whats cheaper to use than arduino for a birthday card?

I am wanting to make a birthday card with 3 dc motors in it…I am making it for someone but I don’t want to give my arduino away as its expensive and I love it :stuck_out_tongue: So I have noticed a lot of electrical devices have a PCB with some kind of micro-controller on it that controls the same components like an arduino. For example a VCR or dvd or microwave…So I was wondering how can I make one of those or what would I need to do to make those types of little cheap micro-controllers that I can program instead of giving my arduino away? Thanks.

There are lots and lots of low cost micro controllers about. Work out how many pins you need to control and that will get you to half way to decide. In the mean time read:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller

Mouser sells bare Serial arduino boards. One of those, and the uC (168 even if you don't need the larger memory of the 328), 28pin socket, 16 MHz xtal, two 22 pf caps,10K pullup are all available also. Connect wire from the shield holes to your motor controller. Program on your arduino and then move it over.

You could use the picaxe 8M2 (oops maybe not popular in a arduino forum), it cost a couple of $, and the only extra components needed are 2 resistors, and are very easy to program.

Erni: You could use the picaxe 8M2 (oops maybe not popular in a arduino forum), it cost a couple of $, and the only extra components needed are 2 resistors, and are very easy to program.

Does someone need a programmer and is programming IDE open-source and c/c++? Just curious.

If the OP is OK with $13 then I suggest RBBB. You can use your arduino to program the chip so you don't need a USB adapter.

http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/rbbb-kit

i agree with the RBBB but i have no adapter for it, i use my duino but i guess that i can test with my duino then use batteries n move it all over to the RBBB.....1 question though, is it possible to control direction of 3 dc motors and use that RBBB as an off/on switch for 1 LED?

twirap: i agree with the RBBB but i have no adapter for it, i use my duino but i guess that i can test with my duino then use batteries n move it all over to the RBBB.....1 question though, is it possible to control direction of 3 dc motors and use that RBBB as an off/on switch for 1 LED?

You will need additional hardware for the motors, maybe H-bridges.

Blank atmega328 is $3.60 at newark, follow directions here to bit-bang a bootloader into it, then program normally.
http://www.geocities.jp/arduino_diecimila/bootloader/index_en.html
If you don’t have a duemilanove, then this AVR ISP loader is inexpensive, $14, and works well.
http://www.mdfly.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_6&products_id=415
Windows drivers install fine.
Need a small addition to programmers.txt:
usbasp.name=MDFLY
usbasp.protocol=usbasp

Comes with a 10-pin to 10-pin cable, I made up an adapter to fit the ICSP header better.

eh i have uno not duel :S is duel better than uno? im kind of newbie not that experienced at using the ICs....I am overwhelmed....What should I use? all i want is some easy under 15$ setup to control direction of 2-3 dc motors and act as on/off for 1 led..

The atmega chip can do that.
Post some details on your battery plan. How long do you want the motors to run for?
Post some details on the motors so we can guide you; we also need to know How you want to spin the motors - one direction only, or both directions.
One direction only is easy, just need a transister per motor (unless they’re reeeeeally small motors). To go both directions, you need an IC chip.
What do you have for tools? Soldering iron, etc?

For this & future projects, you need some way to get boot-loaded Atmega chips for your standalone projects.
Do some planning to get thru this project, your next will be easier:

You can spend a couple dollars extra and buy parts with the bootloader already installed. Plug the part into your Uno and download your sketch, then remove & install into a standalone circuit.
You can download an ISP program into your Uno, and hook the necessary wires to another atmega all set up on a breadboard, this is pretty well documented, seems like a missing step is to add a 120 ohm resister from the reset pin to +5v to override the autoreset. There has been discussion on it.

You can use a programmer like I show in my picture to download the bootloader into the part.
Setup (one time): Download the windows drivers. Connect the programmer to your PC, point windows to the drivers folder. Done! Unplug from PC.

Actual programming is really simple - plug the blank part into the unpowered Uno (USB port not connected to the PC),
connect the programmer to the ICSP pins, check your connections. (details below)
Connect the programmer to the PC. Easier if you have a USB extender cable, I had one around from a USB stick or something. Or just plug it right into your PC USB port.
Make sure the IDE is set to Uno under Tools:Board, then under Tools:Burn Bootloader select “w/MDFLY”, wait a couple minutes, and its done! (first time boot burn uses slower data rates, its faster after that.)
Unplug from the PC, remove the programmer cable from the Uno.
Plug in the regular USB cable and download your sketch.
Unplug the USB cable, remove the newly loaded part, install into your project.
(if your project is set up like your Uno, with 16 MHx crystal/caps (or 16 MHz resonator), 10K pullup resister to +5V (4.5 if using 3 batteries), and 100nF caps from the VCC pins and GND (7/8, 20/22, and 21/22) then you have an easy time of it.

(I’ve done this several times the last couple of days, I believe I have all the steps correct)

To connect the programmer to the Uno:
You will need to make an adapter to go from the 10-pin connector on the programmer to the 6 pins on the Uno ICSP header.
You can use 6 individual wires, these slide right onto the square post pins on the programmer and on the board:

They hook up like this.
Use 6 wires, different colors, make yourself a chart so you don’t have to figure it out each time:
Programmer, front/top of board, pins are labelled:
MOSI
NC (no connection needed)
RST
SCK
MISO
back/bottom of board is labelled:
VCC
GND
GND
GND
GND (you only need 1 of these, pick one)

Connect the matching names to these pins on the UNO. The ICSP header is arranged:
MISO 1 2 VCC
SCK 3 4 MOSI
RST 5 6 GND
ICSP

I used the same female-female terminated wires, but plugged into these crimp housings because I had them handy (instead of 1x1 housings):

two 1x3 and two 1x5
2x3 and 2x5 are also available, but I had 1x3s & 1x5s so I used them.

thanks a lot for your lengthy reply. My goal is "carve" into a book so it becomes kind of empty with only the cover remaining...Kind of like the pages being gone I am sure you know what I am talking about. Inside I want to have 2 plastic figures lying down on their side paralle to the floor. When the card opens, the 2 figures should rise and stand with the feet at bottom and then the 2 figures come towards each other n hug, at the background led lights will flash. Music will also play..

I was thinking of using 2 dc motors for the lifting 2 chars and bringing them closer. I am not sure how the setup would reset when the card needs to be closed. I am relitively new to arduino as I bought mine 8 months ago and only made a couple programs with my uno using servos and pots...I have bought myself a perf board and I have soldering iron and solder with paste flux. I have practiced hours on soldering and finally got to an improved level where I can do perfect joints n a couple drag soldering...

Sorry for not providing all this information before, I wasn't too sure on how to ask properly. Thanks in advance.

Tell you what, go have a lot at servos. You can attach the figures to servo arms, command the servo to spin 90 degrees to raise them, do something else to move closer together, maybe one on a servo/gear, it spins a 2nd gear to bring the two closer. www.hobbylobby.com? hobby-lobby.com? something like that, has a bunch of servos, all kinds of sizes.

i have always had this one question, where can I buy the gears I need? I can never find a good place for gears except ebay which has ziplock bags with a bunch of random gears...Something like an axle and such.

www.hobby-lobby.com Search for Servo, servo gear

http://search2.hobby-lobby.com/psearch/svc/search.php?uid=2&q=servo+gear+set

liudr:

Erni: You could use the picaxe 8M2 (oops maybe not popular in a arduino forum), it cost a couple of $, and the only extra components needed are 2 resistors, and are very easy to program.

Does someone need a programmer and is programming IDE open-source and c/c++? Just curious.

If the OP is OK with $13 then I suggest RBBB. You can use your arduino to program the chip so you don't need a USB adapter.

http://shop.moderndevice.com/products/rbbb-kit

will my arduino uno work with that RBBB for programming? do I need external power? I am a lil new so kind of scared but excited at the same time to solder and assemble that RBBB