STEP 1 – WARNINGS
  • DO NOT plug the Arduino kit into your computer until this guide tell you to do so. This will ensure a smooth installation process.
  • Read this guide as a whole before beginning. If you are not comfortable completing these steps ask a friend or colleague for help. If you do not have somebody to ask, consider visiting you local library or maker-space and asking for help.
  • If your computer is part of an organization (such as a library or school) you will require IT support for these steps in order to get administrative access. This is not a problem on a home computer.
  • Read each step completely before acting on its instructions.
STEP 2 – INSTALLING THE ARDUINO IDE
  • Open a new Web Browser tab and go to www.arduino.cc.
  • At the top of the menu select SOFTWARE, then click on DOWNLOADS. This should bring you to the software downloads page.
  • Download and install the latest version of ARDUINO IDE for your particular operating system. Once you select the version (most popular is the very first one: Windows Installer, for Windows XP and up), you will be asked to donate or JUST DOWNLOAD. You do not have to donate if you do not wish to do so – Click JUST DOWNLOAD.
  • Once you have the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) installed, you should be able to start the application. It should look somewhat like the picture on the right.
  • We recommend maximizing the environment across the entire screen, but that is a user preference that can be adjusted later.
  • Close the environment. We will not need it for now.

STEP 3 – INSTALLING THE USB DRIVER

TECHNICAL NOTE for the curious.
What is a Driver? A driver is a piece of software that lets a device talk to the operating system (Windows, MacOs, Linux, etc). All devices need a driver; your printer, your smartphone, your keyboard, your mouse. It stands to reason that the Arduino kit will also need a “driver” to be able to interact with the computer.

  • Not all Arduinos are built the same therefore they do not all use the driver that comes included in the environment. We will go through the process of installing this additional driver.
  • DOWNLOAD the appropriate driver for your operating system:
    • Windows (7,8.x,10): Driver Here
    • Mac Os:
    • Linux: Most modern Linux distributions include this driver.
  • Unpack the ZIP file and install the driver:
    • Windows: Run the EXE file. Click Install when prompted.
    • Mac: Double click the PKG file. Follow on-screen instructions.
STEP 4 – REBOOT YOUR COMPUTER
STEP 5 – SET UP ARDUINO ENVIRONMENT
  • Start the Arduno IDE.
  • Make the following selections in the top menu:
    • Tools > Board > Arduino/Genuino Uno. This defines the type of board that is present inside the kit.
    • Under Tools>Port you should see one or more options labelled COM#. These are the communications ports for your computer. Write the options down on a piece of paper. If there are no options, that is ok too.
    • Plug in the Arduino Kit using the USB cord and wait for the system to finish installing it.
    • Under Tools>Port you should see a new option that wasn’t there before. Select that option.
    • Press the UPLOAD button to do a first upload of a blank program (also called a Sketch) to the Arduino Kit.
    • The Sketch should compile and then successfuly upload to the Arduino Kit. this will be indicated in the blue bar separating the white and black parts of the IDE.
STEP 6 – EXPLORE FURTHER RESOURCES
  • Your Arduino Kit is now set up. To get to know how it’s built and what it can do, please head back to the Arduino Kits page and select the kit you are working with.
  • We strongly encourage you further explore www.arduino.cc for more information on what an Arduino actually is. The website had a wealth of information and examples that are readily available. The RESOURCES section is very informative, especially under the TUTORIALS and REFERENCE headings.
  • The Arduino IDE uses “C” as a programming language. A good place to start learning the official “C” language is www.learn-c.org. Just like a spoken language, the “C” language used by the Arduino IDE is a bit of a dialect. Use the website as a guide and reference but some things may not work the same in the Arduino IDE.