The Heart of the Beast

A project log for PMC-35V - an Open-Source Mobile VHF Radio

An attempt at making a mobile radio that's hackable, moddable, and easy to build.

Patrick McDonnellPatrick McDonnell 07/02/2015 at 02:170 Comments

When you have limited programming skills it's hard to chose a platform for your project. I've been tossing options around in my head the past few weeks, trying to think of what processor I want to control the radio.

I've been debating between going the traditional AVR route with something like the AtMega1284p, but I've also considered stepping it up a notch and using an ARM processor of some kind.

Using an AVR would mean I know exactly what I'm doing and would be right at home in the Arduino IDE. However, the only problem with using an AVR as a main control unit would be the limited processing speed. This would mean a low screen refresh rate as well as a rather laggy user interface and sluggish control.

Using ARM would put me out of my comfort zone. It's a whole different league, and I've never even touched something like the Arduino Due or the Teensy 3. However, with clocks upwards of 50mhz running a user interface and controlling the functions of the radio would be no sweat. Additionally, more program memory would mean better graphics and more features.

It's still completely up in the air at the moment. I'd love to hear input from the community, because in the scope of things I really don't know very much about MCUs at all.

That's all this week. Stay tuned!