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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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best overall microcontroller
« on: December 03, 2007, 05:13:25 PM »
I was wondering, what is the best overall microcontroller that you can program in C?
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Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 05:35:38 PM »
the open-source Arduino

Offline Rebelgium

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2007, 05:38:34 PM »
OH no, not that question again! There have been huge (internet) battles between AVR and PIC users.
I've looked into this issue multiple times, and read quite a few articles about AVR vs PIC, and I think I'm right to say the only correct answer is:

It depends on your application.

In my experience:
AVR is slightly cheaper, (thus better) but PIC is more widely used (thus more help and examples on the internet).

They are both programmable in C btw.

edit:
Quote
the open-source Arduino
The arduino isn't a microcontroller, it's a controller board.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 05:39:28 PM by Rebelgium »
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 05:55:21 PM »
best in what way?

avr's are cheap and generally c compiler are free for them.
Pic's are more supported but you generally have to pay for compilers.
ARM's are generally a lot faster, but because of small pin pitch not as easy to use for hobby
same with 8051, which you usually have to add your own eeproms to, but it means you can add whatever you lie
microchip Pic has introduced it's new 32 bit PIC to stay up with the more modern markets

Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007, 06:44:20 PM »
Is the Arduino useful for robot applications it looks like it's complicated to connect a motor
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Offline airman00

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 06:59:52 PM »
I think that AVR is the best in the long term  ( you can add it to almost any robotics projects)

But I use PIC because I get them for free as free samples .

The MCUs are basically the same way to connect to a motor - you cannot connect to the MCU directly you need a motor driver
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2007, 08:02:02 AM »
I have been trying to find an Arduino robot all I can find are robots that also have another controller board or a breadboard with the Arduino, can you just directly plug in sensors and servos like the $50 robot microcontroller? (the answer is probably really obvious to you guys)
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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2007, 08:19:03 AM »
Okay, well I found out how to connect 1 servo http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/SingleServoExample but how do you connect multiple servos?
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2007, 08:26:37 AM »
Arduino is a really good platform, but lacks power buses for the I/O pins. So you need to build or buy a shield, which is another board, that plugs on the Arduino board. There are special purpose shields, like motor driver, but not sure about shields for servos. Of course you may build a shield from a perf board, but in this case why not build the whole thing yourself...

Here is a way to do it: take a perf board and cut a 4x8 holes piece. Get 3 8 pin headers and solder them to the perf board. Take one 8 pin angled header and solder to the remaining row of the board. Then connect the angled pins with the first row of straight pins, pin one to pin one, pin 2 to pin 2 and so on. After that, connect together all the pins from the third row, this will be the Vcc bus. Then connect together all the pins from the last row, this will be the ground bus. Plug this perf board into the 8 pin digital connector, connect one wire to the ground and one wire to the Vcc.


For people that are looking for prebuilt or augumented micros, Arduino may be the cheapest solution, and has some advantages:
- usb connection (no serial cable or port needed)
- bootloader installed (no need for programmer)
- 16MHz quartz crystal (lots of speed)
- an easy to program software and upload the program to the board (no need to figure out what file to upload, what fuses to change...)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 08:34:47 AM by Ro-Bot-X »
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Offline Admin

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2007, 10:55:15 AM »
If this influences your decision at all, I'll be supporting only the AVR for the next few years :P

(Arduino uses the AVR)

Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2007, 11:09:37 AM »
my only problem with Arduino is the servo sensor thing would this http://todbot.com/blog/2006/07/11/arduino-breadboard-shield/ work for attaching multiple servos, Im so confused :-[
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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2007, 01:44:36 PM »
How many servos can Arduino handle without a shield?
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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2007, 01:46:41 PM »
oh yeah, im guessing that for robotics you would need an nimh battery instead of a 9 volt battery right?
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2007, 03:36:31 PM »
How many servos can Arduino handle without a shield?

Directly plugged in, none.
A total number of 20 servos, if you build a power and ground bus for them and you don't use any sensors or serial. Or 12 servos and 6 analog sensors. But to connect anything directly to the board, you need to split the 3 wire connector so that the signal pin will go to one of the ATmega168 pins and the power pins go to the power bus.

oh yeah, im guessing that for robotics you would need an nimh battery instead of a 9 volt battery right?

Because it has a regular voltage regulator, not a LDO, and a diode to protect the board for accidental polarity swapping, it needs a 7.2V NiMH battery pack if you want to drive servos and the electronics from one power source.
But you still use a 9V for the board and a 4.8V up to 7.2V for servos, with a common ground. Or even more, if you are using DC motors and an appropriate motor driver.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 03:38:02 PM by Ro-Bot-X »
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Offline DomoArigato

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2007, 05:28:15 PM »
I've found the robostix board great.  It has an AVR ATMega128 chip on it.  It provides power regulation and easy headers to just plug in sensors and servos.  It has UART headers and 3 LED's + 1 power LED.  The price is obviously more expensive than putting it together yourself, but really it's not that high for what you get.

P.S. I have code for the ATmega 128 I can share if you need it.

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2007, 07:19:22 PM »
Ill agree on the robostix . . . Ive never used it, but it looks much better than the Arduino and is definitely worth the $20 extra for what I see . . .

Offline blueroomelectronics

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 09:39:06 AM »
I prefer the PICs, the 18F2525 (used on my robot kit) has plenty of power to run a small robot. The excellent Swordfish BASIC supports it and has a demo version.
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Offline Nudge

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2007, 02:00:00 AM »

Offline Spoil9

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2007, 03:36:39 PM »
So if I wanted to do more than 1x project at a time, (or I jsut never complete 1 before starting another...) then the PIC sounds like the best option. I'll pay for the compiler but be able to use that for multiple projects at the same time?
Only question is... does that really work? Can I use 1x good complier to program many different PIC's in C?

blueroomelectronics...
What is the Swordfish BASIC?

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Offline Rebelgium

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2007, 04:07:06 PM »
Quote
So if I wanted to do more than 1x project at a time, (or I jsut never complete 1 before starting another...) then the PIC sounds like the best option. I'll pay for the compiler but be able to use that for multiple projects at the same time?
Only question is... does that really work? Can I use 1x good complier to program many different PIC's in C?

blueroomelectronics...
What is the Swordfish BASIC?

- Bill
Offcourse! you can write as many programs as you'd like...
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Offline Spoil9

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2007, 06:59:27 PM »
So other than ease of programming, what makes the BASIC Stamp so great?
If I want to have more than 1x bot at a time, I need to pay $50 for each microcontroller?
Or if I go the PIC route, then I can spend less than $20 for each controller.

Am I missing something here?
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Offline airman00

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2007, 07:46:42 PM »
PIC micros are less than 3 bucks each while AVRs are less than   5 bucks

an actual controller board costs more , so you should reuse them on your robots
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Spoil9

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2007, 07:52:32 PM »
But do you not need a controller board for each PIC to be used?
So what I'm thinking I need is..

1. PIC Programmer
2. Compiler
3. PIC Chips

I write my code in the programmer, use the compiler to "burn" the code to the chip, then I'm good to go?
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Offline bulkhead

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2007, 04:15:25 AM »
don't forget the Propeller http://www.parallax.com/Default.aspx?tabid=524



check this out: http://wulfden.org/PRC/index.shtml
-30 I/O with servo headers built in, with option for current limiting series resistors, DIP switches on each
-breadboard
-jumper selectable servo power source (batt1, batt 2, regulated 5V)
-$45, download IDE from parallax, requires "prop plug" (programmer, $30) or it comes with a serial port adapter if you have a serial port

As for the propeller...it's a microcontroller programmed in either SPIN (high level, like C) or low level assembly (fast, efficient), 80 MHz with 20MIPS in assembly, has 8 cogs (processors) which share global memory, capable of driving a real LCD monitor, analog video signal, etc. It's a nice hobby microcontroller.

For industrial use, atmels are good....

Offline airman00

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2007, 08:10:59 AM »
But do you not need a controller board for each PIC to be used?
So what I'm thinking I need is..

1. PIC Programmer
2. Compiler
3. PIC Chips

I write my code in the programmer, use the compiler to "burn" the code to the chip, then I'm good to go?

you don't need a controller board! Just make sure your circuit is correct  ( e.g. Vdd is getting +5 and Vss is getting Gnd )
DId u decide which programming language you will be using yet?
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2007, 11:44:02 AM »
1. PIC Programmer
2. Compiler
3. PIC Chips

I write my code in the programmer, use the compiler to "burn" the code to the chip, then I'm good to go?

You write your code in a compiler, compile it and "burn" it to the PIC using the Programmer (a piece of hardware that connects to your PC and PIC pins to transfer the code to it).
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Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2007, 12:52:00 PM »
Can someone please post a pic(s) of an arduino hooked up to multiple servos? 
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Offline ed1380

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2007, 02:09:19 PM »
google  ;D

not several but the concept stays teh same
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click here. http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=3292.msg25198#msg25198

Offline TrumpkinTopic starter

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2007, 02:17:06 PM »
I am to stupid to figure it out from those pictures  :P.
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Offline ed1380

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Re: best overall microcontroller
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2007, 02:44:47 PM »
only one wire from the mcu is connected to teh servo.

the output pin on the mcu is connected to the signal wire.

well and the grounds are connected too
Problems making the $50 robot circuit board?
click here. http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=3292.msg25198#msg25198

 


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