Pre-Graduation Uncategorized

Automatic SMPS tester, Senior Design, and much more


Its been quite a while since I last posted.  Apart from my summer internship, my current 18 credit semester, and IEEE, I have had little time to post.  I’ll just be reporting very quickly on some of the things I’ve been up to.

ACS711 Current Transducer Breakout
ACS711 Current Transducer Breakout

First off, one of my courses this semester is Computer Network Design, basically an intro to IT for computer engineers with a bigger focus on implementation in firmware and such.  As some of you may know, I have worked as a switching mode power supply designer before and consider myself fairly proficient.  Testing SMPS can be annoying so my group and I are working on a network connected SMPS tester using SNMP (Simple Networking Management Protocol).  The project is currently using:

  •  FRDM-K64F development board
  • MQX-RTOS with the RTCS (Real-Time TCP/IP Communication Suite) which has SNMP capabilities
  • ACS711 Current Transducer (senses current up to 31A) on the input and output lines
  • possibly an external ADC
  • possibly relays or opto-isolators  for switching in resistive loads.


The goal for the class is to have a device that comes loaded with an SNMP agent and can do simple testing.  Then a user can connect to the device from their desk and initate testing on power supplies currently hooked up to the device.  Should an issue arise, the SNMP agent will throw a trap to the manager and alert the engineer to the problem as well as halt the testing.


Secondly, this is my last year at university.  I am working with a couple other individuals on a project that will stream audio to various connected devices.  While I would love to say more, it is not my idea so I don’t want to say too much.  At this point I am working on the hardware side with a raspberry pi to use our own specific codec board.  Since we have a very specific application, we need very specific functionality.  As a result, I am in the process in laying out a board for my group.

North Necklace  Alpha Prototype
North Necklace
Alpha Prototype


Third, I am working on a project with my brother to create a necklace that uses a compass to let a user know when they are pointed north.  The project is in early alpha and is currently using an LSM303DLHC and the Arduino environment.  We will be moving to beta phase very shortly using a KL02 ARM-Cortex M0+ 32-bit processor from Freescale Semiconductor.  We will also be changing the sensor to a newer chip that is recommended for new designs.


Lastly, seeing as how I am no longer pursuing the Interceptor project, a.k.a. LED wall, I have released all of the design information on my github.  Most of the project was focused around making a development board for the application although none of them got off the ground until I found the LPC4337.  From then on, I worked with the LPC4337, and the folks over at NXP, to create the device.  Sadly with my internship and my pledged partner gone, I cannot continue the project.  With that said you can find all of the design documents here.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pick the project back up someday, although at that point, the design work I’ve done will be almost certainly obsolete.




By Shannon Strutz

It's over on the About me page