Today, Arduino is one of the most valuable elements to start in the field of electronics, since it was designed for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating electronic projects ; both at the software level and also in terms of hardware. This is mainly due to the fact that the Arduino does not require a separate piece of hardware to upload new code to the microcontroller because it uses a USB cable .
Added to this, thanks to the fact that it uses a simplified version of C ++, the Arduino IDE is characterized by being easy to program. Additionally, said board has the ability to interact with buttons, motors, speakers, cameras, LEDs, GPS units, smartphones and the Internet. Which makes it a flexible software and hardware to carry out didactic projects or any electronics project.
But, beyond its useful characteristics for this, it is important to know what each and every one of the components of an Arduino board are . Since, these elements are essential to be able to start from scratch and thus, program your first open source projects correctly. So, next, you will know the modules that make up an Arduino board .
All the components that make up an Arduino board that you must know to learn to program from 0
While it is true, Arduino is a board- based electronics prototyping platform that has several components from which it manages to operate as a device that connects the analog world with the digital world.
Therefore, to further detail what an Arduino board consists of, it is worth knowing what its parts are and what they are about, here:
It is an integrated circuit that is defined as the part that has the power to process all the information and, therefore, is the area where the code known as “Sketch” is recorded in the Arduino software . Therefore, it is estimated as the brain of an Arduino board and is characterized by being a black element with metal legs.
In that sense, the microcontroller on an Arduino board operates as a programmable integrated circuit that, by default, has the ability to perform complex mathematical operations at high speed .
They are those that are responsible for detecting if there is a logical ZERO or a logical ONE and are used both for the digital input and also for the digital output . Either, for example, to press a button and to turn on an LED, respectively. This means that the digital pins are used for pressing buttons or devices that send and / or receive information of a digital type . These pins go from 0 to 13.
They correspond to the area of pins in the frame of the “analog” and thanks to this, they are able to detect analog signals (temperature or light, for example). To do this, they have a segment of operating voltage that fluctuates between 0 and 5 volts . As a consequence, analog pins are pins that can read the signal from an analog sensor and transform it into a digital value that can be displayed . Which means that, via the analog pins, it is possible to measure things in the real world .
Sensor power pins
They provide a supply between 6 and 12 volts that, directly, goes to the voltage regulator. Through these pins, there is also the possibility of powering the Arduino with batteries or batteries . However, in that way, there is no polarity protection diode or overcurrent protection.
They are specific pins that act like normal digital pins and, at the same time, can be used for “Pulse Width Modulation” or what is known as “PWM” in English. Physically, these pins are distinguished by containing a tilde (~) next to some of the digital pins, such as: 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 .
It is a single pin that, most of the time, can be left alone in place. Basically, it refers to an element that has analog reference support and is sometimes used to be able to establish an external reference voltage between 0 and 5 volts. Which, works as the upper limit of the analog input pins .
On an Arduino board , there are always multiple GND pins and any one of them can be used to connect the circuit to ground . Hence, its name, which is short for “land” in English. For its part, when it comes to locating it, it is right next to the AREF pin .
It refers to the reset button that is connected to pin number one of the microcontroller, directly. Which is better known as “Clear” or “Master Clear” . Now, once this button is pushed, the reset pin is temporarily connected to ground, in order to reset any code that is loaded on the Arduino board .
It should be noted that this requires 5 volts to run the program, while the button interrupts the voltage to 0 volts to stop the same program that Arduino is executing, in order to start it again.
It is a component that is also identified as “USB Connector” and is the one that allows you to connect the Arduino board to a certain computer. Thus, it offers the possibility of loading the required code and feeding the card correctly .
Basically, USB control consists of a moderator that operates between the microcontroller and the software . Reason why, this focuses on converting the information transmitted by the microcontroller to the data that goes to the used equipment.
As its name indicates, it is an element that offers the possibility of feeding the card with a direct current voltage that can be 7 to 12 volts. Assessing that, every time the Arduino board is connected to an electrical outlet, the power LED indicator will have to light up . If not, something is probably wrong.
On an Arduino board, the voltage regulator is in charge of controlling the amount of voltage that is left on the board . This means that, practically, it acts as a watchdog that will prevent the entry of an additional voltage with which it could cause damage to the circuit. Generally, this voltage regulator supports a stable 5 volt output without depending on the input voltage .
Reception (RX) and Transmission (TX) Serial
They are a kind of markings that, in electronics, are used to indicate the pins responsible for serial communication . As a consequence, it consists of an Arduino Uno board component that focuses on externalizing when the board is receiving or transmitting data, visually. Taking into account that, it consists of a transmission that is carried out through pins Zero and One .
Specifically, this element has the ability to set the pulse or work time to the microcontroller in order to operate perfectly on an Arduino board. Thus, a crystal is a kind of electronic oscillator circuit that creates an electrical signal with a precise frequency in order to control the exact working time .
List of the best Arduino kits to create your first OpenSource projects
To build circuits in Arduino, it is necessary to have an Arduino kit through which you can create your projects in a more pertinent way . Since, with all the necessary material, this will help you to accelerate the learning process considerably and to experiment with all kinds of components.
Currently, there are numerous kits of this type on the market and several of them are very well positioned in terms of purchase rates . Therefore, so that you can build your first OpenSource projects with the help of an Arduino kit .
Next, we will introduce you to 5 of the best models available today, specifying their main characteristics:
Elegoo MEGA 2560
First, we locate this fairly complete kit for practitioners that has a GY-61 sensor, works with the LCD1602 module and is made up of more than 200 components . Reason why, it has the ability to process all kinds of tests and thus, it is able to carry out dozens of projects of different kinds .
In this sense, it has striking tools such as a stepper servo motor to carry out mobilization practices of different parts, an ultrasound sensor for distance measurement and motion detection . Like, a small fan for power transmission testing, a total of 25 multi-color LED bulbs, etc.
Therefore, to start from scratch in a practical way, it is advisable to make use of this Arduino kit. Thanks to its disproportionate number of elements and variety of accessories, it offers users the freedom to create all kinds of projects and set their imaginations soaring . But, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a built-in gyroscope to run projects that require directional knowledge.
XCSOURCE Arduino TE167
This is an alternative that has more than 100 pieces and adds different types of accessories so that users have the facility to develop varied projects. Thus, it is a model intended for both beginners who have basic knowledge and also for a middle ground, that is, between the beginner and expert level .
Now, evaluating its most striking components, it should be noted that XCSOURCE Arduino TE167 has the mini breadboard, the shield prototype, sensors, pushbuttons, resistors, display segments, transfer cables and many more compendia that are assembled between them to obtain a final result truly technical. Among other features, we point out that it has a box in which you can store all the components to transport them comfortably, even though it does not have a storage case.
In addition, among its main advantages, we specify that it is appropriate for beginners who want to know more about an Arduino board and, apart from that, it manages to stimulate their creativity thanks to the number of tools it provides (15 LEDs, 8 pushbuttons, flame sensors , inclination and temperature, etc.). However, it does not add an instruction manual that explains how to use it correctly.
Arduino Starter Kit
It is an Arduino pack that is interesting to start in this world . Which is considered one of the most basic kits because it only allows a total of 15 projects to be developed with the help of a manual that contains practical and direct explanations to facilitate the design processes. As it is ideal for beginners, in most cases it does not require soldering and this is advantageous for users .
For its part, it has parts that offer various types of accessories that are essential to carry out any project from scratch, such as: mounting base, prototyping plate, pushbuttons, sensors, jumper cables, potentiometers, resistors and diodes . Thanks to this, not many extra parts are required to obtain an effective final project.
Now, regarding its main benefits, we specify that it is suitable for all ages (between 9 and 99 years old), it has a 170-page physical manual that details the projects that can be done through this kit. In addition to that, it allows controlling the physical world through sensors and actuators by making use of all the components in the section. Additionally, the pack supports a 9-volt battery and, therefore, is used to power independently designed projects .
Elegoo MEGA 2560 NANO
It corresponds to an Arduino kit that offers a total of 300 parts and thanks to this, it is considered a very complete solution. In addition, it stands out from the rest for offering an optimal relationship between quality and price because, although it includes so many components, it is characterized by being one of the cheapest packs available on the market. Valuing that, this model costs only 20 euros .
Among other details, Elegoo MEGA 2560 NANO is an Arduino kit that has been recommended by numerous experts, thanks to the fact that it allows you to start in this world in a relevant way and, in addition, all the components that it adds manage to improve the user experience. Regarding its instructions, we emphasize that it does not provide a physical form manual, but it does offer a website with different information resources so that users are guided and perfectly handle the kit.
Now, among its advantages, we find that it is highly compatible, so it is possible to use it with both Arduino IDE and starter kits, without any problem. Additionally, as it has 300 pieces, it adapts to any type of project and does not reveal the use of extra components . However, the power supply does not have an adapter and it is recommended to use it with a 9V DC connector or via USB.
It consists of a model that provides a total of 44 pieces through which various projects can be easily developed. Which has been considered one of the best options for users who want to familiarize themselves with the Arduino environment quickly, without requiring the inclusion of an excessive amount of elements. Since, only the most strategic are needed to obtain optimal results.
In this regard, the present kit consists of mini board, LED lights of various colors, test plates, buzzers, temperature sensors , resistors, remote control, etc . In addition, the package has a CD ROM that contains different instructions for use, tutorials and steps to develop projects, in order to simplify the processes significantly . Apart from this, it stands out as one of the cheapest packs of the moment.
Therefore, it is a good option for those who want to buy a cheap and efficient kit at the same time . One of its greatest attractions, without a doubt, is the LCD screen with an LED backlight that it has and in which up to two lines of 16 characters can be displayed. Additionally, it is also distinguished from the rest for its versatility and thanks to this, it can be used by novices without knowledge of electronics to students or engineers, in view of the variety it provides.
Learn how to choose the best Arduino kit
To decide which is the best Arduino kit on the market, it is necessary to take into account several aspects that allow it to be classified as an optimal option, above the other solutions.
Therefore, so that you know how to select the right Arduino kit for you, we recommend that you evaluate the following parameters when making this choice:
- Number of parts or elements : It is the most important aspect to classify an Arduino pack as the most competent of all. Considering that, if you have a large number of pieces, it will allow you to try numerous forms of programming and this will be useful to create various projects . In addition, it will not be necessary to add extra elements.
- The types of components : It is essential that the Arduino pack has the most basic elements to obtain a good project as a result. Whether resistors, sensors, connectors, switches, LEDs, LCD screen, etc .
- User guides or tutorials : To carry out projects much more easily and quickly, it is helpful if the kit provides tutorials or user manuals in order to use the components in the most relevant way and to avoid errors .
- Briefcase to store the pieces : If the kit in question has a briefcase or some box to store the elements that compose it, it will be more comfortable. Since, apart from having everything well organized, you can transport it without much effort .