Spring Break 2017 Projects

Spring Break 2018 projects will be posted in January 2018

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 experiences for the weeks of March 5, 12 and 19 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

Dismantle used transmitter

SonSet Solutions occasionally receives the donation of used equipment. Some we are able to use to meet the needs of our ministry partners, such as satellite receivers for Wantok Radio Light in Papua New Guinea. Other equipment is used in house, such as in our lab or machine shop. Sometimes we end up dismantling the equipment to salvage useful parts and recover the scrap value. Currently we have one used AM transmitter ready for dismantling. A spring break participant will work to disassemble the equipment, recover and test usable spares, identify items worth listing on eBay and separate recyclable materials.

Desired skills: Basic understanding of electronics and mechanics would be helpful but not essential.
Need: One electrical or mechanical major.
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Assembly assistance on water monitor and antennas

SonSet Solutions manufactures radio transmitters, radio antennas and remote monitoring equipment to provide cost-effective solutions for media and community development partners around the world. A spring break participant will have an opportunity to assist our technical team in the manufacturing, assembly and testing of our water monitors and FM antennas.

Desired skills: Soldering, hands-on mechanical inclination or experience with test equipment.
Need: One electrical or mechanical major.
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Assembly and testing of power protection units

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. We are preparing three EPPs for field tests later this year. Spring break participants will help assemble, test and document at both the sub-assembly and full unit level.

Desired skills: Hands-on electronics and mechanical assembly experience, experience with test equipment and knowledge of power systems.
Need: Two electrical or mechanical engineering majors.
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Implement I2C debug interface for remote monitor units

SonSet Solutions water monitors report the performance of water wells and purification systems installed and maintained by Christian ministries around the world. The equipment on the wells gathers metrics such as the quantity of water pumped each day and transmits that data via satellite to the water monitor database. The water monitoring equipment we build often ends up in remote locations. It’s often difficult to know just by looking at it how it is performing. SonSet Solutions is developing a hand-held, battery-powered, small-screen unit that will connect to the I2C debug port on our devices, and report on the device’s health, status, and other relevant information. A spring break participant will assist with the design, hardware and software implementation and testing of the debug interface.

Desired skills: Embedded microprocessor experience.
Need: One computer or electrical engineering major.
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Add features to remote monitor system

SonSet Solutions water monitors report the performance of water wells and purification systems installed and maintained by Christian ministries in remote villages. The equipment on the wells gathers metrics such as the quantity of water pumped each day, and transmits that data via satellite to the water monitor database. SonSet Solutions has developed a notification system that actively monitors the incoming data and notifies ministries via e-mail or SMS text message. Conditions that trigger notifications include: Measured quantity of water pumped is low, pump requires increasing number of handle cranks to produce water, etc. A spring break participant will assist in the development of new features to the notification system.

Desired skills: Knowledge and experience with MySQL, PHP, Linux and Git.
Need: One computer science or computer engineering major.
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Translate remote monitor notification messages to French and Spanish

SonSet Solutions water monitors report the performance of water wells and purification systems installed and maintained by Christian ministries in remote villages. The equipment on the wells gathers metrics such as the quantity of water pumped each day, and transmits that data via satellite to the water monitor database. SonSet Solutions has developed a notification system that actively monitors the incoming data and notifies ministries via e-mail or SMS text message. Conditions that trigger notifications include: measured quantity of water pumped is low, pump requires increasing number of handle cranks to produce water, etc. A spring break participant will help translate and program Spanish and/or French language versions of the notification messages.

Desired skills: Advanced Spanish and/or French with some knowledge of technical terms in those languages.
Need: One student, any major.
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Transmitter spares reorganization and on-line listing

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-size transmitters were built and have been airing the good news of Jesus Christ 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 development of upgrades. We maintain a large supply of parts that are unique to these transmitters. Spring break participants will help reorganize our current stock room to remove un-needed parts, and prepare a web-based parts listing for our ministry partners. 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.

Desired skills: Basic knowledge of electrical components, possibly web page programming.
Need: Two students, any major.
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Assist IT team with miscellaneous projects

SonSet Solutions, like any modern organization is dependent on information technology infrastructure. Computers need to be upgraded regularly and we recently replaced our aging telephone system. A spring break participant will assist the IT team with a set of miscellaneous projects from upgrading a public announcement intercom, to preparing old equipment for disposal.

Desired skills: Basic computer hardware experience.
Need: One student, any technical major.
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Mobile usage research

As SonSet Solutions considers mobile app development and use for our ministry partners, we need to get a handle on how and where our own staff utilizes mobile devices. A spring break participant will design a survey to gather information on devices, connectivity, applications and the needs of our staff as it relates to mobile devices such as cell and smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The participant will carry out the survey through one-on-one interviews and summarize the results in a report.

Desired skills: Mobile device knowledge, good communication skills.
Need: One student, any major.
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Browser-based interface for cabling database

SonSet Solutions’ radio partner in Haiti has several control rooms and production spaces interconnected by many audio, power and network cables. Their facility has grown over time but with little documentation of the wiring. One of our engineers recently traced and documented how all the equipment is interconnected. This information is in a database but not yet easily accessible. A spring break participant will help develop a browser-based user interface, building on the interface of an audio storage system also developed at SonSet Solutions.

Desired skills: PHP programing experience, MySQL knowledge a plus.
Need: One computer science major
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Very-Low-Power radio station repeater

One of SonSet Solutions’ ministry partners currently broadcasts the Gospel in the Amazon jungle of Peru using regional shortwave transmitter. In order to extend their outreach, they need a radio receiver paired with a very-low-power FM transmitter to re-transmit their programs via FM for little hamlets in the Peruvian Amazon basin. This can be achieved by pairing an MB1 SonSet Radio and a small low-cost FM transmitter, powered by a solar panel. A spring break participant will assist with research and evaluation of very low power transmitters and implement a prototype.

Desired skills: RF knowledge
Need: One electrical engineering major
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Templates for SonSet Solutions digital signage

SonSet Solutions uses digital signage to engage with visitors, promote our mission, and enhance our image and brand. This is a very specific type of media format. To better utilize the visual engagement from signage, the spring break participant will create additional templates to make the digital sign more dynamic.

Desired skills: Digital media creation
Need: One computer science or communications major with computer science skills
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Studio acoustic analysis, research and abatement plan

While the Nikkel Media Center studio is complete as far as its initial interior acoustic treatment, fine tuning the space is still needed. Using acoustic measurement software, the spring break participant will determine the remaining trouble spots that are problematic for audio recording. As time allows, the participant will research and implement an appropriate treatment and abatement plan.

Desired skills: Mechanical inclination and a basic knowledge of audio and test equipment.
Need: One mechanical engineering major
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Security camera completion and upgrade

The Nikkel Media Center includes studio spaces separated by doors without windows. Security cameras have been used to provide personal security and safety for our staff and visitors. Some cameras have failed. The spring break participant will install new cameras.

Desired skills: Basic computer hardware experience.
Need: One student, any technical major.
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Spring break experience promotional video

SonSet Solutions would like to improve its representation of the spring break to students. The spring break participant will produce a short video production that will promote the Spring Break Experience at SonSet Solutions. The spring break participant will capture video content throughout the week and edit it to promote the student’s experience and highlight the interaction with the SonSet Solutions staff.

Desired skills: Basic video capture and editing.
Need: One digital media major.
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SonSet Solutions staff showcase video

SonSet Solutions would like to improve our supporters understanding of our end goals while showcasing our staff in their work environment. The spring break participant will engage in script writing with our Creative Director as well as capture and edit video.

Desired skills: Basic video capture and editing.
Need: One digital media major.
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SonSet Solutions ministry articles

SonSet Solutions is interested in expanding its ministry articles to include creative topics that connect our readers with the ministry in an appealing way. “What is it like to be a missionary?” and “An insider’s look at keeping the computers running” are just two examples of articles to help readers envision how they might get involved while giving them a behind-the-scenes look into the ministry. Other topics of interest include stories about how God called our staff members to the ministry of SonSet Solutions and articles about how technology is advancing the gospel around the world. A spring break participant will generate some of these articles that will populate a variety of outlets including SonSet Solutions’ website, Facebook, Twitter, and SonSet Solutions’ monthly and quarterly newsletters. This project includes interviews with staff members.

Desired skills: Creative writing.
Need: One communications major.
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