The Stalker sensor platform : Part 1 - Introduction

The Seeeduino Stalker is a cost effective wireless sensor platform, with hardware support for battery power and solar recharging. It’s all built on Arduino technology, so can be programmed from the Arduino IDE with no problem.

Stalker with Solar Panel, LiPo Battery and Xbee board connected.

In this tutorial series we'll learn step by step how to build an easy wireless weather station, transmitting the sensor data across a RF-Data Link to a PC. In this tutorial we'll learn how to connect the board to the computer and how to run your first test sketch

     1.   Connect the Stalker to the computer:

The Stalker board can not be connected directly through USB because a  onboard USB to serial converter is missing. We'll use a USB to Serial TTL Cable and some Male to Female Jumper Wires.

 

Stalker connected with Jumper Wires to a USB to Serial TTL Cable

Following connections to the pin row J2 (Stalker) are needed:

Cable Stalker
(Black) GND GND
(Brown)CTS# not connected
Red)VCC (5V) USB5V
(Orange)TXD RXD
(Yellow)RXD TXD
(Green)RTS# DTR

The Stalker is powered through the USB to Serial TTL Cable, no additional power supply is needed.

     2.  Prepare the computer

Serial Port Advanced Settings in Win XP

You may need to install the driver for the cable, after that change a setting in (WinXP): System --> Hardware --> Device Manager --> Ports (COM & LPT) --> USB serial Port --> Properties --> Port Settings --> Advanced --> set a flag at:"Set RTS On Close"

With this setup a Stalker reset will be forced (RTS Line) at the beginning of every programming session. This will make sure the bootloader runs, and that the Stalker talks to the IDE to get code.

 Setting in Arduino IDE for Stalker

Now we need to install the Arduino IDE , and change some settings:

  • Set Arduino board as Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (3.3V, 8MHz) w/ ATmega 328 from Tools-->Board Menu .
  • Select the right COM Port from Tools-->Serial Port

     3.  Upload the first sketch

To verify that everything works we can simply use the blink sketch example coming with the Arduino IDE:  File --> Examples --> 01. Basics --> Blink

After uploading
this sketch on the Stalker the onboard LED on Pin 13 should blink.

Congratulations!!! You uploaded the first sketch on your Stalker!!!

 

Next:

The Stalker sensor platform : Part 2 - Reading a digital temperature sensor