January 2014 57
Lab 3: The Arduino IDE
The Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) lets you write
sketches (also known as programs) that provide instructions telling the Arduino
board what to do and how to do it. The IDE has many features that let you select
the particular type of Arduino you’ll be using. Here, we’ll be using the Arduino
Uno R3, but one of the great things about Arduino is that the code you write for
one particular Arduino variant can be easily changed to use with another variant.
There are also many useful example sketches included in the IDE, and
looking at these examples is one of the best ways to learn how to use the
Arduino. So, let’s get started with the IDE.
A computer with access to the Internet.
The Arduino IDE on your computer.
Estimated time for this lab: 15 minutes
Check off when complete:
❏ Open the Arduino IDE by clicking on the shortcut (or arduino.exe in the
Arduino directory). You’ll see the Security Warning shown in Figure 21.
Just ignore it and click ‘Run’ since the Arduino IDE is quite secure.
❏ You will first see the Arduino Wait panel shown in Figure 22.
❏ After a brief delay for the application to load, you’ll see the IDE when first
opened as shown in Figure 23. (Note that it may vary slightly if you are using
another version or seeing it on a Mac or Linux machine.)
❏ Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this IDE. Note that the top line says
sketch_july24a|Arduino 1.0.1. This identifies the name of the sketch (the
program you’ll write momentarily) and the version of the Arduino you are
using. The next line has the menu selections for File, Edit, Sketch, Tools, and
Help. We’ll go into greater detail on these in later labs.
❏ The next line has six icon buttons shown labeled in Figures 24 to 29.
❏ Figure 24 shows the ‘Verify’ icon. After you write a sketch, you’ll click on this
icon This converts the sketch into a form that can be understood by the
microcontroller. (This is also known as compiling.)
❏ Figure 25 shows the ‘Upload’ button that is used to transfer the verified sketch
to the Arduino.
■ FIGURE 21: Ignore this
■ FIGURE 23:
installed. Just ignore that and click on
the ‘Make New Folder.’
❏ Name the new folder for the version
of Arduino you are using; in Figure 17,
it is Arduino-1.0.1.
❏ Click the ‘Extract’ button. You may
want to get comfortable since there are
a lot of files that must be unzipped
❏ Open the Arduino directory and
right-click on the Arduino.exe file;
select ‘Create Shortcut’ as shown in
❏ Drag the shortcut to the desktop so
you’ll have it handy as shown in
■ FIGURE 20: The
■ FIGURE 19:
■ FIGURE 22: Arduino Waitpanel.