This Video and Virtual Circuit Builder program has been upgraded for teaching students Arduino programming. There are a lot of changes in the design program. However, the most important change is adding arrows on the wires to show current flow direction. This will allow the user to see clearly which ways the current is flowing through the circuit components. Also, a trash bag has been added to the system to throw away unused components in the circuit. Furthermore, the colored sections in the user interface make it appealing and groups similar functions in an organized way.
As you can see on the left side of the screen we see an image of Arduino UNO, and on the right side, we see an image of a medium size breadboard.
Other than Arduino UNO and breadboard image, the screen has four sections separated by the different background colors.
The green background shows the component generators. The smaller components are grouped on the bottom of the screen while larger ones are grouped at the top of the screen. If you hover your mouse pointer on any component in the green containers a popup window will display the name of the component. Dragging any component from the green container on to breadboard will create a new instance of that component. You can create as many instances of a component as you desire. Double-clicking on any instance of a component will turn that component ninety degrees clockwise direction. Each double click will turn the component an additional ninety-degrees. After four double clicks, the component will be at its initial position. Please also notice that some component such as LED's and diodes are current direction sensitive, and shown by an arrow on them which indicates the current direction.
There are nine circle shaped buttons on the right top corner of the screen. Each button color indicates the color of the wire to be generated. The four buttons with the light red background is used for the power wires, and three buttons with darker red background are used as ground wires There are also two green buttons which are used as signal wire generators. When you double-click any button, a wire with button color will be generated under the button. Initially, there are two circular handles at the two ends of the wire created. You can press and hold the handles to drag them to the desired location and orientation. You can press anywhere on the wire to create additional handles to refine the shape of the wire as you wish. You can also double-click on a handle to delete it, you can do this process on any handle as long as a handle exists on the wireDouble-clicking on the last handle erases the wire. You can recreate as much wire as you wish by clicking the proper buttons on the circuit.
Some wire connections are required to connect an Arduino to a breadboard, and there is no reason for the user to generate these wires. for any Arduino circuit designed. These pre-generated wires can be made visible, by checking the proper checkbox shown on the left of the screen, with a light red background. The power checkbox indicated by P shows a power line connection between the Arduino and the breadboard. Note that the arrows on the power wire show the direction of the current, from the Arduino to the breadboard. Similarly, the ground connection is shown with arrow directions from breadboard to the Arduino. By checking G checkbox, the ground wire becomes visible. Note that in this case, the arrow directions are from breadboard to the Arduino ground connection. When we do the power and the ground connections, we also see the red, and blue stripes on the breadboard. This indicates that the holes under the red stripe can be used as a power connection. Similarly, the holes under the blue stripe can be used as ground. If we want to increase the number of power and ground by using extension wires, which becomes visible when we check the extension checkbox, which indicated with label E.
If we connect a twelve-volt power supply to the Arduino, we can get twelve volts from the V-in pin. When we check V-in a checkbox, we see blue and magenta colored stripes at the top section of the Arduino. We can use these magenta colored pins, for the circuits requiring more power than we can get from a five-volt power supply. The V in checkbox essentially divides the breadboard into two section. At the bottom of the breadboard we have the regular five-volt circuit, and at the top, we have a circuit with twelve volts.
Let's assume that by accident, we created two resistors, and want to get rid of the extra one immediately. By dragging the extra resistor into the blue rectangle on the left of the bottom of the screen, and releasing the resistor there, removes the extra resistor from the screen. The blue box acts as a garbage collector.
Assume that we want to draw a fresh new circuit by replacing the old one. Rather than stopping and restarting the program, we can press the restart button on the Arduino, which clears our circuit from breadboard so that we can start building a new circuit. There are some components which require a text field to show the value of something. For example, a resistor's value, or the number of legs of an integrated circuit. To perform operations we use two input boxes as shown inside the light cyan color rectangular box. We call these input boxes as the text box on the left and the value box on the right. To enter a resistor value you have to use the left text box with label values such as 330 or 2.2K. Please do not hit the enter key when you change the value of the text box. Just drag the resistor onto breadboard the label of the resistor will be the last value you entered into the text box. Integrated circuits require a label and the number of legs. Since the default integrated circuit has twelve legs, when we drag an integrated circuit it will show twelve legged integrated circuits with the label taken from the text box and half of the leg velues taken from value box. For example, if we wanted a label IC14 for the fourteen-legged integrated circuit, then we have to enter IC14 to the text box and seven into the value box. However, we should not forget to change the resistor label to a proper value if we want to put a resistor onto the breadboard.
I hope this will help you to design your circuits much faster and assuming you apply wire color conventions we defined earlier, it will make your circuit easier to understand.
If it is required, you can get a screen copy of your circuit by using the Microsoft Snipping tool.