Arduino Diary – Week 2
It’s been a busy week. So much so, that I notice my last post here was… ah, a week ago, about this.
And so busy, indeed, that all I managed at our wee Arduino collective thing was two and a half hours. Enough time to unpack, play a bit, and pack up.
I have a vague short term goal in mind, which came up last week:
“…an idea for short term project to focus on, something to aim towards; a very basic sliding potentiometer, that has a series of LED lights that light up as it’s turned up, and then a “send” button that tweets the status. A kind of sliding mood status, or perhaps a productivity gauge I can score out of ten, and find peak productivity times.”
So, things about that I couldn’t do then:
– a series of lights that turns up, and down.
– a “send” button that sends an action back to the computer
– the understanding of how to send it to the twitter
With the little time I had today, I focus simply on the two things I think I can do… the LED lights, and a related send button.
Now, some trawling around in the backstreets and bazaars of Amazon resellers helped me find these little fellas:
LED bar graphs; each one an individual LED, with separate controls, but together as a unit. Plug it in to the breadboard, wire each to a separate port on the Arduino, and then write/find some code which will work.
Actually, note on wiring; I seem to be developing a form of specific OCD about wiring wherever possible. I may have wasted too much time on the green & yellows below, for instance. I shall continue to convince myself I’m doing it so I can better see what I’m doing.
Funnily enough, I have not developed the same OCD about the code in Arduino, despite Pete’s best efforts to explain why it’s better / neater. The indenting is a pattern I have yet to recognise as beautiful, perhaps; I wouldn’t necessarily consider the below to be a logical, easy to interpret way of understanding where you are. I’ll either learn, or just make up a way that works better for me, I guess.
Another thing about the code; it’s always seemed like I should learn it from scratch, and understand every line. There are tutorials for these things. But… I’m basically a Lego coder at best; I think about the ‘size, shape and purpose’ of the bit of ‘Lego’ I need, I search on the internet for it, and find someone who’s done it already.
Which is exactly how I get this working…
Turn the dial, ramp up the LED display. I didn’t put any resistors in, just to see what would happen. It’s really bright. So much so that I blew one of the lights, so the red display has been replaced with a blue one. It’s more Jedi now than Sith, I guess.
Anyway, that was a very pleasing moment.
What was less pleasing was that I couldn’t get the “send” switch working on the same board. I managed to do a simple switch last week. I couldn’t today. Two steps forward, one step back. I’ll crack it next week.
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