Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file History
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Pi Wars 2019 Trophy

Picture of trophy


The Pi Wars 2019 trophy has an ATmega chip on-board, which means that to program it, you will need to use Arduino C code. To code and upload your program to the Trophy, you will need to use a piece of software called the Arduino IDE. Don't worry if you're not used to programming Arduinos. The syntax is different but the concepts are the same. There are numerous tutorials out there which explain the basics. Programs on Arduinos are called "sketches" and we have supplied and uploaded a sample sketch for you to play around with.

Installing the Arduino IDE

Download the Arduino IDE for your computer from the Arduino website

Install the software and then run the IDE.

Please note, if you’re on a Linux machine, you’ll need to run the IDE as root by doing sudo ./arduino in the Arduino program directory. Do this before you open the sketch, and before you add the Libraries otherwise you’ll need to do it twice.

Installing the libraries

In order to take advantage of the LEDs and the OLED display on the trophy, you will need to install a couple of libraries.

Navigate using the main menu to: Sketch->Include library->Manage libraries

Allow the list to update. Then search for FastLED by Daniel Garcia. Install it. (This allows you to program the LEDs).

Search for U8g2 by Oliver. Install it. (This allows you to control the OLED display)

Then close the Manager.

Uploading a sketch

To program the Trophy from the Arduino IDE, use Arduino Uno as the board and choose Arduino as ISP as the programmer.

You’ll need to change the Port in the tools menu. The best thing to do is to check the list before you plug in the trophy, plug in the trophy and then see what’s changed on the list. For instance, on my Linux laptop, /dev/ttyUSB0 comes up and on my Windows laptop, COM3 comes up.

Once you're ready to upload, plug the Trophy into your computer using a microUSB cable, wait a few seconds while the Trophy boots up and then press the upload button on the Arduino IDE. Any errors will appear in the log at the bottom of the IDE.

Please note - USB cables

Not all USB cables are the same! You need one that has a data line. These tend to be the thicker, more robust USB cables. If no port appears, you’ve got a cable without a data line. Data line USB cables tend to come with mobile phones as they use them to sync with your main computer. Generally you can find these cables by explicitly searching, for example, on eBay for a micro USB data cable.

About the sample sketch

You can download the sample sketch from the GitHub repository and then open it in the Arduino IDE. It is heavily commented and this should help you understand what's going on. Here are some notes on how the sample sketch works in terms of button presses and functionality:

  • On boot, the sketch will flash through primary colours and then settle.
  • The buttons are numbered 0-3, starting from the left.
  • Button 0 will start a Larson Scanner function. You should see red lights scanning back and forth. Pressing button 3 will stop the scanner.
  • Button 1 will start a Broadway Lights function. You should see white lights flashing. If you're susceptible to flashing lights, you should probably steer clear of this one! Pressing button 3 will stop it.
  • Button 2 will just show blue lights. These will be brighter when the light sensor in the eye of the Robot is in the dark and dimmer when it is bright. Any button will exit.
  • Button 3 will show a Rainbow Pattern back and forth on the LEDs. Button 2 will stop the Rainbow.
  • Pressing buttons 0 and 1 together will make the LEDs go light purple. This is just to show you how combining buttons can trigger alternative functions.
  • Pressing buttons 2 and 3 together will turn all the LEDs off.
  • LED brightness is controlled by the maxBrightness variable - this is set deliberately low to start with as the LEDs can be very bright!

A disclaimer

I, Mike Horne (@recantha) wrote the majority of this code. I am not the world's best Arduino/microcontroller programmer, so there's bound to be ways in which you can improve things! Have fun!

You can’t perform that action at this time.