As the field of embedded electronics gets more advanced, hobbyists and professionals are both in need of smaller and more powerful computers. The pcDuino2 is a high performance, cost effective mini PC platform that runs full-featured operating systems such as Ubuntu and Android ICS. Now included with the pcDuino2 is a built in Wi-Fi module and Arduino headers (finally with the same architecture as Uno boards) meaning you will no longer need to purchase a separate wireless module or shield adapter for this dev board!
It's easy to hook up, just connect 5V power and a keyboard and mouse. The pcDuino2 outputs video to any HDMI enabled TV or monitor via the built in HDMI interface. It was specifically designed to make it easy for the open source community to develop computationally demanding projects using the vast, existing catalog of Arduino Shields.
An API has been developed for the pcDuino2 that allows the user to access all of the functions that you would expect using simple Arduino-style language.
Note: Our supplier has informed us that we are receiving a special version of the pcDuino2 with 4GB of onboard flash storage instead of the regular 2GB!
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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I couldn't get the WiFi to work. The solutions to the problem required a pretty solid background in Linux. I've built numerous Arduino projects and worked as a programmer, but my Linux knowledge is very limited. I'm not going to downgrade the product because of my shortcomings, but buyers should be aware that this is not an Arduino or RPi. Research the existing problems with this board and look at the solutions. Then you'll have an idea of the expertise required to make this board work.