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Arduino, the Basic Stamp killer?

Arduino, the Basic Stamp killer?

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Tod has a great background and comparison of the Arduino and the Basic Stamp, he writes – “Parallax’s Basic Stamp is the mainstay for hobbyists wanting to add intelligence to everyday devices. A new system called Arduino provides the benefits of the Basic Stamp at a greatly reduced cost, increased speed, and is entirely open-source.”Link.

From MAKE 07 – Arduino Fever. The tale of a cute, blue microcontroller that fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and the expanding community of developers who love and support it. Page 52 & PDF preview.

26 thoughts on “Arduino, the Basic Stamp killer?

  1. tramm_hudson says:

    Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I’ve always wondered why folks used the Stamp after their first project. Once you have figured out how to interface with a serial port, reflash the chip and build firmware images for it, is it that much more difficult to layout a simple circuit board in ExpressPCB or Eagle? The microcontroller itself is only $3-8 from Digikey, so building your own boards is much, much less expensive than even the Arduino.

  2. todbotdotcom says:

    Tramm, that’s so very true.
    However, both the Arduino and Basic Stamp are meant as ways of quickly sketching out hardware ideas. If you don’t do microcontroller programming very often, getting back up to speed can be a hurdle. Arduino has the same low “setup time” as the Stamp, yet still allows you to do real programming.

  3. isnoop says:

    Thanks Make, for turning me on to Sparkfun. I have gobs of ideas and the basic skills necessary to develop these things, I just needed it to be cheap and accessible enough to get me over the hump to start doing it!

  4. bpwagner says:

    I like the arduino and would like to try it out with a bunch of high schoolers. Problem is I want a kit or at least a board that I can buy in the US. Yes I know I can download the cad files and do it myself, but I would rather just buy a kit. Anyone listening? Sparkfun? Bueler?

  5. todbotdotcom says:

    bpwagner, (a US company) sells the Arduino board, and a prototyping shield to mount on top of it.

  6. dugnorth says:

    I bought a starter package a few years ago from microEngineering Labs. It’s another alternative to Basic Stamp. Again, the microcontrollers cost less than ten dollars. You can buy “protoboards” to ease implementation.

  7. bpwagner says:

    I guess I was not that clear. Sorry. I would like a kit or just the circuitboard board, not a finished board. Sparkfun is doing great things, I would just like to buy the board in kit form. I think it would make a better learning experience for folks (my HS kids) who are new to electronics.

  8. mbanzi says:

    bpwagner we use arduino with high school students in Spain. You can buy arduino kits directly from the manufacturer g [dot] martino [at] smartprojects [dot] it
    they also sell blank PCBs for the RS232 version.
    This is the wiki used by the people working on the high school project here (in spanish)

  9. lwatcdr says:

    Aurdo seems like a cute idea but why use that Audro language? You can get Gcc for the AVR for free. The key seems to be the simple interface board. The STK500 from ATMEL is very handy and you can pick it up for only $79.
    It supports many devices add a bread board and you have a nice little system to develop with as well as program you devices.
    Not only that but you are not limited to a single type of device.

  10. dmellis says:

    lwatcdr: Arduino uses avr-gcc to compile user programs (sketches). The Arduino “language” is simply a small library of common routines that a provide a friendly interface. You can, however, use all of the standard AVR-libc functions and the power of C.

  11. mbanzi says:

    lwatcdr (Disclaimer I’m one of the founders of the Arduino project)
    I’ve personally tested that even people who are familiar with C have a lot of troubles getting started with avr-gcc. I am a pro but I don’t like to waste time and I use Arduino because it allows me to quickly sketch ideas. BTW on our website there are instructions on how to build an avr programmer that will probably cost you 0.79$ :)

  12. ehrichweiss says:


    Where can these plans be found for the AVR programmer? I checked “the site” and didn’t see any. TIA

  13. danielj says:

    The 79 cent AVR programmer that mbanzi is talking about can be found here:

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