whats the best way of getting into PICs

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by JohnnyD, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. JohnnyD

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    I've been thinking of learning how to make projects using PICs but i don't really know much about it. I do have a programming background so i'm not worried about that side of things, the stuff i don't know is what sort of equipment i'll need to get started, so any ideas would be great.


  2. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    The wiseacre reply is to shrink yourself down to the size of the chip and enter through the hole that you predrilled in the package.

    The more serious reply is to apply an incremental approach. Start with what you know and build on that. Microchip's website is awash with downloadable documents, in pdf format, that you can obtain and read. It really doesn't matter where you start because any starting point will lead you to other documents, application notes, and your ultimate goal.

    You might try Nigel's tutorials for some examples and simple projects. Good luck and have a fun adventure.
  3. hgmjr

    Retired Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    Greetings JohnnyD,

    If you are dead set on working with the PIC, then following papabravo's suggestion will lead you to your goal.

    If on the otherhand you are receptive to an alternative microcontroller series then I would suggest you take a serious look at the AVR series of microcontrollers from ATMEL. The AVR 8-bit microcontrollers are inexpensive and loaded with features. If you have a PC running Windows 2000 or XP, for about $100 US you can obtain an ATSTK500 starter kit and a dc power supply from Digikey that will enable you to begin your exploration of the fascinating world of microcontrollers. The software for programming the AVR series in Assembly language is FREE from ATMEL's website. This software runs on a Windows based PC. It uses the PC's COM port to download programs to the AVR on the ATSTK500 starter kit. Just log onto www.atmel.com and look for the AVR 8-series. The free software is called AVRSTUDIO4.

    In either case, your programming background should give you a big headstart in delving into microcontrollers. I believe you are in for a real treat.

    Go for it and Have Fun,
  4. mrmeval

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 30, 2006
  5. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    Well a good place to start would be here. It will make you ask yourself what exact you wish to achieve and walking you through selection of a language and programmer, finally through to a first programme. Then its up to your own engineering creatvity.

    I am also moving this to the Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers forum where it is better suited.

  6. Larry

    New Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    If you log onto Microchip www.microchip.com on the right hand side of the home page is a list on application notes that is very extensive. You can start with a sinmple design at first, using one of the smaller chips like a PIC16F84A
    (you can get the data sheet and the device from microchip $3.95 pdip) and a book like 123 PIC Microcontroller experiments for the evil genius ($16.47 amazon), a 5 vdc supply, a breadboard strip, MPLAB IDE development software (free microchip) you can be on your way. Building a programmer (all the PIC devices that have a 'F' have flash memory, and usually eeprom as well is simple, and a lot of plans are available from microchip, and probably in whatever book you purchase as well. You should be able to get started for around $50.