In my quest for avoiding what i should be doing I had discovered a rather fun bit of kit. The kit is called Arduino and for around £20 you get a circuit board that can plug into your usb port. As you can tell from my last sentence, I know absolutely nothing about electronics but that is the great thing about this kit.
What is it?
Well its a device that plugs into your USB port and allows you to program the outputs. That means that you can control almost anything that’s connected to the outputs by programming it. So yes you guessed it, you can make LEDs flash! What i like most about it is that it comes with its own IDE. This IDE and framework makes programming the Arduino nice and simple, ideal for those who have never done any electronics like I hadn’t. The Arduino site also has tons of learning material and a strong community eager to help.
Where to get it
I got my Arduino Uno device from a great online shop called oomlout. The site also does a really handy Breadboard kit so you can put your LEDs and resistors on it easily without having to solder anything. They also sell a lot of other components to play around with which come with nice and simple instructions on how to use them.
What can you make with it
Well almost anything! Although with my rather limited knowledge of electronics all i have managed to make is a traffic light out of LEDs. Don’t let that dishearten you all you need to do is search youtube to so what people are doing with them. What i really like is you can just have a go without worrying about blowing anything up as the board turns off if you do anything silly.
For any fellow programmers, I highly recommend picking up a Arduino, once you do your be hooked!