Learning Arduino

My brother, the same one who sent me a static grass applicator for Christmas, sent an Arduino starter kit for The Boy. Yeah, he kinda hit it out of the park this Yule.

The Boy had a heavy first term at school, but now that exams are over he finally has some time to play with the kit. So this afternoon we started to try it out and learn a little bit of C. Well one of us was learning, the other was dusting off memories from at least twenty years ago.

The particular kit my brother sent to go under the tree was a Freenove RFID starter kit, and so far I have to say I am impressed! The kit contains a huge collection of parts including a bread board, fistful of jumpers, resistors, pots, a servo, a motor, a stepper motor, LEDs, and a bunch of other things I can’t yet identify. I suppose one of them must be an RFID detector.

We downloaded a 242-page tutorial, and within a few minutes we were up and running with a blinking LED. Now on page 35, we’re learning about loops and arrays, having variables and functions, scopes, macros and basic bread-boarding under our belts.

It’s easy to see why Arduino has taken the world by storm, and it is easy to see many applications in model railroading. I might have to get my own kit!

6 thoughts on “Learning Arduino

  1. How old is the boy now? Mine is turning 8, and fairly tech savvy. He already has friends who are getting into Arduinos but I wonder if it will be a bit beyond him still at 8 years old.

    1. This one is 16. Every kid is different. There is no way this would have worked for him at 8. That’s Turtle programming age for most, but it all depends on interest. If you’re interested enough, age doesn’t matter.

  2. This sounds like so much fun!

    I’ve had a couple of Arduino Unos here for a while but haven’t done anything with them. I think I was afraid of them becoming another hobby. It sure does sound like fun and, from what I’ve seen online, there’s such an incredibly diverse amount of help online to step through questions and illustrate examples which feels fantastic.

    1. I am considering them from the point of view of getting more from a compact layout. For example, on your layout, you could have a gate that locks, and simulate the locking and drive the gate with an Arduino, rather than having a physical lock hanging off the fascia in your living room.

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