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Computer tools

  • This is a long lab, not hard but it will take you some time
  • Use the objectives pdf to fill in your answers based on the other 3 parts of the lab


  • The instructions can be confusing, follow as best you can but don't worry if your result doesn't look exactly like the pictures
  • If you get stuck, try typing the function you want into the function bar. More often than not, what you're looking for can be easily found.


  • Refresh/restart the program after installing Zotero so that it works properly
  • It is recommended you also get the browser extension for Zotero


  • Big picture is buggy, it may take a long time to install and you may have to restart a few times
  • If you are prompted to upgrade to the business plan because you have too many power-ups, go to the "Enabled" section, go to the settings for the enabled power-up and disable it

CAD (Onshape)

  • To change the units click on the three lines on the right of the OnShape Logo > workspace units > and select your desired units!
  • The dimensions in the lab are given in millimeters (mm), but be careful because the default unit is inches!

Basic training


Arduino is not detected by your computer

This is a very common problem encountered by most Arduino beginners and, on occasion, by those with intermediate Arduino experience. Your IDE will not recognize the connected Arduino board, and your device manager will report "unknown USB device". To fix it, you may need to download and install the CH340G drive.

  • Download the driver from
  • It will ask for administrator permissions, click YES.
  • Now it will prompt you with 3 options: Install, uninstall and help. Click on INSTALL
  • Once the driver installed it says “Driver Install Success”.
  • Restart your computer after installation (Important).

Program/sketch not uploading

These are the possible causes of the failure to upload the sketch to Arduino.

  • Wrong COM port selected : People occasionally select the incorrect COM port. Each computer has a unique COM port number, and you must select the correct one for your computer.
  • Selected wrong board at tools menu : You have to select the correct board option. For instance, if you choose Arduino Nano for Arduino Uno, your code will not upload.
  • Defective USB port : Connect your Arduino board to a good USB port on your computer and check for physical flaws in the USB port on the Arduino board. Connect to a different USB port on your computer.
  • Inspect for physical damages on Arduino board : Microcontrollers or other passive or active components may have flaws that are not physically inspectable or changeable; in this case, replace the entire board.

To fix some other problems, try Reinstall the Arduino IDE or try to upload a sketch from another computer