A conversation in the space last night brought up STM32 processors. For those who might be interested, the STM32 F4 is a very inexpensive and pretty awesome embedded proc if you need more crunch than PIC and ATMega/Arduinos and still stay within reasonable price constraints.
The downside is that the STM32 series isn't used as commonly by hobbyists, so the number of tutorials and easy to find, documented libraries isn't quite at the same level as the ards.
The f4 dev board is highly cool, it comes with a 3 axis accelerometer, audio sensor, audio DAC, and a bunch of leds and crap. And it runs $14.
These things are kinda fun, particularly if you need to do high speed sampling on multiple channels, which is what got me into them. They have 3 x 12 bit adc units on board and all kinda multiplexy goodness built in.
I just started playing with one of these earlier in the year as they were recommended by Dave B. We are using the chip as a core for our CAN in the Middle boards to analyze vehicle systems. I didn’t find it too hard to use and went with the ChibiOS (http://www.chibios.org/dokuwiki/doku.php) as it provided a nice framework for me to poke around as well as some examples. I would recommend this board as well although it will really help if you know C. Once you have your chops wet with Arduino or if you had wrote some code in C for Rasberry Pi then this can be a good learning board…plus we can always use some extra firmware help with building out the CANiTM boards
I hadn't seen this before not having used an RTOS layer for my little goof off stuff. The more I am looking at this the cooler it looks. Definitely going to try this out. Thanks for the pointer to that!