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Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Too_Many_Tools, Jul 10, 2006.

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  1. I am looking for a candidate for a small pocket computer for use in
    data logging and control purposes.

    This is where one would attach a custom built interface that could
    sense and control the external world.

    I am contemplating using a small pocket sized computer or PDA that can
    be easily found in the surplus market.

    Any suggestions?

    Some that come to mind are the older Sharp/Radio Shack pocket
    computers.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks

    TMT
     
  2. Thanks for the response.....are the data and address lines brought out
    to the I/O port?

    TMT
     
  3. Mark Fortune

    Mark Fortune Guest

    you can pick up older palm pilots on ebay pretty cheap these days
     
  4. Donald

    Donald Guest

    With out a reference to what you would like to sense or control.....

    A 12" laptop is the best way to go.

    New 12" laptops would do want you want and are cheap these days.

    Speed of "sense" and speed of "control" would be my motivating factors.

    Good Luck

    donald
     
  5. Again thanks for the response.

    A 12" laptop is a bit too large...I want to have the controller pocket
    sized.

    I am looking for a generic controller with data/control lines brought
    out to an external port. It will need to run either an internal
    control/sensing program that can be compiled or interpreted (the Radio
    Shack pocket computer had an interpreted floating point Basic inside).
    And of course I will need a display and keyboard (detachable?) to
    interface with it.

    Any other suggestions?

    TMT
     
  6. HP Jornada 820 ?
     
  7. Mark Fortune

    Mark Fortune Guest

    ooh now you're asking. I honestly dont know enough about the whole range
    of palms to answer this for you. I can tell you the palm III has a
    serial i/o but thats about it.
     
  8. The old Game Boy's are quite popular for this. There is a small
    community of GBA developers out there, and info on the web etc. I think
    someone has even written a C or BASIC compiler for it too...
    There was an article on turning a GBA into a DSO in the Oct/2000 issue
    of Elector. I think there was also an article on it in Silicon Chip a
    couple of years back as well?

    Palm PDA's can be used too, and they have an RS-232 serial interface,
    so you'll need a micro in your add-on for this.

    Dave :)
     
  9. Go figure, the latest issue of Elektor has a GameBoyAdvance PLC
    Controller project!
    http://www.elektor.com/Default.aspx?tabid=129

    The GBA has the full data/address bus available on the expansion
    connector.

    Dave :)
     
  10. Peter Baltus

    Peter Baltus Guest

    I'm using a Psion 5 - cheap, small, long battery life off AA cells, good
    keyboard & display, and built-in very extensive programming language.
    Interfacing is limited to RS232 or Irda, so I use it in combination with an
    68hc11 slave connected to the serial port to give me 8 ADCs, 5 PWM (for
    servos), plenty timers, counters & digital IO pins. The software on the HC11
    is minimal, it accepts short strings similar to basic peek/poke commands
    (memory & IO read/write). Everything else is done on the Psion. I use it as
    the brains for one of my autonomous robots, and like the set-up very much.
    If you arte interested, you are welcome to the software & diagrams of
    course. Good luck with your project!

    Peter
     
  11. Al Dykes

    Al Dykes Guest


    Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an off-the-shelf
    device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs, somewhere.

    If you get a PDA that runs Microsoft CE you'll be able to sevelop your
    software in a very standard enviroment.

    OTOH, the Nokia 770 looks neat (about $400) and it's Linux-based.
    Sourceforge.net shows that people are beginning to develop apps for
    it.
     
  12. Guest

    : Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an off-the-shelf
    : device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs, somewhere.

    The problem is that PDA:s are typically USB "clients" (to sync with a "host"
    PC), and while the USB gadgets to add sensor inputs are intended to connect
    to a PC, they are also "clients". Two clients cannot connect.

    How do I know? I use Palm PDA to read and plot data from a logger (with my
    own application). It works over RS-232 data connection. As serial Palms are
    getting rare, it would be cool to be able to switch over to USB, but
    unfortunately seems to be impossible...


    -Tapio-
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Guest


    You could use bluetooth. I have used an iPAQ; if you like, have a look on
    my site: http://elec.rommelkist.nl/bluetooth_gb.html.

    Steve
     
  14. Bill Marcum

    Bill Marcum Guest

    ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.sys.palmtops.]
    Handspring Visors had something called a Springboard interface. Newer
    Palms have infrared, SD (except on the cheapest models), and USB slave
    connectors.
     
  15. Padu

    Padu Guest

    "Too_Many_Tools"

    I've seen lots of suggestions here, all of them very good. I'm going to
    complement by telling you what I've chosen for my data logging needs.

    I've bought a Pocket PC that runs at least WinPPC 2003 and a serial cable.
    It also has wi-fi and bluetooth, which gives me lot's of flexibility on how
    to deliver the data I've collected.

    The choice of WinPPC 2003 is because the new .net (2.0) requires it as a
    min. OS to deploy applications. I need to make my own software to capture
    data, so making it in C# using the same environment I'm already used to make
    winXP apps was a huge point for me.

    Cheers

    Padu
     
  16. That's almost the size of a 12" laptop. Also, it has a serial (RS232)
    port, but nothing as low-level as the OP wants. An HP 620, 680, or 720
    would at least be smaller, but has the same i/o limits.


    -----------------------------------------
    To reply to me, remove the underscores (_) from my email address (and please indicate which newsgroup and message).

    Robert E. Zaret, eMVP
    PenFact, Inc.
    20 Park Plaza, Suite 478
    Boston, MA 02116
    www.penfact.com
     
  17. You seem to have made a choice, but I'll add two suggestions anyway.

    The UMPCs are small enough for coat pockets, cost < $1000 US, and run
    Windows XP. A bit larger and more expensive than wanted, but running
    "big" Windows might be an advantage.

    Many folks have been intrigued by Lego robotic add-ons. I know folks
    were running programs for them on Palm OS a few years ago. And I know
    that required 2 way communication. So I assume Lego fans have created
    hardware that might be appropriate for this app.


    -----------------------------------------
    To reply to me, remove the underscores (_) from my email address (and please indicate which newsgroup and message).

    Robert E. Zaret, eMVP
    PenFact, Inc.
    20 Park Plaza, Suite 478
    Boston, MA 02116
    www.penfact.com
     
  18. Guest

    Palm TX, full price is about $300USD, but it has Bluetooth, 802.11, USB,
    and SD card interface, can be programmed with SDK freely available (in C,
    or Java ... or Forth), is well documented, and has a great screen with
    touch capability.

    HIH ...
    Rob.
     
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