Copyright © 2017 by ELENCO® Electronics, Inc. All rights reserved

SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 1:59 PM Page 1
Copyright © 2017 by ELENCO® Electronics, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced
753106
U.S. Patents: 7,144,255; 7,273,377; & patents pending
by any means; electronic, photocopying, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 1:59 PM Page 2
A NOTE ABOUT THE FCC
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
regulates use of the radio frequency spectrum in the
United States to prevent products from interfering with
each other.
Snapino™ has been tested and found to comply with the
limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of
the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide
reasonable protection against harmful interference in a
residential installation. Snapino™ generates, uses and can
radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and
used in accordance with the instructions, may cause
harmful interference to radio communications. However,
there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a
particular installation. If Snapino™ does cause harmful
interference to radio or television reception, which can be
determined by turning Snapino™ off and on, try to correct
the interference by:
1. Moving Snapino™ away from the receiver.
2. Contacting Elenco® for help by calling (800) 533-2441,
or e-mail us at help@elenco.com.
FCC regulations for your Snapino™ require you to accept any
interference from authorized sources and that you shut down
if you are causing interference with other authorized products.
You should never modify the electrical circuit components
inside your Snapino™ module (U31) as this may cause
malfunctions or violate FCC regulations for this product.
-1-
Snapino™
Model 6SCU31
!
WARNING: This product should ONLY be powered using a USB
cable, the 9V battery holder included in the set, or an AC adapter
with 9V output (not included)! It should NEVER be used with Snap
Circuits® battery holders or other power sources!
WARNING: SHOCK HAZARD
Never connect SnapinoTM to the electrical
outlets in your home in any way!
!
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD
Small parts. Not for children
under 3 years.
Conforms to all applicable U.S. government requirements and CAN ICES-3 (B)/NMB-3 (B).
WARNING:
Always check your wiring
before turning on a circuit. Never leave a
circuit unattended while the batteries are
installed. Never connect additional batteries
or any other power sources to your circuits.
Discard any cracked or broken parts.
Adult Supervision:
Because
children’s abilities vary so much, even with
age groups, adults should exercise
discretion as to which experiments are
suitable and safe (the instructions should
! Batteries:
enable supervising adults to establish the
experiment’s suitability for the child). Make
sure your child reads and follows all of the
relevant instructions and safety procedures,
and keeps them at hand for reference.
This product is intended for use by adults
and children who have attained sufficient
maturity to read and follow directions and
warnings.
Never modify your parts, as doing so may
disable important safety features in them,
and could put your child at risk of injury.
● Use only 9V type, alkaline battery (not
included).
● Non-rechargeable batteries should not
be recharged. Rechargeable batteries
should only be charged under adult
supervision, and should not be
recharged while in the product.
● Never throw batteries in a fire or attempt
to open its outer casing.
● Batteries are harmful if swallowed, so
keep away from small children.
● Insert batteries with correct polarity.
● Remove batteries when they are used
up.
● Do not short
terminals.
circuit
the
battery
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 3
Table of Contents
Parts List
How to Use SnapinoTM
About Your SnapinoTM Parts
Introduction to Electricity
DOs and DON’Ts of Building Circuits
Troubleshooting
Qty.
ID
Name
r1
3
r1
5
r1
2
r1
r1
r1
D1
r1
D2
r1
D10
2
3
4, 5
6
7
8
2-Snap Wire
Project Listings
9
Projects 1 - 20
9−29
Introduction to Microcontrollers
13
Installing Software & Programming Cable
14
Learn About Programming
16
To Go Further
30
Symbol
Part #
Qty.
Parts List
Important: If any parts are missing or damaged, DO NOT
RETURN TO RETAILER. Call toll-free (800) 533-2441 or
e-mail us at: help@elenco.com. Customer Service ● 150
Carpenter Ave. ● Wheeling, IL 60090 U.S.A.
ID
6SC02
r1
3-Snap Wire
6SC03
r1
5-Snap Wire
6SC05
r1
Q4
6SCB9
r1
6SCBGM
Red LED
Green LED
9V Battery Holder
and Switch
Base Grid Mini
(7.7” x 5.5”)
Red/Yellow
Bi-color LED
Name
White Jumper Wire
Red Snap-to-pin
Wire
Symbol
Part #
SCJ3F
6SCJ5RED
Phototransistor
6SCQ4
R4
Resistor 10kW
6SCR4
r1
S2
Press Switch
6SCS2
6SCD1
r1
U31
SnapinoTM Module
6SCD2
r1
6SCD10
USB Cable
(A-male to B-male)
6SCU31
9TLSCUSBAB
You may order additional / replacement parts at our
website: www.snapcircuits.net
-2-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 4
How to Use SnapinoTM
Snap Circuits® uses building blocks with
snaps to build the different electrical and
electronic circuits in the projects. Each block
has a function: there are switch blocks, light
blocks, battery blocks, different length wire
blocks, etc. These blocks are different colors
and have numbers on them so that you can
easily identify them. The blocks you will be
using are shown as color symbols with level
numbers next to them, allowing you to easily
snap them together to form a circuit.
For Example:
This is the press switch block which is
green and has the marking S2 on it. The
part symbols in this booklet may not exactly
match the appearance of the actual parts,
but will clearly identify them.
This is a wire block which is blue and
comes in different wire lengths. This one
has the number 2 , 3 , or 5 on it
depending on the length of the wire
connection required.
-3-
You need a power source to run your
circuits. You can use your USB cable or your
9V battery holder (9V battery not included).
Next to each part in every circuit drawing is
a small number in black. This tells you
which level the component is placed at.
Place all parts on level 1 first, then all of the
parts on level 2, then all of the parts on
level 3, etc.
Some circuits use jumper wires to make
unusual connections. Just clip them to the
metal snaps or as indicated.
USB Cable
Battery Holder
A clear plastic base grid is included with
this kit to help keep the circuit blocks
properly spaced. You will see evenly
spaced posts that the different blocks snap
into. The base has rows labeled A-E and
columns labeled 1-7.
There is a snap-to-pin wire that allows you
to make connections directly to the Arduino
UNO circuit board on the SnapinoTM
module (U31).
Note: While building the projects, be
careful not to accidentally make a direct
connection across the battery holder (a
“short circuit”), as this may damage
and/or quickly drain the batteries.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 5
About Your SnapinoTM Parts
(Part designs are subject to change without notice).
BASE GRID
The base grid is a platform for mounting parts
and wires. It functions like the printed circuit
boards used in most electronic products, or like
how the walls are used for
mounting the electrical wiring in
your home.
SNAP WIRES & JUMPER WIRES
The blue snap wires are wires
used to connect components.
They are used to transport
electricity and do not affect circuit
performance. They come in different
lengths to allow orderly arrangement of
connections on the base grid.
The white jumper wire makes
flexible connections for times
when using the snap wires
would be difficult.
The red snap-to-pin wire
allows for direct connection to
the Arduino UNO circuit board.
Wires transport electricity just
like pipes are used to
transport water. The colorful plastic coating
protects them and prevents electricity from
getting in or out.
BATTERY HOLDER
Batteries, like that in your 9V battery connector,
produce an electrical voltage using a chemical
reaction. This “voltage” can be thought of as
electrical pressure pushing electricity through a
circuit just like a pump pushes water through
pipes. This voltage is much lower and much safer
than that used in your house wiring. Using more
batteries increases the “pressure”, therefore,
more electricity flows. SnapinoTM circuits can also
be powered through the USB.
Battery Holder
LEDs
The red & green LEDs (D1 & D2) are light
emitting diodes, and may be thought of as a
special one-way light bulb. In the “forward”
direction, (indicated by the “arrow” in the symbol)
electricity flows if the voltage exceeds a turn-on
threshold (about 1.5V for red and yellow, about
2.0V for green, and about 3.0V for blue;
brightness then increases. A high current will
burn out an LED, so your Snap Circuits® LEDs
have internal resistors to protect them. LEDs
block electricity in the “reverse” direction.
9V
Battery
SWITCHES
The press switch (S2) and the switch in the 9V
battery holder connect (pressed or “ON”) or
disconnect (not pressed or “OFF”) the wires in a
circuit. When ON they have no effect on circuit
performance. Switches turn on electricity just like
a faucet turns on water from a pipe.
Press Switch
(S2)
Red & green LEDs (D1 & D2)
The red/yellow LED (D10) is like the others but
has red and yellow LEDs connected in opposite
directions.
Red / yellow LED (D10)
-4-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 6
RESISTORS
About Your SnapinoTM Parts
Resistors “resist” the flow of electricity and are
used to control or limit the current in a circuit. This
set includes a 10kW resistor (R4) (“k” symbolizes
1,000, so R4 is really 10,000W). Materials like
metal have very low resistance (<1W), while
materials like paper, plastic, and air have nearinfinite resistance. Increasing circuit resistance
reduces the flow of electricity.
10kW Resistor (R4)
PHOTOTRANSISTOR
The phototransistor (Q4) is a transistor that
uses light to control electric current.
Phototransistor
(Q4)
CABLE
The USB cable is used
to
program
and
communicate with the
module
SnapinoTM
(U31).
-5-
USB Cable
SNAPINOTM MODULE
The SnapinoTM module (U31) includes an Arduino
UNO circuit board. This is a mini computer which
can be programmed to perform different tasks,
including monitoring things and making things
happen.
SnapinoTM module (U31)
U31 SnapinoTM module snap connections:
(+) - power
(−) - power
A0 - Analog input
D9-D11 - Digital inputs/outputs
Note: SnapinoTM does not have an on/off switch
when powered using the USB cable. To turn it off,
disconnect the USB cable from your computer.
Note: There is additional Arduino information
at www.arduino.cc, including a schematic for
the Arduino UNO.
Notes for using the SNAPINOTM module in
other applications:
Power source:
SnapinoTM should ONLY be powered using a
USB cable, the 9V battery holder included in
the set, or an AC adapter with 9V output (not
included). SnapinoTM should NEVER be used
with Snap Circuits® battery holders from other
sets or other power sources.
Analog inputs (snap A0, or pins A0-A5 on
the circuit board):
These can measure voltage with 10-bit accuracy
(1024 levels). They can also be configured to act
as additional digital inputs/outputs.
Digital inputs/outputs (snaps D9-D11, or
pins 0-13 on the circuit board):
When configured as inputs the voltages should
be above 80% of the power source voltage to
be high, or below 20% of the power source
voltage to be low. When configured as outputs
each can supply or receive up to 20 mA; this
is enough to light an LED, but an interface
transistor may be needed when controlling a
motor or speaker. Some of these (3, 5, 6, 9, 10,
and 11) can be configured to simulate analog
outputs using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
Other pins on the circuit board can be accessed
using snap-to-pin wires; see the Arduino
website (www.arduino.cc) for more information.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 7
Introduction to Electricity
What is electricity? Nobody really knows. We only know how to produce
it, understand its properties, and how to control it. Electricity is the
movement of sub-atomic charged particles (called electrons) through
a material due to electrical pressure across the material, such as from
a battery.
generators driven by steam or water pressure. Wires are used to
efficiently transport this energy to homes and businesses where it is
used. Motors convert the electricity back into mechanical form to drive
machinery and appliances. The most important aspect of electricity in
our society is that it allows energy to be easily transported over
distances.
The electrical pressure exerted by a battery or other power source is
called voltage and is measured in volts (V). Notice the “+” and “–”
signs on the battery; these indicate which direction the battery will
“pump” the electricity.
There are two ways of arranging parts in a circuit, in series or in
parallel. Here are examples:
Power sources, such as batteries, push electricity through a circuit, like
a pump pushes water through pipes. Wires carry electricity, like pipes
carry water. Devices like LEDs, motors, and speakers use the energy
in electricity to do things. Switches and transistors control the flow of
electricity like valves and faucets control water. Resistors limit the flow
of electricity.
The electric current is a measure of how fast electricity is flowing in a
wire, just as the water current describes how fast water is flowing in a
pipe. It is expressed in amperes (A) or milliamps (mA, 1/1000 of an
ampere).
The “power” of electricity is a measure of how fast energy is moving
through a wire. It is a combination of the voltage and current (Power =
Voltage x Current). It is expressed in watts (W).
The resistance of a component or circuit represents how much it
resists the electrical pressure (voltage) and limits the flow of electric
current. The relationship is Voltage = Current x Resistance. When the
resistance increases, less current flows. Resistance is measured in
ohms (W), or kilo ohms (kW, 1000 ohms).
Nearly all of the electricity used in our world is produced at enormous
Note that “distances” includes not just large distances but also tiny
distances. Try to imagine a plumbing structure of the same complexity
as the circuitry inside a portable radio - it would have to be large
because we can’t make water pipes so small. Electricity allows
complex designs to be made very small.
Series Circuit
Parallel Circuit
Placing components in series increases the resistance; highest value
dominates. Placing components in parallel decreases the resistance;
lowest value dominates.
The parts within these series and parallel sub-circuits may be arranged
in different ways without changing what the circuit does. Large circuits
are made of combinations of smaller series and parallel circuits.
-6-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 8
DOs and DON’Ts of Building Circuits
After building the circuits given in this booklet, you may wish to experiment on
your own. Use the projects in this booklet as a guide, as many important design
concepts are introduced throughout them. Every circuit will include a power source
(the 9V battery holder or USB cable), a resistance (which might be a resistor, LED
(which has an internal protection resistor), etc.), and wiring paths between them
and back. You must be careful not to create “short circuits” (very low-resistance
paths across the power source, see examples below) as this will damage
components and/or quickly drain your batteries. ELENCO® is not responsible
for parts damaged due to incorrect wiring.
Here are some important guidelines:
ALWAYS USE EYE PROTECTION WHEN ExPERIMENTING ON YOUR OWN.
ALWAYS include at least one component that will limit the current through a circuit,
such as a resistor, an LED (which has an internal protection resistor), etc.
ALWAYS use switches in conjunction with other components that will limit the
current through them. Failure to do so will create a short circuit and/or
damage those parts.
ALWAYS disconnect your power source immediately and check your wiring if
something appears to be getting hot.
ALWAYS check your wiring before turning on a circuit.
ALWAYS connect the SnapinoTM module (U31) using configurations given in the
projects, as per the About Your Parts section, or as per the Arduino website.
NEVER connect to an electrical outlet in your home in any way.
NEVER leave a circuit unattended when it is turned on.
NEVER connect battery holders from other Snap Circuits® sets to the SnapinoTM
(U31) module.
-7-
!
Warning about power sources:
SnapinoTM should ONLY be powered using a USB cable, the 9V
battery holder included in the set, or an AC adapter with 9V output
(not included). SnapinoTM should NEVER be used with Snap
Circuits® battery holders from other sets or other power sources.
Examples of SHORT CIRCUITS - NEVER DO THESE!!!
Placing a 3-snap wire directly across the 5V
OUT and GND snaps is a SHORT CIRCUIT.
!
This is also a
SHORT CIRCUIT.
!
NEVER
DO!
NEVER
DO!
When the press switch (S2) is
pushed, this large circuit has a
SHORT CIRCUIT path (as
shown by the arrows). The short
circuit prevents any other
portions of the circuit from ever
working.
!
NEVER
DO!
!
NEVER
DO!
You are encouraged to tell us about new programs and circuits you create. If they
are unique, we will post them with your name and state on our website at:
www.snapcircuits.net/learning_center/kids_creation
Send your suggestions to ELENCO®: elenco@elenco.com.
ELENCO® provides a circuit designer so that you can make your own Snap
Circuits® drawings. This Microsoft® Word document can be downloaded from:
www.snapcircuits.net/learning_center/kids_creation
or through the www.snapcircuits.net website.
WARNING: SHOCK HAZARD - Never connect Snap Circuits® to
the electrical outlets in your home in any way!
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 9
Troubleshooting
(Adult supervision recommended)
Elenco is not responsible for parts damaged due to incorrect wiring.
®
Basic Troubleshooting
1. Most circuit problems are due to incorrect assembly, always
double-check that your circuit exactly matches the drawing for it.
2. Be sure that parts with positive/negative markings are
positioned as per the drawing.
3. Be sure that all connections are securely snapped.
4. Try replacing the batteries.
Advanced Troubleshooting
If you suspect you have damaged parts, you can follow this
procedure to systematically determine which ones need replacing:
1. SnapinoTM module (U31 - partial test, see step 6 for full test),
9V battery holder, and USB cable: Install a 9V battery into the
battery holder, turn on its switch, and plug the holder into the
SnapinoTM module; a green “ON” light and another light on the
SnapinoTM module should be on. Remove the 9V battery holder
and connect the USB cable; the same lights on the SnapinoTM
module should be on. If the SnapinoTM lights do not come on in
either case then SnapinoTM is damaged, if they only come on for
one power source then the other power source is damaged.
2. Red LED (D1), green LED (D2), and red/yellow LED (D10):
Place the red LED across the “5V OUT” and “GND” snaps on
the SnapinoTM module (U31), with LED “+” to 5V OUT; the red
LED should light. Repeat for the green LED. Repeat for the
red/yellow LED but test it in both directions. If some LEDs work
but others do not then the ones that did not work are damaged.
If no LEDs work then the SnapinoTM module is damaged.
3. White jumper wire and red snap-to-pin wire: Use this minicircuit to test the white jumper wire, the LED should light.
Replace the white jumper wire with
the red snap-to-pin wire (snap it
on the LED, then touch the
pin end to the GND snap on
the SnapinoTM module
(U31)) to test it.
4. Snap wires: Use this minicircuit to test each of the
snap wires, one at a time.
The LED should light.
5. Press switch (S2), 10kW resistor (R4), and phototransistor
(Q4): Build project #1 and push the press switch, if the red LED
(D1) doesn’t light then the press switch is bad. Replace the press
switch with the 10kW resistor; the LED should be much dimmer
now but still light. Replace the 10kW resistor with the
phototransistor (“+” on right) and vary the amount of light shining
on it; more light should make the LED brighter.
6. SnapinoTM module (U31 - full test): Use project 15 to test it.
ELENCO®
150 Carpenter Avenue ● Wheeling, IL 60090 U.S.A.
Phone: (847) 541-3800 ● Fax: (847) 520-0085
e-mail: help@elenco.com ● Website: www.elenco.com
You may order additional / replacement parts at:
www.snapcircuits.net
-8-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 10
Project Listings
Project #
-9-
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Title
Project 1
Red Light
Page #
Red Light
Lights
Blinking Light (Programming SnapinoTM)
Alternating Lights
Stoplight
Button
Bicolor Light
Night Light
Blink Rate
Copy Cat Light
Light Monitor
Distance Sensor
Photo Stop
Button Stoplight
SnapinoTM Test
Varying LED Brightness
Light Controlled LED
LED Brightness Button
Sloppy Switches
Click Counter
9
11
14
17
18
19
20
21
21
21
22
23
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
29
+
Placement Level Numbers
Optional: USB cable
to USB device may
be used as alternate
power source in place
of 9V battery.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 11
A. Snap Circuits® uses electronic blocks that snap onto a clear
plastic grid to build different circuits. These blocks have different
colors and numbers on them so you can easily identify them.
Build the circuit shown by placing all the parts with a black 1 next
to them on the board first. Then, assemble parts marked with a
2. Install a 9V battery into the 9V battery holder, plug it into the
connector on the SnapinoTM module (U31), and turn on the switch
on the battery holder. A small green light (usually labeled “ON”)
on the SnapinoTM module should be on, indicating that it has
power. Alternately you may power the circuit using the USB cable
instead of the 9V battery.
Push the press switch (S2), and the red LED (D1) lights.
Educational Note:
When you press the press switch, electricity flows from the
SnapinoTM module, through the switch and back to the SnapinoTM
module through the red LED. If the switch is not pressed, the
flow of electricity is blocked, and the red LED won’t light.
For this and the next few circuits, the SnapinoTM module is used
only to provide power to the rest of the circuit. SnapinoTM is
powered using a 9V battery or through the USB, and produces
a 5V output to operate other Snap Circuits® components.
NOTE: This circuit (and many others in this book) have an LED
being used without a resistor or other component to limit the
electric current through it. Normally this could damage an LED,
but your Snap Circuits® LEDs include internal protection resistors
and will not be damaged. Be careful if you later use other
electrical sets with unprotected LEDs.
B. Use the preceding circuit but
replace the 3-snap wire with the
red/yellow LED (D10, in either
orientation). The red LED is a
little dimmer now.
C. Use the preceding circuit but
replace the red/yellow LED
(D10) with the 10kW resistor
(R4). The red LED (D1) is much
dimmer now.
Educational Note: The voltage
from the SnapinoTM module
(U31) is now split between the
two LEDs, making the red one
dimmer.
Educational Note: Resistors
“resist” the flow of electricity, so
the LED is much dimmer now.
D. Use the preceding circuit but
replace the 10kW resistor (R4)
with the phototransistor (Q4, “+”
towards S2). Vary the brightness
of light on the phototransistor to
change the red LED brightness.
E. Replace the red LED (D1)
with the green LED (D2) in any
of the preceding four circuits.
Educational
Note:
The
resistance of the phototransistor varies depending on
how much light is shining on it.
Educational Note: The green
LED needs a little more voltage
to turn on than the red LED, so
it will be a little dimmer.
-10-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 12
+
Project 2
Lights
YELLOW
Placement Level Numbers
Optional: USB cable
to USB device may
be used as alternate
power source in place
of 9V battery.
-11-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 13
A. Build the circuit, turn on the switch in the 9V battery holder, and push the
press switch (S2). The red, green, and yellow LEDs (D1, D2, & D10) light.
Note: The white jumper wire is used only as a spacer (so both snaps on the
yellow LED are on level 3); its right snap need not be connected.
Educational Note:
LEDs are light emitting diodes, which convert electrical
energy into light. The color of the light depends on the
characteristics of the material used in them.
B. Use the preceding circuit but
reverse the position of the press switch
(S2), 3-snap wire, 5-snap wire, and
each of the LEDs (D1, D2, & D10),
separately.
C. Use the project 2A circuit but
replace the press switch (S2) with the
phototransistor (Q4, “+” on right). Vary
the brightness of light shining on the
phototransistor and see how it changes
the brightness of the LEDs.
D. Use the project 2A circuit but
remove the press switch (S2) and
move one of the LEDs (D1, D2, or
D10) to where the switch was (place
the LED “+” on the right). The LEDs
may be a little dimmer now.
Educational Note: Reversing the
switch and snap wires has no effect.
LEDs only work in one direction, so
the red & green LEDs do not work in
reverse, but the yellow LED (D10) is a
bi-color LED, with separate red &
yellow LEDs in opposite directions, as
shown in its symbol.
Educational Note: The resistance of
the phototransistor varies depending
on how much light is shining on it,
brighter light lowers its resistance. In
this circuit the phototransistor restricts
the flow of electricity to all three LEDs
at once, so it takes very bright light to
make all three LEDs light. Some LEDs
need less electricity to turn on than
others, so they may turn on sooner.
Educational Note: All the electricity
flows through the LED that replaced
the switch, then divides between the
remaining two LEDs. The LEDs are a
little dimmer because the battery
voltage is split between them now.
-12-
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 14
Introduction to Microcontrollers
Arduino UNO circuit board
on Snap Circuits platform
®
WHAT IS A MICROCONTROLLER?
The SnapinoTM module (U31) is an Arduino UNO microcontroller mounted on a
Snap Circuits® base. Arduino is an electronics platform for prototyping with easyto-use hardware and software. Usually Arduino is used with a prototyping
breadboard, but combining with it with Snap Circuits® - which has electronic parts
and modules mounted on snaps - makes an even better prototyping platform.
This set is only intended as an introduction to Arduino. Users who want to learn
more about it should visit the Arduino website (www.arduino.cc) after finishing the
projects in this set.
A microcontroller is a mini computer. It’s a miniaturized circuit that
contains memory, logic, processing, and input/output circuitry.
Microcontrollers are programmed with specific instructions to
control many different devices. Once programmed the
microcontroller is built into a product to make the product more
intelligent and easier to use.
A microcontroller receives input (such sources such as a switch,
phototransistor, or computer keyboard), processes it and makes
decisions, then controls outputs (such as an LED, speaker, motor,
or computer display) based on the decisions.
For example, a microwave oven
uses a single microcontroller to
process information from the
keypad, display user information
on a display, and control the
turntable motor, light, bell and
cooking time.
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One microcontroller can often replace a number of separate parts,
or even a number of complete electronic circuits.
Microcontrollers are used in household appliances,
alarm systems, medical equipment, vehicle
subsystems, musical instruments, and
electronic instrumentation. Most
cars contain many microcontrollers, using them for
engine management, remote
locking, and other functions.
Programs are stored in memory as a series of numbers. A program
is executed by moving information (stored as numbers) between
places, such as activity registers, input/output ports, and memory.
Computers cannot do complex mathematics, but they can perform
simple math very quickly, and programming tricks allow complex
calculations to be performed as a series of simple ones.
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Project 3
Blinking Light (Programming Snapino™)
This project explains the procedure for programming the SnapinoTM
module (U31). The microcontroller can be re-programmed in ANY
circuit that uses it, by attaching the programming cable to it. When
you initiate a new program download, any program currently running
in the microcontroller is interrupted. When a new program download
is complete, the new program will begin running.
The USB cable is needed to download new programs to the
microcontroller, and to allow some programs to transfer information
to/from the computer’s display. The USB also provides power to your
circuits, so the 9V battery connector is ignored while you are
connected to a USB device. Once SnapinoTM has been
programmed, you may disconnect the USB cable and run the circuit
using the 9V battery connector.
Installing Software and Programming Cable
Install the Arduino software - called the Integrated Development Environment
(IDE) from the Arduino website (www.arduino.cc/en/main/software). Choose
the appropriate version for your computer’s operating system (most users will
pick “Windows installer” or “Mac OS X”), then follow the installation instructions
there. Depending on your operating system, you may be asked to agree to a
license agreement, or to give permission to install drivers.
When the IDE installation is complete, build the circuit shown here (which
includes the red snap-to-pin wire, which is plugged into slot 13 of the black
connector on the circuit board on the SnapinoTM module (U31)), connect the
USB cable to your computer. The green LED (marked ON) on the circuit board
should be on, and other lights may be on if the board had previously been
programmed. Your computer should automatically find the drivers it needs. Run
the Arduino IDE.
Now select the port for communicating with SnapinoTM. In the Tools menu in
the Arduino IDE, select Port, then pick the one that shows an Arduino UNO
(Windows users) or either of the following:
/dev/tty/usbmodem or /dev/cu.usbmodem5dll (Mac users).
+
to 13
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Go to the SnapinoTM product page (www.snapcircuits.net/scsnapino) and download
the SnapinoTM program files from our website to your computer. In the File menu in
the Arduino IDE, pick Open, then go to where you downloaded the SnapinoTM
program files to, and pick the Blinking_Light program or “sketch” (Arduino users
refer to a program as a sketch). The sketch should appear in the IDE window, as
shown below.
Now download the program into the SnapinoTM module. Click on the Upload button
in the IDE.
The blue status bar near the bottom should indicate that the upload is occurring,
and when it is done. Two LEDs should now be blinking - a small yellow LED on
the UNO board (usually marked “L”) and the green LED (D2) in Snap Circuits®.
You can now disconnect the USB cable and connect the 9V battery holder. Turn
on the switch on the 9V battery holder, and the sketch will begin running.
Note: SnapinoTM does not have an on/off switch when powered using the USB
cable. To turn it off, disconnect the USB cable from your computer.
Troubleshooting:
If there was a problem with the upload, then the status bar would be orange, indicating a problem.
If you had unplugged the USB cable and it does not recognize the module when
USB is connected again, then you may need to re-select the port. In Tools, select
Port, then pick the one that shows an Arduino UNO (Windows users) or either of
the following: /dev/tty/usbmodem or /dev/cu.usbmodem5dll (Mac users).
Educational Note: Any time a task needs to be performed over and over again, a microcontroller should be considered to help perform
the task.
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Learn About Programming
Here is how the sketch works:
void - this sets up a function.
setup - this is a function that initializes variables, pin modes,
etc.
pinMode(13, OUTPUT) - this configures digital pin 13 to act
as an output.
loop - this is a function for executing the following
commands in a continuous loop.
digitalWrite(13, HIGH) - this tells SnapinoTM to put an
electrical voltage at digital pin 13 (where the Snap Circuits®
green LED (D2) is connected). This voltage will light the
LED. A small yellow LED on the UNO circuit board also
lights; this LED is permanently connected to digital pin 13.
You can edit the sketch to change parameters or commands if
desired. The editing procedure is similar to other word
processors. You may also type in a completely new sketch. To
save sketches you have created or modified, use Save As under
File menu.
Only valid sketches (without errors) may be downloaded, or a
downloading error will result. You can check for errors by clicking the
Verify box. Verify also tells you how much memory the sketch uses.
Explanations for all Arduino commands, and some basic
information about programming, can be found under the Help
menu or on the Arduino website (www.arduino.cc).
delay(500) - this tells SnapinoTM to pause for 500
milliseconds, or 0.5 second, before performing the next
instruction.
digitalWrite(13, LOW) - this tells SnapinoTM to turn off or
remove any voltage at digital pin 13. This will turn off the
green LED (and the yellow LED on the UNO board).
Comments: All information after // is Comments. Comments
are a description of what the sketch is doing, to help you
understand and remember it. Comments are automatically
removed before the sketch is downloaded to SnapinoTM.
You can change the blink rate by changing the delay value from 500 to
something else. Try 200 (faster blinking) or 2000 (slower blinking). Change the
value at both locations in the sketch, then upload the sketch into SnapinoTM.
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Project 4
Alternating Lights
Build this circuit. Load sketch Alternating_Lights into
SnapinoTM using the programming instructions in project 3.
Arduino controls the two Snap Circuits® LEDs (red and
green), and alternates turning them on and off.
Programming Note:
This sketch uses the int command (int is short for integer)
to assign a constant value that will be used within the
sketch. You can change the blink rate by editing the delay
value, then reloading it into SnapinoTM.
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The microcontroller on the Arduino UNO board lets you
control the LEDs in ways that would be difficult to do using
switches or other devices.
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Project 5
Stoplight
Build this circuit. Load sketch Stoplight into SnapinoTM using
the programming instructions in project 3. SnapinoTM
controls the three Snap Circuits® LEDs (green, yellow, and
red), and turns them on and off like a stoplight. The yellow
light is only on for half as long, just like a normal stoplight.
YELLOW
Programming Note: This sketch uses
the int command to assign constant
values for the delay and LED connection
pins. Doing this makes them easy to
change later, because you would only
need to change them in one place,
instead of throughout the sketch. You can
change the blink rate by editing the delay
value, then reloading it into SnapinoTM.
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Project 6
Button
Build this circuit. Load sketch Button into SnapinoTM using
the programming instructions in project 3. The red LED (D1)
should be on; push the press switch (S2) to turn it off.
Swap the locations of the press switch and 10KW resistor
(R4). Now the red LED turns on when the press switch is
pushed.
Programming Note:
This sketch monitors the voltage between the 10KW resistor and
press switch; normally the resistor pulls the voltage high, but
pushing the switch pulls it low. SnapinoTM monitors the voltage and
turns off the red LED when it receives a low signal from the button.
If the button is released, then the monitored voltage will go back to
high, and SnapinoTM turns on the red LED.
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digitalRead(button) - this command tells SnapinoTM to read the
voltage at button (which had been assigned as digital pin 9), and
assign it to variable buttonState.
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Project 7
Bicolor Light
Build the circuit and load sketch Bicolor_Light into
SnapinoTM using the programming instructions in project 3.
The red/yellow bicolor LED (D10) alternates between red
and yellow.
Programming Note:
The red/yellow bicolor LED (D10) has red and yellow
LEDs connected in opposite directions. The sketch
instructions alternate between turning digital pins 9
and 10 HIGH or LOW, so that electricity flows out of
one and into the other.
Try reducing the delay to 100 to make it change
colors faster. Next, reduce the delay to 10 to make it
change colors really fast - so fast that red and yellow
blend into orange.
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Project 8
Project 9
Blink Rate
Use the preceding circuit, but load sketch
Blink_Rate into SnapinoTM. The red LED (D1)
will be blinking; the darker the room, the faster
it blinks. If the room is very dark then the red
LED may appear to be on continuously.
Swap the locations of the 10KW (R4)
resistor and phototransistor (Q4). Now
brighter light makes the LED blink faster and
darkness makes it slower.
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Night Light
Programming Note:
analogRead(0) - this
command measures
the voltage at analog
pin A0 using a 10-bit
analog-to-digital
converter, and outputs a value from 0 to
1023 (representing a
voltage of 0V to 5V).
Build this circuit. Load sketch Night_Light into Snapino
using the programming instructions in project 3. Cover
the phototransistor (Q4) to turn on the red LED (D1).
Once programmed, you can use the 9V battery
connector to power the circuit instead of the USB
cable, then take the circuit with you into a dark room.
You can adjust the
sensitivity by changing 200 to be higher
or lower.
Project 10
Programming Note: This program uses a
counter to keep track of how long you cover
the phototransistor. The longer you cover it,
the higher the counter gets. Once the
phototransistor is uncovered, the LED will
turn on, and the program will start subtracting
from the counter. This can count backwards
until the counter is equal to zero, where it
would then turn the LED off.
Copy Cat Light
Use the preceding circuit, with the R4 and Q4
locations swapped (so Q4 connects to the 5snap wire). Load sketch Copy_Cat_Light into
SnapinoTM. Place the circuit in a bright room, so
there is light on the phototransistor (Q4). Block
the light to the phototransistor with your hand;
when you uncover it then the red LED (D1) will
be on for as long as the phototransistor was
covered. Try this several times.
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Project 11
Light Monitor
This project opens a window on your computer to
display measured data in real time. Build the
circuit shown. Load sketch Light_Monitor into
SnapinoTM using the programming instructions in
project 3. When the upload is finished, click on the
Tools menu, then pick Serial Monitor from the
list. A window opens on your computer screen,
displaying the measured light value. Vary the
amount of light shining on the phototransistor (Q4)
and see how the number displayed changes.
Serial monitor window:
Programming Note:
The Serial commands open the window, then display some text
with the light measurement.
Changing the amount of light shining on the phototransistor
changes its resistance, and so changes the voltage measured at
the A0 input. The analogRead command has 10-bit accuracy, so
the measured number will be from 0 (darkest) to 1023 (brightest).
The 10KW resistor (R4) allows the voltage at the A0 input to fall
when it is dark and rise when there is light on the phototransistor.
The voltage measured depends on the ratio of the
phototransistor resistance to the 10KW resistor (R4). The
measured value will be about 512 when the phototransistor
resistance equals R4. Replacing R4 with another resistor would
shift the measured light value.
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Project 12 Distance Sensor
This sketch changes which LED is on depending on the amount of light the
phototransistor is getting. Build the circuit and load sketch Distance_Sensor
into SnapinoTM using the programming instructions in project 3.
Vary the amount of light shining on the phototransistor (Q4) - if the light is
bright then the green LED (D2) will be on, if there is less light then the
yellow LED (D10) will be on, and if there is low light or no light then the
red LED (D1) will be on. This can be used to determine the distance
something is above it, since the object will slowly block out more light the
closer it gets to the phototransistor.
Once programmed, you can use the 9V battery connector to power the
circuit instead of the USB cable, then walk around with it.
Project 13
Photo Stop
Use the preceding circuit, but load sketch
Photo_Stop into SnapinoTM. The LEDs change
colors in a stoplight pattern, with the rate of change
controlled by the phototransistor (Q4). Vary the
amount of light shining on the phototransistor; the
brighter the light, the faster the LEDs change.
Programming Note: This sketch reads the value
from the phototransistor, and uses that value to
change the time delay, causing the stoplight to
switch the LEDs faster or slower.
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Programming Note:
This sketch works by measuring how
much light the phototransistor is getting,
and assigning that value to a variable,
in this case the variable is “Val”. The
Arduino then uses this value to
determine which light to turn on. If the
variable is above a certain value, the
Arduino switches the LED from green
to yellow, and if the value still gets too
high, the Arduino switches the yellow
LED to the red LED.
You can adjust the sensitivity by
changing values 750 and 150 to be
higher or lower.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 25
Project 14
Button Stoplight
Build this circuit. Load sketch Button_Stoplight into SnapinoTM
using the programming instructions in project 3. The red LED (D1)
should be on; push the press switch (S2) to change which LED is
on, order is red-yellow-green like a stoplight.
Programming Note: This sketch uses a
counter to switch between different LEDs.
When the button is pressed, it increases the
counter by 1. Each LED is activated when the
counter reaches a certain number. When the
counter reaches 4 it is reset to back 1.
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Project 15
Snapino™ Test
This circuit tests the snap
connections on the SnapinoTM
module (U31), and is referenced by
the Advanced Troubleshooting
procedure on page 8. Build the circuit
as shown, leaving one end of the
white jumper wire unconnected for
now. Load sketch Snapino_Test into
SnapinoTM using the programming
instructions in project 3.
The green LED (D2) should be on.
Connect the loose end of the white
jumper wire to each of the unused
snaps on the SnapinoTM module
(U31), one at a time; the red LED
(D1) should be blinking each time.
Remove the USB cable, then connect
the 9V battery holder and turn on its
switch; the circuit should work the
same as with the USB cable.
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Programming Note: This sketch sets
each connection on SnapinoTM to be an
output, then toggles each on and off.
SCSNAPINO_Manual_112816.qxp 12/30/16 2:00 PM Page 27
Project 16
Varying LED Brightness
Programming Note:
This sketch uses a counter to increase the
brightness of the LEDs. Once the LED nears full
brightness then the counter decreases to make
the LEDs dimmer.
Some of the digital pins (including D9, D10, and
D11, which are connect to snaps and used here)
may be controlled using the analogWrite()
command. analogWrite() simulates an analog
voltage using pulse width modulation, which
varies the duration of a digital pulse. Here the
LEDs are made brighter by increasing the
duration of the pulse (making the LEDs on for a
longer amount of time), or made dimmer by
decreasing the duration of the pulse.
Build
the
circuit
and
load
sketch
Varying_LED_Brightness into SnapinoTM using
the programming instructions in project 3. The
three LEDs (D1, D2, & D10) continuously vary in
brightness.
The value for analogWrite() can be from 0 (LED
off) to 255 (LED always on). This sketch uses a
maximum value of 30 for analogWrite(), because
the LED brightness would change very slowly for
higher values. Try increasing this value from 30 to
255, upload the sketch to SnapinoTM, and see how
it affects the LED brightness. You can also adjust
the delay value (currently 30) to make the LED
brightness change faster or slower.
Why do analogWrite() values of 30 or more make
the LEDs appear at full brightness? Because the
light is changing faster than your eyes can adjust,
and your eyes continue seeing what they have
just seen. This is often called “persistence of
vision”. This concept is used in movie theaters.
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Project 17
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Programming Note:
The light on the phototransistor is measured with the
analogRead() command, then 1/16 of that value is
used for the red LED brightness with the
analogWrite() command. The value is divided by 16
because analogRead() returns a number between
0 and 1023 while the analogWrite() value must be
between 0 and 255, and because the red LED will
appear to be near full brightness for values >30.
Light Controlled LED
Build the circuit and load sketch Light_Controlled_LED into SnapinoTM
using the programming instructions in project 3. Vary the brightness of
light on the phototransistor (Q4) to change the brightness of the red
LED (D1). The red LED gets brighter as the phototransistor gets darker.
The circuit acts as a night light, making the red LED brighter as the
room gets darker.
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Project 18
LED Brightness Button
Build the circuit and load sketch LED_Brightness_Button into
SnapinoTM using the programming instructions in project 3. Push the
press switch (S2) repeatedly; the red LED (D1) gets brighter each time.
After the red LED reaches full brightness then it resets and starts over.
Programming Note:
The red LED brightness is set using the
analogWrite() command, which uses values from
0 to 255, but incremental increases will be much
more noticeable between low numbers than
between high numbers. Because of this, this sketch
uses an array to set the red LED brightness in
multiples of 2, then resets back to minimum.
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Project 19
Project 20 Click Counter
This project opens a window on your
computer to display how many times
you pressed a button. Use the
preceding circuit but upload sketch
Click_Counter into SnapinoTM. When
the upload is finished, click on the
Tools menu, then pick Serial Monitor
from the list. A window opens on your
computer screen. Push the press
switch (S2) as many times as you like;
the program displays the current count
on your computer screen. The red LED
(D1) is not used, and may be removed.
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Programming Note:
Remove the delay(10);
command from the sketch
(or add // in front to make it
a comment that is ignored),
upload the revised sketch,
and watch the display as
you are pushing the press
switch.
Notice
that
sometimes the display will
show you pushed the
switch several times when
you only pushed it once.
Sloppy Switches
Build the circuit and load sketch Sloppy Switches into SnapinoTM using
the programming instructions in project 3. Slowly push the press switch
(S2) many times, watching the red LED (D1) as you do. Usually the
LED will turn on or off when you push the switch, but sometimes it will
stay the same. Do you know why the LED sometimes stays the same?
Programming Note:
When you push the switch
its contacts may bounce,
sometimes
making
equipment monitoring the
switch think it was pressed
more than once. This
effect is called “switch
bounce”. To prevent this a
small delay is normally
added to ensure the
switch contacts have
settled before the sketch
checks the switch again.
In this sketch the
delay(10); command has
// in front of it, making it a
comment that is ignored
by the sketch. Remove the
//, upload the revised
sketch, and see if the red
LED always changes
when you push the switch.
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To Go Further
Snap Circuits is an ideal environment for working with Arduino due to the ease of building circuits with it. The modules available in your
SnapinoTM set comprise only a small fraction of those available, for a full listing go to www.snapcircuits.net. Additional SnapinoTM sketches
for use with other Snap Circuits® sets are available at the SnapinoTM product page (www.snapcircuits.net/scsnapino).
®
Only 9 of the Arduino UNO connection points are accessible by snaps on the SnapinoTM module and some of those (A1 & A2) are not
used in any SnapinoTM projects; they are available for future experimenting on your own. The UNO connection points that are not accessible
by snaps may be accessed using snap-to-pin wires, which may be purchased from Elenco® in 10-packs as SCJW-10.
This set is only intended as an introduction to Arduino. Users who want to learn more about it should visit the Arduino website
(www.arduino.cc) after finishing the projects in this set. Explanations for all Arduino commands, and some basic information about
programming, can be found under the Help menu in the Arduino software IDE, or on the Arduino website (www.arduino.cc).
!
WARNING: This product should ONLY be
powered using a USB cable, the 9V battery
holder included in the set, or an AC adapter
with 9V output (not included). It should NEVER
be used with Snap Circuits® battery holders
or other power sources!
Some graphical programming languages have been developed to
make Arduino programming easier by picking command blocks
from a list instead of typing in a program; these may be helpful to
new Arduino users. One is Ardublock, see www.ardublock.com to
learn more about it.
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SC-SNAPINO Block Layout
Important: If any parts are missing or damaged, DO NOT RETURN TO RETAILER.
Call toll-free (800) 533-2441 or e-mail us at: help@elenco.com. Customer Service ● 150 Carpenter Ave.
Note: A complete parts list is on page 2 in this manual.
Wheeling, IL 60090 U.S.A.