Arduino Boot Camp Class 2 Recap

We held the second of two Arduino classes at the Melboburne Makerspace on June 25, 2016 from 1-5 pm.
Last Saturday was the first class where we learned the basics of what an Arduino was and how it works on a very high level then did a few simple projects making an LED blink and fade based on a turning knob.
This time we jumped into more advanced projects with cooler parts like a relay switch, a servo, and a backlit LCD screen to print out messages on a cool, little screen.
Here’s a quick review of this class’s lessons and what we learned.
Again we picked out lessons from the PDF that came on the CD ROM in the super starter kit.
Lesson 12 Relay = use them to light up lamps and turn on powerful motors, etc. This lab also touched on the uses for transistors since it used one to tie the battery power directly to the relay coil instead of trying to power the coil with the output pin of the arduino.  We spent nearly 2 hours helping each other troubleshoot and debug the breadboard circuits.  The valuable lesson here was showing how sometimes simple circuits can be challenging to debug if there’s a problem even for veteran electrical engineers that have been dealing with this stuff for many years as a career.
Lesson 15 Servo = This was by far the easiest one since we just had three wires to plug into three pins of the arduino.  We did learn that it’s important to know which of the three wires goes where!  We had one hooked up backwards and it took us a few minutes to see what was wrong. Double check with the servo data sheet to know which wires are which!
Lesson 16 LCD Display = This one was another project with a whole lot of wires and was easy to mess up which one goes where.  Some had to take the wires out and start over to make sure they had the wires going to the right place.  We made them say “hello world!”.
Lesson 17 Thermometer = This lesson showed everyone how to create a temperature sensor and display it on the LCD display.  We had one show up as 450 degrees!  There are no ovens in the space so we must have had it hooked up backwards.
Lesson 18 Ultrasonic sensor module = This module taught us how to make a distance sensor similar to a tape-less tape measure.  It was very accurate down to fractions of an inch!
Lesson 22 DC motors = We learned how to control the speed of a motor with PWM of the output pin of the arduino (the pins with the tilde ~ mark can do PWM).
Here’s a few photos from the event:
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