If you are interested in getting started with the Arduino then I can recommend the Arduino Cookbook from O’Reilly. It takes you from the basics of setting up the programming environment right up to complete sketches. The book covers many areas including controlling LEDs, motors, and using sensors. Much of this information is available on the internet for free but it is nice to have it all compiled in to one location.
I received a gift of a Adafruit Wave shield and after assembling it using the excellent instructions on the Adafruit site I could not get it too work. The problem was the SD card would not initialize. After trying two different SD cards, checking the forums, and re-checking all my solder joints I could not get it too work. I decided to test the SD cards with an ethernet shield I also have for the Arduino. The SD cards refused to work in this shield as well. After a bit more reading I discovered that the issue was the SPI ports on my Arduino Mega are in different locations. The following fix also works for the Mega 1280.
I have been pretty busy lately with some other projects which I will post later but I did find this very simple project for the Arduino on the Adafruit website. It uses a photoresistor and a piezo buzzer and a very short piece of code. It is easy to build and easy to modify. If you are new to electronics it is a great way to see these components in action.
Gaurav Manek has put together a great project mixing several technologies. He has a radio controlled car interfaced with an Arduino and this can be controlled from an iPad or using a Kinect. He has given some details on how he achieved this including some source code for anybody that wants to have a go. Go to http://www.gauravmanek.com/blog/?p=33 to see it in action. The first half of the clip is for the iPad the second is for the Kinect.
I found some seven segment displays and decided to connect one of them to the Arduino. This was easily done by tracing the pins using a multi-meter and then placing a 220 ohm resistor to ground. A very simple piece of code then counts from one to three. You can see from the code that it is simply setting pins high or low. Continue reading
The Arduino is truly a fabulous piece of kit if you are new to the world of micro controllers. There are hundreds of examples of hardware projects on the web along with the source code that drives them. My latest project involved the use of an ethernet shield which allows the Arduino communicate with your LAN and therefore the internet. I can now control my flashing LED‘s remotely (actually my test involved being over 15 miles away) using a web browser. Still early days I know but a quick search on Google will give you some ideas of the possibilities. Next step I think is to add a sensor and read some values. A simple circuit should be able to read temperature or a PIR detector from an alarm system would allow me to remotely check if somebody is in a room.
I finally got to plug in my Arduino Mega 2560 micro controller. Everything worked after I ran the sample application. I extended this slightly to blink three leds on a breadboard. Simple beginning I know but we all have to start somewhere. The IDE which is downloaded from the Arduino website will run on a variety of operating systems, I am using 64 bit Ubuntu Linux but it ran equally well on Windows.