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Introduction to the modules

Page history last edited by jhuynh@gmail.com 12 years, 3 months ago

This section provides a quick overview of the electronic modules used throughout the rest of the book. Each of the modules is available through online stores. We have only listed below those modules that are directly compatible with each other.




The main microprocessor, which runs applications and source code programs.



Filled with sockets and small holes to insert other electronic components and wires.




Touchscreen, OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen, with 128 by 128 resolution, 8 megabit memory, and an onboard graphics processor.



Used to replicate the pins from the Arduino out, provide additional circuit-building space.


Lithium Backpack

Provides +5 or +3.3 volt power to a circuit. Also contains a marked ground wire, and voltage divider pin to measure the charge level of the battery.


Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Source of light, often measured by brightness in lumens.


Buttons and Switches

Sources of input, mechanically driven, and often with different characteristics that dictate how the switch behaves (e.g. does it complete the circuit when depressed, or released, and does the circuit remain closed until another click, or is it on-then-off).


Analog Input

Often a potentiometer or voltage divider, these act as resistors.


GPS (Global Positioning System) Receiver

Serially controlled, able to detect GPS signals from GPS satellites. This one is from Libelium.



Measures acceleration and movement in 2 or 3 axis dimensions.


Motion Detector

Sensor that measures motion by triggering a signal when light patterns in front of the lens change.



Measures the distance to a flat object by sending out small, high frequency sound blips, and measuring how long it takes to receive them back. This one is made by Parallax.



Takes in digital audio files and plays back audio. Designed by LadyAda, and available from Adafruit Industries.



Controls a set of up to 4 motors. Designed by LadyAda, and available from Adafruit industries.



Designed by LadyAda and used to assist with prototyping. It provides a handy prototyping space on top of the Arduino.


Solid Core Wires

Typically gauge 24 AWG, wire is essential for connecting components like switches and LEDs to your gadget.


USB Cables

A type B USB cable is the same shape as a USB printer cable, and connects to the Arduino. A type B-mini can be used to charge the Lithium Backpack.

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