Blinken lights circuit

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

As mentioned earlier, Arduino consists of two major parts: the hardware (the Arduino board) and the Software (the IDE). The advantage of using the Arduino is that we can build a circuit and then modify how it responds by changing the code (instead of changing the hardware). The focus of this lesson will be on building a basic circuit with an LED.

Blinken lights circuit
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

We will then examine the code that makes the LED blink. So you don`t have to solder things together, you will temporarily build your circuits on the breadboard provided with your kit and change the code to modify how the device responds. This circuit calls for two pieces of hardware in addition to the Arduino, a red LED and a 1000 © resistor. LEDs are the lights in your kit, and a red one should be easy to find, so take one out now. The resistor might be a bit trickier because resistors are labeled with stripes instead of numbers. So let`s learn a bit about resistors so we know why they are used, and can pick the right one for the diagram. Resistors reduce the flow of electricity, or current, in a circuit. All electrical components resist to some degree, even wires, but resistors are designed specifically for that purpose. When you complete a circuit that has no resistance, current will flow through it as fast as the power source can provide it. If you have a source with a lot of available power this results in heat which may burn you or melt and ruin electrical components. A common metaphor for electrical current is water in pipes. If you have a pipe that is open to air, this is a bit like a circuit that is connected to ground. If you have a high pressure source and a wide pipe then a lot of water will flow through the pipe to air. If there is a narrow spot in the pipe somewhere this will slow the water and less water will...

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