Hi. I've enjoyed the multiple, informative, and entertaining tutorials that Arduino enthusiasts have put on the web. Yall cover many details that a rank newbie might not know. One possible oversight is the breadboard. FWIW, I have a working project now:
I had set up the Parallax Ping system and was not getting any sensible data out of the system. I was using some breadboard that I'd picked up somewhere. The boards have columns of around 5 holes, then a gap of a cm, then another 5 holes (don't have it in front of me right now). Somehow I had the presumption that it the entire column was connected. So I would generally set up pairs of wires across the gap.
What was funny in my case was that the system with this incorrectly wired sensor did respond to having one's hand in front of it, just inversely and not the right number. Like 41 inches pointed at a wall and 50 with your hand in front of it. The numbers weren't always repeatable but with dozens of hand wavings, I got a different number instantaneously upon changing my hand position. Anyway, my evil genius 11 year old son spotted that I had set up the wires differently (okay, incorrectly) compared to one YouTube tutorial. I guess what was fascinating is that the system gave any input at all. I wonder if this means that these cheap breadboards are leaky. Is perhaps the lesson not that you may
place wires across the gap but that you must not