Adventures with Arduino
The Pi isn't really a piece of hardware, or a foundation, or even a gathering of like-minded people working toward a single important goal. At its very core it is an idea or an inspiration, and there's little doubt that it's inspired me to try a whole variety of things I'd previously been ignorant of.
My Arduino tinkering began with a desire to protect my Pi from more GPIO fiddling. After hooking up LEDs to the GPIO header, throwing together the binary clock and getting everything up and running, I wanted to try something more advanced. But getting too advanced can put the Pi at risk. That's not to say I didn't manage to hook up and drive a couple of shift registers from the Pi, modifying my Ruby Binary Clock code to light the LEDs through them. But that's a tale for another time!
Not wanting to make things easy for myself, and wishing to avoid the temptation of shields, I dived straight into the whole Breadboarduino concept. I picked up a great kit at Hobbytronics.co.uk which combines a fully featured USB to serial breakout board with an 830 point breadboard, an ATMega 328 ( the chip on, for example, the Arduino Duo ) and all the support components and wires. It also came with a printed guide which made getting it all going a breeze.
The Breadboarduino is a great concept as it gives you much more flexibility over your Arduino build and size. You can stick everything on a 400 point breadboard and still have room for a voltage regulator and a small IC ( but not the USB to serial adaptor! ), or you can go nuts on a bigger breadboard. I've put together the Breadboarduino on a 400, 830 and 1660 board thus far for various projects.
Having hooked up a 4 digit multiplexed 7-segment display via a stupendous array of transistors, built a small IR circuit, read an SD card using just a breadboard and jump wires and various other silly things I'm now looking to pick up an LCD and use the Arduino in the way I originally envisioned when buying it; as a buffer between the Raspberry Pi and some shiny components. Watch this space for more adventures.