Important Component you should know- Arduino
Do you want to start developing your own projects with Arduino but don’t know where to start? In this article, I want to help you get started and show you how easy it is to enter this fascinating world!
And speaking of step-by-step instructions, the first is to buy the components for your own Arduino kit. No, it’s not that expensive, and you don’t even need so many accessories to start your experiments. With an Arduino Uno board, a small protoboard, a set of jumpers and some basic components you can already do super cool things!
So, let’s begin by explaining.
What is Arduino?
To be simple, just say that it is a small electronic board with a processor that you can program to read sensors and activate devices following some logic that you have defined. If you are interested and want to know the history of Arduino, see our other post about who created this incredible platform.
Arduino Uno 3 – prototyping board
The sensors are electronic components capable of converting the physical information of an environment such as the amount of light on a table, the temperature of your TV room or humid soil of your garden into electrical information that our Arduino can understand. Thus, he is able to take some legal action with this. For example, you can turn on and off the lights in our house according to the amount of light incident, control the air conditioner to maintain the desired temperature or send a tweet to you if your plant is thirsty. Actually, the lights and the air conditioning are actually activated by the actuators. They allow us to control the various equipment of our day-to-day activities.
The protoboard, also known as a breadboard, is a great friend of the Arduino. It helps us to do our assemblies, especially when they are small or we are testing something new. Formed by several interconnected electrical points, it allows the electronic components to make electrical connections to each other.
Breadboard – Perforated plate for rapid prototyping
Another item that you will also need is jumpers. They are the wires that connect your Arduino to the protoboard and also to the other components of your prototype. There are several colours available to help you not confuse where each thing is connected and also several sizes so that nothing is tangled.
Jumpers – Colored wires to connect the components
Now that you know the Arduino let’s take care of some of the
Components that cannot be missing from your collection
And that will help you a lot! Are they:
The resistor’s role is, among other functions, to limit the electric current flowing in a circuit and prevent it from burning. Remember Ohm’s Law that you learned in high school and didn’t know what it was for? It is used in different situations in our project.
Light-emitting diodes (LED = Light Emitting Diode) are small lights used in Arduino mainly for light signalling. Thus, you know visually that temperature is high or that the air conditioner has been activated. There are several colours, such as red, yellow, green and more recently blue and white. You can find LEDs formed by the three primary colours (RGB = Red, Green, Blue) and with them produce several different shades, combining them conveniently. The power LEDs gave rise to the current LED lamps used in lighting environments with low energy consumption and high luminous efficiency.
Buttons and keys
When pressing a button or pressing a key, the user of our equipment issues a manual command requesting that something is done. What to do will depend on our program. It can be starting or stopping an engine, changing the lighting scenario or simply lowering the room temperature. The push-button is used to issue a command for as long as it is pressed. The switch has stable states that keep a given circuit on or off.
Sensors are transducer devices used to monitor the environment. They convert information from the physical world into electrical signals so that our Arduino can manipulate them. The most common types are temperature, humidity, distance, light, obstacles, positioning, the presence of someone in an environment, movement, among others. From the information obtained with the sensors, the Arduino can take some action through the actuators.
While the sensors monitor the environment, the actuators act on it. This means that we can interact with the physical world by turning on and off lamps, engines, sound systems and other equipment. It is important that the actuator used is compatible with the type of device it is using.
Motors are a type of actuator that converts electrical energy into mechanics. They are commanded to move loads or position something precisely. The three types most used with the Arduino are the direct current (DC) motor, stepper motor and servo motor.
Buzzers are used to produce a sound signal for the user. They operate by vibrating a piezoelectric capsule at a certain frequency and with this they are able to emit audible signals. Models with an internal oscillator (active buzzers) always emit the same tone, and we can just turn the sound on or off. Models without oscillators (passive buzzers) must be directly excited by the Arduino. This allows us to produce different tones and reproduce a melody.
There are times when we want to show information to the user of our equipment, such as the temperature and humidity of a room. For this, we use the displays (which literally means to show or display in English). There are from simple models made up of LED segments to more complete ones made with liquid crystal technology that can display colour images.
While displays are used to display information, matrix keyboards are used to receive useful information. They are similar to buttons, but their keys are arranged in a combination of rows and columns that minimize the number of signals needed to read them. A typical example is to use them for the operator to enter a numeric password or set the desired temperature in a heating system.
An Arduino alone does a lot, but it can also exchange information remotely with other Arduinos, computers, cell phones, tablets, and do much more. The communication modules are responsible for allowing this magic and greatly expand the scope of our projects.
How to program the Arduino?
That’s right. How did you imagine that you would instruct the Arduino to turn on the heater when the temperature was below 15 ° C, for example? The schedule is the “cake recipe” that says what, when and how to do each action in our project.
To begin, you will need a special program called the Arduino IDE. The term IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment (IDE: Integrated Development Environment). Available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, it is a complete tool for encoding and recording our project. You can download it from this link here and install it on your computer.
Arduino IDE – Complete encoding and recording tool
Now that you have all the elements to start your projects with Arduino try to assemble and save some examples.
In the next articles, we will deal with how to make good assemblies, how to choose the best components and mainly many tips on how to program our Arduino. If you liked it, consider joining our VIP List to receive these and other news first hand. You can also share with your friends and leave your comment below with your questions, criticisms and suggestions and I will do my best to answer them.