I have a project I'd like to prototype that requires a host device that can communicate with up to 10 small hand-held slaves at one time. I looked at the latest Raspberry Pi 3 and it may possibly serve as a host since I may require HDMI output on the host. The host is doing most of the work here in this project.

My questions revolve mostly around the slave units. They must fulfill these requirements:

  • less than $50 USD each total hardware cost to build the slave device
  • a small color screen (TFT or other) capable of at least 320x160 and fitting in your palm.
  • preferably low power usage or capable of feeding power off host device
  • Wired (initially) with a thin cable feeding each slave power and/or data.

The data transfer is from host to slave and is not high bandwidth. (100 bytes every 1-3 seconds to each device) The slave will simply read any incoming data and displays a variable picture based on the data received. Preferably, data would only be sent once and must be received at each slave.

I saw this post describing some common transfer protocols: USART, UART, RS232, USB, SPI, I2C, TTL, etc. what are all of these and how do they relate to each other?

I think UART, SPI, and IC2 would all work.

I would like to keep the cabling simple.

What would be a method\bus for driving up to 10 slave micro controllers from a master micro controller? Do I have to worry about power from bus communication?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you wish to post personal info, its best done on your profile page. I edited the question to pare it down. Usually questions that have 3+ questions are shut down for being too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 15 '17 at 4:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE this post needs to be edited, please see the help center for guidance on asking questions as this one is two broad and asking for recommendations on purchasing products is also off topic. Why? Because this is a Q&A site, its for asking specific questions and getting answers, but discussion is discouraged \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 15 '17 at 4:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ How crucial is it that the information gets through reliably to the slaves? A broadcast technology of some sort can be a lot simpler to implement but doesn't necessarily guarantee that it gets received, so if it isn't a problem that one gets missed from time to time you can avoid the complexity of ten point-to-point links. Just one of many design issues you need to consider before diving in and picking protocols... \$\endgroup\$ – Finbarr Mar 15 '17 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Understood. My topic and question may be too broad then. I'll keep it specific in the future and avoid open-ended discussion-based topics. \$\endgroup\$ – mzh Mar 16 '17 at 0:51

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