Equipment Power Protection System Projects:

Our radio partners need a reliable and economical way to protect their high cost equipment from poor power sources and lightning strikes, in turn reducing down time, and expensive or difficult repairs. Commercially available solutions are either expensive, or don’t protect adequately. SonSet Solutions is striving to find a middle ground to meet this critical ministry need through the development of our own rugged and intelligent Equipment Power Protection (EPP) system.
 

  • Assist with assembly and testing of power protection units

We are preparing two EPPs for field tests later this year. A spring break participant will help assemble and test the units.
Desired skills: Hands-on electronics and mechanical assembly experience, experience with test equipment and knowledge of power systems.
Need: One electrical or mechanical engineering major.
 

  • Assist with thermal testing of power protection system

We need to carry out in-depth thermal stress testing of the EPP unit. A spring break participant will help run the tests and document the results.

Desired skills: Experience with test equipment, knowledge of basic thermal dynamics.
Need: One electrical or mechanical engineering major.
 

  • Refine web interface for power protection system

We have developed a wireless interface to control and monitor the EPP system. A spring break participant will help refine and improve that web interface.

Desired skills: Experience with Java, HTML and basic graphical web page development; Basic understanding of electrical power concepts.
Need: One computer science/computer engineering major.
 

  • Develop auto-calibration procedure for power protection system

We would like to add auto-calibration to the EPP system. A spring break participant will help mathematically model and design the auto-calibration algorithm and possibly code the process.

Desired skills: Experience with mathematical modeling using MATLAB or similar; Experience with C++ or Java coding for the second step; Basic understanding of electrical power concepts.
Need: One electrical, mechanical or computer engineering major.
 

  • Complete CAD model of Power Data Logger

Last year we used the core “smarts” of the EPP to create a Power Data Logger (PDL). This is a valuable tool for site surveys of locations that could benefit from an EPP. Due to a rushed deployment schedule we are lacking proper documentation to reproduce the device. A spring break participant will create a complete CAD model, and fabrication and assembly drawings of the PDL.

Desired skills: Proficiency with Autodesk Inventor.
Need: One electrical or mechanical engineering major.
 

  • Create bi-phase assembly drawing for power protection system

We need to develop the assembly drawing for the bi-phase version of the EPP unit. A spring break participant will create the bi-phase CAD model and assembly drawings using Inventor, based on existing single-phase unit documentation.

Desired skills: Proficiency with Autodesk Inventor.
Need: One electrical or mechanical engineering major.
 

  • Research currently available commercial protection systems

It has been several years since we surveyed the available commercial protection products and feel it is time to do that once again. A spring break participant will research, survey and compare products currently available on the market.

Desired skills: Knowledge of electrical power concepts, good research and writing skills.
Need: One engineering major.
 

  • Research and test ground conductors

Good lightning protection is a key part of the EPP. We need to research and compare with empirical tests various ground conductors like copper pipe, braided wire and flat braid. A spring break participant will help carry out and document conductor tests.

Desired skills: Experience with test equipment, knowledge of electrical power concepts
Need: One electrical engineering major.
 

  • Develop EPP product brochure

We need to clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of the EPP system to our ministry partners. A spring break participant will help create that communication piece.

Desired skills: Good technical writing skills, basic graphic design experience.
Need: One technical or communications major.
 

  • Develop Equipment Power Protection System Quick Setup Guide

We need to create a quick setup guide for the EPP unit. A spring break participant will create a graphical 2 to 8 page manual on how to initially install and set up the EPP.

Desired skills: Good written communication skills and basic graphical design experience.
Need: One technical or communications major.

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SonSetLink™ Remote Monitor System Projects:

SonSet Solutions has created remote monitor systems that track 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 an online database. With this tool our ministry partners can focus their limited resources on providing maintenance to those locations that are showing a problem.
 

  • SonSetLink database improvements

The SonSetLink online database is constantly evolving and growing as the monitoring applications and ministry partnerships develop. A spring break participant will assist with a number of database maintenance and development tasks.

Desired skills: Experience with databases, MySQL and PHP.
Need: One computer science or computer engineering major.
 

  • SonSetLink website improvements

Ministry partners access well and pump data through the SonSetLink web page, which, like the back-end database, continues to grow and evolve. A spring break participant will assist with a number of website maintenance and development tasks.

Desired skills: Experience with databases, MySQL and PHP.
Need: One computer science or computer engineering major.
 

  • Translate SonSetLink notification messages to French and Spanish

We have developed a notification system that actively monitors the incoming SonSetLink data and notifies ministries via e-mail or SMS text message of specific conditions or changes. 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.
 

  • Real time operating system research

Our SonSetLink units currently use an embedded Atmega microprocessor. As we move to more advanced processors we are considering using a real-time operating system. A spring break student will research use of FreeRTOS on an STM32 Nucleo board.

Desired skills: Experience with embedded and control system microprocessors.
Need: One computer science or computer engineering 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 and created a database with the wiring information. A spring break participant will help improve a browser-based user interface to the database.

Desired skills: PHP programing experience, MySQL knowledge a plus.
Need: One computer science major.

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Develop wireless voltage monitor

Last year SonSet Solutions created and deployed a prototype Wi-Fi voltage monitor system to our partner in Haiti so that we could help them track and monitor utility, generator and UPS voltages in their studio facility. We would like to refine and document the design to make this part of our general ministry toolkit. A spring break participant will design the packaging/assembly and document the electrical and firmware components.

Desired skills: Proficiency with Autodesk Inventor.
Need: One mechanical or electrical engineering major.

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Develop low-power consumption instrumentation

SonSet Solutions has developed several pieces of equipment that are battery operated, such as the SonSetLink monitoring systems for water wells and the SonSet radio. For those applications, we need to be able to measure very low-level power consumption of the electronics so as to design for maximum battery life. We have identified an ST Nucleo shield that can provide this kind of instrumentation. A spring break participant will assist with the implementation of a very low-power instrumentation tool.

Desired skills: Knowledge of microprocessors and test equipment
Need: One electrical engineering major.

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Adapt audio file management utility

As SonSet Solutions implements an audio player on our SonSet radio, we would like to adapt an existing program for audio file management to our needs and requirements. A spring break participant will assist with code analysis, redesign and implementation.

Desired skills: Significant experience with C++ or similar code development, knowledge of digital audio concepts
Need: One computer science major.

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Inventory, sort and test stored and surplus equipment

DRM

Over the years SonSet Solutions has been given used or surplus equipment and materials, which often ends up in storage until someone has time to sort through, test and inventory it. An extra pair of hands can go a long way toward tackling this task and free up valuable storage space. A spring break participant will assist with the sorting, testing and inventory of this equipment and materials.

Desired skills: Strong back, technically oriented
Need: One student, any major.

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Creation of HC100 spares online listing

SonSet Solutions began as a technical group focused on the design and construction of high-power shortwave radio transmitters. Over the course of 20 years, nine 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 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. A spring break participant will help prepare an easily updated and searched spare parts listing for our ministry partners.

Desired skills: Basic knowledge of electrical components, spread sheet proficiency.
Need: One student, any 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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Digital signage audio setup

SonSet Solutions uses digital signage to engage with visitors, promote our mission, and enhance our image and brand. Limited audio can be used in this communications medium. A directional focused speaker array is an active system used to engage with listeners while also reducing interference in our lobby area. The project will involve the mounting of the speaker as well as the software settings that balance its audio quality with the needs of the lobby environment.

Desired skills: Mechanical ability; understanding of audio.
Need: One engineering major.

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Spring Break at SonSet Solutions 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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Develop 45-minute presentations for Team meetings

SonSet Solutions is committed to training its staff on a variety of subjects. Examples of previous Team meetings include maintaining and cultivating your support team, using email marketing software for communication to ministry partners, PowerPoint pitfalls and pointers, taking good pictures, etc. The topics can be anything that will challenge, inform and inspire our staff. The spring break participant will communicate with a staff member to determine presentation ideas and prepare material to be presented in the future. The presenting platform would need to be something that can be used by anyone to present to the group at a future date and can be put together in PowerPoint, or Prezi, or video. These topics can include handouts if that enhances the presentation.

Desired skills: Creativity and good communication and presentation skills.
Need: One student, any major.

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Produce tour experience of SonSet Solutions

SonSet Solutions receives many visitors and there is a lot of information to share during tours led by many different people. To increase the efficiency of the tour and to make sure that the most important and appropriate information is shared, SonSet Solutions needs to standardize its tour. One student will go on a tour with existing staff members to collect all of the information. Working with our public relations manager, the student will determine the information to share in a standard tour and produce displays that facilitate the tour.

Desired skills: Good writing skills with strength in sharing stories.
Need: One communication or public relations majors.

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Review and update our Hazard Communication Program

OSHA mandates the maintenance of a Hazard Communication Program which educates staff members and visitors on the hazards of various materials used at SonSet Solutions. A HazCom Program is a document that details how the organization educates its staff on the hazardous materials in the workplace and the proper handling of those materials.

Desired skills: Good writing skills.
Need: One communications or human resources major.

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Health insurance survey update

Staff members at SonSet Solutions utilize a variety of health insurance plan solutions. We want to keep up with how those experiences are going and continue to gather data, including what the staff members selected for 2018 and why. If time allows, the spring break participant will research alternatives for 2019 – group plans, individual plans, co-ops.

Desired skills: Good writing skills.
Need: One business administration or human resources major.

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Design and install a protective barrier to hinder unauthorized access

SonSet Solutions has installed two pads for recreational vehicles which include utility hookups. To protect against unauthorized access and other hazards, like snowplows, SonSet Solutions would like to add a protective barrier. We envision some posts with a chain across the front but are open to other suggestions.

Desired skills: Good knowledge of mechanical principles and experience in Computer Aided Drafting.
Need: One mechanical or civil engineering student.

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Facilities drawing update

SonSet Solutions is comprised of two buildings on five acres of land. Drawings exist for the current facilities and some proposed improvements. SonSet Solutions would like to update these drawings.

Desired skills: Experience in Computer Aided Drafting.
Need: One mechanical or civil engineering student.

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Design graphic elements for marketing pieces

Throughout the year, SonSet Solutions uses many communication methods for creating awareness and raising funds. Many of those communication tools could be enhanced through graphic elements that help identify an event or funding campaign. One student will work with the public relations manager to create graphics such as campaign logos and marketing materials that can be used in future print and digital publications.

Desired skills: An eye for graphic design and proficient using InDesign.
Need: One graphic design student.

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Recruit VBS groups for SonSet radio donation campaign

This year SonSet Solutions is focusing on intentionally partnering with churches to fundraise for and prepare SonSet Radios for distribution worldwide. We need a student to contact the churches and work with them to provide the communication and promotional materials necessary.

Desired skills: Stronger than average writing skills and verbal communication skills; detail-oriented.
Need: Prefer one to two communication or public relations majors.

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Write human interest stories for SonSet Solutions

God is using technology our engineers have developed to change lives worldwide. It is important to share stories of impact with our supporters and donors. We need one to two students to interview our missionaries and ministry partners and write human interest stories that can be used in our print and digital publications.

Desired skills: Stronger than average writing skills with particular strength in sharing stories.
Need: One to two communication or public relations majors.

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