Monday, December 30, 2013

Arduinos

It finally bit me.  The bug that has been going around the office and the tech community at large for a couple of years now finally got me.
Arduino Micro
Arduino Mega

I am the proud owner of a couple of Arduino boards and an ever greater number of accessories.  Shortly ( I hope ) I will be receiving an ODroid board as well (they start shipping on Jan 14th 2014 ).

This is not the first time I have played with the Arduino.  The first time was about 6 months ago.  I created a small experiment with a board I borrowed from (and still have not returned to - it is somewhere in my moving boxes ) to a coworker.  The idea was to create an analog display of various KPIs of my computer.  Using a 5v analog voltmeter things worked well.  Except it looked so borring.   There was exactly one type on most shopping sites and it was square and ugly.  Amp meters came in all sizes and shapes - even round and backlit.  But I suck at electronics.

This is a good time to get into this.  I suck at electronics.  I had my required electrical engineering class in college as a part of my CISC curriculum and I never looked back.  Software and Networking were good enough for me, so as long as the little black things soldered to the insides of my equipment did not act up and got faster from year to year I was a happy camper.  This makes this little excursion into what most electronics guys would probably think of as terrace tea garden feel like an expedition into the depths of the electronics Amazonian jungle for me.

Anyway.  The project with the analog meters stalled.  I still think its cool, and I may resurrect it some day.  Probably after I read a good Steam Punk book...  

This time the projects are actually working out much better, and although I have no inkling of what the ultimate practical purpose of the gadgets I am building is going to be, they are certainly have practical purposes...  thought they are unwieldy, fragile and too expensive in their current prototype incarnation.

So I am going to post a couple of little articles detailing my adventures.  If you follow, the going shall be every so slightly less thorny.  But then its while pulling the thorns that the best stories get told...