Question about Input >> anything

Hi guys, I am new to the Arduino area well to be honest I am pretty much a noob on all stuff like this but I am learning what I can. I currently own a Uno and have done a little bit nothing fancy but I started to do research and maybe I am too dumb to find what I am looking for but where can I find a reference of what are the acceptable and readable inputs. For example, I took apart a a weather sensor from a wireless weather radio station (like the one you get at walmart or wherever) and I was wanting to try to figure out what it will accept and what it outputs (ie binary, hex, whatever it wants to spit out) and how to read that from a serial line. The idea I am thinking is that every little nick nack device outputs something that is readable weather it be volts through the currents or some simple code and that I can read something from that device weather it be understandable or not. Please feel free to blow holes in my logic as I am sure it is flawed in some way. Any advice is appreciated, thanks. "Its great to learn, because knowledge is power!"

Welcome to arduino forum! Lots of sensors simply output a voltage to represent measured quantity. Some use more complex ways to communicate with a microcontroller with standard digital interface protocols such as RS232, I2C. There are digital interface protocols that are not standard, basically written by individual manufacturers for their products. Unless you know the part number of the sensor and have access to these protocols (command sets and timing), you can't use the sensor. You often can't reverse engineer the protocols either.

The first thing I would do before connecting up a sensor and my arduino, is to locate the sensor's part number. With that, find a specification sheet and read it. If I can't understand, post the spec sheet and ask for help. I don't simply connect the sensor and blow up the arduino board. ;)

Thanks for the reply. I can now focus on more important projects.