Arduino Short Course for Absolute Beginners

A free 13-part course specifically designed to teach the newcomer to programming and electronics how to use the Arduino.

“Awesome, awesome, awesome!  You were the only person that explained things such as the if statement and array in such a manner that I could understand. Thanks!” -AJ

There is tons of information on the internet about Arduino including forums, tutorials, and project websites  - it is overwhelming (and time consuming)!  Especially when you are looking for a simple and concise introduction to the basics – many times, people assume too much electronics or programming background (or both), making it difficult to get anywhere.

The Arduino Short Course for Absolute Beginners is a tutorial style collection of lessons designed to be simple and easy to follow which uses only the most relevant circuits and programs and assumes nothing about your prior electronics or programming experience.

What you will Learn:

  • The basics of programming your Arduino
  • Just enough electronics to be dangerous
  • How to make your Arduino respond to sensors
  • How to build teleporters, levitating fortresses and nuclear reactors (maybe a stretch…)

The course will cover the most useful, enlightening and simplest examples to get you started on the road to hacking just about anything.

What you will Need:

  • An investment of about two weeks of your time, with 25-30 minutes daily
  • An Arduino Board
  • A handful of common components amounting to around $40 U.S.

“I’ve been checking out different tutorials and yours are by far the best. Others tutorials are often very stressful but yours are paced so that they leave some “thinking room”. And your explanations are great.”

-Michael

What to Expect:

The course is composed of short video tutorials with accompanying step-by-step instructions and thorough discussion of what is taking place in each program.  Each tutorial builds on one another, allowing you to reapply what you have learned almost every lesson.

Each lesson ends with suggestions of experiments to try on your own.  These are generally simple changes that make you think about the operation of the Ardunio and the underlying programming language.  It is doing these where you will learn the most.

Why we Think this Course Rocks:

  • Step-by-step instructions to walk you through building circuits and programming your Arduino
  • Each line of code in the programs are discussed to maximize your understanding of the fundamentals
  • Repetition of the basic programming building blocks are used to increase your retention of the material
  • Only a handful of additional parts are necessary to complete the course lessons, many of which are reused from lesson to lesson, reducing your investment in learning how to use Arduino
  • 95% of the programs you will use are built into the free Arduino software as examples, so you will have no need to waste time downloading programs for the lessons in the course
  • The simple building blocks you learn will be put together to build more complex examples
  • Video tutorials which mirror the lessons are linked to in order to offer an additional method of learning

Get Started Now:

There is no better time to jump in then now!  The Arduino community is vibrant and growing.  Simply enter your email address and get started!

I’ve been struggling for a long time to get my head around this for loop. Thanks to this tutorial I now have it sorted. You have a very good method of teaching this stuff. Thanks for taking the time to make these videos, without them I would be wearing a straight jacket by now.” – TheStarShifter

“I just wanted to let you know that I have found your arduino course quite helpful and informative. I’m still very early into my adventures with arduino and electronics but so far your tutorials have been quite straight forward and easy to follow.” – Todd

Still Want to Know More?

A little more about whats inside the course:

The course is broken up into the following video and written tutorials, these mirror the examples that come installed with your Arduino software:

Short Course:

Installation/Familiarization

Tutorial 00: Course Introduction

Tutorial 01: Arduino Hardware Overview

Tutorial 02: Download and Install the Arduino IDE

Tutorial 03: Arduino IDE and Sketch Overview

Tutorial 04: Understanding Arduino Syntax

Basics

Tutorial 05: Understanding and Using Variables

Tutorial 06: Blink an LED Challenge Discussion

Tutorial 07: digitalRead() and Serial Port Communication  + Challenge Discussion

Tutorial 08: analogRead() and Serial Port Communication

Tutorial 09: Reading Analog Pins and Converting the Input to a Voltage

Tutorial 10: Fade an LED with Pulse Width Modulation using analogWrite()

Control

Tutorial 11: If Statement Conditionals

Tutorial 12: For Loop Iteration

A consistent structure and organization is kept for each tutorial of the online course, below is how they are each laid out:

What You Will Need:  Identifies everything you will need to accomplish the chapter.

Step-by-Step Instructions: 
A simple numbered list that walks you through getting the hardware setup and running.

Discuss the Sketch: Walks through the Arduino program line by line explaining how each piece is working together.

Try On Your Own Challenge: Recommendations for simple changes that you can make to the Arduino program to help your understanding of things are working.

Further Reading:  Links to material on the web that helps deepen the understanding of the material.  The video tutorials are also linked to here.

 

What are people saying about the Arduino Course for Absolute Beginners:

“Extremely useful information for the arduino beginners like me!” -Asnida

“Just started your course using a Sparkfun kit my wife gave me for Christmas. I learn best when repeating concepts from differing perspectives…I think your “on your own exercises” are a really effective enhancement. Thanks for all your work on this.” – Jeff

“I watched your video[s] and was able to follow along very well.  Since I am just starting to learn about Arduinos and programming I felt it might be above me.  Not so, I was able to grasps the concept…not bad for an old guy of 65.” – Ken

Some things you might be thinking…


Arduino is too complicated for me to learn without spending months trying!

It will take time to learn anything well.  What is great about Arduino, is that if you are out to just get something together, you can probably do it with little to no expert knowledge.

Learning the basics will take an investment of about 2 weeks with around a half-hour a day.  What is great is how intuitive the programming and the board is, you will quickly begin to anticipate how certain programs will operate and be making your own changes to see what happens.

Do not be mistaken – becoming an Arduino ninja will take a commitment of time measured beyond weeks – but getting started is not a year long endeavor.

All the parts to complete the course will end up being expensive and the investment is more than I am willing to make!

The parts required to complete this course include:

  • Arduino compatible board
  • USB Cable to plug in Arduino (A/B type – one end is typical USB, the other is what would go into a printer)
  • LEDs AKA Light Emitting Diodes (10)
  • 10K potentiometer (1)
  • 220 Ohm Resistor (10)
  • Jumper Wires (12)
  • Solderless Breadboard (1)
  • Pushbutton (2)
  • Alligator Clips (3)

If you want to buy all the parts at once, Jameco offers a kit specifically for this course:

Arduino Course for Absolute Beginners Savings Kit.

What can I expect to be able to do after going through the course?

You should be confident to pull off the following:

  • Understanding an Arduino Program
  • Familiarization with the Arduino Board
  • Controlling Outputs
  • Measuring Digital and Analog Inputs
  • Communicating with your Computer

The idea is to get you comfortable with the basics so you can start hacking the world!

“[I] See a lot of people make tutorials on Arduino but they never really go into depth with each line of code.  Normally they would skim over the line and I’m still just as lost as before.

You went through each word of the code and explained in simple terms what it does. Thank you again and I’m eagerly waiting for more!” -AJ Robinson

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