Idiots Guide to Arduino

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Idiot's Guide to Arduino

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This is a guide for total idiots to get introduced to Arduino.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is an open hardware chip that is the basis for a lot of cool electronics projects. When you learn how to use Arduino, basic DIY electronics will be completely demystified. We think it is totally possible for you to learn the basics in about four hours.

Get an Arduino Starter Kit

It helps to have an Arduino Beginner Kit. It will have an Arduino board, a breadboard, and a bunch of thingys that you can connect to your Arduino to do some basic projects.

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  • Get something like the Arduino Starter Kit.
  • It retails at Xinchejian for 210 RMB.
  • Ask us at info at xinchejian dot com.

Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

The Arduino IDE is the software that allows you to program the Arduino. You'll need your own computer. You write programs in the Arduino IDE, and then upload them to the Arduino.

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Arduino - Basic Programming

You're going to learn some basic programming.

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Go to: Introduction to programming using Arduino

Special thanks to Spencer and Paul

Key ideas:

  • Commenting
  • Structure for a program (Setup and Loop)
  • Variables (integer)
  • Printing
  • Getting Input
  • Serial Monitor

How you get the code from your computer to the Arduino

  • 1. VERIFY: Verify the code is ok.
  • 2. UPLOAD: Upload the code to the Arduino board.

Arduino - Basic Electronics

Now that you've gotten the hang of writing basic programs for the Arduino, what can you do with this?

Arduino - Pins

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Take a short look at your Arduino board. These are the basics that we'll look at today.

  • 5V - 5 Volts (The "positive" symbol)
  • GND - Ground (The "negative" symbol)
  • Digital Pins (1-13)
  • Analog Pins (0-5)


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This breadboard is what you'll use to wire your example projects together.

  • The columns are connected together.
  • Other breadboards have rows that are connected (but yours does not).

Go to: Introduction to Arduino

Special thanks to Paul

Key ideas:

  • Connecting electronic stuff together
  • GND - 5V
  • DigitalWrite - Pins
  • DigitalRead - Pins
  • AnalogRead - Pins


  • Experiment and have fun!
  • Let us know how we can improve these guides!

More Resources

See also