MintDuino
Building an Arduino-Compatible Breadboard Microcontroller
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Released: September 2011
Pages: 58

Get started with MintDuino, the Maker Shed kit that's perfect for learning or teaching the fundamentals of how microcontrollers work. This hands-on book shows you how to build a complete MintDuino project from start to finish. Learn how to assemble the microcontroller on a breadboard (no soldering required), and immediately begin programming it.

You'll build the MintDuino Reflex Game in five separate stages or sub-tasks. Breaking down a large project into manageable tasks helps you track down errors quickly, and lets you see how each part of the circuit works. Once you complete the game, you'll have the resources and experience to tackle more MintDuino projects. If you’re interested in the fascinating world of microcontrollers, you'll enjoy this book.

  • Wire up and program the MintDuino to light an LED
  • Build a game that tests the reflexes of two players
  • Learn how to make your “game light” glow at random intervals
  • Construct a pushbutton circuit to control individual players’ LEDs
  • Put all of the components together, including simple code to control your game
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About the Author
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Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyMintDuino
 
1.8

(based on 4 reviews)

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25%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough (3)

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Maker (4), Educator (3)

      Reviewed by 4 customers

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Book leaves a lot of material out

      By PhysicsPete

      from New Hampshire

      About Me Educator, Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Difficult to understand
        • Not comprehensive enough
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly MintDuino:

          The book fails to help someone with the MintDuino because, even with the "Canned MintDuino and Survivor" kits, there are many more additions that must be added. The user has to figure out the interfaces. Programming and download is not intuitive or covered. Learning features are non existent, at least for my students. It is unclear.
          This book appears to be a quick write-up to get something out along with the mintduino canned product line.
          It just is not ready for ship with so many questions, extra boards, required add ons, software configurations, etc.

           
          1.0

          Book fails the subtitle

          By kashken

          from QuadCities USA

          About Me Maker

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Lacked advertised materia
            • Not comprehensive enough

            Best Uses

              Comments about oreilly MintDuino:

              "Building an Arduino-compatible breadboard" is NOT covered in this book. From the back cover, "Learn how to assemble the microcontroller on a breadboard..." is not addressed in the book contents. You must acquire OTHER mateial for that purpose. My copy of the 30 page book had 8 blank pages.

               
              4.0

              Great book for breadboarders!

              By Doug the Bruce

              from Cotati, CA

              About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Good format for this book
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly MintDuino:

                This is a great book if you have some Arduino Due/Uno experience and are looking to develop a dedicated embedded microprocessor. In short, this shows how to set up an Arduino without the board, using the very minimum of components, and a simple solderless breadboard.

                Note regarding my previous review: The recent update provides a much-needed explanation of setting up the Mintduino part of the project. This completes the book, and makes it totally work.

                The book approaches the development of a nifty little push-button reflex game, you know the kind where a light lights and you have to push a button first? Since the "game design" is so familiar, the writers focus on the physical parts that make up the game, and the programming required to make them work. Start to finish the project will take a couple of evenings at most, and you'll learn a little, and have a lot of fun along the way.

                The photography in the print edition is basic black and white, which is ok, since most of the photos are close-ups of various stages of the build. The photos in the eBook version are fantastic, full color closeups of the project from start to finish. I usually like having the book on the table with me, keep my notes in the margins, yada yada yada, but the eBook version of this is worth the price for the photos alone.

                The book is written in a series of tasks, where a task provides a small amount of hardware assembly, some new code to make it work, and an explanation of what's happening. While the author (or Oreilly) offers all of the code samples on the Oreilly web site, the code given is only discussed at an opcode level (E.g. "If state1 is HIGH, the lightLED1 function is called"). I think this is well done - more detail would not be appropriate for a 30 page book like this, but it gives you enough to know what part of the code is doing what. Sets up some experimentation - poking the dough as it were - to see what happens when you change a variable, or swap a different colored LED in place.

                Written in a soft cover paperback style, this book will become a handy reference when I'm sticking some chips on a board for some dedicated sensing. I recommend the book, and PDF eBook for beginning Makers with a small amount of Arduino fiddling experience.

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Incorrectly titled book, dissapoints

                By Doug the Bruce

                from Cotati, CA

                About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Not comprehensive enough
                  • Too basic

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about oreilly MintDuino:

                    The title of this book is misleading. It infers that you're going to get 30 pages of "Building an Arduino-compatible breadboard microcontroller". Instead, it offers instructions on how to use a MintDuino that you've bought to create a "reflex game".

                    On page 2 the book reads: The Parts You Need: 1 MintDuino - Assembled. (see http://makeprojects.com/Project/Build-a-Mintronics-MintDuino/608/1 for assembly instructions)
                    Next, the book breaks the 10 minute process of connecting 3 LEDs and resistors, plus two pushbutton switches to the MintDuino into 5 steps over the remaining 28 pages. I'm not making this up.

                    I was looking for, and expecting to see, a book that goes into some detail about programming the chip using FTDI, maybe something about different crystal values/clock speeds/configurations, etc. I would love for it to include some information about bootloaders, what the options are lately, advantages of using one over another..

                    The author has written a couple of other books about LEGO Mindstorms - I'm not sure why he considered himself knowledgeable about this subject, he doesn't show it in this book.

                    This book is a waste of time, and even at $5, a waste of money.

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