I realize this has probably been asked before, but heck, isn’t that what this FAQ section is all about?
The question: How “should” one go about picking which Arduino-compatible board to use?
I have never used Arduino, but hope to start tinkering soon. I have a specific project in mind, so reusability or huge flexibility isn’t important to me. However, I’d imagine that once I get started I’ll be hooked, so I’m trying to plan for eventually having several boards in projects, and one or more “spares” that I can grab and throw on a breadboard for some tinkering.
So, do I go with a standard duemilanove? Or, one of the stripped-down boards (boarduino, BBB, RBBB, etc.)? Besides shield compatability, what advantages does the “real” board have? Since I can’t see any, and I’m planning on eventually having several boards, the off-board USB concept seems appropriate to me, which leads me to something like an RBBB or BBB.
But even then, how do you choose? Reading the documentation at modern device, I can’t really tell the difference between the RBBB and BBB, other than size and pin locations - plus, apparently, the RBBB comes with a lower-output voltage regulator. But, looking at the two boards, there are clearly lots of “extra” components on the BBB, which leads me to believe that there must be functional differences. But, I can’t seem to find any documentation on these differences, or how one would choose between the two boards. And, of course, when you compare either of these to the duemilanove, it’s clear that there are, again, lots of additional components besides just the USB chip.
This is just an example. Multiply the confusion by half a dozen when you consider all the clones similar to these two.
Anyone have input? I suppose one approach would be to just buy a bunch of the things and start learning, but I’d hate to buy RBBB and then find myself a week in to a project thinking “oh dang, if only I had those three extra resistors on board like the duemilanove has. . .”