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Unread 02-21-2008, 08:43 AM
gam3fr3ak1 gam3fr3ak1 is offline
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non-ifi microcontrollers

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/product...lr/m32db.shtml

has anybody ever used one of these, or have a microcontroller they recommend?
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Unread 02-21-2008, 09:09 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

Price-wise, it's pretty hard to beat the BASIC Stamp.

http://www.parallax.com/Default.aspx?tabid=295
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Unread 02-21-2008, 03:22 PM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

Chris,
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.
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Unread 02-22-2008, 01:23 PM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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 and a terminal.

You can also code using the free Keil

I hope IFI realizes that ARM is the future of the industry !
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Unread 03-01-2008, 12:33 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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:

www.futurlec.com


for futurlec, click the boards tab to see the great selection.


sparkfun is also good, but more expensive. www.sparkfun.com
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Unread 03-08-2008, 05:58 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

I just bought the Arduino. Nice little board. It-s AVR based, and very cheap!
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Unread 03-08-2008, 07:57 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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
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Unread 03-08-2008, 10:14 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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.
Slow.

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.
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Unread 03-08-2008, 11:31 AM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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
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Unread 03-08-2008, 03:53 PM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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.
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Unread 12-11-2008, 07:25 PM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

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.
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.
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Unread 12-11-2008, 07:49 PM
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Re: non-ifi microcontrollers

I think you should convince our new friends at Luminary Micro to donate or discount an eval kit to you. I've been enjoying those a bit too much lately.
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