Posts Tagged ‘ kaboom ’

Let’s play with electricity

electricity

This week doesn’t require any mad programming skills and just basic electrical know how.

electricity

With the help of helping hands, this allows me to both hold the points together to get a reading on the multimeter and take a picture at the same time. Of course this one beeps.

So does this one. Notice that I wired the board in such a way that both sides have power and ground.

electricity
electricity

Which of the images above has a complete circuit?

But fun question, does electricity pass through our bodies? Yes, but we still provide enough resistance that the 5V from the Arduino will not shock us nor complete the circuit.

electricity

And just like that with a resistor and all, we have another lit LED.

electricity

Interesting that the LED uses approximately 1.72 V out of 5V.

electricity

The amount of electricity passing through the resistor is approximately 3.31 V. Add that up it’s almost 5V. At least we know where all the power is going.

electricity

electricity

Let’s add a switch and see if it affects the power flow.

electricity

Well apparently all it does is just cut off the power completely.

electricity

Notice that the gree light is not as bright as the red one. Different color LEDs have different power requirements.

electricity

electricity

Notice the difference between the power usage of the green and the red LED and the amount that passes through the resistor.

electricity

Now when we add another LED, they don’t light up as brightly as before.

electricity

The resistor is now only getting 0.14 V.

electricity

But if we re-arrange the LED’s that they’re all being powered by a single line instead of a series of leads. It’s a whole lot brighter.

electricity

The resistor is using up 3.38V. while the LED’s are at 1.65 V.

electricity

Blink that light

We don’t give it much thought when we turn on a light bulb. For us it’s just a flick of the switch and that’s it! So it shouldn’t be too much trouble. Or could it?

I picked up the ITP PCOMP kit at the NYU Computer Store for around $93 including taxes. Inside it’s a box of chips, LEDs, wires, boards, cables and so on to supposedly help me make magic.

openbox

boxcontents

blankslate

First thing to setup is the breadboard (that white thing above) and the arduino board to the plastic mounting. You’ll need screws for the arduino but the breadboard has doublesided tape.

GET THAT THING TO LIGHT UP

No switches or anything just power up the LED using the microcontroller via USB power. Even if the kit comes with a 9V adapter, I think it’s safer using USB. You can’t accidentally burn out the circuits as the computer will automatically turn off the port if it detects a short.

firstwire

What’s wrong with this picture?

The board via the PWR lead as marked by the red wire and inserted a resistor and a green LED. Obviously this wouldn’t work since the breadboard isn’t powered and there’s no way that the digital lead is going to provide power to the board.

usbplugin

Let’s get some power.

The Arduino app is another matter entirely. Even though the user interface is similar to Processing, some of the syntax and commands are similar to a point.

I used the code in class and replaced the port numbers since I was using different ones than the ones in class. I learned the important part was to keep it simple and understand the logic of the board and it’s there!

BLINK THAT LIGHT

The trick to making the LED blink is all in code using the “delay(x)” .

SWITCH

The switch was more challenging than the earlier two.

toocomplicated

Now this needed a little more patience since I was adding another item which is the switch that needed a separate command for the microcontroller to command.

I ended up with this board.

onemoretime

And there you have it! A working switch. I’ll toy around with kit some more over the weekend but it’s great building something with your hands or in this case my hands and the computer.