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Return to Previous Lesson: Programming the Arduino (Kit)

Lesson Overview:

Now we'll build our first simple circuit!

Step 1: Introduction

The example sketch that you ran only blinks an LED on the Arduino board itself. Things will get a lot more exciting when we start adding components to the breadboard!

Let's do another blinking LED sample, but this time a separate LED will be connected to pin 13 on the Arduino Uno.

  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: Connecting Power and Ground (1)

Start out by connecting the power and ground rails of the breadboard to the 5 Volt and Ground pins of the Arduino Uno.

This step will be done at the beginning of all of your projects!

  1. To make the first connection with a wire, simply click on the 5 Volt pin on the Arduino Uno. You will see a red line extend up from that pin that you can drag around with the cursor.
  2. Next, find the horizontal row of red sockets on the breadboard and connect the wire there.
  3. Continue to the next step

Step 3: Connecting Power and Ground (2)

Next, you will do the same with a ground pin and the ground rail of the breadboard.

There are three ground pins on the Arduino Uno, but you only need to connect one of them. Follow the instructions below to connect and change the color of the wire. You can use the picture below as a guide.

  1. Click on one of the ground (GND) pins and drag a wire up to the horizontal black row of breadboard sockets.
  2. Change the color of this wire to black by highlighting the wire with your cursor and using the drop down menu.
  3. This process will be repeated in all of your Arduino projects!
  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 4: Connect an LED and Resistor

Next, you will add an LED and resistor to the breadboard and connect them to pin 13 on the Arduino.

Open the Components + menu at the top right corner of the Workplane to view all of the components again. Using the picture below as a guide, snap the components onto the breadboard. As you drag components around, they will naturally snap onto the breadboard sockets.

  1. Drag an LED into the Workplane and place it in row E on the breadboard.
  2. Next, drag a resistor into the Workplane and use it to connect the the left terminal of the LED to the ground rail (as shown in the picture).
  3. Finally, connect a wire between the right terminal of the LED and pin 13 on the Arduino Uno.
  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 5: Simulate the Circuit!

Now try starting the simulation!

You will see that two LEDs are now blinking: the one on the Arduino Uno as well as the LED on the breadboard.

If you aren't familiar with the function of all of these components, don't worry! We will cover this in much more detail throughout the course.

  1. Simulate the circuit by pressing the "Start Simulation" button.
  2. Continue to the next step.

Step 6: Additional Functions in the Simulator (1)

Finally, let's review some of the features of the circuit simulator that you have already used -- and the rest that you will use later in the course.

Inside the Code Editor:

The Code Editor is where you write, upload and run sketches. There are a few additional buttons in here, which are described below.

  1. Open up the Code Editor and explore the additional buttons and features.
  2. Libraries - Pieces of code that expand the function of a program. In the case of Arduino libraries, they either enable communication with a particular piece of hardware, or are used for modifying data.
  3. Download Code - Use this button to create a file that you can import into the Arduino IDE on your computer. This will be helpful if you start a project in the simulator, then want to transfer it to the physical Arduino board.
  4. Serial Monitor - A tool built into the Arduino IDE that allows you to send and receive data between the computer and the Arduino.
  5. Continue to the next step.

Step 7: Additional Functions in the Simulator (2)

There are also 5 icons in the top left corner of the simulator that you might find useful while working on your projects.

The most useful modes, described below, will be the Lab View and Bill of Materials!

  1. Lab view - the mode that you are currently in, allows you to drag and drop components into the Workplane.
  2. Schematics view - shows you a diagram representation of what you are working on in the Workplane.
  3. PCB view - shows you what your project would look like if you made it into a printed circuit board.
  4. Bill of materials - a list of all of the components that you are currently using.
  5. Continue to the next step.

Step 8: Review

  1. Continue to the next lesson to review some prerequisites for the Arduino Basic Kit projects.

Next Lesson:Prerequisites

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