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Unbox it!

Table of contents

  1. Step 1: unpack the Argon Kit
  2. Step 2: Attach Antenna
  3. Step 3: Attach the USB Cable
  4. Step 4: Insert the Argon into the Breadboard

We’re going to open up and unpack our Argon Dev kit and get it ready to connect to the Particle Cloud.

Step 1: unpack the Argon Kit

First find the Argon Kit in your IoT course kit. It looks like this:

Argon Kit

Argon Kit.

When you open it you’ll find three packages inside

Argon Kit

Argon Kit contents

Each is labelled and the contain:

  • The Argon Board itself (left below)
  • A WiFi antenna – this will be connected to the board to allow it to pick up WiFi signals (right below)
  • A Breadboard, USB cable and a pack of components (led, resistor, etc.) (middle below)

Remove them from the packaging and examine each.

Argon Kit

Argon Kit contents

Then remove the packaging from each

Argon Kit

Argon Kit with packaging removed. Argon is depicted on the left. Breadboard and USB cabel in the middle and WiFi antenna on the right.

Step 2: Attach Antenna

Argon Kit

Argon (left) and WiFi antenna (right.)

Let’s focus on the Particle board and the WiFi Antenna. The WiFi Antenna is connected to the Argon on a small port on it’s bottom left hand side. Attaching the antenna allows it to connect to WiFi networks. If you don’t attach it, the signal won’t be strong enough for the Argon to reliably connect to WiFi.

The Antenna is attached to this connector. Find it on your board. Make sure not to confuse it with the BT connector for a Bluetooth antenna on the right hand side.

Antenna Connector

To attach the antenna,

  • place the gold connector at the end of the WiFi antenna over the matching gold connector labelled WiFi on the Argon
  • gently press down
  • it will snap into place
Argon Kit

Press down to attach the board and the WiFi antenna

Once it has snapped into place, the antenna is connected.

As the WiFi antenna is an essential component for connectivity, make sure once it’s connected not to snag, pull or catch it as this might lead to damage.

Argon Kit

The Antenna is connected

Step 3: Attach the USB Cable

Argon Kit

The Argon and the USB cable

The Argon is powered using a USB cable and any 5 volt source. This includes

  • plugging it into the USB port on your laptop
  • using a USB wall adapter e.g. for charging a phone
  • a portable power pack with a USB port.

The Argon does not need to be connected to your computer directly, as the programs are flashed over WiFi to it. However, the USB sockets on a laptop are often the easiest to work with!

The USB port is located at the top of the Argon board. It is a silver port.

Argon Kit

The Argon’s USB port

Simple insert the the USB cable provided to the port. Be gentle when you do this. Exerting too much force could cause damage to the port. Additionally, make sure not to press down on or maneuver the USB cable while attached. This could lead to damage.

It should look like this when complete:

Argon Kit

Argon with USB cabel attached

Step 4: Insert the Argon into the Breadboard

The Breadboard is used to make electrical connections to components you want to control with your Particle microcontroller. The Argon has a series of pins or terminals on either side. These align with the breadboard.

To insert your Particle microcontroller,

  • Align the end with the USB cable to the left edge of the breadboard
  • Check that the terminals or pins on both sides meet up with the holes in the surface of the breadboard.
Argon Kit

Inserting the Argon into the Breadboard. Aligning the terminals with the breadboard

Once you have aligned them, gently depress one end of the Argon.

Argon Kit

Inserting the Argon into the Breadboard. Inserting the Argon into the Breadboard

It should ease into the breadboard. Depress the other end and repeat this process until the microcontroller is flush (flat against) the breadboard. It should look like this:

Argon Kit

An Argon inserted into the Breadboard.

Argon Kit

An Argon inserted into the Breadboard.

Congrats! Your Argon is unboxed and ready to begin the next stage of setup.

Next Up: Power It Up