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Arduino Answered

Hi, I want to get into microcontrollers and stuff. Doo you think that an Arduino is the best way to get into this stuff. I live in the UK and I've been looking at this. I need something that interfaces via USB or serial ( via a usb to serial adater) and this looks ideal. What do you think about these? Are they any good?

BTW: Does anyone know a place (other than ebay to get these in the UK?)

-josh

Discussions

anybody know what happens if i use a different speed oscilator. does it make it faster, slower, or just die.

i'm trying to decide between the arduino decimila or the usb bordunio. someone try to convince me one way or the other.

Josh I purchase the same kit (well 1 and a couple of bar boards actually) from the same ebay company and found it a great choice here in the UK. The goods arrived well packed and quickly. The exchange rate is good at the moment too so the while lot was about £15. Which isn't bad. I was up and running in no time. Microcontrollers are many and varied with a whole host of facilities on board. The Arduino is in my opinion a great introduction to them and if you can solder, getting this kit from nkc_store is a good choice. I haven't found a cheaper way of getting at an Arduino in the UK. Another choice is the AVR Butterfly at about £20. This offers many more functions but you would also have a much steeper learning curve getting used to connecting it to a PC and programming in C and using AVR studio. Get the Arduino, before I buy it :-) Mark

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westfw

10 years ago

The BASIC stamp is probably still king, but Arudino is a viable competitor for a lot of things. As a C programmer, I like the way it "eases" people into C programming by hiding the complexities that would normally go along with trying to set up a gcc-based C environment. In some sense, the value of these beginning environments is not so much in how powerful they are, but in how well they manage to hide complexity from the beginning user.

I like the way it "eases" people into C programming by hiding the complexities that would normally go along with trying to set up a gcc-based C environment.

Oh, cool. I will have to look into that. (One of these days I will be required to become skilled in C# fairly quickly, and anything that can make the jump easier would be welcome).

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westfw

10 years ago

Check it out. I actually got my Bare Bones Board (Arduino compatible) working!


arduino-loop2.jpg
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gmoon

10 years ago

I think the Arduino is OK, but it's really just an AVR with another layer of abstraction on top (like a basic stamp.) It is probably easier to program than 'C.' I've used both 'C' and assembler, and wasn't interest in another (compiled) language?

You can buy an AVR dev board, as other suggested, or just breadboard with a few components.

I started with Guido Socher's AVR tutorial on 'C' programming (he sells stuff, too) and there's also a good one here on ibles. Guido's tutorial is particularly simple, hardware-wise.

You don't need a custom live CD--I've installed all the dev software on Ubuntu (with Synaptic or apt-get.) Atmel also has a Windows env for free (AVR Studio), and it includes the GCC compiler.

$23 seems like a rip off, for $25 you can get a bare bones board plus a USB to UART adapter, which, in my opinion, are way better than any of the official Arduino boards.

it fits right into a breadboard and stays there, and on breadboards, there are more holes to place wires also the removable USB converter (mine is a spark fun FT232RL breakout board) can be moved around to do other stuff. I have mine setup with the same capacitors the diecimila uses on the RTS so mine also autoresets

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westfw

10 years ago

I think Arduino is picking up energy in the US and would be a "good" way to "get into this stuff." "Lady Ada" has also been up to writing Arduino Tutorials in the best Instructables Tradition and Style (but not on Instructables any more, hmm?), and I've been working on Freeduino PCB layouts

Can't you buy from one of the european distributers ?

I worked out that to buy from them would be £4 (~$8) more expensive than ebay and I wouldn't get the smd pre-soldered (I only have experience with through hole components). But then again I would'nt get the "Diecimila" or even the "NG" although I dont think that there have been that many changes in the USB boards. Thanks for all those links -josh

Ah, I remember the days when the BASIC stamp was king *LOL*

Make's latest YouTube offering is about the Arduino. Maybe it will help decide whether to use it: