There is a ChipKit sold by Digilentinc.com that is in the Arduino UNO and Mega form factors that uses a PIC32 chip, PIC32MX320F128, instead of Atmel AVR. The form factor is now expanding beyond that of the original design. One nice thing about the ChipKit UNO is that it add 24 more I/O pins than the Arduino UNO.
Last edited by buckanear; 02-12-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: added more info
Of course, if we find a better platform, and the supplier can provide what we need, and the price is right, why not. But it shouldn't be viewed as Arduino unless the normal sketches run on it, there's a development environment in place, and from a user's standpoint, they wouldn't see any difference in the usage or development stages.
[I]I really enjoy being in the over-60 age group. I can get grumpy, assertive, and opinionated and not feel too guilty about it.[/I]
For our purposes, let's assume we are targeting the normal 8 bit Atmel processor based Arduinos which support the standard Sketch based IDE.
Yes, there are a number of shield compatible alternatives, also using 32 bit Atmels I believe, and maybe even an ARM Cortext. By shield compatible I mean you can plug shields into them, and use or write libraries for the alternate processor they use. Cool, but not our target here and now. It's probably only worth keeping in mind that IF somebody wanted to do something really processing or RAM intensive someday, an upgrade to a different processor might be possible using the same DIYC oriented shields.
Let's target standard design Arduinos for the foreseeable future, tho, since at least half this project is collecting, modifying and creating compatible sketches and libraries.
looking forward to the progress of this!! Just got a Mega2560 w/ sensor brick and 3 sets of relay board for hopefully 32 channels. I am a newbee with arduino but have some VB programing. So far got it hooked to vixen and have the relays working with Generic Serial.
@RonNagle1967looking forward to the progress of this!! Just got a Mega2560 w/ sensor brick and 3 sets of relay board for hopefully 32 channels. I am a newbee with arduino but have some VB programing. So far got it hooked to vixen and have the relays working with Generic Serial.
How exactly did you get Vixen to talk to your Arduino Mega2560 through the generic serial? Do you have anything in between the Arduino and your PC? You say your a newbee but you have already made more progress than I ever did. I practically gave up getting my Arduino to work thinking that the DMX Dongle I needed was almost as much as the Ren64 board and so I figured once I had the money that is what I would buy. I would love a detailed explaination of what you were able to do so far. Thanks!
The 32 bit Arduinos based on Atmel chips are soon to be available. If the libraries and all is ported correctly enough I would think that most of the sketches should easily recompile to the 32 bit platform. March 15 is the launch date for DigilentInc's new 32bit Arduino like board based on the PIC32 bit processor.
You are correct in that the best right now is to stick with the 8 bit version and with one of a few different flavors that already exist. Develop some sketches that work with Renard and DMX and then go forward. The Renard Protocol is a simple yet effective protocol that is one way communications. The state machine should not be that difficult to code in the Arduino IDE.
Also one other note about the Arduino, you really do not have to use their IDE and language. You can also program in assembly and down load to the board if needed.
Besides most everything can be done with the 8bit boards now.
Just to be clear - I'm actually very positive about alternative processors for the Arduino - Atmel 32bit, PIC32 and others. For the future.
I'm just agreeing with James and others that it makes sense to set some reachable targets and create a system of well functioning hardware and software within the current mainstream, so as not to be stuck too long in the decision about alternatives
If by Christmas 2012 we had some good libraries and shields adapted to our purposes, and then IF somebody needed or wanted to do more than the 8 bit Atmels can handle, they would have a solid and tested base to build upon. And the 32 bit options will be more mature (eg: more of the potential problems noted by newb will have been fixed or at least documented with workarounds)