Arduino – Blink
Recently, I bought an Arduino or two. The Arduino seemed too cool to ignore. The folks at http://www.arduino.cc/ describe their product as “Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software.”
I became interested in the Arduino when I saw a need to automate some reliability tests at work. While there are many products that compete with the Arduino on a technical level, the Arduino community’s proliferation of ideas, product options, add-ons and eclectic projects make it a compelling choice.
To acquaint myself with the Arduino and the Wiring language I started to follow some of the tutorials on the tutorials on the Arduino web site. My computing heyday was back in the time of Dos 5 and Turbo Pascal. So many of the details are new to me, but the fundamentals have not changes. As I enter today’s world of microcontrollers, I see that a newcomer could easily loose their way. So I share my experiences.
Starting with the basics, I read through the Blink tutorial. It was easy enough, sort of the Arduino “Hello World” program. It gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the Wiring environment and explore the Arduino hardware. I found one bonus. The Arduino in the tutorial requires an external resistor and LED – this must be an older vintage board. My Arduino has an integral resistor and LED. No external components necessary for this tutorial.
The tutorial explains all this LED business. The LED on the board lights to a bright yellow. This is a very satisfying tutorial. For those of you who complete the Blink tutorial, I suggest that you play with the timing values in the delay(1000); functions. Alter the timing and symmetry of the on and the off states of the LED. Run the program to see the effect your program has on the LED operation.