Project Desgin - opinions requested

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by dasandru, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. dasandru

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Hello, I am a computer engineer working on a project that gives a location based on a RF signal. My responsibility is to design and build the electronics processing unit. The only knowledge I have about this is what they have taught me in school, which is next to nothing when it comes to real world application. I have programmed microcontroller development boards before and FPGA development boards, but nothing to this extreme.

    What I am looking for is ideas on how to approach this design. I have looked around at several microcontrollers, and A/D convertors. I also believe that I am going to need a RS-232 connection to transfer my code to the microcontroller (which I don't fully understand how that will work. I assume I need to program the ROM with some translation utility). There is also the matter of connecting an LCD screen to the output. This design must be put on a PCB for implementation with the rest of the project.

    The signal is coming from a RSSI chip, which is collecting a signal from an antenna. The memory will store a RSSI lookup table, and arctan lookup table for calculating position.

    Any suggestions on controllers that people have used, or are very easy to understand, or ways I should approach this would be much appreciated. I have never done anything at this high of a level. The only schematics ever designed were with resistors and capacitors and such. Also information on how to get the code onto the microcontroller for execution would be helpful. I hope that people understand that I am not asking for a completed design, but a direction to get me started, or information to help me understand what I need to do.
  2. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    What terrible management you've been saddled with! Are they going to hire a lawyer to write the software, or use a sales director?:( Maybe have the custodial staff deal with distribution?:confused:

    For a crash course in microprocessor hardware, try Arduino or Picaxe. A lot of programming folk like Arduino. It also has the advantage of being based on an Atmel chip, so you might have time to "hobby kit" to "commercial application" by the time your project reaches production. Both chips are RS232 friendly. The Arduino kit has a USB to RS232 converter chip on the board.