Best control breadboarding hardware

I'm looking around for the best control prototyping boards for simple & inexpensive control systems. Recently I helped a student with an
Arduino Diecimilla. It was truly simple and cheap with an easy code download through USB. Do any of you know of other great ones for PIC and other processors?
Also, I'm trying to find inexpensive PWM motor drives, encoders.
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Worldisflat wrote:

Define "best". It really comes down to what you want to do with it. For some controls applications, you might want analog outputs. Other that that, there are many boards available.
If you liked the Arduino Diecimilla, and are already familiar with that IDE, (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software ), then why not stick with the next version, which has twice the memory (based on ATmega328). http://store.fungizmos.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPathe&products_id#0
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On Sat, 29 Aug 2009 18:29:11 -0700, Worldisflat wrote:

For processor eval boards, I like the Luminary Micro (now TI) Stellaris -- they have one for $50 that you can get through Digi-Key, I found it very easy to get up and going with.
You may not find much in the way of modular PWM drives -- industrial practice seems to be to get an all-in-one controller and amplifier (I could be wrong, I always end up doing full-custom stuff), and a PWM drive circuit is so easy to whip together that if you're doing something at the board level you usually just incorporate the amplifier into your schematic and improve both cost and reliability by avoiding a module.
If you were to find stuff like that it'd be in the back pages of Circuit Cellar, Elektor, Robot, or Make magazines -- these are all excellent publications for the serious hobbyist, whose needs are often very similar to a student doing a project.
--
http://www.wescottdesign.com

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I recently bought this for one of our engineers. http://focus.ti.com/lit/ml/sprt527/sprt527.pdf I don't know how good it will be but I wanted to evaluate the TI DSP for motion control applications. This may be more serious and not as much fun as you desired.
Another micro controller that seems interesting is the propeller chip http://www.parallax.com/ You can get most of what you need from those guys. I haven't bought one, yet. This looks like more fun. I was looking at possibly using a propeller chip instead of a FPGA on a digital I/O card.
Peter Nachtwey
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