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Basic Electronics » Help me on my learning path please :)

August 05, 2012
by conawaymike1985
conawaymike1985's Avatar

Hello, I got my NerdKit this last Friday in the mail and so far I've had a blast with it. I assembled the basic layout as per the guide, did the temperature sensor project, and the led blinker project. Then broke off on my first personal project yesterday and use one of the port C pins as an input from switch to determine blink speed on two alternating LEDs (My first actual input/output from a micro controller!!!). VERY cool.

So I understand the learning curve on things of this nature, and so I'm not going to say the 3 projects I'm interested in pursuing won't have intermediate steps but here they are.

  1. I want to make a radio for AM and FM (or only AM if am/fm is prohibitively difficult right off the bat) with seek and scan capabilities.
  2. I want to build a "controller" which uses accelerometer input for motion of the controller and a couple of buttons for action input. (initially I only want to plug this into the board and write software to read it's values and maybe have components on the board respond to certain input).
  3. Connect to the PC directly through some interface and have back and forth communication. (Bluetooth? USB?, something else?)

And of course eventually I want to use that controller I've built directly with programs I've written on the PC already, but that can come later.

Mainly I have interest in these 3 projects but don't know where to go from here. I also need to put some time into learning more fundamental properties of electrical engineering and the maths involved.

None of these projects will be undertaken until I've learned a bit more about the ATMega168 I have (Datasheet, programming and rewiting, etc.)

Thanks in advance

August 05, 2012
by conawaymike1985
conawaymike1985's Avatar

The third one was to imply that I want to connect the nerdkit to a PC and write some software to communicate with it (Issue commands, receive feedback and/or callbacks).

Then I could use the NerdKit as a bridge with a communication API.

August 07, 2012
by pcbolt
pcbolt's Avatar

Hi conawaymike -

Welcome. You definitely should go through the projects in the guide, then the tutorials, then do some tweaking on your own. Afterwards, search through the forums for the more detailed answers to your specific questions. I know 2 and 3 have been addressed here, not sure about the AM/FM radio.

Have fun.

August 20, 2012
by rblalock
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I've built an AM radio before, and I can tell you that it has very little to do with micro programming. (The one I built involved no micro programming at all. It was completely analog.) Nonetheless, it's definitely a worthwhile project and it will teach you a lot about semiconductors, frequency and resonance. I recommend doing a Tesla coil project as a warm-up to any kind of radio endeavor. Tesla Coils are easy and awesome and have everything to do with resonance.

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