ENGR 121 - Hardware and Software

The Living WITH the Lab first year experience boosts hands-on learning through student ownership and maintenance of the “lab.” Each is provided with a robotics kit, a programmable controller, sensors, servos, and software to provide the basis for a mobile laboratory and design platform. Students are also provided with a set of tools and two software programs 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. Students are responsible for purchasing their own laptop computer.

items provided to student teams
description and purpose

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).


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.

power supply

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

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


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).


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.


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.

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Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, Louisiana