TV, laptops, phones, printers, alarms, cars, toys… they all have one common thing. They all need to be turned on and off, and so they all have at least one switch on them. Switches are the most simple and direct form of user input for any kind of device. They let the user give a clear instruction to a device, so the device in turn can respond appropriately. There are several types of switches, in different forms and sizes, and in this tutorial we will examine the most common among them.
Here we are. The time has come to build our first projects. We’ll meet the components in our disposal, figure out how to connect them, and then all we have to do is code. Code. Code… Code something useful that can make our everyday lives easier, or perhaps something fun that can entertain us. There is no stopping you from building anything… from the silliest children’s toy to the next spaceship that will travel to Mars!
A microcontroller (
uC) is a computing device. Its main job is to perform computations… it takes some data from its memory, manipulates them, and then stores them back to memory. But having data in a uC’s RAM doesn’t do much good. In order to make use of that information, we have to be able to take it out of the uC and realize it in some way. To do that, a uC has
outputs that can transfer out bits of information to devices that can display it, make sound or light, cause something to move, etc.
If you are here, then you are probably interested in microcontrollers or electronics in general. Perhaps, you’ve heard how prevalent microcontrollers are in everyone’s life, from the alarm clock that wakes someone up in the morning to the smartphone that lets you do anything nowadays. And now, you are wondering how you can make things work for you just the way you like them… how you can program a microcontroller yourself!