looking for help for learning uP

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by ees1, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. ees1

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    37
    0
    Hi, I am trying to learn about uP. Once I google it, it gives me millions information.
    I have never had any experience in uP. Now I am interested in learning because I have a potential project coming (maybe not) involving uP control. I think the uP I going to use only does some very simple jobs: output monitoring and feedback loop monitoring. The uP probably 8 pins or 16 pins(I guess).
    Now, I am looking for advise where I should start to study because I have no idea about uP honestly.
    The uP I would like to know is simplest uP for basic control function. could anyone here give me some suggestion where I should start to learn and what area I should focus on?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    How much money are you comfortable spending for the tools you need to program the uP?

    hgmjr
     
  3. ees1

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    37
    0
    From your words, I am guessing you are tring to give me a hint: a better tool will do a better job?
    how much will it be for programing the basic uP? Will $200 be enough?
    I have no experience in uP field, so I hope members here could give me suggestion in analog format and detail.
    Many Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    If after you finish your investigation into the PIC and AVR microcontrollers, you decide that the AVR fits your applications, I think you can get away with around $100. For that amount you can get an STK500 board and a 12V power supply. You can obtain AVRSTUDIO4 (the assembler) and WINAVR (the c-language compiler) development software for free.

    hgmjr
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    "Basic uP" is a misnomer. Unless you want to go back in time and select some device like a Z80 or a 6502. Microprocessors can be selected with many features, like communication interfaces, and the ability to control several different external devices.

    Otherwise, learning programming skills in assembly language and perhaps C is good training. C is pretty standard, but assembler is different for each device.
     
  6. adventtech

    Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    22
    0
    Atmels AT89S51 are one of the simplest uCs to start with. uC is available in 40 pin DIP package so u can easily breadboard your circuit and cheap USB programmers like SmartPro S51 from Protosmart to flash the uC are available.
     
  7. Arm_n_Legs

    Active Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    183
    10
    I would suggest the Silicon Lab kits C8051F226-DK. It comes with debugger and a free code size limited Keil C compiler for less than US$100.
     
  8. ees1

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    37
    0
    :eek: do all of you know different kinds of uP?
    So what i need to do is to purchase the tool, and then learn how to use the tool? will the manufacturer provide instruction how to program?
     
  9. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    536
    26
    ees1 --
    There are literally thousand of micros -- I have worked with about 20 of them. FYI, uP (micro Processor) is what is found inside computers. uC (micro Controller) is what is found in the "real" world -- running your microwave, your phone, etc. (Yes, there are exceptions.)

    If you are totally green (that's newer than a Noob :D ) I would suggest looking at the Parallax BASIC Stamp (www.Parallax.com) -- their teaching materials are quite good, and the forum people are knowledgeable and friendly.

    The Arduino board (www.arduino.cc) is also popular, but I find the teaching material less impressive than Parallax's. AND the programming language is C.

    Both boards have built-in bootloaders so you do not need a separate programmer.

    After you have become accustomed to uC work, you may want to expand you knowledge and get into other, more powerful micros. I'd look at the AVR and PIC families, or even the Parallax Propeller.

    HTH,
    --Rich
     
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