Latest school project – coding an all flashing, all singing card

The aim is simple:

  1. Make basic circuit so LEDs flash up. (they can code LEDs to flash already in Arduino)
  2. Learn how to create a tune using the TONE function.
  3. Link the tune to flashing lights.
  4. Create the circuit on a piece of card
  5. Put the circuit on to a small chip so it works independently. (my job)
  6. Take home, add power and watch it light up.

It’s going to be a fun, creative project. They can even paint the card as well so it looks all pretty and artistic.

The only real cost is the chip – and that’s £2!! The speakers will be hacked from broken headphones – something that’s very common in primary schools. I like this because it shows that broken does not mean broken.

The project will also teach the physics of sound – looking at frequency and pitch. Plus coding of course.

This is the prototype.

Neopixel thermometer

I love neopixels. They’re just so bright and rapid. So I linked a 24 Neopixel ring to my thermometer. The difficult bit was the maths to convert the thermometer read out to tenths and integers.

The ring shows 4 things.

1) A read out of the integers. 0 – 17 are blue, 18 +19 are green, above 19 is red. So you can easily see the whole number temperature. I put in green so you can read it easily.

2) The decimals. There is a green marker to show 1. So 5 yellows means 0.5

3) If it’s too warm or too cold, it flashes blue or red.

4) It then checks to see if the temperature has changed within the last 10 seconds. If it’s gone up or down by more than 0.1C, it tells you. If no change, it shows white.

It’s a bit of fun. But I love staring at it. The next step is a clock.