Tag Archives: Perfboard

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





3D Scanning & Project Tinkering

3D Scanning My Head

Hi everyone! This week was one that I have been looking forward to since the beginning of the semester–we learned about 3D scanning! I have always been intrigued by the capabilities and implications of 3D scanning; it is so cool that we can use cameras/sensors to scan a physical object and create a digital representation of it. We learned about some different consumer-level 3D scanning products and were able to test one out that we have in the lab (we have an iPad attachment). Each of the class members scanned a bust of their head. We were then able to load these files on TinkerCad and fill-in/smooth-out any imperfections in our scans. We then put the edited files into Cura so we could obtain .stl files to then send to the 3D printers! Check out my Cura model and final print below:

Cura Model

Final Print

A fun fact that I learned was that the Xbox Kinect sensor has the same scanning capabilities as the 3D scanners that we talked about in class. This was exciting for me because I have an Xbox Kinect sensor at home! The way it works is the Kinect sensor gets connected to a computer and we can then 3D scan an object with the proper software installed! Check out a video on this topic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cKb3oEM47E.


Project Tinkering

My group is waiting on one of our parts (the 7-Segment display) to come in so we can dive into the building of our prototype. However, this did not deter us from making progress on our project this week. We each performed different parts of our research needed, and I also started tinkering with our perfboard and wires (see picture below).

Perfboard/wire tinkering

The picture may look overwhelming with the wires, but this exercise was actually very beneficial in helping me understand the use of perfboards. Physically maneuvering the wires along the board allowed me to see where the different ports connect and which positive/negative currents would be affected by certain connections. I feel much more confident moving forward in the coming weeks when it comes to connecting our 7-Segment display and sensors.

One additional update that we have for our project is that we are going to utilize a push button counter instead of a sensor for our first prototype. This is because we want to be sure that our 7-Segment display is going to work with our creation before we dive into the depths of coding. Utilizing the push button will allow us to ensure that our prototype is properly created because we will be able to see our number on the display go up and down as we knowingly push the button. Alternatively, it would be more difficult to see where our prototype is correct/incorrect if we use the sensors right away because it would be harder to narrow down if an issue is with the sensor, coding, or wiring of our prototype.


Extra Note

While my group’s project most likely will not require soldering, I found a useful video on YouTube that gives further insight on this topic incase we any group does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N3ApzmyjzE. This video was beneficial because it allowed me to see how another individual used a perfboard and made his own creation. The more that my group learns about these boards and their different functionality, the better off we will be in using our creativity to make the best possible prototype!


Thank you!

Thank you for tuning in this week. More project updates are to come next week once we have all of our parts!


-Scott Provenzano

Designing our Project

Shapeways Guest Speaker

Hi All! We began class this week with a guest speaker from Shapeways joining us via webcam. She gave us an impromptu tour of the Shapeways facility (really neat to see all of their equipment!), and she spoke to us about the implications of Shapeways in the 3D printing industry. For those who do not know, Shapeways is a “New York-based 3D printing marketplace and service, startup company. Users design and upload 3D printable files, and Shapeways prints the objects for them or others” (shapeways.com).

After hearing our speaker talk, I was curious to learn more about the safety measures and policies that Shapeways has in place in regard to creating weapons. With gun policy currently being a heated topic in the USA, I figured this 3D printing company must have to make many choices pertaining to creating devices that could function as guns. Thus, I asked her to touch on the safety measures and policies in place. She let us know that ballistic manufacturing is regulated by the US government. However, Shapeways would technically be able to gain a license to be able to legally produce weapons for consumers. That being said, Shapeways has taken a stance to not produce weapons so they do not offer such a service to customers. I found this information alarming because it allowed me to understand that a 3D printing company has the potential to legally obtain a license to create weapons. These weapons could then be customized in such creative ways by the consumer in an effort to inflict the most harm upon other individuals. This worries me because it may someday result in new weapons that we have not even seen yet.


Readings & Project Design

On a lighter note, the assigned readings/videos for this week were spot on for what we did in class. They noted that the best first steps to take are to draw out your design, get prototypes as soon as possible, and get feedback from users (which are the exact steps that we plan to follow!). Check out the three pictures below to see some of our drawings and the different gadgets that we played around with. You’ll even notice that we got some lights to light-up on our Arduino!

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

We feel confident that we have all of the parts (except one) that we will need in order to create our Person-Counter device. The last remaining part we need is a 7-Segment LED Display that will show how many people are currently in the desired area (picture below). This piece will be crucial to our project because our device is meant to be free standing, meaning it will not need to be hooked up to an external computer once it has the code loaded onto it. Thus, it will need to have the 7-Segment LED Display to communicate to the user the data that it is gathering.

Picture 4

I became even more excited for our project today after tinkering around with the parts. Being able to physically touch the Arduino, perfboard, wires, etc. allowed me to grasp a much better understanding as to how this device will actually function (the circuitry became much more clear to me). One of my group members, Aubrey, noted that she has worked with Arduinos before and that she would be more than happy to help teach me what she knows about coding and how the devices work. This is extremely exciting to me because my mind is always wondering how electronics work at their core, so I believe this project experience will help me learn what I’ve been longing to know for so many years :).


Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. See you next week!


-Scott Provenzano