By: Madeleine Baker
I don’t really know what I expected from Electronics for the Rest of Us. Circuit diagrams? Hotwiring a car? Something crazy and slightly illegal? Unbeknownst to me at the time, this three day course would go above and beyond any expectations I ever had.
Sensationalizing aside, 3IE1 was full of (mostly) pleasant surprises. Unfortunately on the first day, the Arduino software would not work on my computer. Fortunately, I had plenty of classmates with whom I could work. For the first two days, I worked with Jamie, who is known on the streets for his mad Arduino skills. Jamie was a great teacher and really helped me understand how the Arduino worked.
For the make-off, Max and I worked together to create the greatest invention we had ever laid eyes upon. It had a myriad of wonderful functions that were sure to delight consumers of all ages. The first feature our device had was a button that, when pressed, produced a lovely tonal version of ABBA’s smash hit “Dancing Queen”. But the fun did not stop there. We had a thermistor on our Arduino, which was sensitive to the temperature in the room. The RGB light on our device changed colour, shifting from blue to red as the temperature rose. But wait! There’s more! In addition to the RGB light, we had two other LED lights on our device: blue and green. As the Arduino’s environment got darker, measured by a photocell, the blue light, followed by the green light turned on. Once all of these lights had turned on, “All of the Lights”, the critically acclaimed song by Kanye West, played through the speaker. How clever.
Overall, I learned that I really like connecting wires to the Arudiuno (proof: see picture). Creating our feature-riddled seemed like an impossibility during the first class, but learning each aspect individually made everything simple and manageable. I’m quite glad I took this course, and I’m excited for what part two may bring.