Arduio SIG

The TechSpace Arduino SIG meets informally at member meetings. These are usually hands-on workshop sessions for members to learn about Arduinos and understand how to create systems using Arduinos.

Completed Projects (with Project Lead)

  • Finish line camera - (Jacob): a project in 3 parts:
    1. to receive input from a sensor at a finish line, and output a signal to fire a camera. Update 23/01/13: Skip and Jacob have built the basic system with an Arduino and breadboard circuit.
    2. to display the photo finish on a large display
    3. to store the start time as well, and compute and display the winners time
  • (Neil) Persistence of Vision display (the world's most annoying sign)
  • (Skip) A PCB drill: Essentially a simplified Reprap print job, but in 2D. Use an Aduino to control a drill to print/drill a set of holes on PCBs
  • (?) “Thing Turns On”: a robot (in the form of a hand, like “Thing” from the Adams Family) that will find a button walk to it and press the button. We have not decided what this will turn on yet.
  • (Philip Nye) Phil’s “Wooden Work”. A 4 button USB powered Arduino driven 7 segment LED display, encased in a block of timber, that displays temperature and time.
  • Front door sign. This is an Arduino-powered matrix of Dot Matrix Displays. Currently there are four wired up. It is placed at the front door. It can be programmed to display all sorts of info, such as the date and time, current temperature and atmospheric pressure, when the relevant sensors are also connected up to it. When it is located in a building where we have more control, we intend to do more with it, eg connect this to the network to pick up and use physical access point (door and window) sensors, and to remotely control the message from over the internet.

Arduino's for Sale

Steve Dalton has several Arduino's as well as our own GCDuino variants for sale at the TechSpace or online from his Gold Coast TechShop website.

Installing the Arduino IDE

This is the way I have done it on Ubuntu 12.10 to install versions 1.0.3 and later 1.0.4 (David T - March 2013)

  1. Install the Arduino package, eg using Synaptic. This ensures all dependent packages are installed. However it currently only installs v1.0.1. You probably need a later version. The latest [version] is 1.0.4.
  2. Lock the 1.0.1 package to prevent it being updated via the package manager until we can do so to an acceptable version some time in the future.
  3. Download the latest version from the the Arduino website.
  4. Unpack it into its own directory, as root, eg into the /opt/arduino/arduino-[version]” subdirectory.
  5. Create a symlink to point to this latest stable version.
    cd /opt/arduino && sudo ln -s arduino-[version] stable.
    At this stage you have something like this:
        root@tex:/opt/arduino# ls -l
        total 20820
        drwxrwxr-x 8 dt   dt       4096 Jan 12 21:21 arduino-1.0.3
        drwxrwxr-x 8 dt   dt       4096 Mar 12 00:00 arduino-1.0.4
        -rw-rw-r-- 1 dt   dt   21309178 Mar 17 22:06 arduino-1.0.4-linux64.tgz
        lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       13 Mar 17 22:09 stable -> arduino-1.0.4
  6. Replace the arduino $PATH executable with a symlink to whatever is the latest stable version's executable:
    cd /usr/bin; sudo mv arduino arduino-1.0.1; sudo ln -s /opt/arduino/stable/arduino). This results in:
        root@tex:/opt/arduino# ls -l /usr/bin/arduino*
        lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  27 Jan 12 19:37 /usr/bin/arduino -> /opt/arduino/stable/arduino
        -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 664 Oct  4 03:11 /usr/bin/arduino-1.0.1
        -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 533 Mar  4  2012 /usr/bin/arduino-add-groups

    This will be used by the desktop menu and panel items, which were installed by the package manager.

When the next version comes out:

  1. Unpack it into its own subdirectory, eg /opt/arduino/[new version],
  2. Switch the symlink /opt/arduino/stable to this new subdirectory, eg
    cd /opt/arduino && sudo rm stable && sudo ln -s arduino-[new version] stable
  3. Try using it.
    • If you have any problem with the new version, revert the symlink back to the old version.
    • If the new version is OK, you can remove the /opt/arduino/[old version] directory.

Notes about Arduinos

(Added 27 January 2013 - David T)

Most Freetronics products come with Getting Started A5 info sheets. However the USBDroid info (.pdf) is online. Below are extra notes to get each type of Arduino runnig reliably, ie uploading sketches and running them.


Create a new udev rule configuration file, say /etc/udev/rules.d/Arduino.rules, and configure that USB ID to disable ModemManager

# Freetronics Leostick Arduino-style single board computer
ACTION=="add|change", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device"
, ATTRS{idVendor}=="2341", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0034"

The line above is split for readablility only. Udev does not support any form of line continuation. Do not insert any line breaks in your rules, as this will cause udev to see your one rule as multiple rules and will not work as expected.

Reload the udev configuration

udevadm control --reload-rules 
  • If the sketch does not load, compile it (Ctl-r), then press and release the reset button on the stick and immediately upload the sketch (Ctl-u)
  • Connect via a USB cable with a Standard-B plug.
  • If the sketch does not load, compile it (Ctl-r), then unplug and replug the Uno and one second later upload the sketch (Ctl-u)
USBDroid and EtherTen
  • Connect via a USB cable with a mini-B plug
  • Both load/reload sketches and initialise and run them reliably. They take the same time to get going: a flashing light sketch loaded to both gets them flashing in synch.

Useful Links

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