Ever wanted to design and build your very own metal detector from scratch?
Start by learning the fundamentals of electromagnetic field theory and how it relates to the operation of the three fundamental types of metal detectors: beat frequency oscillator, pulse induction, and induction balance. Then, build a simplified version of a BFO metal detector by winding your own magnet-wire search coil, constructing a Colpitts oscillator on a breadboard, and interfacing it with the Arduino UNO.
Once the hardware is built, it's time for software development!
Several software design topics will be covered such as while loops, conditional statements, precision timers, etc. Learn how to use code to implement a high precision frequency counter and create different pitch tones with a speaker connected to the Arduino. The closer the metal object gets to the search coil the higher the pitch of the tone emitted 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.
Though it is not required, 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.
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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