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Basic Electronics » Moving on...

November 06, 2013
by Pr0ject
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Whelp, my AtMega168 seems to have gone kaput and I am now looking to buy a new micro controller. Although I have yet to find one I would like to ask your opinion on the topic.

I am currently working on a project to place an IMU on a RC plane and place the data I collect on my computer. Now should I get an already soldiered kit like the Raspberry Pi or Adruino (which would solve the problem that the plane receives shocks on take-of and landings) or continue to work with the Nerdkit breadboard?(maybe I can soldier it once I decide on a final layout?)

Is there an advantage/disadvantage to a pre-built kit or is it unquestionably better?

Thanks

November 06, 2013
by esoderberg
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Pr0ject,

Breadboard: Best for earliest stages of prototyping; gives maximum flexibility in hardware setup, fastest reconfigure time.

Arduino: This is basically identical to the Nerdkit/Atmega168/Atmega328 hardware wise. You can choose to program via the Arduino "wiring" software or use C just like with your 168. If you're not making big changes to your hardware setup, this is a good option. As you alluded to, the reliability of a breadboard setup is often not the best, especially in a project like yours. The prepackaged Arduino gets you running fast and relatively reliably. You'll still need to make some wired connections, but is this often made easier by the use of "shields", ie additional components specifically designed to fit on the Arduino layout.

Middle ground: You could solder your components together using perf board. Lets you customize your hardware setup, but in a more sturdy way than breadboard typically allows. This may well be the most appropriate to your project.

Custom PCB: This gives the best outcome in terms of customized setup and reliability, but there is a real learning curve with circuit design and layout (I use EAGLE, Sparkfun has some great tutorials). In addition there's additional cost and time involved with PCB fabrication. Can be cheaper if making many copies, but for small scale stuff(under 10 items), it's usually more expensive.

Eric

November 07, 2013
by Pr0ject
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Thanks for the detailed response. Would you by chance know of what adruino I should look for? There seems to be a lot :X

November 07, 2013
by esoderberg
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I would start with the nano. It's based on the same basic IC as your NK, but has all of the basic components to make it run attached.

November 07, 2013
by Noter
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Eric, your link goes to a mini pro. The NANO has the FT232 usb adapter included. I would prefer the NANO for development because it will automatically reset, download, and start the program after a compile. Then perhaps implement on a mini pro if usb connection is not required.

Pr0ject, buy a couple each of the Mini Pro and NANO and have some fun.

November 07, 2013
by esoderberg
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Noter,

You're right. I meant to recommend the Nano, not the Mini pro I linked too.

Eric

November 08, 2013
by Pr0ject
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Thanks again for the suggestions. I decided I'll work with the nano, MPU-6050 sensor, and an external EEPROM. Now to the problem is where to put all this on the plane XD...and coding that is.

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