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Output devices

This is a copy of the Guillem’s and Victor’s class notes. You can find the latest version here

Output devices #1 [Victor]

  • Actuating, closing the loop.

  • Controlling electricity to generate movement or light.

Types of actuator

  • Electromagnetic
    • DC motors
    • Brushless motors
    • Servo motors
    • Stepper motors
    • Relays, solenoids, valves, etc
    • Speakers
  • Electroluminescence
    • Leds
    • RGB
    • Addressable
    • LCD’s (polarized light and liquid crystal)
  • Piezoelectric

    • Buzzer and speaker.
  • Fab Academy sensors

Controlling outputs

  • LED’s
    • One color, PWM for intensity
    • RGB, PWM
    • Addressable -> libraries guides
    • Charlieplexing image
  • DC motor
    • H-bridges
  • Brushless motor
    • Search
  • Stepper Motor
  • Buzzer and Speaker
    • Arduino Tone function
    • Amplifiers

How to wire an output?

How to code for an output?


We will always use a specific sensor library implementing the comunication

More outputs recipes

Debugging inputs and outputs [Victor]

  • Divide and conquer.
  • Always subdivide the system as much as posible.
  • Metodic tests


  • Prototyping before building vs
  • Multimeter checks
  • Continuity before and after soldering components
  • Voltages
  • Isolating hardware parts, cutting traces, solder bridges, jumpers, designing for debug.
  • Unconsistent tests –> heat or power problems.


  • Creating small sketches for testing specific parts
  • Using Serial print.
  • Using defines to build a better Serial Print debug
  • Using comments to disable code
  • Structuring the code in functions
  • Always review compiler error messages.
  • Get someone else to review your code