Connecting CC3000 WiFi shield to Arduino Uno

Recently I started being a diehard fan of Arduino and as you may already know, Arduino is about programming the hardware which I think is really a cool subject. Now I’m up-to try some Internet of Things (IOT) projects where we can provide some sort of intelligence to ‘Things’ and network them.

First thing I tried was to connect my Arduino to a WiFI network. For this I bought a WiFi shield which comes with CC3000 chip from eBay and was so eager to try out a basic IOT project.

I thought it was just a matter of plug n play but all my hopes were gone when I connected the wifi shield and try to upload the ScanNetworks example given in Arduino IDE. It just print WL_NO_SHIELD (“WiFi shield not present”) error and did not proceed. This error might be so simple to figure-out for a Pro but I was so confused since I’m completely new to Arduino and not aware whether this is a compatibility issue or hardware issue in the shield. To make things worst, Google search took me into some irrelevant posts and was trying many things to get connected to a WiFi network. Therefore I hope this post will be useful for a complete dummy like me.

It took me several hours of search and several (useless) programming codes to figure out that the CC3000 needs its supportive library and Arduino library is to works with it’s own shield which comes with a different chip. Compatible library for CC3000 chip can be downloaded from here.

https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_CC3000_Library

Next thing I did was to upgrade the CC3000 Firmware to V 1.14 using the upgrade sketch given under examples in Adafruit library. Then… Ta-Daa… My Arduino shield was at-least now alive and displaying the available networks.

More details on CC3000 WiFi module can be found here: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-cc3000-wifi/overview

Ebay store I bought the WiFi shield: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CC3000-WiFi-Shield-With-SD-Slot-for-Arduino-R3-Mega-2560-/261737202349?

I will try to keep posting on my experiences with Arduino projects. But most probably if they endup with positive results 😉

If you are also an Arduino fan, keep commenting on what you are up to. I’d love getting to know.

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5 thoughts on “Connecting CC3000 WiFi shield to Arduino Uno

  1. HI, i bought a cheaper cc3000 module from ebay and can you provide the steps you followed to update the driver. All the times, my command gets stuck at “Initializing CC3000” and doesnt move any further. Any inputs?

    1. Hi Venkat,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂
      “Initializing CC3000” message is a good sign of that your shield is detected and arduino can communicate with it.

      Here are basic guideline to update the driver.

      * Download the Adafruit CC3000 Library and install in in Arduino IDE
      * You can find the firmware upgrade patches in File -> Examples -> Adafruit_CC3000_Library-master -> driver patch 1_xx

      What I’ve done was I updated the driver staring from 1_11 and then proceed until 1_14.

      Make sure
      * No sensors input connected to Pin 3, 5 10 (this used as CC3000 interrupt and control pins by default in the example sketches)
      * Power the Arduino with external power source. This is recommended i Adafruit data sheet but I managed to get this work using the laptop USB charging port (or you can use USB 3.0 port since it also can provide ~900mA which will be fairly enough to power up the WiFi shield)

  2. Thank you much for the response. I tried some basic troubleshooting with the above mentioned steps and still couldn’t succeed. For now i was able to complete my project with a ethernet (to connect to internet) + 433 MHz RF (connected to another arduino). Moreover using cc3000 library consumed most of the flash memory, so i split my project into two modules.
    I will spend sometime later and hope I can make it work.
    Thanks again.
    -Venkat

    1. Hi Venkat,

      Sorry it didn’t help you solving the issue. You are true enough. CC3000 library is consuming a lot of flash memory and it’s not ideal for beginner’s projects 🙂
      Wish you all the best for your project and I’m glad if you can share your project setup.

      Cheers!

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