Physical Computing Resources.



  • Does anyone know of any suitable open coursework for physical computing above and beyond the simple?
    I was a microchip designer in a previous life and have always used simulations (spice etc) to test something before building and with considerable costs of hardware I was thinking of using geda/ngspice as a teaching and testbench tool so that even complicated systems can be experienced at low cost.
    Opinions please.
    Tom


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Brr, just thinking of VHDL gives me shivers.
    That may be simplistic but thinkercad (https://www.tinkercad.com/learn/) has a couple of electronics tutorial. We’re far away from the electronic design of geda, but way more accessible imho. May be a good “starter” to avoid the complexity of geda/ngspice.
    FOSDEM’s talks has one (https://archive.fosdem.org/2017/schedule/event/fpga_oss_tutorial/) about “my first hardware design”, but contains concepts/languages that… without prior exposition are tough.
    Qucs has a starter guide, but not enough to call it a “course” by itself (http://qucs.sourceforge.net/docs/tutorial/getstarted.pdf).
    Falstad (https://github.com/pfalstad/circuitjs1) could be a good start if you were to write your own as it contains an extensive list animated of examples : http://www.falstad.com/circuit/e-index.html
    I am fairly limited in the domain, maybe that could be a question for the http://opencircuitdesign.com/ mailing list ?



  • Thanks for those. I have been wondering about maker-spaces and the suchlike and I think it might be better to actually start in a ‘production’ environment so things can actually be made without learning too many different apps that do largely the same thing - I still try and use keystrokes from a CAD package I last used 30 years ago!


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    That’s actually a good idea! They might even have some spare hardware to work on when it comes to going more physical, or a 3D printer (apparently you can do some PCB with it, not saying that’s its efficent or what, but … ) :)
    The only thing that it won’t replace is the education side. I know that my local hackerspace runs classes, but it’s more targeted towards adult. See if you can “forge” a simple project with them and if it works out !


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