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Old 02-23-2012, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
Reputation: 8052

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Does anyone have any experience installing/using embedded linux? I'm going to be sending up a weather balloon to take some pics, and was considering including a small computer-on-module device connected to some sensors to record environmental data during the flight.

I'm defaulting to emdebian, because I'm likely to be more familiar with it than probably any other distro. The hardware I came across is by gumstix.com, but there's no doubt other options for that.

Has anyone worked with this stuff before? What are the ins and outs of working with that kind of hardware? How do you get your o/s installed & configured? I can move around and work in linux just fine, and compile software and whatnot, but I'm not a (c/c++) developer. My development experience is limited to perl/php and a touch of python, so I don't have the skill to customize anything, if that's a requirement. I know that most people who work with these things have development experience, but I don't, so hopefully that's not a brick wall.

Any and all tips/tricks/advice appreciated!
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:16 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,685 posts, read 8,495,667 times
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I've played around with the Beagleboard and Pandaboard to get a headstart on S/W development before our actual hardware was ready. Since they're designed for prototyping, and not actual production use, they're very easy to get set up. The Beagleboard has a Micro SD slot, and is supplied with a 4GB card with Angstrom on it, but it was simple to pick up another Micro SD card and install Ubuntu, since there is a distro and repository for it. Actually, I got so impatient waiting for the Beagleboard to arrive, I went down to Fry's, bought a Buffalo Linkstation Live (there's a Marvell ARM SoC inside), installed Debian, and started playing around with it.

Did you consider using an Arduino for your project?
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
Reputation: 8052
Hadn't looked at Arduino, but I just gave it a quick glance. Looks like I'd need to learn a proprietary language for it. I like how cheap they are, and it looks like it would probably be suitable, but I don't have the time to dedicate to learning a language right now - even one that looks as reasonably easy as that.

I really need something that's going to let me throw a stripped out linux on it and just work, with little to no learning curve. Maybe it's a pipe dream, and if so, I can live with that, but I'm hoping there's something suitable out there.

Thanks for the input! I'll still keep it in mind, and maybe I can find someone who'd be willing to handle that part of the project, in which case it'd be totally doable.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
Reputation: 8052
It turns out that the radio tracking device I got has a temperature sensor on-board, so I'm going to desolder it and mount it external to the payload enclosure to read the temp. That was the main thing I was interested in, so there's not much point in bothering with it at this point. Thanks!
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