Communication

Embedded electronics is all about interlinking circuits (processors or other integrated circuits) to create a symbiotic system. In order for those individual circuits to swap their information, they must share a common communication protocol. Hundreds of communication protocols have been defined to achieve this data exchange, and, in general, each can be separated into one of two categories: parallel or serial. Serial UARTs, SPI, and I2C are used with many products in the SparkFun catalog to pass data. They can be used with a serial terminal to help troubleshoot issues or display data. However, there are other methods of communication some of which include IR, RS-232, RS-485, CAN, MIDI, and DMX. Check out the tutorials below to start relaying data between your devices!

I2C

July 8, 2013

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

2D Barcode Scanner Breakout Hookup Guide

May 27, 2021

A quick Hookup Guide to get you started with the SparkFun 2D Barcode Scanner Breakout.

Three Quick Tips About Using U.FL

December 28, 2018

Quick tips regarding how to connect, protect, and disconnect U.FL connectors.

Cryptographic Co-Processor ATECC508A (Qwiic) Hookup Guide

October 17, 2019

Learn how to use some of the standard features of the SparkFun Cryptographic Co-processor.

MicroMod ESP32 Processor Board Hookup Guide

October 21, 2020

A short hookup guide to get started with the SparkFun MicroMod ESP32 Processor Board.

SparkFun QwiicBus Hookup Guide

April 1, 2021

Build a long-range, noise-isolated I2C bus with the SparkFun QwiicBus Kit featuring the QwiicBus EndPoint and MidPoint following this Hookup Guide.

SparkFun expLoRaBLE Hookup Guide

February 4, 2021

Check out our latest LoRaWAN development board with Bluetooth capabilities! With this guide, we'll get you passing data to The Things Network in no time.

SparkFun Serial Basic CH340C Hookup Guide

December 13, 2018

SparkFun Serial Basic Breakout takes advantage of USB-C and is an easy-to-use USB-to-Serial adapter based on the CH340C IC from WCH. With USB-C you can get up to three times the power delivery over the previous USB generation and has the convenient feature of being reversable.

Serial Basic Hookup Guide

February 9, 2017

Get connected quickly with this Serial to USB adapter.

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

October 29, 2015

Learn how to use serial I2C and SPI buses on your Raspberry Pi using the wiringPi I/O library for C/C++ and spidev/smbus for Python.

Industrial Fiber Optics Hookup Guide

January 20, 2021

Learn how to get started with our fiber optics breakout boards

Adding More SERCOM Ports for SAMD Boards

February 4, 2019

How to setup extra SPI, UART, and I2C serial ports on a SAMD-based boards.

Qwiic Differential I2C Bus Extender (PCA9615) Hookup Guide

May 31, 2018

Learn how to extend the range of your I2C communication bus with the Qwiic differential I2C bus extender (PCA9615 ) breakout board.

AST-CAN485 Hookup Guide

March 1, 2018

The AST CAN485 is a miniature Arduino in the compact form factor of the ProMini. In addition to all the usual features it has on-board CAN and RS485 ports enabling quick and easy interfacing to a multitude of industrial devices.

Simultaneous RFID Tag Reader Hookup Guide

February 23, 2017

A basic guide to getting started with the RFID Tag Reader breakout and how to read and write multiple RFID tags over multiple feet!

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

January 14, 2013

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.

RFM69HCW Hookup Guide

April 29, 2016

The RFM69HCW is an inexpensive transceiver that you can use to create all kinds of wireless projects. This tutorial will help you get started.

Boss Alarm

March 30, 2016

Build a Boss Alarm that alerts you of anyone walking into your office and automatically changes your computer screen.

CAN-BUS Shield Hookup Guide

October 8, 2015

A basic introduction to working with the CAN-Bus shield.

Serial Terminal Basics

September 9, 2013

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

Serial Communication

December 18, 2012

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!

Getting Started with OBD-II

October 8, 2015

A general guide to the OBD-II protocols used for communication in automotive and industrial applications.

Introduction to MQTT

November 7, 2018

An introduction to MQTT, one of the main communication protocols used with the Internet of Things (IoT).

IR Communication

February 7, 2013

This tutorial explains how common infrared (IR) communication works, as well as shows you how to set up a simple IR transmitter and receiver with an Arduino.

Old Tutorials

Looking for the old, archived tutorials? Head on over to the archived tutorials on the main SparkFun site.
Please be aware that the tutorials you find there are no longer actively maintained.