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Author Topic: Looking for a cheap programmable device  (Read 2382 times)
theymos
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September 25, 2011, 08:01:36 PM
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What's the cheapest programmable device with some integrated storage, an integrated input method, and some way of interfacing with a real computer? The cheapest devices fitting this criteria I know of are the TI-8x calculators, but it seems that there should be cheaper ones.

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deslok
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September 25, 2011, 08:13:17 PM
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You could get a cheap tablet or a used android phone for 100-200 and communicate over wifi/bluetooth

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September 25, 2011, 10:11:22 PM
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http://www.ahappydeal.com/Cell-Phones-Mobiles-st1-sid59.html?gclid=CLWyxIS1uasCFc7JKgodLFU_cg
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September 25, 2011, 11:05:40 PM
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What's the cheapest programmable device with some integrated storage, an integrated input method, and some way of interfacing with a real computer? The cheapest devices fitting this criteria I know of are the TI-8x calculators, but it seems that there should be cheaper ones.

The cheapest programmable devices are microcontrollers. They can interface with computers using serial communications. They cost only a couple of dollars. If you want something along those lines but a little bit easier, check out the Arduino.
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September 26, 2011, 08:59:18 PM
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I have a USB microcontroller, it's pretty much what you are looking for. Try the Atmel AVR or the Teensy, those are both popular brands.

http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/
http://www.atmel.com/products/avr/default.asp?category_id=163&family_id=607&source=redirect
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September 26, 2011, 09:19:33 PM
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I think we need more specifics on the "integrated input method" a button soldered to a microctronller is integreated input but it's only one button (you could input everything in binary though...)

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Stalin-chan
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September 26, 2011, 09:31:22 PM
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I think we need more specifics on the "integrated input method" a button soldered to a microctronller is integreated input but it's only one button (you could input everything in binary though...)

Oh I missed that part, I assume from his calculator example he means some form of keyboard (virtual or otherwise).
Honestly I don't know then, all the microcontrollers i've dealt with you had to interface with a computer for programming.
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September 26, 2011, 09:33:03 PM
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really comes down to what he wants to do with it, if all it's for is removely restarting a server or something 3 buttons (prev, next, enter) would be enough to remotely restart and entier mining cluster box by box if you wanted to

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September 26, 2011, 09:39:39 PM
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You could probably solder some buttons onto a teensy board but I don't have much experience in things like that yet.
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September 26, 2011, 09:54:24 PM
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You could probably solder some buttons onto a teensy board but I don't have much experience in things like that yet.

If you're interested in that kind of stuff try some of the cheap DIY kits, pick something moderatly useful, or just order a box of random stuff from electronics goldmine and have at it and see what you can make Tongue

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theymos
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September 26, 2011, 10:04:15 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to use it to hold some encrypted Bitcoin private keys and then deal with decryption and transaction signing. By storing it in a safe deposit box, I'll then have a device immune from hardware keyloggers where I can input passwords safely.

I have almost no experience with soldering, etc., which is why I wanted an integrated input method. Theoretically I could use only one button, though more buttons would be easier. The Arduino's USB port can probably be used with a keyboard, which would work.

I'll also check out those Atmel microcontrollers. This looks useful:
Quote
All AVR microcontrollers contain lock mechanisms to prevent reading and copying the program stored in on-chip Flash.

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September 27, 2011, 12:17:06 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to use it to hold some encrypted Bitcoin private keys and then deal with decryption and transaction signing. By storing it in a safe deposit box, I'll then have a device immune from hardware keyloggers where I can input passwords safely.

I have almost no experience with soldiering, etc., which is why I wanted an integrated input method. Theoretically I could use only one button, though more buttons would be easier. The Arduino's USB port can probably be used with a keyboard, which would work.

I'll also check out those Atmel microcontrollers. This looks useful:
Quote
All AVR microcontrollers contain lock mechanisms to prevent reading and copying the program stored in on-chip Flash.

Arduino is based on the atmel avr chips. 
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September 27, 2011, 12:37:50 AM
 #13

You might wanna look at the STM32 Primer Series.
They have a color touchscreen, acceleration sensor, joystick, microsd, lipo battery and a cortex-m3 all integrated in a ready to use device with casing.

The latest version 3 is a little more expensive but you should be able to pick a primer-II up for about 50 bucks now. They also include a free IDE and OSS firmware with library.

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September 27, 2011, 11:37:46 AM
 #14

Arduino?

Thats gotta be the best device at the moment. USB interface, easy programming, Loads of things you can do with it!

I got mine with an ethernet sheild, managed to make an IRC bot using it. even interfaced a PS2 keyboard with LCD and used it as a client to talk to people.

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September 27, 2011, 12:19:00 PM
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It seems you have the same goal as the OP of this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=24852.0;all
Perhaps you could work together.
It would be great to have such device.
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September 27, 2011, 10:49:20 PM
 #16

Arduino?

Thats gotta be the best device at the moment. USB interface, easy programming, Loads of things you can do with it!

I got mine with an ethernet sheild, managed to make an IRC bot using it. even interfaced a PS2 keyboard with LCD and used it as a client to talk to people.

They just released an ARM version also...things are gonna get even better on the Arduino front.  Not to mention the Android ADK kit that was released a few months ago.
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September 28, 2011, 08:52:19 PM
 #17

The Arduino is the easiest way to start want you want to do.
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