BASIC Stamp vs. Arduino

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by kingdano, May 14, 2010.

  1. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    I routinely use the BASIC BS2 Stamp at work for prototype designs to do simple bit banging, as well is basic user I/O (flip a switch - control an enable signal etc)

    I have seen Arduino name on this message board a lot and was wondering if it offered any significant advantages for this type of work over a BASIC Stamp?

    Can anyone offer any insight?
     
  2. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    NM OP already knew answer.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
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  3. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    thanks for the reply

    breadboarding out the chips (while a good exercise) kind of defeats the "fast prototyping" environment our R&D group is
     
  4. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    and as a follow up - which model would you suggest for the best bang for the buck for general purpose use?
     
  5. maxpower097

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    NM OP already knew the answer to the post. LOL
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  6. kingdano

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    Apr 14, 2010
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    well the way our company is, our R&D designs do not feed the product development teams directly.

    our knowledge and results guide the product teams into what to do for the next project.

    so if i can whip up a design to control some valves and need to bang a few bits to vary voltage etc. i can do so with a BS2 socketed into a PCB and quickly code it for P.O.C (proof of concept)

    being a hardware guy, and new to programming the BS2 was where i started last year. i have some experience with Verilog coding, but at this point it seems like overkill to use an FPGA to read a switch input and do hi/lo signal switching. that plus the time i would spend debugging code etc, and the cost of laying out a PCB and buying FPGA after FPGA to lay down on boards that are used for 3-6 months is a waste in my view.

    with a module like a BS2 or (hopefully) an Arduino, i can simply lay down a DIP socket, plug the thing in, use the board and then remove the module for the next project.

    so while i appreciate your advice, i dont think your tone was appropriate at all.

    i do this for a living, and am a professional - so you DO know someone who does SERIOUS prototyping work (for a billion dollar company's R&D group) with a BASIC stamp.

    dont be so condescending, its very unnecessary.
     
  7. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

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    ok sorry,, I don't do RnD for a billion dollar company so I'm sure your much more qualified to answer your own post then any of us. Sorry for wasting your time. :) cheers.

    PS I'm not trying to be mean I'm just telling what I have seen and learned and if you think that's being mean, I'm sorry.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  8. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    I would say you would be better of with a cheap programmer for flash based microcontrollers. Working directly with the chip will be the fastest design approach. The two big ones are Microchip and Atmel. For Microchip the unit is named PICKIT 2 or PICKIT 3. I am not sure what the Atmel variant is named. After what I have heard the Microchip variant give most value for money. But they are both quite similar so I do not think it matter which type you select.
     
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  9. kingdano

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    Apr 14, 2010
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    mean /= condescending

    saying that "no serious" prototype designers work with these tools when speaking to one makes you look incredibly arrogant and foolish.

    thanks for the advice related to my question - not so much for your indictment of my level of "seriousness" or ability.
     
  10. maxpower097

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    Sorry I didn't mean to insult you that way. I've just read 100's of post's saying that and honestly didn't know it was really being used in commercial applications...
     
  11. kingdano

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    Apr 14, 2010
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    typically our products use FPGA/CPLDs for some required functions (encoder decoding, product sensing etc) ARMs for life support (temperature, pressure controls etc) and a PPC (or similar) to run the show (user input, file handling etc)

    what i do in r&d is not commercial, and as such, can be as quick/dirty as i like.

    simple devices like a BS2 are useful in this regard, because they are transferable, quickly coded, easily debugged, and have a wealth of knowledge/code examples/etc on the web.

    using a raw PIC with no IDE is not so friendly for this type of work, but the arduino seems to be along the BASIC stamp lines in terms of transferability, but maybe (which is why i asked) a bit more powerful in terms of how you can code (since it seems to be more C/C++ in the construction/syntax of the code, vs the PBASIC code BS2 uses.
     
  12. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    IMHO, I have never heard of a "billion" dollar company using BS2 or Arduino's for prototyping commercial products.... Most companies that do have an R&D department would use more "advanced" tools than was was meant for a hobbyist, and would seriously think about the impact to their company by using "other peoples" work in their commercial products, which would leave the consumer wondering if these products are reliable.....

    BS2's, propeller's, arduino's, etc. are designed for people lacking the experience to do "real" world embedded designs, so if you are using these as a "serious" tool, then people could be misled in thinking exactly what MaxPower thought.....

    If you want to use something more powerful, or with more I/O's and capabilities, check out the UBW32:
    Just a thought, not meaning to undermine anyones skills or abilities.....

    B. Morse
     
  13. kingdano

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    Apr 14, 2010
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    again -

    we do not prototype products/released machines

    we research technologies to be used IN the machines.


    edit: i dont know why im even trying to explain this - its irrelevant. this is an internet message board. our R&D group is all of 6 people (with resources borrowed from the product development teams at times as well)

    we do things like evaluate new technologies relevant to our company's products (printing technologies, valves, encoders, motors etc)

    if the device looks like a good fit, it is reccomended to the product development team to use in their next machine.

    our work does not become a machine which is sold to our customers (Frito-Lay, Pepsi Co, Green Mountain Coffee) - it is knowledge for the "real" designers (so condescending) to use in their work.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  14. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    In that case I guess the arduino would be better then the basic stamp. Its still a puzzler because a good "Proper" dev board would allow you to evaluate SPI, i2c, UART, CAN, SERIAL, USB, and about any other communication specs you would ever need very easily. Seems like you would be very limited in the new technologies you could evaluate with a BS2 compared to a Explorer 16 or EASYPIC6. Plus the price of the BS2 is way way way higher then a proper Dev kit and programmer for the "real" chips would be. Hell you could build your own PIC or AVR based BS2 to do exactly what you want for about $10.
     
  15. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    one thing i looked at was the mBed from NXP/Phillips - its basically a C/C++ environment with built in functions for USB, I2C, SPI etc.

    i dont have a very good handle on coding in pure C/C++ at this point - and the BS2 isnt going to get me there - the Adruino seemed like an intermediate step between full blown C/C++ coding. I was hoping to confirm this, and i think i have.
     
  16. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    The LPC1768 is a whole other dog. I recently just got a keil board that runs on the same chip and its extremlely complex coding compared to good ole ansi C. It runs on like 5 support files to even compile your code. Where as a pic or ARV based solution is much simpler to code in C and way fewer files to manage. Not sure if the Mbed thingy is the same as a "real" chip and coded the same, or if they pulled and "arduino" and made their own language for it to simplify it.

    If your weren't aware the Arduino and PicAxe are basically AVR and PIC chips that have been programmed with a special bootloader to allow it to be programmed in a much simpler language then what was meant for the chip. I personally feel this limits you in your options, but I don't know specifically what your looking for. If your a little hazy on your C I would go with the arduino. Its close enough to real C it will be useful in the future and still has a level of simplicity not found in the actual chips
     
  17. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Either will do for sending and recieving bits to other equiptment.

    If you only need a HIGH here and a LOW there, go get the arduino. I have one. And I even us it every once in a while.

    I have just picked up the UBW32. I like it so far, but I haven't done too much with it because I got it for a particular project (ala BMorse).

    The basic stamp is slower. The arduino is faster. The UBW32 is even faster.

    As for quickly sending a signal from a few lines of code to get a series of 1 and 0 for automation type not too fast a few 100khz, use the arduino. It will at least keep C in your mind so when you do decide to go further, you have the knowledge of C syntax.
     
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  18. maxpower097

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    Isn't the UBW32 just a PIC32 thats been "Arduino'ed" ? I searched it on google and kept finding PIC32's. Or does it run true PIC32 code and its just a small bitwhacker?
     
  19. retched

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    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8971

    By arduinoed Im guessing you mean: It has a code interpreter.

    The Arduinos compiler is the language interpreter. The arduino bootloader is just the firmware that allows the usb programming to the uC. The bootloader has the instruction to run a hex file from other areas of the flash memory.

    That way you dont have to re-program the whole chip. You only have to copy you file to the chips memory. The bootloader gives the access to the usb port to download the file from the PC and run the user program. It doesn't do anything involving language.

    The BASICStamp uses a language interpreter on board. You actually load the basic program onto the basic stamp and it does on board language or instruction conversion.
     
  20. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    The UBW32 is a PIC32 based development board with a USB bootloader, it is a full blown PIC32. If you use the code that comes with it when it ships, then it can be used as a bitwacker using any Hyperterminal program... But I prefer to write my own code for my projects, so I always scrap the original code and keep the bootloader to simplify firmware updates for my projects. Plus the Pic32 runs @80Mhz!!!


    B. Morse
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
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