What controller is better?

Arduino Nano vs. Basic Stamp.
which is better? I have used a Parallax BS2 for many years and is easy for me to use. I don't know anything about Arduino. Please enlighten me.

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kuikahi wrote:

It depends upon your skill set. You have to tell us more about what you can and can not do before any really credible answer can be posted. In general, Parallax excels at documentation. If good documentation is what will determine whether you succeed or fail, Parallax is the way to go. If performance is your problem area, the Arduino Nano (basically an Atmel 168 with a boot loader) can deliver more performance. In the end, it depends upon what your issues are.
-Wayne
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I am doing a project with DC linear actuators. What kind of code does Arduino use?
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kuikahi wrote:

I am not familiar with DC linear actuators, but I suspect that they are kind of similar to stepper motors. If so, you probably have to ramp them up and down in step rate to get any sort of decent performance. If so, I'd pick the Arduino over the Basic Stamp II. You will have a much greater control over your timing with the Arduino than with the BS2.
Arduino is a AVR ATmega168 with 16K bytes of program memory and 1K of data RAM. It has been preprogrammed with a boot loader that allows programs to be downloaded to it via a USB connection to a host computer (PC, Mac, Linux, etc.) I'm pretty sure that they use some version of Intel .hex file format, but do not quote me on that; I could be wrong.
Unlike the Basic Stamp II, there a several programming languages available for the AVR instruction set. The most commonly used are assembly and the GCC ANSI-C compiler. Both are free. There is at least Basic compiler for the AVR available from BASCOM (not free) and there me be others that I am unfamiliar with. In general, people who are new to embedded systems tend to find basic easier to program in than ANSI-C. However, the work horse of embedded systems is ANSI-C. Pretty much every major micro-controller family out there has some sort of ANSI-C compiler. (The compiler could be free or it could cost money, it varies from vendor to vendor.)
For people who expect to be doing numerous projects using microcontrollers, it is hard not to recommend that they learn ANSI-C. If your goal is to do just this one project and then do something else, well it might make sense to skip ANSI-C, buy the basic compiler and be done with it.
I hope this helps,
-Wayne
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wrote:

C/C++. Much faster than a Parallax.
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    --I love the Stamp. Best manual was what tipped me in that direction and why I've stayed with it. There's a good forum at Parallax too. Started a Stamp group on tribe.net myself but traffic is pretty low..
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Imagine what I could do if
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : I knew what I was doing...
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kuikahi wrote:

The Basic Stamp is an somewhat dated hardware device with excellent documentation, including multiple easy-to-understand books, and a large user community. It's popular with hobbyists, but hasn't been used much professionally since the 1980s. Performance is rather low.
The "Arduino" is an Atmel ATMega 128 industrial microcontroller with a somewhat user-friendly programming environment using a subset of C. You don't have to use that programming environment; Atmel offers full GCC support, including C++, and the programming hardware is simple; just a cable. But it's not as "user-friendly" as Arduino.
There are also a range of Atmel controllers with varying amounts of flash memory and RAM, so there's an upgrade path if needed. Also, there are many ATMega boards available that don't use the "Arduino" form factor. If what you need to do can be accomplished with a single board, rather than stacking Auduino family I/O boards, a single-board solution is usually easier to work with.
Full software development environments are available for free for both systems.
                    John Nagle
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I'm looking for a controller to replace my 'really' old design (MC6811E2) with the more powerful MCU's of today, (I have been out of touch with this group for about 10 years and am finally getting back into my dream of building a domestic-robot).
I have looked at the Atmel as a good choice, but now comes the real question - how would you guys rate the IDE's of the various offerings using the 168 MCU ?
I prefer C as the language of choice, but hate having deal with command line syntax (I got away from that 30 yrs ago - egad! How times flies), but I don't want to deal with the MSvisual crap :-(
I just downloaded the Arduino windoze version and will check it out.
Thanks in advance,
Jerry Burton PI Robotics Research Formerly associated with the Robot Society of Southern Cal Co-founder and past pres.
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BioBot wrote:

You probably want to sign up for some other mail groups like Home Brew Robotics (HBRC), Seattle Robotics Society (SRS), Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG).
I would also recommend signing up for at least Servo Magazine. Nuts & Volts, Robot, and Circuit Cellar are magazines are that other Robotic hobbyists sign up for. If you are a member of IEEE (expensive), consider signing up for the Robotics and Automation Society.

I'm a command line kind of guy. make + EMACS + gcc + avrdude + AVRDragon and I'm good to go. The August and September 2008 issues of Servo discuss using the AVR tool chain under Eclipse. These are in the Ask Mr. Roboto section now edited by Dennis Clark.

The good news is that AVR GCC is the GCC compiler with a C back-end. Writing C code works like a charm. C++ code is possible, but it takes a bit of effort to cram the C++ run-time libraries into the small AVR cores.
Tell us how it all works out.

By the way, Eclipse is cross platform.
-Wayne
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kuikahi wrote:

Also have a look at the USB Bit Wacker. Lots of info there:
http://www.dontronics-shop.com/usb-bit-whacker-18f2553-development-board.html and: http://www.dontronics-shop.com/usb-32-bit-whacker-pic32mx460-development-board.html
Cheers Don...
--
Don McKenzie

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