Everything you wanted to know about Arduino.
Ash Ash (362)
3 minutes

Arduino boards are seriously unique. These microcontrollers have opened up the world of possibilities to the maker community over the past few years. From blinking LEDs to controlling servo motors that make robots walk, Arduinos are incredibly useful.

If you're new to these microcontrollers, you probably have a few questions. Here are the most pressing questions about the Arduino, lined up and answered—just for you.

Arduino Uno Rev3Arduino Uno Rev3 ×1

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Arduino generally refers to the open-source platform or company by the same name. The Arduino platform is comprised of circuit boards, software, and an IDE for writing code. The boards are inexpensive and can perform a variety of basic functions from controlling an LED to manipulating servo motors.

The Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board. It features 14 input/output pins, 6 analog pins, and a 16 MHz quartz crystal. There are a few ports as well including a USB connection and power jack. The current edition is the Arduino Uno Rev3.

Arduinos can be programmed to receive input, signal output, and trigger custom scripts under certain conditions. The project uses are seemingly limitless! Not sure where to start? Check our guide on starting your first Arduino project.

Arduino microcontroller boards can send and interpret signals for a variety of hardware. You can use an Arduino to control servo motors, relays, buttons, LEDs, and more.

The power requirements ultimately depend on the board you're using. For example, the Arduino Uno Rev3 can receive power using a 5V USB connection or a 7-12V power adapter. If you aren’t sure what to use, visit the Arduino website for power specifications.

The Arduino Uno needs either a 5V USB connection or a 7-12V DC power adapter to operate. You can also power the board using the 5V and 3.3V pins, but it isn't recommended.

The Arduino IDE uses an open-source programming language called Processing.

Arduino's are programmed using the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It uses a programming language called Processing to create the necessary code. The finished program files are referred to as sketches and can be loaded onto the Arduino.

Programs are created in the Arduino IDE using a language called Processing. The programs are exported to files known as sketches. Sketches are then loaded onto the Arduino by connecting it to the computer with the IDE.

The Arduino IDE includes a Library Manager. Open the IDE software then navigate to Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries... This will open a list of currently installed libraries and ones available for install. You can read more about this process on the official Arduino website.

The best way to control a relay with an Arduino is to use a relay module. These boards provide pins that are easy to connect to the Arduino. These boards can be wired into a circuit as needed.

Most Arduino boards support a maximum of 12 servos. The Arduino Mega boards support up to 48 servo motors. Need to control more? You'll need more Arduinos.

Arduino's can control stepper motors by using the Stepper Library. It includes a series of common commands and instructions that can be used in your custom Arduino Sketch.

Arduino provides instructions for burning the bootloader on an Arduino. You will need an in-system programmer to burn the bootloader. Once you have the necessary hardware, the tools you need are part of the Arduino IDE under the Tools > Burn Bootloader menu.

LCD screens connect to the Arduino using the input/output pins. The screen itself can be controlled using the Liquid Crystal library. Install it from the Library Manager in the Arduino IDE to get started.

You can purchase an Arduino from Amazon. There are retired boards that are no longer available officially that can be found on various auction sites, like eBay.

Getting started with Arduino
Matt Matt (3)
10 minutes

In this Arduino beginner's guide I'll cover what an Arduino is, how to set up the Arduino IDE, and how to create your first Arduino program.