Today we're continuing our feature on all the tutorials and documentation you can use to take the SparkFun SIK and Arduino Uno SIK beyond the guidebook. Here are some additional resources and videos to help you along in learning more about the world of electronics with Arduino.
How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.
This tutorial will teach you what a bootloader is and why you would need to install or reinstall it. We will also go over the process of burning a bootloader by flashing a hex file to an Arduino microcontroller.
What is an interrupt? In a nutshell, there is a method by which a processor can execute its normal program while continuously monitoring for some kind of event, or interrupt. There are two types of interrupts: hardware and software interrupts. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will focus on hardware interrupts.
Handling PCB jumper pads and traces is an essential skill. Learn how to cut a PCB trace, add a solder jumper between pads to reroute connections, and repair a trace with the green wire method if a trace is damaged.
The SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 opens a world of possibilities with five different projects. Are you hungry for more? Maybe you want to explore the world of I2C? Have no fear! These tutorials will get you started playing with SparkFun's Qwiic ecosystem. We specifically included the RedBoard Qwiic with the new SIK to make expanding into this ecosystem easier. The best part is that Qwiic offerings are expanding every week, both inside the four walls of SparkFun, and from outside, thanks to other open source hardware contributions!
Adding Qwiic Functionality
With the RedBoard Qwiic included in v4.1, you can also connect to several I2C sensors and boards with our Qwiic system!
Freescale’s MMA8452Q is a smart, low-power, three-axis, capacitive micro-machined accelerometer with 12-bits of resolution. It’s perfect for any project that needs to sense orientation or motion. We’ve taken that accelerometer and stuck it on a Qwiic-Enabled breakout board to make interfacing with the tiny, QFN package a bit easier.
The SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 opens a world of possibilities with five different projects in the guide. Are you hungry for more? Have no fear - there are tons of sensors and shields you can hook up with your SparkFun RedBoard programmed with Arduino that will help take your projects to the next level. For more inspiration and ideas, check out these tutorials.
The Teensy line is a collection of microcontrollers from PJRC, based around several different powerful ICs. If you have not already, make sure to check out our tutorial on Getting Started with the Teensy for tips on soldering headers and programming the development board for your projects!
TL;DR: For those that bought the new SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 for Arduino, you will need to install a different driver on your computer before using the RedBoard Qwiic. Make sure to set aside some time to install the CH340 drivers for your operating system!
For those that are new to a driver, it's a piece of software used to help operating systems interface with hardware devices. Development boards such as the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic and the Arduino Uno R3 require device drivers, or code that tells the computer how to interact with them. Device drivers can vary depending on the USB-to-serial converter populated on the development board. Some of these converters include:
Microcontrollers can be used as USB-to-serial converters. The following were populated on the Arduino R1, R2 and R3.
Different microcontrollers can have built-in USB communication, eliminating the need to have a separate piece of hardware. Some of these include:
If you are familiar with past iterations of the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino, the Arduino Duemilanove and RedBoard use the FTDI, while the Arduino Uno R3 uses the ATmega8U2/16U2. In the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1, the RedBoard Qwiic uses the CH340. These dedicated USB-to-serial chips make it easier to upload code to an Arduino or pass serial data to/from your computer.
FTDI on the RedBoard
Atmega16U2 on the Arduino Uno R3
CH340 on the RedBoard Qwiic
With the latest installment, you will need to install drivers for the CH340 for your computer to ensure that they work properly when using the RedBoard Qwiic for the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1.
If a written tutorial isn't your preferred information intake method, we also have a new video showing you how to install the drivers!
The Single Supply Logic Converter allows you to bi-directionally translate signals from a 5V or 3.3V microcontroller without the need for a second power supply! The board provides an output for both 5V and 3.3V to power your sensors. It is equipped with a PTH resistor footprint for the option to adjust the voltage regulator on the low side of the TXB0104 for 2.5V or 1.8V devices.
The SparkFun ESP8266 Thing Dev Board is a powerful development platform that lets you connect your hardware projects to the Internet. In this guide, we show you how to combine some simple components to remotely log temperature data, send yourself texts and control lights from afar.