Hey there! I recently received an Intel Edison board from Instructables, as a nice gift. If your wondering what that is, the Intel Edison is a tiny computer the size of an SD card (that's seriously small), for electronics and computer hobbyists out there. It has dual-core Atom CPU, and includes WiFi and Bluetooth in one heck of a tiny package.
The Edison goes well with its breakout board (which I used), as it makes it easier to program and use. It runs Linux, and supports Arduino, Python, Node.js and other programming languages as well. The Edison is made specifically for IoT (Internet of Things) projects, and also wearables, taking advantage of its size.
So when I started using my Edison, I found that it has a very small user community (now growing) and hence not as much documentation as I'd like. Simply setting up the Edison was a tedious procedure, as the people at the forums used bizarre words and very technical terms. It's a headache for newbies like me.
The Edison is a fully-fledged computer. Your Arduino is nothing close. Because of this, the Edison is a little more complicated, so beginners will have a tough time understanding stuff.
This is why I came up with this Instructable; to help all those newbies out there and explain everything about the Edison in the simplest language possible. So, before we get started, get the following things:
• An Intel Edison with the Breakout board - (get here): I'd recommend you buy the Breakout Board, even though its huge and not cheap. You really cant do anything with just a plain old Edison. Not even blink an LED. So this Breakout Board is important. Moreover, it is compatible with Arduino shields (yay! for Arduino users).
• A Seeed Studio Grove Starter kit - (get here): This I'd recommend especially to beginners, as its really easy to use. No complex circuits involved; just plug n play!
• A good computer: Very important. You're Edison may initially drive you crazy with its technical stuff, so a computer with good performance should compensate for that.
So let's begin!
NOTE: Prepare to sit at the computer for a good hour or two. Maybe more. You have no idea of what's ahead of you...
Step 1: Glossary...Yes, there are so many odd technical terms, that it looks like another language altogether. Therefore it deserves a glossary section:
• Linux: This is an Operating System (OS), that a computer uses to interact with users like us. Windows is an operating system too. So is Android.
• Developement board: A development board is a printed circuit board with circuitry and hardware designed to facilitate experimentation with electronics. The Arduino is a development board. So is the Edison (but 1000x times more powerful).
• Image: In this context, "Image" refers to the OS (operating system). So when someone says "Linux Image", they mean the Linux OS (nothing to do with pictures).
• Flashing: This means loading the OS onto a computer. Like, when the Edison is blank, you have to put an OS onto it. Hence you have to "flash" your Edison.
• Corrupted: Nothing to do with politicians. Here, simply, a corrupted file means that the file has errors that make it unable for someone to read the file, or retrieve the data from the file. It usually is a bad thing. More on it here.
• Driver: In the context of computers, a driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware you connect to your computer-for example, a video card or a printer-won't work properly.
This may clear some doubts for you. Now let's get started with the Edison!
Step 2: Connect The Edison to the Breakout Board...
Firstly, you'll have to connect the tiny Edison to the breakout board. Secure with the nuts provided. You don't need to tighten it much; doing it with your hand is enough.
Now, attach the 4 "legs" provided to the breakout board with screws, as shown above in the picture. This is not required, but it certainly helps when handling your Edison.
Step 3: Install The Required Drivers...
For the computer to communicate with the Edison, you'll need to install certain drivers (see glossary section). Follow the following steps:
Yay!!! You've now installed all necessary drivers. You may now proceed to the next step...
Step 4: Download The Intel Arduino IDE...
NOTE: The Intel Arduino IDE is NOT the same as the normal Arduino IDE. You have to download a completely different software.
The Intel Arduino IDE was designed by Intel for the Intel Galileo and Edison boards. This is great, as you get the simplicity of Arduino and the power and features of an Edison. To install the Edison IDE, follow these steps...
You have downloaded your Intel Arduino IDE successfully.
Step 5: Flash Your Edison...
You now have to load the Linux Image onto your Edison. Its quite simple; just follow these steps:
It'll ask for a comfirmation. Type "Y" and it will remove all files from the Edison.
to see that the deletion was successful.
Press Enter twice and you should see a login prompt. Just type "root" and press Enter.
Now typereboot ota
You have successfully flashed your Edison!!!
Step 6: Test Your Board with an Arduino sketch...
Open the Edison Arduino IDE. Go to File < Examples < Basics and click blink. Select the correct COM port and upload. The onboard LED should start blinking!