Looking into to learn embedded system need advice

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 17, 2011
I'm looking to learn a embedded system. PIC seemed pretty interesting. However, looking for a starter kit to learn the ropes I wasn't sure which to get.


this one seems interesting. Anyone have experience with one they think might be good?

Ultimate goal is to be able to automate things like temperature and pressure on some of my personal projects (I'm graduating with a CHEM E degree this year). Possibly some CNC work way down the line. PIC having floating point support gets some major points and really would simplify several things later down the road, however for this purpose I have no idea which is best.

I have a lot of C programming experience and so any system with a C compiler gets major bonuses.


Joined Feb 28, 2011
If you are wanting to use floating point, you should choose a controller with more power than the PIC18 family (don't get me wrong, it is a great controller). Just to get you started I would suggest the PIC32 starter kit. It connects using USB. http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2615&dDocName=en532453 it is $49.

And if you can afford it, the multimedia expansion board is a companion to the starter kit, bit pricy from your view, but it has audio in and out, wifi, color graphics touchscreen, joystick, etc. It would be a good development platform to try many things and communicate upstream. $249 http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2615&dDocName=en548037 There is a free C compiler with a few restrictions, probably will be fine for your use in the near term.


Joined Feb 12, 2011
Check out arduino project! Cheap and super easy if you have ANY programming experience.
Arduino is very good for getting up and running especially for people new to microcontrollers. You can definitely find lots of already written code to implement into your projects. It is Atmel based and just provides a good set of libraries. Knowing C is a big advantage. Arduino IDE is written in java so it will run on the 3 major OSes. Atmel and PIC have libraries available but may not have the best IDEs depending on the OS. Atmel's IDE is on really runs on Windows. Let us know what you decide.