I’ll post links to our class slides here:
(This week – Week 3 – we departed from the convention of having all content included in the slides. I want you all to begin using the Internet to forge for information and tutorials to help you start working with microcontrollers. For Week 3 we used resources from the Arduino.cc website and SparkFun.com. For a great tutorial on RGB LEDs you can also go to Adafruit.com
Arduino.cc – We used the fading and smoothing tutorials. We used fading to illustrate how to use PWM to make an LED dim and brighten. Smoothing showed us how to take several readings from a variable resistor and average them out so that the readings are ‘smoother.’ We combined the two code examples so that a potentiometer controls the brightness of an LED and we compared this to the regular analog input. Most agreed the ‘smoothing’ example produced a more supple change in brightness. (Take away: Technology (code and electronics) is a material for expression, and materials matter! How we code, and how we build our circuits translates into observable, experiential phenomena that can produce qualitative differences.) We also used the Servo example from Arduino.cc, though not all students got through this during class time. Two examples, Knob and Sweep are included in the reference entry linked. We used a basic and very small servo for this example. Larger Servos with higher power requirements might need a separate power supply to operate properly.
SparkFun.com – We used the ultrasonic sensor, part #HC-SR04 and the SparkFun example code to illustrate how the range finder work. The Ping example on the Arduino.cc site is written for a Parallax Ultrasonic Sensor with three pins. The HC-SR04 has four. (Parallax ties the two middle pins, Trig and Echo together.) This is a great illustration of how part numbers matter, and that the best tutorial/example is not always going to be found on one single site. You may need to canvas several sources before you find the best place to get information. This particular example code from SparkFun is really well written and easy to customize.
Adafruit.com – We didn’t go over this RGB Led example in class, but it’s worth checking out! Students who bought the 16hz kit should have RGB Leds and may want to try this. You can also buy RGB Leds locally at Tinkersphere if this is appealing!
Soldering/circuit board building workshop outline is here: https://docs.google.com/a/newschool.edu/document/d/14SJ6KL-4Jj-kwotUkEMKAE9cV_P_8YRIOb3PjXef6P8/edit?usp=sharing