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Tech Explorations™ Basic electronics for Arduino Makers

An introduction to electronics to help you make the most from your Arduino or other prototyping platform.
Instructor:
Dr. Peter Dalmaris
8,205 students enrolled
English More
Understand the concepts of voltage, resistance and current
Use Ohm's Law to calculate voltage, current and resistance
Use Kirchhoff's Laws to calculate voltage and current
Understand the meaning of and calculate energy and power
Use resistors in various configurations, like in voltage dividers and voltage ladders
Read the value of a resistor from its package
Use pull-up and pull-down resistors
Understand the use of capacitors
Use capacitors as energy stores and filters
Calculate the RC time constant of a capacitor
Understand diodes
Measure the voltage drop of a diode
Understand how to use rectifier and zener diodes
Protect a circuit from reverse polarity
Understand how to use a transistor to control low and high power loads
Calculate the currents and base resistor for a bipolar transistor
Use the correct voltage regulator for any circuit

Are you an Arduino maker, able to make things by following how-to guides and are confident with writing or modifying sketches, yet you are not so confident about things like calculating transistor currents, voltage drops and using capacitors as filters?

You are not alone. I have been teaching Arduino and Raspberry Pi topics for years. During this time I have realized that while these platforms are great for helping you to start tinkering with electronics, you will not be able to truly enjoy their power until you have understood basic electronics.

This is what this course is about. It is about helping you achieve a better level of understanding of the basic electronics principles and components that are commonly used in making on platforms like the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi.

I have designed this course for anyone with a basic understanding of electronics, who has already spent time tinkering with Arduinos. 

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to use commonly used components found in Arduino projects. You will also have learned how to do the relevant measurements and calculations to help you select appropriate components for your projects. 

To complete this course, you will need a few cheap and common components and tools: resistors, capacitors, transistors, LED, diodes, and batteries. You will also need a multimeter, a small breadboard and jumper wires. All of these are probably things that you already have.

Starting up

1
Study guide
2
Parts list

For a list of parts and tools that I use in this course please see https://techexplorations.com/parts/befam-parts/

3
The tools you will need
4
The parts you will need
5
About software

Electronics, basic concepts

1
Electricity, particles, and current
2
What is voltage?
3
What is voltage? (supplemental)
4
What is current?
5
What is resistance?
6
Ohm's Law
7
Ohm's Law

The questions in this quiz will test your understanding of Ohm's Law


8
Calculating energy
9
Power and energy

These questions will test your understanding of power and energy.

10
Kirchhoff's Law
11
Kirchhoff's Law example

Resistors

1
Introduction to resistors
2
Reading resistor values

These questions will help you practice your resistor value reading skills. 

3
A simple resistor circuit
4
Resistor power rating
5
Resistor power

Can you determine if a given resistor can be safely used under the specified current requirements in the following questions?

6
The variable resistor
7
Voltage divider
8
Voltage dividers

These questions will exercise you in calculating voltage divider outputs.

9
Voltage divider with current draw
10
Voltage dividers, with current draw

Using the 10% rule, calculate the appropriate resistors in the voltage divider for the following problem.

11
Current divider
12
Current dividers

The questions in this quiz will help you practice solving current divider problems.

13
Pull-up and pull-down resistors

Capacitors

1
Introduction to capacitors
2
Basic capacitor quiz

These questions will help you practice your basic capacitor skills.

3
Capacitors for storing energy
4
Capacitors as filter
5
Capacitors in series and parallel
6
Capacitors in parallel and series

These questions are about capacitors connected in parallel.

7
What is the RC time constant
8
An RC time constant experiment
9
RC time constant

These questions will help you practice your knowledge of the RC time constant.

Diodes

1
Introduction to diodes
2
Voltage drop and current regulation
3
Measuring the voltage drop in a diode
4
The voltage dropper circuit
5
Voltage drop

These questions will help you practice your understanding of the diode voltage drop concept.

6
Zener diodes
7
A circuit that includes a zener diode with a load
8
Zener diode

This problem will help you consolidate your working knowledge of the Zener diode.

9
Reverse polarity protection
10
How to calculate the appropriate resistor value for an LED
11
Calculating the LED protective resistor

These questions will help you practice calculating the correct resistor for an LED.

Transistors

1
Introduction to transistors
2
Calculating the currents in a transistor circuit
3
Calculating transistor currents

Practice simple transistor circuits with these problems.

4
A circuit with the 2N2222 bipolar transistor
5
A circuit with a TIP122 and a high-power LED
6
A circuit with a TIP122 and a motor

Voltage regulators

1
Introduction to IC voltage regulators
2
Fixed voltage regulator
3
A variable voltage regulator circuit
4
How to calculate the resistors for a variable voltage regulator
5
Voltage regulation with the LM317

These problems will help you practice using the LM317 in your circuits.

Conclusion

1
What did you learn? What's next?
2
Other courses by Peter Dalmaris
You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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