Propeller vs Stamp

Dave AdamsDave Adams Posts: 1
edited March 2008 in Propeller 1 Vote Up0Vote Down

I just joined the group and am hoping to get advice on the propellor vs stamp.· I have wanted to experiment with a microcontroller and robotics for some time and now have some time to pursue it.· I have a couple of applications in mind.· I have a model railroad that I would like to automate the signaling and sound effects.· There are more than 16 items to control so might need to use 2 stamps.· The other application I would like to pursue given time is a rolling robot that would·roam about the house.· If I go this route, I would like the flexiblity to add functions over time.

I am an engineer but the only programming I have done since college (20+ years ago) has been a little in C and more extensively in LabVIEW (high level graphical programming language for instrumentation - now used in the new version of Lego Mindstorms).· I read a review in Robot magazine that said debugging programs with the stamp is a lot easier because the debugger is much more user friendly.· I have gone back and forth a bit trying to decide to go with the stamp as it seems easier to use or go with the propeller and enjoy the challenge and hopefully not be getting in over my head.··· Any advice will be welcomed.· Thanks!

Dave Adams


  • 4 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • deSilvadeSilva Posts: 2,967
    edited March 2008 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Dave, this is a very personal view. Also: It changes from time to time.
    I had some feedback from a Basic Stamp user the other day. I myself have no hands-on experience with the stamp... I could never imagine to buy something like that...
    I am a programmer. The Basic Stamp is for non-programmers.

    That's one difference.

    During the last dozen years an impressive set of building blocks of StampBasic modules, hardware modules, educational labs has piled up. It all fits! You have to be a perfect idiot to mess it!

    The Stamp is the Ox.

    The Propeller is the Dragon!

    Nothing will fit in the beginning. You have to UNDERSTAND things before they will work. The good work of Parallax is no longer much help to you: How to interface this, how to interface that.. Who knows?

    But people brought the Dragon down to earth: They extinguished his fire by water, SPIN, and BS2
    , so he can now no longer fly. So don't be afraid of him!

    But from time to time - when you become too careless - he will show you his claws!

    Post Edited (deSilva) : 3/7/2008 6:17:05 PM GMT
  • Mike GreenMike Green Posts: 22,601
    edited March 2008 Vote Up0Vote Down
    There are tradeoffs (as you might imagine) in the use of both Stamps and Propellers for the sort of projects you have in mind.

    Stamps are indeed easier to use and to learn and there's a lot of existing tutorials, examples, etc. for model train control and simple robotics.
    They are limited in their speed, amount of memory available, and in that they can do only one thing at a time. For your projects, that probably won't be a problem. Even with the robotics, you can get co-processors (the ServoPAL for example) that can off-load the time-critical functions from the Stamp.

    The Propeller has the advantage that it is faster, has more memory, and can do several things at once. It has the ability to use a video display directly and a PS/2 keyboard for control. You can easily and cheaply use a PC compatible SD card for storing programs and data. It is more complicated to program and there's not yet the body of tutorials and examples. If you're familiar with C, Spin is not that different conceptually.
  • MinimumWageMinimumWage Posts: 72
    edited March 2008 Vote Up0Vote Down

    Just a thought - the Basic Stamp Board of Education and the Propeller protoboard are the same physical size. You could start out in robotics with a BOE-bot and then convert it to Propeller-based control later on. Your basic stamp could then find a home in a railroad project. I still like to use my stamps for simple "real-world" interface projects when all I want to do is activate a relay or something. Good luck & have fun!

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