Wednesday, November 09, 2005

someone should know that i got an 80 on my 3rd electrical engineering test! i didn't meet anyone today who would care, so i'll publish it instead. i got an A on the first test, then a D on the second one. I think an 80 is a B! I missed the first question because I didn't know how to calculate rms Voltage for a non-sinusoidal waveform. And I didn't do the second question right, because I don't know what a differential equation is, but I got most credit because I knew what the solution was, and how to find all the variables and everything. You see, we're allowed to have a sheet of notes, so even though I didn't know how to figure a differential equation for a damped harmonic oscillator, I knew which differential equation solution equations to pick, since I could see it was underdamped, and so I solved it, and when it said, "solve the differential equation", I instead drew a nice plot of the voltage across the capacitor over time! I got credit for that! Okay, then, the third question was easy, I just had to figure the real power, apparent power, and reactive power for a simple circuit with a parallel inductor and resistor, and I had to figure the phasor currents and things. I got that one perfect, I think! Except I used the wrong units for the answers, which I think was really okay. To do that problem I decided to first calculate the equivalent impedance for the circuit. Apparently there was another way to do it, which I do not comprehend. Finally, the last question was about phasors, which was totally simple, because those are just complex numbers or vector numbers or angular thingies. I mixed up clockwise and counterclockwise in the last part of the question, where I was supposed to say which voltages were leading which other voltages, but i only missed a point or two with that.

So, maybe I'll pass the electrical engineering class after all! A robot is coming! In the distant, distant future!

Here is what I need, right now: a simple, cheap, low-resolution digital camera. I think they're called 'webcams'. What I need is one which I can program to periodically save an image to a directory somewhere, which I can then attack with my image processing programs. Then, I just hook the image processing algorithms up to some sort of output (which I have no idea how to do, but apparently the Serial port is a good start), amplify the output (maybe this is where I use some electrical engineering), and send it to a little motor, or a blinking light, something very simple. My first robot will maybe flash a little light when it sees something it likes. Or maybe it will spin a little motor. I'll wait until a stormy night, so I can say calmly out the window, "It's alive! It's alive! Now I know what it's like to be God!"

1 comment:

  1. Salute!

    It took me a good, solid year of EE classes before I got my first 80. That is a good electrical engineering grade! Be proud! RMS voltage is kinda like an average, I think... RMS for DC is just the DC voltage, I think. It's been awhile. There are TWO IMPORTANT THINGS you must get good at if you want to become a Real Electrical Engineer (REE) (tm). 1.) You must learn how to Google Datasheets. 2.) You must learn how to take 100 Monkey Managers shouting at you why something that defies the Laws of Physics has not been built by you yet and can you feel their pain of missing a Marketing Due Date.

    Damn those Monkeys.