Let’s get this out of the way, before I have a chance to take it back.

I actually don’t mind Engineery type things.  *CRINGE*

There…I said it.  My dad will be forever happy, now that I have finally given in to the Dark Anode of the Force, who’s mantra is forever, “Ohmmmmmm…”.  I know…corny…but what else can I do after such a momentous admission so late in life.

This all being said, though, one of the things that really got me into this was the introduction of Microcontrollers into the world, and specifically Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi’s. If you aren’t all that familiar with the world of Microcontrollers, then you really should head over to the main sites for each (http://www.arduino.cc and http://www.raspberrypi.org), or look over on Youtube for some introductory videos on either.  They are quite fascinating and given that I have been around computers for almost 40 years of my life (I will be 43 in a couple of months), it really is kind of a natural path for me to follow down.

The neat thing about these Microcontrollers is that they are merely the brains behind an entire world of DIY gadgetry that allows you to do some pretty awesome things.  One of the big things that I am wanting to do, is to create a system of detecting water levels in soil and watering, by way of using solenoids attached to an outside water bib, that open up when certain conditions are met and go for a certain amount of time, and then stop.  It would also include a way to calculate for cooler or warmer temperatures, so that it tells us when it is time to provide shade for certain plants or when it is time for certain vegetables to be done for the season and a new batch of crops to be planted is needed.

Now, there can be as much complexity to these projects as I want. I can design a system to automatically open and close doors by using a sequence of knocks, or by using a keypad for entry. Or I can create a system that allows me to automate the entire home.  It’s simply a matter of what functionality you want to create and how elaborate you want to be with it.  The sky’s the limit, as they say.

But my first project will indeed by a gardening project.  We currently have 4 small Vegtrug garden boxes, and are currently in the works to put some more elevated gardens in our backyard, surrounding our back deck, and I will post photos of these in the near future.  But I really have been wanting to learn how to do these things for a couple of years, now, and I have enrolled in some classes through Udemy, which is an online “school” of sorts that teaches about technology.  I was able to sign up for 3-4 courses for less than $50 total, through various deals that are offered at various times.  A very reasonable cost for something that would have require easily 3-4 times as much in reading materials for me to figure out how to piecemeal.  The courses offer me the chance to explore a wide variety of the things that an Arduino and Raspberry Pi can accomplish, as well as how to program them to do the kinds of things I want to do.  I can’t recommend Udemy enough, especially the “Arduino Step by Step” course.  It requires a bunch of materials, but is well worth it for those who want to get into the field of Microcontrollers and DIY.

I hope over the course of time, to be able to show the progress I am making towards not only the Gardening project, by my endeavor into the world of Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi’s.

See you soon!!