Commencing in the January 2023 issue of Practical Electronics, which is the UK’s premier electronics, computing, and maker hobbyist magazine, I’m going to be publishing a series of monthly columns under the umbrella moniker of Arduino Bootcamp.
One the one hand, I know I can’t explain everything, not least that the publisher of the magazine has told me to assume that the readers already understand fundamental concepts like voltage, current, and resistance, how solderless breadboards work, and stuff like that.
On the other hand, I have a niggling feeling that some of my readers may not be 100% au fait with all of this stuff. This is one of the reasons I penned my recent Arduinos and Solderless Breadboards blog because it will give me something to which I can point in my Arduino Bootcamp columns.
When it comes to fundamental concepts like voltage, current, and resistance, I just remembered that—deep in the mists of time—I posted a series of articles on Hackaday.io that may well prove useful, so I thought I’d provide links to those articles here as follows:
- Part 1: What is this series all about? Who is it for? What are we going to learn?
- Part 2: Introducing the concepts of voltage, current, resistance, and charge, and deriving the relationship between them using a water analogy.
- Part 3: This is where we start to probe the mysteries of the universe, starting with protons, neutrons, electrons, and atoms.
- Part 4: This is where we take our knowledge of atoms in the form of electrons, protons, and neutrons, and use it to build batteries that we can use to power our electronic circuits.
- Part 5: Now it’s time to consider a simple circuit formed from a battery, a resistor, and two pieces of copper wire. Also, we introduce Ohm’s law.
- Part 6: It’s important to do the math before we flip the power switch to its “On” position, otherwise we may find ourselves living in interesting times.
- Part 7: Now it’s time to see what happens when we connect two resistors in series (spoiler alert, we end up creating a voltage divider).
- Part 8: In this column we discover what happens when we connect multiple resistors in parallel, i.e., side-by-side (spoiler alert, we end up creating a current divider).
- Part 9: In order to measure voltages between different points, it’s necessary to establish a common point of reference.
- Part 10: It doesn’t take long for beginners to electronics to wonder why resistors seem to have unusual values. Why is this the case?
- Part 11: Since it simply isn’t possible for manufacturers to create every conceivable resistor value, the industry has settled on the E-series of preferred values.
- Part 12: We are poised to start using a multimeter to measure resistance values, but which is best — a regular multimeter or an auto-ranging device?
- Part 13: Now we are ready to start measuring the values of our resistors using both regular and auto-ranging multimeters.
- Part 14: The excitement mounts because this is where we create our first real electronic circuit and start blowing things up.
It’s always interesting to revisit the basics, even after decades of doing electronics, so that your own explanations to beginners or the curious can be better and maybe some of your own assumptions reexamined. I really enjoyed the series and the illustrations were terrific! It’s all about creating a mental model that forms a framework for future learning and this did it pretty well – nicely done.
Hi Joel — thank you so much for your kind words — I totally agree about building a mental model — that’s what I’m doing in my Arduino Bootcamp columns.