Author Topic: Brand New User  (Read 1277 times)


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Brand New User
« on: June 20, 2016, 04:39:45 pm »

    I'm a middle schooler and I got a oak board as a present. I'm also brand new to using programmable boards. I have done the LED and RGB tutorials, and i understood them. I'm working on the switch tutorial and I'm having a hard time understanding it. What do you recommend that I do to learn the basics? Is there a better website, to start learning with?
    Thank you.


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Re: Brand New User
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 02:00:00 am »
Hi Brilan,

Firstly, welcome to the headache party that is programmable electronics :) You have come to the right place... we don't bite!

So, you are referring to the button tutorial? If so, I can understand why it is a bit confusing. It is trying to take on a few topics at once, rather than just showing you a one simple button circuit.

Start off with the idea of buttons/switches. The Oak is looking for a change of state, and that is all. It can be from high to low (meaning a pullup is used to keep the voltage high when the button is not being pushed) or it can be from low to high (meaning a pull-down is used to keep the voltage low while the button is being used). Pull-ups are easier, as a lot of micros have built-in pullup resistors, meaning you can do away with an external one, so you can use a button all on its own.

Then you have two decisions to make... do you have time to watch the button all the time, or do you want your code to be interrupted when the button is pressed. This is where the concept of interrupts come in. When they are set, they trigger code to run when the button is pressed, so can be used to interrupt other running code, thus making your program more responsive.

As far as other guides, you can pretty much look at any guide such as the stuff on the Arduino Playground, Arduino Tutorials, the Adafruit Learning System, Sparkfun Tutorials or tronixstuff Arduino Tutorials. The only thing you will have to be cautious of is that the Oak is a 3.3v part, whereas a lot of Arduino stuff/tutorials expect you to be using the Arduino Uno, which is a 5v part. Putting 5v into a 3.3v part generally doesn't end well. The Oak seems to be somewhat tolerant of 5v, but I wouldn't rely on that. Also, a lot of tutorials about the ESP8266 are also relevant, as that is the processor in the Oak.

Hope that gives you some starting places, and don't hesitate to ask more questions as you get started (and stumped)! :D