Arduino: Day One

Earlier last year, I attended an Noisebrige workshop to build TV-B-Gone, presented by its own inventor Mitch Altman. The workshop teaches attendees about Arduino, how to solder the Arduino clone kit Diavolino, and how to get the kit working. The presenter ran out of time. While I got my board soldered, I did not get to do much. After that, I got swamped with school work and never got to work further on it. I hope to do more this summer. So here is my record for the day!

To start with, to learned Arduino, most people would first have an Arduino board. As mentioned, the workshop I went to offered a slightly different butĀ compatible board known as Diavolino, which is by Evil Mad Scientist (I kid you not. That’s the name. The design is as mad as a the name too! Quoting their blog “…it has flames.”!)

Since I am no longer at the workshop, I need some sort of FTDI Interface/USB communications cable to connect the board to my computer. I decided to follow the recommendation of Evil Mad Scientist and went with FTDI Friends. With this little friend, all I need is a regular USB cable, used by most camera and mp3 player I owned, in order to connect my board to my Mac!

So for today, what I did:

  • Read Chapter 1-3 of Arduino Workshop by John Boxall.
  • Unearthed my soldered Diavolino, FTDI Friend, USB B cable from the back of my cabinet. Connect the device.
  • Downloaded the new Arduino IDE.
  • Set the board type as “Arduino Duemilanove or Diecimila” (Both the blog and store website mentioned Diavolino has the form factor of Duemilanove), which automatically sets the processor as “ATmega328”.
  • Since I am using FTDI on Mac, I needed to download a “VCP Driver“, aka Virtual COM port, which “cause the USB device to appear as an additional COM port available to the PC”.

Tomorrow I will connect the actual device to my Macbook, then I will deal with which serial port to select in the Arduino IDE.

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