Meeting 20100422

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Makerspace Agenda/Meeting

  • Makerspace intro (5 min)
    • anyone new, please introduce yourself!
  • Makerspace business (15 min)
    • Earth day recap
    • hand out flyers to those @ the meeting - please pass them out or put them up!
    • budget: no change since last week
      • current funds: $4000 of $6000
      • current members: 17 (+2)
    • dues: sign up on the website for recurring donations
    • What You Can Do:
      • call the owners of buildings you see to find out the monthly rate, lease terms, and square footage!
      • post flyers
      • tell your friends and coworkers
      • drop a note on any relevant mailing lists, forums, or news groups you're on
    • past events
      • Earth Day
      • National Robotics Week
      • I think at this point the fashion will have happened, so we can talk about that too.
    • upcoming events



Microcontrollers and More: A Survey of Boards

Ed and Steve will provide a quick survey of available boards that you can use to develop embedded software for. We'll talk about the pros and cons of several of the boards including:

  • cost - how much are you willing to spend?
    • $10 - kits, super barebone microcontrollers
    • under $50 - microcontrollers
    • under $100 - small arm systems
    • under $200 - things with decent networking capabilities
    • more than $200 - computers
  • size
    • "stamp" sized
    • "name badge" sized
    • "cigar box" sized
  • power requirements
    • USB powered - 2.5 watts
    • netbook - about 10 watts
  • CPU "horsepower"
    • 8 bit or 32 bit
    • microcontroller or minicomputer
  • expandability and/or IO capabilities
    • direct digital IO
    • commodity interfaces: RS232/RS485 serial, USB
    • card slots: PC/104, PCI/104, PCI
  • how easy is it to download programs?
    • commodity stuff - plug in your thumbdrive
    • serial boot loaders
    • JTAG adapters
  • how easy is it to set up a tool chain?
    • out of the box, provided by vendor
    • online (!)
    • the hard way: DIY the whole thing
  • what is the cost of any development tools required?
    • JTAG adapters
    • proprietary compilers
    • proprietary libraries (usually licenses for libraries for some linux boards)
    • free/none required
  • Specific boards to pass around
    • Qwerk
      • hardware details
      • embedded linux system with ethernet, wifi, motor controllers and other IO
      • no longer for sale
    • BeagleBoard
      • hardware details
      • embedded linux system with DVI video and USB
      • available for $150
    • Pololu Orangutan
      • family comparison
      • "larger" of the Atmel Atmega system with LCD and motor controllers
      • $60 - $150 for the better ones, depending on what accessories and pre-assembly
    • Diamond 486 PC/104
      • older PC/104 computer
      • PC/104 description - a form factor for ISA bus computers
      • no longer for sale
      • PCI/104 - a similar idea for PCI systems
    • VEX PIC-based controller
    • standard Arduino
      • a minimalistic Atmel development board with on board bootloader and robust programming libraries and support
      • many choices for variety of prices $10 (kits mostly) to the $65 Arduino Mega
    • NXP mbed
      • ARM cpu with support chip for USB Thumb Drive-style programming
      • optional online compiler and IDE
      • $60 from
      • LPC1768-based
      • LPC2368-based
    • miniITX and nanoITX
    • a host of small embedded wierdo systems that are probably good for a one-off project
      • shiva(?) plug
      • gumstix
      • linksys NSLU
    • a host of repurposed wireless routers
      • forget all of them except the WRT54GL
      • goes for about $70

break out for discussions (no limit)


Name Relation
Gordon Burditt Embedded Workshop
Ted Cackowski DMS
Jason Grant New (DMS)
Ralph Green
Mark Havens DPRG/DMS
Jon Hunt Embedded Workshop
Jay Jentig Embedded Workshop
Ian Lim DMS
Brian Merritt DPRG
Mike Metzger DMS
Ed Paradis DMS Richard Philley Embedded Workshop
Glenn Pipe DPRG
Peter Smith DPRG/DMS
Johnny Stovall Dallas Android Users Group