This week's video on Electronics teaches you how to blink LEDs with an Arduino in the 123D Circuits virtual circuit simulator. Its super-simple because the code is already pre-written and saved into the Arduino. Opening it and making changes is a snap! And don't stop there... we're growing the list of how-to videos every week!
123D Circuits is a fantastic place to go to build electronic circuits without leaving your computer. It's as simple as dragging together components and watching them come alive in your web browser. It's fast, it's free, and it's quite powerful.
You can do this yourself, just head over to 123D Circuits and sign in, then create a "New Breadboard Circuit" then follow along with the video. You never know, this could be the beginning of something big - we think so!
Having these two new components is valuable for a few reasons:
The first is that you may want to design your projects with components that are a lot smaller than an UNO and fit on a breadboard. Your projects will look cleaner, use less wires, and if you’re also building a physical project using the smaller MICRO or ATTINY you’ll save some money over the bigger UNO.
Secondly, if you think about it the ATTINY isn’t really an Arduino board, it’s a chip made by Atmel that you can program with the same code as regular Arduino boards. Almost all Arduino boards use these Atmel chips (called “AVRs”) so it makes perfect sense that you can also use just the chip to make your projects super small.
Thirdly, if you can write code for the little ATTINY from Atmel in 123D Circuits that means you can write and compile code for any of Atmel’s AVR-series chips. This is a big deal because it opens up the possibilities of being able to design with different chips based on your needs like: How many analog inputs? How many digital pins? How much memory? Does it fit in a breadboard? Is it tiny? Is it super cheap?
Click the Read More button to see an example ATTINY project being simulated... Read more »
Whether you knew it or not, we've all touched a 555. They're inside appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, alarm clocks, little robots, zillions of toys, early computers and even a few spacecraft. They're everywhere!
Don't believe us? According to their original 1971 inventor, Hans Camenzind, production has steadily ramped up to an astonishing 1 BILLION 555s being made per year, and they crossed that threshold in 2003!
For the announcement we put together an example circuit that when connected to a servo lets you control the angle (or position) by turning a potentiometer. Click the Read More button to load it. Read more »
Although Harsha does make printed circuit boards he has mostly focused on the breadboard simulation in 123D Circuits. He says his favorite aspects of the application are the multimeters that can pinpoint the voltage at any node and measure the current through loops. We agree, the multimeters are great, check out an example below:
"BEAM" is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. It refers to a style of robots that don't require programming - instead they use analog logic to react to stimulus of various types (like light, sound, and heat). The great thing about BEAM robots is that you can learn a lot about electronics just by making one or even taking one apart. To get an idea, check out this BEAM robot simulator in 123D Circuits and experiment by clicking on its components to see what happens.
Below is the simulation of the left 1/2 of the BEAM robot. For clarity, we've linked a simulation of just one side of the BEAM robot (the second half would be identical). Full left-right schematic here.
We’ll be releasing this as a finished circuit board so you can build one, too. We're also working on a 3D model for an enclosure in Tinkercad that you can use or build off and make your own Phototrope Bug. Stay tuned!