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“How to Start Making Your Own Electronics with Arduino and Other People’s Code”

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How to Start Making Your Own Electronics with Arduino and Other People’s Code via Jan.

The word Arduino may conjure up an image of a wide-mouthed geek huddled over a work table, but its simplicity makes it an entry-point into electronics for even the most electronically inept. We’ll outline the basics of the Arduino itself, what the crazy jumble of wires means, and then step through how to use other people’s code and schematics to build your first electronics project, no programming required.

Great starter guide on Lifehacker.


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Arduino Leonardo ATmega32u4 with headers. The latest addition to the Arduino family is here! The Arduino Leonardo is a microcontroller board based on the exciting USB-enabled ATmega32u4 (datasheet). This chip has about the same amount of flash, RAM and capability as the ATmega328 found in the UNO. It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.

The Leonardo differs from all preceding boards in that the ATmega32u4 has built-in USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary chip (such as an FTDI friend, FTDI cable or the USB/Serial converter on the UNO). On one hand this means that sketches on the Leo are a little bigger because it’s also handling USB interaction. On the other hand, it allows the Leonardo to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and/or keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port. It also has other implications for the behavior of the board; these are detailed on the getting started page.

We’re very excited to have a small shipment of Leo’s in stock. Please note that this board is very new and so is best used by people with existing Arduino experience as there may be a bug that trips up beginners. It is probably not going to work with nearly any shields other than the proto shield. We haven’t gone through and tested it with all the Adafruit shields and don’t guarantee it will work until we’ve sat down and done a lot of testing and coding, so keep that in mind!

This board is only supported in the latest Arduino IDE 1.0.1 so you will also need to update the IDE.

In stock and shipping (please not we only have a few of these, but sign up to be notified when the next batch is in if we’re out of stock!).


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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