Boboduino MiniCore Arduino IDE environment setup

Table of Contents

    Which MiniCore to choose from?
    🦄 To set up the Arduino IDE development environment for the Boboduino Uno R3 board, you only need to choose either Boboduino MiniCore or MiniCore. If you currently have no ideas, or if you don’t need to make any special changes to the design of this board, we recommend installing Boboduino MiniCore (follow the procedures outlined in this article).

    USB driver installation

    🦖 You will need to install the Ch340G USB driver if your Boboduino Uno board cannot be recognized as an external USB device by your computer. Please follow this article:

    🐶 USB driver installation (CH340G)

    Boboduino Minicore

    Boboduino uses a more convenient MiniCore bootloader compared to the original Arduino Uno. The MiniCore design supports various AVR MCUs and even allows for the use of different crystal oscillators. Considering that some of the MiniCore features are nearly impossible to use on the Boboduino board (such as switching to other non-328 series chips or, for most users, changing the crystal oscillator frequency), we have created a simplified version of the Third-party board settings that disable certain MiniCore functions. This makes it easier for everyone to install and use it in the official Arduino IDE. This version of MiniCore simply hides options that will never be used, preventing accidental issues during program uploads. Since Boboduino is equipped with the MiniCore bootloader internally, compatibility issues with MiniCore are not a concern.

    Below, we will demonstrate using the latest Arduino IDE version 2.2.1:

    • The following steps are executed using the Arduino IDE on Mac OS. However, the Windows version will be very similar. If you’re having trouble understanding, please send me a message and let me know which parts you don’t understand!
    • The Arduino IDE has undergone significant changes in the user interface between versions 1.8.x and 2.0.x; however, the overall design remains quite similar. If you are using version 1.8.x, we recommend upgrading to 2.0.x, as it will be more convenient in the future!

    Install Arduino IDE 2.2.0+

    Here we demonstrate the installation process of the Arduino IDE on a computer. First, let’s go to the official Arduino IDE download site, choose the Arduino IDE version that corresponds to your current operating system, and download it. The step by set installation process is quite straightforward. If you encounter any issues, you can find more information on the official Arduino website.

    🧚‍♀️ When you read this article, you might find a version newer than 2.2.1, and it’s perfectly fine to install the new version!

    After you click on the download link for your operating system, you may see a page like the one shown below, which asks for a donation before downloading. If you wish to make a donation to the Arduino Foundation, you can click on the amount and then select [CONTRIBUTE & DOWNLOAD]. If you only want to download the software for now, simply click on the less conspicuous[JUST DOWNLOAD] option on the left. Don’t worry; they do not require you to make a donation when you simply want to download the software.

    Find the Preferences setting

    Open the Arduino IDE version that we just installed and click on [Arduino IDE > Preferences].

    Add Additional Boards Manager URLs

    Next, we will copy this link and paste it into the field for Additional Boards Manager URLs. If there are already other links in the text box, you don’t need to delete them. Just add the new one at the bottom of the list.”

    The purpose of this action is to enable the Arduino IDE to locate board data designed by third-party developers (for example, Boboduino or Raspberry Pi) and directly download it using the board manager’s functionality. It will also automatically notify you of driver updates when available.”

    After clicking [OK] , we can proceed to the next step.

    Open the Board Manager and install the third-party board driver

    Next, navigate to [Tools > Board > Boards Manager] to install the Boboduino MiniCore.

    Install the Boboduino MiniCore third-party board

    On the left side, enter ‘Boboduino’ in [BOARDS MANAGER], and click on [INSTALL].

    Confirm the successful installation

    After the installation is complete, we should be able to find the ‘Boboduino Uno R3‘ development board under [Tool > Board > Boboduino AVR boards].

    Upload a test program

    Next, we are ready to upload a program for our first test. Plug the Type-C USB into the computer with your Boboduino board, and click on [Select other board and ports] below.”

    Pair the board and port

    Here, we need to establish a pairing relationship between [BOARDs] and [Ports]. In [BOARDS], select [Boboduino Uno R3], and in [PORTS], choose the USB device that the computer detects when the board is connected. Click [OK] and then close the window.

    🐙 On a Windows system, you will find that the [PORTS] section becomes [COMs]. It’s essentially the same thing.

    🍭 If your computer cannot detect the Boboduino USB device in the [PORTS], it may be because you haven’t installed the CH340G USB driver. Please follow this article: “USB Driver Installation (CH340G)“.

    🍭 If you cannot find Boboduino AVR boards in the [BOARDS] section, it might be because you haven’t installed the third-party board properly. Please go back to “Add Additional Boards Manager URLs.”

    Paste the Blink test program

    Paste the following Blink test program into the text box on the right. We will use it to test if we can successfully upload the program to the Boboduino Uno board.

    // the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
    void setup() {
      // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.
      pinMode(LED_BUILTIN, OUTPUT);
    // the loop function runs over and over again forever
    void loop() {
      digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH);  // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
      delay(1000);                      // wait for a second
      digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW);   // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
      delay(1000);                      // wait for a second

    Upload the Test Program

    Next, click on the [→] button in the top-left corner to upload a test program. If you can see the ‘Done uploading‘ dialog box in the bottom-right corner, it means the upload was successful.

    Hooray! 🎉 After you finish installing the CH340G USB driver and the setup of third-party board in the Arduino IDE, I want to say that you have opened up a new world of possibilities with microprocessors. It’s always great to explore and learn about other cool stuff. One day, you may find that you need to use a more powerful board or MCU for something you are building. At that time, you may not consider using Boboduino (because you think it’s too cute and should be a precious part of your collection, I understand). It’s not the time to say goodbye🥲; it’s just the beginning of your new journey 🚀. I believe the spirit of becoming a maker with Boboduino will always live in your mind!

    Let’s try to create some interesting projects with the Boboduino UNO board.