Installing Arduino Board Files

Before you can use the Arduino IDE to communicate with a FreakLabs board, you’ll need to install the board definition files.

Board definition files allow the Arduino IDE to recognise different hardware. The IDE needs to know the microcontroller and pin layout of a specific circuit board to ensure the board responds as expected when programmed using the IDE.

Installing the Board Files

To install the board files, we will be using the built-in Board Manager within the Arduino IDE. This requires some setup though.

The first thing we need to do is instruct the IDE where to find the board file definitions. To access this menu, go to Files/Preferences and open the dialog box.

On the bottom, copy and paste the URL into the textbox as shown below:

For the FreakLabs wildlife boards, please paste this text:

For the FreakLabs Freakduino and FreakUSB boards, please paste this text:

Once the URL is entered into the text box, the board manager should have the additional location to search for the board file. The next step is to open the Board Manager. You can access it by going to the Tools/Boards menu and selecting Board Manager. The computer will need a connection to the internet for this part.

In the board manager, if you type “freaklabs”, you should see the FreakLabs-Wildlife boards or the FreakLabs Freakduino boards. Select this option and then click on “Install”. This will install the board files for your board.

Now that we’ve installed the Freaklabs’ board files, let’s look at installing libraries.

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