Seetrax XL Designer

Controlled assessment poses a real challenge because we cannot give help to students. In the past, it has always been necessary to discuss the circuit details of particular projects with them and to intervene during the design process. Or at the very least, provide reassurance. It is now essential that students have access to a definitive tried and tested sub-circuit library and a foolproof way of converting this into a pcb design. There must be confidence that the copper tracking is a true implementation of the net list read from the schematic.

To help our current year 10 students, we have developed the picXplorer prototyping kit. This allows students to select appropriate input and output sub-circuits and plug them into either a PICAXE or Genie PIC to produce a working system for their project. In addition to confirming the appropriate selection of sub-circuits and get a feel for the physical size of the components, students can also use the system to develop their flowcharts on working hardware (in the event of a problem with their own designed pcbs).

XLD Fig 9

Fig 9 picXplorer inputs

XLD Fig 10

Fig 10 picXplorer outputs

XLD Fig 11

Fig 11 picXplorer with light sensor, push button and reed switch inputs connected to relay and bi-colour LED outputs ready for flowchart programming.

Having experimented with picXplorer to develop their coursework solution, students use XLD for designing their pcb.

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