Thursday, 27 November 2008

Arduino Pro Mini - More Bits.

After i got the basics working with the Arduino Diecimila, I had to work out what I think I will need to complete the project. The following is the list of components I ordered, this time from, all but the additional Mini Bread board.

Arduino Pro Mini - 3.3V/8MHz
RF Link Transmitter - 315MHz
RF Link 4800bps Receiver - 315MHz
LED Light Bar - Tri-Color
Triple Output LED RGB
Break Away Female Headers
Battery Holder - 4xAA Square
Mini Bread Board

I used last time and was happy with the service and delivery etc, the reason I opted to try spark fun was the range of LED components they had suited my needs better. The BlinkM that Cool Components stock looks quite cool, but has too much intelligence built into ot for my needs. Was plesantly supprised by the shipping costs, about 50p less than UK based orders, I expected it to be a bit more expensive.

The Arduino Pro Mini comes in two flavours, a 5v/16MHz and 3.3v/8MHz, The only reason I went for the 3,3v/8MHz option is because they were out of stock of the 5v one. These things are tiny!
There was also the Arduino Stamp option which as far as I can tell is the 5v/16MHz with the header pins already soldered. This is about twice the price, so figured it is worth a crack at soldering this myself.

While waiting for the bits to arrive I have been reading up on the RF Communication components and how this is achieved. I have found a mixed bag results among others related to this subject, so I figure I getting this to work will fall into one of the following experiences;

1 - Easy just set it up and it will work like magic using the Serial Communication Api.
2 - It is a Blark Art, Voodoo type operation, requiring the Sacrificing of Goats on sacred alters.

I also read somewhere that for timing critical applications e.g. serial communication the 16MHz model with the external crystal is better than the 8MHz with the less accurate internal crystal. So I am hoping my choice of board does not create problems. I guess time will tell...

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