Starting in April, we will be conducting 10 weekly (one per week) online workshops around the ESP32 line of processors. The ESP lines of microcontrollers are used in many of the IoT devices that you might find online or at local retail stores. The ESP8266 and the ESP32 are popular platforms for connected projects online due to compatibility with the Arduino programming environment and vast open user projects and community. We are focusing on the ESP32 in this workshop as it is the newer and more feature rich processor that is intended to replace the ESP8266.
The ultimate goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to the concepts of electronics, programming and IoT. Additionally, after this particular workshop series is over, we will repeat it for new members – probably once a year and will develop additional workshops/videos that demo parts from the Original Arduino workshop kit AND the MTRAS bot. Depending on participation, we may also host small themed competitions using the kit.
This series contains an intro to coding using the Arduino IDE, an intro to electronics, and an intro to IoT - all in one! We will cover:
This workshop series is intended for those new to electronics and coding. The recommended minimum age is high school age (or younger with supervision).
Due to the constraints of an online workshop, this series will be limited to 10 participants – Those who enroll first will be the first guaranteed a seat.
We (the group managers) talked through several scenarios for remote workshops and our experience has always been that even in-person electronics and programming workshops require the instructor and a couple of people working with participants to iron out issues as they arise. These issues usually center on connection problems between components, bad breadboard rails, bad components, or just various issues connecting microcontrollers to PCs to program them.
Of course, I wanted to tackle a workshop that had all of these issues rolled into one over zoom! (Bear in mind that these conversations started back in October)
So, we looked at kits that are pre-built or limited focus and none of those were very useful from a learning electronics point of view. I had an idea of making a kit that used jumpers to make circuit connections so that we could limit most of the possible setup problems that the participants would have.
This seemed straightforward enough.
Anyway, 5 months, 10 circuit designs, 4 printed circuit boards, and 4 enclosures later, I've finally come up with something that I think will make a good remote trainer for absolute newbies.
Aside from the continued challenges/risks that the pandemic still poses, we would also like to conduct more than one workshop session per month as we have in the past. With our members spread around middle Tennessee, an online session appeared to be the most convenient for most - even after vaccinations make meeting in person possible.
We are aware that there are those of you who do not or cannot participate in zoom sessions for various reasons. However, for this workshop, we will be meeting online.
This series is meant to be hands on. While there will be some lecture on the basics, the bulk of the sessions will be hands on by the attendees. Visitors/Observers are of course welcome but you may find the experience tiresome without the interaction of participating. Therefore, we encourage you to consider getting or bringing the following items.
We look forward to introducing you to K.E.R.Si. (Keep Everythng Really SImple)! As described above, the K.E.R.Si. trainer kit has been specifically designed for online learning with all of the components already combined on one board. The inspiration for this kit comes from the old Radio Shack trainers (150 in one is the one I had) that were really popular once upon a time. The idea was to learn about circuits by making simple connections between parts per a “recipe” book.
In our kit, each component can be interconnected using simple jumpers instead of wires. This helps to eliminate common errors and issues with connecting devices on breadboards – especially for new users.
However, we didn’t want the kit to only be useful for just this workshop series. It is expandable! After the workshop concludes you can keep using the trainer as a base platform for your own experiments. Use the breadboard and your own components to design any device you want to build. Additionally, most of the main components can be removed or replaced if needed if an experiment goes awry.
The kits come with the following items:
After you submit your request below, I will contact you regarding your scheduling preferences, shipping and kit costs. I will accept checks and direct paypal payments only.
It will arrive in a personalized enclosure and comes in the following colors (Click for Larger Image):
Q: Can I just watch the workshops without buying a kit?
A: Yes! This series is FREE to attend. Just sign up below and enter “0” in the Number Of Kits option.
***NOTE: While you are free to view the workshop series, if you are not actively participating with a kit, you will be limited to watching muted. To keep on schedule, we will need to reserve questions in session to these participants.
Q: Will the workshops be recorded and made available for later use?
A: Yes! Each workshop will be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel to the participants. For privacy reasons, we will limit the workshop viewers to the participants only. If you would like access to the workshop recordings but do not want to sign up for the workshop, please contact us here.
Q: I would like a kit and to attend a workshop but the time and days don’t fit my schedule, what can I do?
A: We will do our best to accommodate as many as we can but since this is a live workshop, once the schedule is finalized, we will need to maintain it. When signing up for the workshop below, please enter a number of preference next to each time offered (1 = first preference, 2=second preference and so on). If there is a time shown that will not work, please enter a 0 beside that item. We will do our best to avoid all of the Zero days as best we can but if we wind up having to choose a date that will not work for you, we will contact you directly and discuss other possible options for you such as waiting for a repeat of the workshop series or participating with the recorded material.
Q: What if I can't make it to a particular workshop, how can I make it up?
A: We will record each of the workshops and make them available to participants. If you cannot attend a workshop then you will have the materials covered online. Additionally, if you have questions you will be able to contact me directly.
Q: Will you be repeating any of the workshops on future dates?
A: We plan on making this basics workshop a recurring event. At this time we are not sure of the interval but it is likely a once a year event unless we have enough interest to conduct one sooner.
Q: Can I get a refund for the kit in case I can't attend the series sessions?
A: No. Unless the kit is defective in some way, no refunds will be offered. If the kit is defective, then an exchange will be offered for the defective parts.
The deadline for ordering a KIT from this form has passed.
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