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Category: Programming A/B

Reclaiming parts from broken/obsolete hardware

In order to make our Circuit Playground Express portable, we need to wire up a battery pack. We could buy battery packs online for about $3 each and wait a week for them to arrive. OR we could learn how to disassemble broken or obsolete electronics and get what we need for free, along with a bunch of other parts we can use to create something new.

For our next project, we need to find 1) 2-wire JST keyed connector.  It looks like this:

JST 2-pin connector and wires

The CPE board has a female connector (like the one on the left). We are looking for a male connector that fits inside it (like the one on the right). Many small electronics use JST connectors like this to supply power to internal components. Computers often power speakers and power buttons with JST connectors.

Another useful component is a battery holder. We can make our own, but it is also possible to salvage them from old toys and video game controllers. We need one that holds 3 AAA or 3 AA batteries to supply 3.5-6 volts. We can modify a 4-AAA  or 4-AA holder.

Here is a guide for removing soldered components from PCB boards.

PCB part recovery guide

Programming A/B Homework week ending 4/6

Students should be finished with lessons 5.1-5.5 in the Python course on by April 5(B) or April 6(A). Students are reminded that programming assignments should be done outside of class if you are unable to complete 2 lessons per class period (or are behind in assignments).

Remember that the step-by-step lessons can be VERY helpful if you are having difficulty understanding how the coding concept you are working with should be used.


Computer Programming A/B assignments for March 19-23

Complete the “For i in range” unit through lesson 4.9 during the next three class periods.

You will need to use your knowledge of past concepts (if/else, print(), using variables) along with the new structure. The For i in Range is very similar to the Repeat loop in Scratch, as it repeats sections of code a specific number of times. It is possible to use a variable for the start, stop and step parameters. To go backwards, use a larger number for the start parameter, a smaller number for the stop parameter and a negative number (usually -1) for the increment (or step) parameter.

Those who have finished unit 4 or 5, please continue on to the next section.