Follow these steps to get the host computer ready to work with the fundakit (required once):
1. Connect the computer to the internet.
2. Plug the XBee-to-USB connector (receiver) into a USB port on the computer.
3. Download and install the drivers for the receiver. Windows systems will try to do this automatically the first time you plug in the device, and will inform you of the outcomes of these efforts. If Windows was unsuccessful, you will have to download and install manually. Drivers for all major platforms can be found here.
4. Check that you have a recent Java Runtime Environment installed on the computer (JRE 1.5 or higher). Linux and Windows users can get a copy here. OSX users should be OK because Apple looks after the Java install for you.
5. Copy the funda application to the computer (no installation process required). Be sure to copy over all the contents of the funda directory.
6. Download and install a copy of the Scratch 1.4 Programming Environment from here. If you’re new to Scratch, grab a copy of the ‘Getting Started’ guide here and check out the Video Tutorials here. The next section assumes you have a basic understanding of Scratch.
Creating your First Project
Follow these steps to create your first funda project:
1. Plug the receiver into a USB port on the computer.
2. Open Scratch and select the Sensing palette.
3. Right-click on either of the bottom two Sensing blocks – () sensor value or () sensor (circled below).
5. Locate the java executable fundaXX.jar in the funda directory (where XX is the release number), and double-click it to launch the application. At startup the software attempts to establish a Serial connection with the receiver and a Socket connection with Scratch. If the receiver is not plugged in or Scratch does not have remote sensor connections enabled, the software will throw an error.
6. Switch the ON/OFF switch to the the reader to the ON position. The LED located next to the switch should light up red. After +/- 15 seconds two LEDs located at the front of the receiver should light up green: RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) – constant to indicate a network connection; RX (Receive) – pulsing to indicate the receipt of data packets (sensor and power) from the reader.
7. Click on the Add button in the funda GUI to add a tag to the project. This action will bring up a dialogue box asking you to read the tag you wish to add to your project. Bring this tag within 15mm of the RFID module on the reader so that it can be read.
8. After the reader has read the tag, a new dialogue box will appear. The tag’s ID (internal number) is automatically displayed under the Code heading. In the Name field, enter a name for the tag. Use a name which will help you identify the tag later in Scratch. Something to do with its role in the project normally works well. In the Number field, enter the external number as it appears on the tag. This number is found on a sticker attached to the tag.
9. Click the OK button to close the dialogue. The tag will appear as read (circled in green) in the GUI. You can edit or remove tags from the funda project by right-clicking on their icon. To add more tags, repeat steps 7-9.
10. When you are ready to save your project, click the Save button. This will bring up a standard save dialogue box in which you can enter a name for your project. When entering your name be sure to keep the .ser file extension part of the default name untitled.ser
11. In Scratch, drag a when I receive () block into the scripting area. Read the tag (in this example named ‘cricket’) to add its broadcast message to the list of messages available in the block. Select the message from the drop-down menu to set it in the block. (Your reader will have a different number.) Finally, import the cricket sound from the Scratch sound library, and connect a play sound () block with the cricket sound selected to the when I receive () block.
12. You should now hear the cricket sound when you read the ‘cricket’ tag. If you do, everything is set up correctly and you are ready to start creating with the fundakit. If you don’t, go back and check that you have followed all the steps in the correct order.
13. Save your Scratch project. It helps to give it the same name as the partner funda project so that they are clearly associated. You can differentiate between the two by looking at their file extensions – e.g. insects.sb (Scratch); insects.ser (funda).