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'[PIC] How to start with PICs'
2005\06\27@181619 by olin piclist

face picon face
Pban1@aol.com wrote:
> I am new to Pic programming, I want to write my first code  using
> MPLAB, but I do not know where to start. Can you please tell me all
> the steps to follow.

Putting a meaningful subject on your post (as I have added) would be a good
start.  The next step is usually to blink an LED.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\06\27@184204 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Pban1@aol.com wrote:
> I am new to Pic programming, I want to write my
first code  using
> MPLAB, but I do not know where to start. Can you
please tell me all
> the steps to follow.

Hi.

This is a nice write-up
on some of the things to
think about as a PIC-beginner :

www.
voti.nl/swp/index.html

Or the same info but as a PDF file :

http:
//http://www.jescab.se/Starting_with_PICs.html

Then you have to think about
what your
hardware should look like. Some of the
"all-including"
lab/education board (costs $$$) ?
Or maybe just a breadboard and a few
simple
PICs (16F628, 18F252 as an example). My "pick"
would be the
breadboard...

Note that Olin (who have replied before me to
your
post), has a what-looks-like a nice "lab"
board that's not overloaded
with stuff. Not sure
it's ready for the market yet...

Another board
that *I* likes are the Dwarf-boards
from Wouter van Ooijen :

http:
//http://www.voti.nl/dwarf/index.html

I think the DB016 board (with a
collection of
dougther boards with LEDs, buttons) together
with a
Wisp628 is a nice combination. You can get
them both as kits and ready-
build, whatever you
prefer.

Best Regards
Jan-Erik.




2005\06\28@032819 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Putting a meaningful subject on your post (as I have added)
> would be a good
> start.  The next step is usually to blink an LED.

Other milestones:

- PIC programming is *programming*. Learn some basic programming skills,
no PIC needed in this phase.
- read, read, read. The datasheet, if applicable the midrange reference
manual, the MPLAB/MPASM manuals, maybe a PIC book
- blink a LED
- repeat:
  take a next (small!) step

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\28@053156 by Lindy Mayfield

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face
I'll take your statement at face value and answer as a person who has recently started learning PICs.  

Here is why I think having the PICKit 1 to start with wasn't good for me:

1) I was very comfortable with programming, but hardware was new to me.  

2) Given 1 above and Olin's suggestion to blink an LED first, I had a bit banging 12F675 program working as a co-processor for my robot kit about 3/4 working before figuring out how to blink the LED's on that board. Now I think I know how, but I've abandoned the PicKit and haven't tried it yet.

3) It wasn't until I got the ICD2 and PicDem4 and could really see what the chips were doing on an electrical level that I began to really learn things.  

So for a beginner I think it might be safe to ask what their experience is and what their intentions are before making a recommendation.  The 16F88 chip is a sweet chip in some circumstances (like for hobby use).  And in my opinion the 16F877 is a good choice if you need more i/o pins.

And I have some dsPic chips (based on Olin's recommendations) from Microchip that they sent me for free (gotta love em!) to try, but I'm in the middle of moving to Finland so I cannot play with them for some time yet.  )-:  Going through Pic withdrawal now...  Brrrbbrbbrrr. (Am learning MVS Assembler now to stave off the Pic chills.)

The above just the opinion of a recent newbie.

Lindy






{Original Message removed}

2005\06\28@102300 by John Ferrell

face picon face
A few observations:
We do not all think alike, some want to know every detail before going any
further. They read the entire manual FIRST. Worse yet, they retain what they
read. Some of us (like me) seek instant gratification. We want to blink a
LED or output "Hello World" and then figure out what the pieces do. Only
then do we go to the Manual. I have always suspected that the former group
is smarter than me. I know it really annoys them when I can solve a given
problem faster than they can. On the other hand, the guys that read and
understand the manual can solve hard problems that I cannot even understand.
There is no "BEST" starting point for every body.

Next observation: People say "PIC" like they are all alike! If you don't
qualify that with a particular chip all you have done is identify the
manufacturer. After all, how many things do the 18F, 16F and the 10F really
have in common?

Next: There is a tendency among experts to feel that their solution to a
given subject is the ONLY good solution. The usual situation is that most of
the solutions are just fine.

Another: Asking a question is very hard when you are not certain what you
need to know. Most of us try a web search first and are overwhelmed with the
10,000 hits that come back. When that happens and I get a response from the
Group like "I searched on X Y Z and the following hit was on the first page"
is just the answer I needed. Sometimes when I get a hostile reply implying I
should just go away I put a filter in my email so I don't see that that guy
again.


John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

>
> --

2005\06\28@115043 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> The above just the opinion of a recent newbie.

We 'old-bies' often have an opinion of what is good for a newbie. It is
good to hear fresh newbie experience from time to time :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\28@204530 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Okay, obviously PICkit 1 is not for you because of reason 1.
PICkit is more for those who know only a little bit of
hardware and a little bit of c/assembly programming.
Actually a local polytechnic institute has developed
a course based on PICkit 1 to these people.

You are apparently on a much better background and I will
suggest go directly to PIC18 or better dsPICs with an ICD2.
Actually I think Atmel AVR may be even better for hobby
project even though I have not used it.

When I started with PIC, I was charged with the task of
choosing the next MCU family to use in the end of year
1999 and I chose PIC over AVR/78k0/51/etc based on the cost
and the willingness of the vendors to support us.

I came from a different league. I know quite a lot of
hardware and knew little of programming (still not so
good at it). I had a "wrong chip" to start --> 16C72A
and I had a "wrong" language to start --> Hitech PICC 7.85.
I also had the luxury of using MPLAB ICE 2000 and Promate II.
This was all because of an very important project (the
program is simple though) and the idea of using HLL for
fast development. The project was a success and it does
introduce me to the PIC world even though I stopped
to work with MCUs some time later to pursue other
interests.

Last year I restarted with PIC again with assembly and
an ICD2 and a Pickit 1. I had no problem to adapt to
assembly and no problem to learn the hardware features
of more advanced PICs like PIC18/dsPICs or other MCU
families like MCS51 and AVR. However the problem with
me is still the lack of system training in software
programming. So I need to follow Wouter's advice -->
"- PIC programming is *programming*. Learn some basic
programming skills, no PIC needed in this phase."

I totally agree with you that the recommendation should
be based on the experience.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\28@210030 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
They are not very different after all. dsPICs are more
different.

For complete newbies, all the MCUs are the "same". :) So
to start with a more capabale chip is the way to go. 18F
may be a better starter than 10F for most of the newbie.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: John Ferrell
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:24 PM
...
Next observation: People say "PIC" like they are all alike! If you don't
qualify that with a particular chip all you have done is identify the
manufacturer. After all, how many things do the 18F, 16F and the 10F really
have in common?
...

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