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Sketching with Hardware 2017b Day 2

Published on: | Author: An Ngo Tien | Categories: 2017b, Daily Logs, Lecture

Day 2

After an interesting day with keyboard hacking and soldering basics the second day followed. We found us in this dusty and cramped space once again, where we tackled a new exciting topic. The almighty and blue Arduino Board! 


Bernhard, our awesome (but not blue) instructor showed us the power of this blue midget. All kinds of Arduinos were distributed among the students – ranging from Arduino Duemilanoves to Mega ADKs. To some beginners the (Mega) Arduino Boards might seem overwhelming with their huge number of pins at first. However, this misunderstanding was cleared quickly, after the difference between input and output pins, as well as, the difference between analog and digital signals were explained.


With this fresh acquired knowledge we, the students, rushed to create some blue magic with this alien-like piece of metal-plastic. (As a side note, I still think, that this device is not man-made with its extraterrestrial blue. And not to mention its USB type B port! No one uses type B!! Definitely Aliens… )

In the beginning we experimented with a simple LED circuit. After that, we also tried several other small objects, such as switches and potis.

led poti switch

The most beloved object followed after: the piezo speaker. I still remember this fondly, this soothing sound of the piezo from all directions – so pleasing to the ears. I think on this day, at that moment, something changed within me. Of course I recorded this magical journey for the whole world to enjoy it.

This is only a short excerpt of this wonderful experience. This magnificant sound lasted an eternity.

Afterwards, we were introduced to some motors, sensors and LED stripes, which each team, consisting of two people each, could freely experiment with.

ledstripe motor

We programmed the Arduino with the help of the Arduino IDE and used the Neopixel-Library to control the LEDs.  All in all one could say, that the experiments were a success, as to Bernhard’s luck none of us exploded and no Arduino Boards were injured.

Finally, this year’s topic was about to be revealed. After a short period of suspense it was announced:


Something Old,

Something New,

Something Powered,

Something Woo-hoo!


So in short, the task was to revive an old or obsolete object back to life. This project should bring form to the things we just learned and also to our crazy ideas. Insane ideas, such as an “emotional lamp”, which moved on its own was proposed. Another interesting plan was to use an old dial telephone with different operation mechanisms. All in all, this week seemed very promising. And with that, the day ended.


P.S. Stress level of this day? I guess it would be 0/10. Everyone was still smiling and relaxed. But they did not know what was yet to come….



linked categories 2017b, Daily Logs, Lecture


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