Project 2: Building a microwave control panel

In this project, you will design and implement your “ideal” microwave control panel.

Due dates

Deliverables are due at class time (4:30pm) unless otherwise specified.

  • Proof of concept: Tuesday 10/5
  • State diagram: Friday 10/8 (via OneDrive)
  • Instruction sheet and code: Thursday 10/14 before class (via OneDrive)
  • In-class demonstrations: Thursday 10/14

Proof of concept

Connect an LED and two switches to your microcontroller.

When you press the first switch, the LED should turn on and remain on once the switch is released. When you press the second switch, the LED should turn off.

You’re welcome to start implementing more functionality than this, but you need to be able to demonstrate this working by class on Tuesday 10/4.

Design specification

You have complete creative freedom, as long as your design meets the guidelines below:

  • Your panel must allow a user to specify different amounts of time to cook.
  • Your panel must indicate the time remaining in some way.
  • If the door is opened during cooking, you must turn off the power to the microwave element immediately.

Things that probably make sense for a microwave control panel (these rules were made to be broken, but you’d better have a good explanation why).

  • If you open the door, the countdown should stop.
  • The user should not be able to enter infinite time (e.g., by pressing a button a hundred times)

Microwave pigtail

Unfortunately, we don’t have a microwave oven for everyone to take apart. Also unfortunately, microwave ovens are kind of dangerous inside and I can’t have you rewiring them in your dorm room.

For our in-class demo, you will be given a 3-pin connector which goes to a real microwave:

  • Pin 1: ground
  • Pin 2: door open (0V if the door is closed, 3.3V if it is open)
  • Pin 3: microwave on (set this pin to 3.3V to turn the microwave on, set it to 0V to turn it off)

You can easily simulate this by using a pushbutton for the “door open” pin and an LED connected to the “microwave on” pin.

Instruction sheet

Your team must create an instruction guide for how to operate your control panel. You will set up your control panel, and then a randomly-chosen classmate will attempt to operate your microwave to cook some food.

Your instruction guide must:

  • Fit on a single page. We will project a copy of your guide during the demo day.
  • Not use any words. Think IKEA assembly manual or airplane safety card. (If your control panel has text on it, then it’s acceptable to include that text in your instructions, like an “EXIT” sign in a safety card illustration).

Some inspiration