Friday, February 18, 2011

Concept Phase

I am currently going through a concept phase, generating ideas that might be included or useful in the project.

In consideration of the hardware itself, I am thinking of using a USB connection to power the UV device. I need to consider the following:

1. Does the XO have powered USB connectors? The ideal answer here is Yes. Otherwise, the device will have to have an independent power source.

2. Turning the device on and off.

a. The device should have a timer.

b. It should be mechanical instead of electronic, to conserve power for more water sterilization. It will have to be attached to the device. A mechanical stopwatch might be ideal for this, with a power-saving trigger that turns off the UV light when sterilization is complete. This solution may be the easiest and quickest to implement, although it adds to hardware costs.

c. A digital timer on the XO display is a possibility if there is enough power. This would be ideal for educational purposes and could be incorporated with relevant software. Functions included with this software would be Start Purification, Stop, Diagnostics, and perhaps an efficiency gauge measuring water purified in relation to power used. This solution reduces hardware costs but increases software demands.

d. A timer is not necessary if this device works in tandem with biological/water purity sensors that may be developed by another project. This would combine projects into a larger, more complex development.

3. An option to minimize power use by XO's while triggering multiple units to engage in water sterilization mode.

a. Can Mesh Network be used to send commands to multiple XO's to trigger their USB ports, thus turning on the sterilization device, without activating their cpu's?

b. If so, then software can be developed for a management unit, which would send the commands to the other units through Mesh Network. This engages sterilization of multiple bottles of water simultaneously and has the added benefit of saving valuable power from being used by the processors.

c. Mesh Network

1 comment:

  1. Some questions have been answered by the research, and some new questions have been discovered. Here is a quick summary of the answers to the questions in this post so far:

    1. Yes. The connector is powered.
    2. The simplest solution here is plug it in to turn it on and unplug it to turn it off. A manual switch would be better, but adds cost to production. A software switch is also a possibility if software is developed.
    2. a. The timer will have to be provided by the person facilitating use of these devices. Once again, if software is developed, this function could be handled by software on the hub XO.
    2. b. The mechanical option will be provided by the person operating the hub XO. For educational purposes and home use it would be better to have a software timer developed.
    2. c. Another function to be added would be something to measure opacity of the water. The more contaminants in the water, the more likely that the water should also be physically filtered to remove sediment and/or heavy metals.
    2. d. I changed my mind. A timer (of some kind) is absolutely necessary for educational purposes and to regulate the time used to treat batches of water efficiently.
    3. I don't know enough about the Mesh Network project yet. I hope it can be adapted to this project, but this is of lower priority than getting a prototype device functional.


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