Actually Building Electronics

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This is the sequel to my post, An Introduction to Electronics. The Arduino Starter Kit comes with an Arduino Uno R3, a breadboard, a book, and plenty of components to create projects. The Arduino has female sockets where jumper cables can be inserted to carry power over to the breadboard. One important concept that you need to know is Ohm’s Law. Ohm’s Law states that voltage (in volts) is equal to the product of current (in amperes) and resistance (in Ohms). In addition, you should also know that current will take the path of the least resistance. If current is given two paths, one with a lot of resistance and one without much resistance, a majority of the current will take the path with the less resistance while a minority will take the path with more resistance.








The breadboard is where your projects are built. Some need to be soldered, but it is easier with one that is solder-less, obviously. It has strips of conductive metal in it so the power and ground run vertically and everything else runs horizontally (see arrows). There is a division in the middle to separate each row in two so power will not go to the other half. The Arduino is your power source, but can also be programmed. To start out, it will act only as a power source. (Try not to electrocute yourself; build circuits while the Arduino is off)

On the left are the 5-volt and ground. Two jumper cables then take the power to the breadboard. The 5 volts go to the + column and the ground goes to the – column. A resistor, that turns some current flowing through it to heat, is then put into + column and receives the five volts from the jumper cable. The resistor then goes to the seventh row. The LED’s anode is also in the seventh row and receives the 5 volts. The LED’s cathode is then put in the eighth row where it then connects to a jumper cable that is then connected to the ground row that then goes to ground on the Arduino. Since the circuit is closed, the LED will emit light.
This seems fine, but this is rather simple. You can add interactivity by putting a button into the circuit. When the button is pressed, it completes the circuit and the circuit will complete its task; otherwise, the circuit is open and does nothing. You can put the buttons in a series or in parallel. Buttons in a series require both buttons to be pressed to complete the circuit, while buttons in parallel only require one of the buttons to be pressed.



















So there are some of the basics of building an electronic circuit. This is not an exhaustive course on circuit building, by any means, but it adds a few more tools to your tool belt.


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1 Comment

  1. Geek Brain July 3, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Good post. Honestly I hadn’t heard of solderless breadboards before . This would be great especially for younger folks.

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