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When to go for an evaluation board and when not to...

Started by Seemanta Dutta June 1, 2006
Hi,

I have a question about two options between which I am having a dilemma.

I have to start of with 8051 development and basically my need to create 
small hobby projects.

So now, I am the crossroads where I have to choose between two options:

1. Purchase a development board.

2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off 
development with a home made kit.

Now my question is, which way should I go for?

Option 1 will cost me about 5200 INR which is roughly about 120 USD.
(These boards don't come cheap in India!!)

But I am not sure about the relative cost of option 2.
That is where I am relying on this community.

In the long run however, is it better to invest in option 1?
What are the merits and demerits of each of these options?

Also please mention the relative costs of very basic development boards
in the countries where you people are from. I need to know how much can 
be the price difference.
Would be grateful, if there is some other option that I am missing here. 
  :-)

Thanks in advance again!

regards,
Seemanta
> 2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off > development with a home made kit. >
If you want to start very cheap and have the possebility to make your own pcb, here is one: http://fidolinux.dk/elek/rev1/rev1.php
Not knowing your financial constraints, I would always attempt to go
with option 1, the premade development board.

1. You will get a solid board that has been prototyped and had most of
the kinks worked out.

2. There is quite a bit more community support and debugging help out
there for an existing popular dev board that will shorten the amount of
time you spend beating your head against the wall trying to figure out
what's wrong with your code (when really it's a hardware problem)!

-Andy

Seemanta Dutta wrote:
> Hi, > > I have a question about two options between which I am having a dilemma. > > I have to start of with 8051 development and basically my need to create > small hobby projects. > > So now, I am the crossroads where I have to choose between two options: > > 1. Purchase a development board. > > 2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off > development with a home made kit. > > Now my question is, which way should I go for? > > Option 1 will cost me about 5200 INR which is roughly about 120 USD. > (These boards don't come cheap in India!!) > > But I am not sure about the relative cost of option 2. > That is where I am relying on this community. > > In the long run however, is it better to invest in option 1? > What are the merits and demerits of each of these options? > > Also please mention the relative costs of very basic development boards > in the countries where you people are from. I need to know how much can > be the price difference. > Would be grateful, if there is some other option that I am missing here. > :-) > > Thanks in advance again! > > regards, > Seemanta
What are the hardware features you need?

If a commercial development kit has all the hardware peripherals you
need. Buying the dev. kit is probably more economical.
This is because:
1) Proto PCB's are fairly expensive $50 for 5 piece min plus $18
shipping = $68 from www.pcbex.com (2 layer board)... You could make
your own from a kit, but this depends on how complex a board you need.
2) Parts in single piece qty's are much more expensive. So companies
that make many dev. kits get a cost savings, and most of the time they
pass that savings on to you.

But if you make your own dev kit you learn a lot more than just
programming. I'm not sure what your goals are.

Eric


Seemanta Dutta wrote:
> Hi, > > I have a question about two options between which I am having a dilemma. > > I have to start of with 8051 development and basically my need to create > small hobby projects. > > So now, I am the crossroads where I have to choose between two options: > > 1. Purchase a development board. > > 2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off > development with a home made kit. > > Now my question is, which way should I go for? > > Option 1 will cost me about 5200 INR which is roughly about 120 USD. > (These boards don't come cheap in India!!) > > But I am not sure about the relative cost of option 2. > That is where I am relying on this community. > > In the long run however, is it better to invest in option 1? > What are the merits and demerits of each of these options? > > Also please mention the relative costs of very basic development boards > in the countries where you people are from. I need to know how much can > be the price difference. > Would be grateful, if there is some other option that I am missing here. > :-) > > Thanks in advance again! > > regards, > Seemanta
Eric wrote:
> What are the hardware features you need? > > If a commercial development kit has all the hardware peripherals you > need. Buying the dev. kit is probably more economical. > This is because: > 1) Proto PCB's are fairly expensive $50 for 5 piece min plus $18 > shipping = $68 from www.pcbex.com (2 layer board)... You could make > your own from a kit, but this depends on how complex a board you need. > 2) Parts in single piece qty's are much more expensive. So companies > that make many dev. kits get a cost savings, and most of the time they > pass that savings on to you. > > But if you make your own dev kit you learn a lot more than just > programming. I'm not sure what your goals are. > > Eric > > > Seemanta Dutta wrote: >> Hi, >> >> I have a question about two options between which I am having a dilemma. >> >> I have to start of with 8051 development and basically my need to create >> small hobby projects. >> >> So now, I am the crossroads where I have to choose between two options: >> >> 1. Purchase a development board. >> >> 2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off >> development with a home made kit. >> >> Now my question is, which way should I go for? >> >> Option 1 will cost me about 5200 INR which is roughly about 120 USD. >> (These boards don't come cheap in India!!) >> >> But I am not sure about the relative cost of option 2. >> That is where I am relying on this community. >> >> In the long run however, is it better to invest in option 1? >> What are the merits and demerits of each of these options? >> >> Also please mention the relative costs of very basic development boards >> in the countries where you people are from. I need to know how much can >> be the price difference. >> Would be grateful, if there is some other option that I am missing here. >> :-) >> >> Thanks in advance again! >> >> regards, >> Seemanta >
Hi, My main concern is that I am willing to spend upto say 120 USD, but then if the *same* stuff is available for almost half the price outside india, then probably even after shipping it will be better to take the imported board. Can you please let me have an idea as to how much usually an 'average' development board costs? The other thing is peripherals. I definitely need the peripherals to interface with the things I am planning to build. Given the situation, I am more or less tilted towards buying the development board. Of course, making my own board will be a tremendous learning experience but i shall graduate to making my own after I have had some hands on experience. Now I have the following options among development boards,: 1. Keil MCB900: It is being sold for approx. 150 USD Is it worth that much? Does it have all the basic peripherals I need? Is it worth if I also get the well known keil software with it? I mean the full version uvision IDE and all that? 2. ESA51 board: This coming to much more than as the Keil board(above 200 USD!!). I would rather go for the keil one rather than this overpriced board. 3. ESA51e board: It is coming for 120 USD approx. It has some peripherals but being cheaper I am favored towards it. More importantly, The ESA guys (http://esaindia.com/) have invited me for a demo in a few days. Since this is first time I am buying a development board, I would like to know what are things I must look for in a board. Is there something which is a must have? Or somethings which can be left out? Please advise. Oh, my requirements are like this: a basic system to do my own projects, not very high level stuff, think of projects which will be done by a beginner. But later on, I should be still be use the board for medium level stuff. And my budget is approx 120 USD at the maximum. Hoping to hear from you soon. ~seemanta
"Seemanta Dutta" <noone@slashdevslashnull.net> wrote in message 
news:e5mqoc$459$1@avnika.corp.mot.com...
> Hi, > > I have a question about two options between which I am having a dilemma. > > I have to start of with 8051 development and basically my need to create > small hobby projects. > > So now, I am the crossroads where I have to choose between two options: > > 1. Purchase a development board. > > 2. Use the philips/atmel variant with in built boot loader and start off > development with a home made kit. > > Now my question is, which way should I go for? > > Option 1 will cost me about 5200 INR which is roughly about 120 USD. > (These boards don't come cheap in India!!) > > But I am not sure about the relative cost of option 2. > That is where I am relying on this community. > > In the long run however, is it better to invest in option 1? > What are the merits and demerits of each of these options? > > Also please mention the relative costs of very basic development boards > in the countries where you people are from. I need to know how much can be > the price difference. > Would be grateful, if there is some other option that I am missing here. > :-) > > Thanks in advance again! > > regards, > Seemanta
What about boards like those from www.futurlec.com ? US$22 - 79 for board with 8051 , pic , avr etc All their boards are pre-assembled (head office in Australia ? , warehouse in Thailand) http://www.futurlec.com/Boards.shtml 8051 http://www.futurlec.com/T89C51Training.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/USBDevBoard.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/AT89C51ED2_Controller.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/AT89S8252_Controller.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/ADUC_Controller.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/ADuC842_Controller.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/P89C51DevBoard.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/8051_Educational_Board.shtml http://www.futurlec.com/Web_Control_Board.shtml They get their boards from other companies in Thailand. I've used their pic and avr boards mostly. Great for one offs and in some cases cheaper than you can buy the compoenents for in small quantities. I'd do 1 and part of 2. Purchase a "cheap" development board and try to get one that uses a bootloader rather than other software. Alex
Several years ago I tried out a Cygnal 8051 development board
and found it to be extremely well engineered. Cygnal dev boards
use a hardware debugging link for downloading. Very Slick.
The compiler ide runs on windows. I recommend the product.

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