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Alternative to AVR Butterfly?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by mc, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. mc

    mc Guest

    Does anybody make a cheap single-board computer with microcontroller and LCD
    display, like an AVR Butterfly except that the LCD is easy to use? The
    Butterfly's LCD is segment-addressable and if you want digits or characters,
    you have to create them yourself.

    A 5.0-volt power supply (instead of the Butterfly's 3 V) would also be handy
    since I have to have 5.0 V for the equipment to which I'm interfacing.

    Thanks!
     
    mc, Jun 19, 2007
    #1
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  2. mc

    linnix Guest


    Building the board to your specification is not a problem, but minimum
    cost of LCD is $2000.
     
    linnix, Jun 19, 2007
    #2
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  3. mc

    rex Guest

    ya sure i can build a board according to your specs for as low as
    $100. please send me your detailed spec for the design
     
    rex, Jun 19, 2007
    #3
  4. mc

    larwe Guest

    If you are freaked out by the immense complexity of programming the
    Butterfly's LCD, then add a $5 16x2 alpha LCD to the Butterfly and
    your job is done. The ATmega169P can run at 5V.
     
    larwe, Jun 19, 2007
    #4
  5. mc

    mc Guest

    I should add that I'm not looking for an LCD exactly like theirs. All I
    need is the ability to display about 6 digits.
     
    mc, Jun 20, 2007
    #5
  6. mc

    mc Guest

    That's a thought. Or I may use a low-cost alpha LCD and a microcontroller
    and make my own board.
     
    mc, Jun 20, 2007
    #6
  7. mc

    Donald Guest

    Isn't the world of design wonderful.
     
    Donald, Jun 20, 2007
    #7
  8. mc

    mrdarrett Guest


    $5 16x2? Where?

    Mouser has a $6 8x2. Almost got it, but no spec sheet to be found
    *anywhere*, and I'm a beginner...

    Thanks,

    Michael
     
    mrdarrett, Jun 21, 2007
    #8
  9. mc

    larwe Guest

    Do you want some 16x2 LCDs? How many? Where do you live (country)? 5V
    or 3.3V? I'm putting together a care package to give to the EE
    department where I study, I could probably liberate something for you.
     
    larwe, Jun 21, 2007
    #9
  10. mc

    mrdarrett Guest


    Sure, two (in case I break one while studying it), California (United
    States), 5V, wow, really? Thanks...

    What country are you in? And why are you giving them to the EE
    department instead of selling them and donating the proceeds to
    charity, just curious?

    Thanks again,

    Michael
     
    mrdarrett, Jun 21, 2007
    #10
  11. mc

    larwe Guest

    Email me your details. You will need to pay postage, which will
    probably be about $4. But let me first check that I haven't already
    packed the LCDs.
    I'm in New York. I'm giving a fairly large assortment of unwanted
    through-hole parts and surplus bits of various types to the EE
    department for the students to play with in labs and personal
    projects. I can think of no cause more worthwhile, nor one in greater
    need of charity, than the study of science and engineering in North
    America.
     
    larwe, Jun 21, 2007
    #11
  12. mc

    Joerg Guest

    If this is for a hobby project you can use one scrapped out of a fax or
    older HP laser printers. They usually have a HD44780 or compatible on
    there which provides a four-bit interface, plus some control lines. The
    character sets are already in there, you just send over the ASCII in
    nibbles. AFAIK most can also be connected 8-bit for byte transfers.

    Since you already have an LCD I guess there are enough free port pins.
    If not you could hang something like a 74HC164 and go serial.
     
    Joerg, Jun 22, 2007
    #12
  13. [I'm in the UK, and have no direct experience of the US education system.
    My comments are based on what I see happening from this side of the pond.]

    I have developed a similar perception, namely that science and technology
    education appears to have been gradually de-emphasised in the US.

    It seems self defeating to me, as it seems that a country's general
    leadership is based on it's technological leadership.

    So why is science and engineering been de-emphasised in the US ?

    Or is my perception wrong ?

    Simon.
     
    Simon Clubley, Jun 25, 2007
    #13
  14. mc

    larwe Guest

    Pick your reason(s); there are several believable theories.

    1. Anti-science theocracy in the White House.

    2. Nonsensical "No Votes From the Ignorant Left Behind" edumacation
    legislation that rewards faked test scores, not good learning. That's
    fine for philosophy or Trivial Pursuit but in science or engineering,
    people who don't have a thorough understanding of what they're doing
    stand out a mile - and they're dangerous and useless.

    3. Shrinking job prospects. This is a vicious circle; outsourcing
    removes incentives to enter the field in the US, which reduces the
    pool of talent, which encourages/forces venture capital to invest
    overseas, which removes local incentives, which reduces the pool of
    talent...

    4. Hysterical anti-science green lobby throwing roadblocks ahead of
    development. Let's see that happen in China.

    5. Urban youth culture. Science and math aren't cool. Gang signs,
    narcotics and rape are cool.
     
    larwe, Jun 25, 2007
    #14
  15. mc

    cs_posting Guest

    Sounds great! However, my concern would be if whoever ends up in
    charge of them will believe in their importance to the same degree
    that you do. I'd think there's a substantial risk that someone will
    before long decide to "clean up" and dispose of them, either in the
    dumpster, or to one lucky student thus excluding the others.
     
    cs_posting, Jun 25, 2007
    #15
  16. The Mega169 of the Butterfly can contole a certain
    number of segments. You just need an LCD that fits.
    On a second thought, I guess the average LCD may
    be controllable with this controller.

    Rene
     
    Rene Tschaggelar, Jun 26, 2007
    #16
  17. mc

    mrdarrett Guest

    [I'm in the UK, and have no direct experience of the US education system.
    My comments are based on what I see happening from this side of the pond.]

    I have developed a similar perception, namely that science and technology
    education appears to have been gradually de-emphasised in the US.

    It seems self defeating to me, as it seems that a country's general
    leadership is based on it's technological leadership.

    So why is science and engineering been de-emphasised in the US ?

    Or is my perception wrong ?

    Simon.
    [/QUOTE]



    How is science/engineering education doing over in Europe? In
    particular, in Great Britain, France and Germany?

    I sat in a class once (Personal Finance) at my university (UC Davis),
    and the professor started the lecture by congratulating us on getting
    accepted, saying that only 10% or so of high school students are
    accepted to the University. Kinda makes you wonder what happened to
    the other 90%.

    Here are some stats on the graduation rates on UC Davis.
    http://facts.ucdavis.edu/summary_of_degrees_conferred.lasso

    So let's see, for '05-06, 573 engineers graduated out of 5901 total
    bachelors degrees earned, yields about 9.7% graduating engineers.

    So, let's round that off... 10% accepted to uni, 10% graduating as
    engineers, gives oh, what, 1% of the general population making it
    through the grinder and getting the BS in engineering.

    Makes us feel so special... (big cheesy grin)

    Now, looking at the table, there are others who make it too: doctors,
    lawyers, even the physical science folks.

    Michael
     
    mrdarrett, Jun 26, 2007
    #17
  18. mc

    larwe Guest

    My first day in college physics, the professor told us to look at the
    person to the left and the person to the right - say hello and
    remember their face, because by the end of the semester, both of them
    will probably have dropped out.
     
    larwe, Jun 26, 2007
    #18
  19. A stunt pulled off by professors from the EE division at my alma mater
    (RWTH Aachen, Germany), on a somewhat regular basis, too. And the scary
    thing is they were absolutely right about it!

    In the science/math department where I eventually graduated such first
    year drop-out rates would have been considered disastrous. EE
    professors, on the other hand, could barely contain their pride about
    that figure. They considered it a glorious achievement. But that was
    before freshman numbers dropped by roughly a factor of 5 over the course
    of a few years. They began to miss the cheap labor from thesis work
    soon after, and started to reconsider their "achievements".
     
    Hans-Bernhard Bröker, Jun 26, 2007
    #19
  20. mc

    mrdarrett Guest


    Cheerful fellow! Was he correct?

    For some real fun - try taking a C programming class (filled with
    freshmen) while you're a senior.

    I did just that during my senior year (and *after* taking the C++
    class. Class was just too full.) Just needed a Mass Transfer II
    class to graduate... and of course everything's offered only once a
    year. Took a C programming class, just for the credits (and the easy
    A). Oh, the joy. Freshmen with attitude, giving the professor a hard
    time. I remember one exam - I got 47 out of 50. A bit miffed that I
    made three bonehead mistakes on the exam. Most of my classmates were
    happy to get 20 out of 50.

    Final exam, had to write some routines... I wasn't sure if c = a[b()]
    would compile, so I just expanded it: i = b(); c = a;

    After the exam, tried it out, and my original thought was right.

    Michael
     
    mrdarrett, Jun 26, 2007
    #20
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