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‘Picking the Right Feather for You’ – Oregon State University’s OPEnSLab’s Guide for Prototyping Environmental Sensing Projects

OSU’s Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab describes itself as:

…focused on developing environmental sensing projects and research. From soldering stations to 3D printers to laser cutters, our lab provides the tools necessary for students, professors, and researchers alike to develop tools used locally and worldwide by the ecological science and engineering community.

Need help designing, soldering, or printing? Ask us for help! Aside from managing the machines, our employees are also here to help design and create projects that are beyond the scope of the developer.

And we’re pleased to see their team member Tom DeBell wrote up a guide for selecting the appropriate Adafruit Feather for lab projects:

Abstract- The 32u4 or the M0

As our projects continue to evolve alongside with the advances of technology it is important to keep the OPEnS lab up to date with the latest and greatest prototyping technologies at our disposal. There is no example greater than that of the microprocessor. This post will explore two of the most advanced, widely available microprocessors on the market today.

Background and Objective

Since 2010 the Arduino Uno has been the standard in prototyping electronics due to its wide variety of functions, ease of programming, and cost. However, much like any other piece of technology it is becoming outdated by faster, smaller and cheaper microprocessors such as the pro-trinket model released in 2014. (A previous article I wrote linked here highlights the key advantages of the Trinket over the Uno.) Fast forward to early 2016 to the release of adafruits most current line of development microcontrollers, called “Feathers” with a host of companion shields referred to as “Featherwings“, where these processor boards now come integrated with certain features such as WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, LoRa radio and Shields that allow for RTC data logging, Ethernet connectivity and various display interfaces. The Objective of this article is to discuss the two major types of processors used within the Feather line of microprocessors.

Read more.


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