blokdots has two windows: The Live View and the Project View. Let’s focus on the Live View first. The live view is the control center for you Arduino – it should always reflect the state that your Arduino is in right now. This means when you plug in a new components, you need to tell blokdots about it, so that it can control it.
Connecting A Component
The main part of the Live View is a list of the slots of your Arduino. To tell blokdots that you plugged in a new component, click the appropriate slot. This will expand a list of all the components that are compatible with this slot. Select the one you plugged in and you are good to go.
To remove a component from the Live View once you unplug it, move the pointer over the appropriate slot. A “×” symbol appears in the top right corner of the slot. Click the symbol to remove the component.
It can be confusing the figure out which kind of component can be plugged into which kind of slot and where that slot is on your Arduino. blokdots solves this problem for your, with the setup Wizard.
Click the “Connect A New Component” button on the top of the Live View to open the Wizard. On the left side of the wizard there is a scrollable list of the components that are available – pick the one you want to connect. Now blokdots will recommend you a free slot to plug your component into and show you where that slot is on your board in the small map on the right side. If you are happy with this slot, go ahead and click “Set Component”, after you plugged it in. Otherwise you can click the name of the slot displayed in the middle of the Wizard to get a list of all other slots that would be suitable.
Displaying The Current Value
Once set up, the slot displays the current value of the component. For a sensor it simply shows its reading value, for an actuator you are able to manipulate the value as well and directly see the feedback on the hardware component.
Next to the actual, the ”current value”, you are able to select the unit in which the value should be displayed. This depends on the component you have selected. While for a Temperature Sensor
°C might make more sense, for a button simply ”on” and ”off” will do.
Live Graph & Component Options
After plugging in and setting up a component, you can click the small downward facing arrow on the right side of the slot to expand its detail view. What exactly is shown depends on the component, but usually you’ll find a Live Graph, giving you a visual representation of the component’s values of the last ten seconds, and in a second tab some options. With the options you can configure the exact behavior of the component. Most options show a little “i” symbol next to their title. Move your pointer over it to see a tooltip describe exactly what the option does.
Live View Shortcuts Overview
- cmd ⌘shift ⇧NConnect A New Component
- cmd ⌘RRun Project