The Arduino kit let me approach digital electronics, even though I was an outsider.
The amazing revolution of Arduino was basically one thing: showing people that electronics is no black magic. Arduino made electronic devices design possible to me, and to many more people who just wanted to try it. When I was a kid I did use soldering irons, solder and PCBs. But I did it just slightly better than monkeys would do it.
Thanks to Arduino I became aware of the fact that electronics was quite similar to coding: you just plug a bunch of pieces together the right way and they actually work.
When the electric charge flows through circuits, resistors or capacitors, electronic components behave exactly the way the books say. Now the electronic components appealed to me just like sweets to children.
There was more. A microcontroller could be PROGRAMMED! It would receive some inputs – real facts, actions such as pressing a button – and it could set on or set off some tiny electrical switches. An algorithm would manage everything. The switches were the pins of the microcontroller.
Now, everything was possible. By carefully choosing more components I could get any kind of behaviour. Prototyping boards or Printed Circuit Boards would connect microchips and the classical electronics components: resistors, capacitors, diodes and triacs, transistors and the like.
The programming was done in a slightly modified C language. The code is written and compiled on the pc, then it is uploaded to the chip.
I completed a few projects, using many components (including Lcd screens and Mux to get more outputs, “virtual pins”). I built Arduino itself – that is, the part of Arduino that I needed to embed in my devices.
I also used some Cad software: