Arduino - Boards Manager - FAQ

by Visual Micro 8. April 2015 08:38

How is the boards list generated?

Arduino maintains the list and updates it every time a new core or tool or board definition is updated.

You can also add your own urls for additional (non-arduino) hardware in the Visual Micro "Configure Ide Locations" Window

Can I add my own url with my own boards list?

At the moment, the IDE handles one URL only, and that's written into the code. This is a known limitation. However, if you know your way through the code, you can change that URL with another one.

I can't delete one of the cores!

Built-in cores cannot be deleted: they are part of the minimum setup provided by the IDE. However, if the built-in version is giving you troubles and a newer (or an older) one would solve your issue, you can upgrade (or even downgrade) a core, choosing one of the available versions

Where are installed cores located?

  • On Windows: %APPDATA%\Arduino15\packages\

Control where debugger text messages are displayed

by Visual Micro 20. January 2014 15:02

applies to visual micro 1401.20 +

The BUG button on the serial window is enabled when the debugger is running and contains a menu item called "Message Windows". The options of the menu allow you to control which windows debugger text messages are displayed in.

The current default combines text messages and trace messages together and will will note that "Message Windows>Trace" is ticked

If you un-tick "Trace" and tick "Message" then this will work like the previous release and show separate trace and messages. If you tick both then both the trace and message output windows will show text messages.

I can't make my mind up what the best default should be, the current defaults ensure that everything is visible while the debugger runs. Interested to hear opinions thanks.

One thing to be careful of, if there are huge volumes of debugger messages per second, showing messages in both the trace and the message window will affect pc cpu usage. On fast pc's it might not be an issue but on slower pc's it can cause the pc debugger display to fall behind real-time due to inability to process messages fast enough.


Arduino Yun - Upload And Debug Yun Over Wifi

by Visual Micro 12. January 2014 17:40

ESP8266 - December 2016 - WiFi debug beta for the esp8266 has been released. Update of variables during debug session is not yet supported. Debug with the esp8266 is easier than with the Yun so please ignore this page and follow the standard visual micro serial debug guide inconjuntion with OTA/IpAddress upload. More docs to follow on the esp8266 page.

NEW USERS PLEASE NOTE: The Arduino Yun only has 4k of free memory when the Arduino networking library called Bridge is included in a sketch. If you are using the network capabilities of the Yun within your sketch then debug using network makes sense. If you are not using the network capabilities of the Yun within your sketch then debug over network is not a practical solution in which case you should use serial usb or SoftwareSerial etc. We recommend that new Arduino users should learn how to upload using serial usb before using the network features of the Yun

Download the first debugger release for Yun networking

This document is draft and will become a summary of tips to make wifi debugging with the Arduino Yun easier.

It is possible to upload and/or debug the Arduino Yun by selecting the hostname/ip address of the Yun from the ports list and clicking Debug>Start (little green arrow on the toolbar).

Tip: Visual Micro shows a combined list of Serial port and Arduino hosts in the post list. The upload port is set via the tool bar or Tools>Visual Micro menu.

Any port can be monitored in terminal by either viewing the upload port terninal using the icon/menu or by using the "tools>visual micro>other serial ports" menu item.

Network ports will only be discovered by Visual Micro if Apple Bonjour Service for Windows is installed on the computer.

Network upload is slow compared to normal serial (or programmer) upload. For this reason, where possible we recommend upload using usb, debugging can still be network which is fast (unlike upload)...

For debugging with the Yun you have the usual options of serial or softwareSerial etc. and also the option to use network/wifi

If uploading using network then the default debugger transport will automatically use the network. If upload using Serial/Usb then debugging will automatically use Serial/Usb. The defaults can be overridden in the project proeprties in the same way that SoftwareSerial can optionally be used for debugging (read on).

Network debugging uses the Arduino Console/Bridge library. For network debugging in the beta, the Arduino Bridge or Console libraries MUST have been imported into the current sketch otherwise debug compile will fail. We suggest new users start with the "Bridge" sketch found in the examples explorer (yellow ? on the toolbar)

To upload using Serial/Usb and debug using network, set the following project properties. (tip: project properties appear when selecting the project name in the solution explorer and clicking View>Properties window or when clicking the Yellow question mark icon on the tool bar)

  • LocalPort = Ip address of the Yun (see the ports list to find the address)
  • RemotePort = Console
  • RemoteTransport = Bridge


In our limited tests the debugger appears to work well over the network we will appreciate hearing feedback in the forum 

The www folder below the current sketch is automatically uploaded during a networked program upload. The www files can also be uploaded manually using the menu "Project>Publish sketch www files"


Maple Leaflabs and STM32 for Visual Studio

by Visual Micro 27. August 2013 14:30

2013: Editors Note: Our impression of the Maple Ide is that it is not yet as mature as some of the other solutions and the usb drivers stop working frequently. Maple has been added to the free plugin and the debugger by user request. Our personal option is that Maple is not very easy to use or support and might lead to fustration for less experienced users. If you find this not to be the case then please contact us.

14th Jan 2013: Apparently build and upload now fully supported for maple REV6 boards (thanks Yuri). Debug trace/break is supported. Other maple ide boards have not been tested. We would appreciate feed back to the forum from experienced users. 

Our Personal Maple Observations and Tips

When working with Maple SerialUSB in your code and also using the debugger please read these important tips

On windows 7 64 bit we found that the leaflabs serial port would periodically stop working. We have not tested other versions of windows

On windows 8 the Maple usb can completely disappear.

Maple authors have announced reduced support for windows

The Maple IDE can be downloaded from here

To install the usb drivers from the maple ide folder, win8 users will need to switch to allowing unsigned usb driver installation


Stm32 Usb Debug - Trace Mode

To use Leaflabs compatible hardware with Visual Micro please download the Maple Ide

Known Debugger Issue on Stm32 (will be resolved asap)

The Hit Count >= settings can be used at the moment with Stm32 because it does not initialize variables correctly when in the Global space.

For example:

unsigned long myLong1 = 0L;
bool myBool = 0;

void setup() {

The example above will result in garbage in all bits except the first

unsigned long myLong1;
bool myBool;

void setup() {
myLong1 = 0L;
myBool = 0;

The example above would result in all bits being cleared and correct values of zero

Arduino Leonardo Upload Differences

by Visual Micro 2. June 2012 08:15

The Arduino Leonardo is a usb device that works in a different way to older or existing Arduino hardware. When a Leonardo starts it breifly appears in programming mode on a different serial port to the one it normally uses.

When an Arduino upload request begins the specified Leonardo serial port is polled at 1200 baud causing the Leonardo to reset. If the port is not found, both the Arduino and Visual Studio IDEs assume that the Leonardo has been reset or was resetting/starting and skip the attempt to reset.

Both Visual Studio and the Arduino IDE, scan to detect the new programming port appearing in the computers serial ports list which indicates a Leonardo startup has been detected. If a new port is not detected then both IDEs' will wait for 5 seconds (on windows) before raising the error:- "Couldn’t find a Leonardo on the selected port. Check that you have the correct port selected. If it is correct, try pressing the board's reset button after initiating the upload."

On Microsoft windows, once the upload has completed, there is a 0.5 sec pause to ensure the Leonardo has re-booted and that the original serial port has re-connected.

After upload, Visual Studio confirms the actual upload port to the user using the "Sketch Output" tab. An example Leonardo upload message is shown below. Notice the switch from Leonardo serial COM37 to COM38

Compiling 'MySensor' for 'Arduino Leonardo'

Binary sketch size: 4844 bytes (of a 28672 byte maximum) (0.507 secs)

Uploading to I/O board using 'COM37'

Done uploading via 'COM38'


This document is a result of reading the source code for the arduino ide provided by

Arduino Leonardo - Windows Hardware USB Installation Guide

by Visual Micro 2. June 2012 05:43

Windows (tested on XP and 7)

The process for Windows XP and Windows 7 is similar. These screenshots are from an XP installation.

  • Plug in your board and wait for Windows to begin its driver installation process. If the installer does not launch automatically, Navigate to the Windows Device Manager (Start>Control Panel>Hardware) and find the Arduino Leonardo listing. Right click and choose Update driver.
  • If prompted to search for drivers online, choose "No, not this time". And click Next

Arduino Leonardo Windows Driver Installation - 1

  • When asked to install automatically or from a specific location, select "Install from a list or specific location" and press Next
Arduino Leonardo Windows Driver Installation - 2
  • Choose "Search for the best driver in these locations", and check the box "incude this location in the search". Click the Browse button and navigate to your Arduino 1.0.1 or later installation. Select the drivers folder an click OK
Arduino Leonardo Windows Driver Installation - 3
  • Click Next
  • You will receive a notification that the Leonardo has not passed Windows Logo testing. Click on the button Continue Anyway
Arduino Leonardo Windows Driver Installation - 4
  • After a few moments, a window will tell you the wizard has finished installing software for Arduino Leonardo. Press the Finish button

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