Hello, my name is Brooklyn, and I am a rising senior at Head-Royce School. I learned about Bluestamp when Fred visited our school during our summer opportunities fair. The camp interested me because I do a lot of programming, but I do not know much about hardware. I thought the camp would be a good opportunity for me to learn more about mechanics and continue programming. I chose the light organ for my starter project because I really wanted to learn how to solder. After I finished the light organ, I knew about multiple components and their uses and how to solder. My main project is an alarm clock built from an arduino.
I learned a lot of things while participating in this camp. The instructors often refused to answer my questions and challenged me to find answers on my own. I became more independent and tried to look things up before l asked for help. I also learned a pretty tough lesson about backing up my code. On the morning of presentation day, I was scrambling to finish my project. Around 12:30 pm, I had a functioning project that I was ready to share with the parents. 12:30 is also the same time I made a fatal mistake. I changed my code without backing it up. I made a small change to my code which resulted in the failure of my project. I then had to stay in class for an extra 2 1/2 hours while I desperately tried to fix my code. In the end, I had a working project, but I could have avoided the entire fiasco if I had backed up my code. I now have about five versions of my project. All in all, this camp was extremely frustrating, but I am happy to have finished with a working project.
My final project is an alarm clock built using an Arduino Yun and a TFT Touch Shield. I chose this project because I’ve done a lot of coding in Java, but I have not have much of an opportunity to code someting that has a real-world appliction. I saw this project in the project book, and I decided to try it. I ran into two big issues while working on this project. My first issue was a faulty Arduino Yun. I spent about two weeks trying to connect my Arduino to the internet. The Yun’s connective abilities are central to my project, it gets the time from the internet, so I was really frustrated. Finaly, with the help of my intructors, we figured out that my Yun had a faulty network chip. We replaced it, and I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. I was wrong. The code from the MakeZine site was not compatible with my touch shield because it contained outdated libraries. I had to update the libraries and make some modifications to the code in order for it to work. In the future, I hope to program my clock to set alarms based on appointments in my google calendar.
My second milestone was getting a working clock on my screen. After my first milestone, which was getting something on my screen, I tried to use the code from the alarm clock instructable site. Unfortunately, that code did not work due to outdated libraries and commands that my touch shield did not recognize. After that, I decided to try to code my owm clock using the Time Library. I struggled with that and was only able to code up a mechanical clock. I considered using a real time clock in order to get the correct time, but I realized that my Arduino Yun. I figured that if my Arduino could connect to the internet, then it could probably access the correct time, so I looked back at the original code from the MakeZine to try to recreate that code. While looking at the original code, I had a revelation, one that I probably should have had earlier. I realized that I could change the libraries and update commands with their newer counterparts. After a few modifications to the original code, I had a working digital and analog clock.
My project uses an Arduino Yún and a TFT Touch Shield. My first milestone was getting something on the shield. The first week and a half consisted of me trying to connect my arduino to internet so I could follow the instructions on the Makezine site. Finally, after a lot of frustration and different attempts to make my arduino work, I figured out that the hardware, specifically the network chip, was probably broken. After I solved that issue, I connected the touch shield and hoped that my downloaded code from the Makezine would run without error. I dont like blustamp I am brooklyn I hate blubly, I ran into quite a few errors. After a lot of googling and help from my instrustors, we figured out that the code I was trying to use was outdated and that my touch shield was not working because a few of the pins were not inserted completely. I fixed the pins and wrote a little of my own code, and I produced a beautiful screen that displays the day of the week.
Starter Project -- Light Organ
This year, I decided to work on the Light Organ as my starter project. The organ creates a light show with LEDs based on the sound it detects around it. The organ uses capacitors, resistors, transistors, ICs, and LEDs. The capacitors are used to store energy that flows from the 9 volt battery. The capacitors are controlled by transistors that switch on and off based on the amount of volatage flowing from the transistor’s base to emitter. The ICs control the switching of the transistors by receiving signals from the connected microphone. When the microphone is activated, it sends a signal to the ICs which then signals a capacitor to release its stored voltage that then flows through the transistor’s base to emitter which then causes the transistors to switch on and allow energy to flow from the capacitor and through the LEDs to light them. LEDs, also known as a light emitting diode, emit light when electrons flow through them. The resistors are important in both LEDs and ICs. LEDs are diodes, electronic devices that allow current to flow easily, so resistors are neccessary to reduce the amount of current that flows through the LED in order to protect the LED from breaking. Resistors are neccessary in ICs in order to act as a buffer that keeps the voltages at the right ammount for the ICs to function.