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'[OT] Arduino was pointless'
2010\12\18@164213 by V G

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I bought an Arduino several months ago. I haven't done anything at all with
it. It feels useless. Everything I've wanted to do, I did successfully with
a PIC or an MSP430. PIC16 for very simple, easy, low level control of stuff,
PIC18 for slightly more complicated stuff requiring more flash/memory, and
PIC32 for everything else, specifically with the UBW32. I used MSP430 for
very low power stuff (clock, watch, simple calculator). I KNOW that putting
"MSP430" and "low power" in the same sentence will anger SOMEONE on the list
as PICs can be just as low power, but it was too easy with the MSP430,
especially with the $4.30 launchpad. Can't go wrong there.

Biggest thing for me was the price and availability. AVRs are hard to come
by and very expensive compared to PICs and MSP430s. Also, I like TI and
Microchip a lot.

End random babbling

2010\12\18@185846 by Neeraj Arora

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On 19/12/10 8:41 AM, V G wrote:
> [snip]
>
> Biggest thing for me was the price and availability. AVRs are hard to come
> by and very expensive compared to PICs and MSP430s. Also, I like TI and
> Microchip a lot.
Can you get completely free end to end software for the Microchip PICs?

I am getting started with both PIC and the AVR (using Arduino) and have easily found free software to program the AVR, but not the PIC. There is the Microchip free software, but that is not full featured as I understand. Whereas, the free software (GPL'd?) for AVR is full featured. Thus the question.

--Neera

2010\12\19@000620 by Mike Hord

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Wow.

Frankly, I can't imagine NOT being able to do something with the Arduino.
The wild ease of use of the IDE, the incredible (over?)simplification of the
C language, library support, shield structure, sample projects, wide
project base and bootloader capacity have made it my go-to for quickly
deploying simple projects.

At work, I buy them by the bushel. They go into projects that once would
have used a PC with LabVIEW or costly custom programs.

At home, they factor high on my tool list- I can get code running and
parts programmed and interacting with hardware on a breadboard so
much more easily that it has significantly broadened my hacking.

Microchip really missed the boat on this one- I was (am?) a hardcore
PIC devotee who saw no point in switching to AVR UNTIL the Arduino
came along.  Now, AVR gets all my attention.

Mike H.

On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 3:41 PM, V G <spam_OUTx.solarwind.xTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2010\12\19@101509 by Olin Lathrop

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Neeraj Arora wrote:
> Can you get completely free end to end software for the Microchip
> PICs?

Yes, it's called MPLAB, and is completely free from Microchip.  MPLAB itself
is actually just the IDE part, but the whole package includes that,
assembler, librarian, linker, simulator, include files for each PIC, etc.
It's all there.  I think there are limited free versions of some of the
compilers available too, but you're not forced to use a compiler to program
PICs.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\19@115021 by John Chung

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Mike has hit the main points. It is easy to prototype and cheap as
there are many variants in the market. At some level Arduino/Atmel does have very good C compiler support. It boils down to your needs.

One off prototyping, Arduino excels. But to some customware like
Nikon IR controller, PIC wins hands down. PIC is easier to count the cycles..

I use ATMEL and PIC exchangeably. Still it does not end there. There are times when different MCUs are used due to existing system integration. PIC is my choice for new products. Easy to get and the support is decent.
John


--- On Sun, 12/19/10, Mike Hord <.....mike.hordKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> > --

2010\12\19@124044 by V G

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On Sun, Dec 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM, John Chung <kravnusspamspam_OUTyahoo.com> wrote:

> Mike has hit the main points. It is easy to prototype and cheap as
> there are many variants in the market. At some level Arduino/Atmel
> does have very good C compiler support. It boils down to your needs.
>
> One off prototyping, Arduino excels. But to some customware like
> Nikon IR controller, PIC wins hands down. PIC is easier to count the
> cycles.
>
> I use ATMEL and PIC exchangeably. Still it does not end there. There are
> times when different MCUs are used due to existing system integration. PIC
> is my choice for new products. Easy to get and the support is decent.
>

True. But I'd rather not spend $30 for an Arduino when I can get my choice
of PIC for around $5 for a high end, or $2 for a low end, or Launchpad for
$4.30. Without the Arduino support components and development platform, it's
just an ATMega328, which is just as easy/hard to get started as a PIC.
Besides, the PICKIT2 is incredibly awesome. All I need is the PICKIT2, a
PIC, some wires and I'm ready to go

2010\12\19@225205 by Peter Loron

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On Dec 19, 2010, at 9:40 AM, V G wrote:

{Quote hidden}

You are comparing apples to oranges. Yes, the ATmega chips are typically more expensive than a comparable PIC, but they're often in the $3 - $5 range....a buck or three more, not 10 times more.

You can easily develop with a "full" Arduino board, and then use it to simply program more chips that you are going to use in other projects. Installing a ZIF DIP socket on the Arduino board makes it trivial. Your Arduino board is filling the same role (with the same order of expense) as a PICKIT2. Just as with PIC chips, an ATmgea can be used in a project with very little external hardware.

If you have the tools and knowledge to be productive with other systems, that's great. Don't turn your nose up at folks using Arduinos just because they don't have to know assembler to use them.

-Pete

2010\12\20@040327 by Chris McSweeny

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On Sun, Dec 19, 2010 at 5:40 PM, V G <KILLspamx.solarwind.xKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Well I develop stuff for 8 pin AVRs using an AVR Dragon - don't see
the point of PICs when I can't get the same performance in that size
package (up to 16 MIPS on internal clock vs 2MIPS on internal clock,
hardware PWM etc.)

What's your point, caller?

Chri

2010\12\20@061154 by Michael Watterson

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Arduino is for people that can't do electronics or stripboard (veroboard) or can't search for "prototype" PIC or ATmega boards.

There is a JAL/PIC version too.

I think the "Shield" concept is physically flawed and the Arduino is a bit hyped. It's OK for certain kinds of beginners.

So it's pointless for some people and good for others.

2010\12\20@091134 by Mike Hord

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Or for people who are too smart to want to constantly waste their time
breadboarding up the same circuit (5V regulator, crystal and caps.
Pull-up resistor.  Reset switch.  Programming header.  Vcc and Vss
wires- what am I missing?  Why isn't is working?  OH!  I connected
RX/TX backwards.  Duh...).

I really, really don't get the elitist snobbery surrounding the Arduino.
If you visit the Hackaday blog, most every Arduino based project gets
trolled and flamed half to death by people who want to claim their own
innate superiority over anyone who would dare use an Arduino.

I always thought being a *good* engineer meant you were smart
enough to build on someone else's hard work and mistakes, and
to document and share YOUR work and mistakes well enough for
someone else to build on them (NB "someone else" in this case can
mean future/past you and in most cases does).

That's all the Arduino does- it provides a lot of very clever shortcuts
to working projects, both in code space and hardware space.

This idea that the Arduino is for kids and beginners but that a "real"
engineer wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot pole strikes me as, well,
I don't want to say stupid, but certainly a little naive.

Mike H.

On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 5:11 AM, Michael Watterson <spamBeGonemikespamBeGonespamradioway.org>wrote:

> Arduino is for people that can't do electronics or stripboard
> (veroboard) or can't search for "prototype" PIC or ATmega boards.
>
> There is a JAL/PIC version too.
>
> I think the "Shield" concept is physically flawed and the Arduino is a
> bit hyped. It's OK for certain kinds of beginners.
>
> So it's pointless for some people and good for others.
>
>

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