Connecting to the Real World

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at NYC Resistor making my own Arduino (technically a Freeduino) microcontroller.  Say what?  That basically means that I spent the day soldering together a bunch of pieces of electronics that let me connect my computer to the physical world.

Here’s what the darn thing looks like:

Arduino board

The best way to look at this board is to look at the narrow black slits at the bottom and the top on the right hand side: they’re pins that you can connect to external electronic components (e.g., lights, sensors, etc.).  The big black chip controls the signals to those ‘slits’ and ultimately connects to your computer via the silver piece on the upper left; you can alternatively plug the board right into the wall via the lower left.

The board itself will not do too much: it has four LEDs and you can blink one of them to make sure it’s working:

Blinking Arudino

I’m going to play around with this some more and if I create anything interesting I’ll put some photos up.