Open Source Low Cost Power Measurement System for Solar Energy

This is a project I am currently working on for TED speaker Marcin Jakubowski. The project is for my EE5490 class at MTU: Solar Photovoltaic Science and Engineering, taught by Dr. PearceIt is a multi-channel power monitoring system for a home powered completely by alternative methods. It will be completely open source (as all of Marcin's Open Source Ecology projects are). The project is currently in the design phase, and the notes can be seen below:

Custom Open Source Phone: Parts are in!

Ever disappointed that your phone is missing a certain feature? Wish you knew exactly what your phone was doing ("WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW RIGHT NOW?"). I've felt those feelings, and that's why I've decided to try my hand at putting a phone together on my own. Since this can be a pretty big project, I'm going to start as simple as I can, and start expanding from an established base line. I found a really good place to start is at Adafruit Industries, where they have a 3G GSM modem on a development board with a few on board peripherals (battery charging circuits, voltage level shifting, etc.).

All of the parts accumulated so far

The Resistor Ladder: An Easy to build Digital to Analog Converter

The resistor ladder is a simple to build circuit that functions as a digital to analog converter (DAC). So what are DACs used for? Well the most common use is audio generation. The media files on your phone (or iPod, MP3 player, what have you) are stored digitally on the devices memory. When the music is played, the microprocessor in the device outputs a string of bits to the DAC. That string of bits represents the amplitude of sound at a specific point in time. Now you headphones don't work off binary; they need varying voltages in order to make sound. This is where the DAC comes in; it's purpose is to systematically convert the binary value into a voltage value that can then drive the speaker.


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