HX711 Interface Library as Introduction to PlatformIO

Whenever the goal is to find something quick and easy to talk with a piece of hardware, the standard operating procedure is to search for an Arduino library for that hardware. Hence after I soldered connectors for a HX711 board my search landed at the page for an Arduino HX711 library.

There was, however, a minor twist: this Arduino library is not in the form of an INO sketch or a downloadable ZIP file for the “Libraries” folder of the standard Arduino IDE. It uses an alternative in the form of a PlatformIO project. Normally requiring a new piece of software would make me hesitate and maybe continue searching for an alternative, but PlatformIO had been on my to-do list for some time and I thought this is a good place to dip my toes in.

PlatformIO is available in several different forms, the most appealing for me is as an extension to Visual Studio Code. I’ve already been using VSCode for a few projects, even a few Arduino projects! In a strictly workaround sort of way, that is. There have been a few instances where an Arduino project got too annoying to use in the limited Arduino IDE so I copied the source file into VSCode, did my work, then copied it back into Arduino IDE for compilation and upload.

With PlatformIO installed as a VSCode extension, I shouldn’t need to do that convoluted workaround. I can build and upload directly from within VSCode. That sounded really promising earlier, but not quite enough for me to pause my project the first time. Now that PlatformIO and I have crossed paths again, I’ll take a pause for a closer look.

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