First day of the Sketching with Hardware practical course. When the advisors had introduced themselves and some formalities were settled, we started with the basics of electrical engineering. First, we approached the physical relationships between resistance, current and voltage. Then electrical circuits and their components were explained in more detail.
Once the most relevant components and their usage were illustrated, it came to hands-on testing. Armed with a multimeter, we proceeded to measure voltages and resistances and checked connections for continuity.
Based on this basic knowledge we constructed simple circuits on breadboards on our own. Equipped with battery, jumpers, resistors, diodes, switches, buttons and capacitors, we applied the previously learned contents practically.
Following the lunch break the course continued very practically. A keyboard controller extracted from a computer keyboard served as a starting point for small group work. The goal was to design a creative way of interaction for computer games. The concept was to short two contacts of the keyboard controller to send a specific signal to the computer. After we found out what contacts corresponded to which key on the keyboard (e.g. the arrow keys) we could replace these by self-designed switches.