Thursday, October 25, 2012

Next Projects: More and Less Power

Arduino is part of my life and has been for years now: I constantly use the homemade, Arduino-based appliances in my home the same way I use appliances other people made. But while I'm hooked on building out my world the way I like it, sometimes a project only needs a handful of pins, so I just ordered a few ATtiny85 and 2313's to try my hand at [gulp] proper AVR programming. It's too bad that Arduino is going toward the high end with the Due instead of toward the low end with smaller, simpler circuits and chips, but I'm happy to go elsewhere to learn. I could hot-wire the Arduino environment to program an ATtiny, but I'd like to try transitioning to a more fully-featured IDE for future development anyway, so programming an ATtiny will be a good sub-project.

Speaking of "the high end," the $25?! (OK really $50 but still!) Raspberry Pi has been on my radar, maybe for something using some cameras and image analysis-- things an Arduino would struggle with. I'm especially excited lately after hacking around with a $25 WiFi access point and OpenWrt... wow! Amazing how much power can be had for so cheap, and how many how-to's can help you along.

What do you think? Have you left the "safe" space that Arduino provides, and moved to different processors and IDE's? please leave a comment.


  1. Of course Jeff! Go on! If you have a free time (you are happy guy :)) you should try something new. If not RaspberryPi maybe MSP430 Launchpad from TI for $4.30 and Energia IDE (Arduino like IDE) or Stellaris Launchpad or whatever else. Every new knowledge is important.

    1. I like the price of the Launchpad a lot, and Energia makes it much easier to get into. But I have too many Arduino-compatible boards and ATmega* chips already for projects that size, and I'd like to learn an IDE and toolchain for a wide range of hardware.