Let's Make Robots!

First day with Arduino

Hi all, After a long search got an Uno yesterday.. The Getting Started page in the arduino.cc website was very easy and followed the exact steps.

I went ahead did few changes in the led blink program in the example.. Got bored with the orange light (the inbuilt) one in the board. So I wanted to connect few colour leds to the digital pin and ground. I realised I may need a breadboard for this. Planning to buy one today.. Any suggestions / pages that will me help me learn more abt the Arduino and also please let me know the components I may need along with Arduino..

PS : I was silent observer in  LMR for last few months. I am a mainframe programmer. New to Electronics and Forums. 

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Sure Robodevil , I will do those tutorials and get back But is my basic understanding correct

Shields and breadboards are just the mechanical method you choose to connect things to the Arduino. Shields plug right into the Arduino, while a breadboard does not. (Note that some shields include a breadboard prototyping area on them.)

Electrically, you can probably drive a servo from an Arduino pin without anything additional to interface. The servo just needs signal, power and ground, and the Arduino should be able to supply enough current to support a servo directly.

Many motors require higher current, and so you often need something else to drive them. Commonly, a circuit called an h-bridge is used. The h-bridge typically supplies higher current than the control lines from the Arduino can.

Check the Arduino data sheet for the amount of current per pin, and also the total amount the board can supply. Don't ask your Arduino to try to supply more current than it is rated for, or you may damage it.

yaa..you dont (upto you) need any shield for controlling servos and dc motor

you just need a breadboard and a motor driver(L293D) for motor control and for servos connect as per the tutorial

i wont recommend you to buy a shield, instead buy L293D motor driver and follow this tutorial


and for making the servos work , follow this




Is my understanding corrrect?  Servos can work with my Audrino without any shield / driver. But if I want to control a DC motor I need a motor driver ( like L293NE 1A per Channel Dual Full Bridge ) and a external power source for them..

ok , then let me go for this shield a few days later. By the way I saw two nice tutorials node/2164 and node/672 that can teach me the basics of servos and distance sensors. Let me complete them this weekend and will start with this shield

I am planning to buy this shield for my Arduino. Is it worth buying , any insights and ideas ? Also should I worry about the online support in the form of forums and tutorials specific to shields

I haven't seen this shield before, but here are my first impressions.

  • Integrated L298 motor driver: Nice! Lots of power for decent sized motors. This is the big brother of the popular L293.
  • 6 Analog pins with separate ground and power for each: Also nice, since you can use them for sensors at various voltage supplies (3.3V, 5V, etc.). Three pin servo-type connectors would have been nice, but the screw terminals are good too.
  • Integrated LCD: Nice if you want it. Otherwise it takes up 6 digital pins!
  • Two on board switches: The 'switches' look more like push buttons, which are not too useful for a mobile robot. If you are building something that stays still, these could be handy.
  • Four on board LEDs: Selectable by jumpers, which is nice in case you don't want/need the extra power drain.

Overall, I'd say this looks like a cool little board. It includes some nice features. I'd say the biggest limitations are no on board power supply if you want to run an 3.3V stuff, and it would be really nice if digital pins 2-7 could be selectable in case you don't want to use the LCD.

I went thru the tutorial and exercises in the site http://www.ladyada.net/learn/arduino/index.html. Now I am comfortable with the inputs and outputs to the board. Now I want to learn about connecting the motors , servos and sensors to my Arduino..

Any sites with good tutorials / info / exercises ?

There are a few fairly simple Arduino based robots on this site, which followed the basic Start Here approach, only using an Arduino. They should provide some good ideas and examples.

Search the site for "arduino shr".