Tips from Instructors

A guide to reading internet tutorials critically:

  1. Look at the parts involved. Do you have them or can you get them? What will they cost?
  2. Read the code. Make sure you know what every line of code does. Something that’s incidental to your needs may be causing you a problem that’s easy to solve.
  3. What processor did they use? Do you have to use that same one? For example, if the tutorial uses basic IO, UART, SPI, I2C,Analog and/or PWM, chance are it can be done on any board. If it uses HID or USB Midi, chances are it’ll work on any USB-native board 

Write a Guide to Getting Better Help on Troubleshooting:

Always include:

  • description of what you’re making 
  • Circuit diagram (get in the habit of drawing them)
  • Photo of circuit 
  • Power source 
  • Link to code

Describe these:

  • Describe the expected behavior 
  • Describe what is actually happening 
  • Describe the steps you’ve taken so far

Test programs

  • A test does one thing. Like blink. Most library examples are good tests. When you are working on a complex project with multiple input and outputs, write a test to make sure each input and each output is working as you expect. Save your test programs, Becky you will need them to re-test as you add features to your project.

If a given component is not working, re-read the tutorial fir each component you are using. Chances are you overlooked a detail of how to make it operate properly.