Controlling the Arduino Yún with TalkBack

The Arduino Yún is a very powerful, networkable Arduino combining the ease of Arduino programming with an additional processor, an Atheros AR9331, running Linux, and the OpenWrt wireless stack. Programming the 32U4 via USB is identical to the Arduino Leonardo. Once the Arduino Yún is connected to Wi-Fi, the Arduino has full access to ThingSpeak Cloud Services and the TalkBack App and API.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of setting up the Arduino Yún on the Wi-Fi network and controlling the Arduino Yún using the TalkBack App.
Arduino Yun ThingSpeak TalkBack

Step 1 – Connect Arduino Yún to Wi-Fi

First, you need to power the Arduino Yún. Connect the Arduino Yún to your computer with a Micro-B USB cable. This USB cable provides power and data to the board.

Once powered up, the Arduino Yún will broadcast a Wi-Fi network called, “ArduinoYun-XXXXXXXXXXXX”. Connect to this Wi-Fi Network using a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Open a web browser and go to, the following site address: http://arduino.local or – this will bring up the Arduino Yún Wi-Fi Configuration. Enter the password of “arduino” to start the setup. Click Configure. Under the Wireless Parameters section, enter your Wi-Fi network name (SSID), network encryption type, and password. This wi-Fi information is for the Wi-Fi network that you want the Arduino Yún to connect to. Once the information is entered, press “Configure & Restart” to have the Arduino Yún connect to the specified Wi-Fi network.
ArduinoYun WiFi Setup
For complete Arduino Yún documentation, visit

Step 2 – Setting up the Arduino Yún IDE

  • The Arduino Yún is only supported by Arduino IDE 1.5.4 and later. Download the Arduino IDE 1.5.4 or newer at
  • When programming the Arduino Yún, you must choose Arduino Yún from the Tools > Board menu in the Arduino IDE.

Step 3 – Create ThingSpeak User Account and Setup a New TalkBack

  • To get started with ThingSpeak, sign up for a free user account at by clicking Sign Up or Sign In if you already have a ThingSpeak account.
  • Create a new ThingSpeak Channel by selecting Channels and “Create New Channel” – a Channel is where you are able to store data collected by the Arduino Yún.
  • Create a new TalkBack by selecting Apps, TalkBack, and “New TalkBack” – a TalkBack is a ThingSpeak App that allows you to store commands that the Arduino Yún can process.

Step 4 – Program the Arduino Yún with the TalkBack App

  • Download the TalkBack to Arduino Yún Sketch from GitHub
  • Change the TalkBack API Key to the TalkBack API Key created in the previous step
  • Change the TalkBack ID to the TalkBack ID created in the previous step
  • Select Tools -> Board -> Arduino Yún
  • Select Tools -> Port -> (Select the Arduino Yún COM Port)
  • Upload the sketch to your Arduino Yún
  • Open the Serial Monitor

Step 5 – Control the Arduino Yún with TalkBack

  • Enter the command “TURN_ON” into the TalkBack
  • Enter the command “TURN_OFF” into the TalkBack

Arduino Yun ThingSpeak Talk Back Edit
The Arduino Yún will periodically check the TalkBack to see if a command is queued up. If the command is “TURN_ON” the Arduino’s onboard LED (on GPIO 13) will light up. If the command is “TURN_OFF” the Arduino’s onboard LED will turn off. The TalkBack commands can be entered on ThingSpeak or via the TalkBack API.


  1. I love my Arduino Yun! Arduino, WiFi, Linux and RESTDuino web services all rolled into one! Finally, all of my microcontrollers don’t have to be tethered to my router via ethernet cables. Now they can hide all over the house where my wife can’t find them! The new TalkBack app is a great enhancement to ThingSpeak. Now, all of the devices that should normally be asleep can actually sleep. No more microcontrollers tethered to wall warts, either! TalkBack is great for battery powered devices. Great job, ThingSpeak!

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