Arduino Night

Purpose
Arduino Night is a meetup for those interested in learning more about microcontrollers and their applications. Each month we’ll explore a new topic and get some hands on experience using the Arduino environment. All experience levels are welcome; we will cover basics for beginners and discuss more advanced topics for the more experienced who are interested.

Format

At the moment, the format is open. It will likely evolve depending on who shows up and what they are interested in. The current plan is to have a brief presentation about a certain aspect of microcontrollers, and then break up into a workshop where participants can build various circuits with their Arduino. I am open to suggestions, as I want to make the class entertaining and useful to those who are interested.

Equipment

You are highly encouraged to bring a board that can be programmed by the Arduino IDE. There are countless available, here’s a very brief overview:

Arduino Uno (or compatible) – The ‘vanilla’ Arduino board. It has the basic input/output, and will give beginners plenty to play with. However, it doesn’t have any connectivity built-in, so if you want to do more than just control things you’ll need more hardware. You can order these online, or pick one up at Microcenter.

Arduino 101 – Similar in price to the Uno, this board comes with some cool peripherals and Bluetooth built in.

ESP8266 Based Boards – A family of boards based on the ESP8266 wifi module. These boards can be programmed by the Arduino IDE and come with wifi built-in. There are a number of libraries available to do a bunch of intersting things.

Here are some available options:

  • Adafruit Feather HUZZAH
  • SparkFun ESP8266 Thing Dev Board
  • WeMos D1 Mini – WARNING: Long ship time unless you pay extra.
  • Many, many, many more

I would also recommend some basic components: LEDs, buttons/switches, resistors, transistors, buzzers and 7-segment displays. There are a variety of kits available that come with everything you need to get started. Check Amazon, Adafruit and Sparkfun for some available options. Adafruit and Sparkfun also sell individual components. We will also have some components available for those who are not able to bring their own.

If you are working on something Non-Arduino, you are more than welcome to bring it in. However, please have the development environment setup beforehand.

Instructor Note

Hi, I’m Clegg. I work as a Firmware Engineer and have a passionate interest in embedded computing. I love the intersection of hardware and software, where resource constraints call for interesting solutions to difficult problems. I hope to encourage others to take an interest in this growing field.

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