Blink a LED on the Intel Edison dev board using your smartphone

Alex JonssonBlogs, Tutorials

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Intel EdisonHow many javascript developers does it take to blink a LED on the brand new Intel Edison chip? Well, actually not that many once you know how it’s done! The Edison was introduced in its second incarnation in September of 2014 and has a Intel Atom “Tangier” processor at 500MHz, with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash storage. We’re not going to need much of that goodness to do our blink, while it means that there is potential for expansion.

The good news is that there is a brand new version of the Arduino SDK for Edison and your old sketches – and most of your shields from your Uno – will also work on the Edison platform out of the box. Yes, there are a few hoops you need to negotiate before we get there, in preparing the Edison for take-off, but no programmers were harmed in any way during unboxing or setup.


First of all you need to get the latest firmware on-board by following this fairly pedagogical instruction on the Intel developers web site. The mounted partition is empty, and as you’ll see needs to be formatted with a single FAT-32 partition (typically with Disk Utility or similar).

DSC_0123Note: you need two USB – microUSB cables in order to succeed, one for flashing and one for USB power, the standard A-type USB connector (see pic) cannot be successfully exploited for this purpose.

Upon completion, you need to get the designated Arduino software. Note that much of it is common any previous Arduino installations already on your computer, and if that’s the case you might want to rename the application as well as to change the home catalogue for your sketches, not to get them too mixed up under “Arduino>Preferences” in the Arduino SDK:

To get the device name, and WiFi setting right from a Mac, you need to use the Terminal and type at the prompt “screen /dev/cu.usbserial-XYZ 115200 -L“. The XYZ would typically be something else, look in “ls /dev/cu*” for clues. Once connected, hit RETURN a few times to get the the teletype-style connection going, and sign in as “root” (no password for now), and then type “configure_edison –setup”. Follow the instructions and your done.


That’s it for preparations, now you’re good to go. Try the Examples>01.Basics>Blink to get the on-board green LED (surface mounted on the Edison) to loop blinking steadily on and off.  You’ll quickly recognise the Arduino-style pins, and where you get 5V, GND and the digital pins.

Running Arduino TCP on/off

Evothings WorkbenchBlinking a led on digital pin 2, has become the veritable “Hello, World!” of Evothings studio, and here’s how it’s done, step by step. First open Evothings Studio on your computer, and check that it’s on the same wifi network as your phone. Launch Evothings Client on your phone and press connect on-screen. Some networks don’t allow discovery, so you’ll have to enter the Connect URL address found on the bottom of the Workbench window on the computer. Now, open Evothings Studio, click “CODE” in the Workbench at the Arduino TCP on/off example, and go up one folder in the hierarchy to grab the corresponding Arduino Wifi sketch. Each example has an app folder, and when applicable one or more hardware-centric folders, for drivers, sketches et cetera.

In the sketch code source; configure your WiFi with its SSID/password, press Upload and count to three before opening the Serial Monitor (CONTROL-M or CMD-M) in the Arduino SDK to make sure that you’re given an IP-address from the router.

Finally press RUN in Evothings Studio Workbench in the Arduino TCP on/off example, and connect from your mobile device using the IP address you got from the Serial Monitor, and press CONNECT. Mount a LED light in series (with a 220 Ohm resistor to prevent overheating) between pin 2 and GND, and blink away! Now you can build your own projects, and incorporate mobile services and apps into any of your existing projects and make them better and more fun.

If you haven’t already, you can download Evothings Studio here while the client applications for iOS and Android can be found on major app stores.