Adventures in Arduino Pt.1!

The assignment we got this week was to complete some labs based on our previous weeks class. This was to be a steep learning curve for me in all the things that could go wrong when prototyping some basic electronics. I had watched the vast majority of the videos prescribed to us before the course so I felt I had a reasonable grasp on things. I may have been wrong!

We had to use some of the components we purchased before the course to create a circuit which had 2 LEDs on it. The circuit would have a button on it that when it was not being pressed one LED would remain on, in this case the blue one and when the button was pressed the blue one would switch off and the red LED would come on. Seems simple right?

Wrong! The first major lesson I learned was my breadboard was not functioning. No matter what I tried nothing would work. I repeatedly switched cables around,changed resistors, used different LEDs all to no avail. I knew the actual Arduino was fine as it was showing up as connected to my computer. After much trouble shooting and frustration I realized it was the breadboard. A little panic and a few phone calls later a friend of mine who plays around with electronics a bit dropped by with some smaller but better quality bread boards. Problem fixed!

I wired everything up and connected the power from the computer, compiled the sketch and hit upload. I got an error telling me that the sketch could not upload! After some searching on the internet it turns out that the windows app for Arduino from the App Store is very buggy.

Uninstalled it and then downloaded the program from the official Arduino website. Installed it and the relevant updates required to get the Arduino connected. Finally I could get this to work. I didn’t work! Well not as intended. Time to check had I connected everything correctly. Again!

Example of taking out one component and how it affected the circuit.

This video has time lapse taken over a number of hours showing how I had to change to a new breadboard. I also had some issues around software updates for the Arduino itself. At the end I finally manage to get the circuit to work.

I did try the other speaker sketch but ran into issues immediately. Hope to get this under control by next class!