BEGINNERS: Software needs Hardware

There are many times on this forum with beginners loading a proven sketch, and something unexpected happens (usually not the desired result).
The solution lies in experience - or reading & learning - just like everything else.

THE FIRST LESSON FOR ANY NEWBIE/BEGINNER is - the Arduino REQUIRES stable hardware to run any software.
The standard Arduino boards provide this... but you also need to look oiut for -

  • Loose wires and connections,
  • Mis-connected / oriented parts,
  • Inadequate power (volts x amps!),
  • Missing/wrongly arranged pull-up/downs
  • Properly configured host (IDE, serial monitor) etc,
  • Inadequate planning or a simple lack of understanding.
    All these can ground your ambitions if it involves anything more complicated than blinking the on-board LED.
    Owning a driver's licence - won't help if there's no car - or the car is broken down.
    Calm down, you are not Donald Trump - you don't know everything.

I don't know if this is relevant here but if you are using cheap Chinese boards many time you need some kind of drivers like CH34x for example.
Invest in original Arduino board for testing it will save you some frustration.

As an experienced user, that’s never caused me any grief, but I can certainly see how a newbie could be caught out while getting their first LED to blink!

Once a driver issue is is recognised and resolved, it should never be an issue again in 90% of cases.

Thanks for this awesome post. As a beginner I really need these kind of tips. I am starting my journey with Arduino and posts like this will help me getting started.

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  • Inadequate power (volts x amps!),

While that's obviously true, remember too that there needs to be the right quantity of each, not just of their product. If a servo for example needs 5V and 1A, yes that's 5x1=5W. But it won't work at 2.5V just because your supply can give 2A; nor will it work at 10V and 0.5A since 10V may liberate smoke.

Emitting smoke is the first rung on the ladder of magic!
However we’re aiming to be developers, not magicians...

the ad that got me here was “Good”. i thought it was good ol usa, then after i was sold i thought it was from Italy or France then when i recieved the goods i thought oh oh chinese and handle with care. im good to go and will download all i can before i let the smoke out!

thanks man it’s great to know these points…

very useful knowledge :o