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Thread: Arduinos

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Default Arduinos

    Arduinos: does anyone here have any experience playing around with these? I am looking at getting my first one and associated components, and would be interested in hearing about others' experiences, tips, neat gadgets you've made with them, where you bought yours, etc.

    All arduino anecdotes welcome! (Raspberry pi also, if you have them.)
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    I started playing with them back in 2011 ... I made a cool auxiliary dashboard system for my wife's car, it mostly posts time, date, outside temperature, some inside temperatures and compass heading No actual Arduinos inside that one, it's all custom circuit boards I designed, but all pieces of the hardware were prototyped using Arduino and the firmware/code was written using the Arduino IDE platform.

    There's a lot you can do with them. There's also a wide variety of them now, with different microcontrollers with varying capabilities and whatnot. I don't use the Atmel AVR arduino stuff anymore, I moved over to Texas Instruments' LaunchPad system back in 2012, which has a similar kind of thing going on. One thing I highly recommend looking into is Seeed Studio's "Grove" system - it's an ecosystem of sensors, displays, buttons, etc. that you can plug into a central "hub" of connectors (available as an Arduino shield or adapter for other development boards) that lets you prototype different things on the fly. They have starter kits with a bunch of sensors/etc. you can buy to get started.
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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    I started playing with them back in 2011 ... I made a cool auxiliary dashboard system for my wife's car, it mostly posts time, date, outside temperature, some inside temperatures and compass heading No actual Arduinos inside that one, it's all custom circuit boards I designed, but all pieces of the hardware were prototyped using Arduino and the firmware/code was written using the Arduino IDE platform.

    There's a lot you can do with them. There's also a wide variety of them now, with different microcontrollers with varying capabilities and whatnot. I don't use the Atmel AVR arduino stuff anymore, I moved over to Texas Instruments' LaunchPad system back in 2012, which has a similar kind of thing going on. One thing I highly recommend looking into is Seeed Studio's "Grove" system - it's an ecosystem of sensors, displays, buttons, etc. that you can plug into a central "hub" of connectors (available as an Arduino shield or adapter for other development boards) that lets you prototype different things on the fly. They have starter kits with a bunch of sensors/etc. you can buy to get started.
    Thanks for the info. I like the idea of a sensor assortment. I ran across discussion of the Seeed system on some forums/user groups. I'm still trying to figure out how the various manifestations of arduino/other-duino compare.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Thanks for the info. I like the idea of a sensor assortment. I ran across discussion of the Seeed system on some forums/user groups. I'm still trying to figure out how the various manifestations of arduino/other-duino compare.
    Lol wrote something long and lost it with a mis-press of the key...

    Arduino is pretty nice in that it's not just a hardware company based out of Italy with Atmel MCUs, its software development environment's API has become a sort of standard. It's reached such critical mass that there is a plethora of code libraries out there for interfacing with lots of different types of hardware. One gotcha you may find with arduino "alternatives" is their implementation of that arduino API might be incomplete or have hidden "gotchas" that make some arduino libraries mysteriously malfunction. But many of the alternatives are based on microcontrollers with compelling features lacking from the Arduinoes, so it's often worth the time to get cozy with some of the alternatives.

    That said, the world of Arduino alternatives is basically the world of Microcontrollers ..... which has such a speckled history of varied, often incompatible chips that adhere to certain standards, eschew others, and just continually try to one-up each other in the marketplace while engineers are continually navigating and playing the field. Arduino just brings it down to ordinary hobbyists.

    I personally volunteer my coding time to the Energia project (Energia), an open-source (but partly company-funded and promoted by TI) port of Arduino/Wiring to the TI LaunchPad platform. I think the boards compatible with Energia make a pretty unique stable of options for folks who want to do more than tinker with blinking LEDs and the like. But the hardware is TI's own ecosystem ("LaunchPad" with "BoosterPacks", not compatible with Arduino's "Shields") so there's not as much out there, but I'm at the experience level now that I often roll my own hardware boards anyway.
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