Arduino Playground: Book Review of a Serious Maker Book

Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker is not for the faint of heart. Unless the faint of heart person plans to build a pacemaker with an arduino!

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 9.03.55 PMMost books about making electronic projects, including and especially Raspberry Pi or Arduino projects, have a bit up front about tools and technology. You'll need a screwdriver, maybe a magnifying glass, some extra wire, that sort of thing. Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker does that too, but it is a bit more extreme. Maybe you need a tap and die set, oh, and here are some neat tips on designing and building at home your own circuit boards. Oh, and here is how to take apart different controllers and recombine them Frankenstein-like to be able to use a USB cable to access the serial subsystem on the one that normally lets you do that.

This is the kind of preparation you need if you are going to build some of the more complex projects in this book. For example, the automatic watch winder shown here, or a regulated power supply, or a highly accurate industry standard pH meter, or a device to measure how fast a bullet comes out of a gun, or a special fancy thermometer, or agitator for circuit board etching. There's that circuit board etching again.

Author Warren Andrews takes the reader through these and a couple of other projects, providing a lot of technical information, theory, technique, and very good instructions. This is a highly advanced book, starting somewhat beyond the level of the preliminary intro books (suggesting there may be a need for more medium level books on this topic?) and truly challenging the maker in some unexpected and interesting ways.

Andrews is up to the task as well, having a lifetime of experience at major corporations such as GE and Motorola where he did this kind of tinkering for the big players.

I'm probably going to build the pH meter. What are you going to build?

From the publisher:

You’ve mastered the basics, conquered the soldering iron, and programmed a robot or two; now you’ve got a set of skills and tools to take your Arduino exploits further. But what do you do once you’ve exhausted your to-build list?

Arduino Playground will show you how to keep your hardware hands busy with a variety of intermediate builds, both practical and just-for-fun. Advance your engineering and electronics know-how as you work your way through ... 10 complex projects

Table of Contents:

Chapter 0: Setting Up and Useful Skills
Chapter 1: The Reaction-Time Machine
Chapter 2: An Automated Agitator for PCB Etching
Chapter 3: The Regulated Power Supply
Chapter 4: A Watch Winder
Chapter 5: The Garage Sentry Parking Assistant
Chapter 6: The Battery Saver
Chapter 7: A Custom pH Meter
Chapter 8: Two Ballistic Chronographs
Chapter 9: The Square-Wave Generator
Chapter 10: The Chromatic Thermometer


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