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Micro controller help Answered

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get into the world of micro controllers but I have no clue how to decide on which one to start with. I have experience programming in VB on almost a daily basis and a class or two a few years ago in Java and C++. I don't anticipate programming being a hurdle. My main goal is to work with using my Android phone to automate certain parts of my life, such as automatically turning off the lights in the house and killing power to devices in "stand by" mode. I see a few books about the ease of combining arduino with android, but the reviews all state that the books assume proficiency in one or the other, meaning it's either targeted to an android programmer who wants to dabble with the arduino or someone who has micro controller knowledge who wants to incorporate the android. I have neither and need something basic for both. Something that starts from the very beginning. How the two connect. How they talk. Are their standard libraries and objects that they use? things like that.

This is less a question/answer and more something I'd like to have some discussion on. Feel free to ask any questions if I missed anything. Thanks in advance.

Discussions

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Build_it_Bob
Build_it_Bob

7 years ago

Hello Shabz, How are you making out with your search ? I am self / internet taught for Arduino and think it is an amazing platform. The C+ like language is coming along for me as there are many examples and authors who offer great help. I received two Arduino with android books for Christmas and I think they will be very helpful. Simon Monk wrote "Arduino + Android projects for the evil genius" . Search his name as he has descriptions of what you can make with the information in the book. I plan on building the projects as he has them described , and then trying to change to code as a learning experience.
What i have already done is use the Arduino Uno + Arduino Ethernet shield with my Android tablet ( wifi ) and I can now control my stereo source , power + bar , bench and curio cabinet lights . The app I used is free , and was straight forward to customize the buttons.
I find if I search Arduino + a key word , there is plenty of open source code available!
I hope this helps!
Build_it_Bob

0
caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

7 years ago

You will see a few ibles with arduino implemented with android (put arduino android in the search). The arduino can communicate to the android via bluetooth, usb to computer, ethernet, wireless ethernet. Note you will have to buy additional boards or shields to facilitate that, maybe $$$ depending on what you are willing to invest in your pursuit. That said, there are already apps to talk to your aduino and libraries of code to get the arduino to respond. You would probably have to tweak them to get them to do exactly what you want for your application. So really, if you are game, just jump into it.

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TheShabz
TheShabz

Reply 7 years ago

Thanks for the reply. One of the issues I'm having is that it's almost like I have too many options. The Arduino isn't one of the cheap ones out there, so how do i know which to get. Each ible here has the one they used. Most come with the line "but you don't have to use this one." How do I know which one to get to fit a project? Same with the add-ons. Just the bluetooth shields I see off of a quick ebay search yield several different results. Will they all work just because it says "Arduino compatible?"

On my phone, this stuff is already included, so it's merely a matter of writing the code. Since, as you mentioned, the libraries are all available, I don't see much issue on the Android end. It's on the arduino end, assuming arduino is even my best choice, that I'm rather clueless on. I'm not one to just jump on in and see what happens. I research, but I just can't seem to find info other than "here's what I used." I'm looking for the why.

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 7 years ago

arduino.cc is the main site to go to for tutorials and examples of code. It pays to get a "real" Arduino Uno Rev 3.0(the latest) buy from adafruit, sparkfun, maker shed. Many projects are based on this one and will suffice for a lot of projects in terms of memory and pin outputs. There is also a Mega version and various clones in different size formats but the Uno if fairly common and support pretty comprehensive. The uno does not require an external FTDI dongle to program since it has a built-in USB connector. It can be powered from USB or an external power source bench/battery through the onboard power connector.

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TheShabz
TheShabz

Reply 7 years ago

Any recommendation on a bluetooth shield?

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 7 years ago

I am new to arduinos but I can tell you breakout boards are difficult to solder, use header pins where you can. That's where I messed up my accelerometer breakout. I guess you need to read through the user reviews of the bluetooth boards where they sell them. Maybe you might want to get your project working first with android to PC to USB/ethernet to arduino to X10 or coffeepot/lightswitch first. Bluetooth might still be a little advanced for a first project to troubleshoot.