Switching from Picaxe to 16f877a

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Rbeckett, May 17, 2012.

  1. Rbeckett

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 3, 2010
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    I have been programming my Picaxe pretty succesfully for a year or so now. I love the simplicity of that system, but it is time to learn a new way. I chose to go to the PIC mainstream due to cost and availability. Microchip has a vast supply of chips that are cheap and readily available. I further decided that since I was going to learn a new language it might as well be C/C++. I have a minimum of 12 hours a week to study while I am strapped to the dialysis chair so I hope to absorb it pretty quick. I already ordered the text books from Patesh and Stroudstrup and a few developement boards with programming cables and CD's as well as down loaded the newest release of MPLAB X. Since I am notorious for letting the magic smoke out I ordered 5 extra 16f877a's just in case. Any hints or good texts to add to my learning curve. I am currently building a brew controller to ultimately automate most of the task. I am also integrating Pneumatics, temp sensing, temp regulation, pilot sensors, water valve controls and timers into this project. Once I have this system up and running I will move on to other possibly more complex projects in the future. Guidance, comments. suggestions are all sought and solicited. Thanks in advance for all of the help I am sure to recieve.
    Wheelchair Bob
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Rbeckett likes this.
  3. Rbeckett

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    205
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    Berus,
    Thanks for the Goldmine reference. I am still way new to electronics and MCU's so I need all the help my feeble little mind can get. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend.
    Wheelchair Bob
     
  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    I would perhaps go for standard MPLAB. Not MPLABX. If you use windows that is. MPLABX is still in the development phase. So the program is not matured yet
     
  5. Rbeckett

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 3, 2010
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    TO6,
    Thanks for the warning. I had already downloaded the 8.X version of Mplab but had not deleted it yet when I downloaded Mplab X. I guess that was a good thing. I gotta say I am having the best time designing this project. I am doing the automation in layers and adding a circuit at a time by using small developement strip boards that plug into the "mother" circuit board. I found a really cheap supply of small proto boards (5CM X 7 CM one side FR-1 and FR-4's) and a good collection of IDC connectors so that has been very easy to accomplish so far. I build a seperate circuit, test it the add it to the main board through multiple ten pin connectors and ribbon cable. I also use connectors for the outside sensors that come into the circuit box. That keeps me and high line voltage way apart. I have lots of experience with line voltages so I respect and treat it as a live circuit at all times. The two and three pin connectors are threaded for a positive fit and virtually water proof too. That connects the DS18B20's (3 pin) and the K-Type (2 pin) thermocouples I am using for temp sensors for my PID's and control circuits. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.
    Wheelchair Bob
     
  6. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    Hey, Bob -
    Congrats on taking the dive into uC's, and good luck with your project(s).

    You might consider swapping to the PIC16F887 instead of the PIC16F877, as they are more modern, are very similar in functionality, much cheaper, and have an internal clock so that you don't have to use a crystal or external clock unless you really need the increased accuracy.

    The PIC16F87x series have been around for a number of years, and I have a feeling that Microchip may be pulling the plug on them not too far down the road.
     
  7. Rbeckett

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    205
    32
    Thanks Sgt Wookie, I always wait till you weigh in before I make anything really concrete. Seems like I always find a system that will be replaced or upgraded soon. I guess since I am learning C/C++ I can transfer that to any chip out there currently. Hopefully the development boards and programming boards will be pin for pin compatable. If not, then time to buy more stuff. So far I am having a blast designing the boards and linking them together. Never thought I would ever learn how to do this stuff, but I am getting there slowly but surely. Thanks for all the help..
    Bob
     
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