A project being designed has some data-logging functions (recording certain events, maximums, minimums, and the like), but is otherwise standalone in a factory/warehouse environment. It has no user interface (display, switches, LEDs) and is battery powered with the batteries expected to last the life of the product.
The customer would like a technician to visit each device periodically and upload the event log. This could be done with a laptop or PDA. I'm exploring the PDA angle right now.
And I'm a PDA novice.
Requirements (open to discussion):
--"Mainstream", neither bleeding edge or likely to be totally obsolete in 6 months
--Reasonably priced. Low volume, moving about in the factory, run over by forklift, etc. means we don't need/want top of the line.
--Interface to our AVR project
--Interface to Windows PC for upload & processing.
Digging on computer store Web sites, I see several offerings in the US$100 range (OK), Palm OS (mainstream--OK), USB + infrared serial interfaces standard (the crux of the post).
I assume the USB on the PDA is USB-slave.
So, how would you interface your battery-powered AVR to the $100 PDA? Can I easily talk to the PDA USB? What about that infrared serial?
Relatively low volume, so I don't want to spend 3 months on PDA and/or PC interface software, either.