My first steps with Arduino

Last weekend i ordered a Arduino Duemilanove.

The Arduino platform is a real easy to use platform. It is intended for those who want to work with microcontrollers; especially those who have no experience in that area and need an environment that deals with all the ‘hard stuff’ to get things working.
The Duemilanove is the latest model in the Arduino product range.

Arduino Duemilanove

It comes on a small board that fits in the palm of your hand. As reference i placed a Visonic MCT302 next to it, a sensor which most of us will know. The largest component is the Atmel ATmega328 microcontroller. There’s also a USB connector on the board to connect it to your PC, and a power connector. It has 14 digital I/O pins, 6 analog inputs, a reset button and some more components needed to support the microcontroller. Connecting to the PC is as simple as connecting a USB cable to the board and your PC.

The software you need to write code for the Arduino board is open source and can be downloaded and installed in just a matter of minutes. It contains everything to develop, test and upload your code to the Arduino board.
Arduino IDE

Today the Arduino arrived. This is really Plug and Play! After connecting the USB cable and power, starting the Arduino development environment on my PC and opening an example program (called a sketch) and uploading it to the Arduino i was ready to go!
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The Arduino hardware can be extended with additional shields that can be plugged on top of the Arduino board. Shields for XBee, Ethernet, Motor control, DMX, RFID, GPS and much more.

Next step will be building 2 XBee Adapter Kits i bought and try to get a wireless connection up and running between my PC and the Arduino, so that i can communicate with the Arduino while it’s disconnected from my PC.

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Once that is working, i’ll try and make my own home-brew Webcam Pan & Tilt mechanism. If i succeed, i think many more interesting projects will follow :-)

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