10 05, 2018

Jumper Wires

By |2018-05-10T06:17:23+00:0010th May 2018|Hardware|

Jumper wires are used to connect devices through the breadboard. There are three types... male/male male/female female/female They can be any length and are critical if you want to build solderless prototypes or ‘play’ as I call it. They come in a whole range of colours. It is worth getting a set of each and for different lengths. They are very cheap and sometimes sold as a bundle with a breadboard and power board.

28 04, 2018

Light sensitive resistor

By |2018-04-28T15:04:04+00:0028th April 2018|Hardware|

The light sensitive resistor or photocell as I like to call it is just that. The resistance changes depending on how much light falls on it. It could be used to switch a light on when it got dark etc. It is used in conjuction with another resistor of say around 10kΩ and the resistance is split between the two of them. Similar to the variable resistor (potential divider). The current passes through both at the same time and what [...]

24 04, 2018

The Servo

By |2018-04-24T07:53:30+00:0024th April 2018|Hardware|

The servo is a small motor that turns an arm (or wheel) 180˚ Backwards and forwards. They are used a lot in remote control toys. They can be inexpensive depending on what you want to use it for. An Arduino Uno can drive up to 8 servos according to their documentation. It is driven by attaching it to a digital pin. The other two are connected to ground and the 5v supply. It is usually a good idea to either [...]

10 04, 2018

The breadboard

By |2018-04-10T05:52:28+00:0010th April 2018|Hardware|

The breadboard has nothing to do with making a sandwich but is a convenient and simple way to make electronic circuits without having the need to do any soldering. You would use this while prototyping, practicing, playing around to see if it works. There are various sizes. There is a full size of 830 points, half size 400 points and mini 170 points. The points refer to the number of holes where you put your wires and components in. The [...]

5 04, 2018

The Tactile Button

By |2018-04-05T15:21:32+00:005th April 2018|Hardware|

The tactile button is a momentary switch. It is only only on when pressed and is off as soon as you let go. It is a common type switch or button on electrical circuits. Even though it is only on when pressed it can be coded so that it triggers something when pressed. Press to switch on and then press again to switch off. The problem is that as it is pressed a circuit is made and there is an [...]

2 04, 2018

The Variable Resistor (pot)

By |2018-04-02T08:18:45+00:002nd April 2018|Hardware|

The Varaible Resistor is just that, it is a resistor that you can vary. This is also called a potential divider or pot for short. The one in the photo has a slot in the top and three pins underneath. It has a maximum value of 10,000 ohns (10k) and a minimum of 0 ohms. The pins underneath split or divide the resistor. You connect GND (0 volts or negative) to one of the pins at the front (in this [...]

30 03, 2018

The humble LED

By |2018-03-30T07:59:36+00:0030th March 2018|Hardware|

The humble LED which stands for Light Emitting Diode. As a diode it means that electricity can only flow one way. There are two legs (pins or wires), a short one and a long one. The long one is the positive and the short one is the negative. You can get them in a variety of sizes and colours. Up until recently they were only found as indicators on electronic devices usually to tell you if it is on, off [...]

27 03, 2018

Particle Photon

By |2018-03-27T10:21:01+00:0027th March 2018|Hardware, IoT, Particle Photon|

The Particle Photon sounds like something from an electron accelerator but it is a great little board for learning how to create Internet of Things (IoT) projects. Particle is the company who makes it and Photon is the name of this model. If you buy one make sure you get one with headers soldered on (they usually do). Through this device you connect it to your home WiFi and it connects to a website. From that website you can either [...]

25 03, 2018

The Micro:bit

By |2018-03-25T07:03:43+00:0025th March 2018|Hardware|

The Micro:bit is a humble little board. It is just about the same size as a credit card and is just about the best thing to use to get into coding if you have never done it before. You don’t even need to but one (£10-£15) because you can see a virtual one on their website www.microbit.org and then clicking let’s code. The place to start is ‘JavaScript Blocks Editor’ which is a very user friendly way to code. It can’t [...]

21 03, 2018

Raspberry Pi

By |2018-03-21T06:49:41+00:0021st March 2018|Hardware|

The Raspberry Pi is a phenomenon. The original was the size of a credit card (version A), now it is a bit bigger than that but not by much (version B). There is a smaller version called a zero which you can buy for £5 and it is a fully fledged computer. They even gave it away free with an edition of their magazine MagPi. The first time that a computer has been given away free with a magazine. The [...]

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