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creativewidgetworks | September 25, 2020

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Setup Notes on a Windows 10 Laptop

There are 2 development environments for Arduino - on-line/web version and the Desktop IDE. These notes try to cover my discoveries while installing the Desktop IDE.

Start at: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage and scroll down to "Install the Arduino Desktop IDE" and pick your operating system. My OS is Windows 10 so after selecting Windows I ended up on https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Windows Follow the setup screens. I had to 'right-click --> Run as Administrator' to stop Windows from complaining.

The board gets its DC power via the USB cable for the basic configurations. Make sure you have a USB cable good for data transfer vs. those USB phone charger cables that only provide DC power. Hook up the board, Windows gave me some messages "Driver found", etc.

Start the Arduino IDE program. It will want to know which USB port you are connected to. Go back to Windows --> pick that gear looking icon for setup --> select devices. I drew a box around the message that told me I was connected to COM4. The Arduino IDE wants to know which USB port it is talking to. Back in the Arduino IDE select 'Tools --> Port'' and tell it your USB com port number. (See photo below).

Next you'll need to tell the Arduino IDE which board you are using. Selecting 'Tools --> Board Manager' and the club's particular brand of Lolin D1 Mini isn't on the menu ... yet. Follow the instructions at https://github.com/esp8266/Arduino  Scroll down past  that list of software to the heading 'Arduino core for ESP8266 WiFi chip' and follow the instructions under 'Installing with Boards Manager'.

Examples and screen shots can be seen at https://www.arduino.cc/en/guide/cores and follow the third party core instructions. When I initially didn't see our board listed in the menu I found if I clicked on the very top title line of the menu seemed to refresh the list and voila ... ESP8266 was listed.

If you don't have the proper board selected in the Arduino IDE it will give you messages such as "Board not found" or a timeout after 10 tries to download. Under File--> Examples --> Basics I picked the sketch named Blink. Compile it and download it and you get all sorts of initial excitement when the blue LED on the minicontroller board blinks on for 1 second and off for 1 second.

Uploaded files:
  • Win10_device.png

Thanks for posting this, Joanne. The directions as you posted them work fine. Did you notice that the sense of the LED is backwards from a stock Arduino? IE, the Blink program actually turns off the LED when it should be turning it on, and vice-versa. Check it out by changing the sketch to that posted below. Change the High time from 1000 to 500 as shown, and change the low time from 1000 to 1500 as shown, to have an obvious on/off imbalance. The LED will now stay on for 1500 mS and off for 500 mS, which demonstrates the reversed sense.

Joe N9OK

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {
// initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.
pinMode(LED_BUILTIN, OUTPUT);
}

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
delay(500); // wait for a second
digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
delay(1500); // wait for a second
}

Hey, thanks Joe! I was interested in how general I could make the installation instructions so that perhaps things worked in a few shacks rather than the old line, "It works for me!"

This is my first Arduino experience so any shared observations should help make the more complex projects run.

I made your changes to my blink sketch here. It compiled and downloaded just fine. I had to pause for a moment because it was still blinking at the original rate - after looking at the code I realized the board was faithfully waiting the reset button to get pressed. The new blink rate took effect after that.