It’s no secret that the hardware revolution is upon us. More developers and companies than ever before are interested in rolling up their sleeves and producing real, tangible things – and that’s good news for everyone. Some excellent resources have popped up in the last year or two. Any developer can now fire up a browser and do circuit simulation with CircuitLab, capture a schematic and cook up a PCB with Upverter (still in the browser), order boards through Seeed Studio or OSH Park, and (yep, still in the browser) now program and manage those newly-minted devices with Electric Imp.

Integrating the imp hardware into your design is the first step in harnessing the Electric Imp platform, and the last year of Electric Imp development has given our team a chance to work with developers from companies big and small. We’ve met designers who have developed huge, complicated boards, and we’ve met old-school software devs who had downloaded Eagle that morning and were ready to get cracking. Now, good hardware documentation is more important than ever.

Our Developer Community Manager, Matt Haines, blogged last month about the value of example code – it’s the most valuable part of software documentation. From Adafruit to Instructables, more resources are available to show new hardware developers how to get things done and done right.

So now it’s time for some good hardware “example code.” We’ve packed the meat of the answers to all the most common questions into one hearty 20-page guide, chock full of informative pictures and examples. If you’re a brand-new hardware developer, or a seasoned expert just getting started on your first (or second, or tenth) imp design, this one is for you. In it, you’ll find:

  • Tips on working through your power story and getting the most out of your batteries, including a guide to help you pick the right battery for your design.

  • A guide to assigning jobs to each imp pin, to keep your design simple and clean.

  • Tons of example circuits that show how to integrate the imp card or module into your design.

  • Essential tips on getting your PCB design right the first time, maximizing range and performance.

  • Pointers to more great resources for Electric Imp hardware developers.

  • Many more things that you’ll just have to go look at the guide to see.

If you’re developing imp-enabled hardware, or even just thinking about it, the guide is worth bookmarking (as is our software documentation). Check it out, and let us know what you think. We’re as excited to turn your Internet-connected devices into reality as you are.

Tom Byrne
Systems Engineer