My girlfriend and I spent last weekend building Arduino-controlled devices. Here are some random notes about working with Arduino (in an OSX environment)
- splurge on a long USB device cable. also a breadboard and jumper wires
- use stty to change baud & other settings on a device file - having access to the usual unix tools e.g.
cat /dev/ttyUSB0is a really nice thing
- pyserial is always your friend. seriously it is fantastic.
- the official Arduino docs are really good
- don’t miss the docs for your specific model, for example, these are the specs for my old-timey diecimila
- don’t miss the part about Arduino ints being 16-bits. Arduinos are little-endian but it rarely comes into play. the ADC produces 10-bit values.
- this sparkfun article about using Arduino with relays will be useful to me soon
- the OS X drivers for the FTDI chip on old Arduinos like mine are terrible. I’ve had 6 kernel panics in the last three days. i finally uninstalled them. luckily ubuntu has native support, so I currently program my old Arduino on the linux machine. My girlfriend’s Arduino uno doesn’t use this chip and working with it on OS X is fantastic.
- the digital pin’s output mode high/low is enough to operate the coil in small low-voltage relays like this
- this guy is doing interesting things with Arduino data acquisition
- now i want one of these.