Arduino --I need more serials
January 8, 2011
Ever sense I was gifted an arduino to learn with by a very kind LMR member, I have loved the thing. I like the language, power and available libraries. Right now, I am pulling the guts out of a VEX transmitter to convert it to Arduino and X-bee (Vex'duino). I am also replacing the little monochrome LCD with a proper one. BAM! Right in the face with a very basic problem... I need 2 serial outs and perferably, 2 inputs as well. Obviously, without a mega, it seems I just don't have that option. This leads to 2 options in my mind... I can simply use 2 arduinos, one for the screen and one to read the pots on the joysticks, the input buttons and to send data off to the X-bee. These 2 arduinos can easily share data via i2c with each other.
Option number 2 is to do everything with a Picaxe. At 8Mhz, the picaxe should be plenty quick to be a "dedicated" transmitter but I (right or wrong) will still long for the 16Mhz of the Arduino, not to mention it's ability to work with negitive numbers and use the map and constrain commands. --All of which is a God-send when converting a X-Y joystick to "tank steering". Picaxe can do this conversion, but it is a major pain, it is "sloppy" and GREAT care must be taken to keep variables from overflowing. It really is a mess to do this with picaxe. I guess I could send raw data and let the propeller on the robot do all the conversions I need, but I just can't seem to bring myself to waste thinking power on the robot's brain when I have a perfectly good uC in the TX that has plenty of time to be doing it.
I welcome any thoughts on the subject.