recommend a pic kit for beginner

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by bug13, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Hi guys

    Recently I want to learn PIC, so I'm hoping to get a pic starter kit over my school holiday to play around. I'm looking for a programmer, debugger, and a development board sort of combination.

    I have my eyes on pic starter kit 2
    http://www.microchipdirect.com/productsearch.aspx?Keywords=DV164120

    But I'm not sure as I know nothing about PIC, so what do you guys think?

    I'm an electronics student and have play around with a few avr 8 bit MCU in C and C++, learned Motorola 68hc11in assembly at school.
     
  2. t06afre

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  3. ErnieM

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    That is an excellent starting point. You will learn the basics to use PICs: sensing buttons or a potentiometer, driving LEDs, and how to write the code, get it into the device and perhaps how to use the PICkit as a debugger.

    I have both the PICkit 2 and 3 (also an ICD3) and prefer the PICkit 2 as it seems faster to me, and I like being able to use a stand along program (outside of MPLAB) to run it at times. But the difference is minor and the PICkit 3 does every device.

    Other thoughts from the sticky: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showpost.php?p=503555&postcount=33
     
  4. Jungle Jim

    New Member

    Oct 20, 2012
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    The Pickit 2 is an ideal starter kit. I bought one with no prior knowledge of PIC's. Three months later I had incorporated 2 pic's on a single pcb in a label applicator controller that read BCD thumbwheels to determine timing loops, read various inputs and controlled pneumatic valves via transistor drivers.

    I have a new project coming up where I need to drive stepper motors and I will be using the kit again for the development work.
     
  5. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Thanks for the advice!

    There is one thing I noticed from the PICkit2 and PICkit3 info pages, PIC don't seen to have a C++ complied, and I did some googling, I found no c++ complier for PIC.

    My main interest is using PIC with C, but it would be nice to know if there is a C++ complier available for PIC.

    Most of the post I read from Google is almost 2years old, perhaps things have been changed by now?

    To t06afre, unfortunately I do on a budget, but I am willing to save for a good one piece of education tool if it worked out better in the long run.

    At the moment I like t06afre idea as the PICkit3 can debug most of the pic without an adapter, am I correct?
     
  6. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    You really don't want to use C++. It is very memory intensive. I am a big C++ fan myself but have settled in to using the old C compiler.

    Besides C is free.
     
  7. spinnaker

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    The Pickit3 can program and debug any Pic out there. Not true for the PicKit2. But the Pickit2 has a logic analyzer and a couple of other features that will be useful to the beginning programmer.

    Why these features aren't available on the 3 is beyond me.
     
  8. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Hi spinnaker, what a couple of other features are you talking about?

    And I just watched this review from EEVblog, just wondering if any improvement has been make since the review
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfIS65mwn8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
     
  9. spinnaker

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    I don't have one so I can't be certain but I think it also allows you to write debug strings to a debug terminal.
     
  10. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    thanks you all for giving me advices:)
     
  11. t06afre

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    Quite true. but for some PICs you will still need a debuging ICD header(extra HW) regardless of which programmer you use. Example are the 16f690 or the 16f84. However most newer PICs do have the debug circutry included on the chip. I think one of the first PICs to have this onboard was the 16f87x series(but do not use this, use the 16f88x instead. Almost all PICs in the 18F series have this included.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  12. RG23

    Active Member

    Dec 6, 2010
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    Check this document before selecting the pickit

    C:\Program Files\Microchip\MPLAB IDE\Readmes\Device Support.htm

    It mentions the recommended pickit for particular controller.

    Which PIC controller are you going to use?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  13. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Are you able to attach the file? I don't have a MPLAB installed yet, but I think I am going to use low to mid rang chip, just for me to mud around and get myself to know PIC with C. I don't really have anything particular in mind.

    but I have already ordered a PICkit3 and a couple of PIC16F1824-I/P for my early Xmas presents.

    PS:
    I can't help myself and order an TI msp430 launchpad as well, I mean it's only US$4.30 (shipping included)
     
  14. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I have ordered a couple of PIC16F1824-I/P, the datasheet mentions something like this:
    hope that's what you are talking about.
     
  15. t06afre

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    Yes I think so you are raedy to get some work done. By the way. Then you get your PICKIT. Skip installing software from the CDs. Get the newest software from Microchip instead. I would still recommend using MPLAB and not MPLABX. But the XC8 C compiler is good.
     
    bug13 likes this.
  16. bug13

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2012
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    thanks, I will go and get the latest version from Microchip :)
     
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