Installing Arduino Software and Drivers in Windows 10

There are some choices to be made when installing Arduino software and drivers in Windows 10. Arduino offer two ways of installing the Arduino IDE on a Windows PC — Windows installer file and a Windows zip file. Windows 10 will also install a default driver when an Arduino is plugged into the USB port of a PC. This driver can be replaced by the Arduino driver that comes with the Arduino software.

Arduino Software and Drivers

Installing Arduino software using the Windows zip file is the simplest method of installing the software. It is just a matter of copying the folder out of the downloaded zip file into the desired location on the PC. This allows the software to easily be removed by deleting the folder.

When Windows 10 installs a driver automatically, the Arduino just looks like a COM port in Windows Device Manager. It is not recognized as an Arduino, although it will work properly and code from the Arduino IDE can be loaded to it. After installing the Arduino driver that comes with the Arduino software, the Arduino will be shown as an Arduino on a COM port in Device Manager. The difference is shown in the image below.

Windows Default COM Driver and Arduino Driver

Windows Default COM Driver and Arduino Driver

As can be seen in the image, with the default Windows 10 driver installed, the Arduino appears as USB Serial Device (COM4) (left), but after the Arduino driver is installed the same Arduino appears as Arduino Uno (COM4) (right).

Full instructions on installing the Arduino IDE software and updating the Arduino driver can be found in the article on how to install Arduino software and drivers on Windows 10.

Arduino Programming: Passing a value to and Returning a Value from a Function

Two new sections have been added to the Arduino Programming Course. The course now looks at how to write a function, pass a value to a function and return a value from a function.

These new parts are available on the Starting Electronics website:

Functions and passing a value to a function looks at the structure of a function, how to write a function and how to pass a value to a function.

Returning a value from a function shows how to return a value from a function and uses an example of calculating the area of a circle by passing the radius of the circle to the function.

Arduino IDE Software Version 1.0.6 Now Available

Arduino software version 1.0.6 is now available at the download section of the Arduino website.

The following changes in version 1.0.6 of the software are from the release notes:

ARDUINO 1.0.6 - 2014.09.16

* avr: Improved USB-CDC write speed (Justin Rajewski)
* avr: Improved USB-CDC read code (Paul Brook)
* avr: Fixed race condition in USB-CDC transmit (Paul Brook)
* avr: Added replacement stub for cstdlib atexit() funciton
  (Christopher Andrews)
* Fixed wrong NULL pointer handling in Stream class
  (Amulya Kumar Sahoo)
* Backported String class from IDE 1.5.x (Matt Jenkins)
* Backported Print class from IDE 1.5.x
* Backported digitalPinToInterrupt macro from IDE 1.5.x
* Added initVariant() hook to allow 3rd party variant-specific
* Added replacement stub for cstdlib atexit() function
  (Christopher Andrews)

* Added compatibility for IDE 1.5.x libraries layout
* Fix toolchain command line to compile assembler files
  (Jimmy Hedman)
* If two libraries have the same header file use the lib with
  the same folder name (Paul Stoffregen)

* Robot_Control: removed duplicated SPI and Wire (Xun Yang)
* Robot_Control: fixed issue on motors being opposite (Xun Yang)
* Robot_Control: updated turning algorithm (Xun Yang)
* Esplora: added reading form Tinkerkit inputs
* SoftwareSerial: Fix idle level when initializing with inverted
  logic (Jens-Christian Skibakk)
* fixed a bunch of examples

* Wifishield: fixed paths on firmware upgrade scripts

Installing the Newest Arduino Software on Linux Mint / Ubuntu

The Arduino software can be installed from the software repositories in both Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but the repositories do not always contain the newest version of the Arduino software. This article explains how to download and install the latest version of the Arduino software.

The installation should also work on Ubuntu derivatives such as Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu.