How To: What is An Arduino? (Part 1)

What is An Arduino? (Part 1)

What is An Arduino? (Part 1)

I'm back. School's an ass.

On my quest for knowledge, which started approximately 3 years ago, I can upon an interesting little artifact. It is called the Arduino.

What Is the Arduino?

The Arduino is an open-sourced prototype board. You use it to make projects, and is great for electronics and learning electronics. Whether it is a small blinking LED controlled by a button, or even a home automation system, the Arduino is your imagination, all stuffed into a credit card-sized blue board.

The Arduino appears in many different models. However, the most basic and common one is the Arduino UNO. However, you have other versions, such as the very tiny Arduino NANO, which is bite-sized chipset-like board that acts like a miniature size Arduino. You have the Arduino MEGA, which has more I/O pins and is great for complex projects. There is much more (I remember there is actually even a Arduino Robot), but the ideal prototype board is the UNO, as shown below:

This is mine. It is from a 3rd-party retailer, hence the Sunfounder logo. Basically the same as an Arduino :P

How to Get Started

When you buy an Arduino when getting started, its foolish to buy just the Arduino. You have to get a kit.

Here are some recommended:

1.Make: Ultimate Arduino Microcontroller Kit:
http://www.makershed.com/products/ultimate-arduino-microcontroller-pack

2.Sparkfun's Inventor Kit:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12060?gclid=CjwKEAiA-s6zBRDWudDL2Iic4QQSJAA4Od3Xv9dGOkvaiVOAmJ7S2rWWO9lrId_EG5lTEYWW1DwClRoCQ_Xw_wcB

  1. Adafruit Starter Pack for Arduino:

https://www.adafruit.com/products/68?gclid=CjwKEAiA-s6zBRDWudDL2Iic4QQSJAA4Od3Xa0jNpHILmQFEqvXD2qshEWqEAxlnskf1J57GT53zdhoCrK_w_wcB

  1. Book from Make:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Xd3SBQAAQBAJ&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1&gl=US&gclid=CPjp2uLh5skCFQV4NwodcCQPfg&gclsrc=ds

I have set up my own DIY kit. It includes a breadboard, jumper wires, many different types of resistors, colored LEDs, transistors, relay, buttons, etc. Ideal for learning Arduino

In my opinion, you can get any kit you want. However, I recommend that it should have these:

  • Jumper Wires/Cables
  • LEDs (Colored)
  • Assorted resistors
  • Push buttons
  • LCD
  • Relay
  • Breadboard (Solderless)
  • Transistors
  • Arduino (duh)
  • USB cable FOR the Arduino

Arduino IDE

The Arduino IDE (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software) is the batteries-included development environment where you write code in a C-like language. This code is later uploaded as a sketch to the Arduino board, when you connect it with a USB cable. The Arduino acts like a sort-of CPU, and executes the code. For example if I write a sketch of a blinking LED on pin 13, and upload it to the Arduino, the LED I attached to pin 13 will start blinking. This is only the simple stuff. You can do much MUCH more with it (you can even integrate python, showing how flexible the language is)

Image via sparkfun.com

Like the canonical "Hello World!" program, the Arduino's most basic sketch is the Blinking LED program, where an LED on Pin 13 blinks.

In Conclusion

There is so much more about Arduino I haven't covered. If I am back (probably, since break is starting), I will introduce you to more Arduino, and talk about stuff likes shields, the anatomy of the board, and get started with some projects!!!

Thanks for reading. Its great to be back!!!!

2 Comments

Nice! I bought an Arduino a year or so ago but didn't get to play with it much. Maybe since I'm on break too I'll start messing with it a bit more.

Do you have any idea on what sort of projects you'll be covering?

Well, for now, I'm thinking about the basic breadboard stuff: LED blinking, using a pushbutton, etc. I might get into more complicated projects later on, and even integrate it into pentesting.

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