Amateur radio, Digital Modes

Arduino or Raspberry Pi?


Courtesy of Tech Uni

There was a short article in the Make Newsletter yesterday about how to decide if you need Arduino or Raspberry Pi, and I thought it might be interesting to others as well. The basic question is “How much computer processing do I need?” In very simplified terms, an Arduino micro controller is good at running one or two tasks – they use the illustration of monitoring a moisture probe to determine if your plants need watering. The Arduino could be programmed to check moisture content and send a Tweet to let you know it’s time to water the plants.

The Raspberry Pi on the other hand, is a full-blown computer running Linux or a similar operating system, and is designed to processes numerous tasks. This requires learning a bit about Linux, and installing software to the Raspberry Pi which can run Linux in a command-line mode or a graphical user interface similar to Windows. I found the simple discussion useful, as I have wondered about Arduino myself, having only played with the Raspberry Pi. They are, in some respects, apples and oranges, but both have their uses. If programming a logic chip to accomplish tasks sounds interesting, such as controlling a robot, Arduino is the way to go! If running a dedicated packet station or a beacon network is your thing, then Raspberry Pi is the way to go. Of course, like so many things in life, sometimes we just say “Why choose? – do both!!”

Cheers! Robert


  • Reply Howard 01/15/2016 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for all your hard work on these blogs and other activities!
    Now to the point. This topic tap dances on my last nerve! Why does everyone forget about the Parallax Stamp processor. I have been playing with it for the last 15 years and find it very powerful. It is well documented, has lots of sample code, and lots of published projects, and there are many sensors (with documentation) that can be and have been connected to the stamp. Everbody today is so eager to jump on the Arduino/PI band wagons and forget what else is out there. To be honest I think Arduino/PI just have better PR departments.

    What am I missing Robert,

    • Reply Robert 01/15/2016 at 9:02 am

      Well, I think you have hit on the problem – the PR department. I confess to passing the above information along just as a reflection of my own clarification – I see Raspberry Pi and Arduino talked about a lot, and so wanted to clarify what each did and thought others might find it useful. I have never heard of the “parallax stamp processor,” but I can hardly be the metric for this since I have not delved into any of this very deeply.
      Howard, I would love for you to tell a little about it in an additional comment, or if you would like, send me something a bit more extensive and I will post it here. May thanks for bringing up the topic!

  • Reply Howard 01/15/2016 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Robert,
    Didn’t mean to take exception to your work and it was not directed at you personally. I realize that you are reporting on what is out there. I am mostly disapointed with society and no one out there giving credit to a fine product.
    From Wikipedia:
    “The BASIC Stamp is a microcontroller with a small, specialized BASIC interpreter (PBASIC) built into ROM. It is made by Parallax, Inc. and has been popular with electronics hobbyists since the early 1990s because of its low threshold of learning and ease of use due to its simple to understand BASIC language and excellent documentation.
    Although the BASIC Stamp has the form of a 24 pin DIP chip, it is in fact a small printed circuit board (PCB) that contains the essential elements of a microprocessor system:

    A Microcontroller containing the CPU, a built in ROM containing the BASIC interpreter, and various peripherals
    Memory (an i²C EEPROM)
    A clock, usually in the form of a ceramic resonator
    A voltage regulator
    External input/output

    The end result is that a hobbyist can connect a 9 V battery to a BASIC Stamp and have a complete system. A connection to a personal computer allows the programmer to download software to the BASIC Stamp, which is stored in the onboard non-volatile memory device: it remains programmed until it is erased or reprogrammed, even when the power is removed.”
    Thanks again,

    • Reply Robert 01/15/2016 at 3:41 pm

      Nothing taken personally, Howard – I appreciate knowing about the board and will look into for myself.! Thanks for sharing – it sounds interesting,and like you, am surprised it does not have more notoriety. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to get it some deserved attention!! Cheers!

  • Reply Howard 01/15/2016 at 5:14 pm

    Ok Robert sounds good. Especially the Cheers and if I were a drinking man… oh wait I am. I’ll have one for you this weekend.
    Cheers 73

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