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3.3v, 5v, Various Ports and Components, oh my.

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#1 Oammar


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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

Hey all,

Another new prospective software developer here looking to delve deeper into the electrical engineering world in terms of working toward bringing programing to literal life. As well as understanding how programing and physical interfaces can connect within the Universe. I currently have a netduino, breadboard, shield and various other basic components on order, and I can't wait to dive in.

I don't have much experience in electronic assembly outside of assembling computer parts, but I am eager to learn. What would you recommend kit wise, or learning wise from the get go? First foot in the door project I have lined up is just a photocell interfacing with a Diffused RGB (tri-color) LED. From reading a post about that Diffused RGB I know it is recommended to use resistors, but that is an aspect where I get a bit lost. I don't know why it is recommended to use a resistor, when do I know when to use different / other components for other projects?

I've been wrapping my mind around how everything interfaces electronic wise, such as the digital and analog pins. When do I know when to use which i/o pins (UART 1 RX, UART 2 RX, TX, PWM, UART 2 RTS, SPI MOSI, MISO, SPCK). Power pins (/RESET, 3v3, 5v, Gnd, Vin, Aref) what type do I use and when? Or analog in pins (I2C SDA, SCL), are the 0-3 pins different on the analog in then the 0-3 for the digital i/o pins?

Most importantly and boggling aspect is the conversion(s) between 3.3v and 5v (vice-versa), when would I encounter this? How do I know what to look for and how do I solve it? Do I have to use a resistor, diodes, transistors, or some other component?

As you can see I'm pretty much walking in the dark, haha. However, I am oh so very excited.

Thank you for any guidance,

- Oammar

#2 georgejh


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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:20 AM

...I know it is recommended to use resistors, but that is an aspect where I get a bit lost. I don't know why it is recommended to use a resistor, when do I know when to use different / other components for other projects?

Perhaps reading and following this tutorial will give you some idea why.

#3 Mario Vernari

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:03 PM

Happy to hear from you that hardware is exciting (sometime much more than software). If the voltage was the speed, and the current the weight of a truck running toward your home's wall...then probably you'll mean why the resistance can be thought as the brakes. The wall may break, as a led may blow. Anyway, I'll follow the George's suggestion, to walk a step at once. Don't worry about strange components, or the pinouts of the Netduino. Most of the people here had learn by books, our Wiki and questions. We're still children, but we are growing! Cheers
Biggest fault of Netduino? It runs by electricity.

#4 Mike P

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:09 AM

Welcome aboard. One of the first steps in learning is figuring out what questions to ask. Judging from your post you have that well underway. You will find many basic tutorials on the net. There's dozens of them. A basic understanding of the function of resistors, diodes and capacitors will answer a lot of your questions. I would make sure you understand why a resistor is required before you connect your LED to your netduino. There is no overcurrent protection on the netduino outputs which means you can burn them out. Good luck

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