Cover by Adam Wolf, Matthew Beckler, John Baichtal

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Chapter 6. Basic Electronic Theory

IN THIS CHAPTER

Basic Concepts in Electricity

Know Your Electronic Components

Sensors 101

Further Study

What can you do with these obscure components? This chapter will give you the scoop
Figure 6-1. What can you do with these obscure components? This chapter will give you the scoop

The reason that Mindstorms and Arduino can work so well together is that both systems are based on standard electronics components and concepts. In this chapter, you will learn all about basic electronic theory in a practical, project-oriented way. We start with a quick introduction to the basic electronic components like resistors and capacitors. After that we’ll introduce a variety of interesting sensors you might want to use in your own Lego and Arduino projects.

Basic Concepts in Electricity

Let’s learn a bit about some basic electricity concepts such as voltage and current. Electricity is the physical phenomenon of moving electric charges (electrons), but for most of the things we’ll do, it’s simply the flow of electrons through metal wires and circuit components. The three most important properties of the flow of electricity in a circuit are the voltage, the current, and resistance.

Voltage, Current & Resistance

Voltage

Sometimes called “electric potential,” this is a measurement of how much the electrons want to move from one location to another. The way it works is that the higher the voltage, the stronger the “pressure” for the electrons to move from one ...

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