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Topic: Is there a reference of reccomendations for available displays, keypads, etc? (Read 141 times) previous topic - next topic

PeterPan321

As we all know, besides vendors that sell ready made "snap on" peripherals (shields?), there are other sources such as ebay and ali-express where one can find lots of very inexpensive generic surplus devices such as LED/LCD displays, keypads, etc. That's a major bonus, I'd think, for many like myself looking to use Arduino boards in devices they may want to offer as products, and so might want to buy a larger quantity of such peripherals. With full support for I2C and standard serial communication, I'm sure any Arduinno boards could talk to many of them.

But between the language barrier and scarce documentation, many such surplus and/or bargain devices are hit or miss. Couple that with the LONG shipping wait to even try a device, it occurs to me it would be good to start a sub-forum in this area of recommendations (or warnings sometimes) sharing about various devices found and tried, along with success, disappointment, or discovery tips that were experienced. I realize individual posts in an areal like that can quickly go obsolete, but I think it would serve as a useful reference.

Is there such a sub-forum here, and if not would it be a useful to create one?

ZinggJM

This is a good idea, but it would not work (vanishing into obsolescence). And some sort of directory structure would be needed.

This should be provided as an entry in GitHub, with directory structure, and also contain references to display libraries.

Any volunteers?
No personal message please; any question may be useful for other users. Use code tags for code. Make links clickable with URL tags. Provide links to the product in question.

bperrybap

I'd think, for many like myself looking to use Arduino boards in devices they may want to offer as products,
If you plan to create a product using Arduino s/w, you will need to closely examine the s/w licensing requirements.
Due to GPL/LGPL licensing requirements and technical issues with the Arduino IDE, using Arduino with closed source in products is very difficult if not impossible. It is impossible if the IDE is used to build the code.
Currently, the only way to resolve this if using the IDE, is to release the code inside the Arduino as open source.
If using closed source and not using the IDE for the building, it is possible but you will have to supply the tools needed to do the build as well as the source code to all the non closed source used in the products and provide a way for users of the product to be able to update the f/w image inside the product.
Make sure to consider this if going down that path.

In terms of providing some sort of guidance for low cost devices, as ZinggJM stated, it would be quite difficult given how rapidly things may change.
But if doing it, rather than github, I'd think something like a wiki would be appropriate.

One big issue is that peoples technical skills can very widely, so while not having documentation may be a deal breaker issue for some, it may not be a problem at all for others.

--- bill

PeterPan321

This is a good idea, but it would not work (vanishing into obsolescence). And some sort of directory structure would be needed.

This should be provided as an entry in GitHub, with directory structure, and also contain references to display libraries.

Any volunteers?
I confess I'm not a fan of version control systems for forum like discussions. And while its true that some surplus devices go into obsolescence, I've seen many cases where something became available on ali-express, and there were thousands available. While the individual vendors and sales come and go, its quite possible a post simply titled with the part ID will be a usable resource for a long time, at least several months, and often years. I still think a simple sub category here on the forum would be useful. The forum has the advantage of letting you get notified in email of new posts too. Maybe GitHub can do that too, but I think the forum would be more convenient for manyt.

PeterPan321

If you plan to create a product using Arduino s/w, you will need to closely examine the s/w licensing requirements.
Due to GPL/LGPL licensing requirements and technical issues with the Arduino IDE, using Arduino with closed source in products is very difficult if not impossible. It is impossible if the IDE is used to build the code.
Currently, the only way to resolve this if using the IDE, is to release the code inside the Arduino as open source.
If using closed source and not using the IDE for the building, it is possible but you will have to supply the tools needed to do the build as well as the source code to all the non closed source used in the products and provide a way for users of the product to be able to update the f/w image inside the product.
Make sure to consider this if going down that path.

In terms of providing some sort of guidance for low cost devices, as ZinggJM stated, it would be quite difficult given how rapidly things may change.
But if doing it, rather than github, I'd think something like a wiki would be appropriate.

One big issue is that peoples technical skills can very widely, so while not having documentation may be a deal breaker issue for some, it may not be a problem at all for others.

--- bill
Well remember that the arduino is mainly a convenience. At least to me. Its a great sandbox tool for implementing a design, and with cheap boards available, (such as the many cheap NANO clones, which also I think folks would like to know about), it certainly is a fine for prototyping. And lets face it, typically any number of SOCs or MCUs can be used to implement the same product. If I prototype something with the arduinno, there's little reason to stay with that board after that if legal or licensing issues are a thorn in the side. 

Also, as I mentioned to another responder,  vendors may change quickly, but boards and specs usually have enough longevity to allow many interested folks to benefit. I've seen this in all areas of electronics, not just peripherals useful for arduinno interfaces.

Example. Consider the value of just one post explaining some LCD display with easy old style "modem like commands", and a well defined serial interface, is available on ali-express for 25ยข/each, including shipping. Typically when you look at such a listing you'll find many other vendors carrying the same item. If the post included some scarce documentation, or clarifications that the poster discovered after successfully experimenting with the device, that makes it useful to many folks with a broad range of experience. And if there are only 1000 pcs available in all of China, and 100 forum members are able to get 10 each, I'd say even if the post later had to be marked "obsolete", or "no longer available", it still would have been worth the bytes taken up on the forum for the many users it helped.

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