Arduino course, Feb 26

UPDATED: Please see the “Event Registration” tab above to sign up for this course.

tl;dr: Intro to Arduino course Feb 26th 12PM-4PM. Free to members, $20 to non-members. See Required Materials list.

Paul Lariviere will be running this course. Here is his description:

As has been discussed in numerous previous threads, we’re going to have an Arduino course. I will be holding the first ThinkHaus Introduction to Arduino course at ThinkHaus on Saturday February 26th from 12pm to 4pm tentative. (may be extended to 6pm depending on progress) This course will be free to attend for all ThinkHaus members and will be available to non-members at a cost of $20/person. There is a list of “Required Materials” below. Please be aware that these are not 100% necessary, however some sections of the course are very hands-on so if you do not have the equipment you will either have to partner with somebody or will not be able to participate in the hands-on programming activities. I will also state off the bat that this course is MOSTLY ripped off from other free online tutorials, I have simply added detail to explain what is actually happening under the hood.

Why it’s worth coming even though resources are available for free online:

Aside from having an actual human being who can answer your questions, there are actually a few good reasons to consider attending. Every source I’ve managed to find online for Adruino development tends to over-simplify everything and doesn’t provide clear explanations. IE: They tell you X command produces Y result, but do nothing to explain what happens behind the scenes. This has resulted in a huge wave of terrible embedded code floating around, and a phenomenon I call “Google Coders.”

A Google Coder is somebody who knows what he wants to do, but has no idea how to do it so he searches Google for code that is close and tries to modify it. This usually results in broken code, which was never inteded for the exact task you want to accomplish, being modified into an incomprehensible mash of garbage code. Although this course is an introductory one, it provides a foundation of knowledge required to prepare for the upcoming ThinkHaus Arduino Object Oriented Programming course. This preparation is the true purpose of this course. As it stands, jumping from this course to the OOP course will blow your mind (if you’ve never done OOP), however jumping from the current standard of
free Internet Arduino tutorials to OOP C++ code will probably outright kick your ass since you’ll have no clue what is happening in the background.

If you already understand OOP and C++ you will still gain knowledge of circuit wiring, schematic reading, data sheets, etc. and gain actual hands-on practical experience making something.

Required Materials: (what you’ll need to acquire BEFORE the course and bring
with you)
-A Laptop & Power Supply or battery that will last ~6 hrs.
-An arduino
-A programming cable for your arduino
-A power supply for your arduino (most commercial ones can be powered over USB)
-Solid Core Hookup Wire – to connect components of your circuits (if you don’t have this there might be some floating around, but I can’t guarantee this)

Nice To Have Materials: (bring this if you have it)
-Extra programming cables
-LEDs (color doesn’t matter)
**I have purchased a community supply of these materials with my own money and *HOPE* to have enough for everybody, but supply will be limited to what I have.

Arduino Course Modules: (what you’ll learn)
Module 1:
Introduction to microcontrollers
Setting up and configuring your Arduino and the IDE
Our First Program

Module 2:
Circuit Basics
Data Sheets
Reading Schematics
Understanding Digital I/O

Module 3:
Understanding Libraries
Serial Communication
Basic Math
Understanding Types

Module 4:
Design Challenge Part 1
Design Challenge Part 2
Design Challenge Part 3
Wrapping Up

Learning Objectives: (end result)
By the end of the course attendees should have a strong understanding of types, procedures, libraries and other programming concepts. Attendees should have enough base/background knowledge to be able to use the site
as a reference and learn how to use ANY of these libraries on their own for future projects. In other words, you’ll learn how to use a small subset of Arduino features, but learn it in such a way that you’ll be able to TEACH YOUSELF how to use the rest of the features.

The intended objective of this course is to prepare for the next Arduino Programming course which will focus on OOP for the Arduino and producing GOOD embedded code vs. crappy kludge code that barely works.

Hope to see you all there!


Paul L.

  1. #1 by rednic on 2011/02/08 - 2:13 pm

    Hi ; Im intrested in coming out to this When you say you have a ‘Community Supply of materials’ , does that include the actual Arduino boards ? ( i would buy one) …
    Is there a place in hamilton to obtain one or is this a mail order thing ..thanks


    • #2 by James on 2011/02/08 - 9:20 pm

      Community supply of materials is things like LEDs, resistors, switches, etc. You need an arduino of some variety and a computer. Arduinos are available online as well as from Creatron in Toronto. If you’re really SUPER stuck, there might be one or two kicking around that you can borrow for the day but no promises.

      And if you’d like to come, get your RSVP in!

  2. #3 by John Fink on 2011/02/13 - 1:13 pm

    How do we RSVP? Or did I miss it?

    • #4 by James on 2011/02/13 - 3:27 pm

      That is a damn good question.

      Watch for an update to the blog in a few minutes.

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