Testing the MarcDuino boards

This page is mostly geared to the DIY MarcDuino v1, but most of it applies to other MarcDuino versions too.

If the LED blinks 1 second on - 1 second off after loading the firmware, you can be pretty sure your board is functioning correctly.

Here is a procedure to more fully check the functionality of the board, allowing you to send commands to it from a computer without having to use a radio.

For the test, you'll need

  • A few spare servos
  • An RS232 level adapter like this one from SparkFun:


  • A good power supply. Common lab bench power supplies often don't have enough current capacity to power the whole complement of servos and a sound system attached to the board. You might get away with only two servos attached. If not, use the battery and power converter from your R2.
  • A USB to Serial dongle

Connect the RS232 adapter as follows

Tx-O to the RXD pin of the MarcDuino (pin PD0)

Rx-I to the TXD input of the MarcDuino (pin PD1)

Connect a few servos to the servo 1-10 ports on the board.

You'll end up with a system that looks somewhat like this:

Connect the serial dongle between your computer and the serial level adapter. Note to which serial port it attaches itself on your computer (on Windows you can tell from inspecting the device manager).

Open a Terminal Emulator program on your computer to connect to the serial port:

On Windows I like to use TeraTerm as a terminal emulator, HyperTerminal which comes with Windows works also (although make sure to disable the annoying local echo).

TeraTerm Home Page

Teraterm Download Page

Connect to the serial port to which your adapter is connected (in my case COM4), 9600 bauds, 1 stop bit, no parity.

Now power the Marcduino board, you should get a greeting message:

You can now send any command recognized by the MarcDuino board from the terminal, followed by a carriage return. The full list is in the command reference. For example, to open all panels, type:

:OP00 (followed by a carriage return)

Your servos should move to the open position.

To close all panel servos, type


Your servo should go back to the close position

To try a panel sequence, type


An alternating sequence should come up.