Firstly, thanks for ordering your HIDIOT! If you've never soldered or coded anything before, you're on your way to a whole new world of electronics and programming. We've slaved away on documentation, tutorials, all kinds of stuff to help you get the most from your purchase, and this blog is here to show you what to do next. Bookmark this post, give it a read through then come back at the weekend.
Right After Ordering
Firstly, make sure you’re subscribed to our mailing list. We post our (mostly) weekly update email This Week In HIDIOT to our mailing list. If you haven’t already subscribed, use the form below to make sure you get the latest tips, tricks and project ideas.
You should also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. This is where we post videos explaining different aspects of electronics, and how-to guides. We also do project walkthroughs and the odd live stream.
The Following Weekend
Waiting for your HIDIOT to arrive can be excruciating:
If you’re in the UK or Europe, your HIDIOT will normally arrive in a few days but for our friends further afield it may take a few weeks for your HIDIOT to arrive. In the meantime, our Electricity and You tutorial helps you get started before your HIDIOT arrives.
Now would also be a great point to check out our community subreddit. It’s a great place to post your own code, ask questions and get answers. We monitor the Reddit and it’s not unusual for Steve or Aidan to get involved in discussions.
Before Your HIDIOT Arrives
You’ll want to make sure that you have all the kit needed to build a HIDIOT. Our Building a HIDIOT guide has a list of equipment you’ll need.
It’s also worth setting up the software so that when your HIDIOT arrives you can start programming it as soon as it’s built. Our Cutting Code tutorials show you how to get up and running on Windows 10, complete with videos and have links to some Reddit threads with help for Mac and Linux users.
When Your HIDIOT Arrives
We don’t expect you to build your HIDIOT as soon as it arrives. People are busy, HIDIOTs are often presents and sometimes it takes time to get everything together.
Once your HIDIOT has arrived, open up the package and check the contents of the anti-static bag against our assembly page photo to make sure you have everything.
We hand assemble the kit bags, but occasionally a part may be missing. If there’s something missing, just reply to any email you’ve received from us and we’ll take care of you.
If you’re not going to assemble your HIDIOT at this point, put everything back in the bag and keep it somewhere safe for the big day.
On the day you build your HIDIOT, take a look at the building a HIDIOT tutorial first and make sure you have the right space, equipment and that everything’s safe enough to build your board, especially if you’re going to build it with a child.
It’s really easy to build a HIDIOT, and it’s hard to get wrong but some tips from Steve and Aidan:
- Check that each component is in the right holes and is the right way around before soldering.
- Use the picture at the top of the build tutorial as a guide to how your HIDIOT should look when complete.
- Take 5 minute breaks now and again if you’re finding it hard to solder or see what goes where.
If you make a mistake, stop adding components, switch off your soldering iron and take a 5 minute break. Get a coffee or nice cup of tea and come back to it. Take a picture of both sides of your board before you try to fix anything so you can come back to it later.
If you get stuck please do search and then ask questions in the community reddit so that others with the same problem can be helped later.
If you’re really really stuck, drop us an email and we’ll see how we can help.
Don’t forget to show off your completed board on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the #HIDIOT hashtag so we can find it!
After You’ve Built It
Our documentation and tutorials will teach you how to program your HIDIOT as well as how to code in the C programming language. Along the way you’ll learn how to blink the lights, use morse code, automate your computer and use the two buttons to tell it what to do.
If you make something, please share it with the community. Everyone’s learning new things, so even tutorials on the basics are useful.
We’ll feature the content we love on This Week in HIDIOT, so don’t forget to tell us about it!
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