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.
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