An Arduino by any other name…

I was trying to make some headway on my robotic platform project, so I went digging through boxes in my office to find the large, 12v SLA battery that I know I have somewhere. While searching I found a bunch of stuff: hundreds of red LEDs in a pack, two Arduinos, a Sparkfun breakoutboard for an electret microphone, a bunch of level converters, and a Teensy 3.0. But of course, no battery.

So, I played a bit with the Teensy.teensy

The Teensy 3.0 is an older version of the more modern Teensy 3.1 and the Teensy LC (which I have on order right now from Sparkfun). It’s a, well, teensy board: only 1.4″ x 0.7″ It has a 32 bit arm processor which has 128K of flash and 16kb of RAM, and a bunch of peripherals. You have to solder on your own header pins, but it would be easy to do so and put it on a breadboard. And, what’s sort of cool, you can program it pretty much exactly like an Arduino. Same setup()/loop() structure. You use pinMode(), digitalRead() and digitalWrite(). The Serial objects work the same. Pretty cool.

As a first (but not particularly challenging) test, I downloaded my Morse beacon code. It worked fine, with no changes: the Teensy even uses pin 13 to flash its tiny onboard orange led. Pretty nifty.

I’ve been pondering using Arduino Mini/Nanos for future projects, but I’m kind of viewing the ATMega328 chip that underlies those Arduinos as a bit of a dinosaur. These chips are a lot faster, and at around $13 for the Teensy LC (which has same clock rate, but only 64K flash and 8K memory) I think I may have found a better embeddable CPU for projects.

Addendum: the Teensy family is well supported with platformio as well.