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[ale] Working with custom hardware/microcontrollers



+1 on Arduino! I've had a lot of fun programming it via Linux and Mac.
I love that it is the FREE-est platform, has onboard USB, good FREE
software, and a vibrant community. I bought just about everything from
http://SparkFun.com

I hope this helps...

Aurduino board:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666
(Mark of the beast. Still less evil than MSFT!)

Breadboard:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=112
(Great board, crappy adhesive on the feet. I super glued mine on.)

LCD screen:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=256
(I use this for debugging. It's like echoing to /dev/stderr)

Dual color LED Matrix:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=681
(I was too cheap for the 3 color)

DIP switches:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8034
(Fits my breadboard. Good for testing inputs.)

Jumper Wires Premium 6" M/M Pack of 10
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8431
(I was too cheap to order these, but my dad sent me a set and I love
them. Before these I was stripping ethernet wires to make jumpers, but
they were a little to thin for the breadboard.)

500-Piece 1/4-Watt Carbon-Film Resistor Assortment:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062306
(Great value! Can't come close to this with http://digikey.com,
http://mouser.com, or http://allelectronics.com)

Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=weller+digital+soldering+iron&cid=3550262062613965780
(My dad let me borrow this 3 years ago. BIG mistake!)

Dozen of each color (yellow, amber, red, green) 3mm LED:
(Sorry, no link. My dad sent them to me. I get very overwhelmed when I
look for these on digikey. I just spent 30 minutes looking.)

I don't own, but like the following:

Jumper Wire Kit:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=124
(now that I know that ethernet cables make poor jumper wires, I'd
recommend these.)

Arduino ProtoShield Kit:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7914

Breadboard Mini Self-Adhesive
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7916
(Works great with with the shield above.)

ScrewShield:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9282
(This didn't exist when I ordered my rig. I just discovered it tonight
and will probably order it.)


On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 1:53 PM, Jim Kinney <jim.kinney at gmail.com> wrote:
> intro (and semi - pro as well) hacker part; arduino! has IO ports ans can do
> cool stuff AND its programmable pretty easily.
>
> On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 1:28 PM, Michael B. Trausch <mike at trausch.us> wrote:
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> Recently, I have kind of gotten fascinated with the idea of doing more
>> things that would involve hardware, both attached to a PC and controlled
>> by microcontrollers. ?However, I am also finding that it seems a bit
>> difficult to find enough information to get a solid start in figuring
>> out what I need to acquire to do things. ?It probably doesn't help that
>> I'm very much a software person and know very little about actual
>> low-level electronics, which is what I would like to learn about.
>>
>> I'm wondering if anyone on here has been in that boat and knows of some
>> decent resources to use to get started. ?I know that I would eventually
>> need a breadboard to play with things (though what do you do with a
>> circuit after you've prototyped it on the breadboard and then want to
>> use it in something?) and that I would need to find a decent amount of
>> reading material and also buy collections of wires, resistors,
>> capacitors, microcontrollers and all that jazz. ?I just don't have a
>> clue where to start.
>>
>> Many of the things that I would like to do can be done by purchasing
>> something that someone else has made, more likely than not, and adapting
>> it for my usage. ?That's fine, but I actually want to learn about these
>> things, and I have a few ideas for what I think might be somewhat small
>> projects that would enable me to learn how to do things assuming I can
>> find a base to start working with.
>>
>> Eventually I would like to have learned enough to do bigger things, such
>> as creating custom self-sufficient hardware for various specific
>> applications, though I don't have any clue where I would go about doing
>> something like that.
>>
>> Oh, yeah, and here's something else that I don't have: real serial
>> ports. ?I do have a USB thing that has multiple serial ports coming off
>> of it, but I don't know that I could program them in the same way as a
>> "real" serial port. ?Probably would be to my advantage to learn how to
>> use USB as a communications mechanism for such hardware, wouldn't it?
>>
>> ? ? ? ?--- Mike
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>
>
>
> --
> --
> James P. Kinney III
> Actively in pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness
> Doing pretty well on all 3 pursuits
>
> ?Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by
> faith, then you are conceding that it can?t be taken on its own merits.
> ? ?Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith", 1992
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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-- 
.!# RichardBronosky #!.