Getting started with Arduino – L0


This is the first post of a series of articles, which I’m going to write, focused on getting started with the Arduino.

The idea is to help our Makers in getting a bit of familiarity with microcontrollers and coding, which will be precious allied for their projects.

I will write my posts following the chapters of the “Arduino Starter Kit” projects book and its hands-on examples. This will make really easy to relate theory and practice and understand how to program a microcontroller board.

Therefore the scope of this project is get control of Arduino in order to make it become the “brain” of our projects!

Arduino Starter Kit

Software: -Arduino IDE

Materials and tools: -Arduino Starter Kit

1.The Starter Kit:

The kit we are going to explore and use contains all the components we will need to realize the 15 projects described in the enclosed book.

Arduino kit components

Arduino kit components

I’m going to describe the components one by one as soon as we will encounter them in our projects (here you can find the entire list of the components included in the kit).

2.The Arduino Board:

The Arduino board is basically a simple computer, but one that has no way for you to interact with it yet. We will build the circuits and interfaces for interaction, and we will also tell the microcontroller how to interface with other components’.

Arduino UNO with explanations

3.Setting up the IDE (Integrated Development Environmet):

To be able to write programs and upload them to our board, we need to download the Arduino IDE. The Ide is free to download from here and it is available for Win, Mac and Linux.

Install and setup are really easy:

  1. Run the installation file and accept the License Agreement;

  2. Connect the Arduino board to the computer with the USB cable;

  3. Windows will start automatically the drivers’ installation;

  4. In the device manager you’ll find a new port named “Arduino UNO (COM…).

If you’ll have any problem while installing the IDE, you can check the step-by-step instructions provided on

4.First test Now everything should be ready to start programming our Arduino.

First of all connect the Arduino board to the computer with the included usb cable. As soon as you plug the cable into your Arduino the Power LED and the Pin 13 LED should illuminate.

This indicate that the board is turned on and you can start programming it.

Connecting the Arduino to the Computer

Connecting the Arduino to the Computer

The first thing we are going to make is to verify that our computer can “communicate” with the board. The Arduino IDE has a library of example programs and we are going to upload one of them to our Arduino UNO.

*the Arduino programs are called “sketch”

  • Start the Arduino IDE;

  • Navigate to the LED Blink sketch and select it;

Starting the Arduino IDE

  • A new window will open with the Blink sketch code;
  • From Tools select your board (Arduino UNO in this case), the Arduino IDE should have recognized automatically the Com port (you can see the selected port and board on the down left corner of the IDE window);

  • Then click on Upload to send the sketch to the Arduino board. When the upload is successful the IDE will show the message done uploading.

Uploading the Arduino sketch

If everything have been done correctly at the end of these steps you should see the LED with an L next to it start blinking.

We have successfully programmed our Arduino board to blink its built-in LED!

 In the next post we will go trough the first actual project with the Arduino, exploring some components and building our first working circuit!!!