Author Archives: Phil Duby

Installing Arduino on Windows 7

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I have heard several times at the Saturday morning sessions that some people were having trouble getting the Arduino environment installed on Windows 7.  My normal environment is Windows XP, so I have had no experience with setting up on Windows 7.   Recently, I had a chance to do an install on a Netbook running Windows 7 Home edition.  Here are the steps that worked for me.  This was for Arduino version 0023, NOT the latest version.  I do not know if the latest version will be any different.  From conversations with someone else, this could also be different if you are running Windows 7 Professional, or another version.

Download the zip file from [windows version]
Extract the files from the zip file
Rename the [inner] extracted “Arduino” folder to “Arduino 0023”
Move the “Arduino 0023” folder to the “C:\Program Files” folder
Navigate to C:\Program Files\Arduino 0023\
right click on the arduino application file, Send to, Desktop (create shortcut)

The software is all setup now, but still need to get the device drivers installed.

Connect the Arduino board to the computer using a USB cable.
I got a message here saying that the device driver was installing, then that the install had failed.
[click] Start | [right click] Computer | [click] Manage | [click] Device Manager |
my notes are not quite clear at this point.  Find an entry for “FT232R USB UART” by clicking the arrow on the left side of “Other Devices”, or maybe “unspecified”
[right click] “FT232R USB UART” | Update Driver Software
Browse my computer for driver software | Browse | Computer | C:\Program Files\Arduino 0023\drivers; OK
[check] Include subfolders; Next
I got a message that said:
Windows has successfully updated you driver software
USB Serial Converter

This has now installed the driver for ONLY the USB Serial Converter, not the Arduino board yet

In Computer Management; device manager; locate “USB Serial Port” under Other Devices
[Right Click] USB Serial Port | Update Driver Software
Browser my computer for driver software | Browse | Computer |
C:\Program Files\Arduino 0023\drivers
[check] Include subfolders; Next
I got a message that said:
Windows has successfully updated your driver software
USB Serial Port (COM3)
Close | Close

And every thing should be ready to go.  Open the Arduino environment.  Under Tools | Board | click the entry for the Ardunio board that you are using.  Under Tools | Serial Port | pick the com port shown in the install message above.  Under File | Examples | Basics | pick the blink program.  Click Upload.  Should successfully compile and upload.

If you [later] connect a different Arduino board, you could get an automatic message about successful software install, and another port number.  Once the drivers were installed above, I had no more issues with Arduino on Windows 7.

“Sketching” Electronics With Conductive Ink

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Conductive Ink, magnetic paper, Arduino Lilypad, and more.  Draw real electronic circuits on paper, instead of using an solderless breadboard, wirewrap, or a PC Board.  A series of videos…

“Sketching” Electronics With Conductive Ink

The first video I had to open in UTube to see.  The rest worked right in the original page.

micro 3D printer

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Getting closer to ‘desktop factory’ all the time.

Printing ‘small’ parts at high resolution.

The world’s smallest 3D printer

From the picture, it looks like that connects to a computer through a standard [old style] serial cable [not USB]

The video says he built if for about 1500 € [in parts?], at todays conversion, that would be just over $2000 Canadian. He said it has the capabilities of a 60000 € commercial printer [$81100] !!

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I’ve been following the online AI class from Stanford.  Included in that was a video with descriptive commentary of the robot that won the DARPA challenge.  The video is also on youtube.  The ‘trick’ was to overlay very accurate but short range laser sensor data, with much less accurate but long range camera vision, to ‘infer’ what was further ahead than it could see with the lasers.