As it's Arduino Day tomorrow I thought I'd write a quick summary of all my Arduino projects over the years. Prior to using Arduino I had ventured into Microcontrollers using the PIC series of chips. However, these required assembly level language coding and my last project although it worked fine on the emulator could not be made to work in real life. This got me disheartened and I did not do any such projects for some years.
Electronic Rotary Table
After a long break from electronics I got back into electronics around 2012 when I was looking at building a rotary table. I built some mecanical and electronic prototypes using an Arduino Uno and small LCD. In the process I learnt about I2C and refreshed my rust C code.
This lead to a demo of my double height letters at the London Arduino group and some fun experiments with optical mice.
The project has been parked but may get resurected at some point
Topsy Turvy Clock
This was a more abitious project involving electonics, mechanics and software. The clock hands are controlled independently using stepper motors with opto sensors to allow the home position to be known. I used a Micro Pro clone for this. The clock won me a prize at my local electronics store for an Arduino day a few years back.
The Enchanted Cottage was part of a design challenge, one of the provided parts was the Arduino Yun which is basically a small Linux computer strapped to the top of a Arduino Uno. During this challenge I learnt about the low power states for the Arduino boards, using interupts to wake up a board and run code and interfacing to a Web API to get the weather. The Arduino also controlled a servo for the position of the figures. The Infinion shield provided was rather overkill for my tiny LED but did a good job of controlling the colour. The project won me a prize and trip to New York. I've also given a talk about the project at a Linux meetup.
My last project was a lot simpler and was based on the ATTiny chip. A flashing Christmas tree driven by an Adafruit trinket. This drives some LEDs and a jumbo RGB LED. It's a simple fun project that my daughter help to paint.
The combination of easy to use hardware and software meant that I could focus on the coding and electronics without having to worry about setting up the environment or programmer. Arduino has really opened some doors for me and without it I don't think I could have won the various competitions. So I've a lot to be thankful for.
The Arduino Uno is my goto board if I want to test out something simple although I usually pick a smaller board for implementation.
I have more recently been looking at boards with MicroPython on them such as the Trinket M0 but I'll likely revert to C and the Arduino IDE if I've anything that's a bit more sophisticated.