Introducing Arduino

Hi guys, its Hackmonstar,

If this is this is your first time getting to know about the Arduino and you are interested in getting started and wanting to know more about the Arduino, then you’re just at the right page as i’m gonna be giving you a  very quick but detailed introduction into the world of Arduino, just enough to get you up and running with the next series ARDUINO LESSONS. You can order / buy your Arduino board and other electronics component and accessories you need to build more interesting project at very cheaper rate from the DAEROBOTiCS online store by tapping or clicking here : DAEROBOTICS ONLINE SHOP and it would be delivered immediately to you anywhere around Nigeria.

To follow up this introductory lesson you can watch the video of the live demonstration where i explained thoroughly the Arduino board.

THE ARDUINO BOARD

The Arduino Uno board is a development board based on the ATMega328p microcontroller. You can write programs to this board to make it control external devices such as LED Bulbs, Motors, Dish washers, Electric fans, Air conditions , Displays e.t.c . It can also take in input from sensors, buttons and other input peripherals. All these are done with the help of its good number of pins. In general, the Pins on an Arduino board can be grouped into two:

  • GPIO pins
  • Power pins.

GPIO PINS

There are 20 GPIO pins on an Arduino, these GPIO pins can be either Analog or Digital.
GPIO(General Purpose Input-Output) pins are wired links through which the Arduino board interacts and communicates with the outside world. Arduino can use this pins to interact with other devices ranging from simple peripherals like LEDs, buttons to heavy load devices such as Fans, TVs etc.GPIO pins can be either Analog or Digital.

The Arduino Analog pins take continuous stream input voltage from 0 V to 5 Volts with a 10bits resolution (i.e from 0 t0 1023). These pins are 6 in number labelled A0 to A5 on the board. While the Digital pins can only take two values 0 and 1 in form of 0 volts and 5 volts. These pins are 14 in number labelled 0 to  13. Digital Pins can be made to stay to in two states- that is INPUT state or OUTPUT state. When the digital pin is set to INPUT state, it can only “take in” values of 0’s and 1’s but when set to OUTPUT, it can only “give out” values of 0’s and 1’s. A digital pin can never be in OUTPUT and INPUT state at the same time.

POWER PINS

A typical Arduino board has about 8 to 9 power pins labelled (VIN, GND, 3.3V, 5V). Power pins are used to supply power to and from the Arduino board.

Supplying power to the Arduino Board : Without supplying power to the Arduino Board it can’t work
There are 3 ways to supply power to the Arduino board

1- Using the Power pins (VIN and GND): To power using the power pins, you connect the positive of power supply(e.g battery, solar e.t.c ) to the ViN and the negative of the power supply to the GND of the Arduino. Note your power supply can only have voltages between 6v to 12v, anything above may heat up or burn the regulator on the Arduino and you wouldn’t want that. See how to power using pins in the image below

Using the power pins (VIN and GND to supply power to the Arduino board)

2- Using Power jack: You can also power up the arduino using a DC-DC power jack as in the image below. Also your power supply can only have voltages between 6v to 12v, anything above may heat up or burn the regulator on the Arduino and you wouldn’t want that.

Powering the Arduino board through the power jack

3- Using the USB connector: Although the USB is used to program the Arduino Board which you would see later in this lesson, But it could be also used to power the Arduino board from your laptop. See image below

Powering the Arduino through the USB connector

Powering other devices from Arduino Board: We can also power other devices from the Arduino board. This is different from supplying power to the Arduino board. To power other devices from the Arduino board, you connect positive terminal of the device to the (5V) pin of the Arduino and you connect the negative terminal of the device to the (GND) pin of the Arduino.

You can only power other devices from the Arduino board while the Arduino board is also been powered up through any of the 3 method we specified in the “Supplying power to the Arduino Board” section. This is because the Arduino board doesn’t have power of its own to give out.

The Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

The Arduino IDE is a software which provides the environment where we can write programs and load into the Arduino board. You would have to install the IDE on your laptop or Desktop. Without loading our written program/code to the Arduino board, it is just a dummy- meaning that the Arduino board can’t do anything without the a program. It is the program that tells it what to do But when programs are loaded unto the Arduino, the Arduino can perform tasks than even humans cannot perform and it does these tasks accurately and endlessly.

When writing programs on the Arduino IDE, you use the Arduino programming language/syntax. This language is a high-level language which is more understandable to you the writer of the program/code as a human being but the Arduino board doesn’t understand these high level language. Arduino only works with machine language- that is binary data(0’s and 1’s).
But there is good news for you !!!. Due to the fact that it doesn’t understand high-level language, when uploading the code to the Arduino board, it is the job of the Arduino IDE to translate/convert the high-level language to machine language, so you don’t need to bother yourself about that. In ARDUINO LESSON_1 (PART_1) you’ll learn how to install and use the use the Arduino IDE to write you first program to blink an LED. So check out the next lesson.

We’ve come to end of today’s lesson. Hope you enjoyed it and gained enough knowledge to get you started with next lesson on the Arduino. IF you’ve got any questions/comment, place in the comment section below and i’ll reply when i see them. Bye for now.

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