Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 Post Index

Happy New Year

I thought I'd start the year with a look back at the year just gone.

For the start of the year I did nothing with this blog, (pretty much as I had done nothing for years). Then I was browsing the hackaday site, and decided that I really should actually use my blog, my blog was first created as a way for me to express the projects that I was doing at the time. to write them down and share them.

I realised that I would be unable to make a blog purely about the projects I do, (because I don't do enough) also that a lot of the time it's not the project that matters to people trying to do things, it's the how it gets done, and the how to do it yourself.
If I just show you how I did something, but don't tell you how I got there then without having the same experiance as me then how do you know how to get there. I was bored of reading projects and thinking it's nice that they got that, but how did they get that? So I decided that I'd make a big feature of my blog a learnign experiance, telling people how things work, and why things work, building up knowledge and using that knowledge.

So, now that it's 2012, I thought I'd post a quick round up of 2011.

Starting with the projects, (I've not documented nearly as many projects as I'd have liked!)
Red light torch for reading maps at night
Cheap bench power supply from an ATX supply
Home Built HiFi speakers
Logic Level indicator
Improving home efficiency with insulation
Making a light bulb oil lamp
Fixing a guitar practice amp
Changing kitchen or bathroom blinds

I've written a couple of opinion pieces, not in that traditional this is what I think of this kind of way, but opinion as to what I believe are basic essentials, essentially I use the term opinion piece to say something you could argue with:
What you should buy first for your electronics hobby
What you should buy first for your woodworking hobby
More advanced tools that you should consider as your hobby progresses

Craft Lessons
I've produced two craft lessons to demonstrate technique, generally I'm using the craft lessons to demonstrate a more generic way of doing something that I've used in a specific project.
Jointing wood
How to French Polish

Electronics Lessons
I've made a series of electronics lessons with the aim of introducing the components, and the theory and technique behind them, I'm aware that these lessons can be a little dry and a little theory heavy if you're just starting out. DO NOT let that put you off.

If you're a student learning, or wanting to learn in a formal manner then I've tried to gear the lessons in this way. on the other hand if you don't care, and just wanted a short sweet overview I've tried to break up the lessons so that at the start in depth theory can just be skipped over.

Resistors, Ohms Law
Simple Output devices
Light Emitting Diodes
Using Transistors
More uses for transistors
Even more about Resistors
Using Capacitors
All about Wire
Breadboarding circuits
How to make an amplifier
Pulse Width Modulation
Relays and EMF
More Uses for Pulse Width Modulation

Coding Lessons

And finally I've written 13 lessons on beginning to make programs using C on a computer, the plan moving forward for these lessons is to take the code away from a computer and run on an embedded system (such as an arduino or a PIC chip. I've some experience of Motorola 68HC11, Microchip PIC series, and Atmel AVR series chips, so I'm intending to keep these lessons as portable as possible, meaning that you can take the lessons learned and (in most cases) use different compilers, different platform architectures. and where the bits are not compatible, (for example a library doesn't exist for your compiler) the idea is that you'd be able to write your own.
Later on I'll also go into using Assembler for programming micro controllers.

Hello World
More Variables
Getting more data in
Body mass index calculator
Introducing Functions
Including other files
Conditions in programs
Using and manipulating Strings

And that's it for 2011, so onwards and upwards, I plan to write updates at around 1 per week. I started off with great gusto writing three posts per week, but since then I've realised I don't have the time to keep up that output. and the quality of the posts, lessons and write ups suffers when I try to do so much.

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