proximity-motion-sensor/using-a-pir-w-arduino. Thankfully, we were able to get our PIR sensors working. We wanted to take it a step further by tinkering with the settings of the PIR’s, and we learned that there are physical screws (on the PIR’s) that we could turn to adjust these settings. For anyone interested in learning more about PIR sensors and their settings, check out this link: https://learn.adafruit.com/pir-passive-infrared-proximity-motion-sensor?view=all.

Also, check out our much cleaner set-up (as compared to when we used the push button above) from utilizing the PIR sensors:

New setup

You’ll notice that we do not have the 7-Segment Display on the board. This is because we utilized the Arduino code program to indicate to us when motion is/isn’t detected on our PIR’s. We are going to figure out next week how we would like to keep track of the motion/numbers. One of my biggest takeaways was understanding the different ports and wires on the sensors and how they correspond to the Arduino board. Knowing what each port does really makes the prototyping process much more easy to follow.


Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to stay updated with me on my posts. I look forward to finishing up this final stretch with you!


-Scott Provenzano





Prototypes, Prototypes, Prototypes


This week we devoted all of our time to working on our prototypes. Now that my team has become familiar with Arduinos, Perfboards, Ohm resistors, and the wiring, we were able to begin getting everything connected. Unfortunately, our 7-Segment Display still has not come in, but we still began connecting our Arduino with the Perfboard.


Connecting the Wires

We followed along with some online tutorials on how to connect our wires (source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc9Yw5kgTTM). This tutorial is in Hindi, so we were not able to understand exactly what the narrator is saying, but we were able to follow along with his visuals. First, we downloaded the code to our Arduino, then we connected the wires. In order to fully comprehend what we were building, we tried to really understand each wire and why it was connecting to its designated port. We utilized 7 LED lights to substitute for our 7-Segment Display for this week. This makes sense because each of the segments in the 7-Segment Display are essentially an individual LED light. Thus, we decided to utilize individual LED lights for now to see if we could get them to light up.

After connecting everything, we plugged the prototype into power and began pushing the push button. The result: WE GOT SOME OF THE LED’S TO LIGHT UP AS WE PUSHED THE BUTTON! We could not make much sense of these lights since they were not technically arranged in the manner of a 7-Segment Display, but we were really excited to see some results from our work. Check out our connected prototype below with an LED lit up:


As evident in the picture above, a challenge we had with our prototype was the exposure of the wires/Ohm resistors. We solved this potential issue by individually wrapping the exposed wires with an insulating tape. This helped us ensure that none of exposed wires would touch one another and thus cause issues. Check out our final prototype from today below:

Prototype with Insulating Tape


Ohm Resistors

A challenge that we faced was not having the exact Ohm resistors for our prototype. We needed 470 Ohm resistors, but we only had 170 and 280’s. Through some research, we found that we could simply connect the ohm resistors together and add their numbers to get closer to our ideal number. Thus, we connected one 170 to one 280 Ohm resistor to get a final resistor of 450 Ohms. We figured that the 450 Ohm resistor would suffice in place of the proposed 470 Ohm resistor. Additionally, here is a useful article for anyone who wants to know how to read the resistor color codes: http://www.resistorguide.com/resistor-color-code/.


Moving forward

We are really hoping that our 7-Segment Display comes in next week so we can be ready to begin the testing stage (keep your fingers crossed for us!). Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

-Scott Provenzano