Projects for New Members

There are actually a great deal of really interesting new projects that we think could be attacked by new club members. Here are just a few of the projects we'd like to see the club attack.

Contesting Maps:

Description: This would be a simple script/program that we could feed Xlog logs into at the end of a day of contesting. The log file would then parse what counties/states we have contacted (potentially countries and canadian provinces if we feel like it), and then generate an map that highlights which states have been contacted.

Difficulty: EASY

Classes/Background: Any programing knowledge (self taught, or CS111, or CS121). Senior club members can help those who want to learn, but lack recommended background or feel uncomfortable getting started on their own. This could be done by an individual or a group if desired.

Design Recommendation/Initial thoughts: Vector graphics files (SVG) are text based, and simply have the colors (of a pre made map, such as those on Wikipedia) changed by manipulating a few characters in the file. This SVG could then be passed to existing tools that would convert the SVG into a PNG/JPEG or other common image format. Alternative if SVG is not available, use a clean image as input with coordinates for each state or county to use a bucket fill on.

Networked Contact Logger:

Description: When running larger contests (such as the Field Day in July) often we’ll have multiple people operating for the same group at the same site. When these groups operate they need a logging tool that will let different radio operators know if someone else in the group has already made contact with the person they are looking to contact. Typically this means that a logging software is needed that will keep a local database of contacts, and keep it’s database synchronized with other computers running the same software. Major design requirements are as follows:

  • Linux and Windows support. (this makes Java and Python attractive languages for development, although not required.)
  • Ad-hoc database model. The typical model for something like this would to have one computer act as a server in some sense and have other computers report contacts to the central database, but this isn’t always reliable in a temporary set up like a contesting operation. To get around this, each computer should try to keep track of other computers on the network running the software, and relay updated copies of the database around the network.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Classes/Background: Programing knowledge, comfort writing some software. We have a piece of software we’ve found (in Python) that looks pretty good, it has a networking bug under Linux that would need to be fixed, and the user interface would need to be redesigned. This shouldn’t be too much work, but we haven’t attacked this yet. This could be done by an individual, but a group is recommended. Again senior club members can provide help if desired.

Design Recommendation/Initial thoughts: This could be either a project from scratch (if desired) or it could be a reworking of an existing tool we’ve found that has some user interface issues. The project would be very simple networking (python makes this extremely straightforward), some basic database work (Kevin is an SQL wizard if you have any questions), and some text box based UI input. You might be able to convince someone to let you make this a final project for CS121 or CS111 depending upon what your instructor thinks. If you’d like to go this route we can help define specific needs of the software to make instructors happy about the difficulty they would like a final project to have.

Custom Long Range Airplane RC control

Description: The WSU Aerospace club has approached us about getting a custom radio system built for controlling a custom high altitude, long range, RC plane. Think something on the order of 80 km to 90 km. The system could be, purchased/donated prebuilt, custom made, or a mix of systems. This is a very open ended project, so you would have a great deal of creative freedom with how to attack this.

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard (depending upon how you attack this, it could either be an amazing project at the Sophomore or Junior level, or it could be a senior design level project.

Initial thoughts: This is a group project, but if you’re interested and motivated members and faculty will be more than willing to provide whatever help they can (it brings prestige to the university as well as those who build it) and other students and club members will begin to show up as the project gets started. They can’t ignore something this exciting.