Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

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Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby calebkraft » February 1st, 2011, 9:21 am

Please go to this article and read it before adding to the list.
http://hackaday.com/2011/02/01/what-dev ... rd-to-use/
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby ajo » February 1st, 2011, 11:22 am

I'd recommend Espardino in the mid-range area .. (but I'm quite biased, as I'm the designer of this board...).

Why?, It's ARM7 (32bits) , 60MIPS, 32KB of RAM + 512KB of flash.
Image <-> Image


as pros, I could remark:

* It includes a full SDK for windows and linux, based on GCC4 and Eclipse
* A wide set of opensource libraries to access hardware
* you can run a GDB debugging session using it's USB port and software monitor (no extra hardware required).
* I think we offer good support in our forum.

as cons:

* The environment and the GDB monitor isn't totally failproof.... (but it really helps on finding bugs.)
* We miss some wizard to create projects easily
* Our user base is not too wide at this moment...


A couple of links about the software GDB monitor we include:
Last edited by ajo on February 1st, 2011, 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby hackcasual » February 1st, 2011, 11:25 am

Shout out for the EKC-LM3S811. I gave one to my friend as a christmas present and got it to play Felize Navidad with a little piezo speaker. This was done using all open source, Eclipse + CodeSourcery GCC + OpenOCD

At $49.10 from digikey, it fits in at the top of the budget boards. The core is a 50mhz Cortex M3, with a 96x16 OLED display.

All of that is nice, but the real reason I picked it up is that when connected to another ARM JTAG, it acts as a passthrough. By itself, this is a sub $50 ARM JTAG adapter.

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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby nes » February 1st, 2011, 11:30 am

I don't generally go in for dev boards much unless the part has > 40 pins or need more than a handful of support components, but this is my favourite microcontroller board:
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<$15, 32-bit MIPS core, 80MHz, 512KB Flash, 32KB RAM, USB bootloader & USB OTG, header for a PICKit 2 in case you brick it (very unlikely tho as the bootloader is in a completely separate EEPROM). Microchip's USB host and peripheral stacks can both be had free for non-commercial work too.

I hadn't heard of them before reading an earlier thread on here, but TSMC's line of 8051's are prolific in the far East and about the cheapest 8-bitters there are. And the performance is not too shabby either, so I'm ordering some of them after Chinese New Year:
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Also ~$15, 35MIPS and has the USB downloader on board.
Last edited by nes on February 1st, 2011, 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby h3po » February 1st, 2011, 12:04 pm

My thoughts, only regarding the low-end "development boards":
I think the answer is dependent on how you define the purpose of a development board.
Probably, most people think it's a tool to give newbies a quickstart on µC development. But what does a newbie gain from getting a pre-soldered board with a full set of custom libraries and an individualized IDE to write some code? You can learn some coding with that thing, and maybe creating interface electronics that the board does not have, but you will still now nothing on how to build your own hardware to run that hello world you wrote.
In the end, the low range devboards are not used to learn or develop something but to take shortcuts and quickly realize some project you can't achieve with your hardware skills (or don't have the time to).

So, in my opinion the only devboard you can really learn something from (on both hw and sw side) is a breadboard with some small pic or avr, a programmer (build it yourself if you have not yet learned to solder/etch) and a handful of led, resistors, transistors and maybe a character lcd. pricetag: about one months pocket money. That is what I started with, and I still use it. Never needed a "development board" for developing something. btw, I documented my very first steps at http://h3po-notes.blogspot.com/ (shameless self promotion...)

The upshot:
"What Development Board to Use?" - Don't.
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby error404 » February 1st, 2011, 12:13 pm

For the low cost category, let me throw in my vote for the LPCxpresso. $30 for a detachable USB JTAG and dev board with a 72MHz ARM Cortex-M3, 32KB flash, 8KB RAM and a reasonable selection of peripherals. It's a great choice for developing simple USB gadgets.

Image

The ETT STM32 boards are pretty nice as well. Less documentation, but more gear on the boards to play with. Their STM32F103 board is about $40 from Futurlec, I've been happy with it.

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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby 610bob » February 1st, 2011, 12:56 pm

My favorite dev board besides the aurdino is the Blueboard. It has a Lpc1768 cortex-M3.
Pros:
The cortex-M3 is powerful arm microcontroller.
The dev board supplies direct aces to the pins of the microcontroller which makes it very flexible.
Drivers are provided for most of the microcontroller peripherals.
It's only $50

Cons:
It doesn't come with a full usb host stack.
There ins't direct pin access to the usb, so to use the host you have to make a conversion cable.
There's not a free good ide for arm microcontrollers.

The microcontroller is relatively cheap however, starting with arm microcontroller can be more expensive. Jtag program cots $40. If you want a good ide then you will have to pay for something like CrossWorks which costs $150 for a personal license.
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby Emeryth » February 1st, 2011, 2:56 pm

I recently bought this great kit:
Image

$40 for an ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller plus a color LCD touchscreen!
There are a couple of variations of this board on eBay, I bought mine from here: http://stores.ebay.com/PowerMCU-Electronics
If you ask them nicely they will send you the newer revision of this board, which has two mini USB ports instead of the USB B and DB-9 port.

Specs:
*STM32F103RBT6 mcu: LQFP64-pin, 72MHz (96MIPS), 128k flash, 20kRAM, 16Bit A/D, PWM, CAN, USB device, USARTs
*Detachable, color 320x240 LCD with touchscreen, the screen module also has an SD card slot
*The board is about 85mmx65mmx25mm with the screen

Pros:
*You don't need a programmer to start playing with it, as all STM32 chips come with a software bootloader (read-only so it's impossible to mess it up), allowing for firmware uploading through UART, using a free "flash loader demonstrator" tool from ST.
*Comes with a CD with documentation/schematics and code samples for using the screen (most of the documentation is in Chinese, though :P)
*Can be used with the Yagarto open-source ARM toolchain, works on Windows and Linux
*ChibiOS/RT open-source operating system works on it almost out of the box, giving you easy multitasking and lots of other features


Cons:
*Setting up the compiler environment is not exactly easy (if you want to use free tools)
*32-bit means more power, but also more problems
*Harder to find tutorials for STM32 online (compared to AVR for example)
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby gadgetgangster » February 1st, 2011, 3:26 pm

If you're looking for a dev board for the Propeller, I make the Propeller Platform USB;
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From Make's Holiday gift guide;
New in 2010 too! The Propeller Platform USB is an open source platform for building your own electronics projects. Design your project in Spin, a custom programming language perfect for beginners. Collaborate with your PC, built-in USB lets you update programs or share data with your computer. Interact with the real world, 32 I/O pins let you read tons of sensors and control multiple devices. Output video or advanced audio, Built-in video hardware makes video easy, microSD lets you include Hi-Fi audio samples. Expand with any breadboard or protoboard.

It's 50 bucks - more info on my site, Parallax, or Adafruit
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Re: Hackaday Dev board Breakdown

Postby saccade » February 1st, 2011, 3:30 pm

I can recommend the mbed, by NXP. This includes an LPC1768 running at around 100Mhz, built in programmer, and interfaces for USB, Ethernet, SPI, I2C, serial, etc. But what's really interesting is the dev environment - it's all on line. You log into mbed.org, and your IDE, source code, libraries, documentation, etc are all accessed from the web page. There's nothing to install, and you can develop from any machine you can get to the web from. Sells for $60 from many distributors.

When you connect the mbed to your computer's USB, it appears as a USB drive. To download and run your code, you compile on the web, and download the executable directly onto the mbed. Very breadboard friendly.

Documentation and support libraries on the mbed site are excellent.

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