More on Arduino

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Sun Apr 15 22:29:36 CDT 2012

On 4/15/2012 23:02 PM, wb4jfi at wrote:
> -----Original Message----- From: Andre Kesteloot
> Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2012 10:12 PM
> To: wb4jfi at
> Cc: andre.kesteloot at ; Tacos
> Subject: Re: More on Arduino
> On 4/13/2012 18:34 PM, wb4jfi at wrote:
>> I've been looking at the Digilent ChipKIT Max32 for a while now.  At 
>> $50, it seems to be a much more powerful device than the Arduino 
>> 8-bit CPU. The problem is that it does not have I2S support, so 
>> connecting audio codecs (for I/Q sampling) is problematic.  I'm not 
>> sure that the 16-bit ADCs inside the PIC chip are quiet enough.
>> Another problem may be that the Digilent board only supplies 3.3V to 
>> the shields, no 5V.  This according to the article below, but the 
>> schematics seem to have 5V shown.  The Arduino ethernet shield uses 
>> 5V, for example. While the Digilent boards have their own ethernet 
>> shield, it uses an SMC LAN8720 ethernet chip instead of the (now) 
>> Arduino-standard Wiznet W5100. I think the article is incorrect about 
>> no 5V, at least on the ChipKIT Max32.
>> Terry
> Terry,
> One of the great advantages of the Arduino UNO, IMO, is its simplicity.
> Simple to buy (Micro-Center, and by mail order), simple to power up
> (USB), and simple to program (a pared-down version of C).
> Also lots of books and articles available.
> Once we go for higher-power processors, etc, then we may as well forget
> about simplicity and attractiveness to your average Ham operator.
> (That's is what I am trying to encourage: your regular ham deciding to
> buy an Arduino UNO and connecting it to his/her USB port).
> 73
> André
> Andre:
> I mentioned the above information specifically because my concerns 
> addressed the article that you forwarded to tacos about expanding 
> Arduinos and more advanced target platforms (your email on 4/13/12, 
> article: 
>  ).  I was not promoting more sophisticated hardware, THAT ARTICLE was.
no argument
> Within that article, the Digilent ChipKIT 32 seem to be highlighted as 
> the next step up in the Arduino ladder.  My email meant to highlight 
> that while they are more powerful than basic Arduinos, there are still 
> issues if you plan to use them for more advanced projects.
> I did not mean to indicate that Unos are not usable for projects.  I 
> am using them to do lots of fun stuff.  However, I also don't think 
> you should mix up simplicity with ease-of-use.  More sophisticated 
> Arduino variants can be just as easy to use, but provide more I/O 
> pins, or more sophisticated interfaces that are demanded by more 
> advanced projects.
> This is AMRAD, in my opinion we should not limit ourselves to ONLY 
> basic devices (and therefore ONLY basic projects), just because we 
> arbitrarily set a goal of only using 8-bit processors with only 8 or 
> 16 or 24 pins.  That is NOT the way to move this hobby forward.  Is CW 
> a good-enough mode of operation, why use SSB?  Packet is totally 
> unnecessarily, we already have the National Traffic Systems and ARRL 
> codes.  PSK-31 is too hard to do, requiring all that extra junk just 
> to replace model 19 RTTY terminals. etc...
> The average amateur will never write C code for ANY 
> processor/development board.  To him or her, it's all about being able 
> to implement what someone else has done.  If you want to build a 
> device that receives Kenwood/Elecraft CAT commands and parse them out 
> to three different ham rigs or equipment (using isolated RS232 ports), 
> you cannot easily do that on an Uno.  But, you CAN do that on an 
> Arduino Mega 2560.  If you need more memory or faster speed than an 
> Uno's 16MHz, or even the Mega, the Digilent ChipKIT32 (80MHz clock) 
> can provide the hardware platform, and the development GUI, to 
> accomplish that.  There aren't enough pins on a Uno to support audio 
> demodulation of PSK-31, and then display the data on an 16x2 LCD, plus 
> support a rotary encoder and a couple of other switches.  Should 
> someone abandon that (or other) project just because it does not fit 
> into a Uno?
> My original point is that even the ChipKIT Max32, which the article 
> you forwarded a link to seems to be touting, is not capable of 
> handling some needs, especially in the world of SDR or other basic 
> audio processing. Plus, either the article is wrong about no 5V, or 
> the Digilent ChipKIT schematics and documentation appear to be wrong.
> While I applaud what the Arduino Uno can do, its design, and 
> especially its development software, I don't think it's fair to not 
> build a project just because it won't fit on a Uno.  After all, none 
> of them can run CP/M.
> By the way, who says C programming is simple, even a pared-down 
> version? Or, especially a pared-down version.  I have found that the 
> Arduino can take a LOT of more standard C statements than I have found 
> on any Arduino documentation site.  I've ended up trying a statement, 
> and if it works, I use it.  For example, there are a lot more 
> traditional "C" string handlers that the Arduino development 
> environment accepts than I can find documented anywhere.  Maybe we 
> should not use these, and stick to the "approved" statements only?  
> Lastly, the Arduino environment seems to be a mix of C and C++.  It 
> does some of both, but not all of either.
yes it is a mixture of both,
> So, I challenge your assertion that higher-power processors 
> necessarily eliminates the simplicity and attractiveness to the 
> average Ham operator. So there.
> Terry, WB4JFI
as you wish.
My desire is to encourage AMRADers to DO something, anything.
And starting in a simple way is better than not starting at all  :-)


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