10/22/14, 10/23/14: Daily Post

On Wednesday, I spent my efforts between Magdalena as an AVID tutor and New Mexico Tech, preparing an instrumentation experiment and overseeing the Unit Operations Laboratory.

On Thursday, I spent the first half of the day in Magdalena again. The middle of the day and the late evening were spent working on the same instrumentation system and working on an essay for my English class. The early evening was spent tutoring at the Boys and Girls Ranch.

The AVID tutoring is a lot of fun. I’ve had a great time with it. I’ve put in just shy of 10 hours this week, and will put in more next week. This week, the school had a half-day on Thursday, which is my day to work the whole day.

The Boys and Girls Ranch tutoring was great. We did a demonstration and hands-on lab where we extracted DNA from strawberries. I recruited a new student into our tutoring program, which helps us out tremendously.

The English essay has taken quite a bit of time. It’s probably good enough, but I’m anxious to do a really good job on these essays. I need to leave well-enough alone and get cracking on other homework instead.

The LabVIEW instrumentation problem is for the freshman class. I have a pump moving water from one tank to another, and we are measuring the mass at the second tank versus time. This allows us to calculate a volumetric flow rate through the pump. I have the pump powered through a variable transformer such that I can control the voltage to the pump, and thus the speed of the pump. The challenge has been interfacing the serial port on the scale. Originally, I dumped every measurement into the program, including the ones that were parsed incorrectly. Last night, I wrote a routine to throw out incorrectly parsed data. I feel like it is a band-aid, as it does not address why the data is being parsed incorrectly. Our sampling rate is only 1 Hz, so the system has plenty of time to pull a correctly-parsed piece of data each cycle.

Anyway, I need to finish up this essay (or give up and say it is good enough, and go work on the next thing). Have a good morning!
Thank you for reading my post!

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