Pick The Right Electronics Board For Your DIY Projects

The Arduino, Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone are all low-cost controllers that are great for your DIY projects, but it's a little confusing when you're trying to figure out which one is best suited for you. Make has a breakdown of all three and what types of projects they're best for.

The Arduino, Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone are all fantastic in their own right. Different projects require different specs though, and if you're choosing between the three, it gets a little confusing. For example, Arduinos are best suited for beginners, projects that demand a small footprint, and anything battery-powered. On the other hand, the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi are better if you want to connect to the internet. At its core, it breaks down to playing to each of their strengths:

The Arduino is a flexible platform with great ability to interface to most anything. It is a great platform to learn first and perfect for many smaller projects. The Raspberry Pi is good for projects that require a display or network connectivity. It has incredible price/performance capabilities.

The BeagleBone is a great combination of some of the interfacing flexibility of the Arduino with the fast processor and full Linux environment of the Raspberry Pi (more so in fact). So, for example, to monitor our hydroponic garden, we will likely use the BeagleBone since it has good input/output features and can easily connect to the network, so we can have it run a web server to make its readings available to us.

Make has a breakdown of when each of them is most useful, so check out their full post for the complete list.

Arduino Uno vs BeagleBone vs Raspberry Pi [Make]


    Not to forget - the Beaglebone has just been revised. The newest version is cheaper [$45 US vs original $85 US] and includes a mini HDMI connector as standard.

    No S/PDIF output on any of them, for those looking to make a decent Media Player. In that sense, virtually any Android Media Player out of China makes a better bargain than trying to DIY with one of these.

    [Yes, HDMI connects sound. However, most older amps don't have HDMI, only optical or coax S/PDIF. It's hard to call any of these board practical, if they demand you immediately fork out several hundred bucks for a new home theatre receiver. So, as Media Players, none of them can outdo a Chinese import.]

    Another one to consider if you need even more flexibility than the arduino is protostack. Designed in Australia and works with a few different microcontrollers http://www.protostack.com/boards/microcontroller-boards

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