View Full Version : non-ifi microcontrollers
02-21-2008, 09:43 AM
another FIRST team member and I are thinking about working on an off season project, and need a microcontroller, similar in function to the ifi rc, but cheaper (understandably less powerful). we would need it to have several analog i/o and digital i/o.
i have been looking at http://www.active-robots.com/products/controllr/m32db.shtml
has anybody ever used one of these, or have a microcontroller they recommend?
02-21-2008, 10:09 AM
Price-wise, it's pretty hard to beat the BASIC Stamp.
02-21-2008, 04:22 PM
The one you listed will have nearly the horsepower of the IFI controller. I use AVR microcontrollers a lot with the free WinAVR compiler. I like AVR's a lot.
Having said that, you could probably find something similar that uses a PIC processor so it is at least a little more similar to the IFI controller, if that is a concern for you.
02-22-2008, 02:23 PM
I've used freescale, AVR, PIC , z-world and ARM. I think the trend for processors is drifting towards lots of companies supporting the ARM architecture.
I suggest you pick up an ARM variant from phillips or Atmel , http://newmicros.com/
I code in ARM GCC using armlib (http://hubbard.engr.scu.edu/embedded/arm/armlib/index.html) and a terminal.
You can also code using the free Keil (http://www.keil.com/)
I hope IFI realizes that ARM is the future of the industry !
03-01-2008, 01:33 AM
im working on my senior project in high school and found a great site to roam around for a processor. Great prices. First and foremost, set your requirements (number of A/D and/or D/A, speed of processor, clarity of converters,etc.). Here is the site:
for futurlec, click the boards tab to see the great selection.
sparkfun is also good, but more expensive. www.sparkfun.com
03-08-2008, 06:58 AM
I just bought the Arduino. Nice little board. It-s AVR based, and very cheap!
03-08-2008, 08:57 AM
BasicX-24p-u (www.basicx.com) or proSeed (www.loraxworks.com)
I think the BasicX is a very good choice, it has 16 i/o ports all of which have analog capability
03-08-2008, 11:14 AM
For ease of use, the BS2 from Parallax cannot be beat, but it definitely has its drawbacks:
Not a lot of program space.
Very limited variable space.
Other than that, I think they're great. You can get an upgraded version of the BS2 from Parallax as well that have more variable space, more pins, faster, etc... I have never tried any other ones, so I cannot say if they make a big difference or not, but I believe they will.
03-08-2008, 12:31 PM
if you want ease of use dont go with the basic stamp, use the basic ATOM (www.basicmicro.com) it's just as easy to use and better, but if you're going with a 24 pin micro. use the BasicX or proSeed
03-08-2008, 04:53 PM
i'm still messing around with it, but a PIC18F4550 has enough horsepower for a lot of projects, plus if you've programmed the IFI RC, then you use the same compiler to program this.
12-11-2008, 08:25 PM
I'm sorry to revive a dead thread, but I thought it was more proper than starting a new one with the same purpose. Now, to get onto the matter at hand:
I am not electrically inclined, at least at the moment; I intend to eventually get a degree in electrical or computer engineering (after getting my CS degree) but, for the moment, I have a very limited working knowledge of electrical components. With that having been said, I am looking to do an individual project, perhaps for an independent study credit at my high school (if I can get guidance to go along with it), and for this I will need a microcontroller.
I did some research into augmented microcontrollers so that I would not have to do substantial work with the electrical and I could focus on mechanical fabrication and programming. I found two possibilities: the Arduino, and the Axon (http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/).
The Arduino has only six analog inputs, whereas the Axon has sixteen. At the moment, I will need a minimum of six analog inputs for my controls system; when it is autonomous, I will need accelerometers, a gyro, and rangefinders. When it is teleoperated, I would like to retain those and add in control from an arm brace (for the articulated arm) and a joystick; that will possibly surpass the six. The Axon will have enough analog inputs for my needs; however, the price is a bit... high. It seems to be reusable, however, so it may well be worth my investment.
Does anyone have a recommendation on an augmented microcontroller which is cost effective and can meet the following criteria?
1. About 10 analog inputs.
2. Programmable in C or C++.
3. Free compilers / libraries available (I don't have a budget to pay for proprietary compilers).
4. Documentation/tutorial provided for "simple" tasks (power supply, assembly [if needed], etc); things I don't have the knowledge of but should gain relatively easily.
If I remember other criteria, I'll add to it; that's just what I know of at the moment.
12-11-2008, 08:49 PM
I think you should convince our new friends at Luminary Micro (http://www.luminarymicro.com/products/kits.html) to donate or discount an eval kit to you. I've been enjoying those a bit too much lately.
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