Team Mini

What worked:

  • We would like to think everything worked according to plan. We spent a lot of time sketching and discussing overall design, individual mechanisms, and personal projects and goals, so when it came time to implement both the mechanical, hardware and software components, we were well-prepared.
  • Our circuitry was robust both in design and construction. Soldering allowed for permanance and reliability, whereas our use of molex connectors allowed for flexibility and quick assembly of our boards.
  • Our FLICKER construction was robust as well as paid attention to aesthetic details well.
  • Our code was organized and flexible. We could quickly change any pin, port, or timer, for instance. We also had a very easy to use debugging section which allowed us to easily test whether or not our hardware was in order.
  • There was a high level of consistency among all the components of the entire project.
What we would like to improve:
  • In the future, we could improve our collaboration on coding style and format. We would spend more time making all the code more cohesive and unified.
  • We could have been more organized as we built our FLICKER. We often wasted time looking for tools and parts rather than focusing our time and energy on making progress on our project itself.
Greatest achievement:
  • Our greatest achievement came on the night the project was due: after two weeks we could finally rest, but more importantly, we could see other people enjoying something we had poured our hearts and souls into for so long.

Gems of Wisdom
  • Take your estimate for the amount of time it will take to accomplish some task, and then double this number.  But to be honest, experience says you’ll be better off just tripling this number.  Oh, and be sure to frontload.
  • Prototype as soon as possible - circuits, mechanical structures. Fail fast.
  • Constantly simplify your design.
  • Avoid using lamps, though they have a nice glow. They draw far too much current.
  • Communicate with your teammates about progress and who is responsible for what.
  • Don't underestimate system integration.
  • Design for adaptability. Most likely you will need to change a part out, switch a port or two, or use a different resistor value. Allow for flexibility in your mechanical, software, and electrical design from the very start.
  • Take a break when you need one, we all do. Slack off, go outside, throw a Frisbee….I didn’t say throw it again! Go back inside and get back to work, because, that’s all the extra time you have been given.
  • Choose a project everyone on the team will be committed to and will enjoy.
  • Make your project look good.
  • Laser Camm is your friend.
  • Make friends with a PRL shop TA.
  • Have fun!

Blake English | Nina Joshi | Peter Miller

last updated 12.3.09