The Arduino IDE is supposed to be really simple to install, but it turns out that quite a lot of people are having problems getting their IDE to identify the ports used by the Arduino.

First I’ll go through the simple installation, then we’ll dig in to the missing-port issue.

Before you start its a good idea to connect the CP2102 to the Arduino with Dupont cables – following the guide here.

Downloading and extracting

Start out by downloading the Arduino IDE from here:

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

If you don’t have administrator access you probably need the version marked “Windows ZIP file for non admin install”.

Extract it on a location on your PC and you are ready to go.

Understanding the basic functionality of the IDE

Starting up the Arduino IDE you should see something similar to this:

Screenshot from 2017-01-07 09-25-21.png

Here you should notice the following:

  1. In the top-left you from left have the compile and upload buttons used to compile your program and upload it to your Arduino.
  2. The main white area is the code you compile and upload. Even if you are unfamiliar with coding C, you can still try out the examples on this site. I’ve included the code and connections set up, so it should be fairly straightforward.
  3. The black are in the bottom is used by the IDE to report back to you whats happening, eg. when you compile it will show you any errors you may have in the code and when you upload it will show you the status of the upload and if it succeeded or why it failed.
  4. Finally you should notice the text in the bottom right. This tells you what board the IDE is currently configured to use. Here you have several options as you will see in a minute

Choosing the right board

For uploading to succeed, you need to choose the right board you are using. See below

Screenshot from 2017-01-07 09-32-45.png

In the examples in primarily use “Arduino Pro Mini”, so you should choose this if you are following my basic examples.

You also need to choose the Processor (in my case “ATmega328 (5V, 16MHz)”).

Finally you should select the port where your Arduino is connected, so if you haven’t connected your Arduino to a USB port of your computer, now is a good time.

If you don’t see the port you have connected your Arduino to, you could have the Arduino IDE Driver problem that many people come across.

For now I’ll continue with the assumption that your computer identifies the used port.

The port choice is displayed below. Note that I’m running Linux so the port format is different than if you run Windows – that’s ok! 🙂

Serial Monitor

Screenshot from 2017-01-07 09-46-39.png

What is also displayed above is the “Serial Monitor”. A very important little tool that show whatever text you have outputted from your program using a function called Serial.print().

In order for it to work you need to choose the port, otherwise the Serial Monitor will be grayed out.

Another important thing here is the “9600 baud” choice in the bottom right of the Serial Monitor popup. This is the speed that the Monitor detects text outputted from your program.

So, its VERY important that you choose the same speed as you do in your program, otherwise you will only see garbage characters! Setting the speed in your program happens with “Serial.begin(9600)”.

Arduino IDE Driver problem

When you cant see any ports you may need a new or different driver before you can continue. This is usually a Windows or Mac issue, Linux (at least Ubuntu) tends to work without any additional driver.

Usually you can see a exclamation mark in your Windows Device Manager signalling that you have a problem with one of the devices.

Here you can try downloading the driver from Windows update, on rare occasions it works.

If that doesn’t work I recommend using this driver: https://www.pololu.com/docs/0J7/all

Now, if that doesn’t work, google it… someone somewhere must have experienced the same problem, and even more important, tell me about it so I can update this post!

Whats next?

So, now we are ready to upload our first program… Follow me to the next post! 🙂

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