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Topic: first project (Read 3449 times) previous topic - next topic


i got my arduino 3 weeks ago but now i dont know what to do. I was wondering how you guys think of projects and if you could suggest one to me



Dec 27, 2010, 02:56 am Last Edit: Dec 27, 2010, 02:56 am by retrolefty Reason: 1
Wow, you have the web at your command and you can't find project ideas? Using google and searching on "arduino projects" gets About 626,000 results (0.13 seconds)!  ;)

There are some just on the Arduino playground site, look around.



Dec 27, 2010, 03:06 am Last Edit: Dec 27, 2010, 03:23 am by focalist Reason: 1
Personally, I recommend the TvOut lib (two resistors and it gives you NTSC video, so you can use any TV as a high-res display).  At it's default resolution of 128x96, that's the equivalent of 12,228 single LED's.. that alone is a lot of display potential.

Finally had an hour or so to play around, and I'm using the lib to write a video game for the Arduino... Zombie Buffet, a multiplayer brain-munching game.  It will also run (when done) on a 16x2 LCD display for on the go play.  Kind of a munge of a couple of different ideas, mainly dice-based games, to create a simple "whoever eats the most brains wins" kind of thing.  I'll post it within a few days.  Two switches, two resistors, and the arduino.  Don't forget "Call of Duty: Black Ops" is really nothing more than a REALLY fast set of combat dice and some pretty rendering... nothing has changed in terms of dice-roll based combat since you used to have to color in the dice with a white crayon (anyone who gets that reference gets props), significantly.

If you are light on components, TVout gives a lot of bang for the buck..  if you want a challenge, use the TVout lib, and search out the source code (it's available in BASIC, C, FORTRAN and others.. but you'd want C) for TREK or TREK73... any of the versions by Dave Ahl (minor diety in my book btw).  Now, trim it down and port to Arduino using TVout, and simplify the interface into a reasonable number of switches.

Arduino TREK on TV... I think it's possible, but it'll be a while till I get to that particular idea.  Not DEADLY hard.. but challenging...


thanks lefty.

i cant believe that i didnt think of google :P


No problem. Do take your time in selecting your projects. The trick is to try and find one the both interests you and is just a little stretch for your electronic and software experience. Too ambitious a project often leads to frustration and quitting and too simple a project can get boring quickly. I know electronic much more then programming so I tend to try and find projects that force me to try and learn software things I haven't done before.

Good luck in your search.


Dec 27, 2010, 05:57 pm Last Edit: Dec 27, 2010, 06:21 pm by focalist Reason: 1
lefty's got a great viewpoint.  

I do the same in reverse (sometimes).  I have much more experience in software, but virtually none on the hardware side, in terms of design.  Hardware for me is MUCH harder, it's been many years since Ohms Law played into anything I was doing.. never mind calculating the beta of a transistor, or even remembering what the heck a Collector or an Emitter is in the first place... stuff these hardware guys do in their sleep.  I can solder, but count on a certain number of bad joints and bridges.. forget SMD.  I'll generally give myself one decent burn per project... so I am no electronics expert, when it comes to hardware with me it's 50/50 success to fire ratio.

A good example might be a spectrum analyzer-  I made one recently that does Fourier transforms on samples to calculate frequency bins, using software.  The hardware guys are as likely to have used some kind of tunable bandpass filter to do the same job.  Though I used a pre-made FFT lib, it's just math and I could have written a Fourier routine if I had wanted to and took the time, with no more extra knowledge needed other than the actual equations.  On the other hand, I wouldn't even know where to start if I wanted to design using a tunable filter.  Fact of the matter is, I'm not even positive it's possible.

What's great about Arduino and the site.. neither is more valid than the other (well,...) and if nothing else, you are encouraged to attempt the insane and impossible.. and on both the HW and SW sides, you've got some pretty skilled folks around here...

What I have found is that if you are willing to do your homework (meaning Google and the Arduino Reference/Playground), there's people who are willing to help with almost anything here... and the more bizarre and esoteric the better.  You'll get help running "BLINK" if you need it and have done your reading first.. but the crowd really drools when it's "Arduino-Controlled Induction Smelting Furnace" (that's real) or "Arduino+cat+linear accelerator (NEED HELP)!" (that one's not, sadly).


Thanks a lot "focalist" and "retrolefty"!   My head is about to "EXPLODE"!!!  I received my first Arduino (Xmas present to myself) and got it up and running yesterday.     Seriously, my head is going to explode with the amount of projects I would love to do with this think.

I have a BS in Elect Eng Tech, we designed and built a 8085 based board back in 87 with a wire wrap perf-board.    With over 20 years as a service engineer I've never got around to playing with single-board computers because all the manufacturers seemed to have there own development systems that cost $$$$$.

Now I've found Arduino!!!

This open source thing is AWESOME!

Just the other day my wife mentioned that she hates that the air dryer thingy we have down stairs stays on all the time because we forget to turn it off.  I think to myself, wow, I could design an arduino based box with maybe 3 LED's one push button switch.  I could easily program it to turn on for maybe 1, 2 and 3 hours for each LED.   I've been looking for something similar for my battery chargers.   You guys mentioned the spectrum analyzer and NTSC out..... my heads going to explode!  The possibilities are endless!!! ...stereo/ tv remote control, lighting controllers, sprinkler systems, temperature, windspeed, rain gauge, gps, exercise bike/ treadmill to google earth, to video game interface, house power monitor, water monitor, temperature thermostat, smart coffee maker, GPS controlled lawn mower, metal detector, weed and feeder robot, GPS enable radio that automatically changes stations when your out of range, GPS radar detect/ speed trap warning system....... help.....I can't stop ...... ;)
Arduino UNO R3


My first project was probably blinking the LED. Then I used a pot to make a LED graph, it was pretty retarded since I did not make a good connection, also I didn't have proper resistors! :D

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