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'[PIC]: Please help rookie with these two questions'
2002\03\23@165311 by Shawn Mulligan

picon face
I agree that the 16F84 is an excellent chip to begin with. It comes in a
small package which fits nicely on a prototype board. It is very well
supported and easy to use. Programmers can be built easily by a beginner,
using very few components. Realistically, for $50 - $100 you could purchase
a couple of PICs, an LCD, keypad, LED's, support components and a few good
books. I would recommend Easy PIC'n and PIC'n Up the Pace. After you gain
some experience you might try Myke Predko book -- it's excellent to, yet it
may be too advanced for the absolute beginner. With a degree in computer
science, I find some of Myke's algorithms and approaches quite clever, yet
certainly not intuitive. The Easy PIC'n series doesn't attempt to optimize
code size or efficiency at the expense of clarity -- however successfully
manages to present many interesting projects and tutorials. That's my two
cents worth.
Shawn


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2002\03\23@231427 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sat, Mar 23, 2002 at 02:50:38PM -0700, Shawn Mulligan wrote:
> I agree that the 16F84 is an excellent chip to begin with.

I disagree.

> It comes in a
> small package which fits nicely on a prototype board.

The 16F628 comes in exactly the same package.

>It is very well supported and easy to use.

The 16F628 runs everything the 16F84 does with very minor modifications.

> Programmers can be built easily by a beginner,
> using very few components.

By utilizing low voltage programming, even simpler programmers with even fewer
components can be built for the 16F628.

Other than the fact that the existing 16F84 codebase obviously runs unmodified
on 16F84s, there is absolutely no advantage to using a 16F84 over a 16F628.

A lot of times begenners tend to focus on the starting line because that's
all they've seen. However anyone that sticks with it won't stay a beginner
and will start to tackle more challenging projects. The additional hardware
support of the 16F628 (USART, PWM, capture/compare, multiple timers, more
all around memory) will assist anyone who proceed beyond the basic blinky LED
type projects.

And it cost less. $6 for the 16F84A-20/P, $3.88 for the 16F628-20/P on Digikey.

Can anyone explain to me any advantage of the 16F84 over the 16F628 for
a beginner who hasn't purchased parts yet? Other than the sole reason I listed
above?

I truly think it's a disservice to advocate beginners starting in a smaller
box simply due to inertia. Simply put a beginner will have to learn more on a
16F84 to get over the initial hump. Hardware generally simplifies code. Less
hardware requires more complex code. Hardware can asyncronously handle
tasks without constant code intervention. Software often requires syncrony
and polling to keep track. Then it gets complicated by the fact that the 16F84
only has one timer, one puny 8 bit timer.

I advocate the better part.

BAJ


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> >{Original Message removed}

2002\03\23@235239 by Shawn Mulligan

picon face
Well, Ok then.


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> > >{Original Message removed}

2002\03\24@090631 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I truly think it's a disservice to advocate beginners starting in a
smaller
> box simply due to inertia. Simply put a beginner will have to learn more
on a
> 16F84 to get over the initial hump. Hardware generally simplifies code.
Less
> hardware requires more complex code. Hardware can asyncronously handle
> tasks without constant code intervention. Software often requires syncrony
> and polling to keep track. Then it gets complicated by the fact that the
16F84
> only has one timer, one puny 8 bit timer.

I agree.  In fact I recommend beginners start with the 16F876 because it is
a full featured part in the smallest package such parts come in.  After
getting done with the Blinky LED project, most people will sooner or later
want an A/D, which the 16F628 doesn't have.  The extra few bucks for the
'876 is small even for amateurs compare to the cost of everything else, and
is offset by the fact that they are less likely to need different chips in
the future.

I think of it this way:  Start with and learn PICs using the 16F876.  If you
have a project where space is really tight, use the 16F628.  If you need
more I/O pins or more A/D channels, use the 16F877.


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, olinEraseMEspam.....embedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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2002\03\25@102344 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Mar 24, 2002 at 09:02:07AM -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> > I truly think it's a disservice to advocate beginners starting in a
> smaller
> > box simply due to inertia. Simply put a beginner will have to learn more
> on a
> > 16F84 to get over the initial hump. Hardware generally simplifies code.
> Less
> > hardware requires more complex code. Hardware can asyncronously handle
> > tasks without constant code intervention. Software often requires syncrony
> > and polling to keep track. Then it gets complicated by the fact that the
> 16F84
> > only has one timer, one puny 8 bit timer.
>
> I agree.  In fact I recommend beginners start with the 16F876 because it is
> a full featured part in the smallest package such parts come in.  After
> getting done with the Blinky LED project, most people will sooner or later
> want an A/D, which the 16F628 doesn't have.  The extra few bucks for the
> '876 is small even for amateurs compare to the cost of everything else, and
> is offset by the fact that they are less likely to need different chips in
> the future.

That is certainly a valid argument. In fact I use 16F877 for pretty much that
reason, plus getting the extra I/O pins to boot.

But cost is one of the reasons I push the 16F628. The other is the form factor
just in case a beginner is using something prefabricated that's slotted for
a 16F84.

>
> I think of it this way:  Start with and learn PICs using the 16F876.  If you
> have a project where space is really tight, use the 16F628.  If you need
> more I/O pins or more A/D channels, use the 16F877.

No argument from me.

BAJ

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'[PIC]: Please help rookie with these two questions'
2002\05\07@230253 by Jesse Lackey
flavicon
face
I have to disagree with the Predko book recommendation, I've been using
it extensively and I have found it *rife* with errors.  I just spent the
last 2 hours trying to get serial port receive working, and the simple
sample code on page 236 (11 lines of code) has no less than THREE errors
in it.  Look it up on amazon.com and read the reviews submitted by
readers before you buy.

The most important thing for tech books is to be CORRECT.  You simply
cannot trust any of the code you see in this book.  1 in 10 or more
examples will not work due to typos (half the time) and logic/missing
code the other half.  You wind up scratching your head, getting rather
frustrated that something simple doesn't work, checking stuff with a
logic probe, reading microchip .pdf spec sheets, and then fixing his code.

jesse


Shawn Mulligan wrote:
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>> {Original Message removed}

2002\05\08@005832 by Michael Johnston

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face
I know what you mean. I have several books of mr prediko's i gave one to a
friend and bought the latest and greatest. To me He jumps around to much.
Dave Benson's
easy pic'n is better but it is really  for the rank amature and because most
of the ideas where done before the advent of mplab. I really havent found a
good book to really learn about the pics or any  other microcontrollers.
mike johnston
{Original Message removed}


'[PIC]: Please help rookie with these two questions'
2002\06\04@061620 by myke predko
flavicon
face
Hi Jesse,

Sorry, I've been lurking a bit (lots of other things going on).

The first printing of "Programming and Customizing PICmicro(R)
Microcontrollers" 2nd edition did have a lot of errors due to problems with
the editing process.  All the problems should have been resolved with the
current printings of the book.

I'm curious to know what are the three errors in the code on page 236?  I am
aware of one (a typo, "TCSTA" instead of "RCSTA" on the 7th line), but I
don't know about the other two.

myke
{Original Message removed}

2002\06\04@065325 by Vasile Surducan

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face
Hi friends, ( and Jesse too )
I was tempted to criticize also mr. Predko for some ( small )mistakes
founded in his book ( actually in the chapters he had amiability to show
us for free in his nice site ). I am assure you is much difficult to write
an error free technical book than to read it and found mistakes, right now
I'm in the same posture as a writer is... So please, don't blame too much
someone who has written an 1200 pages technically book, with programs,
PIC programators, basic compilers and so on.
My bitterness is just I can't read this book from the begining to the end.

best regards,
Vasile Surducan, senior researcher
INCDTIM
Romania
http://www.geocities.com/vsurducan




On Tue, 7 May 2002, myke predko wrote:

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> {Original Message removed}

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