I have been doing software for a long time but am new to the hardware side. I got an Omega for a chance to play with hardware applications, particularly using the GPIO.
Does anyone have any pointers/information that would be helpful when starting to learn the hardware side? What hardware/sensors do you find extremely useful?
Personally I like anything that uses I2C, makes it very easy to chain them together without tying up a lot of ports. I imagine just about any arduino/raspberry pi module would work well with the Omega.
Start with here it gives you a good overview of both the Pi and Arduino setups. The Omega feel more like a Pi to me because it runs Linux (WooHoo!) and so all the basic tutorials about using python, bash or c code to talk to the GPIO pins will be applicable to the Omega.
Also this might seem like a bit of a blatant advert but I got these on Ebay and they all will work with the Omega in one way or another. I actually got them for some RPi projects but there is such a mix you can make some very cool projects.
As @Robert-Gusek as mentioned there are plenty of I2C sensors out there that can work directly with the Omega. Working with I2C devices on Omega is mostly a software effort. I2C is a hardware equivalent of a message bus, where each client has a unique address and they can talk to each other as long as they are on the same bus.
If you just do a search on I2C sensor on Ebay or Amazon a lot will show up.
You can read more about I2C here
Speaking of I2C, we're releasing documentation for a C-based I2C library for the Omega sometime next week.