Help choosing a real-time processor

  • Thread starter sciguy
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  • #1
sciguy
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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 anyone of them are tripped. I'd like to be able to program it simply through a computer if possible.

Thanks for any help :)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mheslep
Gold Member
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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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIC_microcontroller

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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumstix
 
  • #3
sciguy
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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?
 
  • #4
asynchronous13
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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)

fastermustache.org/gallery2/gallery/randomness/IMG_6905.JPG.html

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.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino
 

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