Building a standalone Arduino from scratch and programming it with ICSP

We thought this might be a good topic for the site as it’s something we have done recently, this article will explain how to set up your standalone Arduino project on a breadboard. This will also include uploading your program code via the ICSP connections. This isn’t technically “an Arduino” as we will be not including some components, such as a USB connection, reset switch or any on-board LEDs.

The end result will be a breadboard and your Arduino project running on it, without an actual Arduino board.
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How to give your Arduino robot eyes!… (Ultrasonic’s really!)

HCSR04_CloseupWhat robotics project doesn’t need eyes? By eyes we’re referring to HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensors. We have put together a quick and easy library to get started with using these sensors.

The HC-SR04 is a low cost, easy to use sensor that will measure distance by bouncing ultrasonic sound waves off of obstacles in front of it. Ideal applications for the HC-SR04 is using them for obstacle avoidance systems in your robots/RC cars – This will be quite short post as there isn’t much to it.

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Arduino Network Uptime Monitor with Twitter Updates

IMG_20140217_193610We’ve been looking for excuses to use our Arduino Ethernet shield in more projects recently; we had the idea today to see if we could get it monitoring our network servers and report the status of them to Twitter.

It was actually surprisingly easy; we had the Twitter posting code from the previous project and we found an Arduino ICMP library so that we could test a ping to the hosts and see if it was responding or not, we added this to our task scheduling code and the rest just fell into place.

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A quick look at the Intel Galileo Arduino/Linux Development Board

GalileoWe’ve had the Intel Galileo for around three weeks now and tested a number of projects on it’s platform. This article will be a quick review and some instructions to get you up and running with your Intel Galileo!

There are more and more distributors now stocking the Galileo; we got ours from RS Components but you can find a list of distributors on the Intel Galileo website just here.

 

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How to do RF Communication between 2 Arduinos (and more!)

We recently ordered some very cheap RF modules online to test out with our Arduino’s that we have here, despite being very cheap products they do seem to work incredibly well – So much so that we thought they deserve an article on how to get them up and running and working with two or more Arduino’s (with example sketches)

First of all, the components you’ll be needing are:

You’ll need a basic understanding of the Arduino IDE and basic programming skills to implement the example code posted below.

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Building a Temperature/Humidity Arduino Bot that Tweets updates!

Whilst testing out our various sensors I thought it would be fun to make the Arduino actually tweet out what the current status of our office is. The Arduino records the current, minimum, maximum and temperature change as well as humidity and then sends out a tweet to a Twitter account with an update every 15 minutes.

The following parts were used:

Requirements:

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Getting started with Flowcode 6

flowcode_6_logo_title2We recently attended the BETT 2014 show and bumped into Matrix Multimedia; they introduced us to the latest revision of their product, Flowcode 6.

We’ll be doing this in a two-part post as Matrix Multimedia kindly gave us one of their development boards to try out (ECIO28P PIC), we’ll be posting separately about what we’ve done with this in another review.

As we understand it Flowcode has been around for many years and has been going through it’s revisions with additional features with every version. There is a large community of users and a generous helping of documentation in the form of tutorials, videos and online courses.

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Microcontroller Shootout – Arduino Uno

Arduino Uno R3The next Microcontroller we’re going to look at is the Arduino Uno R3 – This is a open source and low cost development board that has an ATmega328 and 14 digital input/output pins (6 can be used as PWM outputs) it also has 6 analog inputs. There is also a USB connection for uploading sketches (programs) from your computer and a ICSP header so you can program it directly if you wish.

We’ll mention it again; this isn’t being directly compared to the other development boards we’re reviewing and hopefully you can make your own mind up regarding what to use after this shootout series. We’ll be doing a summary of all microcontrollers when we come to the end of the Shootout.

There are various types of Arduino available; we chose the Arduino Uno due to the fact that we believe it’s the easiest to get started with and is also the lowest cost of the Arduino family – If you’re just getting started with programming microcontrollers then this would be an entry level product for learning and prototyping.

We’ll be running the same example as we did with the Parallax Propeller, by setting up the board and development environment and flashing an LED with code. Pin 13 is by default an LED actually on the board it’s self, so we’ll be flashing an external LED hooked up to a small breadboard.

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