Sunday, January 12, 2014

My first smartmaker tiny projects

After more than one year, some of the smartmaker boards made it so I started to play around with them a little bit. First, I have to say that they are pretty cool: it is a lot easier to connect the boards than to put together circuits on breadboard. The docs are still lacking, there are still problems with some boards and I am a bit worried that the connectors may not be quite so resilient in time (for all of these issues and more, visit the smartmaker forums) but overall I like the idea.

First things I tried were pretty simple things (all of these are public projects in my codebender account): changing colors on the RGB led, make 5 leds blinks, read the values of 5 analog buttons and drive 5 leds using 5 analog buttons - the last one was a real hit with my son, he loved pushing one or more buttons to see the corresponding leds turn on.

As a side note, the RGB led board received from smartmaker was not in my original list of boards ordered, as someone mentioned in the forums it seems this was a small gift from smartmaker, so thanks a lot, Dimitri@smartmaker.

The projects I mentioned are nothing special but one thing about them is really cool: think about putting together a circuit with 5 analog buttons and 5 leds; in addition to the buttons and leds, one would need resistors, 10 in this case, wires between the arduino and the breadboard and a lot of patience. It was a breeze to snap a smartcore into an extension board, and the buttons and led boards into another extension board, connected in turn to the first board; seconds really. This is the smartmaker idea that I loved from the start and that I hope will be successful.

A quick photo of the last project I mention is below:

For more info, there are some really nice tutorials posted on the forums by Josephur, specifically here.

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