Advantages of Development Boards
Development Boards are printed circuit boards with a microcontroller/microprocessor mounted on them with few other hardware components. Development boards are meant for System Designers to become acquainted with programming a processor onboard and also to develop and test projects effectively and efficiently.
Here is one development board, the Witty Fox- ESP32 StromBoard with an on board LiPo battery and Wireless Programming, that can be bought on https://robocraze.com/ . This Development Board comes with an On board controllable LED and Push Button connected to GPIO.
Why are Development Boards Preferred over bare Microcontrollers:
Imagine that you want to build a system that uses a microcontroller, a button, an alarm, an LCD display, and a power circuit. You intend to build an Anti-theft system with the things at hand. So you start of with assembling all the things on the breadboard and start making connections, assuming that you are relatively new to electronics you would easily take about 20-25 mins to assemble the whole circuitry.
Now provided that you have the code ready with you and this is to just test it with all the connections made. You power up the circuit and it doesn’t work, you inspect the circuit for loose connections because you know for a fact that the code is correct as you had tested it on the emulator, after say about 10 mins you find a loose wire which was not accepting response from the push button, you fix that and voila! your circuit worked.
Now rewind the one hour you spent on just testing and imagine having a circuit ready with you to test, you could have done so many different variations in the present project by burning few variations of the code into the Microcontroller and could have made your project so much better. This is the very reason Development Boards are a boon to have when you are testing and debugging your project to its full potential.
Here are the Obvious Advantages that you have:
- You don’t need to worry about sitting and finding loose connections.
- You don’t need to make the connections on the breadboard and test it before going forward with the PCB fabrication process.
- You don’t need to sit and design PCBs on the software, etch it, then fabricate it on the copper strip which itself takes a while to complete (speaking with experience).
- You can spend time looking at the code you built and bring in some variations to make the project better.
- You don’t need to spend on external Hardware Circuitry as everything is already available on the development board.
- Development Boards are a one-time investment, thus once used with a project, they can be used again with other projects.
- Development Boards come with their own Microcontrollers on board with saves the time to buy a separate microcontroller
- Development Boards nowadays come with their development kits which are well documented, so coding on the onboard microcontroller is simple.