Talk:Workshops/Arduino for beginners/Planning

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What shall we do?

  • Build an arduino from scratch? - not a bad idea but could be tricky and perhaps require more knowledge, time and bits
    • I agree, possibly not for a beginners class, but would be a great addition to an intermediate/advanced class --Solexious 18:42, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Offer backup for the workshop. Big problem with workshops - especially ones where you bring your own project - is that you sometimes fail to complete it in the time available. The hackspace can offer a USP of continuing support to allow completion (suggest a month's access to the space outside of weekly meetings) . This also acts as a taster session and may result in full membership.--Artag 07:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree this would be good, we would have to sort out the logistics of this with entry and availability of help outside of the public nights --Solexious 00:59, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Target specific groups. e.g. the Sinful Machines workshop provided ideas for people who liked the idea of a programmable box but didn't really know what to do with it. Leafcutter John's log is (I think) an arduino with some custom I/O for MAX/MSP. This is a longish job to identify groups, what they want, and then advertise them. A first workshop has to be less specific.

Kit to go with workshop

  • I feel a kit that is given to attendees with the workshop would be fab. I tried to beat the cost of EarthshineElectronics starter kit, but have been unable to, this is even at the regular price, rather than contacting for "Special rates for colleges, schools, universities and training centres." Can anyone do better?
    • That's a good price, but it's a VERY good kit. We could perhaps spend less and still provide a reasonable selection. Alternatively, bulk-buy from Earthshine. Note that to get a good selection of cheap parts we'll need to buy from ebay/china - so allow a couple of weeks for delivery, which is too long for the suggested date.
    • I would be put off if the kit cost a minimum of £40! A smaller kit would be preferable, do you think that Earthshine Electronics (or an alternative company) would put together a smaller kit? Seems that Earthshine sell just the Arduino for £16, If we could get the kit under £30, then charge £40-50 for an all day workshop. I think we could be in with a winner.
      • When talking to attendees of previous arduino workshops one thing that keeps coming up is that the kit they were given had lots of things to try out at at home, rather than just what they needed for the workshop, so i'm hesitant to lower the part count on the kit --Solexious
      • Fair enough. Although I already have a small analogue electronics kit that would be put to use with an Arduino, but maybe I'm not the target audience. -- Ciarán
      • That will depend on the target market though - at Dorkbot, the attendees have been art/design students who want to solve a specific problem, and don't necessarily want to just experiment. They'd really prefer some help building a custom interface and a mixed bag is only ever going to be part-used --Artag 16:10, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
        • Do you think this would be the target market for this workshop? I could see this being well worth a separate event, rather than a basic course...--Solexious
        • I think it should be a general workshop, I have my own ideas for a project and just need to get started. -- -- Ciarán
  • There is an arduino clone developed by our Robotics Society which is incredibly cheap (~£5) and easy to make. More info on our wiki. --Harry 18:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Is it worth buying equipment for more than one workshop, and have another similar workshop planned for 3 months time?
    • With courses with 20 places selling out I think we could run this monthly with 10 places each time (initially), bulk buying would depend on if we have the cash to do this, and if that would reduce the cost for kits significantly to justify the risk of over stock... --Solexious 12:33, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

-- 13:32, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

    • Looking at Earthshine it comes down quite a bit for even 10 orders. Also just noticed their kit is out of stock! I think planning 3 events and then seeing how it goes would be best, less risk of over stocking. Anything that is left can become LHS parts for use by members.-- Ciarán
  • Rather than offering a bag of bits, how about a shield with some bits already built on ? We could use stuff we've already got (e.g. I can donate some buttons, pots, light sensors, power transistors etc .. anything I've got a dozen of!) and it makes it more attractive to newbies who have no clue what to do with a bag of resistors.
    • Suggest what should be on such a board and I'll dig in and see what I've got ! --Artag 16:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
    • This would turn me off if I was learning for the first time, would using a shield limit the possible uses for my kit? (or at least give the impression it would?) --Solexious 18:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
    • doesn't have to - a shield is promoted as the easy way to extend arduino and you get a pretty flashing one (perhaps with a bit of prototyping area) along with the workshop. --Artag 21:22, 26 July 2010 (UTC)