testing an arduino to make sure its working properly

Thread Starter


Joined May 18, 2013
I bought a cheap arduino from china off ebay for £1 including postage. I want to build an antenna analyzer with it.
first I would like to make sure it does all the things it says it does or supposed to do. like the adc, how would I test that. just to make sure that it works properly.
im new to microcontrollers and this cheap one is a good option for my project but I don't know how to test it for all of its functions. I need the adc to turn the analog waveform in to digital for measurement. im not sure what to do about that. I suppose a voltage meter project but I don't know what the limits are and how to test them. I know that a 10bit adc has 1024 values. what ever that means. the max pin current is 40mA, im not sure if I can use this for measuring a reflected wave?
I want to generate a sine wave with the ad9850 module, send that through an swr bridge to the antenna. the reflected wave will go back through the swr and should provide voltage and current that have a phase difference if impedance is not 50 ohm resistive. and if im right the ratio of voltage to current should give the impedance?
that's the idea, its still in research mode. but testing the arduino to give and receive correct signals and measurements. that's what I have to find out. so any advice on that would be great



Joined Feb 19, 2010
Arduino website has examples of various things, that inclues how to connect the circuit and the code. Build a couple of those examples. If example works just like example on the website, then your arduino is working properly.

Also. If your arduino is copy of real Arduino, it should have some led, you can check and see if led do what they supposed to do.


Joined Jan 18, 2008
I would like to make sure it does all the things it says it does or supposed to do.
You can only prove it doesn't work under certain conditions. You cannot prove it works under all conditons.

Apparently, you bought a cheap Arduino off ebay and are now worried whether it is counterfeit. What if it is? (It probably is.) Can you prove it doesn't meet the description? Finally and most important, after expending a lot of your time and effort, let's assume you get a refund. (You probably will.) Was that effort really worth it?

Maybe the lesson was worth it. Next time, don't buy fakes at outrageously low prices. Yes, there are sometimes real bargains. But investigate before you leap.


Thread Starter


Joined May 18, 2013
erm....yeah thanks john! helpful!......not

also I don't know about the fake bit. most of the arduinos can be reproduced as a result of open license something or other. it doesn't have "arduino" written on it. so I don't think it is a fake. I just wanted something I could write up in my report that I have researched and tested some aspects that are relevant to my project.

shteii01 thanks for the advice, I will try that.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
Arduino is not a computer chip. It is a platform.
All you need is a genuine Atmel AVR chip such as ATmega328, the boot loader and away you go.


Joined Oct 15, 2009
To find out if it works.... you write code/compile/upload and actually see if it works.. plain and simple.
Start out simple..

Forget about your antenna analyzer for now.. first learn to write code.. make it blink... make it respond to buttons,etc... start at the beginning of the tutorials on the arduino website.. and go from there.. Starting "big" more than likely will end in frustration and you will just throw it in the trash.


Joined Jan 21, 2013
The Arduino IDE comes with a set of examples which are available from the File menu, I would start by running those. Understanding those will help you get started.