[Lab] Arduino Courses, another perspective

Bob silicon at videotron.ca
Sun Mar 30 15:05:10 EDT 2014

I think the Arduino classes would be a great thing, and a specific project
like the break beam alarm would allow people to learn while building
something they could use. I am confident that, as Darcy suggested, the
curriculum would be constantly tweaked as feedback from the participants is

I would like to add my thoughts to the plan in the hope that they can add to
the course design. If this was already in the plans, well, no harm done.

My suggestions come from my being a slightly different type of beginner. I
am an Arduino beginner, but I have programmed before, so understanding where
to use loops and if statements and other constructs is not a problem, I just
have to look up the specific C syntax. I am familiar with computers and have
my Arduino up and running and have coded some simple things by copying
projects on the web. I also have a pretty good idea of how I may want to
build my projects by using a simple drawing. I can figure out what sensors I
would need, optical, audio, heat and proximity for some examples of the
almost endless choices. I know what I want to do with the sensors' data and
probably how to do it in a pseudo kind of way.

                Finally to my point, I (almost) fall completely apart when
it comes to designing the actual circuit so that as few as possible
components fry. I think that a course on how to read and understand the data
sheets that come with every component and how to calculate loads on the
components, and I don't just mean the actual formulas, but why and where to
apply the formulas,  would be like teaching someone to fish as opposed to
just giving them a fish. Almost any project you can dream up has been done
and resides somewhere on Youtube or Instructables or even on the Arduino
home page , but plugging components into a breadboard and adding resistors
and capacitors and downloading the sketch is not "learning", it's a start,
but not the end. 

                As well, a course on the various electronic components used
to accomplish particular tasks, transistors and relays for example would
help in the circuit design phase.


I hope this helps in some way.







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