Get Started With the EagLED

Familiarise yourself with the EagLED and its components

Written By: Cherie Tan

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The EagLED is a beginner-friendly and fully Arduino-compatible micro-controller packed with e-textile compatible LEDs, a light sensor, pushbutton switch, and a buzzer module. It won't snag on your garments either, so they can easily be used for wearable or e-textile projects.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the various parts of the EagLED as well as how you can set it up to be programmed using the Arduino IDE.

Complete this guide to get up to speed and start creating with the EagLED!

Step 1 EagLED - Overview

An overview of the EagLED:

There are LEDs and a pushbutton connected to digital pins

 A light sensor connected to an analog pin

A buzzer module

SDA and SCL sew tabs

A microUSB connector

A JST connector

A SPST ON/OFF switch

A reset button
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at some of these components.

This is EagLED Version 1.2, where the coin cell battery holder has been replaced with a buzzer module. If you have used Version 1.0, you will also notice that with Version 1.2, the colour of the entire board has been changed from white to black.

Step 2 Front side

Take a look at the front side of the EagLED.
You'll notice the shapes that can be snipped out with a pair of cutters.
These are easily separable and sewn with conductive thread to make wearable electronics.

Step 3 Back side

Flip it over and on the back side, you will see the labels:




Manufactured in Australia by Little Bird Co

Step 4 Indicator LEDs

There are four indicator LEDs on the main board. They are: TX, RX, PWR and USR.
RX stands for Receiving pin and is used for serial communication. Whenever the EagLED receives data serially, the LED connected to RX pin will blink. 
TX stands for Transmitting pin and is also used for serial communication. Whenever it sends data serially, the LED connected to TX pin will blink.
PWR - This is the indicator light signifying that the board is powered.
USR - This is a user-controlled LED, and it can be accessed as Pin 7 in an Arduino sketch.

Step 5 LEDs

As you might notice, there are six tiny boards that have built-in LEDs.
Each of these boards have either two or three sewing tab pads.
By default when they are not snipped out, the LEDs can be programmed using the Arduino IDE with these pins: 

left eye  - Pin 3

right eye - Pin 10

left star - Pin 0 

right star - Pin 6

left heart - Pin 1

right heart - Pin 12

Step 6 Button

One of the triangular-shaped board has a built-in button.
This board also has three sewing tab pads.
The button can be programmed using Pin 2 in the Arduino IDE.

Step 7 Light Sensor

The other triangular-shaped board has a built-in light sensor.
This board has three sewing tab pads.
The light sensor can be programmed by using Analog Pin 9 in the Arduino IDE.

Step 8 Main board

On the main board, you'll see the following pins:


Step 9 Get the Arduino IDE

To get started with programming the EagLED, you'll need the Arduino IDE. Head to the Arduino Downloads page to download the software for your operating system.

Step 10 Preferences

After downloading and installing the software, open up the Arduino IDE. To add board support for our products, start Arduino and open the Preferences window.
On Windows on Linux, Click (File > Preferences)
On a Mac, click on the (Arduino Menu > Preferences)

Step 11 Additional boards manager

Copy and paste the following URL into the 'Additional Boards Manager URLs' input field:
Press the 'OK' button
 If there is already an URL from another manufacturer in that field, click the button at the right end of the field. This will open an editing window allowing you to paste the above URL onto a new line.

Step 12 Boards manager

Now open up the Boards Manager by clicking on  Tools > Board 
Scroll to the top of the board list, and select Boards Manager.
If you type "Little Bird" (without quotes) into the "filter your search" field, you will see options to install Little Bird's board files. 
Click the "Install" button that appears. 
Once installed, the boards will appear at the bottom of the board list. Select 'Little Bird EagLED'. Now you can go on to program the EagLED with the Arduino IDE!

Step 13 Connect EagLED to computer

Connect your EagLED to your computer using the appropriate USB connector such as a micro USB cable.
Connect one end to the microUSB port on the EagLED
Connect the other end of the cable to a USB port on your computer

Step 14 Select board type and port

Go to Tools > Board: ...
Select 'Little Bird EagLED'
Go to Tools > Port
Select the port that your EagLED is on. This will be different depending on your computer.

On Windows your Arduino will appear as a COM port
On macOS and Linux it will appear as a /dev/cu.usbmodemXXXXX.

Step 15 Example sketch

With that set up, you are now ready to upload code to the EagLED! You can find example sketches for the EagLED: Click on Files > Examples 
You should now see the example sketches in 'Examples for Little Bird EagLED'.