ENGR 121 - Required Hardware and Software

The freshman curriculum, called Living WITH the Lab, provides a boost in hands-on learning by putting the ownership and maintenance of the “lab” into the hands of the students. Each student will purchase a robotics kit with a programmable controller, sensors, servos, and software to provide the basis for a mobile laboratory and design platform. Students will also purchase tools and software to allow them to work on projects independently outside of the classroom. Student-owned hardware and software broaden the spectrum of projects and design topics that can be addressed.

You will need all of the items that you purchased for ENGR 120 (see the ENGR 120 website for details) as well as the items below. You should purchase the items below before class 2.

Some local suppliers (for more suppliers, click here):

Radio Shack (I-20 and HWY 167 N) Louisiana Tech Bookstore
Tool City (HWY 167 N just past city limits) Pierce Hardware (HWY 80 across from Church's Chicken)
Backus Hardware (I-20 and HWY 167 N) Do-It Center (HWY 33 N of I-20)
Lowes (shopping center behind Walmart) Walmart (service road on N side of I-20)

Some online suppliers:

Harbor Freight Tools: www.harborfreight.com (retail store in Shreveport) Radio Shack: www.radioshack.com
Omnitron Electronics: www.omnitronelectronics.net McMaster Carr: www.mcmaster.com
Parallax: www.parallax.com Jameco Electronics: www.jameco.com
MSC Industrial Supply: www.mscdirect.com MPJA Online: www.mpja.com

description, sources and approximate cost

Description: Parallax 4x20 Serial LCD (Backlit)

Purpose: This LCD will be used to display the status of your fishtank (temperature, salinity, status of valves, status of heater).

Source: www.parallax.com (part number 27979)

Approximate Cost: $43


Description: 16 inch 3-wire female/female extension cable (14 inches or larger is fine)

Purpose: This extension will come in handy when you wire your LCD to your microcontroller.

Source: www.parallax.com (part number 800-00160)

Approximate Cost: $2.30

power supply

Description: 12 Volt Power Supply (1.5A or greater)

Purpose: You will need a power supply for the fishtank system.

Source: Varous sources. Power supplies are available locally at Radio Schack. A 12VDC, 1.5A "wall wart" with a 2.1mm (ID) x 5.5mm (OD) barrel jack.

Approximate Cost: $5 - $30

Note: One per team is sufficient.


Description: Breadboard

Purpose: To provide room to implement additional circuits for controlling the fishtank. We recommend a breadboard with about the same number of holes as the one shown in the picture (840 tie-point breadboard).

Source: Various sources including www.amazon.com (serach for 840 breadboard).

Note: One per team is sufficient.

ENGR 121 - Optional Items


Description: Switch, switch box and cover plate

Purpose: Switches are handy for turning power on and off to the measurement and control system (Arduino) and to the pump.

Source: local builing supply storewww.parallax.com (part number 27979)

Approximate Cost: $9 for double switch and $3 for the box and cover.

Note: One per team is sufficient.


Description: Terminal blocks for two circuits

Purpose: The terminal block provides a good place to tie the electrical supply to the fishtank system, preventing wiring from pulling out when the system is bumped.

Source: www.mcmaster.com (part number 7527K42). You can probably also find terminal blocks at local autoparts stores.

Approximate Cost: $1.38

Note: One per team is sufficient.


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Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, Louisiana