The “Control Panel” takes shape…

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Once I’d shown my son the prototype with the lit buttons and the analog gauges, I was excited to push the project forward. At this point, I still needed to finish the center panel and mount the gauges, etc. We got out the woodworking equipment and the chrome spray paint and made it happen!

He and I were both getting more excited by the day. The project was really coming together and we were both dreaming up new ways for the Control Panel to operate.

The more I thought about the Control Panel and the more I learned about the Arduino, the more I wanted to try. This new confidence was cool and I wanted to keep going.

I bought some additional parts that week:

  1. Arduino Mega – I quickly realized that all the devices I wanted to connect wouldn’t work on a straight Arduino AND I knew that I’d want to do other projects so I’d need another board. Luckily I had a $50 Amazon gift cert that HAD to be spent!
  2. He wanted the panel to make sounds – and I knew just the device to make it happen. I ordered a WaveShield from AdaFruit, but I knew it would take a while to arrive due to the holidays.
  3. I made a trip to Skycraft and found some ICs that would let me try the and shift.out examples. I’d ordered the Mega and it had tons of I/O, so I didn’t think I’d need them in my final design – they still seemed pretty complex given my experience, but I wanted to try them.
  4. PCB construction parts – I few more trips to Radio Shack and I had flux, braid, some small circuitboards, hook up wire, etc. I was ready to move OFF the breadboard, but knew I’d need some soldering & circuit board design experience before I could build something complex.
I also tried some other example projects. I’ve always been fascinated with RGB LEDs, so I build a color changing circuit. I’m using a water bottle cap sitting on two LEDs as a diffuser 🙂

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