programming start

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by tibbles, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. tibbles

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 27, 2008
    hi all
    just had my first look at programming,the board looks and works great, restricted on choice of chips, but for the price not bad at all,

    the manual look fairly easy to follow a bit daunting though, so i need to spend some time on that,

    being a bit on the lazy side and not too much spare time, i was wondering if anyone, for a fee of course.undertakes taking your basic requirements- say 'high on o/p 1' etc etc.and convert it to the assembler or w.h.y language ?,
    might be an earner for someone...

  2. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    Are you trying to learn coding or is this for a product?

    If it is the former, I don't see how getting someone to write the code for you will help.

    If it is the latter, I suspect you will get plenty of help here gratis, if it is not too complicated. Can you specify exactly what you want done?

    BTW, in the latter case, the 16F84A is a really poor choice for a product.

  3. tibbles

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 27, 2008
    thanks john, fair comment on all points,

    i have no particular project in mind at the moment

    will carry on studing the info and get back.

    thanks again

  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    Hi I think the "PICKIT 2 Starter Kit" is a better option. It may cost somewhat more, but you will get a much more flexible toolkit. As you can use 8-, 14-, and 20-pin PICmicros. You are not locked to one PICmicros. The PICKIT 2 is also a product from Microchip
  5. hgmjr

    Retired Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    You could also consider ATMEL's AVR 8-bit micro family which is very similar to the PIC in its variety of chip packages. You can go to ATMEL's website and download their free Code Development tool called AVRSTUDIO4. It runs on WINDOWS XP or VISTA. If C-language is your perference you can then go to and download the c-compiler add-in to AVRSTUDIO4 called WINAVR. The In-System programmers are reasonably priced and available from Digikey and other sources.

    Neither of these software development programs are crippled in any way. All features are available.

  6. kubeek


    Sep 20, 2005
    I agree with the ATMEL devices, they may be a bit more expensive than PIC devices, beut they are more multi-purpose as nearly every pin on the atmega is configurable as an input, output, and also can be connected to some inner device like A/D converter, comparator, timer...

    Also the possibility of writing the programs in C is great, beacause (if you are familiar with C) you can focus more on "what" you want the chip to do rather than "how" to achieve it. C also takes care of setting stack pointer, transferring parameters and return values of functions etc. In assembler, you have to be careful about overwriting shared registers by the called function, while the C compiler takes care of these problems.
  7. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
    I'd start with the 18F series PICs. IMO just much nicer than the old 16F parts.
    Free C & BASIC compilers too.
  8. russ_hensel

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 11, 2009
  9. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    If you get a "PG164120 - PICkit 2 Microcontroller Programmer" You can program almost every PICmicros, and also do some incircuit debugging, but this do not apply to all PICmicros. As I understand you have some basics skill you can build your own trainer. Ad some dip switches, LEDs, and IO ports. Perhaps also a serial port. Then you can have much fun
    I am perhaps somewhat biased against Microchip. But for learning it is not very important which platform you select. Just do it ;)
  10. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    If you want to program PICs cheaply then you could buy a iCP01 USB Microchip PIC Programmer from a popular auction site. It is a copy of the PICKit 2 made by someone in Malasia and mine works fine straight out of the box with the free Microchip software.
    I haven't used other types of chip or IDE but I like the Microchip MPLAB IDE and simulator which you could have a play around to see if you like it, before buying a programmer or any chips.
  11. BMorse

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 26, 2009
    If it is programing in C that you want to learn, I used a Pic32 Starter Kit to learn C with Lucio DiJasio's Book "Programming 32 Bit Microcontrollers In C", it was pretty easy to understand and follow, and the libraries (which covered every peripheral on the Pic32MX uc) that are presented are very useful in a variety of other projects. I went from not knowing C (mostly did my coding bitbanging 8 bit registers in asm, and basic), and taking 3rd Place (not too shabby for someone who didn't know C, and went on to beat out 393 other embedded systems developers) in Microchips worldwide PIC32 contest at (My project was the B.U.M. System), but basically that's how easy it was for me to learn 32bit C by using these products and with other support from Microchip's site.....

    A cheaper avenue would be to purchase a $40.00 UBW32 module from sparkfun (Has built in USB Bootloader, so you would not need any type of programmer.) and download MPLAB from Microchips site, I believe their "free" student version of MPLAB only supports 64K code size, but it could be a good start.....

    This is just one avenue you can explore, there are plenty of other options / uc's out there....

    My .02
  12. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    Just worth to mention. The "PG164120 - PICkit 2 Microcontroller Programmer" offers debugging functions to some of the PICmicros. The iCP01 is a programmer only