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Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide


Cover image for Arduino


A Quick-Start Guide


Arduino is an open-source platform that makes DIY electronics projects easier than ever. Even if you have no electronics experience, you’ll be creating your first gadgets within a few minutes. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a universal remote, a motion-sensing game controller, and many other fun, useful projects. This book has now been updated for Arduino 1.0, Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide, Second Edition, with revised code, examples, and screenshots throughout. We’ve changed all the book’s examples and added new examples showing how to use the Arduino IDE’s new features.

About this Title

Pages: 272
Published: 2011-01-10
Release: P5.0 (2014-03-28)
ISBN: 978-1-93435-666-1

With this Quick-Start Guide you’ll be creating your first gadgets within a few minutes, following the step-by-step instructions and photos throughout the book. You’ll build your own motion-sensing game controller with a three-axis accelerometer, connect the Arduino to the Internet and program both client and server applications, and create a universal remote with an Arduino and a few cheap parts. Plus, you’ll build your own burglar alarm that emails you whenever someone’s moving in your living room, integrate Nintendo’s Wii Nunchuk into your projects, make binary dice, learn how to solder, and more.

Sidebars throughout the book point you to exciting real-world projects using the Arduino, plenty of exercises will extend your skills, and “What If It Doesn’t Work” sections help you troubleshoot common problems.

With Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide, beginners can quickly join the worldwide
community of hobbyists and professionals who use the Arduino to prototype and
develop fun, useful inventions.

See photos of projects built by our readers over on Flickr. (And if you have photos of your project, please send them to

Hi resolution images from the book are also on Flickr, arranged by chapter.

Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


  • Getting Started with Arduino
    • Welcome to the Arduino
    • Inside the Arduino
  • 8 Arduino Projects
    • Building Binary Dice
    • Building a Morse Code Generator Library
    • Sensing The World Around Us
    • Building a Motion Sensing Game Controller excerpt
    • Tinkering with the Wii Nunchuk excerpt
    • Networking with Arduino
    • Creating Your Own Universal Remote Control
    • Controlling Motors with Arduino
  • Appendixes
    • Basics of Electronics
    • Advanced Arduino Programming
    • Advanced Serial Programming
    • Bibliography

Shopping List

This is the full list of all parts you’d need for all projects in the book; some of these are provided as part of various kits that are available on the web, or you can purchase individually. Sources include,,,, and Please note we do not support or endorse any of these vendors, but list them here as a convenience for you.

  • Arduino Uno (or Duemilanove or Diecimila) board
  • USB cable
  • Half-size breadboard
  • Pack of LEDs (at least 3, 10 or more is a good idea)
  • Pack of 100Ω, 10kΩ, and 1kΩ resistors
  • Four pushbuttons
  • Breadboard jumper wire / connector wire
  • Parallax Ping))) sensor
  • Passive Infrared sensor
  • An infrared LED
  • A 5V servo motor
  • Analog Devices TMP36 temperature sensor
  • ADXL335 accelerometer breakout board
  • 6 pin 0.1" standard header (might be included with the ADXL335)
  • Nintendo Nunchuk controller
  • Arduino Ethernet shield
  • Arduino Proto shield and a tiny breadboard (optional but recommended)
  • Piezo speaker/buzzer (optional)
  • Tilt sensor (optional)
  • A 25-30 Watts soldering iron with a tip (preferrably 1/16")
  • A soldering stand and a sponge
  • A standard 60/40 solder (rosin-core) spool for electronics work


Maik Schmidt has worked as a software developer for more than 15 years, creating solutions for large enterprises. He frequently writes book reviews and articles and is the author of Enterprise Recipes with Ruby and Rails and Enterprise Integration with Ruby.