Well folks, here is a revised tentative T of C as per your suggestions. Any new suggestions would be appreciated greatly!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter One - The first step
Electronics in a few paragraphs
Voltage and Current
Voltage and current in series and parallel circuits
Voltage and current division
Power and Energy
Formulas for Power
Wasted power and overheating
AC, DC and Electrical Signals
How to read schematic diagrams
Drawing circuit diagrams, the casual and the proper way
How to solder
How to be left with fewer fingers
Proper soldering techniques
Chapter Two - What's this microcontroller thing, anyway?
What is a microcontroller
Going through memory lane
A simple microcontroller
Microcontroller vs your PC
Programmable input/output pins
Where do we find micros in our everyday life?
Some microcontroller families
The PicMicro family
The ATMEL family
Chapter Three - Parts we will use
Resistors in brief
What is a resistor
Types of resistors
Special resistors (LDR, Thermistor)
Capacitors in brief
What is a capacitor
Diodes in brief
What is a diode
Light Emitting Diode
Special Diodes (7-segment display, bargraph, matrix display)
Types of switches
Jacks, clips, terminal connectors
Lets make noise
DC motors, servo motors, stepper motors
Chapter Four - Programming
What is a program?
Chapter Five - Arduino programming
The two main functions
Curly, semi, and com
Variables and constants
Do your arithmetic
Am I equal, bigger, or smaller than you?
Lets get logical
Are you telling the truth or not?
High or Low, In or Out, pinMode, read or write
If, for, while, do..while
millis, min, max
Lets roll the dice
Chapter Six - The fun starts - Simple projects
Light and Sound
Project No.1 - The traffic light
Project No.2 - The knight rider or Ford Thunderbird taillights
Project No.3--Lets get logical
Project No.4--Lets get analog
Project No.5 - This or that, how the Switch statement works
Project No.6--The tone ( ) function
Project No.7--A send-receive exercise
Project No.8 -Pedestrian Crossing
Chapter Seven - The fun continues--More advanced projects
How it works
Project No.9 - Connect a motor
How it works
Project No.10 - A real-time clock
Project No.11--Temperature circuits
Project No.12 -- Add an external EEPROM
Project No.13--Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion
Project No.14--Increase your i/o ports
Chapter Eight -Even more advanced projects
Project No.15 - Using infrared devices
Project No.16 - Using the Parallax Ping unit
Project No.17--Two Arduinos talking to each other or the beauty of i2c
Project No.18 - The Arduino and uMFP 3.1 floating-point
Project No.19--Connect your Arduino to Ethernet
Project No.20--Teach science with Arduino and bricks
Hi Dr. Andrew,
It would be a good thing to keep the postings about your book in the same thread. Than we can see how progress is made, and refer to earlier postings.
Think there is too much theory, mind you five whole chapters before the fun starts in chapter six. As I proposed in an earlier posting you should start as early as possible with the fun part but not earlier. Keep the theoretical material for later when the kids have decided I want to know more.
The chapters look OK. take care when writing taht they should be readable "standalone", they should not depend (too much) on each other.
This is the first time I will disagree with you. The theory is not too much. The topics shown might look as if they are too many, but their description in the chapter is not lengthy. I am surprised that people nowadays complain that Ohm's Law is too much theory and very equation intensive! If a novice cannot absorb this simple equation, then a novice should pick up fishing instead of microcontrollers. The other thing is that, if one is familiar with a topic already, then one can jump into a chapter that he or she likes. Most books written around the Arduino show very haphazardly that a wire goes from this point to that point and do not describe adequately why the wire goes from this point to that point. It is interesting that your suggestions are implemented in the revised T of C (read your post Block I, II, etc) almost entirely and yet you say that there is too much theory. It should be realized that an author cannot please everyone but, at the same time, an author should not let criticism go wild.
Thanks for your inputs, Rob.
I agree. Any starter book/manual that doesn't expose them to ohm's law does them a disservice in my opinion.
Here is a collection of complaints again one of the supposedly most popular books on the topic:
My biggest single complaint is that they don't explain WHY for any of their circuit designs. The first circuit they have you build is the "Hello World" of Arduino, blinking an LED. You are instructed to put an LED into pin 13 & ground - but they don't explain to you that pin 13 is "special" (it has a build in resistor, from what I've read elsewhere). On the second diagram they've got a push button to activate the LED, which also has a resistor and some extra wires going to other locations. Again there is no information as to WHY you would want to do this. I think I know why, but my electronics is too rusty to be sure.
Now my electronics side is a little rusty, but not rusty enough for this book. It really does go all the way down to explaining you the very basics of electricity and how it works. Then they build up a little bit, but not much. I find it quite displeasing that there isn't a single circuit diagram in the entire book. Everything is done with hand drawn pictures to show you what plugs in where. Again, great for the beginner, but it doesn't prep them for any real work. They do have an Appendix in the back which illustrates some symbols and basic circuit diagram concepts but again, not enough in my opinion.
This book, from Massimo Banzi, the co-founder of Arduino, was really the book I should have read first, before even going through the Arduino website. The book is only just over 100 pages long and it really serves as a very brief introduction of the Arduino platform. I bought it from a bookshop (rather than Amazon) and I knew beforehand that I may already know almost everything this book could offer. And I was almost right. Thinking back, I should have probably spent the £10 on another issue of the Make magazine.
Are you now following my rationale?
I wish there was a way you could send one of those herring sandwiches! :P
Looks pretty good,
I don't see anything about Async comms, as this it the most common form of talking between gadgets I think it should be in there with explainations of Rx and Tx, ie Rx->Tx etc as they are often named in a manner that causes Rxs and Txs to be incorrectly connected together with much head scratching.
Possibly this should be project 17a as using async to talk between two Arduinos is common enough for it's own section I would think.
In fact the whole "how do I get two Arduinos to talk to each other" subject comes up here every week and we're always replying with simple ideas for protocols, it could probably have it's own chapter. :)
You've got how to read circuit diagrams but not how to make one. I'm not sure if this is appropriate partly because there are so many packages out there and you can't cover them, but maybe the basics of drawing a diagram that is intelligable.
Also maybe a section on formatting a program with proper use of white space and indentation.
Rob from the Land Down Under (we have another Rob, From Holland)
Points well suggested. I need to include a chapter, or at least a couple of projects talking about UARTs and Async Com. Thank you for suggesting it.
Graynomad (Aussie Rob)
I forgot to mention. Your suggestion about drawing a schematic will be implemented in the section about schematics. How to draw and not to draw a schem.
Yeah there's a few of us Robs around, not the most uncommon name I'm guessing. :)
Rob This is the first time I will disagree with you. The theory is not too much. The topics shown might look as if they are too many, but their description in the chapter is not lengthy.
My reaction is based upon the number of chapters. I cannot see the length of the chapter from the TOC and if you say they are not lengthy why not merge them? At least that way it LOOKS like the fun part starts faster. It is a marketing issue not a discussion pro or con theory ...
The herring sandwiches will not survive a trip by postal service I'm afraid. It will be intercepted by customs because of the smell :)
That table of content looks very promising. I also like the fact, that you include in the electronic chapter a part about circuit schematics. It seemed so obvious to me that i completely forgot about it, but a newbie definitely will need it.
From the list, consider moving the part about where to find microcontrollers used these days into chapter one. It gives beginners quickly something they can relate to. People understand the idea we're talking about those simplistic computer that drive their washing maschines, alarm clocks, heartbeat monitors and vending maschines and illustrate the difference to a regular computer with solitaire and mail on it.