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Super Small Arduino Uno: An Introduction to TinyDuino (TinyCircuits)
If you took a shrink ray and pointed it at an Arduino Uno - TinyDuino is what you get. TinyDuino is a derivative of Arduino. It is NOT made by Arduino, it is actually made by TinyCircuits, a company from Akron, Ohio. In fact, the boards are assembled right in Akron.
This Tutorial Will Include:
Overview of the TinyDuino platform
Downloading the FTDI-Chip Software
Setting up the Arduino IDE for TinyDuino
Notes on Powering the TinyDuino
Overview of the TinyDuino Platform
The TinyDuino is essentially a miniaturized Arduino Uno. To give you an idea of the size, take a look at my thumb next to the processor board. It’s pretty small.
Like Arduino, it also has stackable shields that add capability to the processor board. The company that makes the TinyDuino is constantly developing new shields - they currently have quite a plethora of options including:
Bluetooth (and Bluetooth Low Energy) TinyShields
Motor Controller TinyShield
Multiple Prototyping TinyShields
Multiple cool LED TinyShields
Lot’s of TinyShields to say the least.
Which brings up an important point - in order to load sketches on the TinyDuino processor board you need a micro-USB TinyShield. So there is actually a separate board to handle the USB functionality - this helps preserve the tiny form factor.
So how does this work? It’s pretty simple actually. You just pop on the USB shield, upload your sketch, and then pop it back off (or leave it on if you feel like it - you are sooo lazy!). Just like any Arduino board, the TinyDuino can draw power from the USB cable while you are plugged in making prototyping no different than what you would expect with any other Arduino.
Download the FTDI-Chip Software
Before you start creating swarms of TinyDrones to take over your local brewery, you are going to need to download some software - it’s totally free and very easy to install. What you need is called Virtual COM port driver better know as a VCP Driver.
First navigate to the FTDI Chip website. As you scroll down the page you will see a list of different files to download depending on your operating system and your computers processor architecture.
At first this can be a little intimidating. But, I will tell you a little secret. If you are using Windows, follow the link to the far right under comments labeled “setup executable”. This is simply an installer program that will install the correct drivers you need for your given setup. Windows will probably ask permission to run the exe file. Once permitted, just follow the prompts.
Read More at the Open Source Hardware Group Website...