2023-2024 ICS3U-E Mini Mechanical Hack (April 24-30)


Alex & Jake
Atticus & Goran
Rex & Seb
Max & Rohan
Evan & Nate
Lucas & Camden
Aiden & Oliver
Chance, Harsha & Triyan

As you are aware, we are devoting the third term of the 23/24 ICS3U-E course to the study of mechanical devices.

Having recently introduced the Rotary Encoder and Thumb Joystick, this next phase introduces three more mechanical devices. The table below highlights the 12-Key Telephone Keypad, the 5V Solenoid switch and the Piezo-Based Buzzer.

Your recent ISP journey conditioned you to accepting the responsibility for, and appreciating the benefits of, researching strategies and solutions to your development challenges. This practice of deep self-motivated learning easily surpasses the dividends flowing from sitting in class listening to Mr. D.

Over the course of the next 6 days you are asked to apply your still-warm ISP skill set to the task below, but this time with the benefits of a partner.

Historical Note

Recent 20/21 ACES graduates Adam Goldman and Seb Atkinson (Max's brother), are currently attending the University of Waterloo. They, too, picked up some mechanical skills in their Grade 11 year so, when they were tasked with developing a first year project for their ECE 190 course, they formed a partnership and applied what they had learned at RSGC to a device they called the Clue Capturer. Your current task is somewhat similar.


Develop a prototype to achieve the following, making sure you keep in mind Dr. Einstein's advice.

1. Users are asked to enter the correct four-digit PIN number on the 12-key telephone keypad in order to generate a 3-second notification to acknowledge success. Over this ENTIRE 3-second period,

2. You can use 1234 as the correct PIN for development. At the start of your presentation I will provide you with a new, unique PIN for which you will have 15 seconds to modify your code to recognize it.

3. Minimal third-party library use (none?) should be prioritized.

4. You are free to incorporate other components (mechancial or otherwise) in your prototype.

5. One member of the your group will submit their group's code to ACESHandin at the start of Tuesday's class under the Subject: Hack Code.


If you are sufficiently inspired and motivated you should feel free to design or modify a gate, arm, or enclosure that will open as a result of the solenoid switch becoming active.

Presentation, Ranking and Prizes

During class on Tuesday April 30th, your group will have 5 minutes to present your project. Towards the end of class everyone will send an email to ACESHandin under the Subject Line: Hack Ranking, ranking their preferences for the 7 best results, in order from top to bottom (you can't vote for your own project). I get to vote too.

I'll tally the results and prizes will be selected in class on Thursday May 2. Everyone gets a prize (that's in keeping with the times we live in) in the manner of what's known as White Elephant or Yankee Swap. A table will have 17 prizes on it. Members of the 8th place group will pick first, followed by the 7th place group members, and so on. The 1st place team picks last. The key is that when it is your turn to pick, you may pick from the table or pick from someone who has already picked. Should someone have their prize picked by a classmate, he would immediately pick from what's left on the table, not from another student.

Adafruit 1824 Phone-Style Keypad 5V Solenoid Switch Piezo Buzzer
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1824 https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/sparkfun-electronics/ROB-11015/6163694 https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/tdk-corporation/ps1240p02bt/935924