In electronics circuits, a major point in connecting two circuits and make them "talk" together is to ensure, at the minimum, that they have a common reference of voltage (typically called
GND and defined as
On Arduino, GND pins can be used in 2 situations:
- to directly power the Arduino with an external supply which cannot be plugged to USB or power jack. In this case, the positive voltage of that external power source shall also be supplied to Vin pin.
- to connect Arduino GND to your circuits.
Having 2 distinct GND pins is, I think, just a matter of convenience when you want to build prototypes but don't necessarily have a breadboard (if you use a breadboard, you will just need to connect its power rail to Arduino GND pin and use this power rail directly).