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IndustryArena Forum > OpenSource CNC Design Center > Arduino > Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2016
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    Question Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    I'm trying to make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board. I have an application where I need to take sensors that provide 5 different types of information, and using a micro-controller transmit the data (RF transmitter) to a recording system in such a way that the 5 types of data can be compared via time/date stamp to determine what the readings are at any given time. I have NO experience with micro-controllers. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2015
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    Re: Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    I stopped making my own controller boards. Nowadays I add a header to my board that fits a standard processor board like Arduino Nano, ESP32, STM32, etc. It is cheaper, saves a lot of developing time and making the actual board at home is easier. Only if the board needs to be very tiny, I use a bare processor.

    Whenever I need a new sensor, display or other control or etc, I try to find one that is supported by the Arduino IDE and use the example sketches to test the device. After that, I start developing my own code. For AVR processors I use Atmel studio 7 and an AVR dragon debugger, my favorite environment. For STM32 boards I use the Cube-IDE and a ST-link debugger (cheap), For ESP32 I use Visual Studio Code and a J-link debugger.

    Visual Studio Code is easy to install if the board is supported and it supports a lot of processor types. The IDE depends a lot on function key's and that is not by cup of tee.

    I stopped using PIC processors because you have to install so many different compilers (mostly costly) and thy all seem to have their own language what makes sharing libraries difficult.

    What ever you choose, without a decent debugger it will be a struggle to get things working. You also need some kind of source control. I still prefer Microsoft Source Safe but now a day GIT is very popular. I use GIT only for projects that are published on GitHub.

    There are a lot more IDE's (developer environment) to choose from. Take your time to pick one.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    Hi,
    if you have no experience with uPs then starting with an Arduino so you can use the Arduino IDE is a great first step.

    Most of my uP designs require a bare metal chip, and so I use ATMega series ICs with an ICE Debugger (approx $200USD) and Atmel Studio. Despite the main IC (ATMega.....)
    being the same as on the Arduino boards there is a significant step up from the Arduino IDE to Atmel Studio in terms of understanding/learning required to achieve a similar result.

    You need a debugger. Most of the Arduino boards and a lot of other intro development boards have a debugger built in......but ultimately you'll want a stand-alone debugger.
    Good ones are not cheap. The ICE debugger I mentioned is pretty good for many, if not all AVR devices and has multiple debugging strategies (dWire, JTag, SPI, PDI, UPDI and
    various highspeed comms) at a reasonable price, and hence why I got it.

    Craig

  4. #4
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    Re: Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    It can be intimidating to look at where you need to go when starting from scratch. As long as you have the interest to learn you’ll get there. I’d start out by getting an Arduino kit with a bunch of sensors. Get one with code examples and carefully walk thru the examples and understand how it works, which gives you ideas for your project. Check YouTube and many books also. Good luck and have fun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Re: Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    I like the Teensy micro processors. They're compatible with Arduino.

  6. #6
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    Re: Make my own Arduino-like microcontroller board

    Hi,
    I've been struggling to get ATmega 328PB ICs for several months due to the global shortages so I've started using AVRDx series ICs, they're good, very good,
    albeit with quite a step up with data structures to address the multitude of registers.

    Craig

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