The house was a long and amazing journey for me. I’ve always had a hobbyist project of some kind on the go and am quite prolific with DIY, but it was my first real ‘make’ with electronics and the first time I wrote code that had some impact in the real world. The learning curve was steep.
What did I learn?
- Kids love making things move and making things make noise. The fan and the hifi were always the favourites. Manipulating lights is not as compelling an experience for them – they liked it, but preferred movement and noise.
- The maker community, especially in the North, is a very welcoming and friendly bunch – lovely people. Thanks for being so positive.
- If you can write code then you can write code for microprocessors – its not much of a leap.
- Polymorph is awesome – a poor-mans 3d printer!
- Those thin wooden louvres that you get on a blind are incredibly useful! I’ve used them in my DIY and now I love them all the more. So glad I never threw any of the spare slats away, but I am burning through my supply. I may have to move house soon so I have an excuse to put up more blinds!
- Polystyrene covered in a sticker – brill! Problem is that now I’ve learned how useful it is I can’t throw it away, my shed is overflowing!
- How to solder! Badly, yes, but effectively nonetheless.
- Most importantly, that I can build this sort of stuff… despite the fact that I even struggled with the Electronics for Dummies book. But trial and error, tenacity, good old pragmatism and having a worthwhile goal seem to be enough most of the time!
I have deprecated the house now. Not because I left the micro:bit Foundation – even before then I had grown terribly bored of showing it off – understandable given the sheer number of hours I’ve spent doing so. This malaise is what prompted me to take on the micro:bit matrix project, which you can read about elsewhere on this site.
The house now languishes snugly in 2 custom bags, everything individually boxed, well marked and well documented. I can’t even bring myself to cannibalise bits from it – doesn’t seem right! But its of no use to me:
Sitting sadly in a corner of the loft, remembering those halcyon days long past spent joyfully inspiring and amusing children and their shadows. Like the last mongrel in the pound it watches while the attic changes around it; the seasons churn but redemption remains aloof.
Free to a worthy recipient with an exciting plan that ideally involves inspiring kids and improving and enhancing the house. Get in touch!
The micro:bit house blog has 10 separate chapters:
- The micro:bit house
- The micro:bit house (2) – design
- The micro:bit house (3) – structure
- The micro:bit house (4) – construction
- The micro:bit house (5) – interior
- The micro:bit house (6) – furniture
- The micro:bit house (7) – electronics
- The micro:bit house (8) – controllers
- The micro:bit house (9) – code
- The micro:bit house (10) – wrap-up