[Lab] Arduino Courses, another perspective
justin at slootsky.org
Mon Mar 31 11:28:34 EDT 2014
I too could benefit from a course like that
On March 31, 2014 9:11:41 AM Amos Hayes <amos at polkaroo.net> wrote:
> I'm in the same boat as Bob. I can get a feel about what the different
> simple bits are in a circuit from an educational kit. And I can follow
> instructions to make things. But as soon as I imagine something new that
> might require certain chips or any sort of more advanced part, it gets
> overwhelming. Learning about the protocols would help. So would some
> session where we dissect and then maybe implement a slightly complex
> project schematic with an opportunity to walk through the circuit and, as
> Bob suggests, look at the data sheets and learn the why behind every little
> piece from someone who can explain it clearly. How did you know you needed
> a resistor there? How did you know how big it should be? etc...
> I feel like there is a real gap at that level. But maybe I'm just not
> looking in the right places. I took a circuits course when I was in
> engineering but it didn't connect any of the theory to implementation for
> me. The labs involved following instructions to build things from supplied
> parts. So not a lot of thinking about what to build, sourcing the right
> components, and connecting them properly based on their data sheets.
> amos at polkaroo.net
> On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 3:26 PM, Aurelius R <maxrowsell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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
> > practice.
> > 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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