Help me choose right board for my project. Arduino maybe?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by tschoni, May 12, 2011.

  1. tschoni

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 12, 2011
    Hi everyone!

    New to this forum and plan to hang around here a lot over the next 4 months :)

    Working on a project to integrate additional functionality in an already existing system. To do so I will add an additional microprocessor to the system.

    Help me choose the right thing.
    The "boundary" conditions are:

    2x RS232 Serial, one to communicate with another uController, one to receive signals from a GPS controller.
    1x Ethernet: to communicate with a PC.

    Good documentation and sample code a must because I'm a newbie and will require loads of help sources.

    Thing will have be sitting on a vehicle with 2-stroke gasoline engine. So a bit of vibration should not make it crumble to pieces.

    Processing power:
    I will implement different "feedback-control" stuff on it. It's nothing crazy fast or complex ... don't really know how to specify this more precisely.

    So ... what hardware did you guys have good experiences with which can get my job done? I was snooping around a little and from what I hear I like the Arduino platform quite a lot, i.e. the Arduino Mega 2560. However, I'm unsure about the connectiviy issues.
    There is a widely available ethernet shield but not so sure about the RS232.What can you tell me about this?

    Any other options?

    Thanks for any help in advance.

  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    This bit:
    ...might be a thread-closer. This is a forum for beginners, and recently automotive topics have been placed in the "off-limits" category.

    At the minimum, you'd need to choose a uC that was rated for automotive environments, as temperatures can go to extremes.

    But, we'll need to wait for a Moderator to weigh in on this. In the meantime, describe more fully what you mean by the section that I quoted.

    This appears to be a re-post of this thread:
    ...that received no replies.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  3. tschoni

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 12, 2011
    Ok, I see this is unclear.
    It isn't really installed "on" the engine :)
    It will be installed on a ATV, but in a seperate box together with other electronics.
    I posted this because I assumed vibration might be a problem for some hardware, maybe this is not true. I don't think temperature will be an issue however.

    About the repost: Correct, I did a bit more research so I wanted to add some stuff and move also move it to a different forum.

    I searched for delete options but this is up to the administrators, right?
    So can I ask an admin to delete the "old" post at
    Many thanks.
  4. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    Do you need this to operate absent any laptop or other computer? I use a LabJack U3 for data acquisition and control, and I'm very impressed with it, but it needs a computer to configure and control it. I have no idea how hardy it is against vibration, but their support is very good if you want to ask them about it.
  5. tschoni

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 12, 2011
    hi wayneh,

    LabJack looks neat, I have to say!
    I will work in absence of an computer (well ... as I said there is one to connect to over the LAN ... but plans are not to use that one for the control task at hand)
    Thanks for the suggestion, tough.
  6. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    My vague response to your ambiguous details is that, yes you are barking up the right tree. There are all kinds of "user friendly" addons for arduino for GPS and Ethernet and just about anything. There are the same kinds of things for picaxe and the likes, but the support for arduino can't be beat. Anything you want to do with arduino, someone else has already done it and you can find out how online.
  7. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Well, if you wanted to go with a Microchip PIC, you'd need to use something in a PIC18F or higher; the low and midrange PICs won't support Ethernet. I think the PIC18F4550 supports Ethernet - without looking at any documentation; just off the top of my head.