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Seeking a arduino or similar hacker Answered

I have a relatively small project that I need to build.  I have an overall project design in mind but am completely open to your input.  It will need to involve an LCD Screen capable of displaying a large decimal number and be connected to an internet webpage service (which I will provide) via Ethernet or wireless connection.


How large do you want the LCD screen?

What's your budget?

Does it have to be an arduino?

How often will the number update?

It doesn't have to be an Arduino. The best case would be that it updates on a reoccurring frequency, once an hour or so. It would be awesome if I could manually trigger the update. The LCD screen will need to display at least 3 numbers and best-case would be 3 whole numbers, a period, and 2 numbers for the cents.

Essentially itsw an electronic piggy-bank. The budget is really flexible.

From how far away do you want to be able to read the screen? I'm just trying to get a feel for whether you want a 2", 6" or 10" screen. Then I can put you together a proposed shopping list and stuff to read so you can do the project.

Ok here's 2 options: (assuming you're US based, for UK use farnell or rs)
Arduino - $30
Ethernet Shield - $45
LCD screen shield - $20

Mbed - $64 (has onboard ethernet)
Screen kit - $10

Both choices will require some soldering and a lot of playing around. You could do without the ethernet shield on the arduino if you wanted it to only work when your PC was on and basically use the arduino to wait for button presses, have processing fetch the data from the web, then send the value back to the arduino to display it on the screen.

Both the mbed and the arduino have good community sites with loads of examples of how to use the libraries. There are other microcontrollers you could use, like PICs, AVRs without the arduino bootloader, so it's more a matter of picking a micro, taking a look at the support for it, then choosing which one you fancy playing with. Feel free to ask any questions you have :)