Like tinkering around with computers or have a knack for coding want to work on your own computer? Then the open-source Arduino microcontroller-based kits are for you! Arduino microcontroller kits are affordable and very suitable for the beginners. If you are excited to begin, read more about Arduino in Malaysia here below to find out.

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How to Master the Basics with Arduino

If you are interested in programmable electronics, Arduino is the brand you should consider. It produces a vast range of components, hardware, and software which enables you to enjoy a simple fun with your own electronics. Among the popular Arduino products is the Arduino Uno which is easy to learn and master. While Arduino is popular because it really simplifies the entire learning process in programming the electronics, it can be confusing because you do not know where to begin. Here is a simple guide that can help you to enjoy Arduino as well as finding out how simple it is to start with one.

Setting Up Your Arduino

First, you need to get your Arduino communicating to your computer before you can start any project. When this happens, you can write and compile code for the Arduino to execute. At the same time, this provides a way for your Arduino to work with your computer.

Installing the Arduino Software Package on Windows

You can visit the main website of Arduino to download a version of the Arduino software that is compatible with your version of Windows. After you have downloaded it, all you need to do is to follow the instructions to install the Arduino Integrated Environment or IDE. It is important to know that this install includes drivers as well. On paper, you should be good enough to continue. However, you have to install the drivers manually if you do not get your drivers installed in the same installation process. These are the manual steps you can follow:

  1. Obviously, you need to plug in your board and wait for Windows to begin the driver installation process. As mentioned earlier, the process has failed and led you to take a different approach.
  2. Next, you can click on Start Menu> Control Panel.
  3. After that, you should navigate to System and Security> System.
  4. Once the System window is up, open the Device Manager.
  5. Under Ports (COM & LPT), you should notice an open port named Arduino UNO (COMxx).
  6. When you right click on Arduino UNO (COMxx)> Update Driver Software, you can choose Browse my computer for Driver Software.
  7. From there, you can navigate and select the Uno's driver file (ArduinoUNO.inf). If you are unsure, it is located in the Drivers folder of the Arduino Software download.
  8. Finally, the Windows installation will finish up the installation.

Installing the Arduino Software Package on Mac OS

Similarly, head over to main website of Arduino to download the Arduino software for Mac. Then, you can extract the contents of the .zip file and run the app. While you can copy it into your application folder, you can still run it well from your desktop or download folders. As for the drivers, you do not need to install additional drivers for the Arduino.

How to Run the Arduino Software

Since you have your Arduino software installed and your Arduino ready, you should verify that everything is working fine. The most basic way to do this is also the simplest way: use the Blink sample application. Now, you can open the Arduino Software by Double-clicking the Arduino Application (./arduino on Linux). Then, please make sure the board is connected to your computer. Next, you can open the LED Blink example sketch: File> Examples> 1.Basics> Blink. When you see the code for the application open, you can upload the code to your Arduino by selecting the entry in the Tools> Board menu which matches your Arduino model.

In the Tools> Serial Port menu, you should choose the serial device of your board. On Windows, it should be COM3 or higher. If it is on Mac or Linux, it should be something to do with /dev/tty.usbmodem in it. Click the upload button on top left of your environment. In just few seconds, you will be able to see the RX and TX LEDs on the Arduino flashing. Once the upload is successful, you will get the message, "Done uploading", in the status bar. When the upload is finished, you can see the pin 13 LED on the board start to blink. Needless to say, this is the sign that your Arduino is up and running. Congratulations!

Other Beginner Projects You Can Consider

Once you have mastered the basics, you can then begin to take a look at other beginner projects. It will be your most wonderful experience as you learn to operate Arduino creatively. Needless to say, you will have a blast when you are doing your own tinkering.

Blink an LED

This simple project will flash an external LED using a breadboard. You can actually use the Arduino sample code to blink the onboard LED. With a simple circuit, you can switch your LED on or off. When you have succeeded in this project, you can go into higher challenges such as adjusting the time delay between switching the LED on and off. If you are bored, you can even modify the code and circuit to blink two LEDs simultaneously.

Produce Noise

After playing with the light, you can consider about producing some noises. Similarly, the circuit is almost exactly same as the LED project above. Basically, Piezo is a simple component that makes sound when given an electric signal. As usual, type the code and hear the sound it makes. It is amazing that you can change the code to produce a totally different frequency. At the same time, you can think about modifying the delay to play with the sound.

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