Sunday, 24 February 2008

Bat (detector) Man defeats the 'Evil Black Box'...

Jenny is currently studying for a Degree in Computer Technology. As part of the course she has to produce a project outlining the stages of manufacture of an item. A bat detector (converts their ultra-sonic call into audible sound) was eventually decided upon.
We managed to source all the parts from a really good small electronics shop in Burton-Upon-Trent (that's where I was coming back from when we hit floodwater and broke my car a few weeks ago).
Thankfully a circuit board was included.
There was also a big bag of fiddly components.
It was at this point that I was informed that the study was to be conducted around the manufacture by a third party.... in other words, it was me who had to build it! Great!...
I did my best and was quite pleased with the aesthetics of the end product. Sadly, I was told that this was NOT what was required. Looks like I'd have to use the circuit diagram instead.
As I got to grips with the more serious side, I was very glad of the newly purchased 'Helpy-Hands'.
Why, oh why do they indicate the value of resistors with bands of colour. Very pretty, but if your a bit colour blind like me, they're an absolute nightmare.
"Dear Mr. Resistor manufacturer, can you please print the value of your merchandise in digits. I know you can do this cos you do it on your capacitors. Hell, we even print 'sell by dates' on eggs nowadays. Please keep up with the times...."
I never do get around to sending these sort of letters...
Look! Writing on the capacitors!
As the capacitors, transistors and IC sockets slowly took their places, the board (if you get really close) starts to resemble a little city... You can tell my enthusiasm was beginning to wane and my mind wander at this point.
Next, the fly wires, gain controls, frequency adjuster and IC chips fitted in their sockets.
I can tell you're excited by all this...Oyh! Wake up.
Don't worry, it's almost over...
Speaker, power indicator, battery connector, headphone socket and microphone, all attached.
All this stuff has to be crammed into an enclosure which isn't really big enough. My tip for doing this successfully is to swear loudly and bang your fists on the table. It won't go in any easier, but you'll feel much, much better.
Right, it's all done. I bet you thought it'd never finish....I know I did.
Where's my Degree?!

21 comments:

Lesley said...

I like the first version the best.

Foster Communications said...

Still not quite sure how you got stuck doing the homework, but I agree with Lesley, the first one is much cuter! :)

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

OK, What we want to know now, is did it work or are your bats the quiet kind. and dont use it near any airports shouting Hi Jack.

Elisa, Jarrod, Thomas & Zoe said...

Isn't that cheating if you do it???

I guess the resistor remembering "song' only works if you are not colour blind!

Pablo said...

Ha Ha very good.
As the study was around the third party manufacturer, I expect there was enough research material for a psychology doctorate as well.
I'm sure the conclusion would be a couple of capacitors short of a circuit board.
Pablo.

Russell Hill said...

I'm really, REALLY disappointed with this post. I read the title and was sure this was going to be another one of those really cool Bat utility things that Batman had attached to his aptly named Bat-Utility-Belt.

You can't beat having a can of Bat Shark Repellent ready for that trying time when you're hanging from a helicopter with a shark attached to your leg...

Now get to it and make something COOLER!

secret agent said...

Same situation over here.
We have computer guts everywhere.....the man works in IT.

and.........I spent my entire night writing philosophy summaries for my cousin in college.

is that cheating??????
I think it is, though since I'm in my mid (late) 30's
it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

hmmmmmmmmmm
maybe I ought to write a philosophy summary about that.

Madwag said...

oh wowaz... that is wicked. good job done mate.

photowannabe said...

I think I would bail before even getting started. I like the bat illustration better than all those little knobs and wires.
Did the converter work and I'm sure she got an A++ on her effort....

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

OMG you cut the tip of your finger off??? Are you nuts????
As for the bat box, way to go guys! You got it together.
Oh, and the mountains were fab. You'd have loved em.
xo

JLee said...

I like the little owl looking sculpture best! So what if it's not functional?

somewhere joe said...

I'm proud of you Barkfoot. I suspect with a tweak or two you could convert it into a calibratable countertop cleaver warning device.

Cimba7200 said...

Nice commentry with photos. We would all like to know if it worked afterwards? Maybe it blocked police radar? - Dave

Floderten said...

That first picture of the circuit board with the capacitators looks like a PacMan game to me!

Oh, and thanks for that link by the way! I like the way she blogs, and she's got nice pictures too. :) Great!

Madwag said...

Hi mate... sent you an e mail today...but from my bosses email address. cheers

3D said...

Lots of electronic bits. I would just throw them and hope that the noise would attract the bats.

Keep smilin!

Rob said...

I have been reading your blog from time to time, I really enjoy some of the stuff you talk about. Thanks for the posts.

angelasaspiration's son

Gillian said...

hows that finger already?
you are MIA mr!!!
Hope all is well.
xo

Sharon said...

Very impressive... far too technical for me! So were any bats detected?

secret agent said...

where are you???????????????

did your memory issue make you forget you had a blog

Madwag said...

hey... miss your posts :o(