1) Research your idea and look at previous attempts. Do not copy someone elses work unless you intend to build on his ideas and take his concept further.
2) Be creative. Why create a project that is already in mass production? Add a useful function that will make it unique.
1) Draw a Block Diagram of the stages involved in your design. This will help give a clear picture of the overall (signal) processes or processing involved.
2) Draw a Circuit Diagram. This will help you in fault finding. You will also need a diagram for your report.
1) It will help if you use the suggested wiring colour code:-
RED wire for Positive Supply
BLACK wire for Zero Volts.
BLUE wire for Negative Supply
YELLOW wire for AC Supplies.
Use other colours for signals and interconnecting components.
2) Be neat in laying out your wiring. This will help in replacing components and allow other people such as your supervisor to understand and check your project.
Normally you can use Bimbord for your circuits unless they are operating at high frequencies.
1) If in doubt, ask a technician for advice on what box to buy and how to mount components, drill holes, get screws, etc.
Plan ahead ! For example - A common error is to populate a PCB without considering how it is to be mounted in a box or enclosure. This should be resolved at an early stage.
Allow adequate time for work to be completed. At peak times this may be considerable.
1) Build your confidence up by breaking down your project into small sections which you are able to test and verify works. This will also help you understand how your circuit works.
2) Ask another student to check your work for obvious mistakes.
3) If it doesn't function as expected then Read The Data Sheet and make sure you understand how your device works.
4) Ask your supervisor for assistance.
5) Use an Oscilloscope to look at waveforms and compare them with what you would expect to see. From this deduce where the faulty stage is and investigate.