Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seven Segment Display

In all of my classes this year, for the most part (unless I'm thoroughly bogged down and re-use an old key or such), I am doing the homework assignments that I assign my students fresh each year, and if I assign a project, I do it with them. I think this keeps me honest and I can keep my skills fresh and each year I can see what the issues may be and also commiserate with the students if things come up. Maybe everyone does this.

Anyway, in Digital Electronics, there is a Seven Segment Display project that we do. Here is what an SSD looks like. The students are supposed to do the logic and circuitry either to light up their birthday mm-dd-yy or to spell out a word/phrase. My phrase is "Go run 26.2". I have been working on it off and on with the students from the outset. Then I got "all that" and expected it all to work swimmingly the first time I did the breadboard. Hah! I have had a pickle of a time tracking down my errors. Then there are the students in various states of distress or completion or such that I have to help or talk down from the cliff or push along to actually put out some effort.

Our current phrase to each other is, "I am smarter than a plastic board!" to keep us going. I also keep their motivation up by telling them, "I have NEVER had a student fail this project, and you will NOT break my record" whenever they start whining, "but what if I don't finishhhhhhhhhhhh?"

Well, well, well, I just finished mine, and here is my YouTube proof. Woot! What do you know, I AM smarter than plastic!



  1. Very impressive. And forever preserved on YouTube. What I like about the project is that you are not just figuring out the circuitry in theory, but actually using the board to see if it works.