Arduino & Flash AS3 (part 1)

At my last interactive exhibition, I was asked how would a Flash engineer get started with tinkering with the Arduino. Well, it’s fairly simple, their are a few caveats to overcome, but for the most part all you have to do is acquire the hardware and install some open source software, and oh yeah own a copy of flash or an ActionScript compiler. This post will be covered in 5 parts to help you get Flash talking to Arduino using a quick button created on a breadboard.

Before we get started you will need the following software and hardware:

Download the necessary files:

(1) The Arduino integrated development environment (IDE).
(2) The FTDI Serial driver (MAC OSX Intel 10.4 +)
(3) The SerialProxy application. (Scroll down to the bottom of the Arduino page)
(4) AS3Glue. (Featured downloads)
(5) A copy of Flash CS4 (trial version will work also) or an actionscript compiler which can compile Actionscript 3
(6) A plain text editor – Notepad will do, but I prefer TextMate.

Now for hardware….

I have provided links to SparkFun and Radio Shack for each component. I would advise you to buy your supplies online, but if you are impatient, you can go down to your local Radio Shack and purchase some of the components. For the provided Radio Shack links its important to take note of the catalog number, this is the number that Radio Shack provides to access its inventory. When I’m in need of a simple component, I usually go online to www.RadioShack.com, check to see if they have the component, log the catalog number and then call up my local Radio Shack(s) and track down the component. Granted their components are a bit on the pricey side, but its an instant gratification and beats waiting a few days for a pack of resistors to arrive in the mail.

The example in this post uses the following hardware and components:

(1) An Arduino Duemilanove board, you can pick one up at Sparkfun or Adafruit.
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(2) A USB cable. (you probably already have one of these laying around)
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(3) A basic LED, so you can test if the board is actually working. (online SparkFun or Radio Shack)
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(4) A breadboard. (online SparkFun or RadioShack)
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(5) A momentary button. (online SparkFun or RadioShack )
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(6) Jumper Wire. (online SparkFun or RadioShack)
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(6) 1 10Kohm 1/2W 5% Carbon Film Resistor. (online Futurlec or RadioShack)
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Once you have gathered all the materials and downloaded the required software, we are ready to get tinkering.

Move onto (part2) of this post.

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