• Build logs, Tutorials and Hacks

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Unboxing the Arduino Uno

    >"Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments." - arduino.cc

    I have really been looking at projects with a good community support. Typically PICs are very popular because the tools are really cheap and easily available. I got a PICKit3 a few months back and it was really cheap. But the community has always focused on coding methodologies and stuff like that. That was really not what I was looking for. As an engineering student I used to read up loads of books on electronics and stuff but it took me some time to get everything to work in the real world- I'm not talking about basic circuits but ASIC design and High-Speed designs.

    There is a lot of resource available out there that will teach you how to code, but there is one thing that cannot be taught- Curiosity.

    The arduino platform was essentially meant for people who had a problem for the electronics domain but they did not necessarily have the core knowledge on electronics. The arduino gave someone with a little curiosity and a little problem, an electronics platform to get started with.

    So why would someone with say a Ph.D in Electronics be interested in such a basic building block kind of thing? The answer is simple- because we don't want to dig up chunks of metal from the ground when we want to build a car. What I mean is that if I want to complete a task like say build a simple robot, I don't NEED to learn everything about a microcontroller. The arduino gives the user a simple interface to GET THINGS DONE.

    I made something very similar with the 8051 as the base cause

    1. I like the 8051- it did not have an ADC so I added one using the 0809

    2. Assembly is simple and with Keil it gets simpler.

    3. with the Phillips RD2V controller they come with a bootloader and its really easy to program them- Cheaper too.

    I wanted to get my hands dirty with ethernet so I went ahead and looked for the arduino and ethernet shield.

    I requested one from http://simplelabs.co.in in Chennai. They were cheaper that other distributors and I was really interested in the FREE- Arduino Shield and they did not disappoint.

    The Box Pack Arduino with Ethernet Shield on the Right.

    Open the box to get...

    And Finally the whole thing on my table...

    I am wrapping thing up here 'cause at this point I have been up for 50 hours straight( I had an exam) but I will be posting a follow up very soon, prolly with a video even if it is of blowing everything up.

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