Another Arduino Project Down, Another Fire Avoided

This time, I got my Arduino talking to another device.

Photo Courtesy of Alona

Part of me still expects something to go catastrophically wrong each time I pick up my Arduino. But so far, luckily, I haven’t shocked myself or caused any fires, even when I dangled the poor thing over boiling water. I did manage to fry an Arduino, but that’s a story for another day.

When diving into this project, I started out with the most unnecessary step.

Choosing thematically appropriate wire colors.

All the productivity gurus will tell you to do the most important thing first.

I did not. I picked pretty wires first.

On the plus side, I’m getting a good sense of the basic necessities of writing up buttons and LEDs, so this part wasn’t too time-consuming. I did get a little tripped up and confused about which resistor I needed to use to make the button work, but I realized my mistake without blowing anything up—always a victory.

I recycled an older p5.js sketch involving a hungry cat—because I don’t have an original bone in my body, just an absurd love for cats that leads me to cook breakfast for my real-life cats every morning.

I updated the basic look of the old sketch to go with the times.

Again, warm, fall, Thanksgiving colors.

Screenshot by Author

We start out with a simple question. Updating the text in the sketch was easy enough. I figured that making this button respond to a physical button click wouldn’t be too hard, but… of course, that’s where I was wrong.

Getting this sketch to talk to my Arduino took a fair bit of tinkering. Half of it was my own foolishness getting in my way—I had a few mental lapses where I forgot what certain error messages meant, such as when the serial controller firmly told me that my port was busy since I had a diagnostic test window opened up on the Arduino software.

I also initially placed my function to make the physical button press work in the wrong part of the sketch (three times, but who’s counting? It’s rude to count drinks and it’s rude to count Arduino failures!)

That led us to… pressing a button to reveal a stingy cat!

And when you press the tiny button—since my train quality videography could be better—you reveal the cat who stole your food!

Screenshot by Author

Do you reclaim your turkey? Do you let this deviously adorable gray cat steal your hard-won Thanksgiving dinner?

Writer and poet from Neptune. Instructional designer in NYC. Grad student at @NYUTandon studying Integrated Digital Media.

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