Welcome to Granz-Tronix, where we are helping to build a better engineer.
This pack provides six LEDs, two each in red, yellow and green. In addition to the LEDs you will receive the current-limiting resistors required to prevent burning out the LED. With this assortment of LEDs you can perform experiments and become very familiar with interfacing LED outputs to your system. There are even enough LEDs and in the correct colors for you to simulate a traffic control system.
What is an LED? Light Emitting Diodes (or LEDs) are electronic components that, like a regular diode, allow electrical current to pass in only one direction. They differ from normal diodes in that when current flows through them, they give off (emit) light. Just like regular diodes, LED's have a cathode and an anode. Current will only flow from the cathode to the anode, and will be blocked when trying to go from the anode to the cathode.
You can make an LED light up, by plugging one into your breadboard (learn more about breadboards at http://projects.granzeier.com/whats-a-breadboard/) and then connect a resistor and short hookup wire as shown below:
When you turn on your power supply (or battery), you will see the LED glow.
If you want to have your computer, or controller, turn the LED on and off, you would connect the hookup wire to the output port of your controller, rather than to the positive power rail. Then, when you want to have the LED turned on, you would program your controller to output a high (+3.3V or +5V) signal on that output pin. The output signal would take the place of the positive power rail and the current would flow through the resistor, through the LED and into the output pin (remember, the only things moving in an electronic circuit are electrons - and, with a negative charge, they are attracted to a more positive voltage.) This will cause the LED to light up. We use the resistor to limit the amount of current, so that we do not draw more current than the controller can safely provide.
In order to have your controller turn the LED back off, you would just output a 0 on that output pin. With the output pin set to 0V (or ground,) there will be no positive point to the circuit, current will not flow through the circuit, and the LED will stop giving off light.
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Welcome to the Granzeier Consulting Tindie Store. I am Art Granzeier, and my company produces kits and packs for budding engineers. Most of my target market is (supposed to be) high-school, college and young adult students who are interested in, or are working in EE (electronic engineering.) My secondary market (or at least it should be secondary - but mostly this is my primary market, at least until I get going enough to market to schools and school groups) is electronics/robotics hobbyists and non-electronics engineers who want to learn more about the electronics discipline.
I have a few text books that are nearly done, and a few more that are on their way. Once these are done, they will be offered with appropriate kits which will cover the lab work for the course. My ideal here is to get to be like the old Heathkit courses (on a more modern point, Andy Lindsay, from Parallax, does a pretty darned good job of writing, and I try to emulate him, with my own slant/point of view, somewhat.) I have been teaching, professionally, on and off since 1989, and have written a lot of my own course/quiz/exam material, so that is what I am using for my textbooks.
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