Book Review – Arduino Development Cookbook

A whole bookshelf of Arduino books cater to the novice user, if you’re an advanced user then chances are you don’t own any. And while this book fits that “Beginners” or “Novice” category it could also be a handy quick guide to help the more advanced user get started on a new idea as it is after all a “cookbook”.

If you have never been exposed to the Arduino then this book is an easy introduction with a range of useful projects to get you started and fluent in most of the common tasks before you engage on building a project of your own of a more sophisticated nature.

Like many “Cookbooks” books from Packt Publishing, each idea or experiment is covered with a number of very handy sections such as setup, how to do it, how it works, “There’s more” and if the experiment references another idea a “See also” section guides you to more information.

For the beginner, getting started is covered in chapter 1 which covers, powering on your Arduino (generic to most models), setting up the software and everything you need to get going.

Chapter 2 covers basic output using the generic “Blink” program while chapter 3 covers inputs (mainly buttons), it shows you how to detect and use buttons as a key input method and ways of connecting more buttons than available digital pins is shown. The most common types of sensors for reading as many parameters from the environment as possible such as distance, temperature, light intensity, or even global localization is covered in Chapter 4.

Chapter 5 shows many ways of connecting motors from brushless and servos motor types along with speed and direction control information. Control of IO does not end there, additional IO devices is covered in Chapter 6. This chapter covers how to control different loads, how to generate audio output, how to isolate inputs and protect the IO circuits on the board itself, and how to command more outputs.

A chapter is devoted to Digital Communication with several communication protocols reviewed and implementations given such as serial UARTs, I2C, generic Serial and Ethernet interfacing. All examples use Arduino to Arduino examples but these can also be easily adapted to control of devices via the Arduino communications IO services.

The last chapter, covers various “Hacks” that can help your Arduino design go further. It includes speeding up the PWM, reacting to external interrupts, or even storing data onboard using the common EEPROM.

The Appendix covers Electronics basics which is handy as both a refresher if you are rusty and a good introduction to the topic.

In all this book is handy for the beginner and novice and I think the more advanced user could benefit from holding onto it and referring to it as needed. But its not to be mistaken as a reference book.