Digital or analog, Arduino or other development boards? Where to start?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Goga, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Goga

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    Hello everyone.

    I've been reading iot related projects for a while. It started with building a 3d printer with pc leftovers. Now I want to do different things but mostly automation. Such as
    • Watering plants when the soil is dry,
    • Starting the air conditioner when I left the office,
    • Keeping the room temperature and moisture stable,
    • Opening the blinds when sun rises,
    • Motion detection triggered buzzer and camera,
    • Being able to monitor and control all of these wireless,
    • Being able to power/charge all sensor batteries with solar or grid when solar is not possible,
    • In summary we can call these as smart home applications.
    And of course some stand alone projects like cat laser, inebriator or Harry Potter clock which consist of using
    • led screens,
    • stepper/servo motors,
    • more sensors
    and so on.

    I want to do these stuff so I must buy something for it. I did it many times. I also bought Raspberry Pi Zero, Orange Pi One, Pine64, Odroid C2 and of course lots of Arduino Uno's and Nano's. I just back Onion Omega 2 too.

    After all these buying but not doing anything with them stuff confused me. Now I'm thinking I am doing it all wrong. Onion team helped(reminded) me to understand that I know nothing about microcontrollers and electronics. Some stuff I bought can work with only digital sensors and other only analog. Some boards consume more current and not proper choices to work with.

    Now, what should I do? This is only a hobby for me. I cannot try to be a professional. You saw my list and what to do with electronics. Maybe you can show me a more meaningful path that I couldn't find.
  2. AlbertHall

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Build something - anything. If it doesn't work, understand why (p'raps ask in here) and learn by doing.
    Stay away from mains power until you are a more experienced experimenter.
  3. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    Sell the stuff. End confusion.
  4. Goga

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 29, 2016

    Thank you for your answer. You suggest to start with simple projects then continue with a little bit more complex ones step by step. I liked the idea. I found a couple of web sites for this porpuse:
    Do you have any other similar sites?

    And 2nd question: do you suggest me to buy Omega 2? It seems like a nice board. I want to use it without docks. I want to spend as little as possible.


    Well I like to work with this stuff. Thank you anyway
  5. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  6. DNA Robotics


    Jun 13, 2014
    Arduino is the easiest, maybe too easy.
    They can input & output analog and/or digital.
    Do the tutorials & blink some LEDs first.
    Then an LCD. They are great for debugging.
    You can probably find code (sketches) that do almost what you want for each sensor.
    Read the books until you understand the code & tweak it to do exactly what you want.
    Save the wireless stuff for last.
    The forums are great for helping you understand.
    It sounds like you have a good imagination.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  7. Goga

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    @bertus thank you for the link. It looks like a huge source. I hope I won't be lost:)
    @DNA Robotics thank you! I hope I can do some stuff.
  8. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Seems like your problem is that you are trying to run before you learn to walk..
    As stated.. Start with the basics and then progress from there..
    Blink an LED... Then blink 2... Then change the blink rate with a potentiometer.. And go from there..

    Too many think of a complex idea and try to accomplish it immediately and end up getting frustrated/confused,etc...