Senior design project help please

So I will soon be doing my final project in order to graduate. I have various ideas but I want to throw my main idea out there to you all and get some input and have some answers questioned if at all possible. I subscribed to this page just so that I can receive help from fellow engineers.

** My idea is to have a push button inside of a car that when pressed communicates with a street sign (specifically the yellow upcoming street sign). When the button is pressed it will illuminate this street sign so that it is easily seen in bad weather or for those who have a hard time seeing them unless they are right up on it. I will obviously have to use some form of rf/wireless communication between the car and the sign. The sign can simply be illuminated or it can illuminate led's spelling out the street name. The sign will have to have an external power source probably solar rechargeable batteries.

My question to you all is where this sounds easy in my mind, I would like to know any ideas to make this as simple as possible. The more information or ideas the better. Parts, methods, circuit design, etc. Anything will be of great help at this point.


  • Elisa
    Could you describe your idea a bit in more detail? I do not understand the concept of people controlling the traffic signals. Perhaps, you just want to brighten up the yellow signal so that it is more visible in bad weather?
  • matpac1
    Yes. I apologize. More or less the basic idea is that I push a button on my end, and it controls a street sign spelled out in LEDs. The point is as you stated; to make the current street sign more visible in bad weather or for those who have to wait until they are close to the sign to see it.

    Some specifics I would like to implement here are as follows.

    =Push button on transmitter side
    =sign needs to use a microprocessor of some sort to take the receiver signal and drive the LED's on the sign.
    =The power source I would like to use is a battery that is solar recharged.

    I have no idea which micro is easiest to use in this situation, I also have no idea what chip would be able to drive so many led's at once. I also need to start researching where to find a power supply that can be recharged solarly. As far as the transmitter and receiver go I will have to look into that as well to see which would be idea for this project.
  • xheavenlyx
    You straight away jumped on the project. First, analyze and refine your idea and answer these:

    1. How many people at a time can control the brightness? What if its a busy road?

    2. Is it worth it? Is the cost of putting it in ALL signals important?

    3. What if the Road authority asks for comprehensive study on to where to put it and where not?

    4. What about the cars? Will the companies even have something so simple and rarely used device in their cars?

    Well, if you are just planning to learn about microcontrollers then this project is fine. But the main idea has to be clearcut or else even the specific technical stuff will be HELL.
  • xheavenlyx
    1. Why do you need to recharge slowly? or anything? when the Road Authority provides power.

    2. We already have well researched street sign paints/plastics which glow by high beam mode of your headlight, by flick of a switch, why 2 switches after ur invention?

    3. The reason Red/Yellow and Green is used is basically because of this, Red has lowest scattering property so you can see it from far, and yellow comes next, green doesn't matter much as you are near the traffic signal already at green. thats why your break lights are Red too. these lights are well in all weather conditions.
  • krishs
    hello ,every body
    i'm very happy to say that i joined in this forum atleast now
    thank u all................;-)

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