maybe getting into PIC

I don't see where the dsPIC30F3010 actually has an inbuilt analog compare module. So while it has a fault pin input for the PWM module, the implication is that an external signal would still be required?

Looking at say the PIC18f46k22, the internal analog comparator can be used for the PWM auto shutdown source. The comparator response specs are in the 200-300ns range (table 27-1).

As far as putting some sort of kit together, a good sized double column breadboard, and a 350 pc. 22 guage jumper kit would be a good start.
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Ok, I'm getting myself more confused as I read this stuff. I though MPLAB was all I needed to program the PIC. now I'm reading that it doesn't include a "compiler" so I searched the microchip website and the C compiler is 495$!. So I guess this is where your BoostC/BoostBasic reccommendation comes into play? Are the boostbasic/boostc programs "compilers" that I need to use in conjunction with MPLAB in order to program; or are they standalone programs? how does this work if Dave Jones said that the PicKit3 only works with MPLAB?
The BoostC from sourceboost is both a standalone compiler/simulator, and it integrates with MPLAB for debugging. Best of all worlds.

For a <50nS shutdown period (>20kHz in frequency terms), most PICs can handle that with the right FET, even clocked at 4Mhz.

If the specs on the PICs already mentioned don't look like they perk your interest, take a look at the 16F1827 It has the sought after features of the 18F series (C compiler optimization instructions, ECCP, I2C, etc and is very speedy with lots of... everything.

Getting started with the 16F/18F series is around $60, as mentioned above, and $5 for Boost C, although I doubt your app would even reqch the memory limits of the free version.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,132
programmer cost 900$ (what is this? why is it so expensive?)

will the pickit perform the function of the 900$ programmer?
First, as said yes the PICkit will be a fine substitute, in fact better as it can also do in circuit debugging.

The link is to the "Universal Programmer" model PM3. I've worked with it some and it is a very good unit with some very useful features for a production programming environment. It has a universal connector (2 rows of connections) that support a wide variety of sockets, so if you have a bunch of loose devices (in say a SOIC or QFN package) to program this will accept them. It also has a 14(?) pin connector if you have (as I did) a board requiring a custom header for in circuit programming.

It has a slot for an SD card that can hold the code images. You load these from a PC then the PM3 unit can work on it's own without a PC.

It best feature is the ability to do programming and validation at various voltages, so you can check the memory is working at both low and high supply extremes.

When I lost this unit to a different division of my company I was still able to use it's socket to program QFN packages off a PICkit by adding my own 6 pin header.

It can easily be overkill for your needs.
 
The PIC can be a bit of an odd beast.
I sometimes find myself going through code that wont work because a bit set somewhere in some register is not set correctly.
If you insist on PIC then be prepared to flog your way through the datasheet very carefully.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,529
The PIC can be a bit of an odd beast.
I sometimes find myself going through code that wont work because a bit set somewhere in some register is not set correctly.
If you insist on PIC then be prepared to flog your way through the datasheet very carefully.
I'm not insisting on PIC. If possible, I would prefer to use something that doesn't require me to buy a debugger and I would prefer not to tackle a new steep learning curve ATM. I haven't even bought anything yet and I'm already going crosseyed from the information. The only reason I'm asking about the PIC is that I've been repeatedly recommended it. If my arduino is suitable, I would much rather use it. I could program the AVR on the arduino, then remove the AVR and put it in my circuit. That would make me exceedingly happy.
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
I'm not insisting on PIC. If possible, I would prefer to use something that doesn't require me to buy a debugger and I would prefer not to tackle a new steep learning curve ATM. I haven't even bought anything yet and I'm already going crosseyed from the information. The only reason I'm asking about the PIC is that I've been repeatedly recommended it. If my arduino is suitable, I would much rather use it. I could program the AVR on the arduino, then remove the AVR and put it in my circuit. That would make me exceedingly happy.
The problem being that you are then limited to the Arduino pins and library functions.

Many Atmel processors have a lot of features, so not learning C for AVR puts you back into the same boat of "only able to do what an Arduino can". C for AVR is only slightly simpler than C for PIC, just remember to disable unused Analog port functions if not using them (most common complaint).

Both of them have speed to spare, the majority of programs are delay loops that kill time. Onboard peripherals such as UART, USB, Ethernet, etc. come in more useful than clock speeds after a certain point, though the uC will be running at a clock speed to run those extra peripherals anyway. Having a 48 MIPS uC is dandy, but if you are only blinking LEDs, you are wasting power.
 
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