Book 244: Arduino Projects Book

PIMG_2569Arduino Projects Book,

Projects and text by Scott Fitzgerald and Michael Shiloh

Finished on December 5th, 2017

Rating: 8/10

This book comes with the Arduino Starter Kit and provides the reader with 15 projects to make with the electronic components in the kit that can be controlled with Arduino Uno (what’s that? A microcontroller) .

This kit is a perfect way to get acquainted with different varieties of electronic components, what they can be used for, how they fit into a circuit, how you shouldn’t put them in a circuit etc.

The projects include such things as turning LEDs on and off, using switches to do so, using a piezo (what is that? a piezoelectric sensor that uses the piezoelectric effect for measuring such things as change in acceleration or force etc) to make sounds or listen to knocks, making use of servo and DC motors etc. You can see some short videos of my projects here or at the end of this post.

This kit makes you build circuits and write code and do some other quite cool things as soon as you can start modifying the projects to your taste at the beginning already.

I think the book is fun, and you learn a lot by doing all the projects in it. I did find however that in the case of one project I was hesitant to connect it to my computer and power it up. All because even though I had checked that my circuit looked like in the book, I was still slightly on edge with using an electrolyte capacitor in a circuit for the first time, especially with the book’s warning to make sure that it’s connected correctly as it might otherwise explode! It didn’t explode, and all my circuits worked at the end, didn’t electrocute myself or anything… I did have some things fly away (and/or at me) though in case of the projects that used the DC motor – the motorized pinwheel and the zoetrope.

I mostly did one project per evening – although the circuits aren’t that difficult I found the code slightly tedious and wouldn’t want to write several on one day, but I started to like it more in case of some projects.

Now there are a lot of electronic components in the starter kit that I didn’t get to use just yet, but I guess I’ll figure out how, when and where to use them later 🙂

I do find myself at a slight loss of what to do with Arduino next. Should it be something that moves and beeps and flashes lights? Any opinions?

Book 233: Hacking Electronics by Simon Monk


Hacking Electronics: An illustrated DIY guide for makers and hobbyists by Simon Monk

Finished reading on October 18th, 2017


Where would you start if you’d want to get into building electronics? Or just learning about it? I would suggest starting from this book that provides a lot of information on different electronic components, procedures and ideas for beginner-friendly projects.

I picked up this book on a whim at the library and was drawn to it because of its title and later by the illustrated nature of it – it makes electronics seem easy enough and with a few safety procedures in place I might even try some of the projects out.

I liked that there is variety in the projects and the directions seem easy and clear enough to follow. However with some of the projects I sort of started wondering what for would you make one thing or another. I mean in addition to fun, what purpose would it serve? That was the only reason I gave it 8 points out of ten. I can see how some of the projects are helpful, but in case of others I’d like to have seen a bit more of what use would it have. Or maybe a gallery of ideas for useful gadgets you could make with the techniques and components introduced in the book. You’d have to figure all that out yourself.

I am glad that I read it though – it’s great to learn new skills even though I might not put them to use right away.