In samples loaded from the Create's menu, the front pins app only configures a single pin?

I am brand new to the Create, but familiar with other systems like Arduino and Basic STAMP.

When loading some of the samples directly from the create's default menu, the front pins call configures the analog pin, but ignores the power and ground. The user can't change the configuration before the program runs, so are we supposed to get power and ground from the back? This seems awkward, or am I missing something?

The tutorials and samples are well written in general, but there seems to be too many ways for the brand new user to chose from. A tutorial explaining the differences between the samples menu, Kinoma Studio, Kinoma Code, and Blocks would be appreciated.


  • I've been meaning to go through the samples and and add the power/ground pin configuration where it's missing--I'll get on that today :)

    For now you can get power and ground from the back, although you're correct that that might be a bit awkward. The better options are to configure the power and ground pins in the Front Pins app before running the application or change the source code in Kinoma Code and run from there. All you need to do is edit the object passed in to the call to Pins.configure. Here's the analog pin configuration from the Analog Skeleton app as a sample:

            analogSensor: {
                require: "Analog",
                pins: {
                    power: { pin: 51, type: "Power", voltage: 3.3 },
                    analog: { pin: 52 },
                    ground: { pin: 53, type: "Ground" }

    As for the differences between samples, Kinoma Studio, Kinoma Code, and KinomaJS Blocks:

    • Kinoma Code and Kinoma Studio are our IDEs. Kinoma Code is the newer of the two, and the one we recommend to new users. Kinoma Studio is no longer being updated, although it works quite well. You may notice that several of our tutorials were made before Kinoma Code existed and therefore use Kinoma Studio; we're working on updating those and we are, of course, happy to help with specific questions about using Kinoma Code.
    • Kinoma Code has many unconventional (but very useful!) features for an IDE. Check out the Kinoma Code documentation for an overview of what it offers.
    • The samples are made to showcase commonly-used features of the KinomaJS software platform. They're a useful way to understand the structure of applications and get sample code that's simple enough to be changed for your own applications. You can download them directly from our GitHub repository, through the Samples app on Kinoma Create, or in Kinoma Code from the Samples tab. You can view the source code on Kinoma Create but not change it; Kinoma Code is the easiest way to get an editable copy of an application.
    • KinomaJS Blocks is our implementation of Google Blockly. It allows you to drag and drop very simple KinomaJS applications in a web browser and run them on Kinoma Create and Kinoma Element via Wi-Fi. It started out as an experimental thing, but after using it with a group of 8-12 year old girls in an after school program we realized how useful it can be for new developers, including complete beginners to programming/hardware. If you already have experience with other systems, you'll almost certainly want to start somewhere else since KinomaJS Blocks doesn't offer all the features of KinomaJS. But it's an excellent tool, and lots of fun.

    Hope that clears things up a bit. Happy to go more into detail or answer other questions you have about any of those!

  • edited August 2016

    That explains it very nicely. I am happy to find out that I wasn't missing something really obvious.

    I tried pre-configuring the front pins but the sample app (launched directly from the Create) resets the pins.

    Thank you.

  • Sure!

    By the way, I just pushed changes to several apps in to the Samples repository to add power/ground configuration. Feel free to let me know if you run into any that I missed.

  • I am also new to the Create. I believe the I2C Temperature sample has the problem with no power and ground on the front pins. I initially tried to use the Front Pins app to configure power and ground but the running of the sample resets those pins to un-configured as indicated in the sample code. I will try to edit the sample code and add the power and ground connections.

  • I did edit the sample code and add the power and ground connections. Works fine now!

  • Sorry for the late response, but the reason there are no power/ground configurations in the i2c-temperature app is because we generally attach the temperature sensor it uses to the back pins. Since the back pins are fixed-function, there's no need to specify in your application which pins are used for power/ground (though you still need to specify which pins you use for the other wires). But glad you got it working!

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