What is it?
An ideal hardware hacking platform. See Category Arduino for a list of my projects.
(From the Arduino site)
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software on running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).
The boards can be assembled by hand or purchased preassembled; the software can be downloaded for free.
Other useful sites:
- http://www.practicalarduino.com/ - Jon Oxer's excellent book !
- http://www.ladyada.net/ - lots of projects
- http://www.adafruit.com/ - clones and shields
- http://shieldlist.org/ - shields
Where to buy in Australia
I have programmed controllers from PIC Basic STAMP kits to various embedded Linux systems. The one thing has always been the cost of the prototype boards are reasonable one off prices, but not 10 off (same).
The Arduino on the other hand costs me $17 AUS (Bare bones board) plus a USB/Serial cable ($12) and for each project I pay only $17 more. No ICP or JTAG required - just $17.
How is this achieved:
- USB/Serial cable removes the need for multiple chips and very cheap
- Arduino kits come with a Boot loader (open source) built in
- Means you can program the chip with a standard serial
There is a lot of information for beginners on Arduino, and there is a lot of advanced information on all of the hardware used. However there is a little bit of information I find difficult in the middle. This is mostly because my C skills are not perfect, and my electronic skills are fairly low. So here are some of the things I have had issues with, and some answers (maybe).
- Arduino Static Strings
Along the way I have come across a few gotchas, here is my list:
- Use "pinMode(3, OUTPUT" even though it is the default, or the PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) outputs won't go full on.
- Instrument1 - my first attempt at a an instrument - PS2 Touchpad MIDI
- Instrument2 - my first kids instrument
- Door1 - simple but secure door controller (for $19)
- Rainbow House 4
PS2 Keyboard Pins / Colour
On my old honeywell PS2 keyboard...
- 1 - Data - White
- 2 - Not connected
- 3 - Ground - Black
- 4 - Vcc (+5V) - Red
- 5 - Clock - Brown
- 6 - Not connected
- Pin 1 - +5V - Orange
- Pin 2 - Data - Green
- Pin 3 - Clock - W/Green
- Pin 4 - Ground - W/Orange