Welcome to the Micro Center Tech Support Blog!
Find free technical support on a variety of products featured at Micro Center and plenty of how-tos on new technology. Start searching our Blog below or search our Tech Center archives »

Can't find what your looking for? Take advantage of our Tech Support services »

Join the MC Tech Support Community Forum: Get direct advice from the Knowledge Experts @ Micro Center.
Click here to access the Forum »

Search This Blog

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Arduino Workshop - Project 01: Blinking LED

Hardware Required:




Note: most Arduino modules have an LED connected to D13 already. Your LED should blink at the same time it does.

Project Steps:

  1. Insert the LED into the breadboard
  2. Connect a wire between the ground and the short pin of the LED
  3. Connect a 330 ohm resistor between the Digital pin 13 (D13) on the Arduino and the long-leg of the LED
  4. Connect the Arduino unit to your computer with the USB cable
  5. Open the Project1 sketch into the Arduino software and upload it to your module

Things to try:
  • Code: Change the blink rate from 1 second to 3 seconds
  • Code: Change the blink rate to "strobe" at 50 times per second.
  • Can you change it to blink at 60 times per second?
  • LED: What happens if you reverse the LED (resistor & short-leg to D13, long-leg to GND)?
  • LED: What happens if you reverse the LED but connect the long-leg to +5V?
  • Code & LED - Change the sketch to use an LED connected to D7 instead of D13

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Common Electronic Components used with Arduino




Resistor, units = Ohms Ω
K = 1000, M = 1000000

Resistor values can be determined by "decoding" the color
stripes on the device. The first two colors are the value, the third stripe
is a multiplier (number of zeros to add). The fourth stripe is usually
metallic and indicates the tolerance.

Schematic 1

Resistor values

Potentiometer (adjustable / variable resistor)
Units = Ohms Ω
K = 1000, M = 1000000

Potentiometers may have a numerical value printed on the side or
bottom. Read this similar to the color stripes. In the image, you can see a
value of 103; In a color code, this would be Brown-Black-Orange = 10000 ohms
or 10K ohms.

Schematic 2


Photo Resistor, units = Ohms Ω
K = 1000, M = 1000000

Schematic 3

Photo Resistor

LED (Light Emitting Diode)
The short leg connects to the ground or negative, and long leg to a positive
voltage source in your circuit.

Schematic 4


The stripe on the barrel indicates the cathode and corresponds to the
"T" side of the schematic.

Schematic 4


Switch (pushbutton, toggle, momentary contact)
Other switch configurations include:
DPST - Double
pole, single throw
SPDT - Single
pole, double throw
DPDT - Double
pole, double throw

SPST - Single pole, single throw:


The 5-pin configuration pictured corresponds closely to the
schematic, with the 2-pin end for the (electromagnet) coil, and the 3-pin
connection for the switch.


5-pin configuration

Transistor - NPN



The Arduino UNO modules have three pins identified as a ground connection.
This is usually connected to the negative connection of your power source as


Arduino UNO

a 9v battery clip



9v battery clip

Check out Arduino Workshop - Project 01: Blinking LED from one of our In-Store Clinics.

Stayed tuned for more Arduino workshops posted here!

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tech Tip: How to open the lock screen on the Nexus 7 by blinking your eyes

Description: How to set up your Nexus 7 so you can open the lock screen by blinking your eyes. This uses a feature called Face Lock.

blink now
  1. Open Settings.


  2. Open Security.


  3. Open Screen Lock.

    Screen Lock

  4. Select Face Unlock.

    Face Unlock

  5. Select Set it up.

    Set it up

  6. Select Continue.


  7. Make sure you look at the Nexus 7 straight on, so the camera can pick up your face.


  8. When it captures your face you will see this screen.

    this screen

  9. Check "Liveness Check" so it requires you to blink to unlock the screen.

    Liveness Check
For more assistance contact Technical Support here.