[Lab] Arduino Courses, another perspective

Aurelius R maxrowsell at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 15:26:19 EDT 2014

Thanks for the feedback Bob, what you mentioned is what I do every day. I
had to learn the hard way about reading datasheets. At first they seem
overwhelming, but once you know what to look for they're incredibly useful
pieces of information.

I was thinking of doing part of the workshop on serial protocols, a very
key part of what you were talking about. Sensors (at least most modern
ones) are either in IC or TO-92 packages, and they almost always use SPI,
I2C or 1-Wire interfaces, all of which are different and require some

Also, breadboarding a project and having someone to walk you through it,
explaining why every step matters, can really help.
However, as you mentioned, the code is important as well. I'm intimately
familiar with AVR-C and how to use ATmega/ATtiny micros. I only just got
into Arduino recently, after spending a lot of time coding exclusively in
C, so I tend to blend the two together to get quick, but powerful results.

What were you envisioning specifically?

Thanks again for the ideas!

Alexander Max Rowsell
Frozen Electronics
(613) 809-7163

On 30 March 2014 15:05, Bob <silicon at videotron.ca> wrote:

> 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
> received.
> 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.
> Thanks
> Bob
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