Yes - a new category for another hobby - I keep telling myself that it will all come around full circle one of these days! So I've been looking into making my own stepper motor driver and controller and this is all in the works, but one thing I also started looking at was microcontrollers that can be programmed easily and via the USB port of my computer for controlling the steppers too.

The Parallax Propeller chip is just such a chip. Its eight processors (cogs) can operate simultaneously, either independently or cooperatively, sharing common resources through a central hub. The Arduino is also a very popular microcontroller amongst hobbyists, and I may very well get into that one too, but I chose the Propeller because it has 8 cogs for running your programs in - basically like an 8 processor chip that can run 8 things simultaneously. So for now, in my limited experience and exposure, the Propeller beats the Arduino.


I ordered the Propeller Education Kit and have been playing with it for a while. I've also had an electronics kit from Radio Shack for a while. Since the Radio Shack kit has a bunch of common components on it already, I decided to re-purpose it for my Propeller development board :)

Here's a picture of how I have it set up!


and here's a quick look at my "Electronics Workbech" which is basically just a fold-able table :) I am in the process of designing a new office cabinet system and will make sure I have room for the electronics stuff!


Finally - Here's a quick video showing one of my first tests, also shows the cogs working independently - cool!