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PICList Thread
'[OT]: PIC programming job'
2001\05\25@172331 by michael brown

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Epistle to the Piclist,

Naturally, this seems like a great opportunity for me to get my first
embedded project contract.  I am confident that I should have no problem in
writing the software for this, since I have already done allot of coding
(with far greater complexity) on the 16f84.  However, it seems that this
will require use of a PIC with ADC capabilities.  What is the cheapest PIC
that has this capability?  Or, should it be done some other way?  From the
stated requirements, does it sound like he wants hardware design also?  What
would be a fair way (price?) to charge for just the software.  Come on guys,
give me some input.  Surely everyone here had to have their first time.  I
sent him an e-mail, but he may not even consider me.  Nonetheless, I would
still like input (flames?) from everyone.  Please share personal thoughts on
getting your first embedded contract.  I have done allot of programming, but
never for contract.  I would greatly appreciate any input I can get.  Thanks
and TTYL

Michael Brown
Instant Net Solutions
http://www.KillerPCs.net


{Quote hidden}

low
> again during this timed period.
> 4- At the end of the timed period cause a second pin to go low (say pin
"B")
> again for 1 second.
> 5- Whilst ever the timed period is running a third pin "C" goes hi-low at
a
> rate of about 2hz.
> 6- After the timed period the input now accepts a negative trigger to
start
> the routine again.
>
> Notes -
> The timed period needs to be adjusted by a small variable resistor or
> similar from say 0-5 minutes. None of the timing is absolutely critical
but
> +/- 10% would be great.
>
>
> What do you think?
>
> Can you please let us know as we are keen to find someone to help us out
> with this project. If you have any ideas about costs, please indicate
these
> as it will be useful.
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Paul Goodwin.

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2001\05\25@182556 by David VanHorn

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At 04:18 PM 5/25/01 -0500, michael brown wrote:
>Epistle to the Piclist,
>
>Naturally, this seems like a great opportunity for me to get my first
>embedded project contract.  I am confident that I should have no problem in
>writing the software for this, since I have already done allot of coding
>(with far greater complexity) on the 16f84.  However, it seems that this
>will require use of a PIC with ADC capabilities.  What is the cheapest PIC
>that has this capability?  Or, should it be done some other way?  From the
>stated requirements, does it sound like he wants hardware design also?  What
>would be a fair way (price?) to charge for just the software.  Come on guys,
>give me some input.  Surely everyone here had to have their first time.  I
>sent him an e-mail, but he may not even consider me.  Nonetheless, I would
>still like input (flames?) from everyone.  Please share personal thoughts on
>getting your first embedded contract.  I have done allot of programming, but
>never for contract.  I would greatly appreciate any input I can get.  Thanks
>and TTYL

You can fake an A/D (not really fake) by using two resistors, two diodes,
and a cap.
A single port pin connects to the two diodes.
The diodes each connect to a resistor (one is your pot)
The resistors both connect to the cap.  Use a moderate size, like 10uF.

Orient the diodes so that charge current goes through one resistor, and
discharge through the other.
Now, you can compare charge time vs discharge time, and get the ratio.

You'll be flipping banks a lot, but it works.

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2001\05\25@184520 by Francisco Armenta Lopez

picon face
You can use the pic16f873
check the microchip website http://www.microchip.com and/or the piclist website
http://www.piclist.com
there you can find a lot of code for use the built-in ADC of PIC'S

If you need ADC for resolutions smaller that 10 bits, the built-in ADC is a
good idea, but if you need greater resolutions use external ADC.

I've use the 16f873 whit AD7730BN (ANLAGOD DEVICE ADC) for resolutions of 16
bits and 24 bits for weight system applications, and the behaviour of my
systems are really good.

Regards

Francisco


{Original Message removed}

2001\05\25@193133 by Mark Newland

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Just for the fun of it, I have already written the program in 3.5 hours (it was
more of an exercise on seeing how long it would take rather than if I could do
it).  I did it for the 12C671 (< $2).  I figure that I have about another 3.5 to
4.5 hours to breadboard something up really quick, debug it, fine tune the
timing values, test everything, and document it.  Based on this, I was better
able to send my own estimate on price.  I was once told that the ammount one
should charge for a contract was equal to 1.5 times what you could get as an
employee somewhere doing the same thing (at least for starters).

michael brown wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\25@210610 by michael brown

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Newland" <EraseMEapespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTESKIMO.COM>
To: <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PIC programming job


> Just for the fun of it, I have already written the program in 3.5 hours
(it was
> more of an exercise on seeing how long it would take rather than if I
could do
> it).  I did it for the 12C671 (< $2).  I figure that I have about another
3.5 to
> 4.5 hours to breadboard something up really quick, debug it, fine tune the
> timing values, test everything, and document it.  Based on this, I was
better
> able to send my own estimate on price.  I was once told that the ammount
one
> should charge for a contract was equal to 1.5 times what you could get as
an
> employee somewhere doing the same thing (at least for starters).

Did you get the contract?  Thank you kindly for the input.  This is a new
area for me.  Currently, I do my own thing (this is also my first attempt at
self-employment) running service calls and network installs, internet
sharing, and internet security solutions.  But, I am trying to move more to
the consulting end of things and away from the running-myself-ragged thing.
It's been my experience that the harder you work, the less you make.

I've always loved the hardware as much as software and being an embedded
developer looks very attractive and satisfying.  I've been writing assembly
language professionally for about twenty years (not bad for 39 huh??) but
mostly on mainframes.  Writing code is fun, but sitting at a desk all day is
not.  There is something about working with my hands that I just can't get
out of my blood.  Ahhh, the smell of burning rosin, the tiny pinpricks of
twisting wire, and of course (not to beat a dead horse) the "one time"
(amazing how that works) occurrence of picking up a soldering iron from the
wrong end.  Combine that with debugging RMW problems and I'm in Heaven. ;o)

Thanks again for the input.  My estimate was somewhat close to yours.  TTYL

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2001\05\25@210824 by michael brown

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> You can use the pic16f873
> check the microchip website http://www.microchip.com and/or the piclist website
> http://www.piclist.com
> there you can find a lot of code for use the built-in ADC of PIC'S
>
> If you need ADC for resolutions smaller that 10 bits, the built-in ADC is
a
> good idea, but if you need greater resolutions use external ADC.
>
> I've use the 16f873 whit AD7730BN (ANLAGOD DEVICE ADC) for resolutions of
16
> bits and 24 bits for weight system applications, and the behaviour of my
> systems are really good.
>
> Regards
>
> Francisco
>
Thanks for the advice.  Every bit helps.  I feel like a kid in a candy
store.

michael

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2001\05\25@211905 by michael brown

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> You can fake an A/D (not really fake) by using two resistors, two diodes,
> and a cap.
> A single port pin connects to the two diodes.
> The diodes each connect to a resistor (one is your pot)
> The resistors both connect to the cap.  Use a moderate size, like 10uF.
>
> Orient the diodes so that charge current goes through one resistor, and
> discharge through the other.
> Now, you can compare charge time vs discharge time, and get the ratio.
>
> You'll be flipping banks a lot, but it works.

I'll have to play with that.  Being very inexperienced with this kind of
thing I tend to "over engineer".  This is the kind of thing that can mean
allot, especially when a customer will want to mass produce something.  From
looking at TV schematics I have seen things that I would never have thought
of in a million years.  Ways to avoid using one more transistor, or ways to
get a voltage source from the wildest concoction (TV designers are great at
this).  And I understand that if you can save ten cents, fifty thousand
times over, it can be that (oh so important) make or break difference.  Good
to here from you Dave.  Thanks again for the advice, I need all the help I
can get.  How's the HamHud III going???

michael

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2001\05\25@212515 by Mark Newland

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michael brown wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I think it was about 11 AM here in Seattle when James forwarded message came
thru.  Needless to say that I think the customer is in England, or Scottland, or
some other Europe area like that.  Figure about 9 hours difference and that puts
it about 8PM on a Friday night.  I don't expect a response soon.

I'm kind of in the same boat as you except I'm coming from a hardware point of
view.  Used to be a programmer MANY years ago but I wanted to get high off the
rosin fumes.  Now with everything going to a software solution, I find myself
behind the desk more often again.  However, I still do find areas where a
hardware solution is still better than a software solution.

>  Ahhh, the smell of burning rosin, the tiny pinpricks of
> twisting wire, and of course (not to beat a dead horse) the "one time"
> (amazing how that works) occurrence of picking up a soldering iron from the
> wrong end.

Mine problem is butter fingers.  Grab the soldering iron .... drop the soldering
iron ... go buy new pair of pants....

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2001\05\25@214009 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 06:24 PM 5/25/01 -0700, you wrote:
>
>Mine problem is butter fingers.  Grab the soldering iron .... drop the
soldering
>iron ... go buy new pair of pants....

Hey, Mark, stop buying those polyester blend pants and you'll be fine.

;-)

Best regards,

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffEraseMEspam.....interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
Contributions invited->The AVR-gcc FAQ is at: http://www.bluecollarlinux.com
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2001\05\25@214633 by Mark Newland

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What can I say.  Have this large supply of pants left over from the 70's.  All
the psychedelic colors hide all the coffee and pizza stains.

Spehro Pefhany wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\25@224431 by David VanHorn

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At 09:40 PM 5/25/01 -0400, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
>At 06:24 PM 5/25/01 -0700, you wrote:
> >
> >Mine problem is butter fingers.  Grab the soldering iron .... drop the
>soldering
> >iron ... go buy new pair of pants....
>
>Hey, Mark, stop buying those polyester blend pants and you'll be fine.

Denim makes an acceptable sponge substitute.
Also you can use your thumb, if you're quick.

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I would have a link to FINDU here in my signature line, but due to the
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2001\05\25@224854 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>> >Mine problem is butter fingers.  Grab the soldering iron .... drop the
>>soldering
>> >iron ... go buy new pair of pants....
>>Hey, Mark, stop buying those polyester blend pants and you'll be fine.
>Denim makes an acceptable sponge substitute.
>Also you can use your thumb, if you're quick.

       Children, don't try it at home :o)

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2001\05\26@022559 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <EraseME3B0F05AF.B81E6DD5spamspamspamBeGoneeskimo.com>, Mark Newland <RemoveMEapeKILLspamspamESKIMO.COM>
writes
>I think it was about 11 AM here in Seattle when James forwarded message came
>thru.  Needless to say that I think the customer is in England, or Scottland, or
>some other Europe area like that.  Figure about 9 hours difference and that puts
>it about 8PM on a Friday night.  I don't expect a response soon.

It's in England, about 4 miles from where I live :-). He's even got the
same surname as me!.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : nigelgSTOPspamspamspam_OUTlpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
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2001\05\26@044511 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:28 PM 5/25/01 -0700, you wrote:
I was once told that the ammount one
>should charge for a contract was equal to 1.5 times what you could get as an
>employee somewhere doing the same thing (at least for starters).

2.0 is more like it if you intend to make a living at it, and the contracts
are not very long in duration. You have to consider the costs of bidding
on contracts that don't come through (because someone else got it, or
because the customer decided not to go ahead with it), the cost of equipment,
software, learning new things to keep up and so on. Also the paperwork, and
there may be times the bill doesn't get paid. Plus, you'll be shelling out
the employer's share of certain taxes as well as your own. Then there's
benefits and contributions to a tax-sheltered retirement fund, vacation
allowance (even a miserly 2 weeks per year is an extra 4% you have to
charge).

Best regards,

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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KILLspamspeffspamBeGonespaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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Contributions invited->The AVR-gcc FAQ is at: http://www.bluecollarlinux.com
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2001\05\26@052025 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Hey, Mark, stop buying those polyester blend pants and you'll be fine.

I ALWAYS wear jeans when I work (the heavy denim kind). No shorts. No
sandals. No bare upper. Ever. Except when @home. ;-)

Peter

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2001\05\26@090118 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Plus sick time, health insurance, fixing things on 'warranty', etc, etc,
etc.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2001\05\26@155928 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Oh, and spending a lot of time proving that reported bugs/problems have
nothing to do with your code/design.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)


{Original Message removed}

2001\05\26@160124 by Mark Newland

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I agree that 2.0 is more like it if you plan to make a living at it.  I also know
that you have to start somewhere and if you can undercut the competition a little
bit, you might start getting your foot in the door and develop a reputation.
Most contractors I know started on weekends and evenings and worked up to doing
it full time as their job. Do you think that one can start off at 2x rates from
day one?  I even know of some contractors at 3x rates and I doubt they started
there.

I'm asking cause I really don't know either.  I usually charge for the product
itself.  Customer doesn't just want the engineering, they want a product as well
(I.E. 250 units).  I add the engineering charges into the product price.  I have
yet to charge for just engineering alone.

Spehro Pefhany wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\26@172741 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:10 PM 5/26/01 -0700, you wrote:
>I agree that 2.0 is more like it if you plan to make a living at it.  I
also know
>that you have to start somewhere and if you can undercut the competition a
little
>bit, you might start getting your foot in the door and develop a reputation.

It's possible, though competing on price alone is not often a good idea for a
number of reasons. Someone getting started and quoting a high hourly rate with
no portfolio will probably have problems, OTOH, a fixed price that represents
what it would cost to do at $xxx/hour if they had a lot of experience may
translate into a low hourly rate because of all the learning required. Even
something simple like making out an invoice with the proper taxes added
(and remitting them to the appropriate governments) takesa LOT longer for
the first one or tenth one than the 50th one. Preparing a small shipment
takes 1/2 hour rather than a few minutes.. and so on.

I also buy engineering services, and my concerns run along the lines of
"what if I
agree to pay this money out (maybe put a deposit down) and the person just
doesn't come through by the deadline?" "What if they produce something that
looks
good on the surface but is riddled with bugs/errors etc?" (this just happened
to me, I ended up redoing a good part of it myself from scratch to reasonably
meet the customer's expectations). "Are they qualified to do
the job correctly? What degrees (engineering, compsci, etc.) and experience
are
they claiming to have? Are the  claims credible and congruent with their
"appearance"?
How will this person behave if they find they have underbid the project by
50%?
Will they abandon the project; just stop taking my calls and emails
(it's happened), try to work things out with me, or wait till the deadline
(when
my .... are in the wringer) then demand more money, or will they bite the
bullet
and do what they promised (and a bit more) for the price they promised?

>I'm asking cause I really don't know either.  I usually charge for the
product
>itself.  Customer doesn't just want the engineering, they want a product
as well
>(I.E. 250 units).  I add the engineering charges into the product price.
I have
>yet to charge for just engineering alone.

That's generally a good idea, IMHO, but there are a lot of people who want
absolutely nothing to do with the manufacturing and all the associated
costs and
problems, and customers would prefer to subcontract the assembly so they
pay only
once for the engineering, and get the assembly done by a shop with all the
good equipment and so on, or even internally. It's possible to make a living
either way, depends on where you are going what path you take. ;-)

Best regards,

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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TakeThisOuTspeffKILLspamspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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2001\05\29@090726 by Shawn Yates

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OK,  we figured out (sort of) what to charge.

I am interested in moonlighting and so my question becomes this:

       Where do you find people who need PIC work done?

Ideas, experience or plain old guesses welcome.

Shawn


{Original Message removed}

2001\05\29@133534 by reginald simpkins

picon face
My name is Reginald and I am a engineer in training at ITT Technical
Institute in Fort Wayne, IN. Me and my classmates have decided to build an
hydroponic tank for our senior project. We are building it from scratch and
programming it ourselves also. So if you can provide any info on this matter
it would be greatly appreciated. My email is RemoveMErsimpkins5spamspamBeGonehome.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Shawn Yates" <spamBeGonesyates@spam@spamspam_OUTCARETECHNOLOGIES.COM>
To: <TakeThisOuTPICLISTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 8:05 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PIC programming job


{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

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