Arduino Uno & Visual Studio


 

Today, I took some time to break out my Arduino Uno and have some fun. Before writing this post, I had no experience with Arduinos, but I did have some with building circuits.

Step 1: Take it out of the Box

I had received the Vilros Arduino Uno Rev 3 Ultimate Starter Kit for Christmas. It’s really awesome. I have like 20 LEDs, a nice breadboard, a motor, and a bunch of other neat components (photo resistor, potentiometer, etc.) It also came with a nice instruction booklet

Step 2: Install & Configure your computer for the Arduino IDE

I started my journey with just following the directions and seeing where I could go. Being me, I followed the directions and downloaded the arduino IDE. The arduino IDE appears like this:

image

Pretty clean and easy to use, it looked like a great place to start. I started with a simple circuit which cycled a LED on and off.

image

After building a few more circuits (potentiometer, 8 LEDs color cycling, and push buttons) I thought to myself, there must be a better way of doing this than having tons of windows open (one for each individual project).  I love Visual Studio, and use it all the time already, I wondered if there was an extension for  VS, and with a quick search, I found it.

 

 

 

Step 3: Arduino in Visual Studio

VisualMicro provides arduino programming in Visual Studio.

image

Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, you’ll notice some changes in your version of Visual Studio, for example, below, I can customize what Arduino I’m compiling for and which port I’m sending my data through.

image

 

I did notice that there were many features and optional paid addins which I didn’t know anything about, but I decided to ignore them for a while.

A Quick Exercise with Visual Micro

I built the following circuit:

WP_20140926_005

Then created a new VisualMicro Sketch Project called LightSensor

image  image

My code is below:

// We'll create constants to name the pins we're using.
// This will make it easier to follow the code below.

const int sensorPin = 0;
const int ledPin = 9;

// We'll also set up some global variables for the light level:

int lightLevel, high = 0, low = 1023;


void setup()
{
	// We'll set up the LED pin to be an output.

	pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
}

void loop()
{

	lightLevel = analogRead(sensorPin);


	autoTune();  // have the Arduino do the light tuning for us!


	analogWrite(ledPin, 255 - lightLevel); //light up when it's dark outside

}
void autoTune()
{


	if (lightLevel < low)
	{
		low = lightLevel;
	}



	if (lightLevel > high)
	{
		high = lightLevel;
	}


	lightLevel = map(lightLevel, low + 30, high - 30, 0, 255);
	lightLevel = constrain(lightLevel, 0, 255);

	// Now we'll return to the main loop(), and send lightLevel
	// to the LED.
}

Then I went up into Tools>Visual Micro>Tutorial Mode and disabled it, otherwise it would try to teach me how to use breakpoints and other helpful hints.

Then I simply went and ran my code: image

The code compiles and starts to run on my Arduino.

image

 

 [View:http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-01-60-92/1565.LightSensorCircuit.mp4]

In Conclusion

It’s pretty simple and familiar running Arduino projects in Visual Studio, I look forward to my next project 🙂

[Video]


Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Check out Fritzing for your electronic diagrams.

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