Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week 1: motor controls

Wow, eventful first week!  I spent more time than I would have liked getting settled, ordering final parts, and meeting various people, but I still managed to make some progress.

Arduino is ridiculously easy to use!  I sat down with the parts and software on Thursday morning, and by the end of the day, I was able to connect the arduino to the motor and use a code to make the motor spin!  Yay!

Sure, this isn't on the forefront of technology or anything, but it's still pretty damn amazing to me that I can write some random, arbitrary characters on a computer, push a button, and get a motor to do something.

It gets better though, because Moose let me borrow his Arduino LCD shield (a chip that connects to and sits on top of the arduino, giving you a simple display and several buttons).  But the end of Friday, I had programmed a neat little menu into the LCD display that let me control the motor completely through the Arduino.

And that was about it for real progress this week, though honestly, I didn't expect to get a nearly finished code in arduino so quickly, so this is actually more than I expected to get done.

I'm making a page with my current planned schedule, in case you want to follow along and know what's ahead.  Finally, I'll end with a sprinkle of few pictures from the ferry ride here, and the field trip on Wednesday.
Damn, I wouldn't mind living in that house.
Friday Harbor Laboratories, as seen from the ferry as we pull into the port.

Seaweeds! If you're not looking forward to many glamour shots of seaweeds, you're probably on the wrong blog.
A giant Pisaster seastar! And bigger than my hand!  Special exception here due to it's remarkable size, don't expect many pictures of disgusting animals.

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