2018-2019 ICS4U Engineering Tasks


Flex Circuit Page. Even though this description is a little long, please be sure to take it ALL in before deciding on a circuit you will be proud to reflect for years to come.


So, here's the basic concept. Download, consider, and complete the FlexPageProposalICS4U.docx (download first, then open, as browsers seem to have issues with its contents) when you're ready to commit.

For the fourth consecutive year, Sr. ACES are asked to embed within their Design Engineering Report a unique, active, (solar-powered) microcontroller-based circuit. In the future, when you show your DER the light of day, readers will marvel at what you accomplished in high school. A photo of Ryan Power's effort from 2016 follows the formatting of all the other pages in his DER except the cutaway is an intersection circuit that goes live when placed in sunlight due the to MPT3.6-150 solar panel laminated into the page. Ryan's report continues on the backside of the page. Check out the results of all the 2015-2016 ACES.

In maintaining the ACES' tradition of reaching higher, you are asked to design and outsource the production of a flex circuit as a base for an SMT circuit (and DER page). You, the 2018-2019 ACES, continue the initiative started three years ago year by incorporating a flexible circuit into a page in your DER, laminating it together with a Powerfilm solar cell to power either an SMT ATtiny84, ATtiny85, or ATmega328P surface mount microcontroller. The programming language is left up to you but since the complexity of the circuit is not the real priority, I know you'll consider putting your assembly language skills on display in your circuit and your pages. Supporting components should be designed for the 1206 Package as that's what our DES maintains in its inventory. To facilitate your efforts in getting it right the first time, you are encouraged to source as many parts as possible from our new ACES_SMT.lbr. Below is a closer look at a Flex Matrix Oliver L. undertook while in Grade 11. A stencil is recommended for complex designs as it dramatically simplifies and shortens the reflow or hot-air soldering process.

Oliver's Finished Flex Matrix Oliver's Flex Circuit Stencil
Flex Circuits & Thin Film OLED Dirty PCB Ordering


Hardware Provided
Within reason, the hardware parts will be supplied to you. For example, you will be provided with the solar flex cell, the SMD microcontroller, as well as simple 1206 passives such as resistors, capacitors, buttons and LEDs. Just be sure to answer my call for Digikey orders promptly.

In return, you can be responsible for the cost or your flex panel. On this score, since your microcontroller must have an ISP capability, be sure to design in a 6-pin connection that will interface with the Chibitronics device pictured to the right.


ACES: Common Flex Page Parts
Minco: Flex Circuit Design Guide
ACES: 2016-2017 TEI4M Logs
PowerFilm: Flex Solar Cells
Adafruit: SMT (Medium) Test Socket for SOIC-8
Chibitronics: ATtiny85 Sticker Tutorial (that ISP Adapter would be a good board to have in the DES!)
Quad Industries: Screen Printing
Sparkfun: IC Packages Explained




The MPT3.6-150 Solar Module, (Specs)
Pro SMT Hand Soldering: Part 1, Part 2
Soldering Powerfilm
P. Bagga's (ACES' 17) SMT Soldering of his DC Power Breakout Board (a little too much solder paste but it still worked)
J. Russett's (ACES '16) Flex Page Circuit: Induction
A. Elder's (ACES '17) Flex Page Circuit: Infrared Receiver
O. Logush's (ACES '18) Flex Page Circuit: 'Charlie'flexed Matrix


ATtiny85 SOIC-8 PowerFilm Solar Cell / Surfboard 9081


  1. It is never a bad idea to develop a through hole prototype when the final target is a PCB. Use the Powerfilm solar panel provided for power as your circuit must run on no more than 3.6V and draw no more than 100 mA. If you do, be sure to obtain still and video media for your DER.
  2. You may wish to assemble a breadboard ISP circuit using your ISP Breakout Board and the SMT Test Socket, upload and test your code. Obtain media for your DER.
  3. Review the reference videos above prior to soldering the components to your Flex circuit. Test with your solar cell. Obtain media for your DER.
  4. Plan the content and layout of your final, two-sided ER page to include the solar cell and solderd circuit.
  5. Confirm your working circuit prior to the weekend submission of Flex Page 2 and your presentation on Monday May 6. Hand your working circuit to me after your presentation and I'll take it from there. I'll keep them until June, when I have your ERs printed and bound.
1796-ADA SMT Test Socket - Medium SOIC-8 (ATtiny85) 1283-ADA SMT Test Socket - Narrow Breakout SOIC-16 (ATtiny84)

Knight Rider. Your first AVR Assembly project developed exclusively in Atmel Studio 7 requires you to produce the animated sequence on your Morland ShiftBar device. Your code will employ coordinated timing sequences that will emulate Arduino C's high level shiftOut library function that we reviewed in depth on Friday January 17. Ethan McAuliffe (ACES' 18) provides us with an interesting scope trace of a 595 shift register in action that he produced on our KeySight Oscilloscope.


  1. Place your Morland ShiftBar device in your Arduino, facing you, so that the 5 pins fall within PD7-PD3.
  2. Within your work folder create a new AS7 project by the name of KnightRider using your custom template created in class on Tuesday January 22, as a starting point.
  3. Create AVR asm code that will result in TWO separate animated sequences that includes the one depicted, followed by one of your own design. Both will be featured in your ER video summary of course.
  4. You will include the fully-documented assembly code in your Code section as usual. Be sure to have this a complete as possible because I intend to copy & paste your ER code into my Atmel Studio IDE and compare its functionality to your video.
  5. Useful information is presented below. Enjoy!

Shift Register Terminology SN74HC595 Timing Sequence

Rotary BCD Switch. For your first (exclusively) assembly language project you are to CONTINUOUSLY monitor a full BCD rotary switch and display the full range of hexadecimal input on the 7-segment display provided, using the most EFFICIENT algorithm YOUR high-quality assembly coding skills will permit and the neatest, most EFFICIENT hardware build (minimally necessary components).


  1. Familiarize yourself with the rotary switch provided (here's info taken from its datasheet). The seven-sgment display is well-understood.
  2. Create the Arduino project, RotaryMonitor. Within the file RotaryMonitor.S file, develop, test, and document pure AVR assembly code to meet the requirements above.
  3. By midnight Wednesday December 19, develop and submit a comprehensive ER report (don't forget to include your fully documented assembly code) under the Subject Line: Rotary BCD Switch
16 Position BCD Rotary DIP Switch 7-Segment Display

Telephone Keypad. You have been supplied with a 12-Key mechanical telephone keypad. Create an ORIGINAL project that positions it as the input source of some device you'll 'invent'. Your software should use some form of interrupt-handling to monitor the input. A close inspection of the circuitry in the image presented on our course page, together with a thorough Continuity review with a DMM will earn you a solid understanding of how this device is constructed.


  1. Although many libraries exist, you are NOT to use a keypad library. You are required to monitor switch presses with your OWN code.
  2. Code is to be interrupt-driven.
  3. The issue of bounce must be addressed in your project, either in hardware or software.
  4. I've made the ER deadline (Saturday December 1) just long enough for you to outsource materials if you GET RIGHT ON IT!
  5. Presentation day is Tuesday December 4.
  6. Enough of this collaborative, cooperative, supportive, feelgood, work environment, it's back to the friendly competition of Grade 11 CAD Case days. Seven distinct marks are on the line (88, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100), unless they're ALL terrible in which case the marks will range from 38-50.
  7. Your mark will be assigned based on how DIFFERENT, CREATIVE, INTERESTING and potentially USEFUL yours is, from your peers.
  8. Think of this as if a recruiter came to campus next year looking to hire a couple of interns....What can you come up with?

PB Machine. Your experience with electric circuits has been largely limited to components that use through-hole technology (THT). To round out your proficiency with all components, your next few projects will require the use of devices that use surface-mount technology (SMT). As the graphic reveals, the smallest size that is reasonable for hand-soldering techniques is the 1206 family, so this is what we carry in the DES inventory.

1206 LED Package


  1. P. Bagga (ACES '17) redesigned his original RSGC ACES DC Power Jack to include an optional power LED and resistor. You will be given a small parts kits that includes the PCB, a THT DC Power Jack, and a 2x3 male header pin. You can choose your 1206 SMT LED colour from our inventory of red, green, blue, or amber and your 1206 resistor from our inventory of 330Ω, 1kΩ,or 10kΩ.
  2. Component Distribution ( don't lose 'em :) PB's SMT Soldering of his DC Breakout Board (far too much solder paste on the resistor)
  3. Using a digital soldering station for the THT components and either of the AOYUE 968 Hot Air Rework Stations for the SMT parts, assemble your DC Power Jack.
  4. Submit your device to Mr. D before the indicated deadline.