About Learning Microcontrollers, Beginner's confusion

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Qaisar Azeemi, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Qaisar Azeemi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 7, 2011
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    HI All;

    can any one learn the programming and interfacing of PIC, AVR, LPC etc and other microcontrollers only by searching internet and experiments and carry projects without teachers ore instructors?

    i am fresh Graduate and beginner to this field and need help from experts.

    hope you will help me.

    thank you in anticipation.

    Regards,

    Qaisar Azeemi
     
  2. anothermort

    New Member

    Mar 3, 2011
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    Of course they can, I am sure a lot of people are self taught.

    Besides you have as many instructors as you want using forums like this.

    Decide which one you want to start with pic, avr, etc.
    Get a cheap development board and a good beginners book for that board.

    Start with a flashing led example and work from there.

    When you get stuck ask questions and search the internet.
    Everytime I get stuck I turn to the internet and find some great websites that are as good as any instructor.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    I did. But I cheated some as I started before there was an internet.
     
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  5. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Simply put as this: they were invented before many people had access of any kind to whatever Internet was at the moment.

    I learnt by myself the Z80, 8051 and 16C57 with books and nothing else.
     
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  6. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    I taught myself by having to burn and erase a lot of UV-EPROMs. The turn-around time for that process was about 45 mins. You quickly learned to write code (in assembler) that worked first time (i.e. you looked over your code very carefully before burning into the EPROM).
     
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  7. samin

    Member

    Oct 14, 2011
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    I think AVR Micro-controllers are a good choice for starting because of high level programming languages such as Basic and easy to program, you can build your own programmer just with one buffer .

    at first download Bascom-avr Basic compiler and take a look on schematic of AVR programmers .

    Good luck and Have fun :)
     
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  8. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    When I started with the 16C57 I had several of them.

    When debugging they were in a merry go round style, being used, being erased or just waiting turn to be used next.

    With discipline and things close to each other, this process did not disturb my concentration during debugging (which was done with nothing else than two LEds (one green and one red).
     
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  9. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Wow, you had TWO leds? My first micro only had one.

    (Oops, I'm cheating, it also had 2 hexadecimal displays and a hexadecimal keypad. And a whopping 256 bytes of RAM memory loadable via the keypad.)
     
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  10. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
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    As you have seen, it IS possible. After 20+ years of messing with the things, my criterion is the forum for the chip(s). Look through the messages, see how people are treated. When you can't get your LED to blink, you do NOT need messages like "RTFM, idjit!" -- Although in all fairness, I've NEVER seen so crude a message in any board :)

    --Rich
     
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  11. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Think that takes long? Ever try factory-masked ROMs? Months between coding and testing!
     
  12. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    No, because you would do all your debugging first with EPROM before sending the final code to be made into a ROM.
     
  13. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    You misunderstand: the ROM was part of the CPU (similar to flash/otp parts of today), but was hardcoded by the optical mask during fabrication.

    There was no 'chip' to debug prior to fabricating the part. Granted, there was a 'ROMless' part that helped with simulation and debug, but this was not the final part to be used in production.

    Final testing could not be preformed until after sample parts were fabricated and delivered from the factory, months after submitting the 'final' code. To fix any remaining bugs required an additional fabrication cycle. Once approved, the production parts would be available many months afterward.

    IIRC, each iteration cost many thousands of dollars for NRE and fabrication. It is amazing how much cheaper, easier, and faster things are today.

    If you're curios, look for a datasheet for the National Semiconductor COP420, and you will see what I am talking about. You'll notice that even the clock and I/O configurations were 'factory masked' in.
     
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  14. Qaisar Azeemi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 7, 2011
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    i a very thankful to all who encouraged me alot here. i decided to learn PIC first and then i go to AVR microcontrollers. about 8051 i've learnt it during my masters. what you all think.. is my sequence to learn microcontrollers is right or i change it somewhat?
     
  15. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    If you want to learn about MCU I would choose AVR over PIC any day, without question.
     
  16. Qaisar Azeemi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 7, 2011
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    @MrChips: can you please explain why?
     
  17. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    I teach MCU programming. The design and architecture on the PIC has got to be one of the weirdest machines I have ever seen. In contrast, the design of the AVR MCU was a sound academic/engineering approach.

    I would not want to teach a MCU class using the PIC.

    Many years ago I made a long list of the design flaws of the PIC. I will see if I can dig it up from somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
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