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Arduino Programming Course

Philosophy of these pages

If you work through all of the tutorials in this site, in order, you will be taken on an adventure. In the course of it you will be introduced to almost every aspect of Arduino programming. Along the way, many relevant electronics lessons will be taught.

If you are just getting started with Arduinos, you may need to access different tutorials for "how to hook up an LED?", for "how do I set up the compiler?", etc. Excellent tutorials for those needs already exist, for instance, the set of lessons at These tutorials assume that you have a Arduino and the IDE for it set up and working. Having said that, I should mention that the tutorials assume very little prior knowledge on your part. The various getting started tutorials can be used as "cook books" by people who are still in the dark as to why anything is working. The tutorials that this note is about should shine light in that darkness.

(If you look at the LadyAda material, don't be frightened off by the mention of the $65 starter kit... It includes an Arduino, amoung other things. It is probably good value, if you haven't started your Arduino "life" yet, but is not the most cost conscious option available to you.)

Please introduce this site to any intelligent, self-disciplined 12 year olds you may know. I hope it is written in such a way that they can profit from it.

Some of the examples are trivial... but they serve to illustrate some point or other. The last example in the course is anything but trivial.

A few topics have not yet been incorporated into the adventure. They will, at least, be explicitly listed when the project is finished.

In due course, I hope to make the sourcecode downloadable in Arduino-friendly form. At the moment all you have to do is to use copy and paste to "type" the code into the Arduino IDE.

The site is "under construction". One of the really tedious editing chores which may be incomplete is the conversion of >s and <s in the soucecode blocks from what I typed when I drafted them to what is needed by the web to display those characters properly. Apologies for any lapses which are still present when you read this. Use your browswer's "view page source" (it is under the "View" menu item in Firefox) if a block of source seems to have problems... and send me the URL ("www... thingie") of the page concerned, please?, if you encounter any.

Making copies of this material: Some of my other tutorials are in use in prisons and other places where direct access to the web is problematic. If you want to distribute copies of this material, that is allowed with certain restrictions. The main ones are: You will only have a non-exclusive license. I won't pay you anything. My name and a citation of the source (the URL) must be included. The material must not be heavily edited, i.e. it must be distributed more or less as I published it. The links to my freeware/ shareware site must be included in the copy. There are further notes on these matters at my page about copying my work. Despite the title of that page, you are NOT authorised to re-publish extensive chunks of this material online. The limited license is intended to make the material available to people who cannot easily access the material directly, via the web. Do, by all means... thank you!... quote samples of the material here, and tell people about the website! (However, please do not ask me to put a link to YOUR page on my page before YOU have put a link to MY page on YOUR page.)

Whew! And I haven't even visited a lawyer for his thoughts on what I need to put here! It could be even longer!

I'm afraid that, in general, I'm not going to be able to help with "I wrote this program, why won't it do what I want?" type questions. But please DO write, if you are feeling kind, if you spot any errors in the tutorials, or have come across bits that were explained in a way that took you a while to unravel, i.e. things that ought to be corrected. Not for me.. for the poor souls who will read the page after you did, and could, by your kindness, be spared the trouble you had.

For "Why won't my program...?" I can highly commend the nice people at the Arduino forums, who are very helpful. Also, discussions held there help not just you, but also the people who come after you. Many, many questions have already been answered, and a quick search of previous discussions will save you waiting for an answer.

One last imprecation: If while working through these tutorials, you find yourself feeling "I don't need to know this" when reading a passage... don't skip, don't skim. Stay focussed. While you may not "need" what the passage is about to stay "legal", the passage may be one of those guiding you towards doing things WELL, instead of merely "adequately".

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SPELL your search term properly. When I review search logs, it is amazing how many people ask the engine to search for something meaningless.

Why does this site cause a script to run? I have my web-traffic monitored for me by eXTReMe tracker. They offer a free tracker. If you want to try it, check out their site. And if there are Google ads on the page, they are run with scripts, too.

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Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!
Click here to visit editor's freeware, shareware page.

Here is how you can contact this page's editor. This page, and the software it references, ©TK Boyd, 1/2010.

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