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Last post Author Topic: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits  (Read 13204 times)

mouser

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Thought it might be nice if we collected some online articles that help you decide which tiny computer kit to get if you want to experiment in the land of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone, etc.


Anyone know any other good write ups?

40hz

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SolidRun's CuBox-i  is generating a lot of buzz in the Linux community of late. It's less DIY than the SBCs, and slightly more expensive (from $50 to $125 USD depending on the model) - but it's a ready to go 2x2x2 inch box suitable for just about any embedded system project you can think of. It's capable of running Android Jelly Bean or Linux as it's OS.

cbox0.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits   cbox1.jpg   cbox3.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits

For a lot of people who just want to get down and do something with one of these microcomputers, this might be a better choice since it's more than just a bare board. And the price for the CuBox isn't really an issue, because by the time you trick out and accessorize a Beagleboard or Pi, you'll have added about $20-$30 to their base sticker prices. So with power supply, case, and SD card they're all roughly coming in around the same price.

Product website here.
Details here.

The Linux Action Show also did a review on it. Fast forward to the 32:00 mark to get right to the review:



Good time to have fun with this stuff. It's inexpensive. And more importantly, there's plenty of choices. :Thmbsup:

Edvard

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The Arduino is a completely different beast than the Raspberry Pi and it's ilk, which should shape your choice from the beginning.  Don't use an Arduino for something that needs an embedded computing platform, and don't use a RPi if all you need to do can be accomplished with programmable logic.

Everything after that comes down to the cost/benefit ratio; what do you need to do, and how much is the device that can do it going to cost.

Thanks for posting about CuBox, 40hz.  Yet another thing on my "What I wouldn't do for a chance to install Debian on THAT" list. ;D

Target

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The Arduino is a completely different beast than the Raspberry Pi and it's ilk, which should shape your choice from the beginning.  Don't use an Arduino for something that needs an embedded computing platform, and don't use a RPi if all you need to do can be accomplished with programmable logic.

and some of these should not be confused with compact PC's, ie the RPI/BeagleBone/etc are more like dev platforms than PC's and provide access to a range of peripherals not normally accessible from a 'normal' PC, while CuBox appears to be 'just' a compact PC

Quote
Thanks for posting about CuBox, 40hz.  Yet another thing on my "What I wouldn't do for a chance to install Debian on THAT" list. ;D

but why? :huh: 

Edvard

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...
and some of these should not be confused with compact PC's, ie the RPI/BeagleBone/etc are more like dev platforms than PC's and provide access to a range of peripherals not normally accessible from a 'normal' PC, while CuBox appears to be 'just' a compact PC

Good point, and here's another compact PC I just stumbled across, x86 based so you can install Windows on it:
http://www.compactpc...t/ebox-3350mx_1.html
ebox-3350mx_1.jpg
Quote
Quote
Thanks for posting about CuBox, 40hz.  Yet another thing on my "What I wouldn't do for a chance to install Debian on THAT" list. ;D

but why? :huh:  

Hehe, if you only knew... ;D
I've installed (and even used) more operating systems than I can remember (not talking about Linux distros, but actual OSs), and every time I happen across any esoteric computing platform, my first thought is whether I can install Debian Linux on it.  I don't know exactly why, but it probably has a lot to do with Debian being my favorite Linux, and the fact that Debian (officially) supports 11 different architectures: https://www.debian.o...i386/ch02s01.html.en
 :Thmbsup:

Target

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Hehe, if you only knew... ;D

I've installed (and even used) more operating systems than I can remember (not talking about Linux distros, but actual OSs), and every time I happen across any esoteric computing platform, my first thought is whether I can install Debian Linux on it.  I don't know exactly why, but it probably has a lot to do with Debian being my favorite Linux, and the fact that Debian (officially) supports 11 different architectures :Thmbsup:

wouldn't flagellation be easier?

phitsc

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I found this comparison quite useful:

http://iqjar.com/jar...ard-micro-computers/

40hz

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these should not be confused with compact PC ie the RPI/BeagleBone/etc are more like dev platforms than PC's and provide access to a range of peripherals not normally accessible from a 'normal' PC, while CuBox appears to be 'just' a compact PC

Agree up to a point. Although in practice I don't think it's all that big a distinction considering how the majority of buyers tend to use the Pi and similar SBCs "as is" - which is to say they put them in some sort of case and slot them into single use roles (i.e home theater, webserver, NFS, router, etc.)

Very few people plug in a breakout cable or take a soldering iron to one of these little buggers (the Arduino being the exception) So regardless of whether or not these are considered to be more development type systems, in reality they're used mostly to build micro PCs. But it's still good to know the capability to do more than that is there. Especially since most of the really interesting projects I've seen involve additional hardware and/or some board mods.

I guess it's all what you want one of these things for.

The real beauty is that you can use them for virtually anything. And that might be the single best feature of all. :)

-------------------

BTW - the CuBox has a much better design in that all the (except for one) I/O ports are on the same side of the device. The one thing I really don't like about my Pi is that the cables come out of every side of the board. Something that makes mounting difficult in many instances and IMHO looks extremely kludgy. If I had to fault the Pi for anything, it would be for its board design -  although I'm sure they went with it because it kept the board smaller and the cost down.

RaspberryPi1-1024x768.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits as opposed to this ----> CuBox-i-02.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 06:12:30 AM by 40hz »

ewemoa

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Great discussion! :)

vrgrrl

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 04:51:02 PM »
For those interested in LilyPad, you might want to check out FLORA, which gives even more options!

http://hackaday.com/2012/01/21/flora-a-better-arduino-lilypad/

40hz

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 12:48:30 PM »
Just found out about this $75 critter called a RioTboard available from Newark Element14.

 newarkelement14_riot-sm.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits    ROITblk.pngArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits

It's running an A9 Cortex processor @ 1Ghz, has 1GB onboard DDR3 RAM and boots Android. It'ss pretty tricked out port and feature-wise (see below). And it has several nice features (i.e. JTAG interface, camera interface, GPIO port) that make it ideally suited for tablet, netbook and appliance applications - which is where my main interests chiefly lie.

Full spec
Quote
he RIoTboard is based on the i.MX 6Solo processor from Freescale Semiconductor integrating all the functionalities of this multimedia application processor with the following features:

    Processor
        ARM Cortex A9 MPCore™ Processor at 1 GHz
        High-performing video processing unit which covers SD-level and HD-levelvideo decoders and SD-level encoders as a multi-standard video codec engine
        An OpenGL® ES 2.0 3D graphics accelerator with a shader and a 2D graphics accelerator for superior 3D, 2D, and user interface acceleration

    Memories
        1GByte of 32-bit wide DDR3 @ 800MHz
        4GB eMMC

   Media Interfaces
        Analog headphone/microphone, 3.5mm audio jack
        LVDS interface
        HDMI interface
        Parallel RGB interface
        Camera interface (Support CCD or CMOS camera)
        MIPI lanes at 1 Gbps

   Data Transfer Interfaces
        Debug Ports: 3 pin TTL level
        Serial Ports:
            UART2, 3 line serial port, RS232 Logic
            UART3,4,5, 3 line serial port, RS232 Logic (Expansion port)

       USB Ports:
            1 x USB2.0 OTG, mini USB, high-speed, 480Mbps
            4 x USB2.0 HOST, Type A, high-speed, 480Mbps

        uSD card interface
        SD card interface
        10M/100M/Gb Ethernet Interface (RJ45 jack)
        2 channel I2C interface (Expansion port)
        2 channel SPI interface (Expansion port)
        3 channel PWM interface (Expansion port)
        GPIO (Expansion port)

   Input Interfaces
        10-pin JTAG interface
        Boot configuration interface

    Others
        1 Power LED
        1 Open SDA LED
        2 User-defined LEDs
        1 DC Jack
        1 Reset button

 Kit Contents


    RIoTboard
    Quick User Guide
    Male 'USB Type A' to 'Male USB Type Mini-B' cable




Target

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 04:17:26 PM »
this sounds interesting - Nucleo

more power, more memory, compatible with arduino shields, and cheap!


ewemoa

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In the comments of the comparison that phitsc mentioned there was also:

  https://www.gumstix.com/
  http://www.friendlyarm.net/
  http://www.pcduino.com/

4wd

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For those interested in the Arduino, Little Bird Electronics have a Kickstarter project up.

They're taking your normal size Arduino and shrinking it a bit:

73174d137b1f8b99b082ee13c04f574f_large.png

Called the MicroView, more info here: Chip-sized Arduino with built-in OLED Display!

Target

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For those interested in the Arduino, Little Bird Electronics have a Kickstarter project up.

are you going to back it?

4wd

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For those interested in the Arduino, Little Bird Electronics have a Kickstarter project up.

are you going to back it?

I'd like to but as always, it's dependent on monetary considerations.  I have a EtherTen that's been sitting in a drawer for a couple of years that was for a project I wanted to do but then ... procrastination set in  ::)

Although the MicroView would fit in nicely with what I wanted to do ... actually more than nicely ... hhmmm ... maybe I'll have to introduce Mr Piggy Bank to Mr Hammer ...

Vurbal

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The projects that interest me the most right now for the Raspberry Pi are using it to power either a laptop using the Motorola Atrix dock or a DIY Linux tablet.



For years (decades really) I've been envisioning a true personal computer which consists of a mobile core unit which interfaces with a variety of different dock-like devices. Until the iPhone came out I didn't realize how close something like that might be. There was an interesting product introduced about 10 years ago called the Mobile Computing Core which incorporated the general idea but never really had a shot in the real world.

The Arduino platform OTOH seems more interesting right now for building custom control surfaces.
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40hz

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The projects that interest me the most right now for the Raspberry Pi are using it to power either a laptop using the Motorola Atrix dock or a DIY Linux tablet.


Until the iPhone came out I didn't realize how close something like that might be. There was an interesting product introduced about 10 years ago called the Mobile Computing Core which incorporated the general idea but never really had a shot in the real world.

Much like the Alan Kay's Dynabook concept. Or the OLPC for that matter. If something causes a sufficient enough ripple in the tank, the sharks will soon circle and attempt to cripple or kill it. Look at all the 'venue shopping' and legal chicanery the opponents of Aereo are engaging in trying to find one court that will side with them against innovation, (Note: I understand they finally - after significant defeats in a half dozen coutrooms all over the USA - found a sufficiently clueless magistrate in the person of US District Judge Dale Kimball of Utah. There is now a Fox sponsored injunction against them in Salt Lake City and Denever. That's two of the top media markets in the world - as I'm sure we can all agree. :P)

I'm rather amazed the Pi and Arduino made it this far without somebody trying to IP litigate them out of existence. I guess  they're still not perceived as a sufficient enough threat.

But tomorrow's another day, right? :-\
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 11:21:33 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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Igor Ljubuncic strikes again over at his Dedoimedo blog. :Thmbsup:  This time with a review of his RaspberryPi project. Read it here.

Quote
So I bought and tested a Raspberry Pi
Updated: March 21, 2014


Raspberry Pi needs no introduction, but since I can't start an article without its mandatory paragraph or two of small talk, I will introduce it. Yes, indeed. Raspberry Pi is basically a micro-computer, a single board the size of an enlarged credit card with a whole bunch of peripherals, allowing you to customize and create your own little computer. Selling points, ability to play HD video, you get my drift. Plug it in to a monitor, add a keyboard, and Bob's your uncle. Since Raspberry Pi is British, the phrase is doubly worth its place here.

Now take someone like me, a person who likes things big and sturdy, and I never custom build my own machines, but now, there's a precedent. Cheap, affordable, made for games and education, Raspberry Pi seems like an ideal opportunity to step away from the desktop and fiddle with the unknown. To wit, Dedoimedo tests the Pi. Yippie...<more>

 8)

mouser

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2015, 07:46:15 PM »
Nice new video talking about how to decide on which kind of controller:

mouser

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4wd

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2016, 06:29:59 PM »
Something new for the IoT crowd among you: Mixtile GENA

5b304923ad3758c4b30a5391170b39c3.jpgArduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits

Quote
Mixtile GENA is a wearable electronic development Kit that based on MT6260 and nRF51822 dual-processor architecture.
  • A fully-functional development kit for wearable/IoT devices
  • Get notifications from your iPhone/iPad
  • Remotely control your iPhone/iPad with music playing and photo shooting
  • Embedded with dual-Processors, BLE module, G-sensor and energy-saving LCD display
  • Battery life up to 5 days; easy to charge with any standard micro-USB cables
  • JavaScript API enables developers to create apps with JavaScript easily

Quote
Features:

1. MT6260/nRF51822 dual-processor architecture enables GENA platform powerful but efficient performances.
2. Ultra-small size of 27.6x40.2x9.1mm, integrated with Bluetooth Low Energy, G-sensor, Display, Motor, etc.
3. 8M RAM, 16M ROM memory, with extended storage up to 8GB.
4. No Client needed, capable of music playback controls, remote control camera, push notifications when connected with iOS devices. Android devices support will be available soon.
5. Ultra low power, with 10 days standby time and 4-5 days Bluetooth-active while frequently used, the built-in lithium battery runs on 3.7V/270mAh.
6. With ultra low power reflective LCD, screen is on all the time with no glare in bright lights. Back-lit screen works in dark as well.
7. High-sensitivity sensors could track steps walked, distance traveled and calories burned.
8. With open and product design, developers could make this ultra small device into almost anything.
9. Support JavaScript, open APIs, We work hard to make sure you can get the most of GENA with little programming experience.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 06:37:36 PM by 4wd »

mouser

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2016, 06:47:11 PM »
Neat!

After using raspberry pi and arduino, and with some suggestions from dc member Edvard, i finally have a better understanding myself of Raspberry Pi vs Arduino use -- at least for the kinds of projects I'm interested in.

At least in my case, the Raspberry Pi is just a small but fully capable linux pc with some input-output abilities.  Good for when you want to be able to do full normal development coding for a small standalone device.

The Arduino, for MY purposes, is much more suited as a little helper device that can be coded with small programs and is well suited for working in tandem communication with a full pc.

So for example, in my dicer project, the Raspberry Pi was a reasonable (although slow running) fully standalone computer that could do everything for the project -- run the software and drive the hardware.

But the Arduino turned out to be more useful to me, at least during development, as a helper device so that my Desktop pc could run the software at full speed, and communicate with the Arduino to do the hardware control.

Target

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Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 09:15:40 PM »
Something new for the IoT crowd among you: Mixtile GENA

did you just get the littlebird email too?