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VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro? (Read 1220 times)
FrankP
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VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Oct 21st, 2018 at 12:18am
 
Hi,

I have VM installed without the Arduino IDE (or at least I think I did), and would like to add processor support for the Sparkfun Pro Micro.  I can program the Pro Micro by selecting the 'Arduino Leonardo' board in the drop-down list, but I'd like to have the ability to select the actual board type (so that six months from now when I have forgotten everything again, I can find and select 'Sparkfun Pro Micro')

I've looked through the documentation, but can't find anything.  There is a discussion of how to do this using the 'Configure' tab on the board manager dialog, but there's no 'Configure' tab on mine.  Any clues would be appreciated.

TIA,

Frank
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #1 - Oct 21st, 2018 at 12:49pm
 
The "No IDE" option is for more experienced users.

Simple solution is to install the arduino ide so that you can select the arduino 1.6/1.8 option in visual micro.

Then you can visit the web site of your chosen board and follow their standard install guide.

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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #2 - Oct 21st, 2018 at 1:25pm
 
Visual Micro wrote on Oct 21st, 2018 at 12:49pm:
Simple solution


OK, how about the 'not so simple' solution?

Frank
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #3 - Oct 22nd, 2018 at 2:03pm
 
No thanks to the 'Visual Micro Administrator', I found the solution to my problem of programming a Sparkfun Pro Micro board. 

Here's what he should have said:

Go to this page:
[url=[/url]https://www.visualmicro.com/page/User-Guide.aspx?doc=First-steps.html]https://www.visualmicro.com/page/User-Guide.aspx?doc=First-steps.html[/url][/url]

or this page:
https://www.visualmicro.com/page/User-Guide.aspx?doc=Advanced-Config-Manager.htm...

And note there is a field for 'Optional additional board manager urls...." (shows as callout "4" on the 'first steps page and as callout "2" on the 'advanced config' page)

And then note there is a link to the 'unofficial list of 3rd party boards', ie.

https://github.com/arduino/Arduino/wiki/Unofficial-list-of-3rd-party-boards-supp...

On the above site is a huge list of 3rd-party board manager providers.  Scroll down to  the Sparkfun section and copy/paste the link into the 'optional additional board managers' field.  Now the Sparkfun boards will show up in the Visual Micro Explorer's 'Manage Boards' tab.

Click on 'Board Platform Installer' to expand it, scroll down to the Sparkfun section, and install 'Sparkfun AVR Boards'. 

After this, you should be able to select the Pro Micro from the boards dropdown list, as shown here

Compiling 'DigitalScale' for 'SparkFun Pro Micro w/ ATmega32U4 (5V, 16 MHz)'

You may need to close and restart your sketch/solution and /or VS2017 one or more times to make all this magic work, but this will either get you all the way there or very close.

And, to 'Visual Micro Administrator':  Maybe you were having a bad day, but if you aren't going to be helpful, maybe you should find another line of work.  My profile shows 'Senior Member' with 4 stars, and I have been a member of this forum for 7 years.  Although I am certainly aware that longevity does not always equate to experience, surely I deserve more than "oh, that is for advanced users only <sniff>".

If you would really like to be helpful, how about a discussion of exactly what the differences and the pros/cons are regarding the 'No IDE' version of VM vs the 'IDE' version, so us poor beginners have some idea of the tradeoffs.  I chose the 'no IDE' option during a recent PC upgrade because it (at the time) seemed to be more convenient and neater than installing an IDE that I didn't plan to use at all. If there are significant drawbacks to this approach, I'd like to hear about them.

Regards,

Frank
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #4 - Oct 22nd, 2018 at 2:12pm
 
My instructions were perfect for beginners. It is important for beginners to understand the principals of arduino and the standard arduino tutorials educate about the board manager.

Another important point is that beginners should be able to easily switch between the arduino ide and visual micro to build code, this allows the environments to be more easily compared and understood. If you only add the .json package index to to visual micro then it is only available in visual micro. If you add the .json index file into the arduino ide then it is available in both arduino ide and visual micro which removes a lot of confusion for novice users.

Finally, after so many posts and being given so much help by the "administrator" that is always me maybe you should ask yourself if anyone else other than me produces and supports visual micro. I have answered a lot of your questions and helped you with a lot of learning for little money (almost zero) so why be so rude?


Please note:

All the links you post are from our docs and the docs for your sparkfun board will also refer to the arduino 3rd party board index .json files. Therefore in answering your own question you confirm that you had not read any documents relating to this prior to asking your question. Please do try to read docs before asking questions. This forum is currently free but this type of usage risks the ability to provide a free service.
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« Last Edit: Oct 22nd, 2018 at 2:15pm by Visual Micro »  
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #5 - Oct 22nd, 2018 at 11:51pm
 
Tim,

Sorry if I offended you, but I too was offended by the inference that a) I was a beginner, and b) wasn't smart enough to figure out how to use VM's 'No IDE' option.  I don't know what you are getting paid, but I'm sure it's not enough - it never is.  What I am sure of, though, is that companies or services that treat their loyal customers as children usually go out of business, resulting in zero pay for their employees.

You think that 'beginners' should be able to switch between the Arduino IDE and VS2xxx/VM - why? I have *never* used the Arduino IDE, as VS2xxx has been my preferred development environment for decades. Why on earth would I waste my time doing that?  I thought the whole idea of Visual Micro was to avoid having to deal with the somewhat primitive Arduino IDE.

Back to my original question; what are the pros and cons between the 'no-IDE' and 'Arduino IDE' options?  I thought the 'no-IDE' option was just the next step in Visual Micro's development, thereby entirely removing the need to deal with the Arduino IDE at all.  Is this not the case?


Frank
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #6 - Oct 23rd, 2018 at 7:19pm
 
I didn't say you were a novice, I said "no ide" is for more experienced users.

Visual Micro is just me and I only have so much time to give evenly to all users.

A rule for using Visual Micro is that people know Arduino. All the board manufacturers makes tutorials that describe how to do things in the arduino ide. All the support forums discuss the arduino ide.

Visual Micro is compatible with the Arduino IDE that's why it is called Arduino IDE for Visual Studio. This is important because arduino is a big subject and it is not possible to provide support and tutorials that match what the arduino community provides. Therefore being compatible with arduino makes life easier for everybody and means you can follow the standard tutorials that every one else follows.

You have a sparkfun board and you have not read their tutorials of how to install the hardware. The arduino hardware installation system is well known and has been available for a long time. It's how everything works yet you did not know about it. So that makes your a novice.

The No IDE is option really is for people who can answer the question themselves. It means that you don't get the benefit of the files such as libraries and avr tool chain that is provided with the IDE but also you can't benefit from any custom hardware or libs that various hardware from the web might have asked you to install below the arduino ide. It is provided for advanced users and was not designed to make support more difficult.

Because you do not yet understand where arduino libraries and hardware are stored it is possible you might hit some build issues in the future (after installing new hardware or libraries). Ensuring that you have a functioning arduino ide installation will enable you to test  more easily.


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« Last Edit: Oct 23rd, 2018 at 10:24pm by Visual Micro »  
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #7 - Oct 23rd, 2018 at 10:30pm
 
Tim,

Yep, you are right. I just got through installing the Arduino IDE and am now trying to work through the custom-board problems with *just* the Arduino IDE (complicated by the fact that I've never used it all since I started doing Arduino projects back in 2011)

But now I have to ask - why offer the 'no-IDE' option at all?  At first I assumed (incorrectly it now seems) that VS20xx with VM/no-IDE would be a complete replacement for the somewhat primitive Arduino setup.  However, it seems that VM/no-IDE has one idea of where to put things like custom board descriptions, and the Arduino IDE has a completely different one.    Why would anyone want to use the 'no-IDE' option if it will inevitably lead to the sorts of problems I am now having with 3rd-party boards?  Is there some sort of development path that will lead to not needing the Arduino IDE at all?

You are doing a great job with this project and on this forum, and I apologize for letting my mouth get ahead of my brain on this one.  I love the VM add-on to VS2017 and would be (and am, as it turns out!) lost without it.  Please keep up the good work.

Regards,

Frank
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #8 - Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:09pm
 
The problem is that you have set a sketchbook folder in visual micro but not in the arduino ide.

Custom boards are the same but they are stored below sketchbook\hardware. If you set the sketchbook in the arduino then visual micro will use that unless you override it in visual micro.

No ide was requested by users. Some people can't install java apps and some want to work without the libs or the tool chains provided by the ide.


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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #9 - Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:36pm
 
Visual Micro wrote on Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:09pm:
The problem is that you have set a sketchbook folder in visual micro but not in the arduino ide.


Tim,

Other way around - I set the sketchbook location in Arduino, but left that field blank in VM. See the image below:

I've pretty much given up on the Sparkfun Pro Micro - just too much trouble to get programmed.  Is there a clean way of removing custom board files/folders from VM? Are 'Additional Board Support Urls' just used 'on the fly' or do they cause files/folders to be dl'd?

Frank

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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #10 - Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:46pm
 
That's the default sketchbook folder showing in the arduino ide. Visual Micro will be using the same.

If by custom hardware you mean board manager packages that is stored in a different location. You can see the location in the verbose build output such as appdata\local\arduino15\packages

If you remove the board support url and delete the appdata\local\arduino15 folder then restart the ide you will be clean of older packages.

nb: If you have set a "tools>options>visual micro>contributions folder" then your appdata\local\arduino15 will be changed to the value you have set. In that case delete the folder you have set instead of arduino15
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« Last Edit: Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:48pm by Visual Micro »  
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Re: VM w/o IDE: Configure for Sparkfun Pro Micro?
Reply #11 - Oct 25th, 2018 at 3:50pm
 
Visual Micro wrote on Oct 24th, 2018 at 6:46pm:
That's the default sketchbook folder showing in the arduino ide. Visual Micro will be using the same.

If by custom hardware you mean board manager packages that is stored in a different location. You can see the location in the verbose build output such as appdata\local\arduino15\packages

If you remove the board support url and delete the appdata\local\arduino15 folder then restart the ide you will be clean of older packages.


OK, removed the url and deleted my arduino15 folder (it was in appdata\local\).  Restarted VS2017, and noted the arduino15 folder was re-created with 4 '_index.json' files (library, package_chipkit, package_esp8266com, and package).  I assume these are the default board selections?

Thanks for the help getting out of the rabbit hole I fell into with the Pro Micro fiasco.

Frank

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