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Author Topic: Microcontroller Questions  (Read 1568 times)

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Offline brianTopic starter

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Microcontroller Questions
« on: August 08, 2007, 03:24:06 PM »
Hello, I have done some searching on the forums about which Microcontroller I should buy... but I have some questions I would like to clear up first.

I am looking for something fairly cheap, and something I can modify so I can learn how it works and such. I have some electronics knowledge and quite a bit of programming knowledge.

I have narrowed it down to AVR, but a board I have seen often recommended is this
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666

That looks like its a bit... too simplified... something like this looks much more sufficient for what I want
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=360#

But is it? It looks like the latter requires more work, and I would also need to buy a programmer too. I contemplated building my own like in the 50 dollar robot case, but I don't know if I want that much work (or rather I am not confident in my soldering skills). :)

I know this is asked a lot around here, but the amount of options and everything kinda overwhelmed me. Is it worth my time to build my own or use a development board (I am really just learning how this all works)?

Any advice appreciated, thanks!

Offline Robotboy86

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Re: Microcontroller Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 05:14:48 PM »
Personally I went for a development board myself.  A good understanding of the basics is good enough IMO.  There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to this stuff.  Development can take so long even if you buy all predeveloped parts.  Go with the most complete board you can afford/need.  IE If it has bluetooth interface but you will never use it, don't buy it.


Cheers

Offline brianTopic starter

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Re: Microcontroller Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 05:32:40 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I think I might go the development board route, then perhaps I will buy some extra parts to try to build my own from scratch once I have a better understanding of it. :)

Offline Admin

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Re: Microcontroller Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 09:17:32 AM »
Quote
I am looking for something fairly cheap, and something I can modify so I can learn how it works and such. I have some electronics knowledge and quite a bit of programming knowledge . . . Is it worth my time to build my own or use a development board (I am really just learning how this all works)?

If your goal is to build and program a robot, I'd recommend just buying something already done for you. If your goal is to learn how microcontrollers work, then I'd recommend a development board, or building my $50 robot circuit board.

Quote
I have narrowed it down to AVR, but a board I have seen often recommended is this
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666

My biggest complaint about this board is the pinouts - it doesnt have a power bus! I made sure my $50 robot has a power bus.

Quote
I am not confident in my soldering skills

I used to suck at soldering too . . . but its a skill you cant go without if you want to work on electronics - learn with practice ;D

 


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