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Today's world is filled with electronics and electrical equipments. Electronics are what our lives are controlled by and based on. We cannot imagine a single day without electronic equipment. From lighting our room to cooking food, we all rely on electronic components. Electronic equipment like cell phones, computers, fans, light bulbs has made our life very easier and comfortable. Modern advancement is not possible without the advancement in electrical and electronics technologies. These are the fundamental and most integral part of development. Not all, but many types of electronic equipments are programmed to perform a certain task. Basically, we use microcontrollers to program and control electronics equipments. 

So What is Microcontroller?

Microcontrollers are universal cheap integrated circuits that can be programmed and are used in many electronic fields. Microcontrollers can be programmed according to our will to control electronic equipment. It is a single integrated circuit which consists of a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output terminals.
Fig: Microcontroller

Carefully chosen microcontrollers can independently control various processes and devices such as industrial automation, electric current, etc. It is a wonder how a single, small chip can control and automate big electronic equipment.

How does Microcontroller operate?

A microcontroller is embedded inside a system to the singular function of a device. It receives signals from a peripheral and interprets it in its central processor. The temporary information it receives is stored in its memory and then is used to control the equipment once it deciphers the stored instruction in the program memory. 
For example, in an elevator, push-buttons and Magnetic contact sensors are input parts of the microcontroller. LCD display unit and H-bridge driver circuit are output parts of the microcontroller.

What are the elements of the microcontroller?

The main elements of microcontroller are:
  • The processor: It is also called as CPU. It works as a brain of the microcontroller. It processes and responds to various instructions that directs microcontroller functions. 
  • Memory: The microcontroller's memory is used to store the data processor receives and the use it to respond instructions programmed to carry out. 
  • I/O Peripherals: The input ports receive the information and send it off to the processor in the form of binary data. The processor receives the information and sends it off to output devices that execute tasks.

Applications of Microcontrollers: 

Experts always strive to introduce innovation in automation that requires minimum effort and gives maximum output. The microcontroller was introduced in the electronics industry with the purpose of making our tasks easy which comes with even a remote connection with automation in any wayMicrocontrollers have a wide range of applications. Microcontrollers are used from simple home appliances to big industrial appliances. In the 21st century, the use of electronic equipments has increased vastly. And among those equipments, automatic electronic equipments are preferred in which microcontrollers are used. Microcontrollers are basically used in automatically operated and controlled products, such as Elevator, Escalators, Automobiles, Remote controls, Appliances, etc. 
Some common kinds of microcontrollers are 8-bit Microcontrollers(eg. Arduino UNO), 32-bit Microcontrollers(eg. ARM cortex series), System on Chip Devices(eg. ESP8266), etc. 
Here we will discuss Arduino UNO. 

Arduino UNO:

Arduino UNO is a microcontroller board based on ATmega328P. It is the best microcontroller to get started with the projects. It has 14 digital Input/Output pins out of which 6 can be used as PMW outputs, 6 analog inputs, 16MHz ceramic resonator, a USB connection, a power jack, ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed for a microcontroller. We can simply connect it to a computer with USB cable and power it with an AC-to-DC adapter or simply a battery to get started with. 
If we come to an electronic point of view then Arduino has a signal flow in current or in voltage form. Every electrical device work in the same format. Suppose, we have to turn the motor on for 5 minutes and then turn it off. What we do is, switch the motor on for 5 minutes and then switch it off.
This is a manual form of the task and now we can automate the same task by using Arduino. 
In this tutorial, we are going to do the same and the concept will be based on open circuit and close circuit.
fig-a                                         fig-b


In the figure- a, we can see the circuit is closed and current flows in it whereas in figure-b the circuit is open and current doesn't flow. 

So we will be provided with 20-25 connecting points in the Arduino and according to our desire, we can make a connection off and on in certain time intervals.

 You can see the pin configuration of Arduino UNO in the given link below:

Now we will focus on how pin works:

DIGITAL PINS (Pin No. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13)
Fig: Digital signal
Digital pin means zero(0) or one(1) i.e.
  • zero(0)=Open Circuit or named as LOW
  • one(1)= Closed Circuit or named as HIGH
Here LOW means we will switch off the bulb and HIGH means switch on the bulb. in the above figure, in high condition, there is 5V i.e. the shaded area in the graph and at the low condition, it is zero volts i.e. non-shaded area in the graph.

ANALOG PINS (Pin No. A0,A1,A2,A3,A4,A5)

Analog value means values that are in variation. like adjusting the voltage or taking values from the sensor.
For eg: sine waves have variation in values at every point of the wave.
Fig: Analog Signal
Whenever we take values from sensors suppose proximity sensor then we get response voltage ranging from 0 to 3 volts and it may be any data like 2.7 or 1.2 volts. and for calculating the accurate values we have to sense this variation in voltages and it cannot be done by a digital signal so we use analog pins.

So we can conclude that digital pin says there is presence or absence of data but analog pins senses signal with the accurate value that it receives.

If you have any query regarding this topic you can contact us at nasaelectronics157@gmail.com

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  1. hello everyone, do ask for any query

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