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We will begin our Arduino connection by creating a simple circuit. This circuit will use a small potentiometer for input, and four LEDs for visual output. The parts necessary for this circuit include:

  • An Arduino board (we will be using an Arduino Uno)
  • A small breadboard
  • A variety of jumper wires
  • Four (4) LEDs of any color
  • Five (5) 1K resistors
  • One breadboard-mounting potentiometer

Using these parts, create the following circuit layout:


(You can download the Fritzing file here)

A few notes about this circuit:

  • You will be plugging the Arduino into the computer for serial communication with the computer (and Max). Most Arduino boards have a USB port that provides power to the device. We tap into that power for the simple circuit we've created.
  • We use digital pins 2 - 5 for our LED display. You generally don't want to use pins 0 and 1, since they are used for serial communication.
  • In order to prevent overtaxing the power supply of the Arduino, use use the 1K resistors as "current limiting resistors" - they reduce the amount of current drawn from the Arduino board.

Now that we have a circuit ready, let's create an Arduino sketch that tests our board, and prepares it for communication with Max.

<Previous: Introduction> <Next: The Arduino sketch>