In-Depth Post #4

So finally after a few weeks I have got my parts! Here is my haul:

Making it rain LED’s
My button and switches
The breadboard and wires (yet to be cut)
The power supply
The best for last, my Arduino UNO R3!

In total, I got two toggle switches, eight red LED’s, an AAx4 battery pack, a 50 ft coil of jumper wire, a standard breadboard, a push button, and of course the Arduino UNO R3. Obviously I still have some ordering to do for my robot, but this is just your standard package as far as basic programming.

Flash back to last semester, all the stuff I’m doing with the breadboard is actually fairly similar to what we did with circuits. Luckily I don’t need any resistors because the LED’s have such a low resistance and the wires aren’t that bad either, but everything else is relatively close, I got the volts with the battery pack and the parallel and series circuits. I think this will be easier now that I understand the basic principles of circuitry.

Obviously since we have the cultural event on Sunday, my mentor and I are planning on having a meeting over skype to discuss how to incorporate all these components together so I can start programing.

My first assignment is to figure out how to program the LED’s through the micro-controller to power the LED’s in a specific sequence. So, using binary I can have the eight LED’s and assign each LED to a different number. In binary numbers are in segments of 4, and each number is either a one or zero. A one indicates if the number is there, and a zero means there is no value of this specific segment. Normally, we count using base ten, meaning we uses the ones position, tens position and so on. In binary we use base two, so the numbers will be double the following number, starting at one. So if we have 0110, it is a six because there is a 1 inside the two position and four position, and if you add four and two that’s six.  Anyways, a series of eight numbers is what we call a byte, it is also how we measure the size of files, so, 0000 0000 is considered one byte. The reason I got 8 LED’s is so I can assign one to each byte. Using C I can assign each LED a number on the byte, and then later refer to the position to tell if the LED is on or off. In short, if I have a byte that looks like this: 0101 0010, it means that the LED in the positions 2, 16 and 64 will light up. Incorporating this into programming is a whole other story.



Reflection Questions:

1. So obviously my mentor and I have troubles communicating due to the language barrier, however I feel like I already touched on the topic a lot, so I will talk about something relevant, but different. Whenever we meet, even though we do manage to communicate mildly easily and we still both know what we need to do, I think sometimes we go off on different subjects and just get off topic. At one point we might be talking about binary then were talking about java and phones. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and while I still might gain more insight, I kinda find it irrelevant and frankly it wastes time.

2. I think my mentor and I can negotiate well and deal with problems quickly. Earlier you might have seen that we are meeting over Skype because I will be at the cultural event, it’s things like this, where we can quickly problem solve and figure out what needs to be done. I think this also has a lot to do with communication, letting the other person know well before about whatever and confirming that we are doing what we’re doing. Let’s hope I can do this while I am programming.

3. So far there hasn’t been a lot of problems, everything runs fairly smoothly, but I think that we could work on attempting to not getting off topic. I think if we set goals for every meeting we could manage to stay on track a lot easier. The fact that we have an objective in mind would help. Another way is to just stop when we start. If one of us catches the other we should be able to call each other out. This way we will be able to get more work done in our sessions.




One thought on “In-Depth Post #4”

  1. You are making great progress, James. Sounds like the fun part is about to begin. You explain some important parts of your project very clearly. It is also great to see that you can integrate past science 9 learning with this project.

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