It just hasn't been my day today.
I have a VL53L0X Time of Flight distance sensor (400cm max) and tried hooking it up. When I do, it shorts out my Arduino. As soon as I unplug the sensor from the 5V, then the Arduino comes back alive. Super weird! I was going to post on the polulu forum about the problem, so I unplugged the sensor from the breadboard and hooked up some jumpers in order to turn it around and take a good picture that shows the pin labels. When I plugged it in with the jumpers it was fine! So maybe something was wrong with my breadboard. I uploaded an example sketch, but it was unable to detect the sensor. Maybe I fried it. :(
I tried making a simple IR break beam with an emitter and receiver. I followed this tutorial: http://elonics.in/breadboard-projects/infrared-ir-proximity-obstacle-sensor-using-lm-358
The sensor was constantly 1023 and didn't move from there. Maybe there's something wrong with the parts I got too.
I have a pack of hall effect sensors; the OH49E. I couldn't find a tutorial that's specific to this kind, but I found this one: https://maker.pro/arduino/tutorial/how-to-use-a-hall-effect-sensor-with-arduino
When I put a magnet against the sensor, nothing happens. But if I unplug the ground, then it prints a "detect". Not sure what's going on.
If you are looking for a summary for my Masters thesis, it is here.