So this week we had two activities ongoing at the same time (one hardware and one software), whilst people popped in and out of the Google Hangout.
The hardware one was the continued efforts by various members to reverse-engineer the LED display boards donated by Les. This week, Mike was soldering (!) on single-handedly, analysing the circuit design of each of the display modules, and confirming how to light each LED and I think had some discoveries around how to drive the display using some form of multiplexing and the on-board shift registers, and also how to produce different colours the display is capable of.
Once this is done, the plan is to use an Arduino to drive the boards. Not sure what the next step is 🙂
The other main activity was a programming bootcamp using Python, which was led by Jon. There were two students in the room Les and James, plus Tony part-time on the Google Hangout. During the session, we covered basics such as syntax, commands, the importance of indenting, variables, if blocks, input from the keyboard, data types and type conversion and Python’s little gotcha with using integers in calculations. We put this into practice, by writing a number guessing game, which we will build on next time. (Most of the examples were taken from a very good book called ‘Hello World’ by Carter and Warren Sande).
As a side note, James has been on the mailing list for several years(Welcome James), but this was his first time to attend an actual meeting. Anybody else who has so far only been involved through the mailing list is always very welcome to come along to the meetings! 🙂
Photos for the meeting were as usual kindly taken by Les and can be found here:
See you at the next meeting!