PIC vs AVR's PART 2

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by xphere, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. xphere

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 29, 2006
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    Hi every one. I've been a fan of this site for a while. I actually do work in the Idustrial Controls industry. Working with Andover Controls product and Johnson Controls products. But im tired of being that far up the logic train. As a hobby i've been looking into programming microcontrollers. just to have fun with little robots, or just do random things. I was planning originally to just get a basic stamp and program that, then i came across these forums and read about AVR chips versus PIC's.

    Anyway, long story short, (because work is slow today i have a tendancy to ramble, but i dont want to waste any ones time)

    My questions:

    I'm trying to start on a path that has a lot of potential. I've been thinking about the ATSTK500 programmer, it looks like it has a lot of options for chip sizes. But i then saw what a user posted about a 60$ PIC programmer. So im torn. So my question is. which line (AVR vs PIC) has the most potential, do either have major advantages? I've noticed that there seem to be a lot more versions and setups of PIC's but then i would need a lot of different programmers, where as the ATSTK seems to have most of the pin sets on the one programmer.

    do either perform better under a greater load? or more complex programming?

    I'm really leaning towards the ATSTK500, unless someone can show me a good reason not to. my downside is, well like anyone else, we all want to save money and to me it seems like the ATSTK500 will get me set for a while. But with my wife, i think i can only validate one programmer, at least for now. If i bought more then one, or spend too much else wise, i think i'll end up on the floor (she wont send me to the couch, its too comfortable... *darn*)

    Anyway, thank you in advanced for your time and advice.
    -SWC
     
  2. xphere

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    15
    0
    ok im really sorry my browser froze on me and gave me an error, i didnt mean to submit this topic twice. im looking for a way to delete one of them.. im really sorry

    p.s. I was also wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for a good assymbly programming tutorial.. thank you
     
  3. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    Greetings xphere,

    No problem with the double post. It happens now and then. I deleted the duplicate post.

    Anyway, to your question.

    I have a couple of the STK500 kits that I purchased from Digikey for $80 each. I have enjoyed using them for several months now.

    I like the AVR family of processors but to be honest I have never had any first hand experience with the PIC and its tools.

    As part of your evaluation exercise, you may what to get your hands on the assembler tools for both microcontrollers and play around with them to see how you like the user inteface available from each. That should help you make the decision on which way to go PIC or AVR.

    You can download the AVRSTUDIO4 assembler FREE from ATMEL's website . I believe there is also a free software development tool for the PIC but I will defer to others to direct you to its source.

    You can go to www.avrbeginners.net and find a great introduction to assembly language programming of the AVR. There is also a forum for AVR users as www.avrfreaks.net .

    hgmjr
     
  4. xphere

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    15
    0
    Thank you, i suppose, i think to some degree, PIC development appears to have great support because it seems that a lot of people use it, would you say thats the same for the AVR side of things? again thank you for your time.
     
  5. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
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    I believe there is a substantial following for both of these very capable microcontroller families.

    You are doing the right thing to inquire in forums such as this since you will be able to use the feedback you get to help you make a decision.

    I would encourage you to get the free assembler tools that are available for both the PIC and AVR and compare them for the features they provide. The PIC and AVR microcontrollers both have tons of device feature so evaluating the tools will be a big part of making your decision between the two.

    Once again, I will admit to a strong bias towards AVRs but I am certain that there are others that are equally enthusiastic over the PICs.

    hgmjr
     
  6. xphere

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    15
    0
    Well thank you, i think im going to jump on the AVR band wagon. much the same way i jumped on AMD and nVidia, and thats worked well for me. It seems from my research that this will be a great place to start, and if i find the need to much later i can work on PIC's as well. I just need to start somewhere. I have a few aspirations that im aiming at. I just hope AVR will get me there. I'm pretty sure it will though.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  7. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    From my experience with AVR, it has performed well in every way I have needed it to.

    Once you get started programming and encounter a snag with something you are attempting to do, feel free to come back here from time to time and I will help you as much as I can. I learn something new about the AVR every time I write a new program.

    I am working on a program at the moment to explore the Input Capture feature. I have an application in which I am interested in writing a program that uses the AVR as a pulse detector. I will be setting it up to detect the occurrance of a pulse that fits a specific minimum and maximum duration. When it occurs I plan to light an LED to alert me that the pulse has occurred and possibly record the number of times the pulses occurs as well. The idea is to place this battery powered pulse detector in a piece of equipment that is misbehaving due to what we suspect is a rare and randomly occurring pulse.

    hgmjr
     
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