The New Guy

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The New Guy

Postby Rockster160 » February 12th, 2013, 11:16 am

Hey guys! I just recently stumbled upon this site- and as it's focused on something I really want to get into, I figured I would jump on in!

Only problem is... I don't know where to start! I'm an ex-programmer, so I understand code. I love taking things apart as well, I've just never really done a lot with them.
I've never managed a circuit board. Any ideas where I can start with that? I have a couple projects in mind, but I'm curious whether they are in reach or not. The first seems fairly simple- I want to be able to wirelessly turn my light on/off. It's not one of the ones you plug into an outlet- so I have had to rip it open. Is this something feasible as a first hack? I'm also curious how difficult it would be to use something I already have- such as an old garage door opener to do this with. I would need a receiver, of course. I'm wondering how one would go about doing this? I want to start working on automating things using devices that are already around. Like using the buttons from my car key, old garage remotes, etc.

If you guys have any pointers in the right direction, I would love to hear them! I look forward to becoming a part of this community. Thanks guys! :)
Rockster160
 
Posts: 15
Joined: February 11th, 2013, 5:31 pm

Re: The New Guy

Postby caleb » February 12th, 2013, 8:22 pm

People are always hesitant to tell you where to get started. Once we start thinking about it we keep going further and further back till we're thinking you should be reading a book about the physics of electricity.

Really, a good place to start is with development board. Arduino is probably the one with the biggest user base and most tutorials. Shoot over to adafruit.com and click around on some of the products (like an LED strip or something), and you'll notice there are links to tutorials at the bottom. These tutorials usually involve an arduino, and more recently the raspberry pi.

For the wireless light project you'll need communication, brains, and physical contact. A simple example would be a wireless or ir attachment on an arduino that connects to a relay (a power switch).

So, you could google the following and be well on your way. "how to use a relay with arduino", and "wireless with arduino". Once you've got those two things figured out and combined (it won't take long), you could look into removing the arduino from the equation and building your own smaller, cheaper board, therefore freeing the arduino up for the next learning adventure.
caleb
 
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Joined: January 4th, 2011, 10:52 am

Re: The New Guy

Postby Rockster160 » February 18th, 2013, 8:25 pm

Thanks so much for the reply! I swear I checked this the next day and there was nothing... Hm.

Anyway. I'd like to start with some of the simpler things. I bought an Arduino Proto and as far as I can tell it's a regular circuit board? I don't know how to use those, unfortunately. I'm going to start with some simple things like some basic starter How-To's I've found online. The first is a simple circuit that uses the length of time you are touching a wire to generate a random true/false answer. Any more simple things like this will be greatly appreciated. :)
Rockster160
 
Posts: 15
Joined: February 11th, 2013, 5:31 pm


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