Pressing On

Hi there!

It’s been two weeks since the end of our mid-semester break. And by ‘break’ I don’t mean an actual break, as in a holiday. Oh no no. I was busier than I usually am at uni (and that’s pretty busy!).

I shifted house during the break and that lost me about five days of study time. I also had some other responsibilities to take care of, which left me with very little time to complete the work set for the break.

For Electeng 209 we were asked to finish our breadboarding (I’m still not done) and to finish off other aspects of the code we are writing for our wireless energy monitor. We have just submitted our final printed circuit board (PCB) design, which will be manufactured offsite. Right now things have calmed down quite a lot in terms of the workload, so I actually had time to watch a movie the other day! Now, I know that sounds bad but bear in mind that I probably have a much heavier load than most students, given I have a child to look after too. Still though, everyone has been flat out during this semester, from all specialisations.

On the bright side, I have quite enjoyed working on the Electeng 209 project in the past few weeks. I’m starting to feel as though I have some practical knowledge and skills which you would expect an engineer to have. Although I still have heaps to learn, it’s nice to be able to look at a washing machine or a drier and have some idea of what is going on inside (keyword here being “some”). Still… some knowledge is better than none at all, which is what the general population has!

Something interesting about the structure of an Electrical/Electronics engineering degree at the University of Auckland is that the second year is the same as the Computer Systems engineering degree. One thing I have discovered is that Computer Systems definitely isn’t for me! While I can write code, I much prefer doing the analogue side of designing. That means I like to think up electrical circuits and then wire them up. As you have probably realised, there is a lot of crossover between Computer Systems and Electrical/Electronics engineering. It is actually really good to do the same courses as Computer Systems because you expose yourself to two specialisations, which means you have the chance to change if you decide you prefer the other specialisation (provided there is enough space in the programme).

On another note, last week I submitted my Compsys202 assignment that we had to do over the break. I did enjoy it, I just wish that I had more time so that I could have finished it! Compsys202 is quite fun as you get to learn new concepts and then apply them in the assignments. The assignments are enjoyable because you can implement the tasks however you want, the only thing I found was that the second assignment was a little hard to interpret in some parts of the specification document. But I guess that could be similar to a real life situation in the work force!

Generally speaking, I have really enjoyed the degree so far. Most of the courses are quite satisfying because you can really see the progress you have made after a semester. This specialisation is quite specific, but at the same time super versatile. If you are considering this specialisation then my advice to you is to consider, how are you finding Electeng 101? Please keep in mind that all the rules you need to memorise for this course will not be needed in your second year. In the second year you will be given a formula for finding RMS values that always works, and hence understand what is actually happening rather than just memorising. Next year will also have a course based on basic circuit theory which is really helpful, and quite fun in my experience 😊

Here are some photos of what we have been doing:

Transmitting a UART signal. A character is represented by 8 bits, they can be high or low. This waveform represents the number 129.









A noisy voltage input…








A much better voltage input!








OH YEAH. Compsys 202. All tests passed 😀











Organising our Enggen 204 Meeting











Well, I’m off now!