Getting Off the Ground

The board with everything plugged in

Being fairly new to working this closely to the hardware, it took me a little while to get off the ground. I started off with the Olimex board that I linked in the previous post, and from there I had to find a way to get code from my computer onto this chip, and then figure out if said code was running.

I started off with the goal of trying to get a really simple example which makes an LED light on the chip blink.

First the shopping list:

That’s pretty much all you’ll need. A couple of important notes:
as I mentioned, the USB to TTL cable I linked is NOT compatible with windows 8 and 10 out of the box, and I had trouble getting it to work. This, paired with the fact that many of the instructions I saw online were for Unix systems (think Ubuntu and Mac OSX), made me decide to switch over to my Ubuntu 14.04 partition before continuing. Additionally, if you are using a different board to me, you probably won’t be able to attach a 5V power supply. You have been warned!

Much of what I did came from Olimex’ very own wordpress blog, however this is a little dated and leaves out some important info.

In particular: the above blog mentions selecting a programmer in the IDE, but in newer versions of the IDE, this is not necessary; just leave it at the default programmer.

Additionally, the blog does not mention that, in order to put code on the chip, it must be set to bootloader mode by turning off the power, holding down the big white button, turning the power back on, and then releasing this button.

The specifics can be found in Olimex’ more official documentation.

After following most of the steps on the blog and in the documentation, I managed to get the LED blinking! Success!

Next I’ll talk about connecting the chip to your WiFi and sending some basic messages to and from it.


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