complete noob here with a project goal.

hi. what i want to create is a small multifunctional device that uses a 20x4 LCD display. its main function is to be a song selector for my band. with the push of an onboard button, it randomly chooses one of the values (songs) that i have entered in the code sketch.

my question is... what arduino board is good for that? i've seen a tutorial online for the Duemilanove board. however, the Ardweeny sold on makershed.com is the smallest (and cheapest) board. could i use that? what are the differences?

also, what is the maximum number of variables arduino can handle in a randomized routine as the one described above?

and finally, i want the device to display the time/date when not in use.

but right now, i need help determining what exactly i need to purchase in order to get it together. Ardweeny? Duemilanove? Something completely different? Does it matter?

thanks in advance

well how many thousand songs does the list have ^^ if you just want to display a name of a song in the display the only limit is the size of the list and even then you can expand that storrage up to well i think arduinos can handle 4 gb sdcard memory. thats amazingly much text ^^ the speed of the chip doesn't matter well if you want your title in less than 2 microseconds maybe ^^' time and date is a little more complicated you need a real time clock chip...never worked with them but they are easy to get in electronicstores at least here in germany.

about the Ardweeny: i don't think thats so beginner friendly you need a ftdi board or a external programmer to upload a sketch to this thingy thats why it's so cheap it's missing a few things.

if you want to make only one project or learn the basic stuff get a Duemilanove or something similar with a usb port (no need to buy anything else to program this thing). if you decide to get really into this hobby you can still build one yourself you maybe have to invest a few bucks more into the basic tools and hardware (solering iron, a few resistors and capacitors, some voltage converters a external programmer and stuff like that) but for the start, get a Duemilanove and do the tutorials on the arduino.cc or http://ladyada.net/ (better pictures ^^) webpage and you won't have much problems with your project

thanks for the quick reply!

thousands? ha no it's less than 300 songs, so i know i won't need to incorporate an SD card. would i really need the Duemilanove if i already have a USB-TTL cable? i also have the Arduino v0021 program on my laptop (this is all for the Meggy Jr game kit i recently purchased). so would that warrant clearance for the Ardweeny? if it's still harder to deal with than the Duemilanove, i might just spend the extra money.

i noticed on eBay some of these screens come with a 5-button arrangement labeled a "keypad". i could maybe try throwing a basic ASCII game together too, instead of the clock function. something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFB4t9Z821A but i'd use all 4 lines of the 20x4 display.

anyway, http://www.ladyada.net/learn/lcd/charlcd.html was exactly the tutorial i was talking about.

this is what i'm thinking about purchasing. http://cgi.ebay.com/LCD-Keypad-Shield-Arduino-Duemilanove-Freeduino-B-/270591173753?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f007da479#ht_3312wt_1059 there's enough buttons there for many mini programs aside from the main one i want to create!

any other advice, suggestions, purchase links perhaps?

thanks again!

well it says: Note: Requires external USB-to-TTL FTDI-type cable or adapter if you allready have one then there's no problem with it ^^

anyway it has a ATmega328 so it has 32kb flash memory (2 are used by the bootloader) like the Duemilanove. if your code fits into that (including the song list) i don't see a problem with any of them (you could still add the cheapest sdcard you can find later).

about the ebay link: well its a shield so it fits on the Duemilanove without soldering if you want to use the ardtweeny you have to solder some cables to it, and if you can do that you can get a lcd cheaper and solder the whole stuff yourself ^^ the buttons are easy to get too, just ask some friends for a old pc mouse, there are usually at least 3 of this things inside ::)

in the end the Artweeny involves just some soldering that you won't have to do with the Duemilanove, if you have a soldering iron and can live with that extrawork...get the cheap stuff.

just realised you will also need a voltage regulator for the the artweeny like this one http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?WT.z_header=search_go&lang=en&site=us&keywords=497-1443-5&x=0&y=0 and a powersupply (9-12V) actually you could use your pc powersupply for all that but it has more power to kill you so maybe you are better off with a few AA Batterys ;D

oh one more thing: http://www.instructables.com/id/Stripboard-Arduino/ maybe cheaper than a ardweeny