It’s Alive! Arduino Success

A followup to my last post, wherein nothing worked.

This time it worked just as advertised. Definitely a woohoo moment! And just in case you don’t believe me, I’ve uploaded some video after the jump.

So what happened in between the last attempt and this one? Lots. First I went to Radio Shack on Friday and bought a package of assorted resistors and a nicer breadboard, which has letter and number markings and is bigger than the “tiny breadboard” that came in the Arduino starter kit from Adafruit. Friday night I bought Adafruit’s Circuit Playground app, which is an amazing resource for someone like me. Today I went to Harbor Freight tools and got several nice storage/tool kits to stash my components in, a digital multimeter, and a couple of magnifiers. One of them you wear like a hat and is sure to help me score MAJOR geek points.

Then I sat down with all my new stuff and tried to find a 220 ohm resistor, as per the instructions on the Arduino website. Guess what? Didn’t have one. Did I mention that I’m color-blind and have a hard time figuring out the color bands on those tiny resisters? When I realized I didn’t have that size resistor, I didn’t know if you could use another one, whether the other had to be stronger, weaker…. Did some googling and found that using one close usually is OK, so I used a 330 ohm resistor, which was the closest I had. I used the Circuit Playground app to check different color bands as best I could till I found the 330 ohm one.

Copied the Processing code from the Arduino site, debugged it, got it running. Then the moment of truth…. uploaded the “sketch” (as Arduino programs are called) and ….. drumroll please………..

Nothing happened. The LED didn’t light up at all, didn’t fade in and out. Didn’t do anything. Said a few choice words. Then started wiggling components, just to make sure everything was connected right. When I tapped the LED, it lit up. Oh ho! Then I pushed it down to make sure it had contact with the bottom of the breadboard, ran the sketch again and BAM: fading LED! Woohoo!

I know someday I’ll re-read this and laugh at the total newbiness of this post. But today is a good day.

PS – if the vid is upside down, my apologies.



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