30 January, 2013


Last semester, we had experimented with our first communication project- an obstacle detector. From our group of 10 people, 4 of us had great co-ordination and it was highly encouraging working with those technically intelligent minds. During our project-demo, we were pretty sure of having a new project at hand soon. And, we got this opportunity within 2 months after Texas Instruments announced its Analog Design Contest 2012.

Discussion of ideas is core-ingredient of any successful project.From soup to nuts, everything depends on the idea finalized. Thought-sharing process was highly interactive and argumentative(which always leads to progress) to decide which of the put-forth ideas were feasible and how would it change the present scenario. During that period, the newspaper headlines often read-"Robbers burst into house mid-day", "Crime-Theft-Robbery", "Accidents in kitchens due to gas-leakage", "Wastage of water by overflowing from tanks"...Also my neighbor when returning home from a vacation encountered an intruder in home and it was quite frightening experience. Finally, we decided to materialize the idea "A Sure Cure To Be Safe and Secured."

The project consist of integration of four modules which would keep a home safe and secured. One module was at door and other at the window. Doors and windows would chime and it alerts you when someone is coming into or leaving the house.Next is gas-leakage detector, which helps in identifying potentially hazardous gas leaks in kitchen. And lastly, considering the importance of pure water and unnecessary wastage by flooding of water-tanks, we added a water level detector. Having a home alarm with this modules is one of the best deterrents to prevent burglaries and home invasion. It gives one piece of mind, knowing that his family and home is protected. Knowing most of this critical situations happen only when owner is out of town or no-one is present is at home we added a new feature by embedding GSM technology which would send messages to owner's cellphone in alert situations so that he could take appropriate steps.


From our University, seven teams had sent their proposals, out of which five were given the opportunity to continue further. The entire contest was divided into three Phases, each having strict deadlines. In Phase 1-A, the faculty mentor in each team had to send a letter confirming that team was willing to take part in the contest abiding the Rules and Regulations(Deadline-5th August,2012 !). The Components Request had to be uploaded in which a budget of $200 for hardware development boards/kits from TI and $100 for TI components (along-with some free TI components) was given .(Deadline-15th August 2012-Indian Independence day !)

In Phase 1, Analog System Lab Starter Kit (ASLKv2010 Starter Kit) was provided to each of the participating college and each team was given a different problem statement. My team had problem statement regarding a non-inverting differentiator built using TL082CP Op-Amp from Texas Instruments.
We had to derive its transfer function, stimulate the system and obtain frequency response, build it using starter kit and compare GB through all three methods-(theoretical, practical and stimulated one). This is small video throwing light on the experiment we performed.

For the next phase, TI provided us with components before their deadlines (30th September 2012). We were expected to complete the hardware and software design and implementation and testing and submit the final report alongwith video demonstration of prototype by Jan 26,2012 i.e. Indian Republic day(another deadline !) This was the main phase which carried 70% weightage of final evaluation.


Our complete implementation is made up of four modules taking input from its surroundings based on its use, acting like a cluster of four inputs to a micro controller which in turn processes then input and passes the desired output to the GSM module which in turn does the processing of input to it and output in form of text message to the owner of the security system.

The very first module of the system is obstacle detector for door, which works on IR based sensor. Because of it being in small size, it is easy to implement and hide, which detects the vulnerable intrusion of any kind with the changed values in receiving the IR signal back from and to the transmitter.

The second module consists of the Ultrasonic motion detector, it works on ultrasonic waves being transmitted and received, as soon as it detects and movement in air, (sensitive up to meters and small detections), and glows the LED and a buzzer with input signal to micro-controller. The sound coming out of the buzzer is too loud and high pitched making it easier to hear.

The third module is a gas leakage detector. What it does it that it contains a Gas sensor, which detects the gas and signals the output to the micro-controller with an alarm through buzzer. The circuit is kept small and low powered so there is no generation of spark in any case.

The fourth module consists of the water level detector, which works on four different levels of aluminum wire exposed to the water directly at different heights and corresponding LED’s at different heights too. This let the user to know about the water level in the tank. It is cheap circuit made up of few transistors and resistors without any IC. It works efficiently at different levels making it easy for the user to keep check on the level of water.

All of the four modules, are connected to the Micro-controller (Arduino, in our case), which receives the high signal as a trigger to perform specific tasks related to the respective signal generators.

Arduino triggers GSM in all of the four cases, it act as an interface between the sensor modules and the GSM. The GSM is sent a code respective to the module generating signal which is then processed and GSM sends the message to the user.

The working Demonstration of our project can be found here .


The most important thing which I learned was working as a team how to analyze task requirements, questioning, critically interpreting the material and qualities like conflict management and resolution, flexibility, negotiations, compromise, organizing meeting and time management skills. As we progressed we started learning many things like how an idea is implemented, how to proceed with different sparks that come to our mind, how problems crop up and how we solve them. This project deepened my interest into the analog systems. We searched and studied lot for the project to get it accomplished. And finally, lucky to have Texas project which gave a chance to learn and make something practical which we had been studying in theory till now.There is a huge difference in theoretical and practical approaches to anything in this world. One of the main reason is the due to the ideal situations assumed in theoretical approach .. :D The major source of learning by making mistakes. Getting lost is the best way to find new ways out. Overall it was indeed a very good learning experience which would help up taking new projects in future. 


The "Eureka Moments" when we would have the ouputs as desired.. :) and the head-banging moments when working for hours we were still struck at the same moment. :( And the day before DEADLINES ! I always wonder about the super-natural power every deadline has which makes 2-week work to complete in 2-days..!! :P

Lastly, I would like to thank Prof. Subhajit Sen, our mentor for providing us excellent guidance and my team-mates Vaibhavi Desai, Yash Shah, Vamshi Chenna, Saagar Takhi and Jineet Doshi without whom this project was hard to imagine. And of-course, DA-IICT for providing us necessary infrastructure to complete the project.

Thank You for spending your valuable time reading this blog. Any comments or suggestions are warmly welcomed. :)

17 January, 2013


As the title of this post suggests, I have stepped into a new World and am here to share my experience with you..

How I got inspired and Got Involved ..

  • Currently, I am doing a project based on Electronics in Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest. Last year, I had done 3-4 small projects based on electronics as well as communication, but none related to computer science or coding. I was once thinking as to give a try in this field also to know my interest before selecting electives for third year and the very next day there was a workshop on open source at our university, which inspired me to be a part of real-world coding experience with FOSS. After searching and discussing for about a fortnight, I found kde as the best possible organization for me and decided to get involved with it..

Looking through a Beginner's lens..

  • My first "Hello" to this new "World" was through kde's mailing list. I think conversation through mail is the best way to get yourself introduced to any such organization. Mails serves as the best communication link. The first glance at initial reply-mails completely scared me and I kept wondering what it actually meant..But gradually, reading it twice, thrice and finding the meaning of each and every word and understanding reply-messages was quite an exciting job.Most of the words I came through during this time period were totally new for my mind. In order to google and understand the meaning of each word I had to google through some other related new words and phrases, and which in turn were dependent on few other new words, and the nested loop continued. In the past couple of days, I have immensely enriched my dictionary and gave me a vision of how vast actually this new world is.!
  • While installing any tool, no matter how simple a thing was, I always encountered an error. Initially, it seemed a little irritating, but banging my head to solve them was really fun. Most of the things I learnt was by cracking those errors. I realize now that if the entire process went smoothly without giving me any trouble, the job would not have been as charming as it seems now. After solving couple of this errors, I also feel increasing qualities like self-confidence and patience in me.
  • The entire journey till now has been full of struggle. I find it like a maze and totally love struggling with pain to get my way out of every difficulties. :)
  • I was planning to start writing my own blog since past many months, but it always got delayed due to some reason or the other. But at this moment, there is a bright spark of excitement which encouraged me to start writing this blog, inspite of having many other priorities.

Some Tips For Beginners:

  • Keep a track of the order in which you open links and open new topic in new browser window. Your browser will quickly overflow with plenty of links opened at the same time.This also helps in understanding the hierarchy and getting smooth flow between the links.
  • Make some small quick notes of every advancement.
  • Maintain a ToDo task-list as you come across a new task,as in the long run, it is likely to get skipped.At many instances, looking at solution of any error, I felt as if I had already gone through solution in past..
  • Last but not the least, it is your mindset, your thinking what matters the most. If your approach is, "haww..its too difficult, I cant do", you can never ever get through it. Instead think, "I Can & I Will".. :)

Lastly, Kudos to Google.!! Without it, I can't imagine to expand so much knowledge in such a short span of time. Also, I would like to thank +MatÄ›j Laitl , +Myriam Schweingruber and +Yash Shah for your excellent guidance.. :)

Thank You for spending your valuable time reading this blog. Any comments or suggestions are warmly welcomed. :)

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