Since the wifi group is in the process of wrapping up our work, I figured that it was a good time to join a new group, the Fritzing group. Our job is to take the mess that is the breadboard setup of all the components and neatly condense it onto something resembling an arduino shield. A few summers ago I had a brief experience with working to create printed circuit boards, and it was so rewarding to see through to completion. There is just something intriguing about untangling connections and then actually seeing the board being printed.

Fritzing is an open source tool that you can download to create breadboard diagrams, schematics, and the blueprints to a PCB. Dr. Jadud has a CNC machine in the lab and the software that runs it accepts gerber files, which is an option when exporting files in Fritzing. This makes it an optimal solution for students wishing to create printed circuit boards. It is also relatively easy to use, coming with many predefined parts and allowing you to create your own if necessary.

You can get started by connecting all of the components in the Breadboard tab. You can add resistors, batteries, arduinos, wifi chips, sensors, almost anything that you can find online (on a website like adafruit). After you have made the appropriate connections, you can go to the PCB tab and begin to solidify the connections and their placement on the board. Today in class we begin by gathering the exact connections from each of the groups (wifi and sensing) and began to model them in the Fritzing software. Next class we will begin untangling the mess of connections.