Arduino

Current list of tutorials
Does it work?
First Project
TSL230R to Arduino interface
Arduino to Flash communications

I have about 6 more tutorials in the can that will be published in the next week.

Why this page exists


I have posted a couple of Arduino tutorials on the TeamPaulC blog and they are fairly large posts that most people don't want to read. So rather than post long uninteresting blog posts, I figured that I would aggregate all of the tutorials here for people that are interested.

What makes you an Arduino expert?
Nothing.
I am in fact a noob when it comes to the Arduino platform, but I have been writing code since theMom and theDad bought me a Commodore 64 in 1982. The thing is that I am learning about the Arduino and writing lots of code and wiring up projects, so as I learn it I write it down for myself for future reference, so why not put the data online for others to learn from?

What is "arduino"?
Arduino is an open source hardware project started by some Italian engineers. Its based on the AVR microcontrollers and its pretty dam spiffy. "Arduino" is a hardware specification and a bootloader and an integrated development environment (IDE). The target audiance is artists and hobbyists that want to interact with their environment with the shallowest learning curve. I believe that the Arduino team has hit that goal spot on.

How do I get started?
Its pretty easy to get started with Arduino. Assuming that you have nothing but a computer, you need to purchase:
  1. An Arduino. These can be purchased from many distributors, you can go to the Arduino "buy" page for a list of distributors. I purchased mine from liquidware because they are not just reselling, they are contributing to the community and they seem like nice guys.
  2. Breadboard. If you are going to prototype circuits then a breadboard is the way to go. I bought mine from liquidware to save on shipping. 
  3. An extender shield. This is not required, but is sure does make life easy. The liquidware double tall extender shield breaks out all of the Arduino pins and has room for three of the small breadboards. The breadboards have a sticky backing so you can just stick them right on. VERY handy.
  4. Header Jumpers. These are just so handy. Sparkfun sells them for $3.95 for a multicolored 10 pack. I got one pack of female and one pack of male. They really make wiring easier. After I bought them I found header wires with reinforced ends at Curious Inventer, they look better and next time I will buy the reinforced instead.
  5. Jumper Wires. You can get these almost anywhere Curios Inventor has them.
  6. Assorted resistors. Really, why run to Radio Shack everytime you need a resistor or capacitor? I went to Radio Shack and purchased the "resistor assortmen" (271-306) for $6.49. You will need to know how to read resistor values, so use this link.
  7. LEDs. LEDs are just handy, you will use them all the time for testing and prototyping. I got the "20 assorted leds"  at Radio Shack (276-1622) for $2.99
  8. Hand tools. For hand tools I just have a small rounded needle nose for bending wires and a small diagonal cutter.
  9. A multimeter. You know, everyone says you need one, and you probably do, but I can't find mine and I am doing fine. :)
  10. A box! Gotta put this stuff all in one place to keep track of it. I went to Michaels (I love that place) and got a small plastic box with a top tray for $3!
All told, I spent well under $100, the only items that I had on hand were the hand tools, everything else I had to purchase. Here is what my kit looks like:


Do I need to learn to "program"?
Yes, and no. :)
You DO need to tell the Arduino what to do, but the Arduino IDE uses "Processing" which is a high level language designed for non developers. The nice thing is that you can use Processing and sprinkle C code in, which I tend to do. :) SO, do not fear the code! Its easy and I will explain it all in my tutorials.

What websites should I read?

ALL of them. There are way too many sites to list them all, and the number grows by the day. All of my Arduino links can be found here, below are my most recent 20.