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News Gertboard Raspberry Pi add-on board launches

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 9 Aug 2012.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    Yikes. That's a hell of a lead time... But I guess it pales in comparison to the Raspberry Pi lead times if you weren't one of the lucky recipients of the first batch (thankfully, I was!)

    It's quite an expensive add-on, but it's comparable in price to an Arduino Mega (although slightly more expensive than the Uno). I don't know how well the number of IO pins stacks up against the Mega, but this seems to be a more flexible device when paired with a Pi - you certainly don't get an in-built H-bridge on the Mega.

    More importantly however, the combined cost for a Pi and a Gertboard is a very attractive one indeed - especially for educational purposes. If we had something like this when I was in school then we wouldn't have needed the Lego robotics kits that we only got to use twice in two years.
     
  3. Mraedis

    Mraedis New Member

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    I would love some of these boards, if only I knew what to do with them. ^^
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's significantly more expensive than the Leonardo, however: £36 to around £19. Sure, you get an H-bridge - £3.50 - and some buttons and LEDs - £2.50 and £3.50 - but it's still an add-on device which costs more than the Pi itself.

    By contrast, you could buy a Slice of Pi for £3.90 along with the Leonardo - which does things the Gertboard can't do, like pretend to be a keyboard, mouse or joystick input and work with the easy-to-learn Arduino IDE - and the aforementioned accessories for £32.40. If you don't need the Arduino, that cost drops to £13.40 - and you can always add in a standalone ATmega microcontroller for about £4.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Gertboard is great - but I'd like to see a version made with fewer discrete components and at a significantly reduced cost. If the Gertboard was £15, it'd be a no-brainer.
     
  5. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly, I bought the Pi for some reason but don't actually need so sold it, will get one later down the line
     
  6. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    I have to confess that it's been a while since I shopped around for Arduino boards; I'd never heard of the Leonardo before now...

    Where I can see the utility in the Gertboard is in educational use; it's more or less a complete package for getting started in robotics and interfacing with the "outside" world. No need to try and source the individual components on their own, because it's all in one package from one supplier. Of course it doesn't have actuators, servos, etc, but doubtless there are already plenty of starter kits for that stuff. I don't know if plans are still in the pipes for this, but I know initially the foundation planned to have an "educational release" for the Raspberry Pi; this was due to be when the Model A launched, along with a range of cheap accessories, supporting documentation and more stable/mature software. If such a plan is still on the cards, the Gertboard could easily form part of it.

    To be perfectly frank, I'm really not interested in the Gertboard at all. I agree that it is expensive, but I don't really think it's aimed at people like me. Not to say that there is no utility in it for me at all, but I'd be quite happy with working out how to programatically use the GPIO pins and writing my own code to make use of them. If I needed to, I could probably have a crack at building my own GPIO interface board.

    Plus I already have an Arduino Duemilanove, which works with the Pi. The Arduino IDE might not work on the Pi, but my laptop will do for now - I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it!
     
  7. Necrow

    Necrow New Member

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    I bought a Pi with the intention of adding it into my 4x4 for monitoring temperatures and pressures, so far I took it out of the box once and put it back again lol

    I don't have enough time to fully research this project but this board looks like it may help me with converting some of my Temp signals to Alarms etc....
     

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