fotosaccion
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Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:24 am

I am a TOTALLy new person to the world of Arduino and Raspberry Pi. I have a project in mind and I am not sure which controller I need to use. I currently have an Arduino Uno and a Raspberry pi.
Here is a synopsis of what I want to do:
This will be a box that has 16 different push buttons, a 16 key keypad, a display and a thermal printer. Each button represents a product. The numbers are a given weight of that product being moved, and the printout is for verification purposes and for proof of production at the end of the day.
1. A person will select a button ( specific product), then type in a number (weight of the product). The key will display a name and the numbers would then appear after on the display as a quick check. I would need a means to start over if a wrong button was pressed.
2. The final key stroke would be a # which would tell the system to get a time and date stamp and print 2 copies of the information via a thermal printer.
3. The final step would then be that this information is logged and put somehow into a spreadsheet that could be sent to me at the end of the day or at any point during the day if I choose.

Again.... I am new to all of this...

Thanks for the help!!

Héctor Gómez

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tonyhughes
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:51 am

It all screamed out as being bread and butter work for the Arduino to me until the last step about a spreadsheet, at which point, BAM! - Linux on the Raspberry Pi would be a doddle with which to do that task.

I'd suggest crossposting this to an Arduino forum site to get some Arduino expert opinions (though there may well be some of those here too).

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rurwin
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:12 am

The only difficulty putting that on a Pi would be the large number of buttons and other devices. If you can see your way to using a normal keyboard and a USB-connected printer, then the RaspPi would be a good fit. You might be able to make all those peripherals fit into the available GPIO, but it would be tight.

The only difficulty using an Arduino would be the logging, spreadsheet and email. And that's rather harder to get around.

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:30 am

I am posting this on both platforms to see what responses I can get back. Thanks for the replies!
Even if the data was not put into a spreadsheet, but at least formatted as numbers and text that I could import into excel would work.

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:35 am

What if I use an RFID reader to read a fob that is the specific item then just type in the weight? I could have 16 of them and the person would just lift the correct one and start the process. They would just have to type in the weight and print. I just need to see how to log the info and export it though.

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:18 am

I was wondering if anyone has any experience using the Alamode? It looks like it would tie both units in nicely and possibly give my project a leg to stand on. I am getting the feeling that this project might require both units.

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:44 am

What I thought was to put an RFID key fob for each of the 16 items on a peg board just above the unit. When the person walked by, they would pick up the corresponding key fob, wave it over the unit, type in the weight, hit the # key so that the printer would pint out the information and then log what was done. If the Alamode is what I think it is, a bridge that sits on the Raspberry Pi, then I think then the information would then be sent to the Pi where it could be organized and sent via email. Conceptually this all seems to work....... the programming is what scares me now.....

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aTao
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:48 am

Go with the RPi.
Looks very much like your project will become (is part of) a stock control system and as such will end up interfacing to many peripherals and systems (bar code readers RFID, network database servers etc..).
While this can be done with an Arduino with EthernetShield, it will probably end up costing more and need a lot of help from a network server.

Note: you can buy USB numeric and calculator keypads for ~£15.
>)))'><'(((<

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:57 am

How would I do it with only a Pi though? I guess that's where I have had difficulty seeing. I see all of these projects being done with controllers like the Arduino, that I figured I would need to use it. If I could incorporate both, maybe I could get it to work??

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croston
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:23 am

Why don't you use both? The Pi is best for spreadsheets. The Arduino is better for real-time electronics. There are lots of examples of getting them to communicate if you do a quick search. I don't know how your thermal printer connects but it is more likely to be easier using the Pi than Arduino. This is especially the case if you need to change to a different label printer if the first one dies for some reason. Sending the spreadsheet to yourself would also be easier on a Pi. I would use the Arduino to connect to the keypad, buttons and display - this is clearly defined hardware and less likely to be modified in future. Software is easier to change than hardware!

Note: I have written a basic Python module for Zebra thermal label printers:
http://www.wyre-it.co.uk/zebra/

Note: I've also written an example of communicating between a Pi and Arduino in the RPi Education Manual:
http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/Raspbe ... Manual.pdf

Hope that helps!

ghans
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:36 am

Is it essential not to use a standard PC Keyboard ?


ghans
• Don't like the board ? Missing features ? Change to the prosilver theme ! You can find it in your settings.
• Don't like to search the forum BEFORE posting 'cos it's useless ? Try googling : yoursearchtermshere site:raspberrypi.org

fotosaccion
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:00 pm

I am trying to make this as simple as possible. I would prefer to make it either buttons with the labels or an RFID tag labeled. I want to be as fool proof as it comes.

adlambert

Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:37 pm

A file for a spreadsheet to use can be as simple as a CSV, most Spreadsheet software will work with them. So just put out a CSV to load up into a spreadsheet application, no need to mess about with spreadsheets on the device itself.

I've seen that you can buy USB numeric keypads.

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mkopack
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:27 pm

I just ordered one of the Alamode units.

As others have said, the Pi is great for some things, the Arduino for others. The alamode is nothing more than an Arduino that is able to be stacked on top of an Rpi via the GPIO pins without having to tie up a USB port to hook them together. You could do exactly the same thing with an Uno/Leo over USB.

That said, there are certainly projects that would benefit from the combination of the two platforms working together...

Pi - great for networking connectivity, GUI's, large memory/CPU processing (like maybe image processing) USB interfacing to other devices, etc.

Arduino - great for interfacing with sensors, particularly analog since it has A/D onboard, hardware PWM support, all the shields there are to interface with for things like Motor controllers, etc.

Marrying the two together should prove to be a very powerful platform!

bgrand
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Re: Can I do this with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:27 am

Croston.. the script you wrote for the zebra thermal printers, have you tested with ZPL printers?

I was hoping to accomplish this script with a zebra mobile printer running ZPL.

Thoughts?

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