Spring Break 2016 Projects

SonSet Solutions is committed to challenging today’s college students to create technology-based solutions to advance the Gospel worldwide. SonSet Solutions is offering spring break trips for three weeks this year. Spring break is an opportunity for students to work alongside our staff on projects that will advance His Kingdom. Click on the links below for a description of each project.

SonSet Intern working in machine shop

Click on the links below for a description of each project.

Windows 10 Pro Upgrade

The SonSet Solutions office uses over 60 desktop and notebook computers for engineering and office work. Most of these systems are running Windows 7 Pro and need to be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro in order to improve security and receive long-term support from Microsoft.

We need a student who is familiar with Windows 10 to use a local install package to execute an in-place upgrade for 20 – 30 desktop and notebook computers leaving Windows 7 applications and transferable settings unchanged on each computer. After the upgrade is complete, most users will require 20 – 30 minutes of training to understand the basics of the new Windows 10 GUI.

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High-Power Shortwave Support

DRM

SonSet Solutions began as a technical group focused on the design and construction of high-power shortwave radio transmitters to transmit the gospel thousands of miles to remote or closed areas of the world. Over the course of 20 years, nine of these room-sized transmitters were built and have been airing the good news of Jesus from Ecuador, Swaziland, Guam and Australia. Today we continue to support the TWR and Reach Beyond broadcast sites using these transmitters through technical advice, provision of replacement parts and the development of upgrades. We recently received a supply of parts that were spares for the now decommissioned transmitters from Ecuador

We need a student to sort, organize and test these parts so that they are ready to send out when needed. The parts include electrical circuit boards, blowers, water cooling system parts and complex mechanical tuning coils; so this is a fit whether your interest is mechanical or electrical engineering.
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Ventilation System Relocation

The Nikkel Media Center uses a supplemental ventilation system. The system consists of two centrifugal blowers that cycle fresh air into the studio. While there is no noise coupled into the studio, the blowers do produce noise in the break area outside the studio. The student will help relocate the blowers, ducting, and associated wiring to eliminate this noise and increase efficiency.
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Database-driven Notification System

water2

SonSet Waterlink monitors the performance of water wells installed and maintained by Christian ministries in remote villages. The equipment on the well gathers metrics such as the amount of water pumped each day, and transmits that data via satellite to the Waterlink database. The student will help change the database to actively monitor the incoming data and notify ministries when anomalies occur via e-mail or SMS text message. Conditions that could trigger notifications include: measured amount of water pumped is low, pump requires increasing number of handle cranks to produce water, etc.

Skills: MySQL, PHP, Linux, Git

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Database Frameworks Research

SonSet Waterlink monitors the performance of water wells installed and maintained by Christian ministries in remote villages. The equipment on the well gathers metrics such as the quantity of water pumped each day, and transmits that data via satellite to the Waterlink database. The database is accessed using PDO (PHP Data Objects) for insertion of data (recording satellite messages) and retrieval of data (displaying charts on the web site). While PDO provides database engine abstraction, it does not provide abstraction of the database schema.

The student will research and document available frameworks (preferably, but not necessarily, in PHP) that abstract the database schema, such that the software can manipulate objects that represent records, rather than specifying long field names in SQL queries. Examples of some frameworks to research may be CakePHP and Ruby on Rails.

Skills: MySQL, PHP, Linux

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Equipment Power Protection Case Redesign

Power Protection

Many transmitters operated by SonSet Solution’s ministry partners experience a variety of electrical anomalies in Third World countries. SonSet Solutions has developed an Equipment Power Protection (EPP) device that monitors and disconnects the power if the electrical anomaly will damage the transmitter. . Due to changes and improvements to the EPP, a student is needed to help with the redesign of the case.

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UPS and Inverter for Haiti Radio Station

Conventional grid-supplied power cannot be relied upon by Radio Lumiere in Haiti. A student will help test two inverters and two Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) with the goal of using one inverter and one UPS to power the audio servers. The student will also verify the communication with the servers. The UPSs will be in a conventional configuration, with the inverter supplying the battery-bank-related power. The servers have dual power supplies; one would be battery-bank supplied, while the other would be connected to the regular power supply.

The UPSs need to be checked from a system-integration perspective. Some Linux background is helpful. The inverters need to be reviewed for operation in the battery-first mode.

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Remote Monitoring System Development

SonSet Solutions water monitors are used all over the world to help ministries more effectively maintain pumps and water systems. As these systems are maintained, communities have consistent access to clean water and ultimately doors are opened for the Gospel. The student will have an opportunity to participate, with our water monitoring team, on the development, manufacturing, and testing of our hand-pump water monitors.

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Radio Station Digital Asset Management System

We are developing a robust, multilingual asset management system for our partner radio stations. Our beta tester is Radio Lumiere AM in Haiti. The student will help develop a friendly, usable, but powerful interface for the radio programmers to quickly find and listen to any of the stored songs or programs. PHP experience is a must.

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GUI for Equipment Power Protection System

The student will participate in the building of a next generation GUI for our Equipment Power Protection project. The student will leverage HTML5, NodeJS, WebSockets and PHP on a Raspberry Pi to develop a unified local/remote interface to monitor and control the system functions. Previous experience with web development and JavaScript are essential, but we can teach the rest from there.

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Solar Lamp Pole Redesign

A student will participate in the redesign of the Solar Lamp Pole to reduce the cost and electrical adaptations to accommodate other Wi-Fi devices and batteries.

  • Reduce the cost of producing the Solar Lamp Pole.
  • Adapt design to use optional Wi-Fi broadcast devices (LightStream, low-power Sheep Station, or high-power Village Sheep Station).
  • Repackage it for indoor use only.
  • Adapt it to use either AGM gel cell batteries or LiFePO4 batteries.

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Social Media & Newsletter Writing

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These writing projects will populate a variety of outlets including Facebook, Twitter, our web page, the monthly news, etc. The student will interview our board members to hear their vision for SonSet Solutions. Other stories will include news from our ministry partners around the world and the impact they are having on their communities using the technology SonSet Solutions has provided. New content for our web site will also be produced.

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Interactive Digital Signage

A digital sign in our reception area presents the identity and ministry of SonSet Solutions. The content player allows for interactive user input, which will require a physical housing for a button assembly, labeling, and wall mounting. Using a USB interface via the button assembly, the user can choose video content to suit his/her interests. The student will develop the physical set-up of hardware, programming of the content player, and arranging the video content.

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Equipment Power Protection Testing

Many transmitters operated by SonSet Solution’s ministry partners experience a variety of electrical anomalies in Third World countries. SonSet Solutions has developed an Equipment Power Protection (EPP) device that monitors and records these electrical anomalies. The student will help:

  • Test and document both configurations (300V and 600V) of the Controller Power Supply/Relay Driver sub-assemblies.
  • Integrate the selected configuration of the Controller Power Supply/Relay Driver into the existing EPP2 breadboard.
  • Measure and document the load disconnect time of the integrated EPP2 breadboard as a function of source voltage and load currents.

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Equipment Power Protection Design and Research

The student will help:

  • Investigate the use of gas discharge tubes and/or transient voltage suppressors for input protection.
  • Design and document the voltage multiplier/input protection circuit.
  • Document the bill of materials and order parts. Assemble and test first unit.
  • Refine and document final design.

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