Getting Started

1. Installing the Arduino IDE & Software

The first step required is to download and install, the latest version of the Arduino IDE. You will need version 1.6.5. The Arduino IDE is available both as an installer and as a zipped version.

You can find the files and installation instructions here: Arduino Software

More advanced users may wish to use Eclipse, instructions and details of the setup process can be found here: Using Eclipse with Arduino.

2. Installing the SODAQ Mbili Hardware Profile

The next step is to install the hardware profile for the SODAQ Mbili board. The Mbili board profile is available through the Arduino Boards Manager (available from IDE version 1.6.4).

In order to install the board files you will need to first add the SODAQ board manager URL
(http://downloads.sodaq.net/package_sodaq_index.json) to File->Preferences->Additional Board Manager URLs:

Next open the Board Manger via Tools->Board->Board Manger. You can then search for and install the SODAQ boards. Select and install the SODAQ AVR boards for the Mbili. Due to a current issue (Sept 2015), you must install version 1.0.0:

3. Selecting the SODAQ Mbili Hardware Profile

The Arduino IDE will now have the SODAQ Mbili board added to the list found in the menu under tools->board:

You simply need to select that hardware profile as the board that the Arduino IDE will use.

4. Configuring the Serial Port

Windows versions 7 and 8 (and 10) will normally find the right USB driver when you plug in the SODAQ Mbili for the first time. The same is also true for Mac and Linux. If your system doesn’t find the driver you will have to download the FTDI drivers from here: FTDI Drivers.

The FTDI driver adds a communication port. In Windows this is COMx (so COM1, COM8, etc.). On Linux and Mac the port name starts with /dev/tty.

You can find the list of available serial ports in the menu under Tools->Port:

You must select the communication port associated with the SODAQ Mbili board. The associated communication port is only visible in that list when the SODAQ Mbili board is connected and switched on. If you are unsure which is the correct port simply check what new port has been added after you switch the device on.

5. Configuring a Serial Monitor

You can open the built in serial monitor by pressing Ctrl-Shift-M or through the menu Tools->Serial Monitor. The default setting does not add CR/LF to any commands you send. You will want to change this using the drop down options shown below:

Alternatively, you can use a terminal emulator such as PuTTY. The download page can be found here: PuTTY Download and you can find instructions on the configuration settings here: PuTTY Configuration.

Note:  The Arduino IDE will automatically close the built in serial monitor before uploading a sketch. If you are using a terminal emulator you must close the session before you can upload a sketch. If you do not, you will get an error message stating that access is denied to the communications port (it is busy due to another active session).

Additional Note: Whenever a terminal session is opened, a reset command is sent to the device. Your uploaded sketch will then restart and you will see any messages that might be displayed at startup. There is no need to rush to try and open the serial monitor immediately after uploading your sketch.

Loading and Running a Basic Demo

You are now ready to upload and run your first sketch. Ensure that the SODAQ Mbili board is connected and switched on, and that you have configured it as shown above.

Simply copy and paste the following code into a new sketch.

void setup() 
{
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  Serial.begin(9600);
  Serial.println("Starting...");
}

void loop() 
{
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
  Serial.println("Hello World");
  delay(1000);
}

Click  ‘Compile’ to optionally compile and test the code and then ‘Upload’  to compile and upload it to the SODAQ Mbili board.

If you open the built in serial monitor by pressing Ctrl-Shift-M you should see a startup message displayed, and then “Hello World” displayed, repeatedly, at one second intervals.