Let's Make Robots!

Read the manual! (A guide to newbies)

Well folks,

It seems we have a lot of newbies lately. This website is here to ask questions and get answers however, there seem to be a lot of questions popping up that sorta shouldn't be asked... Here's what I mean:

If you are new to electronics or robots or programming don't ask a question about step 487 when you know nothing of step 1, 2 or 3. Again, if you are new to this don't even think about motors or sensors etc. YOU NEED TO START WITH A BLINKING LED, period. Baby steps, folks!

Second: (And this drives a lot of people nuts) I would say about 80% of the questions asked around here are found IN THE MANUAL(S) If you are using a Picaxe (I'm sure there is simmilar help with other systems) there are 3 manuals available. In your Picaxe Programmer software, Under "Help" there are PDF's for getting started, BASIC commands and even how to hook everything up. Under that same menu there are also PDF's for just about every Picaxe modual they make. PLEASE, PLEASE, Read these manuals! Seriously, grab a beer and just read them --Under interfacing circuts there are pictures on how to hook things up and chunks of code to make them go. I still to this day, like to browse the BASIC Commands PDF and am still finding commands I didn't know about that seem to make my life easier.

Third: Break everything up! If you are trying to add a Sharp distance sensor to your bot, don't try to add the code into your main code. Instead write a seperate code including a debug command just to be sure the sensor is working and you can get an idea of the numbers it is spitting out. Next, write these numbers down on paper noting what variable number coresponds with what distance. You should do the same with your drive code: Write a seperate code including the commands you need for Fwd, Rev, SpinR and SpinL. LABEL EVERYTHING WELL WITHIN YOUR CODE TOO!! Now when you go to write your main code you have all these little snippits to go back to and you know they work. If nothing else, being able to cut and paste will keep you from having ot type too much. --As a point of reference, I have about 30-40 "sub-codes" I wrote to run Walter before I even thought of trying to put them together into one big code.

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It's a pity we can't give stars for forum posts, because that one is worth at least five stars.
Now all you have to do is get the newbies to read this post.

Thank you Chris, you have helped me out a lot. It is true I need to read the manuals, though.

Connect the flux capacitor to the Picaxe 180 PI??? I want to go back to the future man... lol :P
I'll drink to that.

Dan is working on a system / Zanth's design that forces everyone to have completed a quiz.

I think that you, Chris, should be part of the group / be solely responsive for / your posting here should be a part of.. the quiz-mterial.

This is a way to ensure that everyone has read it; Not passed quiz, not member :)

Forcing people to take a quiz seems a bit much, no?

How about a forwarding url or email when they sign up that has a readme or something. 

I have a feeling it'd be quite an easy quiz... with basic questions just to prove you read the faq.

isn't this what moderators are for...to prune the postings and warn people who ask questions without reading the faq? 

A simple warning system works, do it once, get a  warning, do it again, you are locked out of posting...maybe until you take this quiz thing.

finally, get kicked if you don't adhere to the rules...

This newbie has just read the post. Maybe I should have read this before emailing oddbot a circuit question :(