Our first experiences in IOT (Internet of Things) project development

Clic aquí para la versión en español / Click here for Spanish version

 

In November 2015 we decided to start researching the equipment and programming for our upcoming projects #IOT (Internet of Things). Reviewing a Twitter advertising "Build Your Own Internet of Things" course that caught our attention. Main training board of that course was the "Dragonboard 410c" SBC .

 

SBC stands for Single Board Computer or "single board computer". It is a complete computer on a single circuit. The design focuses on a single microprocessor with RAM, I/O and all other features of a functional computer on a single board which is usually reduced in size. With the development of PCs there was a shift away from the SBCs, with computers that have a motherboard that should be connected to daughter boards providing serial ports, hard disks controller, graphics and Sound. This architecture is not used much in personal computers (although trends suggest that this may change), but mostly used in industrial environments or embedded within other systems that serve as controllers and interfaces. Due to the high levels of integration and reduction of components and connectors, SBC are smaller, lighter, more reliable and better management of electrical power than PCs.

Curiously, the Apple I was an SBC.

 

Dragonboard 410c

The Dragonboard 410c was the first board based on the processor 400 series Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit, with high performance, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications, all packaged in a credit card sized board. However at the time of our research, it was not available for immediate delivery and only the board cost about US$ 80.00 on Amazon, so it was discarded.

 

The Arduino family

The first acquired member of the family was the Arduino YUN. It cost US$ 65.00 on Amazon and arrived at the end of December 2015. It is a mixture of controller+SBC and runs on Linux OS. He is the big brother of older Arduino UNO, which is only a controller, the original one costs about US$ 38.00, the clones are available at US $ 6.00. In principle we ask yun because we were starting and what more was heard locally were Arduinos.

 

To see the range of products Arduino, visit: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Products

 

Raspberry Pi

However after a little more research and delve into the many options on the market, we realized that the Raspberry Pi is more versatile, cheaper and -in our opinion- has a better price/value.

 

Finally in February 2016 the Raspberry Pi or RPI has arrived. It is an SBC that supports different Linux OS flavors, however recently it was released a Windows 10 to IOT that can be installed in the RPI. We got RPI with a kit that includes an SD card 16 GB pre-loaded with the installer (NOOBS) operating system, a transparent box, HDMI cable, two heat sinks, a dongle WiFi and cable power connection, cost about US$ 70.00. The board alone can be bought for about US$ 40.00.

 

Final Suggestions

Before purchasing one of these boards, we recommend taking a look at different websites that make comparisons and give suggestions on the type of project to be developed. An interesting comparison of different types of controllers, such as Arduinos, and SBC computers, can be found in the "Make: The Maker's Guide to Boards" post.