Which microcontroller and which book?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by aibiluv, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. aibiluv

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2010

    I am in my 3rd year computer engineering. I will be starting microntroller next semester.
    Please i will like to know which micro controller to learn. And a good practical book. A book that teaches using an actual development kit.
  2. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
    What does your course recommend?
  3. aibiluv

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Thanks for your response that was really fast.
    Actually my course just studies micro controller in general. I will like to start having practical knowledge in embedded system. I'm a good programmer. I've made applications in c,c++,java and pascal. however i want to go into hardware.
  4. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Find out which microcontrollers can be programmed by the schools programmers and choose one.

    Popular ones are PICs, AVRs and Texas Instruments micros.
  5. FastEddie

    Active Member

    Jul 14, 2007
  6. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    Google will provide a good deal of background material and examples for any uC you choose.

    You will most likely have your choice made for you by the school, which typically use PICs, some use older controllers, such as the 8051 or even embedded microprocessors (vs. microcontollers) like the 6502 or Z80.

    See what you can find out from the syllabus so you have an idea of what you'll be running into.
  7. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    The best thing would be to talk to the person responsible for the course. As this person will give all info you need like recommend books, and MCU brand used in class. Learning about MCUs is much like learning to swim. You can not learn how to swim without getting wet. And it is hard to learn about MCUs without programming them.
  8. aibiluv

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    My school won't teach us any uC in particular. But most likely our practicals would be on 8051.
    I actually want to buy the development kit and the book. I want a book that will show me how to connect the stuffs together and how to debug.
    I want to buy a book that teaches based on a particular development kit.
    They are so much books, which makes it more confusing for beginners to select what they really want.
    Am interested in spending any amount of money that will make me grasp the knowledge.
  9. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    Get an EasyPIC6.

    You can use hundreds of uCs comes with an 16f887 and it allows a lot of experimentation with a lot of stuff.

    Graphics, touch-screen, LEDs, buttons, memory, programming, LCD displays, COG display

    It is very versatile.

    If you are not going with an 8051, go with this if you want PIC.

    For AVR, you can go with an ARDUINO. There is none of the bells and whistles, you will have to create and wire the circuits to make anything, but there are 1,000s of websites and books related to it.



    ALSO, MikroE, the people that make the EasyPIC, also make one for the 8051.

    If you want to stay close to what they are using at your school, you can get it. You will have the development help of the Easy8051 with all its "stuff" on-board, and still follow the coursework.
    aibiluv likes this.
  10. mr_mac3


    Nov 16, 2008
    I would definitely recommend the Arduino. It has a GREAT community, you can find help and tutorials for pretty much anything. The Arduino platform starts you off at a nice abstraction level, it is programmed with the Arduino language which is basically C++ without some headers and a setup() and loop() function instead of a main. It is actually all there they just parse out this stuff in the IDE. You can look at and edit the actual C++ file the IDE creates. The Arduino Language also include some very nice libraries to abstract away many low-level details you don't need to be concerned with in a prototyping environment. If you want to get down to the low level details you can write your own libraries and un-include the Arduino libraries. These are fully functional microcontrollers so if you wanted to program them in assembly and upload programs via command line through ISP you can do that.

    The hardware is based on the AVR ATmega line of microcontrollers. They have various models for different applications. You can choose the one that fits your requirements. You can even build your own PCB board and burn a bootloader onto a supported AVR microcontroller and be able to program it in the Arduino environment.

    I have used Arduino boards for about 2 years and have no complaints! It is a really nice board. Thats just my two cents.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2010
    aibiluv likes this.
  11. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    I want one of those so bad. Perfect for 8bit deving. You see their PIC32 board they just released? It looks pretty smooth. I think I like the exp16 better just because it has a real book that uses it. And it has lots of components. I'm also pretty sure I can make my own 8 bit PIM's to plug into it too. So that would give it 8bit - 32bit support. Also remember if you buy anything from MC use a @XXXX.edu address. It automatically gives you 25% off. So a PIM would be $20.It really adds up when you spend over $100. Sometimes you can buy stuff just for students too. Last year they sold tons of ICD2 lites. The only difference was the OTG programming. But they sold em for $40 each. Great deal, really wish I woulda bought 2 or 3.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  12. aibiluv

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Thanks to you all for your contribution. I am going with the arduino.
    Thanks again.