Getting started with Microcontrollers

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 25, 2013
Hi and thanks you for your time with this post.. I have a project and would like to purchase a new development board and some sensors to get started but the sheer volume of devices out there is making it overwhelming to know where to get started.
The Project is fairly simple. I have sourced an accelerometer with around 5khz sample rate using an Ic2 bus configuration. (LIS3DH MEMS digital output motion sensor ultra low-power high performance 3-axes “nano” accelerometer)

The microcontroller will interface with this storing data points in memory and do some maths resolving coordinates into angles before produce output to an LCD display.
I wouldn't imagine this is a particularly processing intensive task but then a lot of Maths and Trig will be done on the data after the fact (not real time) so I wouldn't mind avoiding a long waiting time. I don't want to buy an expensive powerhouse of a machine for such a small task and Ideally a small operating voltage would be nice where it could run off smaller batteries rather than bulky 9V battery as weight is a concern.

What if any recommendations would you make for an appropriate starter Kit for this kind of task..

Thanks again!


Joined Jan 25, 2013
Such a task would benefit from an ALU (Part of the CPU/uC specifically for doing math) - but could be achieved from software routines.

The PIC16/24/32 range has software based floating point routines you can utilise, as well as the capacity to do what you're aiming for (Gather samples, compute and display on an LCD).

A PIC24 Starter Kit, including the Programmer are about $60 - They, along with other similar uCs, are very cheap considering but you're going to have fun getting your head around the programming nuances of the damn things (if you're not familiar with them).

Alternatively, but using more power, are SBCs (Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone) - these run a linux based operating system and you can connect a screen and keyboard, hence they are much more friendly as you can pick your language (C/C++/PHP/Python/Java/etc..) and off you go. Both will run off a 9V battery, but no where as long as a PIC or similar.