I build a lot of projects around Arduino micro-controller boards. They are simple, easy to program, have lots of fiddly I/O ports, and there are all kinds of crazy ‘shields’ for extending their functionality. I have published a couple of Instructables that utilize Arduino controllers, and I have several projects that I still need to document.
I had one of those D’oh! moments today, when I realized that I had become stuck in an Arduino mindset, and it was holding me back.
I’m building a set of Raspberry Pi image capture systems for my Jeep. Each Pi will be running a camera. One will be shooting GPS tagged stills, and the other will be recording video in five minute segments. I need two Pi’s because the cameras I am using have a single dedicated port on each Pi. Maybe the camera port dependency is what got me locked into mirrored system mindset, or maybe I’ve just spent too much time fiddling with Arduino projects. Either way, I ordered a pair of Ultimate GPS modules from Adafruit.
It wasn’t until after the order had already shipped that I realized this was a bit of waste. I don’t need multiple GPS units, I just need to network the Pi systems to access a single instance of GPSD. I’ve got a sweet ASUS WL-330N that I can use to build a low power-draw wifi network in the Jeep, and two USB 802.11n modules cost less than a single Ultimate GPS module. I plan on giving the Edimax EW-7811Un modules a try. There’s a decent write-up on making these work, so I hope I won’t get burned by the Cheap Parts Paradox. (I’m only giving these a shot because Adafruit is out of stock on their RTl8192cu based wifi modules.)
How many other Ardunio-isms can I break during this project…
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