Monday, October 24, 2011

Buy an Arduino and do something interesting with it: Done and done!

I still don't know what an Arduino is. I've been told that it's a microcontroller, but I don't know what a microcontroller is. All I know is that people do cool projects with it. I'm sold.

Because I knew nothing about electronics and had zero electronics parts/gadgets/doohickies, I bought a starter kit that comes with the all the basic things I needed, as well as all the parts necessary for the 11 example starter programs. One of the reviews I read about this kit noted, "This product stinks! No, I mean it literally stinks. I'm not sure what the smell is, but I think it may have been stored in a smoker's lung. On top of a barbecue. Among burning tires." My kit did not smell like a smoker's lung... but I thought it had more of a mothball scent.

The manual was sufficient, but I feel as though it skipped over some basic stuff, like explaining what a breadboard is. Luckily, my friends MU and JM had given me a 30-second crash course the previous week, so I was stuck on the first example for only a mildly long period of time. Once I mastered how to read the circuit in the first example of the manual, I zoomed through the second example and then decided that I wanted to do something cooler than just blinking LEDs.

Flipping through the circuit cards, I saw a project that could play one line of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star using a Piezo buzzer. I can totally one-up TTLS and showcase my blinking-LEDs skillz and get that Baby Monkey song stuck in everybody's heads:

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