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ArduSensor Shield Quickstart Guide


 

 

The Basics:

 

The ArduSensor Shield is packed with an LED bar graph, RGB LED, buzzer, and 4 sockets for ArduSensors.  It is a great beginner tool that simplifies the hardware side and makes it easier for beginners to focus on the code. 

 

Assembly:

 

First off, if you don’t know how to solder, go here to learn the basics so that you are thoroughly prepared to assemble your kit.

 

Parts in Kit:

 

Qtechknow and SparkFun ArduSensor Shield PCB (Printed Circuit Board)

LED Bar Graph - Red

Resistor Networks - 330 Ohm (2)

Male Headers - 32 (four separate pieces of 10, 8, 8, and 6 pins)

 

Tools Needed to Assemble:

 

Soldering Iron with Stand

Lead-Free Solder

Safety Glasses

Safety Mask (from the local pharmacy)

Non-Reuseable Latex or Vinyl Gloves (from your local pharmacy)

Vice or Third Hand (with soldering iron stand)

Diagonal Cutters

Needle Nose Pliers

A small piece of masking tape

 

You will need to get on your own:

 

Arduino Leonardo with micro-B USB Cable

or

Arduino Uno with USB-B Cable

 

When using soldering irons, take precautions like:

 

  • Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water twice up and down your arm (yes, the solder does go on your arm in tiny pieces) after you solder
  • Don’t eat the solder
  • Don’t touch your face or eyes after touching the solder
  • Wear a mask to prevent the solder smoke to come into your mouth, or to prevent you from inhaling it
  • When working with hot solder, you especially want to wear eye protection
  • Wear gloves so that the tiny hot pieces of solder don’t jump onto your hand

 

Assembling the Kit:

 

Take the ArduSensor Shield out and put into a vice or third hand.

Take the three 330 ohm resistors out of the bag.

Bend them so that they make an upside-down "U" shape.

Put them into the copper holes corresponding.

Flip the PCB over and put back into the vice or third hand.  Put your soldering iron up to the joint between the resistor lead and the copper hole.  Wait 3 seconds, and then add solder to that joint.

Repeat this process 5 more times to the other joints with a copper hole and a resistor leg popping through it.  Trim the leads with your diagonal cutters.

Take out the pushbutton and put into the copper holes corresponding.

Solder the four joints using the method above.

Take the three 330 Ohm Resistor Networks out.

Put them into the copper holes corresponding, making sure that the side that has the black dot (circled in red) goes into the square copper hole.

Flip the PCB over and bend the leads outwards in opposite directions.  Solder using the method above.

Put the piezo buzzer into the copper holes corresponding.  Make sure that the side marked with the "+" is on the right, like the picture below.

Flip the PCB over, and bend the leads outwards in opposite directions and solder the joints using the method above.

 

Trim the leads with your diagonal cutters.

Take your RGB LED out.  Spread out the pins a small bit.  Make sure that the longest lead is second from the left

Put the RGB LED in the copper holes corresponding, making sure again that the longest lead is second from the left.

Flip the PCB over and bend the legs of the RGB LED outwards in opposite directions.

Solder each of the joints using the method before.

Trim the leads so that they don't poke you.

 

Put all four 6 pin headers into the corresponding holes.  Carefully, using masking tape, tape the headers onto the top of the board.

 

Flip the board over, and then solder.

 

Take the LED Bar Graph out, and find the side that has a small notch.  This side is the anode or positive (+) side.  Make sure that the notch is right at the + text, not facing the resistor networks!

Flip the PCB over and bend the leads outwards.

Solder using the method from above.

Trim all of the ends of the leads.

Put the 10, 8, 8, and 6 pin male headers into the correct spots onto your Arduino.

Put the ArduSensor Shield on top of the pins.  Solder all of the pins using the method above.

You are now finished assembling the ArduSensor Shield!

 

Programming:

 

If you haven’t downloaded the Arduino IDE, go here to download the latest version.  If you haven’t installed drivers for the Arduino (haven’t downloaded the software yet, or haven’t done this step yet), read the following table:

 

If you have...

Arduino Uno

Arduino Leonardo

Mac:

No drivers needed, proceed to the next step

Go here, then proceed

Windows:

Go here, then proceed

Go here, then proceed

 

 

Plug in your Arduino with your USB cable (USB-B on the Arduino UNO or earlier, and USB-microB for Arduino Leonardo) to your computer.  Download this zip file and unzip onto your computer.  If you are on a Mac, double click the folder labeled “SFE-QTK-ArduSensor-Shield-master.zip”, double-click the file named “AS-ShieldDemo.ino”, then press OK when the dialogue box pops up. If you are on a Windows computer, press Save instead of Open when you press the download button, double click the folder labeled “ArduSensor-Shield-master.zip”, double-click the file named “AS-ShieldDemo.ino,” and then press OK in the pop up box.

 

The Arduino IDE should open up with the example sketch/code for the ArduSensor Shield.  This was meant for use with the ArduSensor Button, Magnet, Force, and Light.  I recommend you solder the above ArduSensors now, so that this example project will work well.

 

First, make sure to select the board that you are using from Tools > Board.

Then, go into Tools > Serial Port, and select the correct COM/Serial Port.  On a Mac, the usual Serial Port will be /dev/tty.usbmodemfa131.  Any small variation of that will be fine.

On Windows, the COM Port will usually be COM 4, and anything lower or higher might work.

Here are the basic buttons/functions in the Arduino IDE:

Now let’s upload the sketch/code to the Arduino.  Plug one end of the cable into your Arduino, and then the other end into your computer.  Press the Compile + Upload button (Verify if there is any errors in the code, and then upload the sketch/code onto the Arduino), and the program will run on the Arduino.

Put the ArduSensor Button into the ArduSensor A0 socket, Force into the A1 socket, Magnet into the A2 socket, and Light into the A3 socket.

The ArduSensor Force will control the LED Bar Graph, Light will control the buzzer, Magnet and Button will control the RGB LED.  It should be awesome!

If you have any more questions on this product or how to use it, contact Qtechknow Tech Support at support@qtechknow.com, or leave a comment below.



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