Arduino Boards are used commonly in many of the small scale demonstration projects. It has a microprocessor which can be programmed with the help of any of the PCs using the freely available Arduino software. Arduino products i.e. hardware, software etc are based on the concept of open source. The hardware and software developments are freely shared to bring in more new ideas and to further enhance the Arduino concept.
One can implement LED displays and counters, alarm clocks, automatic intensity control of street lights, battery charger, distance sensors and many more demo projects based on Arduino boards. The following paragraphs give the basic idea about Arduino Boards which everyone wishing to get started with Arduino boards will find it interesting.
The Arduino starter kit essentially consists of an Arduino processing board. It may also have a USB cable to program the Arduino board (from a PC). The board may also be programmed using In System programming (ISP) technique. Other components needed are a breadboard to assemble and check the circuit, jumper wires and elements such as transistors, ICs, resistors, capacitors, LDRs, sensors etc. depending on the application.
Arduino board consists of USB connector to allow programming the processor from any of the PC. It has a USB-to-Serial convertor to establish compatibility between the PC to which it is connected and the ATmega328 processor. The processor is a 28 pin, 8 bit microcontroller arrangement. The processor has a memory system, port system, time system, Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) system, interrupt system and the serial communication system.
The processor has three main memory sections and they are;
- Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM),
- Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) and
- Byte Addressable EEPROM.
Additional features and external hardware may be added to selected Arduino platforms by using Arduino shields or “daughter cards”.
The Arduino board requires power supply. This power may be provided from the USB port or an external DC supply of voltage range 7-12 Volts. The board has an external power supply inlet at the bottom left corner through which external supply is given to the board.