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PICList Thread
'[PIC]: BASIC Compilers and personal introduction'
2001\01\01@164035 by James

Hi, I'm James Salter, electronic hobbits and mechanical engineer in medical diagnostic instruments.  I am new to the PIC, but not completely new to microprocessors.  As a non-professional programmer, I am enamored with the possibilities of $5-$10 PICs and BASIC compilers, but I need some advise to avoid starting down a lousy path that will dissipate my energy and budget.

Can you folks please offer opinions and objective comparisons among the various BASIC compiler offerings for 16F84 and 16F87x, either from direct experience, or direct me to some impartial on-line product reviews ?  Specifically I'm seduced (and confused) to varying degrees by:

1. "PICmicro Basic" $99, and "PICmicro Basic Pro" $149
[by Basic -]

2. "PicBasic" $99.95, and "PicBasic Pro" $249.95
[by microEngineering Labs -]

3. "LET PIC BASIC LITE" (free beta), and "LET PIC BASIC PRO" (48.95 British pounds)

Are any of these particularly good or bad?  Any others to recommend?  Advice on good vs bad PIC programmers is also wanted.  I'm looking at the P16PRO []


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2001\01\01@201320 by victor faria

hi james, not long ago i was facing the same delema.
and i looked and looked,it wasa.tough decision, but i did decide to go with
the most supported, if you need help,which one are most likely to get it
for,which of these have the best reputation, among hobbiests and pros alike
,also howmany times do you wan't to buy a compiler some of these are limited
,and good enough now may not be later.
so i decided to buy  the picbasicpro from melabs it was more money but over
all the best investment,
it is the most supported through their list also right through melabs and
lots of other sites on the web.
just my opinion.
check out some of these sites.
victor faria

{Original Message removed}

2001\01\02@135615 by Randy A.

picon face

I too have the MeLabs PicBASIC Pro and it has worked great for me.  Also as
stated earlier by someone else it is very well supported.  I also do
development using the 8051 family of micro controllers when I need a lot more
power than a PIC can deliver and found that using the lower cost compilers
there didn't work very well either.  By the way the PicBASIC Pro will not
work with the 8051 family, just so you don't think I am using it with the
8051.  But it does work great with the PIC family.


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2001\01\07@051015 by Russell McMahon

picon face

I use either PIC assembler or assembler plus the ME Labs PIC Basic compiler (PBC).
The PBC essentially emulates the STAMP 1 plus some extensions and the PBPro emulates the Stamp 2 plus I believe quite a few more extensions.

The PBC is excellent for quick and simple tasks but gets out of its depth for multi-tasking or time critical jobs. The ability to peek/Poke which is not found onnthe STAMP1 adds greatly to its ability, its code is MUCH faster than a Stamp 1 and the extra features are useful. The ability to drop into machine language is excellent. However, interupot driven code MAY be possible if you don't use any of the time dependent instructions and are VERY careful but is probably stretching it a bit far.
I believe the PB pro version supporrts interupts but I have not used it.
They have an active list (about 30 messages/day) (or probably still do have - I'm no longer subscribed). I believe the producers do/did lurk on this list.

General concensus though would be that long term you would be better off using one of the C variants available for the PIC (both free or for $) I believe HITECH provide a freee versio of their C suitable only for the 16F84 which would be a good starting point.
Assembler is of course most capable of all (reaches for flame suit ....) but does take some learning on PICs which have a rather strange architecture (dons flame suit ....),


               Russell McMahon

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2001\01\08@030921 by James Burkart

   What is the URL to HITECH's web site? It can't be That
site doesn't have anything to do with microprocessors...

James Burkart

{Original Message removed}

2001\01\08@075854 by Randy Glenn

picon face

-Randy Glenn

My software doesn't have bugs; it develops random features.
================================================= - -

{Original Message removed}

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