I went into the class with a fairly short to-do list—much shorter than last year’s. I managed to cover the following:
- Went over syllabus .✔I showed them the syllabus and managed to go over scheduling of labs, partner work, and online texts, but did not get to some of the boilerplate about cheating and about disability services. ✘ Oh well, it is enough that the boilerplate is on the syllabus.
- Demoed pressure sensor ✘ with PteroDAQ on KL25Z board. I hooked everything up and it didn’t work. I fixed one problem of a loose wire (using the jeweler’s screwdriver, but it still didn’t work. I did manage to show them PteroDAQ and used gnuplot to show them a pressure trace I had recorded in the BME88A demo last quarter.
- Reading the book and doing design well before lab.
- Assigning reading due tomorrow and Thursday.
- Partners changing every week, so no one gets a free ride for very long and no one has to suffer with a freeloader.
I was thinking that I’d use the chalkboard a lot, so I used the small screen in the classroom (this classroom is ridiculously over-equipped with projectors, even having a project for a screen at the back of the classroom) rather than the big one, which covers most of the chalkboard. But I ended up using the projector to show them parts of the book and to use the document camera to show the KL25Z board and instrumentation amp protoboard, and barely used the chalkboard at all.
The rearrangement of the labs, with soldering on Tuesday, sampling and aliasing on Thursday, and the thermistor labs next week does give me a little leisurely start-up than last year, as I don’t have to get to Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s current law until the voltage-divider lecture on Friday.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with how the first day of class went, despite the demo failure. I’ll debug the demo and show them either in lab tomorrow or in class on Wednesday. I just hope I haven’t fried the instrumentation amplifier with static—they’re expensive and I don’t know whether I have any spares on hand.
Update 2015-Mar-30 17:58: When I got home I checked out the board to figure out what might be wrong. After probing for a while with the voltmeter, I determined that the wire that had come loose from its screw terminal and that I had fixed in class was not the only wire that had come loose. The one next to it had also come loose. It still looked ok, but wasn’t making contact. Opening the screw terminal, reinserting the wire, and tightening it down again fixed the problem.