Help with PIC selection

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 12, 2008
i have done many circuits with TTL, CMOS, Linear, Analog, Logic, and all that...

I want to learn to program ICs.

i do alot with LED's and automotive Electronics, so i would like to find a beginners kit, that may allow me to use a controller to make flashy, tons-of-LED kinda circuits.

Like scrolling messages, Audio spectrum displays, you know? i like cool blinky things!!! hahaha

anyways, i looked into a ATmega128 for a little while, but im not sure which PIC, Basic stamp, or whatever i should get.

I know how to program with Visual Basic, if that means anything...ill learn C if i have to.

What do you guys think i should get for a beginner (but useful) first Board?

oh, and USB interface is preferrable so i can program with my laptop


Joined Jan 18, 2008
If you have no or little recent programming experience, including Basic, I found starting with Assembly was quite simple. The tutorial I used was at:

After you get your LEDs flashing and feel comfortable, then get Elmer 160 (by John McDonough, WB8RCR) for more advanced guidance. Unfortunately, I don't have the link to the latter.

Welcome to the 21st century.



Joined Feb 4, 2008
You can find relatively cheap USB programmers on ebay which can program both PIC and AVR.
The only 'advantage' to choose AVR is because Atmel offers the needed software for free while Microchip does not. Both families have powerful uCs.


Joined Jan 18, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML - News) today issued the following statement in response to the announcement that Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP - News) may seek to elect a slate of seven director representatives at Atmel's 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders:
It's a war, and I intend to stay neutral. The only thing I bought from Microchip was PicStart Plus; MPLab is free. So far as I know, Microchip is pretty flexible on pricing of its programmers for certain users.