Introduction: Linkit ONE Setup Guide for Windows

About: Tanmay Bhonsale a.k.a enceladus2000

The Linkit ONE is one of the most impressive Arduino-like boards out there. It is an awesome high performance platform for the Internet-of-Things and wearables, including a ton of features like:

  • WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • GSM and GPRS
  • GPS
  • Audio Codec
  • SD card slot
  • Li-ion charger

The Linkit ONE has yet another amazing feature; it can be programmed by the ever so friendly Arduino IDE! Also, a ton of code examples and online tutorials will help you unleash all its features within no time at all. The board also has the same header configuration of the Arduino UNO, making it appealing to Arduino board users too.

Here are other features which it shares with most Arduino boards:

  • PWM
  • I2C
  • SPI
  • UART
  • Power Supply (both 5v and 3.3v)
  • Digital IO
  • Analog IO

Getting Started:

To get a Linkit ONE board, try the following sites:

The Linkit One board package includes a 1000mAh battery (YAY!), and GPS, Bluetooth/WiFi and GSM antennas. The only other thing you require is a decent computer running something better than Windows XP.

Now tat you've got the materials, let's get started!

Step 1: Download the Linkit ONE IDE...

The Linkit ONE IDE is based on the Arduino IDE, but with a specific software plugin and several libraries for the various features of the Linkit board. Simply download the zip file from HERE and extract it as shown above. The extracted folder should look something like this:

Can't unzip the file? Download 7-zip!

NOTE: It's recommended that you move this entire folder to C:\Program files, or wherever you install such programs.

Step 2: Install the Drivers...

In the extracted folder, go to the drivers > mtk folder as shown in the picture above, and click InstallDriver. This should take less than a minute. I recommend restarting your computer after this.

NOTE: A message may come up saying the installation wasn't successful, so retry it with the recommended system settings.

Step 3: Connect the Linkit ONE Board....

Connect the Linkit to your computer using a USB cable. You should see a message saying "Installing device driver software...". To confirm that your board is recognized by the computer, open Device Manager and check COM and LPT as shown above. To ports should come up:

  • MTK USB Debug Port (COMxx) - This port is for uploading the arduino code
  • MTK USB Modem Port (COMyy) - This code is for viewing serial data

More on using these ports in a later step!

If the driver is not installed successfully or the port isn't visible in Device Manager:

  1. Reconnect your board, and check for loose connections
  2. If that doesn't work, try reinstalling the drivers as shown in the previous step.

Step 4: Set Up the Linkit ONE IDE...

Now's the time to install that Linkit ONE plugin for the Arduino IDE. Follow these steps:

  • Click on the file mediatek_linkit_sdk_(for_arduino).... (or with a similar title). A setup page will appear as shown in picture 2 above.
  • The installer will ask you the location of the Arduino IDE. Simply browse for the unzipped folder we downloaded earlier (the same one we got the installer from). The installer will do the rest.
  • Keep clicking next and "I agree" and stuff like that.
  • On the last step, untick "Install Drivers" because we've already done that.

Step 5: Upload the Code!

Launch the Arduino IDE and open the blink sketch under File > Examples > Basics > Blink. Compile the code using Ctrl+R. Then go to Tools > Port and select the COM port number which corresponds to the MTK USB Debug Port. Make sure that the board selected is the LinkIt ONE. Then hit upload (Ctrl+U)!

Uploading takes a little longer than with a regular arduino, so don't worry. After 20 seconds or so, you may notice the red reset LED on the Linkit board flash, and then the onboard LED at pin 13 to start blinking. On your Arduino IDE, it should say "Done Uploading". YAY, you can now use your Linkit ONE for anything!

If the upload doesn't work as expected:

  1. Have you selected the correct COM port? Try the other port and try too.
  2. Reconnect your board. Is the device seen on Device manager? If not, reinstall the drivers.
  3. Make sure the switches are in the correct position, as shown in the figure above.

Step 6: Use the Serial Port...

To try out using the Serial port, open the AnalogReadSerial sketch under File >Examples > Basics. Upload the sketch to your board. Now select the other Linkit COM Port (corresponding to the Modem Port), and open the Serial Monitor (Ctrl + Shift + M). You should see a ton of values coming in on the port!

Step 7: Do More!

With so many features in such a simple-to-use board, the possibilities are endless! Use its WiFi capabilities to create wonderful IoT projects, or maybe use Bluetooth for Voice Control. For projects using the Linkit ONE Board, check out these places!