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Arduino Nano - An Introduction

Introduction

The Arduino nano is a versatile, embedded micro-controller board based upon the popular Arduino format. It can, quite conveniently, be used on breadboards and can be powered via a Mini-B USB connection, a 6-20V unregulated external power supply, or 5V regulated external power supply. The power source is automatically selected to the highest voltage source. The Arduino nano can be programmed using a software package, written in Java, called arduino!

When deciding which micro-controller to use on your next embedded project there are numerous embedded devices to choose from including those in the popular Arudino format. The Arduino Nano is a breadboard compatible variant of the Arduino based on the Atmega 328 micro-controller.

As there are many texts that describe the Arduino Nano more than adequately this article merely summarises the Arduino's main characteristics as described in the section below.

The Arduino Nano Hardware

... to be continued

Arduino Nano - Top level schematicProgramming the Arduino

To program the Nano, on a win32 machine, plug it into a spare USB port and using the control panel locate the Device Manager program. The Device Manager, shown in the Figure below, reports that the Nano's USB port has been mapped to the serial comms port 8 in this case.

In the Tools menu item of the arduino software select the corresponding serial port, COM8.

Now, in the "Tools" menu item select the sub-menu item "Board" and select the board that corresponds to the version of Nano being used. The ".... Nano w/ATmega 328" has been selected for the purpose of the this article.

There are many examples that can be found in the location "File->Examples->...". In the "Basic" sub-menu item of the File->Examples menu item, the "Hello World" of micro-controllers can be found. The program known as Blink can be compiled and used to toggle a LED continuously on and off as a means of verifying that the Arduino Nano can be programmed and is working as expected.

Conclusion

Well, without strenuous testing there is not much to say, at this stage, about the Arduino Nano but positive things. It is an extremely cheap development board in a convenient format for use on solderless breadboards. Excellent support in the form of tutorials and community forums can be found on the Internet. It gets the thumbs up from us.

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