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Learn Programming and Electronics with Arduino

Mar 16, 2017


In this video, I’ll explain what parts you'll need to complete this Arduino Crash Course. Immediately below this discussion section, there is a summary checklist of links for these parts. You're welcome to check it out!

The links take you to Jameco, a United States based electronics supplier. I'm actually one of their affiliates. So, if you decide to click any of those links below, you’ll be helping to make me a multi-millionaire and continue to buy fuel for my yacht. So that would be awesome.

All joking aside, you might already have a lot of this stuff laying around. It just depends on how much you've been into electronics thus far.

The first thing you'll need is an Arduino UNO. As you may or may not know, Arduino has all types of derivatives out there.

An Arduino UNO

There is a company named Arduino that made the board. That is the official Arduino, but Arduino is open-source hardware.

In other words, the Arduino company made the board’s schematics and everything publicly available. Therefore, anybody can take access that information and replicate the board. Anyone can duplicate it, modify it, and even legally sell it.

That’s why there are so many derivatives, or clones, out there of an Arduino UNO board. They are basically the exact same thing as your official Arduino UNO. Sometimes you’ll find that maybe one or two customizations have been made.

My recommendation to you is to get an authentic, official Arduino UNO from the Arduino company while working through this course. The reason is because that prevents any discrepancies and concerns about hardware when following the tutorials.

If you're following everything in the lesson, and something is amiss, then you can at least know it's not the hardware. You’ll know that you have the same hardware with which I’m working. Again... that’s just my recommendation.

Now, if you already have an Arduino clone or derivative, feel free to use it. It will probably work just fine.

The next thing you'll need is a USB cable to plug your Arduino into your computer. Basic procedure is to write code on the computer and then transfer that code, uploading it to the Arduino board.

An AB USB cord

The USB we’ll be using in this course is an A-B type. One end looks like your typical USB that just plugs into a computer, and the other end is almost square - or maybe more like a little house, depending on your imagination. This other end is what would typically go into the back of a printer.

You will also need light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.


It’s best to get at least 10 of the five millimeter type. Any color of mix of colors is fine. I usually use red or white.

Next on the list are resistors.


Resistors, as the name suggests, resist the flow of current in a circuit. The bigger the number of the resistor, the more current they resist.

When it resists current, the resistor takes that electrical energy and transforms it into heat energy. Therefore, it’s important to note resistors can get hot.

Just file that away as a quick mental note for later down the line when we begin setting up circuits. You may not notice it that much for the lower level things we will be doing. However, I wanted to make you aware just in case.

This is the list of required resistors: ten 220 Ohm resistors and two 10,000 Ohm resistors (also referred to as 10 K resistors).

You’ll also need a potentiometer.


It really doesn't matter what size you get. I’ll be using a 10 K potentiometer for this course. If you have one around, you can just use that.

A potentiometer is similar to a resistor, but it's resistance can vary. That allows you to create something called a voltage divider. We won't get into that now. Just know that you need a potentiometer of any size.

Next, you'll use a solderless breadboard. No, we won’t be cutting bread - although food does sound really good right now….

But I digress, a solderless breadboard is a circuit board where you can connect electrical components together without having to solder them. It has a bunch of little holes in it, and in the holes are all these little copper clips.

A solderless breadboard

The holes are aligned in a bunch of rows and columns. The columns are electrically connected, but the rows are not.

So, you stick the leads of your electrical components, such as an LED, into the holes for the metal clips. This will complete the circuit, connecting the electronics.

This is an example of how you'll use the breadboard.

Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. For prototyping, like we'll be doing, it's a great tool since it permits quick and easy setup and changes to your circuit.

The next required items are jumper wires.

Jumper wires

These fit down into the little holes on a breadboard and into the little holes on the Arduino board. (We'll be talking about the Arduino board more later, but those are called the headers.)

Anyway, the jumper wires allow you to extend your electrical connections, giving you some extra space with which to work. You'll need 12.

Two momentary push-buttons are also on the course list.

A push button

This button is normally off. That means if you're not pressing the button, no electrical connection is made between either side of the button.

The button is off until you push it.

When you’re holding the button down, though, an electrical connection is made. Once you remove your finger, the button pops back out again, breaking the electrical connection.

They come in all different styles. However, if you follow the links below, you'll get an idea for what to look.

Finally, you'll need some alligator clips.

Alligator clips

These help you connect leads together if, for some reason, we need to connect them in a way a little different than using the holes on the solderless breadboard.

It may seems like quite a bit of equipment, but it’s really not that bad. I kept convenience in mind when creating this list. All of these items are relatively cheap.

There are a couple of other things you'll need, though. I assume that you already have a computer running Windows, Mac, some type of Mac software, or Linux.

Of course, an internet connection is also required because you'll have to download the Arduino software. I’ll explain the Arduino software in a later lesson.

There are few things that are optional. These are not covered in this crash course, but they would be fun to have in order to experiment with your code.

This is the optional equipment.

You could get a photoresistor, a temperature sensor, maybe some additional potentiometers, and an RGB LED. RGB means red, green, blue LED. It's kind of an all in one, and they are pretty neat use.

I believe that's it for the required and optional equipment. Again, the parts list is below. I’m looking forward to jumping into the course with you. See you in the next video!

Hardware List for the Arduino Crash Course

Below is the list of items you will need to get you through the course. The quantities of each provide a little leeway in case your cat eats an LED or you loose a resistor in your shag carpet. I have made every effort to keep this list minimal to provide the lowest cost to entry.

NOTE: The links below take you to Jameco, of whom I am an affiliate. The cost to you is the same, but I get a small commission for purchases that helps me keep the site running and allows me to buy giant yachts. I use Jameco for a bunch of stuff - I like and trust them. I also use Digikey, Mouser, Adafruit, Makershed and Sparkfun.


Arduino Compatible Board
USB Cable to plug in Arduino (A/B type - one end is typical USB, the other is what would go into a printer)
LEDs AKA Light Emitting Diodes (10)
10K potentiometer (1)
220 Ohm Resistor (10)
10K Ohm Resistor (2)
Jumper Wires (12)
Solderless Breadboard (1)
Pushbutton (2)
Alligator Clips (3)
Another option is to buy our Kit-on-a-Shield for Arduino:


Click here to learn more.


You'll need this stuff too:

Now there are certain things I am assuming you have access to that you will also need, these include the below items.

A computer running Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
An internet connection to download the Arduino Software
Optional stuff:

While the list above will meet all your needs, sometimes having a little extra stuff to play with makes for a more fun and diverse learning experience. Below are items you can easily experiment with alongside this course:

Photo Resistor
Additional potentiometers
RGB LEDs - red, green and blue all in one
LED matrix
Temperature sensors
Arduino Kit just for this course from Jameco:

I have had the pleasure of working with Jameco to create a kit that provides all the needed items for the Arduino Crash Course. You can check it out here.