Single Board Computer Recommendations

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Tue Mar 16 15:05:21 MDT 2010

On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 2:51 PM, Dave Smith <dave at> wrote:
> Levi Pearson wrote:
>> One cool thing you could do with a microcontroller with a bunch of I/O
>> pins is hook up a rain gauge.
> That would be the absolute coolest. For phase 1, I think I'm going with
> a Linux box (maybe even an old PC for the time being). I'll do the
> typical sprinkler control features, but it'll be web-based, and if I get
> adventurous, I can develop an iPhone app to control it via WiFi.
> Phase 2: Put it on a tiny board in a small package, probably also Linux
> based.
> Phase 3: Moisture and temperature sensors for auto-irrigation.
> Phase 4: Lots of money spent on a fun project, lost learned, and no
> profit. That's odd. Normally, phase 4 makes me rich...

Keep in mind that you'll have to have some way of reading sensors and
controlling relays.  That's exactly what microcontrollers are for, as
they're typically loaded with analog and digital I/O pins.  If you
start out with one, you won't have to deal with multiple redundant
interfaces to hook sensors and relays up to a PC.  My all means, use a
Linux box to write the apps and logic and stuff, but a microcontroller
will make interfacing a PC to the world of electronic devices so much


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