Class Notes: 3 September, 2019

Class stuff

Alternative Technologies Maker’s Fair

My office hours this semester will be Thursdays, 4:30-6:30pm in Hunt A10.  If you need to meet at some other time we can probably work out a Skype call.

Setting up the SparkFun RedBoard Turbo

Installation instructions

Official Sparkfun hookup guide.

If you have a working board, please read the details of how this is an improvement on the Arduino.


Test things in this order.

  1.  Do you have a good USB cable?  If you plug in a USB cable and the RedBoard LEDs don’t light up, it’s a bad cable.  In my studio I just tried 8 cables and 1 did not light up the RedBoard unless I forced it in to an odd position.  If the cable connection isn’t super-snug between the cable and your RedBoard, try other cables.   My good cables lit up all of the RedBoards, including ones that didn’t work in class.
  2. Reboot your system after installing the SparkFun updates to the Arduino IDE.
  3. Can your laptop “see” the RedBoard over USB?   This is a bit trickier, but on Win10 the Arduino IDE should show “SparkFun RedBoard Turbo” in the text on the list of ports.
  4. If you’re getting a lot of red text that looks like compilation errors, try compiling the script in the installation instructions.  It should sequence the LEDs near the USB connector.
  5. Serial() doesn’t work.  Use SerialUSB() instead.

Setting up p5.js / serial

There are two steps here.

First, set up p5.js using these instructions.  Don’t use the web editor, download the p5.js package and use a local editor.  Run a few “Hello World” sketches to verify that things are working correctly.

Second, install p5.serialcontrol.  There’s a set of instructions at ITP for making the connection between p5.js and the Arduino, but if it doesn’t work for you on the first go, don’t waste a lot of time trying to sort it out.  We’ll do that on Thursday at the start of class.

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