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Review of Arduino Due

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 10
The price to performance ratio was good: 10
TotalScore: 60 / 60
  • RoadTest: Arduino Due
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
  • Was everything in the box required?: No - No Anti-Static bag???

  • Detailed Review:

    MyArduinoDue.jpg

    My Latest Toy...

    Greetings from The Philippines! Today is Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, and I finally received my Arduino Due I'm won from element14's RoadTest program on March 19th, 2013. So, this post is technically, my review of the Arduino Due.

    Here's how the shipping from USA to Philippines looks like (and I almost didn't receive it!):

    UPS-Delivered.jpg

    As you can see, I received it at 1:50PM PHT today. While my mother-in-law was still talking with the UPS man, I quickly ran upstairs and opened up the box to find another box (shrinkwrapped) inside. Upon opening the shrinkwrapped box, I quickly noticed there was no antistatic bag inside; just the board, mini pamphlet and a sticker-sheet. Upon initial physical inspection, I've noticed some of the headers are mis-aligned, but it didn't hinder any of my shields from being inserted. Next, I grabbed my magnifying glass and inspected the board. The board is clean on both sides, with the exception of that area beneath the USB ports: some flux residue, but not enough to impair the board, whatsoever.

    The Linux Command Line

    command-line.jpg

    To me, testing my new Arduino Due from the command line is a very important step. Why? This prevents any connection problems in the future. Besides, this is a quick way of diagnosing the board, making sure it is not defective.

    Arduino IDE 1.5.2 in Linux

    Arduino_IDE.jpg

    The Arduino Blink program, as what all Arduino users know, is an official testing program, making sure sketches can be uploaded and can vary the blink rate of the LED at Pin 13, identified as L on the board.

    Arduino Libraries???

    After using the Arduino Blink program, I loaded up my other sketches and immediately discovered most of my sketches will not compile. That's because my Arduino libraries were written before the Arduino Due, meaning it's exclusively Atmel AVR code; not for ARM. While many people would see this as a turn-off, I see it as an opportunity to write new code and create new libraries. That's why there's a dedicated forum! But if you go there for just answers, you won't learn anything! It is better to read how others got to the solution, instead of just doing a copy and paste. As a veteran C programmer, I found this course of action, refreshing. I spent at least six hours, pulling timing routines out of my head, since AVR libraries aren't available unless they're modified by me or other people.

    I'm Programming in Linux

    What surprises a lot of people is the fact that the only operating system I'm using is... Linux! There are many benefits in Linux that I enjoy, such as, I don't have to install any drivers. I remember the days of using Microsoft Windows and I don't miss those days! To me, it is just easier to fix Arduino problems in Linux. Maybe that's because I've been using Linux for almost 16 years. Before I got the Arduino Due, many people that knew I run Linux 24/7, told me that I'll have no problems with programming the Due. Well, they were right! Though I can't use my Atmel AVRISP mkII programmer with the Arduino Due, I can still manage without it.

    The ARM Microcontroller

    Over a year ago, I entered the ARM arena with the STM32F4-Discovery board. Though I ran into roadblocks, I did learn how to program that microcontroller in Linux. As for the Arduino Due, I got a new microcontroller to learn... It's the ATSAM3X8E from Atmel. There's plenty of reading material to help me sleep better at night, and that's good to know.

    The Bottom Line

    For those that would like to start Arduino, I'd strongly recommend buying the Arduino DueArduino Due. Why? Less compatible Arduino libraries and less compatible Arduino shields means more opportunity to learn computer programming. If you were to look the other way, you will quickly get bored using other people's Arduino libraries, as I have. It's better to learn new things than to do redundant projects. The Arduino Due has potential for both new and experienced users; there's room to grow. What's documented online about the Arduino Due is never the final chapter.

    Thanks for Reading!

    This is, what you can say, MirandaSoft's Official Review of The Arduino Due. Thank you for reading. There will be programming project blog posts coming up later this week. Have a nice day, everybody!

     

    Marcos "Kuya Marc" Miranda


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