Thursday, October 13, 2011

Arduino explorations, part two: requirements

First I decided that I would approach this as if it was a project for work- namely before I srarted soldering parts, I would determine what I wanted it to do, then use that to guide what I would work on researching.
1. System shall be able to wind pickup coil on a spindle of a standard configuration
2. System shall count the number of windings as spindle rotates
3. System shall allow the user to ready the spindle for winding, and account for any windings manually applied.
4. System shall allow automatic winding, with user able to control the speed.
5. User will be able to stop the winder through a 'panic' type button
6. User will enter a desired number of windings, and system shall stop automatically winding when the number is reached

Secondary requirements
Possibly to be added:
a. System may include guide to ensure windings are neatly laid on the spindle.
    This one is inspired by the winder from Stewart MacDonald, their winder has a smooth bar with set screw collets that act as the manual limit stops.

Design Elements
Some of these I had in mind writing the requirements, but in some cases I have ended up with something different than what I was thinking of when I wrote the requirements.  That's one of the advantages of requirements-driven design.  As engineers, we want to jump in and start coding, soldering, or assembling, but by working out what we're really trying to do first, then we can be open to solutions that may be easier, cheaper, or better than our preconceived notions.

1. User will be able to set target winding number - some type of numerical keypad needed
2. User will be able to see the current winding and their target - some type of display needed
3. User will be able to start, stop, and adjust the speed of the winding.  Buttons and a potentiometer
4. And of course, a motor to wind with.

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