When I started doing Arduino, it seemed to me that the whole world does nothing more than to do the same. In fact, it turned out that, like me, many simply find it difficult to start, “to enter” into the topic itself. So I decided to write a quick guide so that you could immediately take a few components and try this toy. Probably, after reading, you will even immediately understand in many ways what’s what and without my future posts. So.
Arduino is just like a Lego. But when they begin to explain it, a bunch of buzzwords pops up: development environment, hardware, stone, firmware, library, driver, sketch, executable file, components, programming skills, hardware and software, an Arduino-compatible platform … Yes, who wants it? it will come down, it’s necessary to complicate a simple set of toys for children! =)
In fact, everything is simple: we have Arduino herself – this is the brain of our future toys, which we will assemble with her.
We have two ready-made shields to choose from. Why? We are now “plugging” Arduino into one shield, see how it works, and then reprogram it and plug it into another – and again make sure that it works. So it will immediately become clear to us, and we will be able to move on – the benefit of the development directions together with Arduino is a lot.
The first shield is super interesting. From it we will make a radio, which I will talk a lot about, but not now. The set is good because it has many components and can be differently built on the final functionality of the device. But all this later. Arduino in this set is already there, so it does not need to buy separately. The second shield is super beautiful. With her, we will comfortably and intricately illuminate our world. About her, I also plan to tell you a lot of things, but later. You can choose any other shields, but I liked these very ones, because, looking ahead, they have a great future;)
The action plan now is this: connect and re-program our Arduino to see how it works and make sure that it is simple. Understand what will happen next.
Step 1: Assemble the first shield
We take this set. We collect radio according to the instructions. It’s just how to collect a toy from the kinder surprise. Only much more exciting!
What did we just do? We “tied” the components into a ready-made shield, “stuck” Arduino into it with a preloaded sketch for the operation of all these components. Everything, we have a ready device. And it works! =)
Step 2: Install IDE
Everything, with the first shield, we saw how it all is going and working. Now the most important thing: turn off the power. We reach Arduino and take the following Shilda.
Our new shield, if you believe the inscriptions on it, is called MP 1051. Arduino has no eyes, so she does not know this shield and cannot work with it for now. Now we fix it.
In order for Arduin to know where on this shield is what, and what is there, we need this library. And in order for her to start manipulating this with all of us, we need some of these sketches – let’s start from the first: we don’t need a remote control for it.
You can load the library and sketch into Arduino using the IDE program. If the Arduino designer itself is similar to Lego, then the IDE program is similar to iTunes: in order to download music to your phone, do you need a special program? Millions of people cope with this task, we will cope with the IDE.
1. Download ID.
2. Install the IDE as a normal program.
3. Connect Arduino via USB
4. Run IDE (with super-user rights, if this tells you something. If not, then hammer on these rights. If yes, download version 1.0.1 – everything older than Linux works crookedly).
5. Select the type of Arduino. (Most likely, it will be selected automatically. But we have Amtel Mega 328p on the top of the Arduino Nano 3.0 kit and on the square processor, which means, choose Nano ATmega328 from the menu).
6. Check if the computer sees Arduin: you can see its port through which we connected it.
All is ready? Now let’s deal with what to load and how, and after 5 minutes of light bulbs (diodes!) On our new shield will be fun to light our house.
Step 3: Use the sketch and library as intended
This is where the magic begins! =) But, for some reason, it was at this exciting moment that the explanations were the most boring:
In order to program the microcontroller, we have three types of files: .h, .cc, .ino Files are compiled, and the libraries are addressed. All of this is written in C, which operates with functions, variables, and then, so that a program written in C can be understood by the microcontroller, it is translated into machine code – compiled and then loaded into the controller … you have no idea how much we care about it now =) Everything is much simpler.
- Download the library for our new shields MP1051
- Unpack it – you will get the folder MP1051
- Go to where you have your Arduino IDE program with its folders.
Copy the resulting MP1051 folder into the libraries folder
- Download a set of sketches/drivers for our new MP1051 shield.
- Take the resulting examples folder and put it in MP1051, which is already in the libraries. Or – in the examples folder, everything is there, in the directory of the Arduino program, but then it will have to be renamed to something.
Everything! Let’s quickly unite the Library + Sketch, compile them into machine code and download it to the controller. It is fast.
Connect Arduino via USB
- Open IDE
- Select: Sketch-Import Library – MP1051 (will appear in the drop-down menu among other libraries)
- Select: File – Examples – MP1051 – Step_1
- Click: Tick (= Check)
Click: Right arrow (= Load sketch to Arduino)
- Disconnect Arduino from USB
- Put it on the board (Important! The mini USB connector looks outside!)
- Connect it back to USB (this time USB will supply power)
- Always disconnect the device before transferring / landing Arduino on the shield / s
- Remove the Arduino from the shield before loading the sketch.
As you can see, we never even opened a single sketch, and if they did, they didn’t open it for long. This is the beauty of libraries and sketches that have already been written under certain shields and components for Arduino.
Back to the Future
If you now return Arduino to its place, to the radio shield (Important! De-energize the fee before changing to the shield!), Then the radio will no longer “work”. Want to return everything as it was? You already know how to do it!
Pay attention to the folders we need – libraries and examples. And also the fact that the name of folders and files should be written in Latin in one word. You can use numbers and underscores. So, we return everything as it was:
Open all the necessary libraries (see an image.) + Copy the sketch here. Compile. Download. Done! You can put Arduino back into the radio shield and turn it on again (radio).
So quickly we have dealt with:
1. How to reprogram Arduino under different shield using ready-made sketches and libraries.
2. Why do we need a sketch, why do we need a library. What to put.
3. How to work with the Arduino IDE program to upload a sketch with the library.
As you can see, everything is simple. It took me a few days to “drive-in” on my own. I hope someone I will save these few days. Good luck to you with Arduino DIY and see you soon: I’m planning a lot more to figure out on the basis of the modules and components I have and I’ll share with you ideas and skills.