So far in this guidebook, we have spent some time looking at the Arduino board and how you can send over various codes, but the board has to be connected to the computer to make this work. A USB cable is usually enough to make this happen, but there may be times when you wish you were able to send over information wirelessly between your IDE on the computer and the Arduino board that you are using.
The good news is that sending code wirelessly is something that you can do. You can use what is known as the Arduino Wireless Programmer in order to upload some programs from your computer over to the Arduino board with the help of Bluetooth.
Before we can work with the wireless capabilities, we need to take the time to update the program inside of our boards. There are some times when we will need to open up the box or the case to do this and times when we are able to just update the program. Any time you want to do this kind of wireless programming without having to use a USB cable, you will find that the Arduino Wireless Programmer is going to be one of the best choices to use.
When picking out this program, you should be a bit careful. There are some projects that will not be compatible with this program, and you will still need to plug the board into the computer. For example, if you are working on a project that will need to use D1 or D0 or the hardware RX, TX or UART, you won't be able to use these wireless capabilities. This is because this programmer needs to be able to occupy two of your pins permanently to work, and this can ruin the project in some cases.
There are also only a few boards that you can use with this programmer. The Arduino Deumilanove and the Arduino UNO will work with this program. There are some different configurations that will sometimes work with the other models, but they will only support the mainboard that you are using.
So now it is time to work on uploading this wireless program to your board without having to bring on the USB cable. This step can be a bit hard for a beginner, but once you are done, it will make it so much easier for you to work on some of your projects without having to hook it up to the computer for each project.
So to start, we need to make sure that we have our Arduino IDE set up. Make sure that when picking out an IDE to use, you should not use the Arduino 00xx version. While this is downloading, you also need to download the rxlxserial.dll file, and this can be used as a replacement for the one that comes with your IDE folder.
While you are on your computer, it is time to open up the Bluetooth capabilities, wherever those are located on your computer. You can add a device. After finding the Bluetooth device that you would like to work on, click on "Enter the device's pairing code." You can use the default code "1234" because it is easy to work with. Now you can open up the Bluetooth device that you are working on and choose it. Click the right button on your mouse so that you can select the option for properties.
Now that we have added the board we are using for this project, the next step is to actually upload the program that we want to place on the Arduino board. Remember that for these steps, we are going to upload our code to the board without using a USB cord of any type.
To get started with this, we need to make sure that our IDE is open. We can then select on Tools and then Board. Then there are a few options we can pick from. We will either pick the Arduino UNO or the Arduino Duemilanove w/Atmega328 depending on the option that we are using for this project.
After we have selected the board that we are working with, it is time to click on Tools again and Serial Port before clicking on COMX. This last part is going to be the specific serial port that will be used for the Bluetooth so clicking on this one is important.
For this to work, the program you intend to upload needs to be on the Arduino IDE already. If you haven’t done it, you should go through and write out the code you intend using so that the board has the right commands that it needs to get the work done. Once the program is done and saved, ensure that it is open, or open it if you did the coding earlier. Press the Upload button so that it can be sent wirelessly over to the board you are using.
And that is all there is to this project. There will be times when your projects will not like working with the wireless capabilities since this can take up some valuable space on your device and if you need to use all of the pins to make this happen your project will not work. But there are many cases when working wirelessly can save some hassle, especially if you have lost your USB cable and it is hard to always be stuck on a computer!