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The following information is a single lesson in a larger project. Find more great projects here.

Return to Previous Lesson: Welcome to Arduino

Lesson Overview:

Now we'll discover the parts that come in the kit!

Step 1: Introduction

In the following steps you will get to know the components in your kit, the parts of the Arduino platform and tools available in the Circuits.io editor.

By now you have probably noticed that you have a lot of physical electronic parts on your desk and there is a breadboard and Arduino Uno on the screen, to the right.

The version of the Arduino kit in the web browser is called the circuit simulator. Here you can connect components together and program the virtual Arduino, then "simulate" the circuit to see what it would do in real life. The large area that the breadboard and Arduino are in is called the Workplane. This is like a virtual desk! The simulator is a great tool for modifying your circuit or trying new things without risking damaging any components. It also has a lot of extra information - like descriptions of individual components.

Your physical kit enables you to do some things that the simulator does not. For example, you can make a cardstock enclosure for many projects to make them more interactive. This is where the circuits really come to life!

Throughout the Basic Kit projects, most instructions apply to both versions of the kit (physical and virtual), but some steps will be marked as applying to one or the other.

Let's start exploring!

  1. Get out your Arduino kit, and continue to the next step.

Step 2: Arduino Kit Assembly

Your kit includes a pre-cut, easy to assemble wodden base that will make working on all your projects even easier.

To build it, take the wood sheet out of the box and follow the instructions in the picture, below. Be careful to use only parts that are shown, but don't misplace any of the other pieces: you'll need them for some of the projects later.

When you are done putting it together, the kit will look a lot like the Arduino and breadboard setup in the Workplane!

  1. Use the diagram to assemble your Arduino kit.

  2. Continue to the next step.

Step 3: Parts in Your Kit

Your kit comes with a large variety of components. The circuit simulator also has these available, and more! To access the components in the simulator, click on the Components + button in the top right corner of the page (picture below). Once this is open, you can click on the "All Components" tab to see list of components with descriptions.

Scroll through the Components + menu to find descriptions of the following components.

1) Arduino Uno

2) Breadboard

3) Battery Snap (9V battery)

4) Capacitor

5) DC motor

6) Diode

7) Gels (red, green, and blue light filters)

8) H-bridge

9) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

10) Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

11) Header pins (male)

12) Optocoupler

13) Piezo

14) Photoresistor

15) Potentiometer

16) Pushbuttons

17) Resistors

18) Servo motor

19) Temperature sensor

20) Tilt sensor

21) Transistor (N-MOSFET)

22) USB cable (USB standard A)

Notice that the Arduino Uno and Breadboard are already in the Workplane!

  1. Scroll through the "All Components" tab of the Components + menu and find the description of each component.

  2. Continue to the next step.

Step 4: Wires

The last component is not found in the Components + menu

23) Jumper wires

In the simulator, wire connections are created using just your mouse. Follow the instructions below to connect the ground (GND) socket on the Arduino to the ground rail (black row of sockets) on the breadboard. Then connect the 5V power socket on the Arduino to the power rail (bottom red row of sockets) on the breadboard.

You can also follow along with the jumper wires in your Arduino kit!

  1. Click on the 5V socket at the bottom of the Arduino Uno. With the mouse button pressed, drag the wire up to the bottom red row of sockets on the breadboard, and release. You have created your first wire connection!

  2. Repeat the same process to connect the GND socket at the bottom of the Arduino Uno to the black row of sockets on the breadboard.

  3. With the ground wire highlighted, you can also change its color using the dropdown menu. You can use the picture above as a guide for this step.

  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 5: Parts of the Arduino (1)

In the next few steps we will go over the parts of the Arduino board and their function. Match up each descriptions to the picture below, the Arduino in the Workplane, or the Arduino on your desk!

  1. Power connector - This is how you power your Arduino when it's not plugged into a USB port for power. It can accept voltages between 7-12V. You don’t need to do anything with this in the circuit simulator! The board is always powered.

  2. USB port - Used for powering your Arduino Uno, uploading your sketches (programs) to your Arduino, and for communicating with your Arduino sketch. Again, you don’t need to worry about this port in the simulator – the board automatically communicates with your program.

  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 6: Parts of the Arduino (2)

Locate the next two Arduino parts...

  1. Reset Button - Resets the ATmega microcontroller. This button is not really functional in the simulator – but on a physical board you might have to use it if your board isn’t acting the way you expect.

  2. TX and RX LEDs - These LEDs indicate communication between your Arduino and your computer. Expect them to flicker rapidly during sketch upload and while the board communicates with the computer. These lights are useful for debugging.

  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 7: Parts of the Arduino (3)

Find the next three parts on the Arduino...

  1. Digital pins – Interpret binary data (on or off) from an input component like a switch. You will learn that digital pins are used with digitalRead(), digitalWrite(), and analogWrite(). analogWrite() works only on the pins with the PWM (pulse width modulation) symbol.

  2. Analog pins - Interpret a range of signals from an input component. Use these pins with analogRead().

  3. Pin 13 LED - The only output built in to your Arduino Uno. Besides being handy for the blinking LED sketch in the next lesson, this LED is very useful for debugging.

  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 8: Parts of the Arduino (4)

Find the final 3 parts on the Arduino...

  1. ATmega microcontroller - The brain of your Arduino Uno!

  2. Power LED - Indicates that your Arudino is receiving power. This light is useful for debugging.

  3. GND and 5V pins - Use these pins to provide +5V power and 0V ground to your circuits. You already connected the ground (GND) an 5 volt (5V) pins to the breadboard with wires.

  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 9: Things You Need to Supply

Finally, there are a few items that you will need to supply yourself to make the tangible Arduino projects really come to life!

9V battery

Small light source like a flashlight

Conductive material like aluminum foil or copper mesh

Colored paper

Scissors

An old CD or DVD

Ping pong balls

Tape and glue

A box that you can cut holes into

Basic tools like a screwdriver 9V battery powered component

(Any battery powered electronic device with at least one switch or pushbutton that you’re willing to hack into will do the job - you'll need this for the project Hacking Buttons)

Soldering iron and solder (Needed only in the Hacking buttons project)

  1. Continue to the next lesson to learn how to use the code editor!

Next Lesson:Programming the Arduino (Simulator)

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