Congratulations to all our ninjas who received belts in Summer 2019!

On 2 May 2019, at our final CoderDojo Athenry session of the 2018-19 year, we awarded a total of 75 belts to our ninjas for their great individual achievements in acquiring and demonstrating coding and computing skills. And then we had a party with pizza!

Here is a link to our presentation from the day: CoderDojo Athenry Belts Day 2019

We are very grateful to Clarin College Athenry and the principal, Ciaran Folan, for their enabling CoderDojo Athenry by making the school and its wifi available to us.

We are also very grateful for the sponsorship and support we have received this year:

  • Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board, who provide us with an annual Youth Club Grant
  • Medtronic, employer of our mentor Declan Fox, who provide us with a grant to match Declan’s excellent volunteering
  • HP Enterprise, employer of our mentor Mark Davis, who provide loaner laptops that we make great use of
  • Boston Scientific, employer of our mentor Kevin Madden, who provide us with 3D printers.

 

Thanks also to everyone who supported us by buying tea or coffee!

Because of these supports, no child or parent/guardian ever has to pay to participate in CoderDojo Athenry.

And of course we must thank our mentors, who volunteer their time and expertise entirely without charge week after week, to make CoderDojo Athenry the success that it is.

Here is the full list of belts we awarded:

  • Explorers:    34
  • Advancers:  25
  • Bodgers:     8
  • Hackers:      5
  • Creators:     14
  • Black Belt:   2

Special mention must go to Eoghan McGuinness and Ruaidhri Madden, who received their black belt awards. Both have been in CoderDojo Athenry for several years, working their way up through the groups, and this year started Mentoring. Well done, Eoghan and Ruaidhri!

CoderDojo Athenry is now closed for the summer. See you all in September!

Bodgers –Magic Ball

This week in the Bodgers group we revisited Pygame Zero and worked on a fortune telling game based on a Magic 8 ball.

I gave the group some artwork I prepared in the Paint.NET graphics editor and we wrote some code to animate them.

I’ve added the code and images to Dropbox here.

See you all on Saturday for Belts and Pizza, don’t forget to bring drinks.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh.

Bodgers – Soldering & Crimping

Usually in the Bodgers group we use breadboards and jumper wires to connect our components together which is fine for prototyping, but today we looked at some techniques for making more permanent connections.

Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and then flowing a filler metal into the joint—the filler metal having a relatively low melting point. The metal to be soldered is heated with a soldering iron and then solder is melted into the connection. Only the solder melts, not the parts that are being soldered. Solder is a metallic “glue” that holds the parts together and forms a connection that allows electrical current to flow.

We started by soldering some header pins on stripboard, then we looked at using a desoldering pump to remove excess solder. Then we looked at stripping insulation from wire, soldering two wires together and using heat-shrink to re-insulate the wire.

An electrical crimp is a type of solderless electrical connection. Crimping is normally performed by first inserting the terminal into the crimp tool. The wire is then inserted into the terminal with the end of the wire flush with the exit of the terminal to maximize cross-sectional contact. Finally, the handles of the crimp tool are used to compress and reshape the terminal until it is cold-welded onto the wire. We crimped both insulated and uninsulated terminals onto some wire.

 

See you all next week.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Congratulations to our Ninjas at Coolest Projects 2019

Congratulations to everybody from CoderDojo Athenry who participated in the CoderDojo Coolest Projects International in the RDS Dublin on 04 May 2019.

We had three projects which all sparked a lot of interest with the public at the event. Adam presented his game “The MegaMaker”, David and Michael presented “FidoFinder” and “Go With The Flow” was presented by Mark.

 

Special congratulations to Adam who was runner up in the Games category and the Go With The Flow team represented by Mark who were runners up in the Hardware category.

 

Bodgers – Cool Projects

Hello again everyone.

In the Bodgers group we’re starting to put our projects together for the Coolest Projects Showcase.

“Coolest Projects International is a world-leading showcase for young innovators who make stuff with technology. If you’re up to 18 and you’re making something with technology for fun, to solve a problem, or as a creative outlet, then we want you to come out and share your project with us! This free event will take place in the RDS Main Hall, Dublin, Ireland on 5 May 2019.”

Find out more here: https://coolestprojects.org/

If you have any questions you can contact me at coderdojoathenry@gmail.com.

Don’t forget we’re off for the next 2 weeks, we’re back on 27-Apr-19.

see you all then.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – RFM69 Radio Modules

 

DSC00227

Hello again everyone.

This week we looked at the Adafruit RFM69HCW Radio Module, these modules allow us to send messages between Arduinos without using Wifi or Bluetooth.

Adafruit have a tutorial here on setting up the module. The basic steps are:

  1. Solder on the header pins.
  2. Solder antenna or wire cut to the the proper length for the module/frequency
    • as our frequency is 433 MHz  we cut the wire to 16.5 cm.
  3. Wire up modules to your Arduinos
  4. Download the RadioHead library to your Arduino IDE.
  5. Load the RadioHead69_RawDemo_TX code from this library to the Arduino you’re using to transmit.
  6. Load the RadioHead69_RawDemo_RX code from this library to the Arduino you’re using to receive.
  7. Test

Next Saturday we will be putting all of the different components from our projects together and testing out how they work.

see you all then.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – Texts & Emails

This week we looked at sending texts and emails from our python scripts.

To send text messages you will need to set up an account on Twilio which is a platform that allows coders to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages from their programmes. You then install the Twilio python library which will allow us to send texts from our script using code like this.


# Download the helper library from https://www.twilio.com/docs/python/install
from twilio.rest import Client

# Your Account Sid and Auth Token from twilio.com/console
# DANGER! This is insecure. See http://twil.io/secure
account_sid = 'your account_sid'
auth_token = 'your auth_token'
client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

message = client.messages \
                .create(
                     body="Hello Bodgers",
                     from_='+440123456789',
                     to='+353123456789'
                 )

print(message.sid)

To send an email we use smtplib which is an email library that’s built into python and which works well with Gmail. We need to change our Gmail setting to allow insecure apps and then we can use the code below to send our message.


import smtplib

server = smtplib.SMTP('smtp.gmail.com', 485)
server.starttls()
server.login("my.email@email.com", "myPassword")

msg = "Hello World"
server.sendmail("my.email@email.com", "some.email@email.com", msg)
server.quit()

See you all on Saturday

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – GPS

 

This week we looked at GPS which stands for Global Positioning System. The idea behind GPS is based on time and the position of  a network of  satellites. The satellites have very accurate clocks and the satellite locations are known with great precision.

Each GPS satellite continuously transmits a radio signal containing the current time and data about its position. The time delay between when the satellite transmits a signal and the receiver receives it is proportional to the distance from the satellite to the receiver. A GPS receiver monitors multiple satellites and uses their locations and the time it takes for the signals to reach it to determine its location . At a minimum, four satellites must be in view of the receiver for it to get a location fix.

We used the Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout connected to an Arduino as our GPS receiver. It’s very easy to set up, all we did was install the Adafruit GPS library on our Arduino and this gave us a load of programmes to chose from. We used the parsing sketch which gave us Longitude, Latitude and our location in degrees which we used with google maps to show our location.

See you all again on the 23/Mar/19

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

 

Bodgers – Pi Camera & OpenCV

This week in the Bodgers group we looked at the Pi Camera Module which is a high quality image sensor add-on board for the Raspberry Pi. You can capture images  from the command line with:

 raspistill -o cam.jpg 

This will take a jpeg picture called cam which will be saved in your home folder.

You can take a picture from your Python script with:


from time import sleep
from picamera import PiCamera

camera = PiCamera()
camera.resolution = (1024, 768)
camera.start_preview()
# Camera warm-up time
sleep(2)
camera.capture('foo.jpg')

This will save a picture called foo in the folder you ran your script from.

OpenCV (Open source computer vision) is a library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision. We tried a couple of scripts out, one from the Hackers group, thanks Kevin, that detects colours and another one that detects shapes, we will be looking at this much more in the next few sessions but next Saturday we will look at using an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi together.

See you all then.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – Introduction to Arduino

Hello again everyone.

I was away this week so Dave led the group, they did a couple of Arduino projects. They  revisited the traffic lights from December but this time used the Arduino to control them and then moved on to  a temperature and humidity sensor called the DHT11.

 

Here is the wiring diagram for  the traffic lights and you can find the code here.

arduino lights

 

Here is the wiring diagram for the DHT11 and the code is also on Dropbox here.

dht

We will be doing more with the Arduino particularly for some of our projects.

See you All again on Saturday

Declan, Dave and Alaidh