What is Arduino UNO | Genuino UNO For Beginners.

What is Arduino UNO / Genuino UNO For Beginners, Which one to use for beginners, How to Add more functionality.

Hi, if you're new to the Arduino then this is perhaps the most important Article of this course.
In this Article I'm going to walk you through the Arduino board have a look at the components that you see on it and explain what each of those components is and what it does.
 
This will give you a good understanding of the board and make you familiar with its most important functions and it will definitely help you going ahead.
  
If on the other hand you are already familiar with the Arduino Uno and you've build stuff in the past with it then you're probably not going to get too much out of this Article.

Hardware :

Also Read :

 

Let's start :


Genuino UNO
Fig1.1 Genuino UNO

This is the classic Arduino Uno. 
It is the simplest Arduino out there and the one that I strongly recommend that is your first Arduino.

There's many other Arduino models out there that I'll be talking about in a separate Article. If you are just starting up now with the Arduino then this is the one that I recommend that you get.
 
There are two different brands out there at the moment.
The one that I have was purchased outside of the US so that is why it's branded as the Genuino Uno. If you purchase an Arduino inside the US then it will say Arduino instead of Genuino but apart from the brand these two Arduinos are exactly the same.
 
There's no difference at all between them.
In this Article I'd like to very briefly talk about some of the basic features of the Arduino Uno board and walk you through the components that you see on the board itself.
 
In other Articles in this section I will focus on specific features of the board that I think are important and I'll spend a bit more time explaining them.


Arduino Components :

Arduino UNO Components
Fig1.2 Arduino UNO Components

Let's begin with this walk through by looking at the brains of the Arduino Uno board and that is this chip the large chip in the lower right side of the board. So this is an ATmega 328P microcontroller.

A microcontroller is different to a microprocessor in that it has lots of what's called digital input and output pins of about which I will be talking more later and it does not run an operating system like your computer does.

The computer has a microprocessor in its heart it's running an operating system and then on the operating system you have a program that does things.
 
A microcontroller is much, much simpler than a microprocessor. It has a lot less memory.
Typically it's a lot less capable in doing general purpose things such as running a game for example or running a spreadsheet.

A microcontroller is dedicated to interacting with its environment via its GPIO which is general purpose input output pins. Also an important distinction between a CPU central processing unit a microprocessor and a microcontroller is that the microcontroller does not run an operating system.

So later on when we start writing our first sketches then those sketches will be executed will be run directly by the microcontroller not through an operating system.

For now, just remember your Arduino Uno is powered by a microcontroller and that is the ATmega  328P. More about that microcontroller specifically as well in a separate Article.

A nice feature of this particular board is that you can actually remove the chip if it gets damaged which it can get damaged occasionally and replace it with a new chip.

I have actually managed to damage this one a couple of weeks ago as I was doing some experimentation and luckily I had another  328P microcontroller lying around in one of my drawers so I just removed the old damaged chip and replaced it with a new one.

All you've got to do to do that is to use a screwdriver with a flat head like this one and then gently lift the damaged microcontroller off its socket and replace it with a new one.

Just be careful here.
Notice how at one side of your chip you've got a little indentation like a little dimple and you need to match that side with a side on the socket that has a similar shaped dimple indentation. Once you do that just gently press in on both sides so one and one and make sure that your new microcontroller makes a nice good contact with the socket.

Done. 
There are some Arduino Uno compatible boards out there. Then instead of using a deep as it's called microcontroller version of the ATmega  328P instead they use an SMD version which is soldered on the PCB and that makes it impossible to change or at least not changeable without a lot of effort and a lot of really fine desoldering work.

Strongly recommend that you get an Arduino Uno compatible or genuine with deep version of the microcontroller This is the brains of your Arduino Uno.

There is one more microcontroller on the Arduino Uno This is also an ATmega microcontroller. It's an SMD version surface mounted version of the microcontroller. What this does is to specifically control the USB communications between your ATmega and your computer through this USB socket.
 
You can't really program this microcontroller yourself. It's not used to control the GPIOs for example. This ATmega here which is right next to the USB connector is specifically purposed for controlling the USB communications.

You typically would not be working or interacting with this part of your board at all. Let's have a look at the pins next. Your Arduino Uno comes with very characteristic configuration of headers. So these things are called headers.

Jumper Wires :

Jumper wires
Fig1.3 Jumper Wires

This is how you can connect things peripherals devices to your Arduino Uno. You can either use jumper wires like this one here. This is a male-to-male jumper wire and just plug it into the pins on your microcontroller like this into one of the header pins.

That's one way of doing it. Another way to connect devices to your Arduino is by using a shield as it's called. This device here is a PCB with various components on it that implements a particular functionality.

It has pins that are in the exact same configuration and dimensions as your long and short Arduino headers.


Arduino Shields :

In order to connect the two together you just align them in the right orientation and you just gently then lower one inside the other and now you've just added additional functionality additional capabilities to your Arduino Uno.

Arduino UNO Ethernet Shield
Fig 1.4 Arduino UNO Ethernet Shield

For Example ethernet connectivity so that now I can connect my Arduino Uno to my local ethernet network and then I can run a simple web server on my Arduino Uno. Also notice how this particular shield the ethernet shield also provides me with another set of headers which means that I can take another Arduino shield.

In this case it's a shield that provides me with an LCD screen it's a car LCD screen same configuration with its headers which means that I can plug it on top of my ethernet shield set of headers.

I've got two types of additional functionality. I've got connectivity for my local ethernet network plus a color screen that I can use to display messages from my Arduino sketch. The Arduino headers give me the opportunity to expand its capabilities by stacking one header on top of the other.
 
That's an interesting feature, of course. 
I'll plug in gently by trying with my fingers to push one against the other so that I don't end up bending the pins if I increase the angle of separation by too much I try to remove one device from the other by pushing against my fingers horizontally making sure that there is no angle between the two boards between the shield and the Arduino Uno.
That makes abrasion safe.

Conclution, In this Article We learn what is arduino uno and it's components like microcontroller, microprocessor, etc. we learn which is better arduino version to start with for begginers and we learn about how to add functionality to arduino uno using shields. 

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