3 Beginner Arduino Mistakes

In my decade of experience building with and teaching Arduino, I see three mistakes more often than any others. Beginners typically:

  1. bite off more than they can chew by attempting to build a project with too many elements at once,
  2. make incorrect assumptions during prototyping,
  3. and underutilize the resources available to them online.

Full writeup on Instructables

Pi Camera Tumblr GIF-Maker

My latest project is a vintage Brownie camera fitted with a Raspberry Pi that captures three photos and uploads a resulting GIF to my Tumblr page.

In my desire to capture more GIFs (and b-roll of using it) and discover the remaining bugs before publishing the tutorial, I took it to Maker Faire NY today, published the Instructable soon after. The project is based on Python code from Lara’s free Raspberry Pi Class on Instructables.

If I hadn’t gone to Maker Faire, all the GIFs for the project would be like this one:

more GIFs after the jump.

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Diffused LED Strip Sign With Arduino/Bluetooth

I created this sign for the DJ booth at the 8th annual Interactive Show at my local hackerspace, NYC Resistor. The theme this year was The Running Man, the chintzy 1987 sci-fi movie, which takes place in the year 2017. The sign is built from foamcore board and the pixel strip inside is diffused with plain printer paper. The sign’s colors and animations can be controlled with a phone/tablet app over bluetooth.

This Instructable  details the construction, programming, and use of this simple sign using Arduino and the Adafruit Feather Bluefruit 32u4 microcontroller and its companion Bluefruit LE Connect app for iOS/Android. You could easily scale back the wireless control aspect and use an Arduino Uno and a physical switch to change the animation, as in my free introductory Arduino Class, or control the sign from the internet by switching the microcontroller for a wifi board like the Feather Huzzah ESP8266, which you can learn to do in my free Internet of Things Class.