The Basics of Development Boards for Makers & Student Tinkerers

If you are planning to create your own IoT device, it is important to invest in the hardware and development boards that can measure up to the task. Arduino boards have become very popular with makers and hobbyists due to the wide variety and the robust community of supporters.

What is a Development Board?

A development board is a printed circuit board that has some basic hardware and circuitry already in place to help expedite the development process. Depending on what the design system needs, there is a variety of pre-built development boards that you can choose from. Having all of the foundational hardware and circuitry already constructed makes life much easier and is much more conducive to experimentation and general prototyping.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is a company that manufacturers open-source hardware and software solutions. They design and manufacture single-board microcontrollers and micro controller kits. The user community helps build devices for different purposes and functions. These devices can be digital and may also be interactive depending on the requirements of the maker.

Arduino stands out from the rest because they are programmed through the Arduino IDE. Because of the user community emphasis, codes can be written and uploaded by anyone for the benefit of the ecosystem.

With Arduino, you can choose development boards that have the capability of running with the use of a 3.7V battery which is very common and easy to acquire at low costs from most electronic component stores online. Other development boards may need to run from at least 5V power source. Arduino IDE is a cross platform application written in Java that virtually anybody can use that has a basic understanding of C and C++ programming languages. There is a vast software library already written for Arduino users.

What is a microcontroller?

The brain of the Arduino board is the microcontroller (MCU). One of the things that Arduino does best is manufacture and assemble microcontroller development kits and starter kits that includes almost all the hardware and wiring components a beginner may need to build a new project. Most microcontrollers are dedicated to one task and almost always has a processor, memory and specific peripherals that make it unique to its task. A basic breadboard is is nothing more that a construction base that has nothing on it yet and to use it, you will need to install everything a microcontroller already has before it can be purposed for your project. Therefore most makers prefer to buy an Arduino starter kit, the Arduino Rev 3 boards or an Arduino ethernet shield that may save the developer hours or days in development.

Saving Time With Minimal Investment

Many of the hobbyists we speak with love using microcontroller development kits over building their own microcontroller from a basic breadboard is because the preconstructed shields and kits from Arduino, Raspberry PI kits and event the Seeduino microcontrollers are so easy to work with, low cost and they save the part time maker many hours doing the same old tedious tasks before actually constructing and programming what they wish to make. The inturn makes using Arduino development boards for IoT projects fun.

Developing IoT Projects From Your Home Workshop

The arrival of internet connected devices is considered long overdue by the tech community, but better sensors and faster, larger-capacity bandwidths are now converging to make it a reality in many homes and workspaces.

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Are you curious on how you, the part-time electronic hobbyist, can get started building your own IoT project with a short learning curve? You are in luck. Arduino, an open-source electronics platform and community, is an ideally suited and extremely affordable way to learn IoT development. Websites like Interesting Engineering, The Arduino Projects Hub and trendy sites like Hackster.io invite tinkerers, hobbyists and students to share their projects online.

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Get Started on Your New IoT Adventure

IoT is all about connecting the physical world to the cyber world. Digital signal processors collect data from smart devices and use the information to drive responsive activity from a computer “In The Cloud”. For example, you could use certain dev boards for IoT projects to construct devices that measure the amount of light coming in from a window of your house, or control the brightness of a lamp with a dimmer switch via a smartphone to keep the light level in the room consistent. A flood of similarly IoT-equipped appliances and applications are poised to hit the consumer market soon. So if you want a piece of the action from the coming revolution now is the time to try out some of your own connected device ideas.

Many electronic hobbyists and experts agree that Arduino DIY kits are the best way to get started on developing IoT devices. Arduino sports an intuitive programming language and a robust user community that generously offers support to newbies using the platform. You can run your Arduino projects on Mac, Windows and Linux, therefore no major hardware investments to get started. Learning how to combine programming and electronics hardware to build and test your own IoT projects can be challenging but also rewarding.

Lock on to This Affordable Entry Price

Learning how to develop new IoT projects and controlling real-world devices with connected computers is a hobby that can be very exciting, and you are limited only by your imagination. Do not wait for the IoT revolution to pass you by before you start learning how you can get involved. The wave is moving fast, and it is our recommendation you jump on the wave.

Designnotes.com has the best price for Arduino workshop kits and offers several different dev boards for IoT projects. YouTube is loaded with How To videos that are geared toward beginners using Arduino DIY kits and the community on Hackster.io and https://forum.arduino.cc/ are very giving. Today is a good day to get started.