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Some basic pointers needed

HIB

Nov 8, 2012
3
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Nov 8, 2012
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Hi everyone,

Apologies if this sounds incredibly dumb, but I need a little basic advice on purchasing a microcontroller. I have never used microcontrollers before, but I do have C programming experience.

I am trying to build a system which can read out the output from a linear photodiode array (http://www.melexis.com/Assets/Positioning-with-Optical-Linear-Arrays-5326.aspx), and output the data in a friendly format e.g. DAT file. I have picked this project because the device would be useful for me, and it also sounds basic enough to be a good starter project for microcontrollers.

The link above gives great information on how the diode array works and what the microcontroller needs to do. It sounds pretty basic - generate a clock signal and read out and store the values from the analog pin. There is even a link for a C program that can control it - I would prefer to try and write my own though.

I have done some googling on microcontrollers, but I am a little bewildered by the choice out there. Can anyone recommend a microcontroller that would be good for me to start with? Can an Arduino do this? Is it good to start with, or should I dive straight into something that can use C?

Thanks in advance.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
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25,505
Arduino can do it.

It has plenty of options for writing to (say) SD cards.

You can buy stuff that just plugs together (and this may be advantageous)

It is programmed in C

You can use the same modules for more advanced things later.

Presuming that you don't want the cheapest solution, some overkill is OK, and you're not thinking of actually manufacturing it from these parts, Arduino would be *A* solution.
 
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