Day 3, Introduction

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The Agenda for day 3:

  • Presentation of Homework:
  • Theoretical background of brainstorming technics
  • Brainstorming
  • Presentation of Results
  • Lunch
  • Continue to develop the Ideas of the Brainstorming
  • Presentation of Results

In the morning, the students were asked to present their homeworks to the others. Each group had to find a Youtube Video which shows a good or funny arduino project. So all of us saw 6 videos about projects which already had been realized and which served us as a motivation to create our own projects during the next days. The presented videos are linked here:



Arduino + Lego NXT

Cheap Thermocam

Arduino und Gmail


With that great motivation we were ready for the brainstorming phase. For that purpose, the lecturer gave us a short introduction about techniques of good brainstorming.

Each team (one team consists of two persons) had more than one hour to collect ideas for their project and to write them down on flipcharts. The topic of these projects is Communication. They have to be finished until friday, march 18th at one pm. For more information about that brainstorming phase, see our other post “Brainstorming”.

Before lunchtime, each team presented their charts and choosed one of the ideas to develop it more in the afternoon.

Circuit Diagram

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Day 2 starts with some circuit diagram exercises. Every task starts with a sketch of a circuit diagram and has to be translated to a real implementation on a bread board. The following diagrams were made with the fritzing software that can be found at

For the first implementation we use a red LED, a resistor, a button, a transistor and a power source. The transistor has three inlets: gate source and drain. The drain and source are connected to the first circuit that also contains the resistor and the LED, the gate inlet is connected to the button. If the button is pressed, the second circuit is closed and the gate inlet of the transistor gets a signal: the LED lights up.


With the previous setup the LED stays on as the electric charge can not drain. To avoid that the LED stays on after pressing the button we therefore have to add a pull-down-resistor from the button to the ground.

The second setup uses a IC timer, a LED, a resistor, two capacitors and a potentiometer (containing two variable resistors). The aim of the implementation is to let the LED blink in a frequency that can be regulated with the potentiometer. For the realization we use the LMC 555 SNC IC timer and description of the related datasheet (see “How to read a data sheet” post).


How to read a datasheet?

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When dealing with electrical components it is important to know their parameters as operating voltage, operating current and so on. Therefore the first step when using a new component, in our case an IC timer, is to look up the corresponding datasheet. Therefore you need to reed the code (numbers or letters) on the component and google it (in our example: “555 SNC datasheet”). Sometimes it is helpful to look also at datasheets from other providers as the datasheets vary and some may provide more details than others.

We used the following datasheet which can be found at

IC Timer Datasheet

A datasheet contains all the information you need to use the component. It starts with a general description and the pin connections, a schematic circuit diagram of the component, absolute maximum ratings, operating conditions, electrical characteristics, and application information.

As we wanted to use the component for astable operations we only used the following diagram for the implementation of our application on the bread board:

IC Timer Snapshot Datasheet