2019 Spring Break Projects at SonSet Solutions

Develop power quality solutions

Our radio partners often struggle with poor power sources and lightning strikes, resulting in downtime, and expensive or difficult repairs. We are seeking to provide them equipment and solutions that protect their electronic equipment. Students will help to:

  • Assemble and test power protection units
  • Refine the web interface for our power protection system
  • Test donated regulation equipment
  • Design and implement a low-cost power quality monitor
  • Evaluate power contactors and flyback transformers

Desired skills: Hands-on electronics and mechanical assembly experience; experience with electronics test equipment; knowledge of power systems; experience with Java, HTML and basic graphical web page development.
Appropriate for electrical, computer and mechanical engineering majors; computer science majors

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Develop SonSetLink™ remote monitoring systems

SonSet Solutions has created remote monitoring systems (RMS) 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. It helps our ministry partners focus their limited resources on providing maintenance to those locations that are showing a problem. Students will help to:

  • Develop an installation and operations manual for the India Mark II hand pump RMS
  • Build several RMS reprogramming devices
  • Organize RMS prototype and production parts
  • Design a satellite modem cover

Desired skills: Hands-on electronics and mechanical assembly experience; technical writing; basic electronics; mechanical CAD.
Appropriate for electrical, computer and mechanical engineering majors

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Improve 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 traced all the equipment wiring and created a database with that information. A student will help improve a browser-based user interface to the database.

Desired skills: PHP programing experience, MySQL knowledge a plus.
Appropriate for computer engineering and computer science majors

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Upgrade wireless voltage monitor

SonSet Solutions has developed a prototype Wi-Fi monitor system used to monitor power source voltages and ambient temperatures in our partner’s facilities. Students will help with the ongoing development and reliability improvement of this tool.

Desired skills: C++ programming and knowledge of wireless networking.
Appropriate for computer engineering and computer science majors

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Evaluate and document donated test equipment

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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Test donated solar and wind systems

SonSet Solutions recently received some decommissioned solar and wind generation equipment from a university. Students will help clean, inventory, evaluate, document and test the equipment for potential use for our partners.

Desired skills: Strong back, technically oriented, knowledge of renewable power systems.
Appropriate for engineering majors

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Dismantle HC100 transmitter

DRM

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 around the world. We continue to support the broadcast sites using these transmitters through technical advice and provision of replacement parts. Students will help dismantle a used HC100 transmitter to salvage and document useful parts.

Desired skills: Basic understanding of electronics and mechanics, experience with tools.
Appropriate for engineering majors or anyone technically oriented

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Repair SonSet® radios

SonSet Solutions has distributed over 60,000 solar-powered pre-tuned SonSet radio receivers in the last 10 years. We run quality assurance tests each radio before shipment. An occasional unit fails the tests and is set aside for evaluation. The student will help to debug and repair a stock of failed receivers.

Desired skills: Hands-on electronics assembly and circuit debug.
Appropriate for electronics engineering majors

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Assist in Machine Shop

SonSet Solutions has a fully equipped machine shop for the production of our equipment like antenna and remote monitor systems. A student will assist one of our machinists with whatever production work is a priority at the time.

Desired skills: Mechanical interest, basic machining and/or woodworking.
Appropriate for any engineering major

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Carry out 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 student 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.
Appropriate for any major

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Improve digital signage

SonSet Solutions uses digital signage to engage with visitors, promote our mission, and enhance our image and brand. A student will help review and revise existing digital signage templates for ease of use with the goal of promoting a more dynamic informational welcome sign at our building entrance.

Desired skills: Experience in media production and communication.
Appropriate for communications and digital media majors

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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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Produce audio for RED promotional video

SonSet Solutions has produced a video promoting the ministry of our partner ministry in Burkina Faso. Students will rerecord and edit narration audio for this video about Radio ‘Evangile D’eveloppement.

Desired skills: Spoken communication, audio editing.
Appropriate for communications and digital media majors

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Create key PR/Communications pieces

Communicating our brand, mission and ministry stories is key to the success of SonSet Solutions. Students will help to:

  • Improve the tour experience of SonSet Solutions by refining the information shared in our standard tour and update displays that facilitate the tour.
  • Develop 45-minute presentations for training our staff in partnership development.
  • Tell stories which inform and inspire people to get involved with our ministry. This may include researching story possibilities, contacting ministry partners, conducting interviews, securing photos, and writing a story that will capture what is happening because of the work of the ministry.

Desired skills: Creativity and good communication, writing and presentation skills.
Appropriate for communications or public relations majors

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