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Arduino Uno R3 – Do you know why it still is my favorite board?

Ever since I first heard about Arduino Uno board and the excellent community – I’ve been totally hooked and have found a true passion.

America has its share of cool tech companies – something that is envied all over the entire globe.

Italy doesn’t have a Google or Apple – but it might have fostered something worth a bunch for the Makers of the world. Arduino has opened the world of electronics and at its core is basically a democratization of electronics.

Arduino makes it easy for anyone to make electronic and interactive devices. In this article I will give an overview of the Arduino UNO. This help you to start even if you have never worked with the Arduino before.

Arduino Uno

Before starting your first project you need to find a Arduino board to suit your needs. A good place to start is an Arduino UNO.
See the big Arduino Starter Kit to buy which contains everything you’ll need.

Arduino Uno R3 is the latest version of the original development card from the Arduino. The new R3 version has been on the market for a number of years now, but is still vastly popular.

Arduino Uno is the most common Arduino board, and you find many examples and sourcecode freely available. In no time you are measuring temperatures, humidity, distances, steering motors or whatever else you can think of.

The R3

The R3 end is the name for the newest revision of the Arduino Uno, and means among other things that the circuit that converts USB data to serial data. Arduino Uno R3 new has a ATmega16u2, instead of a ATmega8u2 (or former FTDI chip).

Arduino can be programmed over and over again with new code, and new shields (expansion cards) can be attached very easy, so don’t be afraid to buy an Arduino UNO.

If you at some point wants to connect your Arduino to the Internet, then you buy just an Ethernet shield. Very similar to Lego bricks.

Once you’ve selected your Arduino board, remember a USB cable. For the Arduino UNO’en to be used a A/B USB cable – sometimes also called a old school printer usb cable.

Some of the Chinese Arduino clones comes with a standard micro USB port which actually is a bit more practical.

A note about USB programmers

A standard genuine Arduino Uno comes with a ATMEL USB programmer whereas the Chinese cheap clones comes with the 340CH chip.
I was initially not inclined to buy from China – since I think it is important to support the original thinkers.

But I’ve later purchased several clones from EBay, I must really admit that they just as good as the original ones from Arduino.cc.

The 340CH chip will require its own drivers but once installed it runs just as the standard Arduino Uno.

This article on instructables gives a good introduction about the supposedly bad clones
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-fix-bad-Chinese-Arduino-clones/

Fancy LEDs for your Arduino Uno

On most Arduino boards there is a inbuilt led (number 13) that you can get to blink in different ways, but that quickly becomes rather boring.

Most Arduino Starter kit usually include a breadboard, LEDs and resistors. The breadboard is an easy way to connect components to each other, without using a soldering iron.

See guide to calculate the right resistor for LED.

On a breadboard you can quickly pull out wires and components, and start over with a new project.  The wires that is used with a breadboard is called dupont wires or jumper wires.

Once you have bought some different LEDs and resistors you can start tinkering with different basic Arduino projects. One of the best ressources is of course Arduino.cc and Instrustructables.

Software

Once you’ve found all the components you need, it’s time to download the Arduino IDE that is the software to program the Arduino Uno with.

The Arduino IDE is available on the official Arduino page, where you will also find installation guides for Windows, OSX and Linux.

Please remember to donate to the Arduino project since it is opensource and we all want it to thrive.

I code most of my Arduino and ESP8266 projects in Microsoft Visual Studio with the plugin vMicro (Visual Micro) – you compile directly from Visual Studio and deploy to the USB port.

Visual Studio is a much more mature IDE and I especially like the code completion and the ability to see all methods once you press (.).

 

Specifications of the Arduino Uno R3

Microcontroller ATmega328P
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limit) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
PWM Digital I/O Pins 6
Analog Input Pins 6
DC Current per I/O Pin 20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega328P) of which 0.5 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2 KB (ATmega328P)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega328P)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN 13
Length 68.6 mm
Width 53.4 mm
Weight 25 g

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