I found familiarizing myself electronics components rather amusing. There are all sorts of witty descriptive names for tools (e.g. “roller switch” is really a pushbutton that resembles roller skates). I tried to come up with different associations for all the parts but realized that the best way to learn them is to work with them.
I was also surprised to discover that electronics parts are gendered. I found that odd, but binaries can be useful sometimes, I guess? I think I can tell a transistor apart from a resistor now, and understand the connections between ground and power, cathodes and anodes, series and parallel circuits etc.
Setting Up a Breadboard + Electronics
For someone who has never worked with a breadboard and circuits before, I found it challenging to wrap my brain around what it does and why one needs it. How do the coordinates work? I started imagining the breadboard as a more advanced version of the board game, Battleship, with wires and LEDS. Instead of guessing though, I could reference schematic drawings…
I used an Arduino Nano plugged into my laptop, as the power source. I added 2 resistors and LEDs to the circuit below.
Switches & Pushbuttons
Using an Arduino Uno this time, I made a creative switch out of a magnetic silver pinwheel brooch. While I am new to physical computing, I am passionate about jewelry design and metalwork. I am excited to translate what I take away from this course to designing and fabricating my own kinetic creations in the future. For now though, I am glad I got the switch to work.
I also tried out another switch by using some silver sheet solder I had laying around. I attached a small piece to the bottom of a gargoyle bookend. With a little bit of creativity and some fundamentals in electricity, this petrified stone can also make an LED light up 😉