Author Topic: goto cheap microcontroller boards  (Read 1251 times)

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Offline artag

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goto cheap microcontroller boards
« on: July 30, 2021, 02:16:21 pm »
I used to use a lot of arduino nanos and micro pros for small, low-performance jobs with some i/o and USB.

But they've doubled in price due to brexit, vat changes and component shortages.

Do you have a new favourite for $3 or so ?
 

Offline esepecesito

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2021, 04:29:27 pm »
Just a warning:
I bought some very cheap (for the performance) from china. The ST controllers build in seem to have some problem with the IIC, so just be careful with very cheap.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2021, 06:08:47 pm »
Well, I don't know how many of those boards you buy each year, and if a couple dollars more will really make a difference. But that's just me.

So anyway, If you're looking for something decent (some will say good) in this price range, I will recommend considering the Raspberry Pi Pico. Interesting microcontroller, powerful enough and plenty of peripherals, good documentation. As the RPi foundation is a british organization, I would expect this to be the msot pain-free choice for you here regarding import and such.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2021, 08:18:58 pm »
5V+USB: PIC18F25K50 (really wish microchip released a newer 8bit pic with USB, the k50 is severely lacking in features)
cheap USB: i've recently started using the PIC24FJ GU family for that. I really wanted to migrate many projects to PIC32MM but the ADC was never fixed :( (missing codes in 12bit mode) this PIC24FJ is no dsPIC (lacks the ability to perform do loops and of course the DSP engine) but performs quite well and has a decent set of peripherals.
CAN+USB my goto is still the PIC32MX 530 family, can't beat the simplicity / price ratio.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2021, 09:53:35 pm »
Bluepill/blackpill is still reasonable from some sellers:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001621784672.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001113377360.html

$3 for STM32F103, $3 for STM32F401 and $6 for F411. The F103's are probably the clone ICs.


5V+USB: PIC18F25K50 (really wish microchip released a newer 8bit pic with USB, the k50 is severely lacking in features)
cheap USB: i've recently started using the PIC24FJ GU family for that. I really wanted to migrate many projects to PIC32MM but the ADC was never fixed :( (missing codes in 12bit mode) this PIC24FJ is no dsPIC (lacks the ability to perform do loops and of course the DSP engine) but performs quite well and has a decent set of peripherals.
CAN+USB my goto is still the PIC32MX 530 family, can't beat the simplicity / price ratio.

Not a module though, and is it well supported in arduino?
 

Offline esepecesito

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2021, 01:44:52 pm »
Bluepill/blackpill is still reasonable from some sellers:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001621784672.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001113377360.html

$3 for STM32F103, $3 for STM32F401 and $6 for F411. The F103's are probably the clone ICs.


5V+USB: PIC18F25K50 (really wish microchip released a newer 8bit pic with USB, the k50 is severely lacking in features)
cheap USB: i've recently started using the PIC24FJ GU family for that. I really wanted to migrate many projects to PIC32MM but the ADC was never fixed :( (missing codes in 12bit mode) this PIC24FJ is no dsPIC (lacks the ability to perform do loops and of course the DSP engine) but performs quite well and has a decent set of peripherals.
CAN+USB my goto is still the PIC32MX 530 family, can't beat the simplicity / price ratio.

Not a module though, and is it well supported in arduino?

Hehe... those are the ones with I had problems with the i2c... be warned...
 
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Offline jenniferkim

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2021, 05:23:24 pm »
Try Raspberry pi Pico, it's of around $4 and is best alternative of Arduino nano
« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 09:17:24 pm by jenniferkim »
 

Offline Mario87

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2021, 04:30:09 pm »
I used to use a lot of arduino nanos and micro pros for small, low-performance jobs with some i/o and USB.

But they've doubled in price due to brexit, vat changes and component shortages.

Do you have a new favourite for $3 or so ?

I don't know what particular Arduino board you used to use or where you used to buy them, but the official genuine ones from RS Components are the same price they were before Brexit. I paid £35 for a genuine Arduino Mega in 2018 / 2019 and it's still £35 today from RS.

The fact you say "$3" board makes me think you mean the copycat "Arduino" nano or similar from ebay? If so, you can still get them for under £5 from eBay UK from UK sellers, just checked and a few sellers have them at about £4.50 or there abouts, still pretty cheap.

You can still get them for even less if you buy from a seller in China directly and Brexit has no affect on purchasing from China, just the EU.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2021, 04:41:40 pm »
You can still get them for even less if you buy from a seller in China directly and Brexit has no affect on purchasing from China, just the EU.

Indeed. If anything, members of the EU are now worse off regarding buying outside of the EU, in particular for low amounts, since VAT is now systematically applied to any import in the EU (only since a few weeks I think) regardless of the amount, whereas before, there was a threshold (which I don't quite remember as it has changed a few times.) But certainly, if you were buying for a few euros of goods, for instance from China, you weren't charged VAT. Now, you will be.

I dunno how the UK handles this, but if anything has changed, it has nothing to do with the Brexit. Unless indeed you buy from some country itself in the EU, but as someone said above, why would you bother buying $3 boards from an EU country, if you can even find them? Not sure I get it.

In any case, as I said, definitely consider the RPi Pico in this price range. It's a british product, and it's distributed within the UK. https://thepihut.com/collections/raspberry-pi
The Pi Hut is an official reseller and operates in the UK.

 

Online lucazader

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2021, 12:39:19 am »
I would either go with the Raspberry Pi Nano ~$4,
or any of the stm nucleo boards. from ~$10 but include a full debugger
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2021, 03:40:55 am »
You can still get them for even less if you buy from a seller in China directly and Brexit has no affect on purchasing from China, just the EU.

From last week's order of stuff from Taobao and 1688.com...

  Mini USB and Type-C USB Nanos about 15 CNY ( 2.30 USD )

  Yellow Micro USB Nano about 18 CNY ( 2.80 USD )

  Pro-Mini about 16 CNY ( 2.50 USD )

The ATMega32u4 boards are quite a bit pricier though...

  Pro-Micro 34 CNY ( 5.26 USD )

  Micro 26 CNY ( 4.02 USD )

All of those of course are plus domestic china shipping to the agent, plus international shipping to me, plus agent commission/fx fees.
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2021, 03:46:00 am »
You can still get them for even less if you buy from a seller in China directly and Brexit has no affect on purchasing from China, just the EU.

Indeed. If anything, members of the EU are now worse off regarding buying outside of the EU, in particular for low amounts, since VAT is now systematically applied to any import in the EU (only since a few weeks I think) regardless of the amount, whereas before, there was a threshold (which I don't quite remember as it has changed a few times.) But certainly, if you were buying for a few euros of goods, for instance from China, you weren't charged VAT. Now, you will be.

I dunno how the UK handles this, but if anything has changed, it has nothing to do with the Brexit. Unless indeed you buy from some country itself in the EU, but as someone said above, why would you bother buying $3 boards from an EU country, if you can even find them? Not sure I get it.

We have the same system in place, without the benefit of being in the EU. Plus, because a lot of our international mail gets handled through the EU, the extra layer of customs checks and costs to couriers is slowing things down and increasing prices. So yes, it has plenty to do with brexit..
 

Offline AaronLee

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2021, 04:05:44 am »
From last week's order of stuff from Taobao and 1688.com...

  Mini USB and Type-C USB Nanos about 15 CNY ( 2.30 USD )

  Yellow Micro USB Nano about 18 CNY ( 2.80 USD )

  Pro-Mini about 16 CNY ( 2.50 USD )

The ATMega32u4 boards are quite a bit pricier though...

  Pro-Micro 34 CNY ( 5.26 USD )

  Micro 26 CNY ( 4.02 USD )

All of those of course are plus domestic china shipping to the agent, plus international shipping to me, plus agent commission/fx fees.

What's the deal with the agent? I've never ordered from Taobao or 1688.com, only AliExpress, but always direct without any agent. Is it because you're in New Zealand?
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2021, 04:16:52 am »
What's the deal with the agent? I've never ordered from Taobao or 1688.com, only AliExpress, but always direct without any agent. Is it because you're in New Zealand?

Taobao and 1688.com (and others) are aimed at domestic China market, so everything is in Chinese, the vendors ship only in china, they speak chinese only...  using an agent is just a lot easier, and they an inspect (at least count and check for obvious damage/incorrect goods) when they arrive at their warehouse to resolve any issues at that point.


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Offline ebclr

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Offline MarkF

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2021, 11:57:10 am »
I decided to just spin one of my own.
Could not find anything that had two 8-bit ports (i.e. one address and one data bus).
Mine is based on a PIC18F4620 and FT245RL.

Five panels with three copies each from JLCPCB plus parts.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 04:02:15 pm by MarkF »
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: goto cheap microcontroller boards
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2021, 07:36:12 pm »
I decided to just spin one of my own.

Sometimes this is the best option!

Especially if you have to spin a board to connect your special sauce to the microcontroller board.

I don't understand why someone would make, for either personal or professional use, an Arduino-compatible expansion board when it's easy enough to design the Arduino processor (whichever one you choose) onto the board. The board ends up costing the same, anyway.

The calculation is different for Raspberry Pi, of course.
 


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