When I signed up for the ‘Electronics for the Rest of Us’ module, I wanted to get a better idea of how coding works and how it could interact with electronic design. Over the span of ten hours— over three days— I was able to make some pretty solid headway with my goal. When we first met on a rainy Thursday night, I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t too sure what I was doing (and I was worried about dropping and breaking the Arduino). Just three hours later, though, I felt confident with both designing a simple machine controlled by the Arduino and modifying the Arduino code to modify the function of the device.
By the end of the course, my partner (the talented Maddie Baker) and I created a pretty swell multipurpose device. It had a multi-coloured LED that changed colour based on the room temperature. The device also had additional LEDs that lit up as the room became darker. Once all of the lights went on, the party really got going. With all four lights on, our device began to play the opening to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” Once Maddie and I had all of these functions down, we decided to add a button that, when pressed, played the chorus to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (in case you need a quick dance party in a bright room).
Through the module and building the device, I learned about all the basic components of the machine I built (as well as a couple other circuit components), and I gained the confidence to comfortably work with the Arduino and its programming language. Overall it was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a basic understanding of how electronics work and electronics and coding interact.