Make an illuminated Christmas tree

LXG Design has a good Facebook page where they come up with electronic and tech projects which are quite inventive but achievable. The illuminated Christmas tree is cute and the instructions are clear. Have fun making one. The LXG Design You Tube channel has lots of ideas and their videos are very good at making you feel like you, too, can make something like that.

Making an LED card

 

Paper circuits are all the go at the moment because they are fun for making light up cards. It is also a very straightforward and simple introduction to circuits and electronics. The video explains clearly the logic behind what you are doing and then you can see that it is not that hard to do. Copper tape, 3V batteries and little LED lights are not that hard to source and then making the card adds something creative and personal to the process. If you prefer written instructions you can find them here on  Hi-Low Tech .

Get going with your Raspberry Pi

I have taught students to use Powtoon .They loved it and made some great videos  using it so it was really good to see this Powtoon on the Raspberry Pi. It is effective at showing you what it can do and what it is capable of. Many people do use it for electronics and robotics. I might do robotics but I cannot see myself using any of the electronics stuff. I don’t need it as a media centre either but I believe people do that because they can. I have a media centre running off an older HP computer and it works really well, thank you. Last night I downloaded the phone apps to remotely control the Raspberry Pi but haven’t had a chance to try them yet. There are plenty of apps for the Pi, incidentally. I have been getting used to Debian which I now realise is KDE and a bit retro , really. I am finding things I used to do and use but I went with gnome desktops which are a bit cruisier. KDE is reminding me to think things out again and it does actually get you to understand computers and computing better. I have found the Pi is slower on loading sites like You Tube or image sites but once they are loaded there is not a problem. It’s not that slow more like when the network is congested and you watch images load bit by bit.uk keyboard Nothing else has been noticeable but it is still running a UK keyboard even though I changed it to US. Not really a problem. I am just amazed at how good a computer the Pi is and the trick, I think, is to keep it simple. There have been sites which I have found invaluable and I’ll share those with you:

A beginner’s guide to the Raspberry Pi

Geek Gurl Diaries

Ultimate Guide to Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Quick Start Manual

The official Raspberry Pi site is incredibly helpful and explains things really well. It has some excellent resources and the videos are very good at setting you straight when you want to get going with a Raspberry Pi:

raspberrypi.org raspberry pi

DIY robot

Robots are becoming more prominent. They are here. A number of jobs have been replaced by robotic machines. At the moment , there is a real passion for building robots and some of them are now becoming quite sophisticated. In the real world there are people who enjoy making little robots and fortunately they share their ideas online so that others can see and learn. This is how robotics will grow. Mr. Moo is an Indonesian who has a very popular little robot which everyone wants to make. I have used Jaidyn Edwards’ YouTube clip and his site offers tutorials and further information.

Make:Online

Bob the Builder will need to move over because this site is for the grown up, grand creators and inventors. Make:technology on your time is a fascinating mix of video, technology, electronics with a strong sense of community. There are hundreds of ideas and the link points you to the blog so you can browse and get a better overview of the site. There are projects, videos, podcasts. It is very practical but it is also ingenious . Given a lot of people don’t want to be writing all day , then the Make approach to life is a different way of engaging minds and getting them to come up with practical solutions and great ideas. A lot of people think better when they are making things and can free up their minds. If out of that there are some practical applications for what is made..then Make is proof of that. It has links to Spanish and Japanese Make sites too. Just watch what this Physics teacher has done with his students : Origami hang gliders

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