SHCC WYSIWYG Article from December 2017

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the December 2017 WYSIWYG newsletter.

What 'Small Electronics' Can Do For You

by Don VanSyckel

In particular in the 'small electronics' world. The Raspberry Pi, UNO, Arduino, Beagle Bone, Bit Go Kit, ASUS Tinker Board, and Mega DIY Kit to name a few. Then there are several variations of the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino covering both the board features and the manufacturers.

There are a number of accessories for the various boards and kits. There are power supplies, cases and boxes, and other input/output type peripherals to connect to stuff.

It's a good idea to investigate the different boards and kits available. Have in mind what you want to do with it, then also check out the available software, much of it is open source or free to download. There is software available to do many things. As always some software packages are better that others. Some of the software that's available include:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Bit Torrent server
  • Camera control
  • Drone controller
  • Educational programs
  • Firefox OS
  • Games
  • Libre Office
  • Media center
  • Open GL 3D hardware graphics
  • Pi-Hole, network ad blocker
  • Robotics
  • Solar panel battery charger controller
  • Ubuntu Linux
  • Video capture
  • Voice HAT (similar to Amazon Echo)
  • Voice recognition
  • Web browser
  • Web server
  • Weather station

Some of the software is available on some boards and other software is available on other boards. So unless you're writing your own software choosing which board to buy should include consideration of the activity you want to do and what software is already available to do it.

Make sure to plan for the power supply and a case to protect the board plus the connections to whatever you are having it connect to.

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