1.1 Install and Introdudce the Arduino

Arduino is an open source platform with simple software and hardware. You can pick it up in short time even if you are a beginner. It provides an integrated development environment (IDE) for code compiling, compatible with multiple control boards. So you can just download the Arduino IDE, upload the sketches (i.e. the code files) to the board, and then you can see relative experimental phenomena.

For more information, refer to Arduino Website.

Install Arduino IDE

Go to Arduino Software Page to download the Arduino IDE accordingly to your operating system,then follow the instructions to install it.

Click here to get step-by-step instructions accordingly to your operating system.


Introduction the Arduino Software (IDE)

Double-click the Arduino icon (arduino.exe) created by the installation process. Then the Arduino IDE will appear. Let’s check details of the software.


  1. Verify: Compile your code. Any syntax problem will be prompted with errors.

  2. Upload: Upload the code to your board. When you click the button, the RX and TX LEDs on the board will flicker fast and won’t stop until the upload is done.

  3. New: Create a new code editing window.

  4. Open: Open an .ino sketch.

  5. Save: Save the sketch.

  6. Serial Monitor: Click the button and a window will appear. It receives the data sent from your control board. It is very useful for debugging.

  7. File: Click the menu and a drop-down list will appear, including file creating, opening, saving, closing, some parameter configuring, etc.

  8. Edit: Click the menu. On the drop-down list, there are some editing operations like Cut, Copy, Paste, Find, and so on, with their corresponding shortcuts.

  9. Sketch: Includes operations like Verify, Upload, Add files, etc. More important function is Include Library – where you can add libraries.

  10. Tool: Includes some tools – the most frequently used Board (the board you use) and Port (the port your board is at). Every time you want to upload the code, you need to select or check them.

  11. Help: If you’re a beginner, you may check the options under the menu and get the help you need, including operations in IDE, introduction information, troubleshooting, code explanation, etc.

  12. In this message area, no matter when you compile or upload, the summary message will always appear.

  13. Detailed messages during compile and upload. For example, the file used lies in which path, the details of error prompts.

  14. Board and Port: Here you can preview the board and port selected for code upload. You can select them again by Tools -> Board / Port if any is incorrect.

  15. The editing area of the IDE. You can write code here.