Arduino 101 Workshop - Interest Check


#1

This is an interest check.

I have seen a couple of posts recently about wanting to learn to program, and the post from @Johnny5 offering an “experience required” workshop so I would like to see if there is interest in attending an Arduino 101 workshop. I have talked to @johnny5 a little about his workshop and the plan will be to make sure that anyone who comes to mine would be set up and comfortable attending the FastLED workshop without overlapping.

Goals:

  1. Plan a list of parts that will make a solid “standard” Intro to Arduino kit that can also be used for other workshops, and order a few kits worth so they are on hand
  2. Develop a handout that will get you started with the basics
  3. A brief intro to Arduino and the specific model we will be using (TBD, likely an Arduino Mini or similar)
  4. Work at your own pace to complete a number of projects and challenges, with code/answers provided and at least myself and preferably one Lovely Assistant™ around to help and answer questions

What I would cover: ((entirely up for discussion))

  1. Have a kit of parts that can be used for both workshops
  2. Leave with all software required to program an Arduino installed on their laptop
  3. Write and test code for a couple of basic uses including reading and writing to IO pins possible examples:
    3.a. Blink the built-in LED to test hardware and software
    3.b. Receive external inputs (Use an external switch to control the onboard LED)
    3.c. Control external devices (Blink and external LED)

What I would not cover:
This workshop would be designed to lead into @Johnny5’s workshop, not detract from it, so I will not cover anything to do with RGB/RGBW lights or addressable LEDs other than perhaps discuss what they are and how working with them is different, if it comes up. It will not cover motors or motor control as that is a whole different monster.

Expected cost:
I’m of the opinion that money should never be a barrier (emphasis added so the header doesn’t scare anyone away) for someone who wants to learn, but I have run workshops in the past and the number of times people would RSVP then no-show left a sour taste in my mouth. So I would want to charge a few bucks for this, just enough to make clicking “register” require a thought plus the cost of the kits (at cost). I don’t like to put a number out there without researching current prices, but something in the ballpark of $20-$25 with the kit included (paid in advance) is likely more than enough. I am more interested in teaching the class than the money so if you want to learn and the money is an issue, I will happily consider barter or any other means of “collateral” that shows you are actually interested, willing to put in some effort, and will show up on the night if I spend the time and money getting this ready. I’m serious. If money is tight, be creative. Even an offer like “I offer to spend one hour organizing and cleaning the space before the workshop in lieu of the fee” would work.

CAVEAT: I would consider myself a novice and have not worked with Arduino in a while, but I have a couple of simple projects under my belt and can comfortably teach the basics. If someone with more experience wants to step up and run something like this, I’d gladly step aside. Feel free to post here or PM me if you want to step up.


#2

Regarding interest and gathering enough folks, would this workshop be open to the public, if they paid for their spot beforehand? I’m sure a few folks at the Britannia centre might be interested in intro, and possibly sign up for membership.

(But I also dont want to overcomplicate things, and this is a cool idea regardless)

Edit: I need to get moving on the events section of the wiki!


#3

Yeah, sure. Maybe ask for a nominal ($5?) donatio to the space for non-members? I have nothing against it


#4

I’ll happily play the role of the assistant - although I don’t know about the “lovely” part.


#5

all volunteers are lovely :smiley: thanks


#6

Thanks @miststlkr you da best. We should definitely coordinate with Andrew’s workshop so there is a good natural progression from “intro-to” to “more advanced RGB programming”. Sounds like a good fit.


#7

Yup As I mentioned, I am already chatting with Andrew to make sure what I do flows into that workshop without overlapping


#8

oh sorry - totally missed that in the scrollback - derp! All good.


#9

I am definitely interested. Is there a place to sign up for this, or is it still up in the air?


#11

https://www.dfrobot.com/product-51.html

These guys and an Arduino Uno are probably my favourites for teaching, since they offer tools for display (in the form of the HD 44780 LCD library), and input, though the input is handled through the ADC. (This may actually not be a bad thing, but if the goal is to teach digitalRead and digitalWrite, a little board with a few LEDs and SMD resistors and a board with a couple buttons might be better.)

You seem to have this well in hand, mind you, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Nice to see a very introductory programming path being offered! I’d love to help with something like this if I can be of use.


#12

Hey miststlkr,

I’ve received my components from aliexpress. What I was thinking of doing was to pre-solder the components onto the Nano’s so that the workshops can focus on the coding. That would be:

Wire for JST connector for the 1M of 30 LED/M of IP30 WS2812’s. Data is pin D12.
MEMS microphone using 3.3V connected to AREF and the data on pin A5.

I would include headers, but not solder them to the board. I would then solder the wires to the back of the board and apply a bit of hot glue for strain relieve and so that the switch and internal LED are easily visible.

Update: I’ve soldered the wires to the board for the LED’s and the microphone so that we can focus on programming as opposed to soldering.

Give me a shout so we can go forward with this.