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4. Beginner's Components

Created on: 27 July 2012
Updated on: 18 November 2021

Because this beginner's electronics course is about building circuits on an electronic breadboard, various beginner's components are needed. In addition to the electronic breadboard and jumper wires already mentioned in the previous parts of this course, an Arduino Uno or compatible board, and various electronic parts are required.

This part of the course shows what some of the basic electronic components look like, starting with the Arduino Uno board, while the next part (the beginner's shopping list) lists the specific parts, tools and part numbers of electronic components needed to follow the tutorials.

Arduino and Arduino Uno Board

Arduino is an open-source project for learning about microcontrollers and programming. Arduino consists of a hardware platform (a circuit board) and a free open-source programming environment used to program the circuit board (a program or application that runs on the PC).

As a beginner, you will build circuits on a breadboard and connect them to the Arduino board. A program will then be loaded to the Arduino board from a PC via a USB cable. The program running on the Arduino board will operate the connected circuit – for example it will flash a light on and off, play a tune and more.

Official Arduino Uno board and Compatible Board
An Official Arduino Uno Board (left) and a Compatible Board (right)

There is more than one type of Arduino board. The beginner's tutorials use the entry-level Arduino board called the Arduino Uno. An official Arduino Uno board can be bought from the Arduino store, or from authorized Arduino distributors. Alternatively a clone or compatible board can be used.

You will need a standard USB cable (not the one with miniature connector) to connect the Arduino board to a PC.

It is highly recommended to get the Ultimate Arduino Uno Hardware Manual when using an Arduino Uno. This book gives a good overview of the Arduino Uno board, as well as technical details and explanations. It will enhance the learning experience when following this electronics course.

Recommended book:

Ultimage Arduino Uno Hardware Manual

Beginner's Electronic Components

Different electronic parts are needed for each tutorial project. Each project in every tutorial has a parts list at the beginning. The shopping list that follows in the next part includes all of the parts from all of the projects.

Some beginner's components are shown in the following image, which includes LEDs, resistors, diodes, transistors, a loudspeaker, capacitors, and integrated circuits or ICs.

Various beginner's components for building electronic circuits
Various Beginner's Components for Building Electronic Circuits

Every circuit needs a power source. Stand alone circuits are powered by a battery. Circuits interfaced to the Arduino Uno board are powered from the Arduino Uno which receives its power from a PC's USB port.

A shopping list of electronic components and tools follows in the next part containing all of the beginner's components needed to complete each tutorial.

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