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Arduino choices

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Ivan Vegvary, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. Ivan Vegvary

    Ivan Vegvary Guest

    Want to buy an Arduino. Too many choices that I don't understand. Prices all seem to be nearly the same.

    Arduino will be used by a small group of high school students to build a "pick and place" robotics arm. School has a 3D printer and a laser cutter. We also have lots of motors and servos from VEX robotics kits. We could use the VEX controllers but I would like the students to learn an "open source" platform. Process will included sketching, designing parts using Auto Cad Inventor, printing the base, arms, knuckles, motor supports, gears, etc.with the 3D printers, winding a coil to create an electro-magnet as the pick up. Goal will be to autonomously and with joy sticks pick and place small metal discs.

    Anyway, could some of you point me as to what flavor or version of Arduino to purchase. Also what tutorials (books) would you recommend.

    Ivan Vegvary
  2. fungus

    fungus Guest

    Short answer: Arduino Uno

    You only really need an Arduino Mega if you're going to write big programs. For everything else the Uno is better - more support, more shields, more code...

    The extra I/O pins on the Mega aren't as big an advantage as they might appear, it's trivial to add more I/O to an Uno via shift registers, etc.

    The mega is also very difficult to repair if you blow the chip by connecting up something you shouldn't. With an Uno it takes a few seconds to drop in a $3 replacement.

    The best place for Arduino info is the Arduino web site.
  3. fungus

    fungus Guest

    Yes there is...all the recent Atmel chips have
    "debugWIRE" debugging

    The Arduino IDE doesn't do it, but it's

    Or just do what everybody else does and
    dump data to the PC via the serial port
    (or via Bluetooth, which is less intrusive)

    Add a small two-wire screen to it:

    Add a VGA monitor:

    Or whatever... :)
  4. Ivan Vegvary

    Ivan Vegvary Guest

    Thanks everybody, will go with the UNO. Already ordered it. Great group!!!!
  5. fungus

    fungus Guest

    It's all done via the reset pin so it's difficult
    for any hardware to NOT support'd have
    to snip the pin off the chip.
  6. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    Yes it does. Arduino at its core is an ATMega328. Anything that chip
    supports, you can make Arduino do.
  7. fungus

    fungus Guest

    Arduino does ISP programming since v1.0.
    I use it all the time to program bare AVR
    chips on breadboards.
  8. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    [snip irrelevant discussion]

    Yes, the point I was making, however, was that Arduino hardware does
    indeed support debugWIRE, contrary to your claim. None of the other
    points you made after that change that fact, even if they are otherwise
    valid and useful points.
  9. fungus

    fungus Guest

    You won't get any argument about the Arduino
    IDE being rubbish for debugging.

    It's unlikely to change though. Writing a
    source-level debugger is HARD and I don't
    think there's anybody out there with enough
    motivation/resources to do it.

    The Arduino people seem to be concentrating
    more on libraries for common hardware which
    are easy for inexperienced people to use.
  10. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    Which seems unfortunate to me. Wiring seems useful for beginners, but
    it doesn't seem like it was really designed with portability in mind.
    It also doesn't build up abstractions, but simply creates a high level
    abstraction. I could easily see several mid-level abstractions that
    could have been created, so that more advanced programmers could create
    different high-level abstractions easily.

    Then again, I haven't actually done what they've done, so who am I to
    judge ;-) I do appreciate Arduino, for without them, I probably
    wouldn't have embarked on my journey into Digital Electronics
    exploration the way that I have.
  11. Well at least it's better than having to build the lathe to turn the
    screw, that...

    (EE Smith, "Skylark of Space" (?))

    George H.
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