Tech Explorations™ Arduino Step by Step: Getting Started
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- Build simple circuits around the Arduino Uno, that implement simple functions.
Write simple Arduino sketches that can get sensor reading, make LEDs blink, write text on an LCD screen, read the position of a potentiometer, and much more.
Understand what is the Arduino.
- Understand what is prototyping.
- Understand analog and digital inputs and outputs
- Understand the ways by which the Arduino can communicate with other devices
- Use the multimeter to measure voltage, current, resistance and continuity
- Use protoboards to make projects permanent
- be productive with the Arduino IDE, write, compile and upload sketches, install libraries
- Understand what is Arduino programming, it's basic concepts, structures, and keywords
- Detect and measure visible light, color, and ultraviolet light
- Measure temperature, humidity and acceleration
- Measure the distance between the sensor and an object in front of it
- Detect a person entering a room
- Detect a noise
- Make noise and play music
- Display text on a liquid crystal display
- A Windows, Mac or Linux computer
- An Arduino Uno
- Electronics parts like resistors, LEDs, sensors, as listed in Section 1 of the course
- Essential tools: a mini breadboard, jumper wires, a multimeter, a soldering iron and solder, wire cutter
- Be excited about electronics!
This is the original, best-selling Arduino course on Udemy, by Tech Explorations, fanatically supported by Dr Peter Dalmaris. It is trusted by thousands of students, and contains 16 hours of content, quizzes, Github code repository, thousands of active student discussions, and countless downloadable and linked resources.
Please don't be confused by other courses with a similar name.
This course is for the new Arduino Maker.
Do you have a passion for learning?
Are you excited about becoming a Maker with the Arduino?
If you answered "yes!" to both, then you are ready to get started!
In making this course, I emphasized the importance of getting the basics right and learning to mastery. As an educator for over 15 years, I know first-hand that hitting a roadblock because you lack the fundamental knowledge to progress can be demotivating.
In ASbS 2017: Getting Started, I make sure that in the more than 15 hours of video content, mini projects and quizzes, we cover all the basics so that you can enjoy learning about the Arduino.
By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of the capabilities of the Arduino Uno, the best Arduino for people getting started, and you will be familiar with the capabilities of several of its cousins.
You will be comfortable with the basic prototyping tools and their usage, the basics of the Arduino programming environment, language and programming.
You will be able to use a variety of components. From simple buttons and LEDs, to visible color and ultraviolet light, and other environment sensors.
Apart from knowing how to use the components that I demonstrate in this course, you will also learn how to read datasheets, how to use libraries on your own, and how to learn the skills you need to create the gadgets you want, on your own. With knowledge comes freedom, and I will help you get there.
I invite you to review the free lectures in the first section of the course to find out more details about it.
If you are excited about becoming a Maker with the Arduino, join many other Makers and me in Arduino Step by Step 2017: Getting Started!
I look forward to learning with you!
- Students over 10 years of age, or younger with with adult supervision. Young students should be supervised at all times when using a soldering iron.
- Students with a little or no prior experience with electronics or programming.
In this lecture I will describe the course so that you know exactly what to expect from it.
In this lecture, I will walk you through the, absolutely, basic and necessary tools that you need for this course. Those tools are fewer than you may think. You don't need that much in order to have fun with electronics.
In this lecture, I will walk you through the hardware and the tools that you need to do the experiments. E.g. LCD screen, buttons shield, a microphone, an infrared motion sensor, and many other bits and pieces.
In this lecture I'd like to show you the features that are available for you during your learning process. Let's have a look first at the structure of each one of the sections. All the lectures are organized into sections. We use the multiple choice quizzes to test and consolidate your knowledge. Brain stretchers to challenge your thinking. Schematics are available to download. Q & A if you need help.
Remember that there is always help available.
The way by which you teach the Arduino what to do, is by programming it. An Arduino program is called a sketch and the best way to write one is to use the free programming environment that is offered by the company that makes the Arduino. This programming environment called the Arduino IDE or Arduino Integrated Programming Environment has been designed with a new Arduino maker in mind and provide a gentle introduction to programming.
The Arduino IDE is used to write a sketch, check that is correct and provide a simple way of uploading it to your Arduino so that it runs on it. In this section, I will introduce you to the Arduino IDE and walk you through all of its most important features and prepare you for becoming very productive with it.
What I want to talk about in this lecture is the Arduino integrated development environment, the IDE, the free tool that you use in order to program your Arduino.
In a later lecture in the same section I'm going to show you how to use the USB port to program you Arduino
In the previous section, you learned about the Arduino IDE, the tool of choice for people new to the Arduino. When it comes to the Arduino and microcontrollers in general, programming is a case skill. It's as important at least as a basic understanding of electronics but fear not. It can achieve a lot by achieving a basic level of competency in programming. In this section, I will introduce you to the Arduino programming basics. You will learn about functions, variables, and control structures. You'll learn how to control the Arduino digital input and output pins. You will use this knowledge to control LEDs and read the state of buttons and the geometers, some of the most commonly used components in Arduino prototyping.
In this lecture we will talk about loops and conditionals. Conditionals are useful when you want to change the flow of execution in your sketch, and loops are useful when you want to repeat a block of code multiple times. Very often, these two work together and that's why I discuss them here together. Let's start with a conditional, and let's have a look at the simplest conditional out there. It's the "if" statement.
Another very common looping structure that is available on the Arduino is the "for" loop.
The "for" loop is a way to explicitly repeat a block of code a specific number of times that we have predetermined.
In this lecture I will show you how this works.
The next structure that I'd like to show you for this part of the lecture is the "switch" structure.
The "switch" structure provides an easy way to allow you to jump to a particular part of the structure, depending on the value of the variable.
This is useful if you have things such as a bunch of buttons and you want your gadget to do something different depending on which button was pressed.
Now that you have a good, even though it's just the beginning, understanding of some of the basic concepts in Arduino programming. You can move on and have a look at how to use the digital input and output pins that come with the Arduino. Of course input and output are fundamental features of the market controller can connect devices to special pins on your Arduino and to read or change the state of these pins, through special instructions in your sketch. There are two kinds of input and output pins on the Arduino. They are digital and analog pins.
In this lecture,we'll start with digital pins.
Getting an LED to blink is quite easy once you understand how to configure a digital pin to become an output control, the delay, and so on fairly simple.But what about a button? A button requires to configure a digital pin as an input, so that we can use it to detect the button's state. In this lecture, I will show you how to do this.
In this lecture we will continue our work with the Arduino's input/output pins by taking a look at the analog pins.
Analog signals on microcontrollers is a tricky topic. Most microcontrollers can't generate true analog signals, that means they cannot create and output true analog signals, like an audio signal for example. But they are better at reading analog signals, so they can read for example, the output of a microphone. The atmega328p which is used in the Arduino Uno simulates analog signals using a technique called "pulse width modulation", and I'll talk a little bit about it a bit later when we look at how we can get the LED to, instead of just turning on and off, to get it to fade gradually from an fully off state to a fully on state.
In this section, I will introduce you to your first set of sensors. You can use these sensors to detect the visible light, light color, and ultraviolet light. Sensors like these can be used in all sorts of gadgets. You can use a light sensor to detect light intensity in a room so that your home automation system can figure out when to turn on the lights. You can use an RGB sensor to sort LEGO bricks according to color, and then ultraviolet sensor to know if you should stay away from the outdoors. These are just some examples. There are so many more in industrial and consumer applications. Let's have a look at light sensors.
In this lecture we're going to play around with the photoresistor. The photoresistor is one of the simplest sensors that you can use with your Arduino. It's a very simple analog device you measure voltage as it spins and that gives us an indication of the intensity of the light in the area around the sensor.
In this lecture we're going to play a run with an RGB light sensor. This is the TCS 35725 sensor and is packaged nicely as a breakout from Adafruit. Adafruit has also supplied their really nice, easy to use library that I'll be using in my demonstration later. This light sensor is based on an integrated circuit right in the middle of the breakout. It's got also a very bright, pure, wide any day in order to illuminate the scene.
Building an environment monitoring gadget, is one of the first things that people new to the Arduino make. Just looking at these sensors, expose you to a great variety of types from simple and cheap analog devices to sophisticated, highly accurate, and factory calibrated digital devices.
This section has a lot to offer. In this section, I will demonstrate sensors such as the hugely popular DHT 22 and 11 sensor, the analog thermistor which will give us the opportunity to study a way to improve the accuracy of analog measurements with the Arduino, and the very accurate MCP9808. Let's learn about temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors
In this lecture we're going to talk about the DHT22 or DHT11 depending on which version of the sensor you have.
It's a very, very popular, very versatile and capable sensor that in a single package allows you to measure temperature and humidity. It's a digital sensor which means that the information that you get out of it is already containing the temperature and the humidity and you don't have to do any calculations, any conversions at all. What you get is what you need.
It's very simple to use as well, and in this lecture I'm going to go straight into demonstrating the wiring and then playing around with the sketch that extracts the temperature and the humidity out of it.
In this lecture we're going to play around with another very simple analogue component, analogue sensor, the thermistor. In the thermistor, the resistance of the device changes as the temperature changes and through a circuit like the one that we saw in the photo resistor lecture, the voltage divider, we are able to detect that change in resistance by measuring the voltage across the pins of the thermistor.
In this lecture I will show you how to use a library to extract more accurate and easier temperature readings from the thermistor.
BEWARE! In the video, I have mistakenly connected the thermistor in the opposite position in the voltage divider. Please take care to follow the schematic, not the video!
It is possible to improve the accuracy of the analog-to-digital conversion on the Arduino by using a different reference. This will result to more accurate readings from devices like the thermistor.
In this lecture, I will show you how to do this.
In this lecture we're going to look at a classic analog sensor, the TMP36. This little device here, very cheap, is used specifically for taking temperature measurements. It's an analogue sensor which means that, you plug it into one of the analog pins on your Arduino and then use a small function to convert the voltage that you get out of this device, into a meaningful number.
One thing that you can do in order to get a slightly better reading as I briefly mentioned earlier is to the change the connection of the supply voltage to the sensor from the five volts pin to the 3.3 volt pin. The reason that we do that and the reason why this can potentially improve your readings slightly is because, on the Arduino Uno, the five volts supply comes from the USB port which comes from my computer or from an external supply.I will show you how to do this in this lecture.
If you are looking for a temperature sensor that has got really good accuracy, much better than the DHC22 and the thermistor that we’ve seen so far, then you’re looking for something like this.
This is the MCP9808, it’s a break out from other fruit, contains a temperature sensor on board that provides up to plus or minus 0.25 centigrade of accuracy. It’s an ice squid-C device Arduino it comes with a very convenient easy to use library as well. As a part of the break out, you also get lines that allow you to change and control the address, so that there’s no interference with other ice squid-C devices on your gadget, on your circuit that happened to use the same address. I’m going to show you how that works.
In this lecture, we’ll start as usual with a quick look at the data sheet to understand what this device is about and its operational characteristics. Then we look at the wiring, implement the device on the breadboard and play around with the sketch.
In this lecture, we'll have a look at the BMP180 sensor from Bosch. As usual, we'll start by having a quick look at the data shade so that we can get a feel of the specifications and the operational parameters of the sensor itself. Then, we're going to move into the wiring section. As far as these sketch are concerned I'm going to show you two sample sketches - one is using a library from Adafruit and the other one from SparkFun.
In this section, I will show you how to detect acceleration. With a sensor like the ADXL355, your gadgets will be able to detect which way they are sitting on a table, whether they're falling, or whether they have just hit a solid object like the floor. An accelerometer is one of several ways available to detect motion and orientation. Let's have a closer look at the ADXL355