Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breadboard and Switches

Earlier this afternoon I finished setting up my first breadboard. After encountering many issues along the way I was thrilled to see the two LEDs on my breadboard alternate in response to my push of a button attached. Here is a video of my working circuit followed by a brief overview of the issues that I had to solve along the way.

The main issues that I encountered when setting up the breadboard were connecting to the arduino via the VCD port Driver for USB, and understanding how to use resistors properly. Here is how I overcame these challenges:

VCD Port Driver for USB Connectivity
Last night I attempted to hook up my Arduino to my computer at home. The Arduino program was not able to connected to the Arduino because it could not find the USB driver, even though I had used the same program to upload the blink program, as shown here. In order to solve this problem I had to re-install the Arduino program and USB driver more than once (make sure all USB ports are open when re-installing the software if you have the same problem).

Earlier today, when I hooked up the Arduino to my computer it was working once again. I am not sure what caused the failure but the reinstallations seem to have worked. Here is the full set of steps I took to get this working again:

  1. Disconnect all devices that are/should be using the FTDI driver
  2. Delete /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
  3. Delete /System/Library/Extensions.kextcache
  4. Delete /System/Library/Caches/*
  5. Delete /Library/Receipts/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.pkg
  6. Delete /Library/Receipts/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
  7. Un-install arduino software from your computer
  8. Re-install all software per the original directions from FTDI and Arduino
  9. Sleep (otherwise you'll make careless mistakes, as I did)

Using Resistors Properly
When I first got my breadboard hooked up earlier today the LEDs were lighting up weakly, as displayed on the video below. The source of this issue was that I had added the wrong resitor to the LED output pin. The resistors that I had originally used were too strong, that is why the LEDs did not receive sufficient energy.

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