The second week of class revolved around deconstructing, then reconstructing our project. From the “Red Hot!” idea that Nick initially had, we decided to create something that was a little more interactive.
It all started with one primary obstacle–once the “Red Hot” idea was complete, there was not much else we could have done with it afterwards:
What we initially tried to come up with was a way to add interaction to the board itself. Using a Photocell Sensory that was to be connected to the analog inputs, Nick was going to try and allow for a hand to pass through the Arduino board, and make an LED light turn on. Doing so would have required altering our original code, including a Default Analog Reference, changing the Serial.Begin code to 9600, incorporating a Serial Print Line to read analog instead of digital pins. Once the code was rewritten in Arduino however, there was one obstacle that prevented us from moving forward: (from my notes) “‘The Red-O-Meter is beyond it’s 100% point, “Red Hot!” has been disabled…The Percentage meter has increased and decreased very sporadically (357-290; very briefly)’.”
This was where out original idea came from.
So once we realized that wasn’t going to work, we decided to spend a brief time brainstorming our next idea. After some pondering time, standing up, sitting down, eating some food, we decided what was best for us. We decided we were going to make an Etch-a-Sketch design with the Arduino Board (tagline — “Freedom of Image and Design–I dunno why I put that down, but that was probably something we said at that time,”). Our first inkling towards making that happen revolved around hooking up two Arduino Breadboards. What we would have needed to have done was connect two jumper wires to their respective slots in the Analog Section of the board (Analog pins 4 and 5, respectively on both of them). In order to ensure enough power was coming through, we would need to use 5V pins. The Etch-a-Sketch design would have needed a left (vertical pin) and right (horizontal pin) pot in order to function correctly. So we went on to find a new code to use:
Serial Codes involving characters from the ASCII code (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) with value labels string outputs, and values reading until a certain line of serial code. We needed to have two values within the code: an “x” value, and a “v” value, that would alter once we were able to interact with the pot pins. The next step involved moving the Arduino software into Processing 5. There was a lot of trial and error with the technicalities of the code, including breaking the serial message output into two parts: “Serial.print/value” and “Serial.print 2/value 2”. Another thing we thought we had to initially do was rename the value indicators to things like “xR” and “yL”–which quickly did not become the case.
Our journey to discover how to alter values came forth to a new video detailing strings in “13.2: Strings: Split and Join”–
Still, there was little avail. It took to the very end of class for Professor Cox to finally get the solution of the problem, allowing for values to be independently split and changed with the use of pot pins on the breadboard.
It was a bit of an arduous task–but for not being presented for the solution that Professor Cox gave us, I can only say that I look forward to the results.