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Ardublock and Linker Projects

Note that the Ardublock add-on is provided by a third party (http://blog.ardublock.com/), and has not been updated to conform with the latest versions of the Arduino IDE. We have been using version 1.6.7 of the Arduino IDE for all of our testing, and we understand that Ardublock will not work with versions later than 1.6.11 of the Arduino IDE.

Bill of Materials

Qty Code Description
1 XC4410 UNO Main Board
1 XC4557 Linker Shield
3 XC4558 Linker Lead
1 XC4565 Linker Green LED
1 XC4566 Linker Red LED
1 XC4571 Linker Button
1 XC4579 Linker Sliding Pot
1 XC4580 Linker Buzzer

Alternatively, the XC4358 Scratch Kit contains an assortment of Linker items which can be used to provide some diversity to the projects. In this case, all you would need is:

Qty Code Description
1 XC4410 UNO Main Board
1 XC4358 Scratch Kit


Install the Arduino IDE from: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software.

Download the file Ardublock.zip.

Unzip the Ardublock.zip file and copy the 'tools' folder and its contents to your 'documents/Arduino/' folder. If this folder doesn't exist, run the Arduino IDE to create it. You should end up with a file named 'ardublock...' in a 'Arduino/tools/ArduBlockTool/tool/' folder.

Close the Arduino IDE if it is open and then open again. Check that the 'ArduBlock' menu item appears under 'Tools':

Ardublock Tools Menu

Now plug the Linker Shield into the UNO Board:

Linker Shield

Making sure all the pins line up before pushing down (note that there are 2 header slots on the UNO board that do not have pins going into them. Plug the USB cable into the UNO board and computer, and check that the UNO board installs (the drivers are included with the Arduino download). If Windows requires drivers, manually point it to the folder where the Arduino IDE was installed.

From the 'Tools' menu in the Arduino IDE, choose 'Board' and select 'Arduino UNO'. Then choose 'Port' from the 'Tools' menu, and select the port that belongs to the UNO (it should say Arduino UNO next to it). Now your Arduino IDE and hardware are configured.

You can start Ardublock by selecting it from the 'Tools' menu. Plug an LED Linker into D13, and open the 'blink' project and press 'Upload to Arduino'. If the LED starts slowly flashing, all is well.


Plug an LED Linker into D13 on the Arduino:

LED Linker

Assemble the following program and upload to the Arduino:

LED Ardublock Code

If it all went to plan, the LED should be slowly flashing on and off.

How can we make it flash faster?
Change the delay to a number less than 1000.

How can we make it flash on for a short time, then off for a long time?
Make the first delay a smaller number than the second delay.

Blink With 2 LEDs

Now add a second LED to D12 on the Arduino:

Second LED Linker

And assemble this program. You might even be able to modify your previous program:

2 LEDs Ardublock Code

Before you upload to the Arduino, write down what you think will happen:
(LEDs flash alternately).

Now try some of the changes you made before, and see if they change what happens.

Input With 2 LEDs

Now add a button (or a joystick, slider or rotary potentiometer will work just as well) to A0:

Add a Button

And assemble the Ardublocks like this:

Input Ardublock Code

See if you can guess what the program will do this time:
(turns on either the red or green LED depending on the position of the input device).

Now upload to the Arduino, and see what it actually does.

You can also try the Serial Monitor (make sure the drop down menu in the bottom right corner is set to 9600 baud).

See how the values change as you change the input.

Input With Sound Output

This time, disconnect your LEDs from D12 and D13. Connect a buzzer module to D13. If you've got a joystick or light sensor on A0, then that will work too.

Sound Output

And assemble the Ardublocks as follows:

Sound Output Ardublock Code

What do you think will happen?
The buzzer will emit a tone that depends on the position of the slider or amount of light reaching the light sensor.

How can we make the sound go up instead of down?

Reverse Sound Ardublock Code