Fun little new toy

2012-01-03 23:48 More posts about Hacking hardware
Yesterday Thilo invited me to attend an "Electronics 101" workshop including an introduction to soldering that was scheduled to start at 7p.m. this evening at the offices of IN-Berlin e.V.. As part of my studies back in university I do have a little bit of background in Electronics, but never before had tried any serious soldering (apart from fixing one of our audio cables) so I thought, why not.

The workshop turned out to be a lot of fun: The organisers Mitch Altman and Jimmie Rodgers had brought several pre-packaged kits for people to work on. Quite a few of them based on Arduino so after putting them together you can actually continue having fun with writing little programs. After giving a brief but very well done, easy to understand introduction to digital electronics Mitch showed attendees how to use a soldering iron (make sure to check out his comic "soldering is easy" if you want to know more) and got everyone started. Both Jimmie and Mitch did a great job answering any upcoming questions, fixing issues and generally helping out with any problems. Even those that never used a soldering iron before quickly got up to speed and in the end went home with that nice experience of having built something that you cannot only program but can touch and hold in your hands.

I got myself a LoL shield (still to be done), and a Diavolino. Still missing is the FTDI TTL-232R cable for getting the device hooked up to our laptops and be able to re-program it (though most likely that will be easier to find than a >1G Ohm resistor Thilo is looking for to be able to calibrate his Geiger counter).

Results of my first session are below:

The board First pins attached Last pins attached

Also thanks to Sven Guckes organising and announcing this workshop on short notice. And thanks to Thilo for talking me into that.

Update: Images of the event are available online.