Tag Archives: soldering

Arduino for Total Newbies workshop

Hackers on Train 2012 will be pulling into town the first week of August, and maker instructor extraordinaire Mitch Altman will stopping by our hackerspace for a special “Arduino for Total Newbies” workshop on Thursday, August 2nd.  Mitch writes:

You’ve probably heard lots about Arduino.  But if you don’t know what it is, or how you can use it to do all sorts of cool things, then this fun and easy workshop is for you.  As an example project, we’ll be creating a TV-B-Gone remote control out of an Arduino you can take home with you.

Registration: Eventbrite (space is limited so please register as soon as possible)

Cost: $40

Date: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Time: 7:00 – 10:00pm

Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Workshop Itinerary:

  • Very short lesson to learn everything you need to know about electronics!
  • Then we will learn to solder. Don’t let this scare you! Mitch has taught well over 35,000 people to solder, many of whom have never made anything before in their lives. It is actually a very easy skill to learn. It is also very useful.
  • Then we will each make our own Arduino clone from a kit made by Ladyada: BoArduino
  • Now that we each have our own Arduino, we will set up the free and open-source software on our laptops (if you bring one) — Windows, MacOS, or Linux are all fine!
  • And then its time to make something and learn how easy it is to use Arduino! Mitch will show you how to read schematic diagrams, and you’ll put together your own TV-B-Gone remote control using your BoArduino. We will use a solderless breadboard. These are really useful, and provide a fast, and very easy way to put circuits together without needing to solder.


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Circuits and Arduino (session 2) 3/4/12 3pm

The second meeting of the Intro to Arduino Class will be Sunday March 4 at 3pm. There are 10 seats available, but observers are welcome after the 10 seats are filled. In the first meeting, we learned about soldering and reading circuit diagrams by making an Arduino work-alike from raw components and a blank proto-board.

In the second class we’ll

  • learn to use a breadboard for doing quick “sketches” with electronic parts.
  • use a pushbutton, a photoresistor, and a potentiometer to learn about providing inputs into an Arduino program.
  • use a serial data connection to communicate with a small LCD character display that can show two lines of text.
  • have a first look at ways of powering our circuit when it’s disconnected from the computer.

If you weren’t at the first meeting and therefore don’t have a copy of the board we made, you can still participate by bringing your own Arduino or Arduino-compatible.

The session-2 kit has a breadboard, LCD character display, heavy duty 5-volt adapter, and a couple of other things. If you attend, you should purchase the kit. Price for the session-2 kit is $29.00

I’ll take reservations by email and payment for the kit on site.

 That’s probably all that will fit in two hours. Last time we ran significantly overtime. This time, we’ll keep it to two hours.

Who: everyone (members and non-members are welcome), seating is limited to 10 people.

Cost: $29 for the kit. and to arrange payment.

When: 3/4/2012 3-5pm

Reservations: email ed at kineticsandelectronics dot com

Where: Pumping Station: One 3354 N Elston Ave Chicago, IL 60647

Picture credit: Shawn Blaszak
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Intro to Arduino class 2/19 3pm

There will be an intro-level Arduino class next Sunday 2/19/12 from 3-5pm in the big room. The emphasis is on understanding circuits and hooking stuff up.

This will be a 4-part series or so. There are 10 seats available, but observers are welcome after the 10 seats are filled.

I’ll have a kit for sale on site to get people started. Price is $29.00. It has a board, chip, USB adapter, LED’s, and a couple of other things to get you started. Because I’ll be packaging the kits for the occasion, I ask that if you attend, you purchase the kit.

I’ll take reservations by email and payment for the kit on site or by Paypal.

The first session (2/19) basic description is:

  • How to Solder: Solder up an Arduino workalike.
  • How to run the Arduino development application on your laptop.
  • Basic Arduino program structure. Run an LED. (Hello World blinky).
  • Show where the built-in examples live in the IDE. Run an input example and an output example.
  • For inspiration, demo a couple of circuits with an Arduino and some connected hardware.

That’s probably all that will  fit in two hours.
Future sessions may discuss Arduino-compatible accessories, motors, simple sensors, and so on. There are many possibilities.

Who: everyone (members and non-members are welcome), seating is limited to 10 people

Cost: $29 for the kit. Email ed at kineticsandelectronics dot com to reserve and to arrange payment.

When: 2/19/2012 3-5pm

Where: Pumping Station: One 3354 N Elston Ave Chicago, IL 60647

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The Mitch Altman Soldering Experience: Part Deux

On May 5th, At 7pm

Pumping Station: One will be hosting Mitch Altman, the inventor of the TV B Gone and Brain Machine, and many others,  will be leading an electronics workshop on May 5th  that will teach complete beginners in less than 3 hours how to assemble, solder, and complete a TV B Gone.

After the class we may find the nearest electronics retailer and do a demonstration.

The cost of the class covers materials:

This includes one kit per participant

Members: 30$

Non-Members/Starving Hackers: 35$

Kits Available:


Trippy RGB


Brain Machine

Plus many others, including a few of the Jimmie P. Rodgers line of kits.

Here’s the TV B Gone in action:

Confessions: The Meanest Thing Gizmodo Did at CES

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