Geekier than normal

April 15, 2011

Gadget, Lloyd

A few months ago some website let me know that the arduino was on sale along with a book: Getting Started with Arduino. I read the first few chapters of the book and looked very intently at the arduino, but that’s as far as I got for several months.

Then, for some reason earlier this week I wanted to start messing with it. I knew I would need some more junk.
It looked better with 3 of them

Some searching on the internet led me to believe that what I wanted were the things that fell out of boxes at the factory, were found under big machines and returned by other people. I figured that if I bought in bulk, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about buying the right thing. It turns out that someone sells just what I needed (actually, a lot of people like messing with this stuff, so it’s pretty easy to buy).

cheaper by the dozen

Anyway, a little explanation: the Arduino is that blue thing in the top picture with the USB cable coming out of it. It’s a microcontroler, a little computer that is good at interacting with the rest of the world. You hook it up to stuff and it either does things, or sends data to something else. I know that’s not a great explanation. Here are some examples: a touchpad, a display board, a laser controlled wireless automatic cat food dispenser.

Getting my geek on

I’ve got an idea that I want to try with this, but I’m not ready to share it yet.


About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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9 Responses to “Geekier than normal”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I’m sorry that when you talk about your hobby you don’t have a better audience than us.

    You did a good job explaining it though. I at least know what an Arduino is now. And I’m curious to see what you try to build. I’m going to guess it will be a laser controlled wireless automatic Lauren food dispenser.


  2. Kristi Said on:

    One of our friends has a son who owns this thing. He used that stuff for the candles on his birthday cake. The lights were blinking, and he figured out how to make it play/sing Happy Birthday, too.

    Interesting stuff, I just have no idea what it really is.


  3. Lauren Said on:

    The photo of the LEDs on a coin battery? That’s my work.

    Lloyd: Complicated wires, cables, and switches connecting lights to computer, typing incessantly to make them blink and dim.

    Lauren: Battery and light, proclaiming it a monster eye and putting it on the stairs to freak herself out.

    It was a great Friday night at the Sommerers.


  4. Matt Said on:

    Let me know how the experimentation goes. Arduino is a very powerful tool.

    Lauren: You should make LED throwies 🙂


  5. Mark Said on:

    My first college roommate was a guy named Arduino.


  6. Christina Said on:

    That’s a lot like the “science” thing you had as a kid, where you connect a bunch of wires in different ways and it did different things? I don’t remember it ever doing much, but we used it a lot in our “adventures”. That and the blocks with the switches and levers drawn on them in marker! LOL!


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