Scrapyard Challenge Write-up

The Scrapyard Challenge was an overall fun and educational experience.

My team, consisting of Rachel, Juan and Firm, had an XBOX and a printer/scanner to work with. We had originally wanted to build a DJ turntable set, but it ended up being something entirely different.

The process

The first step in our process was that Rachel and Juan focused on taking the XBOX apart, while Firm and I took the printer/scanner apart.

Then Rachel and I worked on figuring out the function of our product using the printer. We wanted the slider from the printer to sound like turntable scratching, but it became something entirely different. Now the function was that every time a user slid the printer bar across the printer, and pressed down a “key,” a note would play – almost like a sliding piano. We laid down the foundation for our product to work. We then configured all the wires and added some “decoration” to appease Rachel.

Meanwhile, Juan worked on the “beat” of the turntable.

And Firm worked on another slider using the scanner part of the printer/scanner.

Rachel and I tested our aspect of our group’s project.

Unfortunately, it did not work. The wires were configured properly, however, the wires were splayed causing the sensor points to be weakened.

We then rewired our product using different wires.

And it worked! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a video of our final product in action because the pizza came. But here is a video of our “jam session.”

Scrapyard Challenge jam session

As for Juan and Firm’s aspect of our product, Juan’s functioned properly but we didn’t have time to put our projects together, and Firm’s slider did not work. So in the end, instead of creating one coherent DJ set, it ended up being three different projects.

Final thoughts

Although our product didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped, I had so much fun at the Scrapyard Challenge. I definitely learned a lot from this experience. When I first stepped foot in the building that Sunday morning, I had no idea what to expect. And I had no idea how to make some of the cool stuff other people had made in the past. I had no prior experience in this field at all. But by the end of the challenge, I gained a solid understanding of basic circuit principles. Now that I have that basic understanding, I’ve been thinking about other ways I can apply my newfound knowledge.

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