I’m currently experimenting with embedded systems for use as Airsoft Props (think Capture the Flag, Defuse the IED etc) and after starting off with an Atom mini-itx board (with SSD IDE chip) (£450 prototype) to an ARM based SBC (£325 prototype) I’ve settled on the Stalker from Seeduino which has an RTC, zigbee chip support, lots of DIO, MicroSD support and more. Best of all the prototypes are now down to around £75 a throw (84% saving!).
Unfortunately this saving comes at a cost of a lack of native serial / USB support for writing to the onboard chip. This is easily achievable with a USB to Serial TTL device which is great however upon delivery I had two devices with female 0.1″ headers. The picture below shows the pin outs needed to get the two working;
Top to Bottom from JST pins to CR2302 battery clip
Coupling the Stalker with various addons such as Zigbee transmitters and RFID chips allows the creation of a varied array of props for Airsoft Skirmishing and Milsims.
Once the devices are all finished and had their ‘real world’ playtests I’ll post some more info.