[Sticky] Introduce Yourself
Welcome to the forum, Pete! There's lots of expertise here. Like you, I stumbled across Bill's videos and ended up here. I am also new to programming single board computers and interfacing them with hardware. For what it's worth, I live in Canada, so I can live with "railways" or "railroads" as our English is a blend of the British and US versions. I often labour (or labor) at the spelling of harbour (or harbor!). And is it UK or U.K.? I guess it depends. Sometimes Z is Zee, and other times it's Zed. It makes my head spin!
I have my garden railroad switches working on pneumatic cylinders, that I run from a control board through electric operated solenoids. At the same time I have that board hooked up with an Arduino Uno that can control the 8 major switches. The program changes the directions and route of the trains, when the pass an IR sensor. I can easily change the program so that it changes on other times or other routes.
Latest project is having a loco doing switching operations without manual interference, Drop cars of and pick cars up from industries.
Thanks guys, the more I learn about Arduino, the more uses I am finding for it on the layout, It has opened up so many new possibilities for automation and adding functionality where there was none a few months ago! I am designing a single line electric token block instrument that will enable real prototypical working, if I can get it to work and electric interlocking of a manual lever frame to operate the signals.
Greatings from The Netherlands here.
Most of my working life I've been in IT, both hardware and software side, and for the pas 2.5 years I've been a software developer exclusively.
In my youth (starting at around 6 I believe) my uncle introduced me into electronics, first some basics, soon enough into the realm of logics (logic ports and such).
Unfortunately I have never been motivated much to actually build something, though I have made some designs, including a modular mixing table (based on an Elektor design from a book, but heavily modified, improved), which someone once made (in 1995) and still uses today (analog and digital quality is still professional), nothing much came from my own hands in the vorm of electronic devices.
Now I am thinking about (quite) a few projects I want to actually build, for which I could use some help from people who might (probably) know better than I do on how to design certain parts.
Also, I am learning very fast, and might be able to help others as well.
Every project I am working on is completely in my head and I will need some time to document, to be able to share with you all.
This is how I work: I keep thinking about every aspect of the project, the thing to build, until I think it will work. When I learn something new that might change the solution I have for something, I can revisit that part.
Hopefully we can have a fun time!
I KNOW the feeling... There are SO MANY things I want to do! I get parts, etc. and more parts, etc.
Now, I have to decide which ONE to do first!! ... and That is a Problem!
Good Luck in deciding what to do first...
Another good source for more education is Paul McWhorter... a very good teacher aimed at Starting from ZERO education and getting you up to speed FAST... see previous posts for more info...
Hi My name is Neil and I live in Washington state but close to Portland Oregon. I became interested in Arduino and other microcontrollers about 2 years ago. My career as an HVAC mechanic has familiarized myself with electrical and some electronics but very little computer programming. So that's my weak area when it comes to this hobby. I've read somewhere that doing Arduino can be compared to golf; it's often frustrating but every once in a while you have a success that keeps you going. So I keep slugging along even though I seem to make a lot of the same mistakes now that I was doing in the beginning.
Anyhow this looks like an interesting forum and maybe we can help each other.
I think you need some bare-bones education, from the very beginning, instruction about Programming the Arduino as well as learning DEBUGGING techniques (which can be very Frustrating in itself.)... This could be called an Art... There are tricks & techniques to debugging a program... and circuits.
IMHO, one of the best sources to that is via Paul McWhorter, www.toptechboy.com ... See links described earlier in this thread... on Page 28.
It helped me a lot... and I'm sure it will help you also.
Check it out... you will be happy...
Good Luck & Take care, washing your hands a lot, etc.. etc.
Paul McWhorter was where I actually started my Arduino journey. And no doubt he is good - maybe I should give him another visit. But there are other vids I like better. Anyhow thanks for the welcome. I look forward to all the forum has to offer.
Enjoy learning all kinds of GOOD STUFF!
I am a soon to be retired, law enforcement Lieutenant from Washington state, so I am creating new hobbies to occupy my time. I am a maker, although I little experience with electronics. I enjoy music, outdoors. One of my goals is to learn how to run a Bridgeport Mill. I am hoping to get some tips and education from the many expert members of this forum so I can reduce the number of things I destroy during this journey.
What part of Washington are you in? I'm just south of Portland. There is a machinist hobby group that meets in Vancouver. Great place to meet people that are helpful to newbies.
Pat Wicker (Portland, OR, USA)
I'm Peter from the Netherlands, molecular biologist by training and own a software development company creating LIMS for life science companies.
Stumbled on Arduino 2 months ago via the "guy with the swiss accent" who had recorded a video where he made contact with a tiny satelite via LORA and got intrigued. Ordered an Arduino starterKit (incredible value for money BTW) and started playing around with it using videos from Paul McWorther, this Dronebot workshop and Andreas Spiess, ordering more bits and pieces when the lessons required additional hardware. I was just gradually experiencing the fun of a new hobby when boom... we were all in lockdown.
In the software business I am used to work remotely but work is slacking undeniably in these dystopian times. With this new hobby I don't mind really, it is great fun. I am doing math again I have not done since my student years and creating simple circuit boards that I created in my highschool years on paper only (way to expensive to do the real hardware), but which is now done on these remarkable micro controllers.
I switched from Arduino to VisualStudio Code (platformIO), a bit steeper learning curve but I like the more widely applicabale IDE.
I hope this forum can help me when I get really stuck on some beginner's glitch, but so far I managed OK.
After many years away from electronics I have returned after stumbling over DroneBot and Paul W. I’m having a great time learning the new electronics. Originally I wanted to become an electronics engineer but my math was just not there. Now I insist on doing the math just because I feel I totally missed out before. I’m intrigued by the Molecular Biology side of your career. I’m an archeological technician by profession and have been learning DNA extraction etc. I hope I can on occasion avail myself of your experience and expertise in that area. It’s the reason I have retired and returned to electronics. Welcome to a wonderful place. Bill is an excellent instructor. He’s the teacher I needed in high school and college but didn’t have.