What is Arduino & how to install Arduino Ide

What Arduino is, different types of Arduino boards, and how to install Arduino software are some questions that may arise in your mind.

Hello guys, welcome back to my blog today we are going to see about what is Arduino and how to install Arduino ide.

What is Arduino??

Arduino is an open-source development board that is used to build electronic, wearable devices, robotics, and embedded or IoT projects. which we use in our day-to-day life to make our life simpler and more secure. Suppose you want to make an RC car, Drones, a system that turns on the light when it’s dark or automatically opens the curtain day time, changes the color of the room when someone enters the room also devices like air quality measuring devices, gas detectors, etc. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's designed to make it simple for hobbyists, designers, and professionals to create interactive projects that can sense and control the physical world. Arduino boards are able to read inputs - a light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, or publishing something online. 

Arduino uno

You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board, this set of instructions is written in the Arduino programming language (which is based on Wiring), and the Arduino Software (IDE), based on Processing. Arduino is widely used in thousands of different projects and applications. A platform is a great tool for making interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of switches or sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can communicate with software running on a computer (e.g., Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). Arduino boards can be built by hand or purchased pre-assembled. Both the hardware and software are open-source, meaning their design is publicly accessible. Arduino has a strong and active community of users who contribute to the development of software libraries and share their projects. We can use Arduino to innovate in music, games, toys, smart homes, farming, autonomous vehicles, and more.

How to use Arduino??

  To build such tons of projects we required four things: -  

1)   Arduino board 

     The Arduino board is an open-source platform where we can connect our sensors, and devices and write some code to perform our desired operation.

2)   Arduino IDE 

     Arduino ide (integrated development board) is an Arduino software where we write our code, where it is compiled and burn it into our Arduino. Arduino ide comes with thousands of in-built libraries. Arduino ide is free open source and easy to use.

3)   Arduino programming 

     We use  C / C++ language for coding an Arduino having some Arduino pre-defined functions. We can write the program that will command our Arduino to perform our various operations. 

Arduino INPUT & OUTPUT devices

4) Devices are classified into two categories input devices & output devices

1)      Input devices are read by Arduino examples – pushbuttons, temperature/humidity sensors, ultrasonic sensors, touch sensors, LDR, IR sensors, etc.

2)      Output devices receive data that are sent by Arduino board’s example LEDS, OLEDS LCD display, servo motor, DC/stepper motors, speaker, etc. 

Arduino Pin Descriptions

Arduino board

The main component of our Arduino board is AT mega 328p 8-bit microcontroller, it’s the brain of the Arduino board we write and execute code using this microcontroller IC.

Arduino has a 5v operating voltage with current consumption of 45-80 mA and in deep sleep mode, it consumes a current of 35 mA.

USB – Arduino can either be powered through the USB connection from the computer, from a 9V battery, or from a power supply. USB cable is used to program your Arduino board from your computer / there is also a barrel jack to power ON the Arduino pls do not use higher voltage though it has an onboard regulator the recommended voltage is between 6v to 12v DC input.

Arduino has three GND one 3.3v and 5v power-up devices and sensors.

Analog pins - Arduino has 6 analog pins, these pins are used to reading analog values from sensors, onboard (ADC) converts them to digital values.

Digital pins - Arduino has 0-13 digital pins, these pins are used for both digital input (to read from the device) & digital output (to send data to the device from Arduino) example - glowing an led.

PWM pins (~ 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11) – Arduino has 6 PWM (pulse width modulation) pins, using this pin we can adjust the output power using these pins. Example fading of LED, speed control of the motor.

Reset – Arduino has an onboard reset button to reset your Arduino board also you can use an external button & connect it to the reset pin of Arduino.

AREF provides Reference voltage (0 to 5V only) for the analog inputs by using the analogReference() function.

Arduino has a Crystal oscillator to create a clock signal of a frequency of 16 MHZ which means 16 million instructions are carried out per second.

Arduino uses SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), I2C communication & UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) communication protocols to send & receive data between Arduino and another device.

To use SPI communication you can use pin 10 for SS, pin 11 for MOSI, pin 12 for MISO, and pin 13 for SCK of Arduino.

To use I2C communication you can use pin A4 for SDA and A5 for SCL of Arduino.

Similarly, for URAT communication you can use pins 0 for RX and pin 1 for TX of Arduino.

Arduino also uses Flash memory, SRAM (static RAM) & EEPROM to perform and store data for various operations.

Arduino uses flash memory to store code inside the sketch is stored, SSRAM is used for the creation and manipulation of the sketch, and EEPROM is used to store data that can be retrieved even after power is lost.   

Arduino has a flash memory of 32kb, SRAM of 2kb & EEPROM of 1kb

Flash memory and EEPROM memory are non-volatile (the data is still present even after the power is turned off). SRAM is volatile means information will be lost when the power is cycled.

How to use an External Reset button in Arduino??

Many times in your project you need to place your Arduino board inside some kind of enclosure box or anything inside the case. You need to press a reset button of your Arduino board or in case the reset button of your Arduino board may not be working in such a scenario we can take the help of an external button for resetting the Arduino. To do this we will take the push button where we will take one leg of this pin and connect to the RESET pin located on the left side of the Arduino board and the other leg to the ground pin of Arduino. When we press the button pin the state of the button change to LOW and Arduino detects the reset button is pressed thus resetting the Arduino board.

What language does Arduino use??

We can program the Arduino board using a subset of the C/C++ programming language or embedded C. The compiler converts C++ code into assembly language code which helps Atmega chips on the Arduino board to understand it and perform various operations.

What can you do with Arduino??

  • Built embedded projects
  • Built IoT Applications (using Ethernet shield)
  • Built wearable electronics
  • Build Internet of things project 
  • Build robots/ in robotics
  • Surveillance Applications
  • Industrial & Medical Applications

Specification of Arduino Board

  • Microcontroller - ATmega328p
  • Operating voltage - 5V
  • The input voltage range - is 6v to 20V
  • Digital input/output pins – 14
  • PWM pin - 6
  • Analog pins - 6
  • DC Current at each input/output pin - 40 mA
  • Flash Memory - 32 KB
  • SRAM - 2 KB
  • BUILT-IN LED pin - 13
  • CLOCK Frequency - 16 MHz

Features of Arduino Board

  • Open source in hardware & software
  • IDE Software can operate on any operating system such as Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Easy programming language suitable for beginners
  • LOW-Cost Development Board
  • Do not require an external programmer (Burner)
  • Huge community

Application of Arduino board

  • Embedded systems
  • Electronics projects
  • Home Automation using Bluetooth, RF, Lora & WIFI (using Wi-Fi shield)
  • DIY (Do-it-Yourself prototyping projects)
  • Drones & 3d printing
  • RC (Remote control) cars
  • Robotics
  • Air quality sensors, temperature sensors, fire detectors & Gas sensors
  • Smart dustbin, Distance measurement & automatic hand sanitizer 

Types of Arduino board

Types of Arduino development board

Depending upon the application, we have different types of Arduino boards – 

  • Arduino Uno: This is the most common Arduino board, great for beginners and simple projects.
  • Arduino Mega: It's like the Uno, but with more pins and memory - great for bigger projects.
  • Arduino Leonardo: Similar to the Uno, but with a different microcontroller that allows for different functionalities.
  • Arduino Nano: A small, breadboard-friendly board.
  • LilyPad Arduino: LilyPad Arduino Main Board is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328 or ATmega168. It's designed for wearable applications and features large, easily sewable pads, an onboard battery connector, and an additional power supply to handle conductive thread voltages. The board can run from 2V to 5V and can be programmed with Arduino software.
  • SparkFun RedBoard: The RedBoard can be programmed over a USB Mini-B cable using the Arduino IDE. It'll work on Windows 8 without having to change anything or install any drivers. It has an Optiboot bootloader loaded on it, which is super small, quick and makes it easy to program at a higher baud rate, and leaves more space for your code!. In summary, both the LilyPad and RedBoard are part of the wide family of Arduino-compatible boards.

Arduino Ethernet Shield

We also have an Arduino Ethernet shield to provide an internet connection to our Arduino board using a LAN wire. With an internet connection, we can send data over servers, mobile applications,s or anywhere in the world.

 How to download Arduino ide ??

Arduino ide runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Step 1 :

To install Arduino ide first open your web browser and search for Arduino ide. In search results, you will find the official Arduino website. Click on the first link as shown in the image.

Arduino Software free download

Step 2 :

On the official Arduino website, you will find various downloading options for different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and mac. In our case we are going to download Arduino ide for windows so click on the windows ZIP file.

Step 3 :

 Click on just download. Downloading will start immediately as soon as you click on it.

Step 4 : 

Once the ZIP file is downloaded on our PC, then right-click on the file and click on extract here.  

Step 5 :

 Now zip file will begin to unzip. 

Step 6 : 

After our file is unzipped, you will see the Arduino application file click on that file. 

Step 7 : 

Now our Arduino ide is ready to use, you can write a code, compile & execute it.

You can write your own code here, give the command to Arduino to perform the desired task, can build awesome projects with tricky codes. In the next chapter, we will learn about Arduino coding.

How to program Arduino??
  • To program Arduino we first required Arduino IDE to write our code and upload it to the Arduino board.
  • After downloading the Arduino IDE, open the Arduino IDE and select the board, from the board manager. we are using an Arduino UNO development board so we will select it.
  • Select the PORT NO from Tools > Port. 
  • After selecting port no how we will write the code and click on the upload button, after clicking on the upload button the code will send from the computer to the Arduino board.
We are writing a simple onboard LED turn ON/OFF program 

void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.

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

 Conclusion - 

Today we learn about Arduino, how to use Arduino, different types of Arduino boards, the application of Arduino, specifications of Arduino, Features of Arduino & How to download Arduino software (Arduino IDE) with a simple LED ON/OFF program.

"I hope you find this lesson on Arduino very helpful to you and understand the different syntax used in Arduino. In the upcoming lesson, we will learn about keywords in Arduino Still then bye. See you all in my next chapter of Arduino lessons."

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