In Iowa State’s EE 333 course, I was exposed to electrical engineering practices for hobbyists. For our first project in the class, my lab partner and I decided to create a homemade analog thermometer. We decided to use LEDs to show relative temperature, rather than programming an LCD to display an exact number. Throughout the course of this project, we learned how to use the PCB (printed circuit board) modeling software: KiCAD. Below I have included a picture of our finished PCB. My roles in the project included helping design the printed circuit board and selecting components.
Because this was the first board either of us had ever made and ordered, we realized quickly how different it looked in real life versus the computer. On the computer we had plotted and nicely wired up a board; in real life we saw we had huge spaces between our components. Now, in Senior Design, we have been designing PCBS and I have been keeping in mind everything I learned from 333.