Project Ideas

Much of the rest of our time together will be spent helping you work out the details of a project that you choose to make for your own use in the future! Here are some project ideas to consider. See if there is one or more that appeal to you, and discuss them with me in class! And, check back here from time to time to see if there are more listed, or more links and information available.

Detectors and Alarms

  • Intruder Detector
  • Recording Thermometer
  • Tilt alarm
  • Flood alarm
  • Rain alarm

Control Projects

  • Thermostat

Projects Just For Fun

  • Electronic Dice
  • Pinewood race track timer
  • Traffic Light
  • “Sequence imitate” game
  • Wavey Sign / Blinkey POV
  • TV BGone
  • Migonnette game


  • Theremin
  • Light Chimes
  • Organ
  • Drawdio

Resistor Color Codes

Here is a handy chart to help you decode resistor color codes.resistor-color-code-all

NOTE: Most, if not all, of the resistors in your lab kit are “5 Band” color coded, so use that part of the chart to figure out the value.

Final Lab Materials List and Cost


Breadboard $7.00
Teensy 3.0 $22.00
Micro USB Cable $2.17
Divided pro-rated parts cost $16.83
Total $48.00
Pro-rated parts cost All Portion
Shipping $18.04 $3.61
555 Timer $5.00 $1.00
Capacitors $12.00 $2.40
Jumper Wires $19.35 $3.87
Resistors $13.45 $2.69
Assorted LEDs $5.88 $1.18
Red LEDs $8.88 $0.89
Photoresistors $11.99 $1.20

Proposed Lab Materials

I’ll be keeping a list of likely lab materials here, with brief descriptions and links to where they may be purchased. In some cases, I will purchase the materials in quantity and make them available to students at my cost.

I will make additional materials available for use in class so that students can construct and test one or more of the example projects that we will use to demonstrate a complete functioning micro project.

If a student chooses to build one of the example projects to take home, or wishes to create a project of their own devising, they will be responsible for purchasing whatever materials may be necessary for the project of their choice.


A modest sized breadboard will be adequate to the task of learning how to connect a handful of parts into a useful circuit.

This is a 400 tie-point breadboard from Amazon.

This is an 830 tie-point breadboard from Amazon, suitable for larger projects.

Jumper Wires

These are used to interconnect components.

These are available from Amazon.

Miscellaneous Components

Resistors, capacitors, LEDs, diodes, coils… I will probably make a bulk purchase of these and provide an appropriate sized assortment for each student at a modest price, probably about $5.

Arduino-Compatible Microcontroller

This is the really fun stuff! This is a *powerful* little chip that is able to perform timing functions; it can read voltages, communicate using serial protocols, act as a touch sensor, drive LEDs directly, and lots more!

Read about Teensy 3.0 here, a small but very powerful arduino-compatible micro. Teensy 3.0 can be purchased here.