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Beginners decision
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Beginners decision

by Rcayot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:05 am

Boy oh boy, am I frustrated! Okay, began with RPi-4 and began learning Python. Many very good tutorials out there. Lots of well organized tutorials, that are both Python centric, and Pi centric. So I decided that for some of my projects, it might be better to have a microcontroller board as an alternative or in addition to my Pi. I bought a Metro M4! One reason was the CircuitPython capability. Well, I am finding out that CP is not as well supported with documentation, or organized tutorials as I had hoped. My problem is just this: do I stick it out with CP, ot just go with the Arduino IDE? While I am a beginner, I am retired, science person, and want something challenging to keep me occupied n winter months. A well organized tutorial for CP would help a lot. While I have found several tutorials about CP features and libraries, they are not well organized, nor do they even necessarily link to each other. This is just some feedback I thought you guys and gals here aught to have.

Roger Ayotte

Rcayot
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Re: Beginners decision

by MAUX on Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:26 am

Hi Roger

I am also interested in electronic projects, uControllers and CP specially since i was learning and practicing a little python some time ago and I really liked it. I also note that there are many pieces of information but somehow not very well connected and of course very focused on commercial products.

My question is about your experience 5 months after your post. I am trying to understand if there are enough hardware specific libraries supporting the metro M4 board, i have seen some examples that show some libraries working but i wonder if you have tried this yourself and how that turned on for you. Have you tried shields on your M4 from adafruit and/or others?

When i go to the libraries section on CP page and check some of their descriptions, it only mention playground express and a few others, but the latest release of CP mention a LOT of boards supported: i'm just confused about what support means and how can i tell which libraries work for metro m4 express.

I really don't want to go for the c++ learning curve or the Arduino IDE since i'm not done with the python one and i like that one better!

Thank you
Mauricio

MAUX
 
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Re: Beginners decision

by Rcayot on Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:50 pm

Wow, did not expect a reply this late.

I will tell you, that i did the Arduino thing until about the beginning of June.

I am happy with the amount of support I got for C++ on the Arduino site. I am also worried that there are going to be a lot of accessories that will have CP only libraries.

I have recently started some helpful Python tutorials. The focus of those, however is far from physical computing though. Many of the examples set up as code examples are just too simple to be of much help beyond getting an LED to blink or a servo to move. There are tutorials on some advanced topics but they are of limited value as they are pretty focusesd on a project. I have been fairly successful making functions in Python, and have tried to get into classes with both Arduino and CP. My goal is to be able to write some classes.

My goal is two fold. One is to be able to make "bling" for my nieces such as wearable that will light up to music, or dance movement.

The second, and related, is a Christmas lights display using rgb leds.

Lastly, i am interested in making a few projects that require wireless such as a weather station, or a camera monitor on my bird feeder.

The blingy thing is coming along very well, have not tried the wireless yet.

I have not yet bought any hats, wings etc. I am about to order some neopixels, a flora, a gemma, and maybe a CP Express.

Roger

Rcayot
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Re: Beginners decision

by danhalbert on Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:22 pm

Rcayot wrote:A well organized tutorial for CP would help a lot. While I have found several tutorials about CP features and libraries, they are not well organized, nor do they even necessarily link to each other. This is just some feedback I thought you guys and gals here aught to have.


Let us know which tutorials you have tried, and how you've found them lacking. We're always interested in making things more understandable or easier to use. Have you seen these?
https://learn.adafruit.com/welcome-to-circuitpython
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... nd-express
https://learn.adafruit.com/arduino-to-circuitpython

I am happy with the amount of support I got for C++ on the Arduino site. I am also worried that there are going to be a lot of accessories that will have CP only libraries.[/quote]

For things like sensors and breakout boards, we always write Arduino libraries as well as CircuitPython libraries. We do not intend to stop supporting Arduino. There are larger project-based

danhalbert
 
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Re: Beginners decision

by Rcayot on Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:18 pm

Thank you,

The first linked tutorial, I followed and was able to get my bootloader going and use the Mu editor. The saving to the Circuitpy drive as code.py is somewhat cumberson, but woeks well.

The second one seems to be for CircuitPlayground only. I am programming a Metro M4 express.

The third link was very helpful, but soemwhat limited.

the followint I have tried, or used:
https://learn.adafruit.com/debouncer-li ... ns-sensors
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... e-machines
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... e-machines
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... generators
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpython-101-functions
https://learn.adafruit.com/sensor-plott ... cuitpython
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpython-essentials

The state machines two ways is a little bit too complex for a beginner, who does not want to re-do that particular project to get the basics of classes and state machines.

I was given an Arduino program using classes that allowed me to run PWM on separate LEDs att he same time (different start end PWM). While very useful, I tried to convert it to CP and got the class to work, but not the simultaneous portion. Ok, not a real big problem, if I could get a basic 'class' class in python, or CP it would help a lot. the regular Python online tutorial either go way too deep into namespaces etc, or trivial cases that don't help.

I am not as frustrated as I once was, and am still trying to progress to the place where I understand how to build classes, and use them the way I want to.

Roger Ayotte

Rcayot
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.