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Old 08-23-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Help me choose a MICROCONTROLLER board

I want to start designing stuff to AUGMENT my AEM ECU to add functions it doesn't have, or is weak on.

Basic Stamp? (no built in analog inputs0
Arduino? Which one?

Here's what I want:
- at least 2, maybe 3 analog inputs, 0-5V
- a couple of digital outputs - I don't mind adding my own buffers
- a few of the digital outputs are PWM for like WI and/or boost control
- I want those PWM outputs to be good for 10 Hz to 500 or 1000 Hz.
- I want to just have to say to a PWM output "I want X Hz and Y% duty", I don't want to have to code the loop, that's lame
- I want an on board clock that I can look up any time so I can figure out how many microseconds and milliseconds have elapsed since I did something. I only need 3 digits resolution of time, tho I will time different things, some are in the 100s of microseconds, some are 10s of milliseconds
- at least 2, maybe 3 "analog" outputs (PWM needs to be fast, like several kHz)

In addition, I want EASE of programming, EASE of the learning curve.
I have done a bit of C++ programming in the past.
I have done uC programming in college (Intel 8088 and Motorola 68xx family tho, no PICs, no RISC)
I prefer a system that uses a cheap simple USB or Serial cable connection and no fancy pricey interface board to program the thing.
I prefer that the uC board takes 10~16V happily. I want the I/O pins there, and I want it a quick simple affair to pull it from my car and connect to the programmer, like the Basic Stamp is.

The Basic Stamp has no analog inputs, so I guess that's out.
Can the Propeller do what I want?

Which Arduino is best?
The Duemilanove seems to fit what I want (does it?)
I couldn't find very much info on the Arduino stamp. What's its claim to fame? What is it lacking for my application?
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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You want an Atmel. The Olimex board is fine, has 30+ generic I/Os, 8 ADCs, 4 PWM channels with timers, 2 serial ports. The PWM channels can from zub-hertz range to the megahertz range. Obviously natively in hardware, no need to code the loop. If you don't want to go SMD, you can pickup an ATMega644, which is like a Mega128 but has fewer PWM channels and timers (but still 8 10bit ADCs) in a 40-pin PDIP package. If you need to go even smaller, a Mega168 in a 28-pin package will have to do.

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Old 09-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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Please follow the Arduino thread, I will be posting there regarding the Duemilanove
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