Until its untimely closing in November 2017, I taught several classes at TechShop in Arlington, Virginia. The classes involved the Arduino open source microcontroller. I am currently looking for a venue to teach similar classes for adults and children in the Washington, DC area.


The following sketches were found on the web (and possibly modified by me) and are used to supplement TechShop course instruction. Sources are noted in the sketch comments.

  • pitches.h - library file for tones - unzip and install folder in Arduino / libraries


Hardware Vendors

There are many places to find Arduinos and electronic components on the Web. The following are some of the vendors I have found to be reputable. Note that prices can vary pretty widely and you should check for the same component on several sites to see if you can get a better price.


You can also check Amazon and E-bay.


Here are some short Vine videos of some projects I am working on. They are in the prototype phase. I will post final results, instructions, and code (sketches). (You can also visit my YouTube page for many more videos.)

Georgetown Glow - Radiant Rainbow Racer
A 20' (6 m) light sculpture made of NeoPixel LEDs, controlled by an Arduino Mega. The pixels are lit in sequence to create the effect of "drawing" the figure in a park in Georgetown, Washington, DC.


The Color of Liberty - a painting on laser cut and etched wood. An IR proximity sensor detects when someone stands in front of it. Then Arduino-controlled NeoPixel LEDs mounted behind it fire off in a circular pattern.


Neopixel RGB LED "steam punk" hat, based on this Oculus Aethereum code.


Yeti Sign - Laser Cut and Backlit with LEDs


DrawBot using a Boarduino:  


Arduino Simon Game


"Beat Box" - percussion box, inspired by Lorenzo Bravi's "Hit the Beat" drum machine: 



Some users have had trouble initially connecting to the Arduino. After downloading the IDE and installing it, using a USB cable for connecting, they are not able to upload sketches.

This Sparkfun guide has tips for installing the Arduino IDE.

Connection issues are commonly resolved by downloading and installing the latest FTDI drivers

Mac users may sometimes have trouble getting the usbserial port to become available. Google for solutions, such as this one.