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[aprssig] APRS / Packet board for Arduino

J.C. Wren jcwren at jcwren.com
Fri Jan 23 23:53:47 UTC 2009


The whole Arduino thing sort of puzzles me.  I guess this is a case of the
right product in the right place at the right time, because the idea of "a
PCB with a microcontroller on it" is not new.  Nicely provisioned full took
chains are not new.  Stacking connectors to add functionality isn't new.
I'm also confused by why programs are called "sketches" and daughter-boards
are called "shields".  And while I think it's a Good Thing, you'd think that
C would NOT be a natural language for  getting people interested (I would
have sooner suspected BASIC or even Forth).

At least it's enabling people who wouldn't otherwise get involved with a
microcontroller to do something interesting with them.  Even if blinking a
LED is what they considering exciting.

--jc

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Jason KG4WSV <kg4wsv at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Arduino is a serial bootloader enabled AVR (ATmega8/168 family)
> microcontroller board.  The high points:
>
> - lots of microcontroller stuff is all wrapped up, so you can program
> in pretty high level C on a microcontroller.  it's designed for
> non-technical types (e.g. artists), but this lazy technical type
> appreciates the wrapper. (:
>
> - serial bootloader and built-in USB/RS232 hardware, so no external
> programmer required
>
> - IDE is free and cross platform (linux, os x, windoze)
>
> - if you get tired of the Arduino wrapper, peel it back and use the
> avr-gcc toolchain, still free
>
> - several variants and peripherals.  Plug-in daughterboards are called
> shields and can be stackable.  varieties include protoboard, motor
> controller, ethernet, etc.
>
>
> I've used the base system to build several balloon experiments, and
> have flown the software running on custom hardware several times.  I'm
> currently designing a couple of shields to use actual arduino CPU
> boards (instead of custom PCBs) to make a modular hardware library for
> putting together balloon experiments.
>
> -Jason
> kg4wsv
>
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