[Arduino] First Arduino product for hand-on PROJ-A-001

Arduino UNO (Photo source: https://www.arduino.cc/)

First Arduino product for hand-on I recommend is Arduino UNO R3.

What does it mean by R3? It is the latest hardware version of the Arduino UNO. The reason why I recommend it? Because it is the most popular item as the entry to Arduino product lines. I bought this product after quick scan on arduino.cc/en/main/products. And later on, I learn from many people that they also started from UNO, too. On arduino.cc page, you can find this message. “Uno” means “One” in Italian and is named to mark the release of Arduino 1.0. The Uno and version 1.0 are the reference versions of Arduino. The Uno is the reference footprint model for the Arduino platform.”

You can find the official web site about this product on arduino.cc/en/main/ArduinoBoardUno. But I don’t recommend you to follow through all the context to start with. It is too lengthy, and too much technical details. That will only discourage you from playing around with Arduino UNO. Hand-on with Arduino is real fun, and very easy.

What you need :
1. A computer. I use MacBook Pro. You may use other PC with Windows or Linux.
2. Buy an Arduino UNO. I still recommend Amazon, though I don’t sell this product by myself.
3. It should include an USB cable like this.
USB cable
(Photo source: https://www.arduino.cc/)
You can find 2 different shapes on both ends. One one end, it is a rectangular shape, it shall be connected to Mac/PC. The other end with square shape (minor cut on 2 corners), it shall be connected to UNO.

4. You DON’T need a wall adapter power supply like this yet. To power up Arduino UNO R3, you connect the USB cable from Mac/PC to UNO.

wall adapter power supply
(Photo source: https://www.arduino.cc/)

Below can be your first Arduino project you may be interested when you have 1-3 items above ready, like below short video. (There is a orange color LED flashing weakly at the lower bottom part of this video.)


Or if you have at least one extra LED like this LEDs, you can do like this.


Kickstart to hand on : (7 steps in total)

1. Software installation you need to download from the internet: Besides the PC or Mac (or Linux machine) and Arduino UNO R3 hardware, you need a software to run on PC or Mac. That piece of software to control the Arduino UNO board is called “IDE Integrated Development Environment”. It is good for your know the term of IDE, but it is not necessary. It is just a piece of software, and you can even let Arduino UNO board run independently without that software at later stage. You can download it from official arduino.cc/en/main/software

Arduino IDE by Home Smart Home Technology CO., LTD. (Photo source: https://www.arduino.cc/)

Choose the Windows, Mac, or Linux version of your computer to ‘JUST DOWNLOAD’ or ‘CONTRIBUTE & DOWNLOAD’ (Arduino is open source’d. It means Arduino open their hardware and software source code and design to the public — we will cover this subject at later stage when we go deeper –, so everyone can build his own hardware by themselves and uses Arduino software. Under such circumstances, Arduino cannot make any profit from it. Thus, Arduino needs your ‘CONTRIBUTE’ to maintain their product an service to offer even better hardware and software in the future for us :) ) and follow the installation procedure accordingly. Good thing is you don’t need to ‘log in’ or ‘sign up’ to download the IDE software at this moment.

2. Running the Arduino IDE software: After installation, you run the Arduino program and a screen like below will show up. It is the main program of Arduino, or the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) as professional software programmers call it.

Arduino IDE by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD

3. Then you can plug-in your Arduino board to your PC / Mac / Linux machine through USB cable like this.

Arduino UNO R3 with USB cable connected to Mac

4. Set up Arduino IDE software: There are still 2 items ( Board and Port) you need to pay attention when Arduino UNO R3 board is connected. First item is 4.1 Find the ‘Tools’ menu and ‘Board’ sub-menu and select ‘Arduino/Genuino UNO’;

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

Second item is 4.2 Find the ‘Tool’ menu and ‘Port’ sub-menu and select the right port. It can vary depending on the PC or Mac or other settings. Below are 2 examples for PC and Mac each. It is also the most critical path for you to check again if the software uploading does not work. I will come back to this subject later.

For Mac:
Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

For Windows:
Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

5. Try your first Arduino project with example code of ‘BLINK’: Go to Menu and select ‘File – Examples – 01.Basics – Blink’

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

And your screen will look like this

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

It contains a source code software running on Arduino UNO R3, or Arduino calls it ‘Sketch’. You don’t need to understand it for now. I can explain in more details in latter projects. For now, just enjoy the remark written in English between /* and */ or behind //.

  Turns on an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.

  Most Arduinos have an on-board LED you can control. On the Uno and
  Leonardo, it is attached to digital pin 13. If you're unsure what
  pin the on-board LED is connected to on your Arduino model, check
  the documentation at http://www.arduino.cc

  This example code is in the public domain.

  modified 8 May 2014
  by Scott Fitzgerald

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin 13 as an output.
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(13, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second

5.1 Verify: By clicking the ‘tick’ icon on upper left, Arduino IDE software checks if the source code software follows exactly the grammar and can be understood by computer. In computer jargon, it is called ‘Compile’. In this case, we expect no error.

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

5.2 Upload: After the code is ‘verified’ on PC/Mac. We need to ‘upload’ the code from PC/Mac to Arduino UNO R3 board through USB cable by clicking the ‘Right-arrow’ icon.

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.

If you are lucky, you will see one yellow color LED starts flashing as showed in below video. SUCCESS!


If it shows errors, you need to come back to step 4.2 again to make sure the right setting. You can find some Q&A here.

6. If you have one extra LED, you can try this.

  • 6.1 Unplug USB cable from PC/Mac.
  • 6.2 Plug the long leg of a LED into A13 and short leg of the same LED into GND. (It is located at the 5th and 4th position of the female connector close to USB socket on Arduino board.)
  • 6.3 Plug the Arduino UNO R3 to PC/Mac through USB cable again
  • 6.4 Repeat 5.1 and 5.2 and you will get the external LED blinking brightly

You can find official information about ‘Blink’ example on arduino.cc/en/tutorial/blink. (If you notice that I don’t add a resistor as in that document, I want to make it simple, and it is still safe to do it as there is protection in the IC design already. You don’t need to worry about it. Though it is still recommended to add that resistor if you have one and tools to implement the circuitry.)

Arduino UNO R3 Tool Board by Home Smart Home Technology Co., LTD.


7. Arduino runs on battery without a PC/Mac. As I said earlier in section 1, you can let Arduino UNO R3 run without PC/Mac. In section 5.2, you have succeeded uploading software from PC/Mac to Arduino UNO R3. So the Arduino UNO R3 board can run independently. You just need provide the power to Arduino UNO R3, it will run as same as you connect it to PC/Mac. So I use a battery pack with USB connected to Arduino UNO R3. It works perfect. SUCCESS!


[Arduino] First thing to know about Arduino PROJ-000

The first thing to know about Arduino is…
Arduino vs Arduino

You can find 2 popular web sites related to Arduino, which are arduino.cc and www.arduino.org

Make a long story short: Arduino LLC with arduino.cc was founded by Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis, Tom Igoe and Gianluca Martino in 2009 and is the owner of the Arduino trademark and gave us the designs, software, and community support that’s gotten the Arduino where it is.

The boards were manufactured by a spinoff company owned by Gianluca Martino, then renamed to Arduino SRL who registered www.arduino.org

According to this Italian Wired article, the cause of the split is that Banzi and the other three wanted to internationalize the brand and license production to other firms freely, while Martino … [wanted] to list on the stock market and keep all production strictly in the Italian factory.

You can read the details in below 2 stories about fighting of Arduino brand ownership.
Arduino vs Arduino
Arduino vs Arduino part 2

Recently, arduino.cc found new manufacturing partners in US (adafruit.com) and China (www.seeedstudio.com) with a new brand of Genuino, which means genuine in Italian. This is the company what I bet for.

Now you can move on to your first Arduino experience from here.

[Resources] American Innovation Center in Taipei

Free membership, and free use of 3D printer facility and material.
Also provide abundant of free courses, video and books.
Available 1:00~5:00pm very Tue.-Sat. (Except National holidays)

American Innovation Center in Taipei


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