Embedded kit creation

Hello all,

I am very new to the embedded world (practically none), and I am seeking for advice and a lead as to where to start from (documents, websites, books...). I would like to know and achieve the following:

- Can I build my own kit by purchasing controllers and additional parts at my Radio Shack shop? - I would like to build a small board that can run Linux, with memory flash as external HDD or RAM, in addition to have the ability to attach Hard drives, input devices (USB, serial, video), and output devices capability (VGA, Analog Video). - I would like the board to be able have its Firmware burned with linux ( which linux for embedded devices are out there? The only one I know is uClinux)

I know these are very vague and extensive set of requests - the bottom line is that I want to get involved to the embedded computing world. Perhaps I don't need to build my own board to begin with (then I would like to know where to purchase an affordable one). I am a programmer and I am very much looking into new applications on smaller devices.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Jim.

Reply to
shija03
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Welcome to the world of embedded systems.

NO, Radio Shack does not have ANY microprocessor chips on their shelvs.

This will not be a "small" board. ( please define small )

If you want to "build" the board, are you capable to layout a PCB ? PCB layout is a project in itself.

Any kind of LINUX will require a Meg-bytes of ROM and Mega-bytes of RAM.

There are Micro-Linux distrubtions out there. ( uLinux as you suggest ) But, these are not Linux. ( Linux needs an MMU, uLinux does not use one )

If you are doing software, then do software. Buy a board and get something working. After you get use to working with your target system, then look at building your own. You will have your hands full enough.

It would seem the term embedded means something different to everyone. If you buy a ITX mother board and stick it into a box without a screen or keyboard, is that an embedded system?

Good Luck,

Donald

Reply to
Donald

RAM.

one )

Actually Radio Shack sell a BASIC Stamp board. But it will not run Linux.

Reply to
Neil Kurzman

You are describing a small PC not an embedded system. 90% of embedded systems don't have an RTOS let alone something the size of Linux

Start with 8051, AVR or PIC(16)

In article , snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes

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Reply to
Chris Hills

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Due to your relative inexperience, I suggest that you tone down your = wish list until you acquire a feel of the microcontroller field. I could = steer you into the 8-bit field for now and you could branch out later, = after you mastered the basics. BTW, a significant proportion of new = applications still run on 8-bit chips.=20

One reason I suggest you start on 8-bit chips is that Freescale = Semiconductor has some very informative documents for beginners written = a few years ago for the older, obsolete HC05 chip series. All of the = HC05 instruction set can be used for the newer HC08 and HCS08 (and, most = likely, whatever 8-bit series that will evolve after these). Start your instruction on these:

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You can practice your embedded programming with the free HCS08 Special = Edition of Freescale's CodeWarrior Development Studio, using the editor, = assembler, C compiler, linker, and simulator for the programs in the = tutorials or for making your own. If you want to use an evaluation board = (EVB), you can get the new DEMO9S08QG8 by Axiom for $50 plus = tax/shipping. This comes with three CD-ROMs containing the Special = Editions of both the HCS08 and HCS12, plus another CD-ROM for the = evaluation board and for several other boards, plus other useful = documents and examples. If you got the $65 or so, that's a good way to = start.

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Or (or and), you could try out TechOnline's VirtuaLabs. The one for the = Freescale MC9S08QG8 can be found at:

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Sign up for free accounts at = both freescale.com (Embedded Learning Center) and techonline.com = (VirtuaLabs).

You should delay your PCB design for now, as that is an art and a = science in itself. You should start with a proven EVB which already = runs. Other manufacturers have their own EVBs in case you desire that.

Gary Schnabl Detroit

Reply to
Gary Schnabl

Thank you for the numerous replies about my question. I guess I probably was looking in the wrong area, since what I was looking to achieve was to be able to put together (if not by me, purchase one) a small enough system, below $100.00, that could run uCLinux.

Forgive my ignorance, but I understand that devices such as the LinkSys router, and other network devices, along with cable tv boxes, and so forth, have the ability to run small enough Linux systems (such as uCLinux - or the likes). I wanted to know which board I needed to purchase to be able to embed into it such small linux. My main goal is to be able to create new applications (software based) for such small and pseudo dedicated systems.

PCs are just too large - and the OS at the full PC level (I agree) are too large. Smaller OS versions which are capable of being stripped off unnecessary modules and capable of running on none standard systems (smaller) is what I am looking to get involved with more from the software aspect. I am not so sure that the references offered in this posting do lead to such (if so, please accept my apologies for the misinterpretation - I was not expecting that these devices would require to be programmed by reading on/off signals or sending them - but more to be able to extend embedded webservers and/or other built in applications).

As I said, I might have not articulated the right message nor used the proper terms. I would like to either obtain a board that could run smaller OSs such as uCLinux, and also be able to interface with the OS to extend the software applications of the OS, as well as being able to also extend the Board ( perhaps not by me directly ) by using built in common interfaces (USB? or Serial) which would permit to increase the OS to output or input other content such as sound and video...

Any additional input is greatly appreciated - perhaps the right group would be: comp.os.linux.embedded

Once again, thank you kindly,

Jim.

Reply to
shija03

Hello,

I just wanted to once more thank you all, and let you know that I have found a way to go about embedded computing.

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I was primarily lookin for a system where I could experience the world of embedded computing. skyeye is an emulation of various ARM architectures (ARM7TDMI, ARM720T,StrongARM, XScale).

Once again,

Thank you.

I would still rather have a low cost development system rather than the emulator - so any leads would be greatly appreciated.

Reply to
shija03

Why didn't you say you wanted to hack.

Everyone thought you were building a product.

There are many off-the-self products that can be re-configured / re-targeted.

Yes, but do you want to bring out a product based on these.

Also, do you have any idea what these people paid to have these devices built and programmed. You are just riding on their coat-tails.

With everyting said, I hope you find a nice toy to play with.

Happily yours,

donald

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Reply to
Donald

Get an Xbox and put Linux on it :-)

Reply to
Vic

Vic, are you saying there is enough publically available information on the Xbox insides to make porting of a non-MS OS practical?

Dimiter

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Reply to
Didi

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Reply to
Donald

Donald, thanks for the reply!!! I had not bothered to check, lead by the obvious assumption. This is really great news - if the code is open source (as I assume - hopefully correctly this time...) it means that one can port a variety of systems on the Xbox. Great news indeed.

Dimiter

------------------------------------------------------ Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments

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Reply to
Didi

Oops, sorry, I am a lot less enthusiastic five minutes later, this is NOT the PPC based Xbox.... Having it documented would be some real news.

Dimiter

Reply to
Didi

Elektor had an article (recently) about putting Linux on Xbox - if I remember right there were some caveats, but they seem to have managed it - maybe worth going to elektors website if your interested?

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Vic

Reply to
Vic

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I am in a way in the same boat as the OP. How do you _start_ messing with embedded systems??? What is meant by "starting with an EVB"? I know x86 assembly (which I understand is hardly used in real embedded systems?) but I think any assembly language is fine (as I prefer asm to any high-level language). What do you do when you aren't really aren't in the "embedded" profession, but just say, a college student who wants to major in embedded systems programming but wants to get a head start before he actually takes any major-related courses?

Reply to
infamis

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