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Friday, 27 February 2015

More Arduino workshops coming soon

Shrimp and Pi
I'm excited that I've been asked to run a workshop in April at #CG3 - the next Covent Garden Jam. Contents and date to be decided, but I've had at least one request for a Shrimp and Pi session, which would be a lot of fun.

There are a couple of ways that you can connect the Shrimp to a Raspberry Pi. You can use the CP2102 USB-to-serial converter normally used to program the Shrimp, or connect the Pi's serial port on the expansion header to the header on the Shrimp.

Either way you can then
  • program the Shrimp via the Pi using the Arduino IDE, and
  • use Serial communications to send data between the Pi and the Shrimp.
I have a fun application in mind, and it should be easy to set up as it combines one of my first bits of software on the Pi with a sketch from my Life after Blink workshop (see below). I'll tell you more when I've got it running :)

Shrimping It solo!

A couple of people have lamented that they couldn't attend last Saturday's workshop at the Southend Raspberry Pi jam.

The workshops are great fun but it's perfectly possible to build the Shrimp on your own. You can buy what you need from the Shrimping It! website:
  • The basic Shrimp Kit
  • A suitable breadboard
  • A Programmer
You may already have a suitable breadboard, and you can use a 5v FTDI cable if you have one, but if not, the parts will cost under £10 + postage, which is just £1 for UK customers.

There are good instructions on the Shrimping It! website, but if you want you can splash out $1.49 (+VAT if you are in the UK) for a copy of Making the Shrimp.

That's the e-book I wrote for use on the workshops.

It's only 95% complete, since I don't yet cover making a stripboard version of the Shrimp, but if you buy books on Leanpub you get future updates free.

Life after Blink is on its way

I'm nearly ready to release another e-book on Leanpub.

Called Life after Blink, it's based on an online course I ran last year.

It's a risk-free purchase, since Leanpub offer an unconditional 45-day money-back guarantee. I'll also be releasing a sample so you can try before you buy.

Life after Blink covers a series of experiments you can do after you've uploaded your first Arduino LED-blinking sketch.

You'll learn how to
  • program an Arduino-based cookie server to dispense wisdom to your laptop
  • generate and flash Morse code signals from text you type
  • control a family of LEDs to display ripple patterns and binary numbers
  • annoy your friends and family by making sounds from inside your sketches
  • monitor light levels using an LDR sensor
You can purchase the components you'll need individually or get an inexpensive kit from SK Pang.

You'll also need an Arduino or a Shrimp.

You can register your interest here to get notified by email when the book is available.