The first thing I did was set up a circuit using a push button. At first I just copied the picture in the Arduino projects book because I wanted to make sure that I could get everything to work without blowing anything up.
Upon examination, I can tell what’s going on. The 220 ohm resistor is connected directly to the power line so I know the LED won’t blow out. The next object in the circuit is the push button. When I push it down, metal leads come into contact, completing the circuit. Until the button gets pushed, it’s an open circuit.
Pushing the button provides power to the LED, and it lights up! The last component is a jumper wire, which connects to ground. (The whole concept of grounding is still confusing to me. But as long as shit is lighting up, my ignorance clearly isn’t holding me back! (I’m going to live to regret these words.))
The next thing I wanted to do was try out the potentiometer. I found some online tutorials and was able to get some sweet potentiometer action. Below you can see the circuit with a single LED, and then two LEDs in series and in parallel:
Here are two more videos. There was some suspense with the parallel circuit–wasn’t sure the green guy was gonna make it!