Digital Input/Output

Very late version of all the projects to come!

I have never worked with wires before…actually I never realized wire strippers were all jagged because it served so many different functions! It took me a really long time to understand some basic concepts. To help future MTI-ers like myself I will add a “wiring for dummies” section to each project post. Each segment will be based on a problem I had to endure while wiring the project in the post.

First the video:

Wiring for Dummies: Foundations in Fundamentals First

Understanding the basics is the most important thing wiring. In actuality, this stuff is simple. Its all based off of one thing: the direction of a current. A current must go from a positive power source to a negative ground. While any 6th grader might be able to give you similar insight, its really important to always remember this when wiring complex systems. In the end, its just a current and everything is controlled by whether that current is getting through or not.

The specific problem I endured for this entire project was identifying whether current was actually going through or not. After 2 Masters ECE students looked at my board and program they said nothing was wrong… little did I know that after bringing it to office hours, I had no ground! Only half of the LEDs were actually being grounded, causing them not to work obviously. That simple problem once overcame exposed another more trade-specific problem: wire stripping.

Wiring is somewhat of an art. Everything from creating detailed, complex yet readable circuits to soldering thousands of tiny wires takes a consistent, steady hand and great care and attention. I was very hasty at first when stripping wires and jamming them into the breadboard and Arduino, but after uploading the program my switches would constantly be blinking or would blink when the switch was only half closed. After cutting and carefully re-stripping my wires so they were clean and unexposed the program worked fine.


  • understand what a current is and how it works
  • be patient in creating circuits, rushing causes way more frustration than a few extra seconds stripping
    + buy a nice pair of stripper…soooo worth it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: