CHAPTER 1: GETTING TO KNOW ARDUINO

We will start off by knowing what is Arduino and why you should know about it?

Arduino is an open-source development platform which combines hardware and software to help creators realize their ideas. With the help of Arduino Integrated Development Environment (Arduino IDE) and combining sensors, actuators and many other add-on modules (or Shields), one can make just about anything from lighting up LED’s to making your personalized weather forecast system (or a rocket, may be :P ). As the technology advances day by day and many of the things are moving towards digital era, knowledge of programming and electronics are essential. Arduino is the easiest way to start learning these skills.

While reading that you might be wondering, Isn’t Arduino supposed to be “THE PCB”?

No. As mentioned before, Arduino is an open-source hardware and software ecosystem (basically a company). They offer a range of software tools, hardware platforms and documentation enabling almost anybody to be creative with technology. (You can find a full explanation here - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/AboutUs)

Then what are the “Arduino” PCB’s called?

These are simply called as Arduino Boards or Arduino compatible boards. These range from the entry level board named Arduino Uno, to the IoT based board named Arduino Leonardo ETH.

(You can find a full guide on this page - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Products)

Why are you mentioning Arduino compatible boards?

Since Arduino is an open-sourced platform, under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license, anyone is free to replicate or adapt the original Arduino design without asking permission or paying a fee. So an Arduino Board means a board manufactured by Arduino and an Arduino compatible board means a board manufactured by someone else who is not associated with Arduino but has the same functionality.

(To know more, check out this page - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ#toc2 )

Enough of the talks already, I want to start doing something with Arduino.

Hold on a bit, before we start doing anything we should know how the thing actually works. From the line diagram below, we can see that for most of the Arduino projects we will require two parts,

  • Hardware part: Various electronic components connected to each other via a breadboard to an Arduino board

  • Software part: A program (or a Sketch*) which can interpret these input/output signals and pass on the desired results.

Now, before we jump into the sketches, you would need following things

Or

  • Arduino board/Arduino Compatible board (Preferably Uno)

  • Bread Board

  • Jumper wires

  • LEDs

  • Resistors (220Ω, 330Ω, 1kΩ, 10kΩ)

  • Potentiometer

  • Buttons etc.,.

PRO TIP: To make your life easier, just get an Arduino starter kit which comes with an Arduino board/Arduino compatible board and the accessories needed. Contents of the kit depends on what you would like to build and its up to you to select the best suited kit for your needs.

Next up,

Chapter 2: Overview of an Arduino Uno Board

If you want to add something interesting or want to point out any errors on this article, please feel free to comment below.

* Programs used to control Arduino are called sketches

The Arduino Community logo is used under the Creative Commons license CC-SA-BY-NC 3.0

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