Absolute New Arduino Users and the IDE/Site Examples

I suggest a place where rank beginners, like me, can ask questions, or find previously answered ones, specific to the examples provided in the IDE or on this site. A place where no question is stupid even if the answer is "Please check the stickes and then reference what you found there in your question."

Example. I uploaded the "Ping" example. The distance is printed to serial. I had to poke around using a search engine to find the answer posted on another site.

In this example, how is a brand new user supposed to know that the magnifying glass in the upper right of the IDE is used to see what's being printed to the serial port? Did I miss it by not doing every example in order? And now that I've found it, what to do when I'm receiving gibberish?

Why not one forum where we can learn from the examples and people who have seen every possible way a new user can screw them up, or help determine that they aren't the problem, that something else is going on? A place where if, heaven forbid they use the wrong term it isn't treated as something to rub their nose in until they learn how to not make messes. A training method shown to hinder rather than aid learning.

Just my $.02

Ron, a struggling new user.

Arduino Playground is pretty useful for that type of topic.

So is the Arduino HUB (hackster affiliated).

Otherwise I think the rest of the sections are pretty adequate for any other needs

There are lots of useful links on the Useful Links Thread.

The problem is that everyone has a slightly different question or a slightly different way of expressing their problem.

Googling with "my search word site:arduino.cc" can be very effective.

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Ignorance (as in lack of knowledge) does not mean a person is stupid. Stupid behaviour is when you won't say "Hold on a moment, I don't understand that"

Have fun with your Arduino.

...R

Shiseiji: I suggest a place where rank beginners, like me, can ask questions, or find previously answered ones, specific to the examples provided in the IDE or on this site. A place where no question is stupid even if the answer is "Please check the stickes and then reference what you found there in your question."

I think generally the Arduino forum is already that way. I see much less of the "what, is Google broken?" attitude here than any other forum. The exception is that we expect every user to follow the rules as stated in this post: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=148850

Shiseiji: In this example, how is a brand new user supposed to know that the magnifying glass in the upper right of the IDE is used to see what's being printed to the serial port? Did I miss it by not doing every example in order?

Probably, you would have learned about Serial Monitor in the DigitalReadSerial example: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/DigitalReadSerial

You also could have learned about it by reading the introduction to the Arduino IDE, which is linked from the "Getting Started" page: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Environment

Shiseiji: And now that I've found it, what to do when I'm receiving gibberish?

Make sure that the menu at the bottom right corner of the Serial Monitor is set to 9600 (the baud rate set in the Serial.begin() statement of the Ping example sketch).

If you're using an Uno, Mega, Nano, Pro Mini, or any other AVR Arduino that doesn't use the ATmega32U4, make sure you don't have anything connected to pin 1 of your Arduino and that your code does not modify the state of that pin. Pin 1 is the TX (transmit) pin used for Serial. Generally you should avoid using pins 0 and 1 on your Arduino.

Shiseiji: Why not one forum where we can learn from the examples and people who have seen every possible way a new user can screw them up, or help determine that they aren't the problem, that something else is going on? A place where if, heaven forbid they use the wrong term it isn't treated as something to rub their nose in until they learn how to not make messes. A training method shown to hinder rather than aid learning.

You could create that forum but it will be useless unless you can find experienced people who are willing to log on every day and help people out for free (often without even so much as a "thank you" in return). You need to understand that nobody here gets paid and there are actually a fairly small number of regular users that answer the questions of many thousands of beginners. Some of these regulars may get a bit grumpy but they also share their knowledge and help many people. If you disagree with that approach then feel free to become the change you'd like to see in the forum. We can always use more people to help out here.

Thank you all for your comments. I understand each of your points, “but” still am of the opinion that a section dedicated to only the provided projects would help keep the focus on them even though I know that often the search is the most educational, if not the least frustrating, part of the learning process. Obviously guilty of skipping what should not have been skipped. As for the respect of the moderators, more positive than negative, especially Robin2 who has provided assistance in the past while I was being beat up for using the wrong terms in my haste to move forward.

I assisted on several Yahoo forums for over a decade before moving on to other projects, so truly understand that so many will demand assistance without a thought beyond their own needs. And how frustrating that can be when you know the same question was answered in just the past month, and almost every other previous month for the past several years . . . I now volunteer as a bicycle mechanic at a coop, and face to face is much easier though I still add the odd comment on the boards now and again. :wink:

Regarding the project in question. I dropped the baud down in sequence till I got to 1200 on the port and in the code and then received the print in proper text, but without any measurements. So still a work in progress.

Best wishes all, many, many more questions to come I have no doubt.

Shiseiji: "but" still am of the opinion that a section dedicated to only the provided projects would help keep the focus on them

I understand the point you are making.

However when I frequently see questions about programming for an Ethernet shield in the section "Website and Forum" (with the subheading "improvements for the web system, applications to moderator, spam, etc") I doubt very much that questions would stay in your proposed "box"

It is impossible to make something foolproof because fools are so clever :)

...R

You currently have 6 posts. Not sure how long you have been on this site, but simply reviewing what others ask about will give you some insites into programming the arduino. Do not get hung up on what you might think is a stupid question, you do not have to read answers that are curt. Proceed with asking for help when you don't understand something, if you do not understand an answer ask for clarification.

Do not jump into projects that are over your head, understand basic stuff first.

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