Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Netduino Aquarium controller

This is my first post about my latest project, a netduino Aquarium controller.

The purpose of this project is to help me learn C# within using visual studio and to also technologicalise my fish tank up to the 21st century.

At this point I have spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding how to achieve my goal of learning a new language in a useful manner and producing a new cool toy that will help me automate my aquarium. This research has took me to phidgets, arduino, many other arm processor based solutions and finally to netduino. The hardest decision at first was on a processing power level, microcontroller or single board computer (sbc).

Finally after many rambling in various forums and a lot of Google searches, I came to the conclusion of a microcontroller to meet my requirements. There was one main sacrifice that the Phidget sbc offered that Arduino doesn't and this is the ability to plug in usb peripherals, notably a web cam. The work around for this loss will be an IP cam, but I will get to that later. After this massive dilemma, if you've seen the film, this one was much bigger, I settled on the Arduino, only after placing my order, to change my mind and go with the Netduino.

The reason behind this choice moved from wanting the most I/O to wanting to use visual studio and a language which is much more useful to work and play.

My order is in the post and arrives tomorrow, I will give a run though of what I have ordered and how I envisage it to work together tomorrow evening.

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