To Pi or Not to Pi?

The Raspberry Pi with DRV8825 drivers

Nanotec Support Tutorial web page, which I learned about from this excellent tutorial on how to set up steppers on a Raspberry Pi:

Rototron has a great web site with many Python and Raspberry Pi tutorials:

The “existential technical question” I’m having is whether or not to use an Arduino or Raspberry Pi for this project. It will all hinge on what happens with the Elecraft KPOD. Paul, N6HZ is the lead developer and will be helping me troubleshoot why his C code isn’t finding the KPOD on my Raspberry Pi. It seems as though a HIDRAW service or Daemon is not started on Raspian. Regular HID devices are detected, but not HIDRAW.

If we do get it to work, then there is a very compelling reason to go with the Pi – and that is – I can do everything with one board. I really don’t want to even think about having to use the Raspberry Pi just for the KPOD and then have it talk to the Arduino for the stepper control – that is overly complex and a waste of money.

The Raspberry Pi offers the ability to use Python or C – and I can also use it more as a command and control platform than Arduino – which is more like a single “slave” application.

I’ve learned that there is a Python to C interface called boost.Python, so I can call Paul’s C code from Python. This means that the KPOD code just looks like a device driver of sorts.

So, there is a clear decision:

  • Arduino if I end up building my own control box
  • Raspberry Pi if I use the KPOD

I really, really want to use the KPOD since that ends up  taking this project beyond just getting the job done. Imagine if I help Elecraft open their KPOD device to the Maker market? That would be pretty durned awesome! I also love the KPOD and would love to have it as my controller.

I’m doing research on Pi stepper drivers – but I know its all do-able. I’m also starting to think about an oscilloscope. This is all way too much fun!

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