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by Q Branch
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:12 pm
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BTEC Unit 6 – mind the gap

From my point of view, spending most of my working career in industry and a few years teaching (BTEC L3 and L4 Electronics and Microprocessors/Microcontrollers), Pearson are moving in the right direction with the new BTEC Unit 6. The problem is in the gap between the Unit 6 specification and the Pea...
by Q Branch
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:36 pm
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Re: Suggestions to improve the content/delivery of Unit 6

Thanks for your comments - and I agree on several levels. I work in what is/was a mechanical engineering department in a FE college, so anything that's got electronics, microprocessors, science or maths falls on my desk as I'm the only non-mechanical member of staff here. Also, I seem to have become...
by Q Branch
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:40 pm
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Re: Assessment

Thanks for that Steve. If you are teaching BTEC, there's something called "My BTEC" where you can get access to stuff that's not available to the general public. You will have to register here: http://www.edexcelonline.com Then, your "BTEC Quality Nominee", (in my case, the colle...
by Q Branch
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:44 pm
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BTEC UNIT 6 - Underpinning Knowledge

I've started this topic to add some underpinning knowledge for Unit 6 as there is so little anywhere else. There were lots of books and resources available in the 1980's and 1990's for microcontrollers like the Microchip PIC. Since then, they have all disappeared or are out of date as it's so diffic...
by Q Branch
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:48 pm
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Re: BTEC UNIT 6 - Underpinning Knowledge - code files

Sorry folks, I didn't upload all the example code to go with my first posting - here are the missing files that use the timer interrupt.
by Q Branch
Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:30 pm
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BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) sample solution

This is something I was working on at the end of last year, but for various reasons it's been shelved until now. It's my take on how to navigate through the 12-hour supervised assessment period from a student's point of view. I have no insider knowledge from Pearson - everything is based on what I i...
by Q Branch
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 pm
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BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 1

Thanks G, things are going slower than I expected because of interruptions, but I'll keep things going as best I can. This is "Session 1" where the student has to make sense of the client brief (easier said than done). Pearson have left us with a few issues to ponder here as detailed in th...
by Q Branch
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:20 pm
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BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 2

If I read the specification correctly, this is where we have to compare at least 2 microcontrollers and pick one. It's like asking for two quotes for the annual church hall emergency lighting check. We already know the answer before we ask the question, the lowest bid always wins :roll: . Likewise, ...
by Q Branch
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:24 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 3

Sorry for the delay in getting Session 3 uploaded, but I was getting "Ofsted ready".
Now I can get back to some proper work.

The design is complete and the skeleton of the program is there.
by Q Branch
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:41 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 3 - Flowcode 7 software

This is the Flowcode 7 code for Session 3. It's based on an earlier "hardware test" program with the LED and piezo sounder tests added for the egg timer. Pressing keys SA0 to SA5, SB6 and SB7 cause the LCD to display their state ('0' or '1'), Pressing key SB6 causes the piezo to sound, rel...
by Q Branch
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:55 am
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 5

"The person that never made a mistake, never made anything" - a quote from my first boss. The first version of any software will have some bugs and there were a few in the Session #4 software. The software from Session #5 has all the "must have" aspects of the client brief (and s...
by Q Branch
Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:19 am
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 6 - Flowcode 7 Software

Unless I (or you) find any issues, this is my final software solution (apart from adding some comments).
The operation manual will have the detailed design etc.
test_mode.jpg
by Q Branch
Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:10 am
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 6

Just adding the fancy stuff now - overcooked and test mode up and running.
No teachers notes for this session.
by Q Branch
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:59 am
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 5 - Flowcode 7 Software

Everything now works for the "must have" parts of the client brief.
There's some enhancements on the way for the fancy stuff.
key_functions.jpg
by Q Branch
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:23 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 4 - Flowcode 7 software

At Power ON / Reset, you get the Welcome Message for a few seconds or until you press a key. Then you get "SET TIME", but the only option you have there is "QUICK START" Then you're "COOKING" until "DONE" or you "CANCEL". If you let it run until &quo...
by Q Branch
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:11 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 4

At the half way point it's starting to come together. The "Quick Start 3½ minute egg" and "Cancel" keys work. The LCD, LED and piezo sounder work as per the design. The "SET TIME" and "START" functions will come in Session 5 and you can see the hooks where the...
by Q Branch
Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:49 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) Session 7

I found one minor bug :oops: while documenting the system and some annoying behavior :lol: while running on the hardware during this session.

The next (and final) session will include the operating instructions including full documentation of the software.
by Q Branch
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:03 pm
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Re: BTEC Unit 6 - SAMs (the egg timer) DESTROY THE EGG

Thanks G. The 2 line display looked a little lonely with only one word on the top line, so I added some "user experience" :lol: as it says in the blurb. The main objective of this exercise from my point of view was to create a solution, following the Pearson documents that can be used as a...