This is a project to connect an Arduino microprocessor board to the ioBridge io-204 module. The intention is to use an ioBridge serial board to communicate with the arduino to provide additional control channels for the BurptheFrog website.
The ioBridge hardware provides a simple web-based interface to set up the various modules that ioBridge sell. The ioBridge io-204 module easily connects to your domestic router to provide you with remote interactive control of devices connected to the io-204. The present ioBridge io-204 has 4 independent channels that can be used to send and receive digial and analogue signals, control relays or servo motors and can provide RS-232 serial control signals.
The ioBridge Smart Serial board is the interface to an Arduino Duemilanova microprocessor and this is where the experimenting begins.
Firstly connecting the Serial board to the Ardunio, this is simply a case of connecting:
- Rx to Tx
- TX to Rx and
- Gnd to Gnd
Then going to the ioBridge Dashboard where the module can be configured:
In this case the Serial board is connected to Channel 4 so set the Channel Mode to serial. This provides additional serial related settings, the only setting I had to change was the Signal Mode from Inverted to True.
Moving on to the Widget creation page:
Once the Wiget label and Button label had been set the important change was made to the Serial Message. I use simple Ascii code to talk to the Ardunio, for this LED 1 widget it is the number ‘1’.
I repeated the widget creation to made another 3 widgets for LED 2, 3 and 4, these were also pasted into the test page.
The webpage is complete, the ioBridge hardware is ready to control the Arduino but the Arduino needed to be programmed to listen for the commands from the webpage and to respond to them using simple external circuitry.
This Control Sketch is very rough and ready as my programming skills are very rusty and the Arduino environment is pretty foreign to me.
Download the Sketch from here (right click and use Save As or SaveTarget)
I did note that to upload a Sketch to the Ardunio I had to disconnect the Rx line on Pin 0 otherwise the upload seemed to hang. Once loaded reconnecting the Rx line to the Arduino didn’t cause any problems.
With the Sketch uploaded to the Arduino I connected a LED via an 820 ohm resistor between Pin 2 and Gnd to test the programme and circuit. After a few changes to the Sketch to allow the LED to be toggled on and off using one button on the webpage I expanded the code to control the four LEDs. I can see that the code can be simplified dramatically using For/Next loops but it is my first attempt so it was a case of function over form.
The final circuit interfaced the ouptut pins on the Arduino to a ULN2803 chip which will happily accept the 5V TTL levels from the Arduino and then provide upto 500mA switching capacity for controlling relays or larger devices.
I hope this post maybe of assistance to people playing with the ioBridge and Arduino