Arduino Uno Projects
I recently purchased an Arduino Uno, an open source microcontroller that you can make cool projects involving lights and sensors. This is my first major foray into any sort of hardware/electrical engineering space (I did some robotics when I was younger and have always been interested in the mechanics behind my various guitar pedals). I wanted to document some of my projects and progress as I learn a bit more about the device and basic circuitry!
Arduino Project #1 -- LEDs + Series/Parallel Circuits
My first project involved a pretty simple setup of turning on a few LED lights with a switch and a combination of series and parallel circuits.
It was an interesting exercise in thinking about how the flow of electricity affects (and is affected by) each part of the completed circuit. This particular switch involved taking a power source (my computer) running it through a resistor, then a button (a circuit switch that blocks the flow of electricity unless pressed), a variety of wires connecting to an anode on the LED(s), and then connecting the cathode to a ground wire. See the diagram below for a rough idea of how this works:
This was obviously a super rudimentary exercise, but was helpful in illustrating a few concepts that I didn't realize:
- Switches for lights, etc. are essentially blocking the flow of electricity all the time until switched "ON".
- Understanding underlying breadboard design matters when building circuits.
Again, these are all probably super obvious to someone with a basic understanding of these concepts, but they were definitely new concepts for me!
Below is a video of the set up and testing the LED lights:
And here are some shots of a bird's eye view of the board and another version with three (instead of one) LEDs: