Arduino Concepts

In this book, we will look at the Arduino hardware and software platform. When someone mentions “Arduino” in conversation, the word can mean a number of things. Arduino is a company (actually two companies, but we won’t get into that now) that produces electronics hardware and software. An Arduino device is often simply called an Arduino, although each model also has a more specific name. (“My project uses an Arduino.”) Software for these devices is developed using the Arduino IDE and associated code libraries.

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In this chapter, we will go step-by-step through a few simple projects to demonstrate various ways to use the Arduino. Blinking LED Many impressive projects involve LED light effects of some sort. At the heart of it all is the concept of turning an LED on and off in a regular pattern. Doing this is very easy! To light an LED, all you need is a power source and a resister.

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Communications come in three forms: Communicating between two Arduinos. Communicating between an Arduino and a computer. Communicating with a common hub. USB Serial to computer Using serial communications via the Arduino Serial class is very useful for debugging or to send data to a computer for heavier analysis. The Arduino IDE has a built-in serial monitor, as do the Visual Micro extension for Visual Studio and other tools. You can also write your own code in, say, Python, to read/write to the serial port and talk to the Arduino board however you please.

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In this section, we will explore the Arduino’s ability to read analog data and to generate signals that serve a purpose similar to analog signals. Reading analog voltages Each Arduino board has a row of pins capable of reading analog input. By “analog”, we mean that the input data is determined by the voltage applied to the pin. Although in theory there are infinitely many levels between any two voltages, the actual number of distinct values is limited by noise and the type of hardware reading the voltages.

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