Can I program Wink on Chromebook? YES!

Wink setup, hardware, basic programming. User to user support.
wclift
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:10 am

Can I program Wink on Chromebook? YES!

Postby wclift » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:24 pm

I'm reaching out to other Wink enthusiasts with a question. I'd like to take Winks into a classroom filled with Chromebooks and be able to use them to program Arduino/Wink.

I've researched and found https://codebender.cc/ which reports to have an Arduino compatible IDE app for Chromebooks, which sounds perfect.

My only concern is the FTDI USB driver I had to specially install on my computer. The Wink programming board must be recognized by the device it is plugged into. Because standard Windows/IOS computers required me to manually install the FTDI driver, I don't know if the Chromebook is going to recognize the programming board automatically. If not, I don't know enough about Chromebooks to know if it's possible to change a setting or install a driver or what. Furthermore, the whole idea was to be able to walk into a school "chromebook" lab and have stuff just work.

Trouble is, I don't own a Chromebook. I'm getting ready to borrow one to try it out, but I'd appreciate it if anyone already knows the answer and save me the time. I'm confident that Codebender or ChromeDuino web apps will operate on an updated Chromebook. I just don't know if they will be able to access internal USB-to-SERIAL drivers for the programming board.

Has anybody tried to get Wink programming working on a Chromebook?
Thanks,
Wayne
Last edited by wclift on Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kevin
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:56 am

Re: Can I program Wink on Chromebook

Postby Kevin » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:16 pm

I'm not aware anyone has made this work yet, but I agree that the USB-Serial issue is going to be the main challenge. I contacted our support rep at FTDI a while back about this and here is his response for what it's worth...

=====
Although there is no direct support for Chrome OS, you can try experimenting with Google's ARC Welder (enables Android apps) and our Android J2XX apps:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... p-launcher

http://www.ftdichip.com/Android.htm

Make sure the Chromebook has a normal USB Host Port or at least a USB On the GO (OTG) port.

ARC Welder appears to be in the beta stage and has limited support from Google. No guarantees here, but may be worth experimenting with.
=====

I don't have a chromebook to play with either, but I look forward to hearing if anyone gets this running. A few schools would like to get our robots but they use chromebooks. I wish Google had opened them up a bit more.

Let me know if you make any progress.

-Kevin

wclift
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Can I program Wink on Chromebook

Postby wclift » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:45 am

Great news! Complete Success!

Hardware: Dell Chromebook11 with ChromeOS Version 46.0.2490.82
RegModel CB1C13
RegTypeNo CB1C13001

Web-based Software: https://codebender.cc
- Website indicated a requirement for ChromeOS v42+

CodeBender turns out to be a really nice web-based Arduiono software programming method. The biggest challenge I faced was porting PlumGeek's WinkHardware and FunStuff files. I learned a lot in the process. Others may already no this, but there are easy and hard ways to use multiple files for function management. PlumGeek is using multiple .ino files (primary .ino and library-like .ino files with companion .h files). My understanding is that tools like ArduinoIDE will auto-create the .h definitions of companion .ino files, but PlumGeek supplied the .h files directly. It turns out that CodeBender's main restriction is that a sketch may have only one .ino file. The companion .ino files needed to be converted to .cpp files, which was mostly easy since the .cpp files need complete .h files. That was the easy part (changing the file names). Then I hit a bunch of compile problems because the multiple .ino files are concatenated together and then processed during compile, so it plays looser with requirements for #include of library files. After renaming them to .cpp files, I had to perform a few more #includes in various files, and then I had to re-arrange a few signal declarations and matching .h file content. Some signals used in one .cpp file were being declared in the other .cpp file, etc. After finally sorting through all that, I got all the default example sketches to compile (BaseSketch, IRExample, and PreLoadedDemo).

This programming can be done in any browser and I did most of this work on the PC. But when I finally had compilable sketches, the real trick was to see if the Chromebook recognized the programming board and allowed Wink to be programmed. I prepared myself for a long night, when to my surprise, with absolutely no trouble at all, I plugged in the board to a USB port, plugged Wink in, saw its charging light, turned it on (power light), and then uploaded the sketch (happy dancing Tx/Rx lights blinking) and it totally worked.

I couldn't have been more surprised and happy!

So, I don't know precise minimum hardware requirements, but I know that it is at least possible to use a Chromebook to code and program Wink! And I'm also converted to CodeBender because it will let me share my sketches with everyone. It will also provide an easy cloning method for the BaseSketch. it will let me create a custom library for all the WinkHardware files and then easily share all my updates across all my sketches. And I can have any student clone my base sketch and be ready to program in seconds with no hardware setup. I'll post a different discussion on CodeBender later.

TelegramSam
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:02 am

Re: Can I program Wink on Chromebook? YES!

Postby TelegramSam » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:17 am

I've been trying to reproduce this process for the Plumduino project, and I'm having trouble making it work. My C foo is lacking in this task...

Any ideas? I want my kids to use CodeBender so they can do their programming on their chromebook, but it isn't going to work without the library support. What I'd really love is an official library inside CodeBender, but a personal library would work fine.

Kevin
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:56 am

Re: Can I program Wink on Chromebook? YES!

Postby Kevin » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:41 am

Hey Telegram,

We haven't uploaded official libraries to CodeBender just yet (for any of our bots or the Plumduino), however, a few others have gotten things working on CodeBender for Wink and Ringo by uploading our libraries themselves. If you search on CB for Wink or Ringo projects, you can likely clone one as an example, except the hardware pin defines and some functions will be different so that approach would require some editing.

I would suggest, if you're up for it, to upload our libraries to a personal project on CB, then copy the Base Sketch code to your project (as well as the extra tabs, I think they are PlumduinoHardware.h and PlumduinoHardware if I remember correctly) from the Arduino IDE running on a Win/Mac/Linux computer.

You'll want to use the same libraries in the .zip file on the Libraries download page on our site. There are now 4 folders inside that archive you'll need to add to CB.

I hope to have an official sketch up on CB with libraries linked soon. I know several others have done the same sort of thing with Wink and Ringo so I don't think it's terribly complicated. If you do manage to get a clean project, please name it Plumduino Base Sketch with the version number (I think it's at Rev01_05 right now) then clone that project that and edit the clones on your own - that way there remains a clean Base Sketch version that others can clone further on their own.

Let me know if that works, otherwise stay tuned to the Kickstarter updates where I'll post when I manage to get the CB sketch up myself.

Thanks!
-Kevin


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