Basic Electronics and Arduino Workshop – To Be Rescheduled

********* Update
The workshop is being rescheduled. The Saturday wasn’t working for most folks, and the incredibly awesome weather also means people would probably rather be sitting on the beach. Thanks for everyone who responded… I’m thinking we could have about six people attending, but it would be great if we get a few more. Most likely looking to rebook for somewhere in August (but not to close to Burning Man :) *********

Hey Folks

I’ve been doing an informal poll of members to try and get a handle on what sort of form my workshops could/should take. What I found is that there is a lot of interest from members wanting to learn more about electronics and microcontrollers, but overall there is a very wide range of topics to cover, from LED and RGB lighting control, to CNC machines, to power electronics and everything in between. I really do want people to get inspired and come out with a desire to try and incorporate electronics into their own projects, so I want to make this fun and hopefully not too technical!

What I’ve decided I will do is make the first workshop be a bit of a round table demo session, rather than a classroom situation where I have you all actually make something. The idea would be that I could get an idea of what the popular topics are for future workshops, and maybe generate some inspiration for people. This could also be a free-form, informal and open discussion about electronics/programming topics in general.

Here are the demos I will prepare for the workshop, which hopefully will be fascinating to everyone, and not be a snoozefest:

  • Electronics overview – typical electronic components (resistors, capacitors, inductors, LEDs, relays, chips)
  • DEMO: How to power an LED without blowing it up (overview of Ohm’s Law and resistor selection)
  • Typical test components and tools (power supplies, oscilliscopes, function generators, meters, breadboards, wire strippers, cutters, soldering iron, etc)
  • DEMO: Roll your own quick and nasty DC power supply for projects (Good demo of ocilliscope, transformers, diodes and capacitors)
  • Overview and evolution of the open source hardware/software movement (Processing, Pure Data, Arduino)
  • Indepth Arduino micro-controller boards and accessories (board types, “sheilds”, interfaces to open source software)
  • DEMO: Run a chain of RGB LEDs from arduino (good demo of serial communications and Pulse Width Modulation)
  • DEMO: Drive a relay/DC motor from Arduino via sensory input (switch large loads with tiny arduino! Also demo analog inputs)
  • General discussion and consensus on next workshop topic
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