Monthly Archives: March 2016

Learning Arduino

I finally got my Arduino UNO in the mail and began playing with it to learn how to connect LEDs to it and code the Arduino to do what I want it to do. Because I ordered the Arduino UNO starter kit, I got a beginners guide on how to use an Arduino. The guide is pictured below:

Pic 1

The first circuit I made was connecting an LED and learning how to code the Arduino to make the LED blink. The map for the first circuit is pictured below:

Pic 2

Here is how the LED blinks after I set-up everything:

The next circuit I made included an RGB LED, which I will be using in my Iron Man Arc Reactor. For this circuit I had to wire up one RGB LED and run code through the Arduino to make it blink in different colors and then fade between a rainbow of colors. The map for the second circuit is pictured below:

Pic 3

Here is how the RGB LED acts when I wired it up to my Arduino:

The last circuit I decided to try out involved a push button and an LED. I decided to try to get this circuit working because I might be using a push button to change between different patterns that the LEDs light up in. So this circuit was great practice on how to wire up a push button. The map for the third circuit is pictured below:

Pic 4

For this circuit, you have to push one of the buttons to make the LED light up. However, if you push both buttons at the same time, the LED will turn off. Here is the video of this circuit working:

I then decided to go back to the second circuit I did and try to wire up 6 RGB LEDs in parallel. I had to Google how to wire multiple RGB LEDs together but found out it’s pretty easy. Here is the video of the 6 RGB LEDs glowing in the same pattern as they were in the second circuit I made:

After I got 6 RGB LEDs working in parallel, I decided to try to double it up and wire 12 RGB LEDs together. It was a tight fit on the baby breadboard but I finally got all of the RGB LEDs and wires in their correct places. Here is the video of the 12 RGB LEDs glowing in the same pattern as they were in the second circuit I made:

My next goal is to change the code in the second circuit and make the RGB LEDs glow in the patterns and colors that I want. However, thanks to these exercises I have a good grip on how to code my Arduino UNO and how to wire the 22 RGB LEDs I will need to put in my Iron Man Arc Reactor.

Experimenting with Circuits

The next step in my Iron Man Arc Reactor project is to play with some simple circuits. This exercise helped me learn how to make circuits and connect an LED to a battery correctly. The simple circuit I chose to make was the Klackerlaken. All you need to make this simple circuit is a bottle cap, little motor, LED, and a coin cell battery. The bottle cap is what the klackerlaken moves around on, the little motor is what causes the klackerlaken to move by vibrating the little guy, the LED is just a really fun little touch that gives the klackerlaken some character, and the coin cell battery is what allows the LED to light up and the little motor to move. The motor is connected to the battery by two little metal prongs; one prong goes on the positive side of the coin cell battery and the other prong goes on the negative side of the coin cell battery. The LED is connected to the battery by the two leads that come out of the bottom of the LED. The shorter of the two leads is the anode and lays against the positive side of coin cell battery while the longer of the two leads is the cathode and lays against the negative side of the coin cell battery. I kept both the motor and the LED connected to the coin cell battery by using some small, clear tape. I then used some clear double-sided tape to connect the coin cell battery to the bottle cap. Here is what it looked like when I finally got all of the pieces sticking together correctly:


Here is how it moved:

It mostly went in a circle but I think that’s because the LED was really big and offset the movement and the motor wasn’t exactly centered on the klackerlaken. I decided to use a 10mm LED because I had never seen an LED that big before and was curious about how well it would light up. It was awesome and I loved how my klackerlaken turned out.