I think most people would be amazed at how easy it is to program a microcontroller these days. In this video, I show you step-by-step how to write your first microcontroller program. It is for the Arduiono microcontroller. I chose the arduino because you can buy one for around $20, so you can get started for next to nothing.
RESOURCES: On all these lessons I will include resources on where you can purchase the items mentioned in the lecture.
Arduino Microcontroller: You can get a good deal on the arduino on Amazon. Arduinos are open source and many are cheap chinese knockoffs, so you want to make sure you get an “official” version, which you can at the link above.
Arduino Beginner’s Kit: While the bare arduino will get you started, I really suggest getting the Beginner’s Kit. The projects I will feature in this tutorial set will use the components in this kit, and it is probably cheaper to go ahead and get the kit than to buy the individual components as you go along. The kit is under $100 on Amazon.
I have been playing around with some accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyros. You can do some pretty cool stuff if you get these going and then send the data to Vpython over the serial port. I will be giving more details on this project in future posts, but for now, this video shows some of what is possible. I will be posting code when I get things further along and cleaned up.
I want to whet your appetite a little today about the types of projects we will be covering in this blog. One of the things I love to do is send instrument packages to the edge of space. As this blog develops, I hope to be able to share with you lots of the technology, logistics and rules associated with this fascinating endeavor. For now, let me share a video from our last flight. Enjoy the serenity as our probe hovers at 120,000 feet. At this altitude, you can see the blackness of space and the curvature of the earth. The thin blue line is the earth’s atmosphere. Enjoy!