A Level Electronics Coursework Ideas

The internet can be a great source of ideas for your Design and Technology projects, but it can also help you with the other skills that you need to learn for your GCSE. As well as finding sites dedicated to the area of design and technology that you are studying, you can also find plenty of resources online that have been created specifically for students studying a GCSE course.

1. The BBC’s Bitesize website is a good place to start if you are looking for help with your course. It has sections for each of the subjects covered by Design and Technology courses, including graphics, electronics and textiles. Bitesize is a good place to review the material that you have covered in class and then to test yourself to check that you have understood all of the important ideas. You can find a selection of different resources within the section for your subject, including revision materials, activities and tests, so there are plenty of ways you can incorporate this site into your preferred revision style.

2. Technology Student has plenty of resources that might help you with the ideas that you encounter during your course. The site has information about the design process and the use of different kinds of materials. There are sections for electronics, graphics and resistant materials, which will be particularly useful for GCSE Design and Technology students, but there are other resources too that could be useful if you want to learn more about technology.

3. The Mr DT site features some examples of work by students on GCSE Design and Technology courses, which might help to inspire you with some ideas for your own projects, but it also has some useful tips and resources to help you with the skills you need to develop during your course. You can find tips on how to lay out your product designs, how to plan your project and how to develop your ideas, as well as practical tips for different kinds of projects. This is a very useful site if you want to review a particular topic, but it will be most helpful if you take a look at the resources on offer when you start your coursework as it can guide you through the process of coming up with and implementing your ideas.

4. The Design Technology Department website has a selection of quizzes and resources that can help you with the ideas you need to learn for your exams. You can test yourself on your knowledge of different kinds of materials, or read up on topics that you are revising.

5. Practical Action has a section on sustainable design and technology that might help you to understand some of the ideas that you have covered in class. The site is intended for teachers, but it is full of resources that you can download to use on your own.

6. Many of these sites focus on other areas of Design and Technology, but if you are studying Food Technology for your GCSE, S-Cool has some useful resources to help you to understand the most important topics. The site has notes to review for each idea and questions for you to use to test yourself on what you’ve learned.

7. Plenty of sites can help you to come up with ideas and techniques that you can use in your course. Instructables is a good place to start looking, as there are suggestions for a wide range of different products and materials that you could use in your work, but there are also some more specialized sites that are worth checking out if you are interested in a particular type of design. For example, Popular Mechanics has some interesting articles on different kinds of technologies, as well as some useful how to articles that describe the kinds of projects you might like to develop if you are taking a course in electronics or resistant materials.

8. Design Addict is an interesting site if you are looking for inspiration for your projects, particularly if you are interested in furniture or jewellery making. The index has information on many famous designers and you can also search for individual products by period, function or material. Web Urbanist is another good design site that includes sections for some of the graphics and design subjects studied at GCSE. If you are interested in pursuing design or technology at a higher level, these sites will be particularly useful as they give a good idea of what can be accomplished in this sort of career. If you are intending to study Design and Technology at A Level, you might also want to check the Arkwright Scholarship website to find out if you can apply for support.

 

 

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These pages give examples of the type of work you need to do for each section of your project and report.

The examples come from many different projects. They can not be combined to make an AS Report!

The codes like Aa, Bd, Cb are used for marking your work. These are each worth 2 marks if you complete them properly and don't leave out important work.

Section A is for planning, design and most importantly - write a good specification including planned tests.
Section B is for building subsystems, testing the inputs and outputs and explaining how the subsystems work.
Section C is for testing the complete circuit and most importantly - complete the planned tests from your specification.
Section D - Make sure you have a good Bibliography. Otherwise no more writing is needed but marks are given for ...

  • Good Photos.
  • Clear Diagrams.
  • A Fully Labelled Circuit Diagram.
  • Good Spelling.
  • Good Punctuation.
  • Good Grammar.
  • Well Organised Report.
  • Good use of Technical Language.

AS Ideas

Projects must solve a problem. Projects must contain at least three active devices.

Some Recent AS Project Titles

  • Amplifier Overload Prevention
  • Audible Seatbelt Warning Device
  • Audible Warning when a Door is Opened
  • Audio Amplifier Overload Detector
  • Audio Amplifier with Bass and Treble Control
  • Audio Phasing Effect
  • Automatically Turn On Car Headlights with a Buzzer Alert
  • Bath Water Level Sensor
  • Battery Voltage Tester - Audible Output
  • Board Game Random Number Generator
  • Capacitance Meter
  • Car Alarm
  • Cat Food Dispenser
  • Combination Lock
  • Computer Cooling Fan
  • Computer Fan Controller with Overheat Alarm
  • Control a the Temperature of a Greenhouse
  • Cooling Fan for Xbox 360
  • Count Model Car Laps
  • Dalek Sound Effect
  • Disable a Smoke Alarm for xxx Minutes
  • Door Mat Pressure Mat Alarm
  • Door Not Closed Alarm
  • Door Open Alarm
  • Doorbell with Sound Effect
  • Egg Timer
  • Egg Timer with Buzzer
  • Electronic Dice with a Seven Segment Display
  • Fish Bite Alarm
  • Fish Tank Temperature Controller
  • Game Show Buzzer System with Contestant Recognition
  • Garage Intruder Alarm
  • Greenhouse Heater Controller
  • Greenhouse Light Sensor with Alarm
  • Guitar Tuner
  • Fish Tank Light Control
  • Frozen Road Alarm
  • Headlights - Alarm to Tell a Driver to Turn on the Headlights
  • Headphone Amplifier
  • Human Reaction Timer
  • Ice Alarm for a Car Driver
  • Intruder Detector
  • LED Pulsing Lights
  • Left and Right Indicators for a Bike Including Sound
  • Light Activated Rear Cycle LED Lights
  • Metronome
  • Moped Speed Limit Warning
  • Motion Sensing Security Light
  • Music from a 4017 chip
  • Overheating Fish Tank Alarm
  • Pelican Crossing Lights Controller
  • Refrigerator Temperature Alarm
  • Remove Vocals from Stereo Music
  • Seismograph
  • Sending Text Over an Audio Link
  • Sending Music or Data Over a Light Beam
  • Sending Music or Data Over an Infra-red Beam
  • Sending Music or Data Over an Ultrasound Beam
  • Small Animal Detector / Trigger a Trap or Camera
  • Smoke Alarm - (didn't work well)
  • Sound Activated Switch
  • Sound to Light Converter
  • Sparring Round Timer
  • Speedometer
  • Street Light Controller
  • Temperature Based Fan
  • Tilt Sensor
  • Timed Parking Lights
  • Timed Porch Light
  • Timed Stair Lights
  • Timer up to 99 Minutes
  • Traffic Lights Controller
  • Two Way Intercom
  • Ultrasonic Proximity Alarm
  • Visual Door Bell for the Hearing Impaired
  • Vivarium Temperature Controller
  • Warn the Driver if the Headlights Should be On

Practical Investigations

Not all the projects above have obvious or sensible practical investigations.
Here are some fairly straightforward practical investigations that might be useful in some of the projects ...

  1. How loud does the sound need to be?
  2. What is the output voltage of the Electret microphone for normal speech?
  3. What is the best buzzer audio frequency to use?
  4. What is the resistance of the LDR at XXXX Lux?
  5. What value is XXXX Lux?
  6. What is the resistance of the Thermistor at XXXX degrees?
  7. How long does it take to boil an egg?

More Project Ideas

Measure Temperature And ...

  • Generate a warning for ...
  •     garden frost
  •     fridge too warm
  •     freezer is too warm
  •     fish tank temperature outside a safe range
  •     vivarium is too warm / cool
  • Control ...
  •     a computer cooling fan
  •     a greenhouse heater
  •     a conservatory heater
  •     a hedgehog hibernation box temperature
  • Many more similar examples

Measure The Light Level And ...

  • Warn a driver. The headlights should be on.
  • Turn on lights when it gets dark such as ...
  • Car headlights
  • Street lights
  • Porch light
  • Tropical fish tank
  • Generate a warning when the light beam is broken for ...
  • earthquake detection
  • tilt or acceleration measurement
  • intruder detection

Build a Timer To ...

  • Sound an alarm for a fixed short time
  • Time eggs
  • Time up to XXXX Seconds
  • Control a marine buoy flasher
  • Dispense food for animals
  • Automatically water plants
  • Time intermittent wind screen wipers
  • Keep musicians to the correct tempo
  • Make a frequency to voltage converter for use as ...
  • a rev counter
  • a speedometer

Build an Astable ...

  • to produce an audible tone for a ...
  • Door Bell
  • Various Warning Sounds
  • to produce metronome pulses
  • to generate more complex musical rhythms
  • Build an astable and count the pulses to ...
  • make electronic dice
  • create random numbers for playing board games
  • make a timer up to 9 or 99 seconds
  • make a timer up to 9 or 99 minutes
  • make a general purpose logic controller
  • count model racing car laps
  • keep score for a cricket match
  • Build an astable and use it ...
  • to time a traffic lights controller
  • to time a pelican crossing
  • to deter animals from entering a garden
  • to replace the mechanical flasher unit in older cars
  • to vary the delay on windscreen wipers
  • to help a musician tune a guitar
  • to make a bat deterrent - vibrates when it's dark (check to see if this is legal)
  • to make bike indicator lights, perhaps with an audible warning

Build a Sound Sensor And ...

  • measure how loud the sound is
  • reduce amplifier gain if the output is too high
  • create an intercom
  • create a baby alarm
  • modify the sound
  • bass / treble / volume
  • wah wah and similar sound effects

Use Switches And Logic to ...

  • Trigger a bicycle alarm
  • Trigger a pram alarm
  • Light a passenger seatbelt warning
  • Sound an alarm when someone attempts to break into a vehicle / tamper with a bicycle / pram
  • Remind the driver that the headlights have been left switched on
  • Remind the driver that he/she or a passenger is not wearing a seat belt
  • Alert a person who is hard of hearing that there is someone is at the front door
  • Determine which contestant in a quiz pressed first
  • Sense motion and sound an alarm
  • Sound an audible warning when a door is opened
  • Detect a fish bite
  • Detect bath water level and sound an alarm
  • Detect rain and turn on the wind screen wipers
  • Pump out a boat's bilge water

Measure resistance To ...

  • Estimate soil water content and control irrigation
  • Get position information from a potentiometer

Measure Time To ...

  • Discover human reaction times
  • Find capacitance in an RC circuit
  • Find inductance in an RL circuit

Measure Voltage To ...

  • find the pH of a solution
  • determine the state of charge of a battery

Build Amplifier Circuit/s ...

  • to amplify the output from a portable iPod/CD/MP3/minidisk etc. player to operate a loudspeaker
  • to control the level of bass and/or treble in an audio signal
  • to remove vocals from suitable audio tracks
  • and display the output level
  • and produce an overload warning
  • to produce a loud warning sound
  • for a guitar practice amp
  • to produce reverberation, fuzz, wah wah, frequency division, envelope control, ring modulation and other sound effects
  • to combine together audio signals (mixer desk)
  • to make a sound activated switch
  • to flash lights in time to music

Other Ideas - Hard to Classify

  • Bus roll alarm - reduce passenger puke
  • Control a stepper motor used to
  • dispense pet food
  • Beam audio along a light or LASER beam
  • Computer to computer communication using
  • Infrared
  • Fibre optics
  • Audio
  • Ultrasound.

 

 

 

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