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Re: Java and Parallax Basic Stamps, including Javelin
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Re: Java and Parallax Basic Stamps, including Javelin

Title: Re: Java and Parallax Basic Stamps, including Javelin
  Greg had some excellent points (per usual). I chose the TINI over Javelin because of networking (the price difference isn’t that much). TINI has a pretty robust network stack, and, of course, it’s all accessible via Java classes.

  Your projects could be done with virtually any solution you’ve mentioned (Java or BASIC or assembly language, etc.). If you plan on reproducing them in any quantity (driven by the $10-35ish) then you’ll probably be disappointed by all of the Java solutions out there. You still pay a premium for being able to program in Java. The TINI comes in two parts, the “motherboard” on a SIMM for $67 and the sockets board for $35. The latter contains some support chips and physical ports (RJ-45, etc.). Since it is a demo/eval system, there isn’t a quantity discount to speak of. They assume anyone doing big time development will take the schematic they provide and roll their own. The Javelin is $89. If cost is a real factor, none of these solutions (or the JStamp from Systronix which uses a native Java processor) will meet your needs. However, if your time is the real driver, TINI is probably a great choice. It has a lot of potential for expandability (think running your projects remotely over the Internet...). Heck, you could probably run a small database on a TINI (

  If you go with the TINI, be sure to download the developer’s manual. When I last looked, it was a little out of date (previous version of the hardware and software), but still a great help.


From: Aaron Roberts <email@hidden>
Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2005 17:00:39 -0700
To: Greg Guerin <email@hidden>, Gordie Neff <email@hidden>
Cc: email@hidden
Subject: Re: Java and Parallax Basic Stamps, including Javelin

Greg and Gordie -

Thank you both for your great feedback!

My parameters for a development system are -

- Mac OSX powerbook.  I have no serial port, so I need to get a USB converter
- Programmable hardware thats relatively inexpensive (I'd say between $10 - $35'ish per unit)
- A dev environment that I can get for about $100 or less
- My development time is more costly than hardware, so going 'hardcore' and doing assembly, IE Pic chips and such, isn't really an option.  Highlevel access to serial ports and doing I/O is ideal.

The current project I'd like to tackle is making an electric door latch using an iButton, microcontroller, and associated powersupplies, door, etc.

Future projects would be along the lines of -
- Simple controller for solar water heating system
- A proportional nitrous controller for turbo lag suppression (probably a friend's project, but still worth mentioning)
- Garage door monitor for home automation system to autoclose the door between a certain time frame

Its unclear to me what I need to develop for the Tini system.  From the DS website -

I'm unclear as to which is the actual microcontroller.  The DSTINIm400 appears to be it, but I can't determine if there are others.

The Parallax basicStamp and Javelin are appealing, due to cost, but I don't want a limited development environment if I can avoid it.  Java appeals to me, but I've got no aversion to basic.  The Javelin is more expensive than the stamp modules, but again being able to quickly be productive is important to this time limited father of two.

Based on both of your experiences, which seems to balance getting up and running 'easily' with cost?


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