Above: getting started video showing how to use our menu library with Arduino. Link to the Getting started with tcMenu Slides (from youtube video). TcMenu is a modular, IoT ready menu library for Arduino and mbed supporting many input, display and IoT / remote interfaces. It makes presenting configuration, status and operational information much easier. The designer UI works by converting your menu structure into C++ code that works with your chosen hardware through plugins.
Timed blink is a version of well known Arduino blink example that is shipped with the standard IDE, but is redesigned to use the Abstraction and timer library. Example circuit for the code is exactly the same a blink, and if you use the inbuilt LED pin (which it does by default) then there’s no need to build any circuit whatsoever. Instead of using delay() calls to set the duration of the led flash, it uses the task management library to schedule a task.
Using the LEDDisplay library LEDDisplay is an easy to use library that makes light work of multi-digit 7segment displays. If you need help building the circuit or understanding the concepts, then refer to this guide: Arduino multiple digit, 7 segment display tutorial. Answering questions and getting help Get help from the community forum for LEDDisplay, or use the help widget (on the right) to contact us about commercial support on LEDDisplay Setting up the LEDDisplay library Before using any methods from the library, and usually in the global scope (outside of any function) you need to include the header file and initialise the library.
Embedded Java for Raspberry PI and embedded Linux is supported from V2.3 onwards directly from the designer UI. We are building out the number of UI options, but presently No Local UI and JavaFX are supported, we will try and add Android longer term. The Java version is well served with remote capabilities offering Serial (USB, Bluetooth, RS232) devices, Ethernet, WiFi and Webserver based protocols. Also, it’s easy to write your own additional remote extension point if needed.
Most display plugins can be customized using a grid layout, with graphical displays additionally using themes to configure fonts, colors, spacing and icons. To the left you can see cool-blue theme with a multi-column grid layout. Grid positions are used to define an items position in the menu, and even break rows up into multiple columns. Each grid position also defines the justification and drawing mode too. Choosing a theme to get started in a new project To avoid having to define the fonts, spacing, colors and other details from scratch, we have themes that can be applied out of the box.
Setting up IO devices has been made much easier as of V2.2 of the designer software. you can now directly edit the IO expander configurations directly within tcMenu. When we discuss IO devices we are talking about IoAbstractionRef objects that refer to either device pins, or any other device such as I2C expanders or shift registers from the IoAbstraction library. In order to manage the IO Expanders that are available within a project you can do so from the Code menu -> Show Io Expanders.
IoAbstraction EEPROM support can be integrated into your menu application, it can be used to load and store menu item values, authentication and also choice menu items that are using EEPROM storage. Menu Manager makes it very easy to save values to EEPROM between runs. Each menu item can optionally have a storage point in the EEPROM area (-1 / 0xffff means not stored). Any items that have a valid EEPROM address will be persisted upon calling the save function on menuMgr, and similarly, will be read back by calling load.
You can secure both sub-menu items and remote connections using an Authenticator. In summary, when an authenticator is present on menuMgr any attempt to show a secure sub menu will result in a dialog asking for the pin; only proceeding to display the sub menu if the pin matches the on in authenticator. In addition, all remote/IoT connections will only be allowed if the authenticator approves the connection. An example of the secure sub-menu pin entry screen is below:
IoAbstraction 2.0 onwards has core I2C/Wire functionality provided by several functions, these abstract the use of I2C over Arduino and mbed, and over time the implementation of these will be improved, such that asynchronous behaviour will be possible on certain boards. Prior to 2.0, we had conditional I2C code scattered around the project, but now nearly all such functionality is separated out by platform, and sometimes even by board, we’ve made this available through the API, so you can use it too.
IoAbstraction contains a very simple collection that is relatively lightweight and works on a wide range of boards. It is a btree list that provides ordering and list storage. It works on anything from Arduino Uno upwards! It’s memory usage is very configurable, and the way it resizes arrays is also configurable too. You can set the initial size if you know how many items to expect, and do not wish for it to resize, or you can rely on platform defaults, for more general purpose cases.