Design and build your very own metal detector from scratch!
We will discuss the fundamentals of electromagnetic field theory and how it relates to the theory of operation for three fundamental types of metal detectors: beat frequency oscillator, pulse induction, and induction balance.
Students will then build a modified modern version of a BFO metal detector using an Ardunio UNO R3 Microprocessor. They will wind their own search coil using magnet wire and PVC pipe, then construct a Colpitts oscillator on their breadboard and interface it to the Arduino's processor. Once the hardware is built, it's time for software development!
We highly recommend students provide their own laptop for use in class. Students bringing their own laptop must install the Arduino software prior to the first day. Please click here for more details on laptop setup. It is also recommended, if possible, for students to purchase their Arduino UNO and USB cable ahead of time to test with the laptop.
Several software design topics will be covered such as while loops, conditional statements, high-precision timers, etc. The code will implement a high precision frequency counter and students will learn how to make different pitch tones using software loops and a speaker connected to the Arduino. The final design is really cool! The closer the metal object gets to the search coil the higher the pitch of the tone emitted from the speaker so you have an idea of how deeply buried the object is!
This is a really great class that lets students explore and understand the symbiotic, complementary relationship between hardware and software that must work together to yield a functional design.
Note: The project built during class is sold separately. Students will be given the opportunity to buy their metal detector at the end of class.
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