go_away

Author Topic: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?  (Read 4000 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« on: June 05, 2008, 08:29:02 PM »
Hey everybody! I'm really into robotics and was just wondering if the Arduino Diecimila was a good deal and good enough for a complete beginner like me. I've read up on all the tutorials (so I know there's no thing as the BEST microcontroller) and other posts. I've learned that there is no power bus (if that's important IDK).. Also, I'm going into robotics long-term and just need some foundation to start on. In addition to everything else, I'm on a strict budget. The only money I get to spend on robotics is the money my sister decides to so gratefully help me out with. BTW, I have VERY little knowledge on programming. All in all, the whole point I'm trying to get to is if the Arduino Diecimila is easy to use and good for a beginner. Thanks for the answers (and sorry for having to read all of that)!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 08:30:47 PM by Parth »

Offline sonictj

  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 416
  • Helpful? 11
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 01:01:21 AM »
I just got into robotics just like yourself and plan on pursuing it professionally.  I bought a diecimila and love it.  The programming language, as you likely already know,  is similar to c++ and is fairly simple to use.  If you don't know c++ you should still be able to get the hang of the arduino without too much trouble. 

The software that comes with the board has built in examples.  You should start off by experimenting with these, and soon you will be writing your own programs with no trouble.  I built a photovore, like the $50 bot, the first day I received the board.

**********NOTE************
I you like using a breadboard I would consider buying the nano instead of the diecimilla it has relatively the same features, but it is breadboard friendly.
http://store.gravitech.us/arduino-nano1.html   
The nano is only $10 more if you preorder it from the site I posted above.  (I think they are the only sellers too).

Hope this was helpful .

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 10:14:04 AM »
Thanks for all the help man!  :) It seems like the Diecimila would suit me perfectly.

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 06:29:05 PM »
Does anybody else know if having no power bus is really that big of a deal?

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 02:48:19 PM »
Also, what's the difference between the Arduino Diecimila and the Freeduino SB http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=682?

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 11:12:02 AM »
To make a robot you *must* have a power bus, whether it comes built in or you have to make it yourself. ;D

Its just much easier and more reliable to buy one built in then solder it up on a PCB and do tons of wiring . . .

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 12:23:59 PM »
OK, thanks! But, if you don't have a power bus, couldn't you just connect whatever you need directly to the power source instead? Or how do you make up for it? Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Or does it come with instructions on how to make up for the lack of a power bus?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 12:26:44 PM by Parth »

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 12:46:00 PM »
I repeat,
Quote
you *must* have a power bus, whether it comes built in or you have to make it yourself

 ;D

Its not hard to make, just annoying. You'll see when you try to figure out how to connect servos/sensors . . .

Quote
Or does it come with instructions on how to make up for the lack of a power bus?
see my $50 robot to see how I made the power busses

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 12:56:41 PM »
So, to make the power bus do I just have to add the three rows of 5 pin headers and solder them as shown? Or do i have to do that, add the resistor, add the voltage regulator, add the 3 pin header, and add the purple wire? I guess I'm a bit confused.

Just tell me if I'm worrying about it too much.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 01:04:49 PM by Parth »

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 01:06:12 PM »
Quote
to make the power bus do I just have to add the three rows of 5 pin headers and solder them as shown?
yeap

You'll probably need to make jumper wires going from the Arduino signal pin to your bus signal pins. I think they sell a 'sheild' that also adds a bus, but I've never used it . . .

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 01:09:22 PM »
Thank you so much! Now I can figure out how to work with the Diecimila  :)

I'm still wondering, though. For instance, does the power bus distribute the Power and the Ground? Couldn't I just connect all my wires in one Power spot instead of having a power bus (I know you said you need a power bus, but it seems like all it does is create more spots to plug in for power)?

Let's say I had a servo. I would put connect the signal wire to the microcontroller, the ground wire to the ground portion, and the power wire to the power spot. Right? So what's the point of having a power bus if you could just put all of your power wires in that one power spot?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 04:18:12 PM by Parth »

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 04:33:38 PM »
What I mean is that there is one 5v spot, 2 Ground Spots, and 6 Analog In spots. Each servo could have their own Ground spot, but couldn't I connect both of the power wires to the one 5v spot?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 04:39:48 PM by Parth »

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 04:47:47 PM »
Quote
Let's say I had a servo. I would put connect the signal wire to the microcontroller, the ground wire to the ground portion, and the power wire to the power spot. Right? So what's the point of having a power bus if you could just put all of your power wires in that one power spot?
Thats called a power bus :P

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 04:49:33 PM »
OK, so then doesn't it technically have one? I mean, it doesn't have as many spots for Power as some other microcontrollers may have, but don't you just need one?

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 04:54:35 PM »
WAIT! I think I might understand now. The power bus gives three rows so you can easily just plug in your servo. Instead, the Diecimila has the three things (signal, ground, and power) spread out, so you need to connect to each of them individually. Is that right?

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 04:57:01 PM »
yeap! lol :P

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 04:58:31 PM »
OMG!!!! Thank you! I finally understand it for real now! Sorry if i bothered annoyed drove you crazy with all those questions! I'm just really excited that I understand it now! :P THANKS!!!!

Offline paulstreats

  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,381
  • Helpful? 21
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2008, 05:22:58 PM »
Its all about making it easier for yourself.

I remember your other post about wether to build your own or not, I commented that building your own would give you an idea of what you want from a augmented mcu. This is just 1 example, there are many more things that you might want that an arduino doesnt have... So is it worth making your own? or buying an arduino? (my opinion is to make you own but try and get a slightly bigger prototyping board than in the $50 robot tutoriial so you can upgrade it later) :)

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2008, 05:25:16 PM »
Yeah, I'm going to build my own first for the $50 robot, then later (August 1 is when my sister said she could give me some money) I'm gonna go buy the Arduino Diecimila. I'm just being prepared and planning out right now :P

EDIT: August 1, that's a while away, lol. I guess im just really excited and eager to plan and build my first few robots.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 05:26:32 PM by Parth »

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2008, 07:16:51 PM »
Quote
August 1, that's a while away, lol. I guess im just really excited and eager to plan and build my first few robots.
more than enough time to learn google sketchup to CAD your design, and build the chassis ;D

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2008, 04:30:46 PM »
Quote
more than enough time to learn google sketchup to CAD your design, and build the chassis  ;D
Lol, I'll get right to it!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 04:31:25 PM by Parth »

Offline Fredrik Andersson

  • Robot Overlord
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2008, 03:49:07 AM »
I solved the power bus problem on my Arduino creating a simple add-on board that fits right on top of it.

I don't have any better image of it uploaded anywhere right now, but i guess you can still see how it works in the following image (Arduino board is to the left):



I actually added another feature to this add-on board which is a jumper setting so you can choose if the power bus should use an external power (connected to the green chunky thing on the right side of the board) source or the same power source that the microcontroller itself uses. This way, i can have a regulated and stable power for the microcontroller and provide external 6v power to the servos connected to the power bus. I've found it perfect to use 9v batteries for the microcontroller, but if you attach servos to the same power source it will drain quickly.
Current project: Pirrh - Portable Intelligent Round Rolling Hexapod

Offline ParthTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Arduino Diecimila: Good for a Beginner?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2008, 08:28:16 PM »
Thanks for the help everybody! Another quick question. Would this board come with the USB cable or would any standard USB cable work?

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666#

 


Get Your Ad Here