The popularity of Arduino is steadily increasing. Many different companies are jumping on the bandwagon to produce their own variations of the boards, as well as “shields” (additional circuits that fit directly on top of many Arduino boards) and accessories. The Arduino website offers free resources and tutorials as well as a language reference to help you understand the code and syntax. In order to get started, you will at the very minimum need an Arduino board. Note that all the Arduino (and most of the clone boards) can use the Arduino software. If you are unsure what hardware to get, the Arduino USB is currently the most popular model, and these 5 minute tutorials are based around it.
S1: Windows Connection and Setup
S2: Arduino Software Interface
S3: Basic Program Structure
S4: Serial Communication
P1: Arduino and LED
P2: Arduino and Potentiometer
P3: Arduino and Infrared Distance Sensor
P4: Arduino and Push Buttons
P5: Arduino and Servo Motors
P6: Arduino and Force Sensors, Bend Sensors and Stretch Sensors
P7: Arduino and Accelerometers, Gyroscopes and IMUs
- Go to www.arduino.cc to download the latest version of the Arduino software (Direct link: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software and select your operating system; in this case we are using Windows)
- Save the ZIP file to your desktop (you can move or delete it later)
- Create a new folder called “Arduino” under “Program Files”. To do this, go to “My computer” -> “C:” (or the drive where the operating system is installed) -> “Program Files”, then left click once on “program Files” folder, then select “New”->”Folder” from the main Explorer menu.
- Extract the entire ZIP folder to this new “Arduino” folder
- To run the Arduino software, open Windows Explorer by pressing the windows key (usually between the Ctrl and Alt keys on your keyboard) and the ‘E’ character at the same time (there are other ways to access explorer as well).
- Go to “My computer” -> “C:” (or the drive where the operating system is installed) -> “Program Files” -> “Arduino” In this folder you will see an executable file (Blue colored icon), you can left click (once) and then right click and select “send to” -> Desktop (create shortcut) to have Arduino more easily accessible.
- Double click the icon to start the software. The Arduino Software is ready to use.
Hardware: Arduino USB Microcontroller or Arduino Microcontroller with USB
The Arduino interface is “bare-bones”. When you load the software, the first screen you will see is a white window with several different shades of blue and blue-green as border. There are the main headings “File” “Edit” “Sketch” “Tools” “Help” and several shortcut icons beneath “Verify”, “Stop”, “New”, “Open”, “Save”, “Upload” and “Serial Monitor”. Note that all these icons are also available from the main menus. Arduino projects are called “sketches” and when you start a new sketch, several files are also created. To connect to your board,
1. Start the Arduino software by double-clicking the Arduino icon (see S1 for details)
2. Plug one end of the USB into the Arduino and the other end into your computer.
3. In the software, select “Tools” -> “Board” -> “Arduino Duemilanove w/ATMEGA328” (if you have a different board, select it from the drop-down list; if you have purchased a compatible board, that manufacturer should indicate which board to choose).
4. In the software, select “Tools” -> “Serial Port” -> COM X (note that if you have several COM ports, you will need to go to Control Panel to see which is assigned to your board.
The computer may ask you to install the USB to Serial interface; let the system find and install the drivers automatically.
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