Choose Sensor Substitutes in Tinkercad Circuits

By design, Tinkercad Circuits contains a limited library of commonly used electronics components. This curation makes it easy for beginners to navigate the complexity of the world of electronics without becoming overwhelmed. The downside is that if you’re looking for a very specific part number or version of a sensor that’s not included in the parts drawer, you can’t create an exact replica of your circuit in the simulator.

Luckily for us all, most of the time, there’s a way to represent your not-included component by substituting a similar one. Many sensors are alike and fall into a few big categories. This guide will help you pick a suitable alternative for your Tinkercad Circuit.

Analog Sensors

Analog sensors output a variable voltage and resistance as they are activated. The most generic type of analog sensor is a potentiometer, and more specific types include flex sensors, photoresistors, microphones, some temperature sensors, force-sensitive resistors (pressure sensors), piezo elements, some IR distance sensors, and more. In Arduino, analog inputs are read using analogRead(); or the “read analog pin” block in Tinkercad.

If the analog sensor you want to use has three pins, we recommend using a potentiometer or TMP36 temperature sensor as a substitute in Tinkercad circuits, since they both also have three pins (power, ground, and signal). Note that these are slightly different from one another: a potentiometer is a purely resistive sensor, and the TMP36 expects a regulated power supply voltage (2.7-5.5V).

If your analog sensor only has two pins, the only suitable substitute in Tinkercad Circuits is the two-pin photoresistor (the piezo element in Tinkercad Circuits can only be used as an output).

Start the simulation below and click on each sensor to test out its action:

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