small electronics for your makerspace 2 (clc trendspotting - 26 march 2014)

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Information about small electronics for your makerspace 2 (clc trendspotting - 26 march 2014)
How-to & DIY

Published on March 31, 2014

Author: ariannaschlegel



CLC Trendspotting - The Technologies of Makerspaces, presented by Edward Iglesias and Arianna Schlegel

Small Electronics for Your Makerspace Arianna Schlegel CLC Trendspotting: The Technologies of Makerspaces 26 March 2014 Fairfield University

So many options…! The Connected Home: Which Board Is Right For Me? (2/7/14) MAKE magazine, volume 36 Inside: an illustrated glossary and projects, plus more in-depth discussion of each board.

3 Main Categories 1.actual computers 2.sensory processors 3.wearables

First: What is I/O? Stands for Input/Output - think of your five senses. Those are input. How you process and respond to those senses? That is your output. What kind of I/O do the PCs sitting in front of you have?

1. Raspberry Pi • is actually a very tiny (single-board) computer running Unix • not a ton of processing power for $35...but it’s only $35 • can be written & rewritten over ad infinitum • need some project ideas? pi/

Some Raspberry Pi Project Ideas 1. Use OpenElec to make your home TV a mini media center 2. Use Chromium to web surf on your TV 3. ArcadePi or gaming (Minecraft) 4. Go vintage with Windows 3.0 5. Write some code! (use the included Python compiler, start with Scratch, or choose from many others) 6. Robotics 7. Learn hacking skills 8. Make a server (BitTorrent, cloud) 9. Make yourself a weather station 10. Or your own touchscreen “tablet” 11. If you’re ambitious, your own quadcopter 12. Even a beer cans keyboard (with a little help from Arduino)

1. BeagleBone • “designed for makers” - designed from the ground up to work with hardware (sensors, etc.) • like Raspberry Pi, it’s also an entire computer and also runs Unix • moved the operating system from the SD card to the board itself • costs $45 (down from $89)

Not sure which to choose? MAKE magazine to the rescue again! How to Choose the Right Platform: Rasbperry Pi or BeagleBone Black

1. Gizmo Board An x86 board which MAKE magazine calls “essentially a laptop on a single board” that is “blinding fast, extremely flexible, and hugely powerful by the standards of those of us coming from the microcontroller world.” Cost: $200

2. Arduino • first of its kind (a single-board microcontroller) - designed as a platform for makers • began as a project to give artists the ability to embed microprocessors for use in interactive pieces (like my dad’s, below) • many different flavors • used primarily for sensory computing • available in a lot of places (Radio Shack, Amazon, online) • costs ~$35-$100, depending on features & power • tutorials here

2. The many faces of Arduino (And these are just the official & current ones!) See here for a still incomplete but much longer list... Yùn ~ Leonardo ~ Uno ~ Due Mega2560 ~ Ethernet ~ Fio ~ Nano LilyPad ~ Pro ~ Mega ADK ~ Esplora Micro ~ Mini

Some Arduino Project Ideas 10 Simple-But-Fun Projects to Make with Arduino (all call for an Arduino and a USB cable) LEDs resistors breadboard & connecting wires capacitors push buttons network cable battery tester electronic dice traffic light stopwatch digital clock a Twitterer

Some Bigger Arduino Project Ideas 10 Simple-But-Fun Projects to Make with Arduino (all call for an Arduino and a USB cable) DFRobot 2A Arduino Shield ($16) 9V battery to DC socket cable (2 for $3.53) Alkaline AA batteries (48 for $12.50) Pololu RP5 Chassis plate (10 for $6.25 each) Pololu RP5 Tank Chassis package (10 for $44.96 each) SparkFun GPS shield kit ($59.95) LCD module or Freetronics LCD shield ($29.95) robots 1 1 6 1 1 a GPS generator 1 1 1

2. DigiSpark • PROS: o costs just $9! o small and lightweight o works like an Arduino • CONS: o less powerful (for more power, see the TinyDuino)

2. TinyDuino • Costs $19.95 (or $39.95 for a basic kit) • GPS Cat Tracker (the ideal “typical librarian” project)

2. TI LaunchPad • $5-$10 • less - 14 I/O pins (vs. 20 on Arduino) and 16K (vs. 32K on Arduino) • used to be difficult to program on, but they have released a new, open source platform (Energia) which works on all OSes • you can also use your Arduino code on it!

2. Netduino • very different from the Arduino, despite its name • you have to know how to program in C#, and it’s mostly restricted to Windows computers • costs $35

2. Parallax Propeller • can control 8 things at one time • costs $50 • good for robotics

2. AVR Butterfly • the size of a name tag, which is what it can be used for! • includes an LCD screen, joystick, speaker • costs $20 • NOT compatible with Arduino code

2. MaKey MaKey A fun beginner project that anyone can do! Takes no time at all to learn & set up, and appeals to all ages.

3. Lilypad, FLORA, & GEMMA Arduino board designed for wearable computing. (BONUS: They’re waterproof!)

For example...

Some other great examples... Becky Stern is the wearable tech goddess! Watch her Adafruit tutorial videos here: Which to use? FLORA vs GEMMA according to Becky.

FLORA ($25) or GEMMA ($8) projects 1. Amplitie 2. Firewalker Sneakers 3. Pac Man Suspenders

Just FLORA projects 1. PianoGlove 2. GPS Jacket 3. Citi Bike Helmet

Just GEMMA projects 1. Space Face Galaxy Makeup 2. NeoPixel Ring Bangle Bracelet 3. NeoPixel Tiara (A NeoPixel costs $25 at

3. the TinyLily From the makers of TinyDuino, “tiny washable circuits for e-textiles”:

My first (misguided) project FEo48

For your advanced users: FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) that start you with a blank slate - you must design the chip at the hardware level, so you can dictate precisely how things work. (This is good to know for those who want to work for electronics companies like Intel.) The Papilio (

And many more! There are dozens of options out there now. You will have to decide which is right for your library’s needs and community. To consider: price, learning curve, available tutorials quality, features, intended use

Evolution Continues These boards are constantly being worked on - new types are regularly introduced. The latest? Wireless capabilities (Yún) and hybrid boards. But things won’t stop there. Keep up to date with the latest boards on places like or (they call them “Dev Boards”) or Kickstarter (seach on “arduino”).

Need To Know UNIX (learn here: ...or... Arduino code (C or C++) (learn here: (But PLEASE don’t let this scare you away!) #1 #2 and #3

Where To Learn • Adafruit (highly recommended) • (Weekend Projects) • YouTube • books (like Make: Electronics or Encyclopedia of Electronic Components, Volume 1) • fellow enthusiasts! (at other makerspaces?)

Dewey Decimal? Put signs in the following sections: • 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems • 338 Production / Entrepreneurship • 500 Sciences (Pure sciences) • 600 Technology (Applied sciences) o Patents o 620 Engineering o 670 & 680 Manufactures o 690 Building and construction • 700 The arts o 730 Sculpture, ceramics & metalwork o 740 Drawing & decorative arts o 770 Photography and computer art Use Your Categorization

Use Your Categorization Library of Congress? Put signs in the following sections: • HB 615-715 Entrepreneurship M - MUSIC • N - FINE ARTS • Q - SCIENCE o QA - Mathematics, Computer Science o QC - Physics • T - TECHNOLOGY o T - Patents o TJ - Mechanical Engineering o TK - Electrical Engineering You know your patrons - what

References This presentation pulled heavily from is-right-for-me/ while attempting to synthesize and reinterpret for newer techies. Thank you to Alasdair Allan for a thorough and accessible presentation. OTHER RESOURCES USED • •

Contact me! Arianna Schlegel Haas Library 409 Western Connecticut State University 203-837-8818

List of 3s: professional allies (coworkers, library staff) •

List of 3s: patron/community allies •

List of 3s: community groups to tap •

List of 3s: spaces (where?) •

List of 3s: funding sources •

List of 3s: small beginner projects •

List of 3s: places to purchase •

Other Considerations • charge a fee? • materials to purchase

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