Ben Steinbach’s Work Log

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  • Post last modified:April 20, 2024
  • Reading time:10 mins read
  • Post category:Work Logs


  • Reworked 3x boards for the temperature DAQ. Needed to flip the converter to the backside of the board
  • Still waiting on the Bay Electric quote
  • Design Expo was on Tuesday, was there from setup through take-down.
  • Next week need to go back to the mine to take down the test arrays.
  • Also need to assemble the temperature DAQ next week.


  • Went to the mine again yesterday, Mark better understands the situation now and is working on a couple of new quotes for us. We switched locations of the array again – the solar pathfinder indicates that our original location would be shaded for the entirety of December. We missed this when we first went to the mine.
  • Specced out a contactor for fan control
  • Soldered 3x boards for the temperature DAQ
  • Heavy on report writing this week. Will push it to the team for review tomorrow.


  • Created the template for the final report and completed the airflow simulation section.
  • I am working with Bay Electric to better understand the egregious quote. I will be going to the mine again with Mark to discuss how we can bring the price down.


  • Bureaucracy foils us again. By the time our wire purchase is approved, we may not have time to build the DAQ
  • Still waiting on a quote from Bay Electric
  • Soldered 5 mcs onto our PCBs for testing purposes
  • Putting together a report for Tanner & Co.


  • Met with Jared of Bay Electric at the mine. He is working to put a solar array quote together.
  • Established a contact at International Wire for the procuring wire for our DAQ.
  • Discovered that all OSHE capstones share 1 booth at the Design Expo? Yikes


  • Worked with Professor Nathan Manser to simulate the effects of a fan in the mine, the data looks supportive, I believe the fan the DNR has will achieve our goal.
  • Going to the mine with Bay Electric on 03/20. Hopefully it will be one and done and we can create a solar array proposal with the information we learn from them.


  • Had our CDR this week, it went well. Learned during it that Tanner is our primary contact. Sent him an email and will see where it leads.
  • Need to qualify our thermistor this weekend. I plan on bringing it to work and using an environmental chamber to verify it.
  • Have a follow-up with Scott tomorrow, hoping to make good progress on our thermal specs.
  • Need to follow up with Nathan. He has not been in touch since he got the point cloud data.


  • Met with the entire Hibernacula Manipulation team (12 people), and the Environmental DAQ is (maybe?) struck from our list. Shane is following up with Jared. This is pretty big if it is, the majority of our time this semester has been spent on it.
  • Scott Wagner is meeting with some colleagues to discuss our Thermo modeling, following up with him next Thursday.
  • Turns out Nathan regularly simulates air flow through mines. I got him the point cloud data, he’s working on converting that into something usable for him. Will follow up next week.


Due to personal reasons not much was completed in Enterprise this week. Upcoming tasks/events:

  • Meet with Scott Wagner about Thermo modeling of the cave
  • Continue to hound John about a mounting solution
  • Update TCAN footprint
  • Start to design PCB for the Enviro DAQ


Check list for this semester:

  • Determine a mounting solution for our sensors in the mine
  • Determine what solar panel position is the best and how many panels we’d need to make a substantial power source (requires the Power DAQ to be operational
  • Make 2500′ worth of Environmental DAQ, ready to be installed once our mounting solution is implemented


  • Finally determined that IGS will be in an entirely different mine, and our project scopes do no overlap in the slightest
  • Attempting to get tax exemption on the solar panels we wanted has inhibited us from getting them at all. The road to the mine is seasonal and it is not feasible to snowshoe the panels to the mine.
  • We’ve secured the panels that the Bird team used, but they are tiny. We are worried that they won’t be able to collect the data we need.
  • Still no word on if our trip to the mine on 11/09 will happen or not. We reached out on 10/30 to try to set it up. We’d like to get a point cloud for simulating the thermodynamics of the cave, this will likely be our only shot to gather this data.
  • The breakout boards for prototyping the DAQ are designed, working with Mark Sloan to print them. They’re currently swamped with the Circuits II boards.


  • The infrastructure needed to implement a liquid-cooled system is prohibitive, while fans won’t be as efficient, we believe it’s more reasonable to execute.
  • Still unsure of IGS’s project scope. Trying to figure out what mine John DePue wants them at. If he wants them at Mead Mine (same as us) then we will meet with them to discuss overall plans.
  • Break-out boards – design and printing. Using KiCAD for the board design, working with Mark to print them in the Plexus Lab
  • Hoping to make it on-site next week to set up some test panels.


  • Budget has been finalized!
  • The scope of work done by us (OSHE) and Innovative Global Solutions (IGS) has been called into question. Professor Manser was under the impression they were responsible for the cooling system while we were in charge of power production. We plan on injecting ourselves into their work to ensure the mechanical system is as efficient as possible.
  • Food safe propylene glycol has been identified. A little pricey but should work well.
  • Still working to schedule a time with a key-holder to see the inside of the cave.


  • Visited the mine on 09/21, we surveyed the area but were unable to enter the mine.
  • Have been unable to nail down a meeting time with John DePue, our DNR contact. Would still like to meet with him on-site. Designing a system for a cave we haven’t seen isn’t ideal.
  • Lots of questions about our budget and purchasing. Remains to be seen how fast or slow the turnaround will be. Working on putting together our first PR to see how it goes.
  • ROUGH cooling system idea shown below