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Help choosing a real-time processor

  1. May 5, 2008 #1
    Hello all, I need some help choosing a microprocessor for a hobby project I am doing. I have 12 photodiodes that are detecting light levels. They will be converted to digital signals (above a certain voltage indicates activation). I need a simple microprocessor that can takes inputs from all 12 simultaneously and perform an action when any one of them are tripped. I'd like to be able to program it simply through a computer if possible.

    Thanks for any help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2008 #2


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    You likely want a microcontroller that is hobbyist friendly, the most popular of which by a huge margin is the PIC. The PIC comes in DIPs that you can plug into a bread board.


    If you don't want to work at the chip level, the next level up would be something like a gumstix, a very small and simple board level complete computer. No soldering or PC board fabrication required.
  4. May 5, 2008 #3
    I was thinking about a basic Stamp 2px but I am concerned that I may not be fast enough to process everything in a loop with enough leeway to respond in real time. Is there anything similar to that that is faster, or supports interrupts?
  5. May 5, 2008 #4
    I'm pretty sure the Basic Stamp will be fast enough for you. (depends on the application of course, but you probably won't notice a delay). I used a BS to control a string of LEDs for a persistence of vision project on a bicycle wheel. (picture link below)


    It was pushing the limits on the speed of the chip, but the ease of programming it made it worthwhile.

    I plan on getting an Arduino board for my next project. I can't recommend it since I haven't used one yet, but maybe worth checking out.

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