Author Topic: Microcontroller Recommendations  (Read 2516 times)

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Offline Nate_the_GreatTopic starter

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Microcontroller Recommendations
« on: May 25, 2007, 08:46:43 AM »
OK, I'm a Electrical student from Ontario, Canada and I'm doing a technology project on.......guess what....autonomous robots. I'm looking for a decent microcontroller that's suitable for building a prototype, and I'm just wondering if anyone out there has a favourite or can recommend me a decent microcontroller that hopefully won't give me to many headaches. Thanx

Offline Hal9000

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Re: Microcontroller Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 10:12:56 AM »
The 8051 microcontroller. can't really go far wrong with that. PICs were a bit painful for me.

Many people on here would also say the AVR. Having never done anything with the AVR (there was that one night....) I can't really say they are wrong or right.

"The truth is, you can't hide from the truth, cos the truth is all there is" - Handsome Boy Modeling School

Offline JonHylands

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Re: Microcontroller Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 10:40:09 AM »
I would strongly recommend you go with something AVR based - they are basically the best/most popular 8-bit microcontrollers available right now.

The compiler is free (gcc), and you can either build a dirt-cheap programmer, or buy a nice USB one for about $35.

Where in ON do you live? I'm in SW Ontario, about 2 hours W of Toronto...

- Jon

Offline Nate_the_GreatTopic starter

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Re: Microcontroller Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 12:27:49 PM »
Posting from Georgian College in Barrie, just N of the T.

Offline rgcustodio

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Re: Microcontroller Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 12:55:33 PM »
I have a different method of selecting MCU's. I check the programming language I can use first, then check for the availability of free full-featured software (toolchains), then narrow down my chip selection (by IO pins, flash, RAM size etc).

I've used C all my life (work and previously at school) so it's my #1 language of choice. I've extensively used the GNU toolchain so that is a must for me. Now the hard part, the chip. Some of the well-known chips (Basic Stamp, PIC) are not supported by the GNU C toolchain (or maybe I'm just not searching hard enough). I think Microchip does have a crippled C (student version) compiler for the PIC, but that's it.

This eventually led me to the AVRs, nice little chips, and you can grow with them both budget-wise and functionality-wise. Freely available IDE which can use the GNU toolchain, and also freely available simulation S/W (VMLAB), and most importantly there are good forums out there (avrfreak.net) where you can find valuable information.

HTH. Good luck on your search.

- Rommel
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Offline Brandon121233

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Re: Microcontroller Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 12:57:41 PM »
I would have to suggest the Arduino board, it uses the Atmega168 so it has a lot of power, its cheap roughly $30, the boot loader is already burned in, and it is USB. Check it out http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666
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