revolving header hack

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Maker School: Tuesdays - week 11

click da pic for big

Another step forward with our Motion Sensing Intruder Alarm.  Today we each added two Light Dependent Resistors (LDRs) to our breadboard prototype.  We touched on how computers don't understand analog voltage so it converts the 0-5V signal to whole numbers between 0 - 1023 …and we saw those numbers - representing the light level - coming back to the computer from the Arduino.

Once again we just ran out of time to get all of our chips programmed up with the new code.

We have identified that the 'chatter' level usually reduces during our time together such that we seem to get more productive just as time runs out!

The important question about the safety of electricity came up again so we explored that together.  We ranged from lightning through mains electricity, batteries and the signals that travel down our nerves and around our hearts.  It's incredible to think that it's all essentially the same thing!

Idea for future project: make a battery!

Next week: program everyone's microcontroller chips then start the migration to more permanent 'stripboard'.  After that, start to embed the whole thing in a fancy case (got these already).


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Maker School: Mondays - week 2

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We got into the soldering of our projects this week.  We were going to start by drilling holes holes but it's a tricky to do when the drill gets left back at the Bat Cave!  :|

Melting metal is fun and soldering is a great life-skill.  It was amazing for the boys to consider that everything with electronics inside it is connected using this very same process.

The question of electric shocks came up again so we discussed the ins and outs of what's safe and what's not safe and why.  Isn't it amazing to think that all the muscle movements our bodies make are controlled by electrical signals travelling down our nerves!?

We also did some decorating.  There's nothing like adding your personal touch as part of owning a project.


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Scuttle Robots Taster Workshop

I've had a few requests for a Maker School taster session… so on Friday 22nd at 4-6pm, Maker School will be running a Scuttle Robots Workshop at The Gallery.

Cost is £15

To book click here.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Maker School: Tuesdays - week 10

Maker School: Mondays - week 1

What a joy it was to meet the new Maker School team yesterday!  We're woking on the Steady Hand Game and we made fine progress — measuring, sawing, sanding and preparing to drill some blind holes.
Next week; wire bending and cutting, circuits and soldering.

click images for a bigger view

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Mondays are GO!

It's been a whirlwind week of signups and phone calls.  The upshot of which is that Maker School is now launching on Mondays!  Hurrah and Huzzah!

Watch this space for news from the new maker team…

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Maker School: Tuesdays - week 9

Breadboards and battery-packs mounted on perspex with rubber feet.
Our breadboard prototyping setups are now complete.  We've cut and sanded perspex.  Cut, stripped and soldered header pins onto the battery-pack wires.  Heatshrunk our solder joints and mounted the lot using hot glue and the sticky-fix pad on the back of the breadboard.

Breadboards are a fantastic way to quickly and easily prototype electronic circuits.  Internally, some of the holes are connected together so components that are plugged into the same rows as each other get connected.  It makes it simple to try things out and change components around without the hassle of soldering and de-soldering.  By mounting them alongside a battery pack we have a tidy, integrated solution for project development.  It makes a very handy tool for our ongoing prototyping.

This coming week we're heading straight into circuit building for our Motion Sensing Intruder Alarms.  Hopefully, we'll have them built on the breadboards this week and then start soldering them up on stripboard the following week.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Maker School hits the Newspaper

There was a fabulous article on the Press yesterday (Fri 1 June 2012) with some super comments from the boys.

Big thanks go to Nicci Martel for the words and Tom Tardif for the pictures.