This is me shaving a yak. Shaving the yak, if you don’t know, is what you do when a seemingly simple task necessitates many recursive and unforeseen sub-tasks in order to be carried out.
The story goes like this… Let’s say that I want to paint a picture, but I’m in a shack in the middle of the desert and I don’t have a canvas, brushes or paint. I do have a piece of strong cloth, a few pieces of wood, and the rocks around the shack can provide some pigments that I can mix with some oil. For the nails, I can extract some from the shack’s structure itself. For the brush, I’ll need some quality hair. Well, long story short, before I know it, here I am, in the middle of the desert, shaving a yak.
Today’s metaphorical yak is the representation in Fritzing of a $0.95 part, a knob potentiometer. Fritzing is a wonderful Open Source tool for designing electronic circuits. Its only shortcoming is that its library of components is not yet complete enough that it can be used to design all circuits. In my case, it’s lacking the SD card reader that I’m using, analog sticks and… this small $0.95 potentiometer. Well, in fact, for the potentiometer, I could have easily used one of the stock components from Fritzing that is close enough, but for my first component design, I wanted to start with a fairly simple part so I went ahead with it anyways, with the hope of having a better fit in the end.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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