Arduino Shields and other Hardware

Hello,

as one can see, I am new to this forum and new to microcontrollers.

I have a general question concerning these so called Arduino Shields and other hardware extensions: What is the difference between a shield and hardware that is just called a module for IC applications? Can my Uno Rev3 work with "all" hardware modules for microcontrollers or only these shields? Are the shields especially made for usage with Arduino boards and there comes libraries with them or is all the hardware universal? I think voltage and current of the hardware part has to fit those used by the Arduino itself (3-5V(?)). Are there any conditions to pay attention to before buying a hardware for my Arduino ?

Is it right that most hardware use a pin for the data transmission (Vcc?) and two for electricity only (1. GND , 2. 5V) ?

So, what should I do if I want to connect more than one hardware to my Arduino? Parallel circuit would be a solution? I would then use special pin for each hardware but same pin for electricity(?) But what if I have e.g. many leds which can be set HIGH/LOW by power, how to realize that?

Thank you very much.

"What is the difference between a shield and hardware that is just called a module for IC applications?" A shield is hardware conveniently packaged on a board that plugs onto your Arduino to make electrical connections.

"Can my Uno Rev3 work with "all" hardware modules for microcontrollers or only these shields? " If the shield can plug onto the Uno, its a pretty good bet that it can be used. Others may be connected using discrete wiring and may be made to work.

"Are the shields especially made for usage with Arduino boards and there comes libraries with them or is all the hardware universal?" First part, generally yes. 2nd part, not universal at all. Different shields different functions and have different hardware connections and need different software.

"I think voltage and current of the hardware part has to fit those used by the Arduino itself (3-5V(?))." Generally, yes. The shield may 'translate' those voltages to what is needed for that shield's hardware.

"Are there any conditions to pay attention to before buying a hardware for my Arduino ?" Does the shield do the function you want?

"Is it right that most hardware use a pin for the data transmission (Vcc?) and two for electricity only (1. GND , 2. 5V) ?" No Vcc is the supply voltage, Gnd is Ground. Signals will be on D0-D13 and A0-A5 (also used as D14-D19). Some parts need 3.3V for a supply voltage.

"So, what should I do if I want to connect more than one hardware to my Arduino? Parallel circuit would be a solution?" Some shields are meant to be stacked up in a pile. You can also lay them all out on a non-conductive surface and connect things up with discrete wires.

"I would then use special pin for each hardware but same pin for electricity(?) " Yes: Vcc is the supply voltage, Gnd is Ground. Signals will be on D0-D13 and A0-A5 (also used as D14-D19).

"But what if I have e.g. many leds which can be set HIGH/LOW by power, how to realize that?" LEDs with a current limit resistor in series can be wired from an IO pin (ex. D2) and then: to +5 so a Low output turns it on; or to Gnd so a High output turns it on. If you need more than 20 LEDs, there are ways to add external hardware to allow more LEDs to be controlled.

Thank you very much. You answered all my questions. By now, the Arduino has not arrived yet, so there will come more questions.

~Karl-