The following tutorials on this page will make use of a couple of components. Below is a list of all the components that you should have if you want to do all the tutorials. After you read the description of these components you are ready to go to Chapter 2.
Breadboard – The microcontroller development board that will be at the heart of your projects. It’s a simple computer, but one that has no way for you to interact with it yet. You will be building the circuits and interfaces for interaction, and telling the microcontroller how to interface with other components.
Arduino Uno – The microcontroller development board that will be at the heart of your projects. It’s a simple computer, but one that has no way for you to interact with it yet. You will be building the circuits and interfaces for interaction, and telling the microcontroller how to interface with other components.
Battery Holder – Used to connect a 9V battery to power leads that can be easily plugged into a breadboard or your Arduino. Remember to check the required voltage levels of your components used in your project.
Capacitors – These components store and release electrical energy in a circuit. When the circuit’s voltage is higher than what is stored in the capacitor, it allows current to flow in, giving the capacitor a charge. When the circuit’s voltage is lower, the stored charge is released. Often placed across power and ground close to
a sensor or motor to help smooth fluctuations in voltage.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – A type of diode that illuminates when electricity passes through it. Like all diodes, electricity only flows in one direction through these components. You’re probably familiar with these as indicators on a variety of electronic devices. The anode, which typically connects to power, is usually the longer leg, and the cathode is the shorter leg.
Jumper Wires – Use these to connect components to each other on the breadboard, and to the Arduino. There are various types of jumper wires such as male-male wires and female-male wires.
Male header pins – These pins fit into female sockets, like those on a breadboard. They help make connecting things much easier.
Potentiometer – A variable resistor with three pins. Two of the pins are connected to the ends of a fixed resistor. The middle pin, or wiper, moves across the resistor, dividing it into two halves. When the external sides of the potentiometer are connected to voltage and ground, the middle leg will give the difference in voltage as you turn the knob. Often referred to as a pot. #e67e22
Pushbuttons – Momentary switches that close a circuit when pressed. They snap into breadboards easily. These are good for detecting on/ off signals.
Resistors – Resist the flow of electrical energy in a circuit, changing the voltage and current as a result. Resistor values are measured in ohms (represented by the Greek omega character: Ω). The colored stripes on the sides of resistors indicate their value.
DC Motor – Converts electrical energy into mechanical energy when electricity is applied to its leads. Coils of wire inside the motor become magnetized when current flows through them. These magnetic fields atract and repel magnets, causing the shaf to spin. If the direction of the electricity is reversed, the motor will spin in the opposite direction.
Diode– Ensures electricity only flows in one direction. Useful when you have a motor or other high current/voltage load in your circuit. Diodes are polarized, meaning that the direction that they’re placed in a circuit maters. Placed one way, they allow current to pass through. Placed the other way, they block it. The anode side generally connects to the point of higher energy in your circuit. The cathode typically connects to the point of lower energy, or to ground. The cathode is usually marked with a band on one side of the component’s body.
H-Bridge – circuit that allows you to control the polarity of the voltage applied to a load, usually a motor. The H-bridge in the kit is an integrated circuit, but it could also be constructed with a number of discrete components.
Servo Motor – A type of geared motor that can only rotate 180 degrees. It is controlled by sending electrical pulses from your Arduino. These pulses tell the motor what position it should move to.
Transistor– A three legged device that can operate as an electronic switch. Useful for controlling high current/high voltage components like motors. One pin connects to ground, another to the component being controlled, and the third connects to the Arduino. When the component receives voltage on the pin connected to an Arduino, it closes the circuit between the ground and the other component.