Basic electronics for Arduino Makers
4.5 (1,416 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
10,481 students enrolled

Basic electronics for Arduino Makers

An introduction to electronics to help you make the most from your Arduino or other prototyping platform.
4.5 (1,416 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
10,481 students enrolled
Last updated 2/2020
English, Indonesian [Auto], 3 more
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This course includes
  • 7.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand the concepts of voltage, resistance and current
  • Use Ohm's Law to calculate voltage, current and resistance
  • Use Kirchhoff's Laws to calculate voltage and current
  • Understand the meaning of and calculate energy and power
  • Use resistors in various configurations, like in voltage dividers and voltage ladders
  • Read the value of a resistor from its package
  • Use pull-up and pull-down resistors
  • Understand the use of capacitors
  • Use capacitors as energy stores and filters
  • Calculate the RC time constant of a capacitor
  • Understand diodes
  • Measure the voltage drop of a diode
  • Understand how to use rectifier and zener diodes
  • Protect a circuit from reverse polarity
  • Understand how to use a transistor to control low and high power loads
  • Calculate the currents and base resistor for a bipolar transistor
  • Use the correct voltage regulator for any circuit
  • Small circuits controlled by an Arduino
  • A basic understanding of electricity and electronics
  • Have assorted resistors, capacitors, LEDs, diodes, transistors, voltage regulators (see section 1 for details, free to view)
  • A breadboard, jumper wires and a battery (see section 1 for details, free to view)
  • A multimeter (see section 1 for details, free to view)
  • Basic algebra

Are you an Arduino maker, able to make things by following how-to guides and are confident with writing or modifying sketches, yet you are not so confident about things like calculating transistor currents, voltage drops and using capacitors as filters?

You are not alone. I have been teaching Arduino and Raspberry Pi topics for years. During this time I have realized that while these platforms are great for helping you to start tinkering with electronics, you will not be able to truly enjoy their power until you have understood basic electronics.

This is what this course is about. It is about helping you achieve a better level of understanding of the basic electronics principles and components that are commonly used in making on platforms like the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi.

I have designed this course for anyone with a basic understanding of electronics, who has already spent time tinkering with Arduinos. 

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to use commonly used components found in Arduino projects. You will also have learned how to do the relevant measurements and calculations to help you select appropriate components for your projects. 

To complete this course, you will need a few cheap and common components and tools: resistors, capacitors, transistors, LED, diodes, and batteries. You will also need a multimeter, a small breadboard and jumper wires. All of these are probably things that you already have.

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone with minimal experience using an Arduino
  • Anyone with minimal experience using any prototyping platform
  • Anyone with a need to brush up their knowledge of basic electronics
Course content
Expand all 48 lectures 07:35:41
+ Starting up
5 lectures 34:49

For a list of parts and tools that I use in this course please see

Preview 00:05
+ Electronics, basic concepts
9 lectures 01:15:38
Electricity, particles, and current
What is voltage?
What is voltage? (supplemental)
What is current?
What is resistance?
Ohm's Law

The questions in this quiz will test your understanding of Ohm's Law

Ohm's Law
6 questions
Calculating energy

These questions will test your understanding of power and energy.

Power and energy
3 questions
Kirchhoff's Law
Kirchhoff's Law example
+ Resistors
9 lectures 01:42:25
Introduction to resistors

These questions will help you practice your resistor value reading skills. 

Reading resistor values
2 questions
A simple resistor circuit
Resistor power rating

Can you determine if a given resistor can be safely used under the specified current requirements in the following questions?

Resistor power
3 questions
The variable resistor
Voltage divider

These questions will exercise you in calculating voltage divider outputs.

Voltage dividers
2 questions
Voltage divider with current draw

Using the 10% rule, calculate the appropriate resistors in the voltage divider for the following problem.

Voltage dividers, with current draw
1 question
Current divider

The questions in this quiz will help you practice solving current divider problems.

Current dividers
2 questions
Solution to Quiz 7, Question 2
Pull-up and pull-down resistors
+ Capacitors
6 lectures 01:03:39
Introduction to capacitors

These questions will help you practice your basic capacitor skills.

Basic capacitor quiz
3 questions
Capacitors for storing energy
Capacitors as filter
Capacitors in series and parallel

These questions are about capacitors connected in parallel.

Capacitors in parallel and series
7 questions
What is the RC time constant
An RC time constant experiment

These questions will help you practice your knowledge of the RC time constant.

RC time constant
1 question
+ Diodes
8 lectures 01:16:49
Introduction to diodes
Voltage drop and current regulation
Measuring the voltage drop in a diode
The voltage dropper circuit

These questions will help you practice your understanding of the diode voltage drop concept.

Voltage drop
2 questions
Zener diodes
A circuit that includes a zener diode with a load

This problem will help you consolidate your working knowledge of the Zener diode.

Zener diode
3 questions
Reverse polarity protection
How to calculate the appropriate resistor value for an LED

These questions will help you practice calculating the correct resistor for an LED.

Calculating the LED protective resistor
2 questions
+ Transistors
5 lectures 01:00:54
Introduction to transistors
Calculating the currents in a transistor circuit

Practice simple transistor circuits with these problems.

Calculating transistor currents
4 questions
A circuit with the 2N2222 bipolar transistor
A circuit with a TIP122 and a high-power LED
A circuit with a TIP122 and a motor
+ Voltage regulators
4 lectures 40:00
Introduction to IC voltage regulators
Fixed voltage regulator
A variable voltage regulator circuit
How to calculate the resistors for a variable voltage regulator

These problems will help you practice using the LM317 in your circuits.

Voltage regulation with the LM317
1 question
+ Conclusion
2 lectures 01:26
What did you learn? What's next?
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