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Topic: Can you recommend a path forward for me as a new user? (Read 2022 times) previous topic - next topic

fatjackdurham

Hello, I am new member of the forum (age 47) and I sometimes tend to find myself overwhelmed when trying to learn new things.

My Resume:

I have a great interest in electronics and want to learn to make thinks like I see in maker fairs, etc. I was initially inspired by they now defunct site "WindStuffNow" to make a wind generator, but as I learned what I would need to learn to get there, I got side tracked.

I used to play with the radio shack science electronics kits, and in fact I have a pretty good one now that I pull out every couple of years. I understand electronics and electricity up to basic transistors, although capacitors still mystify me. I have programmed in BASIC since I was 12, and dabbled in C, JAVA, and Perl. And, I am a router network engineer currently.

While trying to get to the point of being able to build a windmill, I learned to use a metal lathe, milling machine, and tig welder, as well as some basic sand casting of aluminum based on the Gingery series. I have done a small amount of electrical soldering in my life.

So, going forward...

I am getting close to starting to try to make some wind mill projects, and may want to start with some small models etc. One of the things I want to measure would be the RPM that a wind mill I make turns at, while I try to decide on a design. As well, I would like, if I actually make a wind mill, to be able to record the power created over time and graph the results, and finally, make a control system to maintain constant voltages.

I ran across an article about building a gauss/tesla meter with Arduino, and it captured my interest. So, if, eventually, I want to make a tachometer and power meter, and record the information or transmit it to my Mac, ostensibly with an Arduino...

Where should I start?
1) What kit to use to first get started learning to connect, program and record data from an Arduino?
2) What tutorials to do to learn about building or attaching sensors?
3) How to locate similar projects so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel?
4) How to locate mentors or trainers in my area to consult if needed?

It's nice to meet you, I look forward to your suggestions.

It seems

AWOL

Do you literally mean a wind mill?

Or an wind turbine/generator?

SurfingDude

Good Day fatjackdurham,

If you don't have a destination in mind then any path will work, and the journey is your reward. Any Arduino kit is a good starting point and one with a breadboard and some parts could get you started.

The Arduino Uno is an easy starting point and, if you need WiFi, the MKR1000 is a great follow-on.

Most of the challenges that I find in a project are mechanical and artistic rather than electronic, especially if it is to be exhibited at a maker event. With respect to windmills, you will have to decide how to power the project, how to protect the electronics from weather, and how to get any data back-and forth. A lot of the maker movement is to study existing solutions and develop better ones, so scavenging parts from, for instance, an old VCR is a fair start.

From what you learn, it would be a big plus if you can find or start an Arduino group in your area or share your knowledge by mentoring a high school student or class. The experience that us older folks have should be passed on to the new generations.

fatjackdurham

Do you literally mean a wind mill?

Or an wind turbine/generator?
Well... I did grow a bunch of sunflowers once... It would be nice to get the seeds... But in this case, a turbine generator.

artisticforge

Hello, I am new member of the forum (age 47) and I sometimes tend to find myself overwhelmed when trying to learn new things.

My Resume:

I have a great interest in electronics and want to learn to make thinks like I see in maker fairs, etc. I was initially inspired by they now defunct site "WindStuffNow" to make a wind generator, but as I learned what I would need to learn to get there, I got side tracked.

I used to play with the radio shack science electronics kits, and in fact I have a pretty good one now that I pull out every couple of years. I understand electronics and electricity up to basic transistors, although capacitors still mystify me. I have programmed in BASIC since I was 12, and dabbled in C, JAVA, and Perl. And, I am a router network engineer currently.

While trying to get to the point of being able to build a windmill, I learned to use a metal lathe, milling machine, and tig welder, as well as some basic sand casting of aluminum based on the Gingery series. I have done a small amount of electrical soldering in my life.

So, going forward...

I am getting close to starting to try to make some wind mill projects, and may want to start with some small models etc. One of the things I want to measure would be the RPM that a wind mill I make turns at, while I try to decide on a design. As well, I would like, if I actually make a wind mill, to be able to record the power created over time and graph the results, and finally, make a control system to maintain constant voltages.

I ran across an article about building a gauss/tesla meter with Arduino, and it captured my interest. So, if, eventually, I want to make a tachometer and power meter, and record the information or transmit it to my Mac, ostensibly with an Arduino...

Where should I start?
1) What kit to use to first get started learning to connect, program and record data from an Arduino?
2) What tutorials to do to learn about building or attaching sensors?
3) How to locate similar projects so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel?
4) How to locate mentors or trainers in my area to consult if needed?

It's nice to meet you, I look forward to your suggestions.

It seems
I have been asked this many times over the years and now I have an answer that I can live with.
https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-starter-kit

Arduino User Groups are hard to come by, particularly in the USA.
I have tried several times to put one together and after the first couple meetings attendance drops off to the point to where it is just two or three people.

I would suggest that you look up the local Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) group.
They tend toward DIY electronics.
Back in my much younger days I built several HeathKit radios.

There are several books in the arduino store that i would recommend.
Getting Started With Arduino 3rd Edition - Book
Make: AVR Programming - Book
Make: Electronics 2nd Ed. - Book

If you search around you can find these used and/or less expensive.

Learn Linux. take a laptop or desktop computer that is idle and install a version of Linux.
As to which distribution to use, i would suggest trying several of them and pick the one that you feel the
most comfortable with.



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fatjackdurham

There are several books in the arduino store that i would recommend.
Getting Started With Arduino 3rd Edition - Book
Make: AVR Programming - Book
Make: Electronics 2nd Ed. - Book
Thanks! I'll check them out!

Quote
Learn Linux. take a laptop or desktop computer that is idle and install a version of Linux.
As to which distribution to use, i would suggest trying several of them and pick the one that you feel the
most comfortable with.
I already know, use and love Linux, but I stopped having a Linux machine when I got my first iMac. Right now, though, I find it more convenient to run *NIX through Darwin on my Mac. Usually, I can find what I need there, if not a direct OS/X port.

The Arduino Uno is an easy starting point and, if you need WiFi, the MKR1000 is a great follow-on.
Okay, thanks. I'll check it out.


[/quote]Most of the challenges that I find in a project are mechanical and artistic rather than electronic, especially if it is to be exhibited at a maker event. With respect to windmills, you will have to decide how to power the project, how to protect the electronics from weather, and how to get any data back-and forth./quote]

Exactly. I plan to scavenge hard drives stepper motor magnets to build the small scale units, as they are easy to get, and I have about 300 dead hard drives. All those other factors are what I am wondering, too. How do people typically manage signally with out door, remote projects? Wifi? Tether?

artisticforge

Thanks! I'll check them out!

<snip>


Exactly. I plan to scavenge hard drives stepper motor magnets to build the small scale units, as they are easy to get, and I have about 300 dead hard drives. All those other factors are what I am wondering, too. How do people typically manage signally with out door, remote projects? Wifi? Tether?
I have taken over 1000 dead hard drives apart.

I wanted the aluminum case and the rare earth magnets from the voice coil.
A few of the cases were not aluminum but magnesium. determined that when i dropped vinegar on the case it foamed up. I melted the aluminum cases in a crucible furnace and cast aluminum parts for my own DIY projects.

Putting a magnesium case on a crucible furnace damages the furnace and the crucible. The magnesium fire is just allowed to burn out.

The platter drive motors are next to impossible to disassemble. I gave up on trying to get at the copper and magnets. I normally just melted the entire motor in a crucible furnace and skimmed off the magnets and such as dross.

I most have 500 hard drive cases still to be melted down.

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Robin2

I already know, use and love Linux, but I stopped having a Linux machine when I got my first iMac.
Nah. A Mac is just Linux in a party dress - as you see when you use it at the command line :)

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

AWOL

A Mac is just Linux in a party dress
:D

...with a couture price tag!

artisticforge

Nah. A Mac is just Linux in a party dress - as you see when you use it at the command line :)

...R
i have 3 MacBook Pro, 3 Mac Mini, 3 iMac, 8 Raspberry Pi, 1 Raspberry Pi Compute Module, 2 Debian Linux Laptop, 1 debian linux desktop and 1 debian server. I lost count of iPads & iPods.

If they were just a little faster and had more memory I would use the Raspberry Pi mainly.
They have their niche.
The Macs are for all the iTunes Stuff.
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Robin2

i have 3 MacBook Pro, 3 Mac Mini, 3 iMac, 8 Raspberry Pi, 1 Raspberry Pi Compute Module, 2 Debian Linux Laptop, 1 debian linux desktop and 1 debian server. I lost count of iPads & iPods.
I could not afford anything by Apple.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

artisticforge

I could not afford anything by Apple.

...R
reconditioned refurbished or openbox. Saved money that way.
the only item new was the iphone 4. everything else reconditioned
refurbished or openbox.
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