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babbletronlets start babbling

To get babbling, you just need to follow a couple of simple steps. The babbletron program is a java application that runs on your PC and uses the PCLink application running on your Arduino to connect it to the GinSing shield. Due to an implementation limitation on the Arduino UNO, you will need to place a capacitor in two of the header pins when running PCLink to maintain a stable serial link.

Babbletron is NOT included in the standard software distribution, but can be easily installed by downloading one file after you have downloaded the standard distribution.

installation steps

1. download and install the latest software

2. download and install the babbletron program

3. load and run PCLink on the Arduino

4. insert a capacitor

5. launch the babbletron program

InstallIconstep 1. download and install the latest software

Download the latest distribution of the software for your platform. The standard distribution contains the Arduino software libarary, documentation, and the Tweaker tool. You will be installing the Babbletron in the same location as the the Tweaker tool since thety share common assets.

download GinSing Software

InstallIconstep 2. download and install the babbletron program

The babbletron is a single archived Java pogram file (jar). It is similar to the Tweaker program and shares many of the same assets, so for this reason you only need to download this file and place it in the same direcotry as the Tweaker program (GSTweak.jar). You can locate the tweaker folder in the original installation and copy this file there.

download babbletron

PCLink Load LoResstep 3. load and run PCLink on the Arduino

The PCLink program must be active on the Arduino to allow the tweaker and the GinSing board to talk to each other. To get the program installed and running on the Arduinio, first launch the Arduino IDE and select the menu option:

File -> Sketchbook -> GinSing -> PCLink

A window will appear that contains the source code for the PCLink application. Next, click the upload button ( the arrow pointing to the right ). The appplication will first compile, and then download and start on the Arduino. You should be able to hear the PCLink program speak some simple instructions on the next step ( installing the capacitor ). Take note at the bottom of the IDE window as to what port you are using to program the Arduino - this will be used to initialize the tweaker on the same port.


step 4. insert a 10 uF capacitor (UNO Arduinos) 

The USB serial interface provided on the Arduino UNO does not support the DTR function that is required for proper operation with the tweaker console program. Without this capacitor, the tweaker will not find the GinsSing board.

The required 10 uF electrolytic capacitor is commonly available at most electronic parts stores such as Radio Shack.  The capacitor is inserted into the board header as pictured here on pin 1 (RESET) and pin 3 (5V). The orientation of the capacitor should placed such that the negative lead is in the RESET pin on the header. You can identify the negative lead as it will have a light colored banner on the case next to the pin and will be denoted with a (-) sign.

Note that while this capacitor is inserted, you will NOT be able to load programs down to the Arduino - it should be removed when not running the tweaker program!

Tweaker Comm Selstep 5. launch the babbletron program

Open up the folder where you placed the babbletron program. Once the program is launched, you will be provided with onscreen instructions that will prompt you to ask to select the communication port, which should be selected as the same one you used to install the PCLink.

Much of babbletron is self-explanitory, so poke around a bit and have fun. Remember that there are built-in tool tips if you hover over an item that will give you some clues.