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Author Topic: Which microcontroller should I use?  (Read 628 times)

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Offline MolniTopic starter

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Which microcontroller should I use?
« on: May 26, 2013, 02:02:43 PM »
I saw the video about the voice controlled robot by palmisano (
Make a Voice Controlled Robot
) and i LOVE it so i have a plan to build it. He mentioned i should use an Axon II microcontroller, but i have low budget, so i think it would be better if i would use a cheaper one.
Which microcontroller is the cheapest, what can be suitable to that project?
Sorry for the possible mistakes, english is not my native language.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 08:27:28 AM by Molni »

Offline jwatte

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Re: Which microcontroller should I use?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 09:54:40 PM »
One of the cheaper and simpler yet still capable microcontrollers to get up and running is an Atmega328p on a breadboard.
The chip itself will run you about $3 in single quantities. It needs no crystal if you run it at 8 MHz on the built-in resonator. If you want to run at 16 MHz (or 20 MHz) then you need a crystal and two capacitors, for less than $1 extra. Add a 0.1 uF de-coupling capacitor for good measure, although that, too, might be optional in a low-cost scenario.
If you don't have clean 5V already, add your choice of voltage regulator.

To program it, you'll need a 2x3 pin 100mil header, and an external AVR ICSP programmer. The programmers can be found for $10 and up, and can be re-used for all AVR based microcontrollers. The program to use is "avrdude" (although you could also use Atmel's AVR Studio, if you're on Windows.)

Offline MolniTopic starter

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Re: Which microcontroller should I use?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 08:44:07 AM »
Thanks for your answer! :)
But I still have a questions. Why did he used an Axon II in the wideo insted of an Atmega328p if it still capable? What is the difference between them?

Offline jwatte

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Re: Which microcontroller should I use?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 10:40:45 AM »
An Atmega328p is a bare chip; you're going to have to integrate it into your own circuit. If you look at the AVR line of microcontrollers, you can find chips from the 8-pin ATTiny85 all the way up to the heavyweight XMEGA controllers. Many of those are harder to get started with, though, because they are surface mount, or they don't have good library support like the 328p (which is what the Arduino Uno uses.)

An Axon II is a ready-made controller board. It has nice pin headers for connecting and disconnecting peripherals, and a bigger CPU than the Atmega328p with more peripherals, so it can do more.

If you are just starting out in electronics or microcontrollers, getting a board that is ready for experimentation is a lot easier than trying to make the bare chips work, and may save you the money they cost in the long run.

 


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