1.2 Environment

Lets setup our programming environment. Our microcontroller thinks in binary. Binary means two. It thinks with transistors which are either open or closed, one or two. That may not seem like much but we use only 10 numerals (0-9) and can count pretty high. You do not need to know about binary right now because the Arduino application on our computer will translate into binary for us.

Follow the directions on the Arduino website to set up your programming environment.

Directions for Mac
Directions for Linux
Directions for Windows

Time to download the first handout.

You will connect your computer to the Arduino, open an example program and upload it to your Arduino. All the example program does is cause one of the LEDs on the Arduino board to blink.

Once you have your Arduino and computer working together lets take a look at the Arduino programming environment:

Computer Arduino Breadboard


Type your program in the Arduino application then press “upload” to send it to the Arduino.

The application will translate into language the chip understands and then load it onto the chip.

The program will begin to run right away. The Arduino does not need to be plugged into USB to work but it does need to receive power from somewhere. Create a circuit on the breadboard and connect it to the Arduino with jumper wires. Here is where the fun happens.

In the next section we will complete the environment by connecting the Arduino to a breadboard.

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