Concepts

These are the various concepts that people may need to know while learning a technology tutorial and could be required to complete a ‘hookup’ tutorial. Concepts are most often a general building block that may be built upon other concepts. Concepts can generally be learned without physical objects but are reinforced with a hookup tutorial.

Accelerometer Basics

March 28, 2013

A quick introduction to accelerometers, how they work, and why they're used.

Alternating Current (AC) vs. Direct Current (DC)

September 5, 2013

Learn the differences between AC and DC, the history, different ways to generate AC and DC, and examples of applications.

Analog to Digital Conversion

February 7, 2013

The world is analog. Use analog to digital conversion to help digital devices interpret the world.

Analog vs. Digital

July 18, 2013

This tutorial covers the concept of analog and digital signals, as they relate to electronics.

ASCII

June 13, 2016

A brief history of how ASCII came to be, how it's useful to computers, and some helpful tables to convert numbers to characters.

AST-CAN485 Hookup Guide

March 1, 2018

The AST CAN485 is a miniature Arduino in the compact form factor of the ProMini. In addition to all the usual features it has on-board CAN and RS485 ports enabling quick and easy interfacing to a multitude of industrial devices.

Basic LED Animations for Beginners (Arduino)

December 3, 2019

Let's have some fun with LEDs! We'll explore LEDs once again with the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic, making cool effects, and putting those effects to work using a sensor.

Button and Switch Basics

May 7, 2013

A tutorial on electronics' most overlooked and underappreciated component: the switch! Here we explain the difference between momentary and maintained switches and what all those acronyms (NO, NC, SPDT, SPST, ...) stand for.

Configuring the PATH System Variable

March 23, 2021

A simple guide for configuring the PATH variable on Win 10, Mac OSX, and Linux systems.

Connectivity of the Internet of Things

July 27, 2016

An overview of the different protocols that can be used for the development of Internet of Things (IoT)-based projects.

Data Types in Arduino

November 6, 2013

Learn about the common data types and what they signify in the Arduino programming environment.

Digital Logic

October 3, 2013

A primer on digital logic concepts in hardware and software.

Electric Power

June 26, 2013

An overview of electric power, the rate of energy transfer. We'll talk definition of power, watts, equations, and power ratings. 1.21 gigawatts of tutorial fun!

External IO and Metastability

July 30, 2020

Why external signals can cause metastability and how to use constraint files to manage this

First FPGA Project - Getting Fancy with PWM

July 30, 2020

An initial project using Alchitry's onboard FPGA to manipulate PWM

Fuse Breakout Board Hookup Guide

October 3, 2019

Protect your project by adding a fuse in your circuit to save it from molten destruction.

Getting Started with LTspice

March 1, 2017

LTspice is a high performance SPICE simulator, schematic capture and waveform viewer with an impressive library of passive devices. Over 1000 models are included in the download but you can also add third party models.

Getting Started with OBD-II

October 8, 2015

A general guide to the OBD-II protocols used for communication in automotive and industrial applications.

Gyroscope

February 1, 2013

Gyroscopes measure the speed of rotation around an axis and are an essential part in determines ones orientation in space.

Hexadecimal

March 20, 2014

How to interpret hex numbers, and how to convert them to/from decimal and binary.

How Does an FPGA Work?

July 30, 2020

The What, How, Why, and When of Field Programmable Gate Arrays, aka FPGAs

How to Use Remote Desktop on the Raspberry Pi with VNC

July 9, 2018

Use RealVNC to connect to your Raspberry Pi to control the graphical desktop remotely across the network.

I2C

July 8, 2013

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Introduction to DMX

November 14, 2018

DMX512 is an industry standard in lighting and stage design, whether it be controlling lights, motors, or lasers, DMX512 has many uses. In this tutorial we’ll cover DMX512 (Digital Multiplex with 512 pieces of information).

Old Tutorials

Looking for the old, archived tutorials? Head on over to the archived tutorials on the main SparkFun site.
Please be aware that the tutorials you find there are no longer actively maintained.