I deliver “Electronics for Design Technology” courses, the first of which I presented in 1988, but things have moved on a bit since then in so many ways. For the last three years I have been providing courses managed by DATA, The Design Technology Association, under government supplied funding. Predictably this funding has now been withdrawn but I am still able to provide courses by mutual arrangement.
At this point the dates are not fixed, but due to my own teaching commitments I can only offer the course(s) on either a Saturday, or during school holiday weekdays and sometimes during Autumn half term, Easter and early/mid July where terms dates differ.
Course outline/content as follows:
#1 – Affordable Electronics for KS3 Design Technology.
This course is aimed at getting basic electronics underway in your school/department. Its NOT two transistor rain detectors but very good value for money circuits (all PCB based) with lots of applications.
It will cover:
Setting up for survivable electronics, LED based projects for KS3 (LEDs alone and under control), including a wonderful sustainable project, the Joule Thief. (555 based 2-LED flasher, 6 LED flasher), using touch control (a variety of outcomes using the same chip – NOT a PICAXE) and a versatile pocket timer with sound and light.
The course support material lists what you need to survive and through practical work you build your own examples to take away.
Absolutely NO previous knowledge required just a desire to try some electronics. Success guaranteed! (Pictures here http://www.g4xat.co.uk/electronics/electronics-2/)
#2 – Getting started with the Picaxe chip using the PIGGYAXE system.
An ideal introduction to the fascinating world of micro-controllers, presented in an easy to learn way with working examples of everything to take away, complete with commented listings that can be understood and freely adapted by you and your pupils.
Introduction to Picaxe, nature of the beast, what you need, how to use PIGGYAXE. Projects include: Doing lots with RGB LEDs, using novel inputs such as push-button, coin drop, finger-tap, LDR, PIR, temperature and Analogue to Digital to control LEDs, make music and move things using RC servos. Culminating in using a power driver board to control strips of surface mount 12 volt LEDs.
#3 – Advanced PICAXE using the PIGGYAXE system, suitable for advanced KS3 and well above…..
Suitable as an extension to the Picaxe introduction above, this pushes the 08M a bit further and introduces the 14M2.
Radio control servos open up some interesting possibilities when used together, not least insect walker type projects. The Servo upgrade board allows the baby Picaxe to control up to three servos, using either direct input or entirely by software. Equally, Infra red remote control is a great way to make high level projects and the whole PICAXE family recognises the SONY IR protocol, allowing either a SONY or universal remotes (set to Sony and available for about £5 on ebay) to control numerous functions. On offer is a 4 channel IR remote LED light, with a matching transmitter board designed to fit into a standard battery box, a higher powered extension option for the ultimate in lighting. Then follows a step up to the PiggyMiddle board using a 14M2, building a Binary Timery project (sound, light 8 LEDs, set time, start button), KITT scanner (1980’s car show), controlling 8 LEDs then progressing to the all-out 8 Power LED driver (ideal for LED tapes) with dual ADC input control, used here as a Chose channel – Set brilliance pair with full PWM on 3 (optional 4) channels, plus 5/4 others as on/off.
There is also a 20M2 board (PiggyMAX), but so far, Ive yet to think what I can reasonably drive or control with that one, although the 14M2 daughter-boards are pin compatible with it, leaving access to a further 6 I/O pins.
Let me know if you have any questions or special requests I can provide tailored support/training, help with circuit development (I have 45 years practical experience to draw on and have circuits for most problems!), practical advice if you want just ask.