Anyone on here use Arduino?
Bought one for my nephew and started fiddling with it to start him off, then sent for one for myself
They are brilliant. I wish they had them when I was younger
Semi-related. I want to buy a wee raspberry Pi and an N64. Take the N64 apart and stick the Pi into it. Hook up the USB port to the controller port so I can plug an xbox controller in. Make myself a nice little handsome emulator suite. I can't use my N64 because that sucker still works and I'm not trashing it. I do love the kick donkey, cheap little computer gubbins that are on sale these days. I've seen Adam Savage from Mythbusters use arduino's on some of the cool things he makes. Pretty sure he used arduino in his Captain Kirk chair so that all the buttons did specific things. (N64 because it's probably my favourite looking console and the nostalgia from it being my first real gaming system).
Am I right in understanding the Pi is more of a ready made little computer and Arduino is more of a "you probably want to know some coding" type device? I only know a very little amount of BASIC and I'm not sure I want to commit the time to getting stuck into learning to code "properly".
I'd be interested to hear more of your experiences with the arduino or the like if you do anything cool.
Arduinos are microcontrollers for electrical components. Basically they receive a signal from an input pin, and then transfer it to an output pin defined by the code on it to drive whatever component is hooked up. They're more for electronics projects where you kinda know what you are doing, or are experimenting and so don't mind if things go wrong as you learn. Coding for them is very very simple if you have an understanding of how coding works because the commands won't be doing anything too clever.
The issue comes with hooking up things to the correct pins. Some are analog pins for motors and such so you can vary the output value, and some are digital pins so are just on/off pins. Some projects require you to add in extra resistors and stuff, so that's also something you need to be hot on.
A nice middle ground is the BBC Microbit. They're arduinos, but are super beginner friendly, and you can code them using a simple python blocks editor (similar to Scratch), and have inbuilt leds and buttons to program. Also allows you to hook up things to the GPIO pins like an arduino with a small breakout board.
They also, which is fun, have a voice synthesizer on the chip, so you can get them to 'speak'. When I was testing them for my school, I got one to rap Notorious BIG songs.
They cover the whole spectrum form very very simple to very complicated and everything in between.
As you say, it is a microcontroler, not a micro processor, but it has a simple processor onboard to handle a small program called a sketch. The pinouts are all digital, but you learn to use pulse width modulation on some pins to emulate analogue.
You can also get lots of add ons called shields, which plug in and extend the capabilities. I have one thet handles a sim oe SD card to use a bigger program.
The best comparison I can make is it is electronic LEGGO for tinkering adults. That said, some of the best instruction vids for it on youtube are done by kids
The advantage the Arduino has, appart from cost, is that there are so many different modules of so many different sizes and powers that it covers everything.
Also as you say though, it is not big on software bashing. The program language for it is very good (and C++) but it is very low level and has to be compiled.
I am hooked, and I am a retired test engineer who used to build our own test equipment.
Edit, should have added that there are extensive libraries if you dont want to write your own or you can mod any that are for it.