Nick Sandahl’s Work Log

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  • Post last modified:April 20, 2024
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Spring 2024 BREAD BUNS

Project Update 1/27/2024: This week the group discussed and ordered components to begin work on one of the member’s (Nic’s) capstone project: BREAD BUNS, a barcode scanning deceive with the goal of tracking the movement of products in a plant environment. In the following weeks we aim to begin testing the bar code scanner that we ordered and begin the design of the remote scanner.

Project Update 2/3/2024: The parts that we ordered last week came in. The design of a prototype (breadboard) has been started and other projects have been looked into. We have found a project using a similar scanner to ours and plan to learn more about their project and perhaps incorporate some of their ideas. This next week we aim to begin the assembly of a bread board and coding the remote scanner’s Arduino.

Project Update 2/10/2024: This week we successfully able to read both bar codes and qr codes with our scanner. So moving forward, we need to start work on the slice that will communicate to the remote scanner as well as the remote device’s radio communication. As a group we decided that Adam and I will work on the slice and remote while Nic will begin work on the data base/raspberry pi.

Project Update 2/17/2024: This week, we began work on our CDR and worked on the radio module of the scanner. We were not super successful with establishing communication but believe we are getting there. This next week, we will be making our slide for our CDR and aim to section up our slides so that each critical area can be reviewed individually. After our slides, we hope to continue work on the radio communication and be able to send values over the connection. I may also add the display to the scanner to display read values.

Project Update 2/23/2024: This week we did our CDR and got some interesting feedback. Apparently the radio modules we are using may be capable of operating without the Arduino nano if we don’t include extra features on the remote scanner. We are considering testing without the Arduino and (if it goes well) making a design without the Arduino. We are likely still going to make the design with the Arduino as we aim to make a scanner that is capable of displaying the value from the barcode on the device. Having the featured and basic remote scanner may be beneficial to our project. This next week (over spring break), Adam and I will continue our work with the radios and hope to make steps towards our first prototype.

Project Update 3/9/2024: This week we started combining the different components of the project. We have the radio communication between the two Arduinos and are able to send over scanned barcodes. Additional work needs to be done to have the raspberry pi able to send data from the database to the Arduinos, but we should be able to send scanned items to the database. Now, Adam and I will continue development of a prototype pcb and some 3d models to house the scanner.

Project Update 3/16/2024: I now have a prototype model to 3d print so that the prototype scanner can be better visualized and be used as a reference for the pcb size. I recalibrated my 3d printer and got it ready to print again so that I can print the model sometime next week. I also got Kicad downloaded on my computer and I am importing the different components to design the pcb. We also went ahead and ordered ~1in oled screens, usb modules, and a hand held scanner. This next week we hope to complete two pcb prototype boards with and without a usb module to communicate to the actual scanners.

Project Update 3/23/2024: This week I found that the Kicad software had issues with the graphics drives on my computer. I managed to resolve this by swapping out my drivers. also found that additional changes need to be done to my 3d models to account for errors with 3d printing and for additional space for wiring. I will continue working on the pcb and 3d models.

Project Update 3/29/2024: Our new parts came in and we have started work to add the screen to the scanner and add a mounting point on the model. With the usb module, we will test out our hand held scanner as well as the usb port on our existing scanner.

Project Update 4/6/2024: This week we did a verity of tests. We found that the usb module that we were trying to use for the hand held scanner was not able to operate with the current Arduino scanner without major changes to our code. So moving forward we are going to focus more on the working uart scanner. We also found out that we can’t power the radio module off the power of the Arduino as the power needed for max range exceeds the Arduino’s output. This next week Adam and I hope to find and order a suitable battery for the remote scanner and to continue work on our pcbs.

Project Update 4/13/2024: This week we worked to combine all the parts we had completed into a working system. We meetup and finished our report with the details on our current system and our ideas for it. These last two days Adam and I increased the capabilities of our remote communication, increasing our max characters from just 31 to hundreds. Now we are trying to wrap things up. We plan to organize our review process for our check offs and have things ready for next semester.

Project Update 4/20/2024: This I reviewed the proposed projects for next semester and made my vote on what should be done. This week also had the capstone presentations. The majority of them seem to be on track or close to be. As for BREAD BUNS, we are extremely happy with how far we got and Nic expects to be able to finish during the fall semester.

Fall 2023 Project BREAD MOLD


This week we reviewed our code. Updated the comments, changed the organization of the code, and improved the display management. We also began work to have the slice communicating with the BREAD loaf and have gone over the documentation on I2C communication.


Nic and I over the last few week have been working on getting the LCD display working in the project. We have some concerns with it due to the display using I2C communication and the loaf also communicating in I2C as well. If we come to any problems as we move to get it communicating with a loaf, we will refer to the other BREAD team and or BREAD documentation.


This week Nic and I expanded the prototype to use all 4 of our load cells and constructed a crude weighing scale. Then we started work to add the LCD display and the rotary encoder for the interface.


This week, Nic and I picked up the parts we ordered last week. With the new parts and the parts from the lab, we began to make the first proto type. This first prototype had the goal to read in a analog value from a load cell. Using an Arduino library and a tutorial, we were successful is reading values. Next week, we plan to print out brackets for our load cells and make adjustments to current code to incorporate the components besides the scale.


This week I assisted Growbot getting back to an operational state. I also gave a run down on the project to members of the current Growbot team. For Bread, Nic and I search the available parts in the lab to use for our project and listed out what we were still missing to begin developing our slice “MOLD”. This last Friday we place our order for screens and load cells. This puts our project cost to $17.92.