Block Diagram

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Block Diagram

At this project milestone the team presents an informal presentation on block diagram of the system they plan to build along with a  project Gantt chart. Your team's block diagram should be in poster format in PowerPoint or other supported software and 36" x 36" in size.  Please submit the file electronically to the Desire2Learn dropbox.  The project manager should contact the instructor to get the poster printed several days before your presentation. 

The instructor and TA's will meet with individually with each team during class hours to discuss the block diagram and Gantt chart.

Until your team receives a grade of > 70% you may not proceed to the next stage of the project.

The general format of the poster is detailed below: 

Block Diagram:  Include a block diagram of your system.  The block diagram should conform to the following guidelines:

bulletEach block must be a complete functional unit that can built and tested independently of other blocks of your system. 
bulletA block can be hardware and/or software.
bulletConnections between blocks must be identified with some technical details such as the type of signals carried, voltage and current levels, frequency, etc.
bulletBlocks need to have a descriptive title.
bulletEach block needs to have a rating of the technical difficulty.  
bulletYou have (N-1)*100 "difficulty points" to distribute across the entire block diagram where N is number of people on your team.   The project manager should not be assigned a block.
bulletThe number of points available to each person on the research and prototyping stages will be scaled by the fraction of total difficulty points their blocks are worth.  There needs to be discussion among your team to either balance the workload or to decide how to distribute points depending on the time and effort individuals can devote to the design project.
bulletEstimate the difficulty points for each block from factors such as design complexity, interfacing, need for research to design the block, difficulty of fabricating or testing.
bulletBlocks may be split between two people if needed.  In this case one person has lead responsibility and will get 75% of the difficulty points while the second support person will get 25% of the difficulty points.
bulletDifficulty points for blocks may be increased or decreased by adding or deleting features to each block.
bulletDo not assign difficulty points for fabrication steps such as milling boards or soldering.  Points are assigned only for design and prototyping.
bulletClearly identify the person who has full responsibility for each block on the diagram.  Although we expect that many people will contribute to the design of each block it is critically important that one person be responsible for the block.
bulletHere are examples of one good block diagram and several bad block diagrams.

Psuedocode:  Include a diagram such as a flowchart of psuedocode for the programming part of the project.  There are no fixed formats for this diagram, but the program flow should be understood from your diagram.  Make sure you state how IO will be performed.

Team Organization:  You must include a Gantt chart that includes deadlines for each stage of the project and clearly identifies individual responsibilities.   Make sure you include any task that will take effort and time including

bulletComponent Acquistion
bulletFabrication steps such as milling, etching, and soldering.
bulletTime required to obtain professional boards (1 week)
bulletRedesign and fabrication if major changes need to be made to a project or block.

Resources you may find useful for this slide are:

bulletStudents can download software for creating Gantt charts and block diagrams as well as Microsoft developer software for free from this site.
bulletA web-based tool for creating charts is at
bulletGantt Project is a free Gantt chart maker.

 Please ask the instructor if you have any questions on the format of the poster.

Late Deduction:  Failure to complete this assignment on time will result in a point reduction as outlined on the syllabus.   Note that these deductions are cumulative with late deductions for earlier portions of the project.

The team's poster will be graded using the rubric below.  Team's that score less than 70% will need to correct errors in their block diagram before they are allowed to move to the next phase of the project.  Note that delays at this stage of the project, while not fatal, can lead to additional work later in the project design cycle.


Points Awarded

Block diagram

Connections between blocks Distribution of Effort Psuedocode Gantt Chart Presentation & Understanding



System is complete with well defined modules and little functional overlap.

Connections between blocks clearly defined with sufficient technical detail to debug system. Block difficulty level is assessed accurately.  Psuedocode is accurate, descriptive, and technically accurate and feasible. Efforts of team are clearly defined and equitably distributed.  Schedule is complete and realistic/ Team correctly answers questions and has fully researched the design project.



System is complete, but modules are not well defined or have overlap.

Connections are defined but not enough information to measure what signals should be. Minor inconsistencies in assessment of block difficulty  Psuedocode is generally correct, but some minor errors or technical issues. Efforts of team are defined, but not equitably distributed.  Schedule may create difficulties. Team can answer most question and researched most of the design project.



System incomplete, poorly defined or overlapping function of modules.

Blocks are connected but connections are not defined or measurable. Major inconsistencies in estimates of block difficulty Major technical issues with psuedocode. Design process not well defined or gross variation of efforts of individuals. Team has clear gaps in knowledge; insufficient research to answer questions about their project.



Block diagram not a valid or complete representation of system.

Blocks not connected or connections are incorrect or inconsistent. Team lacks basic understanding of how to assess difficulty. Psueodcode does not accurately reflect the needs of the project. Team lacks basic understanding of the design process or work required. Clear lack of understanding.  Basic questions unanswered.

Deliverable from this stage of the project:  A poster that will be graded by the instructor and TA's.  Submit this electronically to the Desire2Learn dropbox and contact the instructor to print out the poster..

Important Links
4013 Grades Sharepoint Desire 2 Learn Catalog

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