Hey guys, after many days of break I’m back on Electric Web. Sorry for “abandoning ship” but I had to take Final Exams. But now they’re over and I have vacation going on and I decided to learn something new this time. Every vacation I used to learn a new programming language, make websites, blogs, earn money from doing all sorts of programming projects on web and what not. But this time I decided to try my hands on the Arduino…. and you’re like ,”what?”
If you are an electronics geek like me, with motors and resistors and broken gadgets lying in every corner of your room but you never actually made anything out of them then arduino is the solution for you, Arduino is basically a micro-controller or an open source electronics prototyping platform as they like to call it. Made in Italy, this small chip is THE thing that you need for tinkering all your electronics projects and the best part is that – “It’s OPEN SOURCE.” that means if you don’t want to buy one then you can create one for yourself as arduino gives you the schematics for free! You can even buy clones but buying the original help the community.
As I told you above, Arduino is open-source, so if you don’t want to buy one then you can create one for yourself at home and start using it. Get the Arduino Uno R3 Schematics here
There does not exist just one Arduino micro-controller, there are currently 19 Arduino micro-controller out there! Each of them if for a specific purpose, and specialization. However the most popular ones are :-
- Arduino Uno R3
- Arduino Esplora
- Arduino Ethernet
- Arduino Mega ADK
- Arduino Robot
For beginners there is one advice – Buy the Arduino Uno R3, it can do almost all the things that you want it to, not too complicated stuff but it is good for learning and building you’r projects. You can even make advanced projects with it once you are a pro. In future you may upgragde it (instead of buying a new one) using Shields.
Arduino Shields are small (unit) circuit boards, which you can snap onto you Arduino board to add extra and specialized functionality to it. Example:-
- Arduino WiFi shield
- Arduino Ethernet shield
- Arduino USB Host shield, etc.
What Powers the Arduino?
Different boards are powered by different chip micro-controllers. The Arduino Uno R3 is powered by a ATmega328 (CPU – 8 bit AVR) single chip micro-controller. The R3 has 14 digital I/O pins (6 of them support PWM), 6 Analog I/O pins, and 16 MHz crystal oscillator.
The Arduino boards can be powered by a USB, DC supply, and by another Arduino.
Arduino has its own simple programming language in which you create programs and upload them onto your Arduino board. The language is very simple and similar to Java. You have to download the language package from their website.
How much will it cost?
Buying the Arduino R3 from the official site will cost you around €20.0 + VAT. But I highly recommend you to buy a starter kit, because the Arduino alone is of no use, you will need hell lots of other stuff. The starter kit on Arduino’s official site costs around €80.0 + VAT. But you can even buy a cheaper one from MGSuperLabs (I got mine from here, awesome service and support.) which will cost you only around Rs. 3500 or $56.
What can I make using it?
Frankly saying,I cannot answer this question. There is no limit to what you can make with an Arduino, all of it depends upon your imagination and your devotion to it, however some of the coolest projects that I have seen are :-