Resistance Is Futile!

I don’t know about you but working with electronics has never been a chore. I just like doing it, I guess. Just seeing the whole thing light up after properly connecting each component is already exhilarating for me.  Now, the moment I saw that I was going to learn more about resistance, I was excited because I’ve always wanted to try out this electronic component I’ve heard about from my brother that would help me better understand the concept better. It’s called the potentiometer and I heard that it’s a much cooler version of the resistor where you can tweak its resistance. I decided to put that to the test in this little experiment I found on the Internet that would, in turn, teach me how resistance and current are related.

Materials Needed:

  1. Breadboard
  2. Arduino Uno
  3. Printer Cable (USB Cable A to B)
  4. Laptop/PC
  5. Potentiometer (10k)
  6. 1K Resistor
  7. Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
  8. Insulated Copper Wire

So, first off, I gathered all of the materials above from a local electronics store except for the Arduino Uno and printer cable, which I borrowed from my older brother. Afterwards, I followed the diagram below exactly, making sure that everything is connected properly. I then connected the Arduino Uno to the family computer. This supplies power to the Arduino, which, in turn, supplies the circuit power as well. I lastly checked if the LED was lighting up, and it did. If it didn’t for you, don’t worry. Turn the knob of the potentiometer and see if the LED lights up then. This is because maybe the potentiometer was set to the max resistance it can sustain, thus causing the LED to grow dim, almost to the point that it looks turned off. Anyway, pleased that my circuit works, I then went straight to testing and slowly turned the knob, observing any changes to the LED. As expected the LED dimmed more and more until it looked as though it was off. Linking this to what I studied, I know that since resistance in the circuit is going up, the current passing through the LED decreased, which means less output. This also is true if in reverse. This is basically what is meant by resistance being inversely proportional to current. Food for thought, I suppose.

Now, that was fun. I can’t wait for the next time I can devise an experiment that involves electronics. Until then though, I’ll keep what I’ve learned in mind. Oh, by the way, you can see the circuit in action by clicking the following link:

Your boy,

Seth Martin


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