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Author Topic: I am using arduino in my 300-level electronics class  (Read 3904 times)
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Just sharing my experience. Anyone interested to respond feel free to chime in. Arduino is just a part of their labs. They have regular labs like op-amps, diodes, transistors etc.

My students are science and engineering majors (non-ECE). Many took C or Matlab programming in the past, some in the distance past and most of them don't even touch programming in other classes. The other half never took any programming class. I created some tutorial videos and documents. After a tutorial session they started to be able to mess around with pin 13 led and character LCDs. Then a week later they finished their first mini project, a resistor sorter. They helped me sort a big box of random resistors (~150 resistors were returned to their bins). I think having an assembled shield helped a lot on the LCD. I don't think my students can survive 12 connections between the LCD and Arduino. Plus, there's two sections. With a shield, each section has their own shields so they don't have to disconnect anything after their section is over. They can always come back on a different day and finish their work. My next goal for them is to do a temperature display with min and max. Then they will work with digital inputs like buttons and eventually build an interactive temperature logger.
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Hey liudr

You and I chatted about your efforts but then you dropped off the face of the earth. I have some possibilities.

amcduino
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Liudr

Send me a personal message. I need to talk to you about your PH-1 board.

amcduino (Andy)
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Sorry about that Andy. Had a big NSF proposal due on Thursday. Was working on that most of the time. I'm sending you a PM. This time the new forum message system is really good. Not to mention the old system sucked. Reading messages hurts my eyes.
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liudr

In a private message, send me your personal email.Communicating via the forum is a little difficult.

amcduino
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Central MN, USA
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liudr

In a private message, send me your personal email.Communicating via the forum is a little difficult.

amcduino

Yeah agreed. Just did it a moment ago.
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When you mention sorting resistors, you mean you threw a bunch of random resistors on their table and they sorted them? Or they made some sort of automatic sorter? Doubt it was an automatic one because you mentioned that they wouldn't be able to do 12 pins for a LCD
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I have a box of random resistors. They have existed like that before I started my job so maybe students left them there? My students construct a voltage divider can calculate resistance in arduino and display the value on an LCD. They're learning color code and using multimeters at the same time.
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I have a box of random resistors. They have existed like that before I started my job so maybe students left them there? My students construct a voltage divider can calculate resistance in arduino and display the value on an LCD. They're learning color code and using multimeters at the same time.

Ahhh ok, I just knew I'd been in a "new" class that had some really crappy work sometimes like sweeping the lab and sorting nuts and bolts
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Hello Luidr,

I'm very interested in what you're doing.  I hope we can connect in some way.

I am developing an Educational website, primarily for people just starting with Arduino, and assuming no electronics or programming background.  I constantly see people on sales sites and here who really don't know where to start.  I understand how your environment is different, and I've taught electronics and interfacing at SUNY and IBM (a while ago, now!). 

Your LCD shield looks great and I'll order a couple today.  I think it provides almost all needed I/O and function for a Camera Controller project I'm doing with people here in Saudi Arabia.  As compared to this: http://internationalschoolphotos.com/arduino-direct/camera-control.htm  (That's an old version of the site I'm developing).. 

Are the sketches for stuff like the Resistor Sorter available? In the first Workshop session for Newbies I did here last night, I gave everyone a small LCD Multimeter that I am able to get from my friend in China for about $3.  This is "Our immediate answer to the fact that Electricity Is Invisible!"..  So I like the idea of showing how to MAKE an ohmmeter, as part of the general approach of "Where do these things come from??" 

I lived in Shenzhen in China for two years but only this year have made real connections into the Arduino-Developing community there through my good friend Jun Peng. We are working on putting a website together to market low-cost Arduino stuff..

Also, are you familiar with or using Electronic Bricks and Sensor Shields, um, like these:
http://internationalschoolphotos.com/arduino-direct/ElectronicBricks1.htm
(Again this is an old site...)  We have finally tracked down the actual developer of these Bricks, AKA "FlamingoEDA" and he is a guy named Xiao. He is interested in developing sales into the Educational Market. Many of his bricks are sold by Seeedstudio.com who are also developing a competitive Brick system called GROVE.  Xiao is interested in collaborating on development of new Bricks.  He doesn't have much English but Peng is working with him, so we have good communications.

So, I'm very interested in keeping in touch on curriculum and approaches to teaching Arduino-based "Smart Electronics" at the Beginner and University level. I am at http://www.kaust.edu.sa/ in Saudi Arabia, but next year my wife has a great job in Genoa so we'll be headed to the Home Of Arduino on the Italian Riviera.  (I'm a 'retired' Engineer)...

Let me know how we might communicate and hopefully collaborate.

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Regards, Terry King  ..On the Red Sea at KAUST.edu.sa
terry@yourduino.com  LEARN! DO! (Arduino Boards, Sensors, Parts @ http://yourduino.com

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Terry,

That was a lot of info! I'll try to digest one at a time so here we go:

Yes, if you use my shield you don't have to have the ugly wires on the LCD or fighting for space on the real time clock. If you don't need the 6 buttons on my shield, you can use their I/O pins for camera triggers and etc. One nice feature of the shield is it has space under the LCD, where you can slip a small proto board that has the rest of your circuits. Another thing is you can use the on-board RJ11 to pass 5V, GND and one I/O to a remote location, with the option to add a second I/O. So you can keep your control outside the dark room and control what happens to the camera smiley

BTW, I like the hourglass icon. I might steal it smiley

I have a few E-block things. They're nice with shrouded connectors etc but I believe RJ11 is the solution to longer wires and cable management is easier than loose single-strand wires. I don't have GROVE kits but I think they're similar to the E-blocks. My class is 300-level traditional electronics and I only added a small arduino component to it. If I had a 100-level intro class or 300-level intro to microcontrollers class I can dedicate the class to arduino and hardware and could use the E-blocks etc.

If you want the resistor sorter materials, PM me your email address.
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If anyone's interested I've been working on a high school level curriculum that might be helpful for those just learning Arduino and electronics. You can find it at:
http://electronics.arduinoeducation.com/

Probably too low a level for a 300 level university course, but there may be bits that could be useful.

Steve Dickie
Divine Child High School
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Just sharing my experience. Anyone interested to respond feel free to chime in. Arduino is just a part of their labs. They have regular labs like op-amps, diodes, transistors etc.

My students are science and engineering majors (non-ECE). Many took C or Matlab programming in the past, some in the distance past and most of them don't even touch programming in other classes. The other half never took any programming class. I created some tutorial videos and documents. After a tutorial session they started to be able to mess around with pin 13 led and character LCDs. Then a week later they finished their first mini project, a resistor sorter. They helped me sort a big box of random resistors (~150 resistors were returned to their bins). I think having an assembled shield helped a lot on the LCD. I don't think my students can survive 12 connections between the LCD and Arduino. Plus, there's two sections. With a shield, each section has their own shields so they don't have to disconnect anything after their section is over. They can always come back on a different day and finish their work. My next goal for them is to do a temperature display with min and max. Then they will work with digital inputs like buttons and eventually build an interactive temperature logger.

do you have any links to the resistor sorter?
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...
Yes, if you use my shield you don't have to have the ugly wires on the LCD or fighting for space on the real time clock. If you don't need the 6 buttons on my shield, you can use their I/O pins for camera triggers and etc
...
Just received the PHI-1 shield kits; now just need time to get soldering!  They look very good for a couple of projects in the Workshop I am teaching.. One is a Temperature/GPS data logger, the other is the Camera Controller I mentioned..  More when I get stuff assembled.

This is a very nice design, John... Impressed!
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Regards, Terry King  ..On the Red Sea at KAUST.edu.sa
terry@yourduino.com  LEARN! DO! (Arduino Boards, Sensors, Parts @ http://yourduino.com

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Thanks Terry! I'm glad that you like it.

The batch of the Phi-1 shield is almost all sold out. In the meantime, I have updated my design to Phi-2 shield. It now comes with two more LEDs, two RJ45 jacks, and a sensor block. You are free to use any pin for the LEDs, buzzer, and RJ45 pins. You can use lots of sensors with the sensor block, anything with 2 pin (resistive) or 3 pin(5v, gnd, signal in any combination, analog or digital signal). I have also revamped my codes to create a shell that has interactive menu and input value support based on LCD and buttons. You can prompt a user to input numbers, Y/N, months, or strings. Now coding arduino with the shield is much easier. You can focus on your project and have the shell handle interactions (like windows running on arduino:)

I'll start posting details once the Phi-2 shields are ready for a debut.
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