When doing DIY experiments, you might often connect the control board and each sensor module using a bunch of breadboard wires or jumper wires. It is really troublesome.
Now, we specially design this kidsbits coding box, fully compatible with the Lego building blocks.
You can mount the control box onto Lego blocks and match our kidsbits sensor modules to complete all kinds of entertaining experiments.
The kidsbits coding box comes with EASY plug interfaces. So you are able to connect other sensor modules using only an RJ11 cable.
You can tinker with your control board and sensor modules without worrying too much about doing something wrong.
The box also comes with control interface with silkscreen, four LED indicators DC power jack, USB port and so on.
2. Technical Details
- Main Chip: ATmega328P-AU
- Operating Voltage: +5V
- External Power: DC 7-12V
3. Silk-screen and LED Indication
- RESET: reset button
- USB: square USB port（for powering the board or uploading the program）
- DC: external power jack（DC 7-12V）
Actually, each interface of control board is a 6Pin interface. You can check out the specific IO ports according to the silkscreen.
(Note: G: GND V: VCC（5V） NC: no wiring)
- A0: G V A0 NC NC NC
- A1: G V A1 NC NC NC
- A6: G V A6 NC NC NC
- A7: G V A7 NC NC NC
- D2/A2/A3: G V D2 A2 A3 NC
- I2C（I2C communication pins）: G V A4（SDA） NC A5（SCL） NC
- COM（serial communication pins）: G V D1（TX） D0（RX） NC NC
- SPI（SPI communication pins）: G V D10（SS） D11（MOSI） D12（MISO） D13（SCK）
- D3/D4: G V D3 D4 NC NC
- D5: G V D5 NC NC NC
- D6: G V D6 NC NC NC
- D7: G V D7 NC NC NC
- D8/D9: G V D8 D9 NC NC
- Four LED indicators（from left to right）
- Yellow LED: serial communication signal sending indicator
- Yellow LED: serial communication signal receiving indicator
- Green LED: D13 indicator
- Red LED: power indicator
4. Use Method
4.1 Installing the Driver
The USB to serial port chip of the control board is CH340G. So you need to install the driver for the chip. You can click the link below to download the driver file.
In different systems, the driver installation is similar. Here we start to install the driver on the Win7 system.
Plug one end of your USB cable into the control board and the other into a USB socket on your computer.
When you connect the control board to your computer at the first time, right click your “Computer” —>for “Properties”—> click the “Device manager”, under Other devices, you should see the “USB2.0-Serial”.
Then right-click on the USB2.0-Serial and select the top menu option (Update Driver Software…) shown as the figure below.
Then it will be prompted to either “Search Automatically for updated driver software” or “Browse my computer for driver software”. Shown as below.
In this page, select “Browse my computer for driver software”.
After that, select the option to browse and navigate to the “drivers” folder of usb-ch341 installation.
Once the software has been installed, you will get a confirmation message. Installation completed, click “Close”.
Up to now, the driver is installed well. Then you can right click “Computer” —>“Properties”—>“Device manager”, you should see the device as the figure shown below.
Here you can check out the Port COM21.
If you want to modify the COM Port. Follow the methods below.
- Right click the USB-SERIAL CH340 (COM21), then select Properties.
- Pop up the following window, click Port Settings and Advanced.
- Then you can choose any COM ports as you like.
Here we select COM6, and click OK.
It will pop up the prompt window. Click Yes.
- Continue to click OK.
- Now, set well the COM6. Shown below.
4.2 Example Use of ARDUINO IDE
STEP 1: Open Arduino
In the previous, we have introduced the driver installation of control board. So let’s first have basic understanding of the development environment of ARDUINO.
You can download all the Arduino IDE version from the link below:
After that, you will learn how to upload the program to Arduino board.
First of all, open the unzipped folder of ARDUINO development software and click icon of ARDUINO to open the software, as the figure shown below.
STEP 2: Build Projects
When open the Arduino software, you will have two options as below:
- Build a new project
- Open an exiting project example
If you want to build a new project, please select “File”→then click “New”, you will see the software interface as follows.
If you want to open an example project, please select File→Example→Basics→Blink. Shown below.
STEP 3: Select Arduino Board
On the Arduino software, you should click Tools→Board , select the correct board. Here in our tutorial we should select Arduino Uno. Shown as below.
STEP 4: Select Serial Port
If you are not sure which port is correct, at first directly open the Control Panel of your computer, then click to open Device Manager, you can check the COM port here. Shown as below.
Then you should click Tools→Serial Port.
STEP 5: Upload the Code to Your Board
Before showing you how to upload the code to your board, you can check the function of each icon on the Tool bar of Arduino IDE listed below:
Verify/Compile Check the code for errors
Upload the current Sketch to the Arduino New Create a new blank Sketch
Show a list of Sketches
Save the current Sketch Serial Monitor Display the serial data being sent from the Arduino