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My First Arduino

on March 28, 2012

I am undergoing a geeky transformation. I never thought this thing could excite me but OMG! it’s AMAZING!

I got my first Arduino!!!!

For the uninitiated, Arduino is an open source hardware. It’s simply a microprocessor board that comes with all the basics things to get the microprocessor running. So all you have to do, is download the Arduino environment, plug the board to your laptop, add in any external hardware that you need and write amazing programs!

The Arduino language itself is very simple. It is merely a set of C/C++ functions which undergo a few change as they are compiled. The ‘sketch’, as it is known has a setup() that I compare to the main() in C language and a loop(). The setup() is run only once at the start or at reset. It is use to initialize variables, pin modes and start using libraries. The loop() usually contains the major section of the code and runs over and over again. It responds to changes and is used to control the board. Then, there are libraries that have been developed, by Arduino and other users, which further simplify things like writing to LCDs and getting input form a keypad. All this is done in the Arduino environment which looks like this.

Arduino Environment

Arduino Environment

There are a whole lot of Arduino boards to choose from. I picked a Arduino Mega– an awesome Arduino board based on the 8 bit ATmega2560. It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 14 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It plugs into a computer with a standard USB cable.

Arduino Mega 2560 R3

Arduino Mega 2560 R3

The board came in a rather pretty package (oh yes, presentation matters!) and for my life, I didn’t imagine it to be this small! I know it says “4 and2.1 inches” (approx. 10cm by 5 cm) on the site but how small that is hit me only once i saw the board. But well, the board is pretty big when compared to the other Arduinos.

Arduino 2560 Box / Package

Arduino 2560 Box

So, I have unwrapped my first Arduino and just started tinkering around with the board. Let’s see how it goes!

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One response to “My First Arduino

  1. emayssat says:

    Welcome to the Arduino Community 😉

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