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PICList Thread
'Very new to PICS...need a little direction.'
1999\10\13@013854 by Aaron Hammett

picon face
 I think I got in over my head with this one so far. I bought Myke's book
last fall "Programming and Customizing PICs" and got through about half of it
(totally confused, too) before realizing I needed a programmer. I regained a
bit of bravery THIS fall and bought the YAP programmer from Wirz Elec. I'm
the kind of person that would like to know exactly WHAT I'm trying to learn
before I just dive in to breadboarding this thing and making an LED flash. I
realized that I am going to have to learn some kind of code to program this
thing, and I don't know where to start. I have downloaded MPASM, but don't
know if that is what I write programs in...but then again, I don't know what
goes where and so on...

 Do I need any other books or like a college course in computer
programming?? I used to program BASIC a lot as a kid, and I understand
strings and variables and all, but this looks a lot more confusing.  I'm not
completely clueless about electronics as I have designed LOTS of stuff in the
analog audio realm (amplifiers, crossovers, EQ's) and I'm a repair tech for a
car stereo shop (which is a big reason why I chose the PIC, because there are
a lot of apps in car audio that could use something like this marvel). But
trying to make the connection between hardware, software and what I want it
to do is just a little more than frustrating....but I can't bring myself to
going back to BCD counters and 555 timers (gag).

 So if there's anyone out there that isn't going to tell me I need to buy a
$500 C++ assembler and has some advice (even if it's like "you're outta your
mind, you stupid kid" (I'm 23) ) I'm open to suggestion.

 TIA to all!

Aaron

1999\10\13@015143 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
   Do I need any other books or like a college course in computer
   programming?? I used to program BASIC a lot as a kid, and I understand
   strings and variables and all, but this looks a lot more confusing.

You sould like a good candidate for one or both of two products.

1) PIC & Poke - a visual simulator of the internals of a PIC processor.
  If you're trying to learn PIC assembler from scratch, this will probably
  help.  "Programming and customizing PICs" is a relatively advanced book,
  and I think the commercial version of P&P comes with something aimed more
  at the beginner.

2) The Basic stamp.  Invented by Parallax Inc, this is a small PIC with a
  BASIC interpretter (well, half a basic interpretter) built into it.
  You write programs that look mostly like BASIC on a PC-based development
  system, and then it downloads bytecodes into an EEPROM on the "stamp",
  and runs them.  There are assorted versions of this now, including the
  counterfeit stamp from scott edwards, and a shareware (freeware?)
  "quarter stamp" that turns a 16F84 into an even smaller version of the
  Stamp (using internal EEPROM instead of an external chip.) (But you'll
  have to build a little hardware for this one.)  You can get started with
  basic stamps for about $30-40, which is more expensive than bare PICS.
  (In addition, the basic used is primitive enough that you'll start to
  think like an assembly language programmer, and the next time you look
  at assembly code, it'll make more sense. :-)

BillW

1999\10\13@021041 by Nick Taylor

picon face
Hi Aaron,

I'm also a newbie to PICs (just a few months) and think that Myke's
book is great.  Don't try for in depth understanding in the first
seven chapters ... speed read 'til you get to Chapter 8, go to Radio
Shack (if that is your only choice), but the parts he recommends,
and dive into breadboarding!  Later you can go back and read (and
reread) the first seven chapters.

If you want a slower start with more hand holding, then you might
want to take a look at David Benson's "Easy PIC'n" ... but _DO_ start
breadboarding right away.

Also you should take a look at Prof. Peter Anderson's site.  I used
his BASIC Stamp Started Kit to learn the stamp, and have since
purchased a few components from him ... always a good experience.
My assumption is that his Starter Package for PIC Newcomers is as
good or better than the Stamp package.
    http://www.phanderson.com/PIC/
In many cases his prices for parts are equal to or lower than you
can find elsewhere (for small quantities), and he makes NO profit.
The profits from his sales go to lab equipment/course materials
for his students.

Don McKenzie has a lot of PIC materials on his site at:
    http://www.dontronics.com
A worthwhile stop for for any PIC user, especially if you are
looking for an inexpensive compiler.

Enjoy,
- Nick -


Aaron Hammett wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\10\13@025919 by Don McKenzie

flavicon
face
Aaron Hammett wrote:

> programming?? I used to program BASIC a lot as a kid, and I understand
> strings and variables and all,

I think every Pic Basic compiler/Intepreter on the face of the earth, is
now listed at:
http://www.dontronics.com/piclinks.html
If anyone knows of others, please let me know.

Don McKenzie  spam_OUTdonTakeThisOuTspamdontronics.com http://www.dontronics.com

Don's Download Dungeon:   http://www.dontronics.com/download.html
Australian Electronics Ring http://www.dontronics.com/aering.html
Win $500USD Cash. Micro design contest:  http://www.simmstick.com

1999\10\13@053934 by JP.BROWN

flavicon
face
One bit of advice I can give is to read other peoples ideas and
descriptions about the microprocessor you are learning.  If you have
access to a different book on the PIC or even the data sheet this will
help. Also there are some good introductory articles on the web if you do
some searches.  Erics pic page (if my memory serves me correctly) has some
useful beginners material. Mykes book has some excellent information in it
but no book is perfect.
The reason I say all this is that microporcessor concepts are sometimes
difficult to expain on paper and if you just look at one book you could be
making life more difficult for yourself.

On Wed, 13 Oct 1999, Aaron Hammett wrote:

>   I think I got in over my head with this one so far. I bought Myke's book
> last fall "Programming and Customizing PICs" and got through about half of it
> (totally confused, too) before realizing I needed a programmer. I regained a
> bit of bravery THIS fall and bought the YAP programmer from Wirz Elec. I'm
> the kind of person that would like to know exactly WHAT I'm trying to learn
> before I just dive in to breadboarding this thing and making an LED flash. I
> ..............................


         -----  John P. Brown      .....J.P.BrownKILLspamspam@spam@bradford.ac.uk ----
          \            --- Witty remark goes here ---         /
           --------------------------------------------------

1999\10\13@092456 by bowman

flavicon
face
From: Aaron Hammett <ACHammettspamKILLspamAOL.COM>
>   So if there's anyone out there that isn't going to tell me I need to buy
a
> $500 C++ assembler and has some advice (even if it's like "you're outta
your
> mind, you stupid kid" (I'm 23) ) I'm open to suggestion.

The best available tools are free. Go to the Microchip site and get MPLAB
(assuming you are running a Windows box). While you are there, get the data
sheets for the processor you are interested in. There is a short tutorial
that comes with the package to get you started. After that, just play
around, see what th different instructions do.

When you get an idea of the basics, try some simple project. This will force
you to see how the various instructions hang together to accomplish what you
want. By then, you will have learned more than most colleges ever offer for
microcontrollers.

1999\10\13@094401 by Aaron Hammett

picon face
> The best available tools are free. Go to the Microchip site and get MPLAB
>  (assuming you are running a Windows box). While you are there, get the data
>  sheets for the processor you are interested in. There is a short tutorial
>  that comes with the package to get you started. After that, just play
>  around, see what th different instructions do.

  I have a feeling I'll be on this piclist for a while, you all are great at
bringing quick responses, thanks!  I am running Win95 and I have downloaded
the datasheet for the 16F84 a while ago, and it *did* help me understand the
part better...well, a little better. Thanks to Don @ dontronics: I have been
to your site briefly but didn't know what I was looking for...I do now!  I'm
not too worried about starting out with the Basic stamp or its
derivatives...are the PIC BASIC compilers going to work with the '84 directly
through the programmer, or is that just for the Basic Stamp?
  Thanks again.

 Aaron

1999\10\13@140037 by Don McKenzie

flavicon
face
Aaron Hammett wrote:
>    I have a feeling I'll be on this piclist for a while, you all are great at
> bringing quick responses, thanks!  I am running Win95 and I have downloaded
> the datasheet for the 16F84 a while ago, and it *did* help me understand the
> part better...well, a little better. Thanks to Don @ dontronics: I have been
> to your site briefly but didn't know what I was looking for...I do now!  I'm
> not too worried about starting out with the Basic stamp or its
> derivatives...are the PIC BASIC compilers going to work with the '84 directly
> through the programmer, or is that just for the Basic Stamp?

The compilers at:
http://www.dontronics.com/piclinks.html#bi
with the exception of FED Basic for the 74, all work with the 84 chip,
they range from free up to $250USD.

Sure, you just get yourself an 84 programmer, and at least you can play
around with a free compiler until you get your first LED flashing. After
this phase one, you will have a much better idea of where you want to
head from there as far as basic verses assembly is concerned.

Once you flash that first LED, you are hooked. :-)

Don McKenzie  .....donKILLspamspam.....dontronics.com http://www.dontronics.com

Don's Download Dungeon:   http://www.dontronics.com/download.html
Australian Electronics Ring http://www.dontronics.com/aering.html
Win $500USD Cash. Micro design contest:  http://www.simmstick.com


'[PICLIST] New to PICs'
2001\03\20@212451 by Neil Bradley
flavicon
face
I've decided to enter the world of PIC development and am looking for a
good place to start reading about the various manufacturers, types,
speeds, etc... So I can learn all I can. Rather than ask a zillion
questions here, I'd like to first ask if anyone has a good site that gives
the PIC basics and pointers to programmers, etc... and I can figure this
stuff out for myself. After all, discovery and research is what makes it
fun, right? ;-)

Thanks !

-->Neil

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Bradley            There'd be no more N'Sync if everyone had guns.
Synthcom Systems, Inc.
ICQ #29402898

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2001\03\20@212908 by David P. Harris

picon face
Hi-
Check out the archives at the bottom of this (and your) message, check out
http://www.microchip.com, check out http://www.phanderson.com.
Good luck.
David

Neil Bradley wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\03\21@014104 by Vasile Surducan

flavicon
face
I recommend you a great compiler with great libraries for free
accept 16f84 -- full version, (16f877, 12c509) limited version:

http://come.to/jal -- compiler
http://www.piclist.com/jal  -- extra libraries
http://users.internet.co.zw/~markhams/  -- some applications
http://www.microcontrollertricks.cjb.net -- other good ideeas
http://home.earthlink.net/~tmcasey -- some pwm
http://www.geocities.com/vsurducan/pic.htm -- industrial application again
http://www.eleinmec.freeserve.co.uk/latest.htm#art2 -- application without
code

I have started with this without any acknowledge about pic series, it's
funny and will force you to learn asm also.
Greetings,

Vasile Surducan
old hardware specialist in all and in nothing...


On Tue, 20 Mar 2001, Neil Bradley wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\03\21@034141 by Wolfgang Kynast

picon face
Hi Neil,

>Rather than ask a zillion
> questions here, I'd like to first ask if anyone has a good site that gives
> the PIC basics and pointers to programmers, etc...

for a lot of links see my PIC links page on
http://www.wolfgang-kynast.de/pic.htm

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Wolfgang

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2001\03\22@031809 by Mohamed Eldesoky

flavicon
face
check that site
http://www.man.ac.uk/~mbhstdj

Mohamed Eldesoky
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Life is to try
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

{Original Message removed}


'[PIC]: New to PICs and in need of some help'
2001\04\03@151607 by Richard
flavicon
face
Hi all.

Just want to say that I'm new to this list (and the world of micros). What I
need is some help on choosing the right chip for general use. I find that
most people recommend the 16f84 for most hobby projects. Although I must
admit that the amount of memory on the chip isn't much and makes me wonder
of how much you can really do with this chip.

What language should I use to program with? The only experience I have is
with a bit of Pascal which I done when I was still in school. I've heard of
JAL which looks fairly easy for a beginner like myself to learn, however it
is limited to the 16f84 chips. So if I need a more powerful mp. later on
then I'll need to learn another language! (I'm not to keen on that, rather
learn one that I can stick with).

The second is C, which I'm not at all familiar with. And the last one is
assembly, which I think is even harder to learn. But most people seem to use
assembly so this should stand for something. Anycase what language would be
best for a beginner? I would appreciate it if someone could give me a
rundown on the commands which the PIC uses or if you could direct me to a
website.

Also, what is the best or most versatile programmer (hardware) around?
Preferably one that I can build myself and is reasonably inexpensive to
build as well as able to programme a wide range of PICs.

Thank you,
Richard
@spam@mwsticksKILLspamspamnetactive.co.za

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2001\04\03@161338 by Drew Vassallo

picon face
>Just want to say that I'm new to this list (and the world of micros). What
>I
>need is some help on choosing the right chip for general use. I find that
>most people recommend the 16f84 for most hobby projects. Although I must
>admit that the amount of memory on the chip isn't much and makes me wonder
>of how much you can really do with this chip.

A lot can be done with the 16F84.  It should keep you busy for a long time.
People who have been programming PICs for years still use them for many
projects.  Of course, once you want to use an A/D channel, you need to move
to a different chip.  But, this PIC is cheap, easy to find, has EEPROM
capability and enough I/O ports to do many projects.

>What language should I use to program with? The only experience I have is

I only use Microchip assembly, but lots of people use C.  I'm sure they can
recommend a compiler... the Hi-Tech C compiler seems popular.  If you are
also interested in learning software programming, you might want to try C
first as it can be used across the different platforms.  But, I think you'll
find some limitations with C that don't translate well into efficient PIC
code, in which case you'll need assembly anyways.

>Also, what is the best or most versatile programmer (hardware) around?
>Preferably one that I can build myself and is reasonably inexpensive to
>build as well as able to programme a wide range of PICs.

I've never built one of the do-it-yourself programmers, but there are some
out there that do a respectable job.  Check the PICLIST site or just search
the web.  I use the PICStart Plus programmer.  Costs $200, but has some
reference manuals and includes MPLAB, along with a free 16F84 chip and some
sample tutorial programs.  If you don't like the idea of learning things
completely on your own, or don't have the resources to build your own
programmer, and you have the cash, this one is just as good, or better, than
any other out there.  Plus you get Microchip support/warranty.

Good luck.

--Andrew

_________________________________________________________________
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2001\04\03@180734 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Just want to say that I'm new to this list (and the world of micros). What
I
> need is some help on choosing the right chip for general use. I find that
> most people recommend the 16f84 for most hobby projects. Although I must
> admit that the amount of memory on the chip isn't much and makes me wonder
> of how much you can really do with this chip.

I keep around a bunch of 16F876 for general use.

> Anycase what language would be
> best for a beginner?

That depends on whether you are more interested in learning about the PICs
or in trying to get a particular job done.  If you want to learn, definitely
start with assembler, even if you eventually use a compiler to get projects
done.  I personally use assembler exclusively on small resource limited
processors like the PICs, but many others do not.  I hope this didn't start
another religious war.

> I would appreciate it if someone could give me a
> rundown on the commands which the PIC uses or if you could direct me to a
> website.

http://www.microchip.com.  The data sheet for each processor includes a complete
description of the instruction set for that processor.  You can download
these, you can probably get them on CD by asking Microchip, and you may be
able to get printed version if you ask the right way at your local microchip
office.


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

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2001\04\04@144901 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> What language should I use to program with? The only experience I have is
> with a bit of Pascal which I done when I was still in school. I've heard
of
> JAL which looks fairly easy for a beginner like myself to learn, however
it
> is limited to the 16f84 chips. So if I need a more powerful mp. later on

Jal is for F877 too, which (IMHO) is the best value-for-money to start with
(lots of pins, memory, ram, A/D, ICD, up to 20 MHz)

Wouter

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'[PIC:] New to Pics and PICList...Advice Please'
2004\08\31@201042 by Chris Bond
picon face
Hi. I am new to this list. I am experienced with assembly and using chips
such as the 8085 and Motorola 68000 and a recent graduate of electronic
engineering. I have been reading my butt off on the topic of PICS and have a
programmer and MPLAB and software for simulation.  My question is this: For
the wide range of PICmicro's I might work with, what would anyone suggest
for a good component and tool base to begin working with (crystals,
caps..and such.)

Thanks for any help.

~Chris

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2004\08\31@211111 by Shawn Tan Ser Ngiap

flavicon
face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Dear Chris,

Well, looks like you got everything you need there.. A good entry level PIC to
try would be the 16F88 or even the 16F628.. Do not bother with the 16F84 as
these other chips are much better, and most code is compatible..

You do not need crystals/caps with these chips are they're equipped with
internal oscillators.. You just need to configure it when you program your
chip.. Anything else you need would depend on your application..

On Wednesday 01 September 2004 08:10, Chris Bond wrote:
{Quote hidden}

- --
with metta,
Shawn Tan

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2004\08\31@212355 by Jinx

face picon face
As this topic comes up periodically, could we make a collective
effort to update this page to include more recent developments

http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/begin.htm

and maybe also include associated components and tools (both
h/w-s/w and workbench/workshop)

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'[PIC:] New to Pics and PICList...Advice Please'
2004\09\01@082447 by olin_piclist
face picon face
Chris Bond wrote:
> Hi. I am new to this list. I am experienced with assembly and using
> chips such as the 8085 and Motorola 68000 and a recent graduate of
> electronic engineering. I have been reading my butt off on the topic
> of PICS and have a programmer and MPLAB and software for simulation.
> My question is this: For the wide range of PICmicro's I might work
> with, what would anyone suggest for a good component and tool base to
> begin working with (crystals, caps..and such.)

It sounds like you'll be doing electronics for a living.  You might as well
start collecting generally useful parts.  Unfortunately, the list of those
never ends.

At the very least, get the full assortment of 5% resistors and reasonable
range of capacitors.  Get ceramic from 22pf up to 1uF, then electrolytics up
to 1mF.  I use 2N4401 and 2N4403 as my generic small signal bipolar
transistors.  Get some 7805 5v regulators and LM324 opamps.  Opamps come in
many flavors for a reason, and you will collect more over time.

You'll always find some parts you don't already have every project you do.
Most of the time it makes sense to buy a few extra.  This gets you to a
price break and now you've got one more component in stock.

As for PICs, consider the 18F series the place to start unless you're doing
a high volume product or have special needs like extra small footprint.  I
consider the 18F252 the most generic starter PIC.  It's a full featured part
in a 28 pin package.  The same thing in 40 pins is the 18F452.  For 18 pins,
use the 18F1320.

If you really need smaller, then you have to go to a different family.  The
12F629 and 12F675 are really 16 family parts in an 8 pin package.  For ultra
small, the new 10F parts come in a tiny SOT-23 6 pin package, but that is
yet again another processor core, although the 12 and 14 bit cores aren't
that different.  The details of the 3Fxxx 3-pin parts in TO-92 package (Vdd,
Vss, MCLR) are still sketchy.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com
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2004\09\01@093949 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Get some 7805 5v regulators and LM324 opamps.

Throw in some LM317's (or standardise on them) so you can always get any
positive voltage you need.

Plus consider some low dropout and/or low quiesecent current regulators for
battery operation. (LM2936 is all of these but dear for what it does). There
are many others.


       RM

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2004\09\01@095851 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
olin_piclist@embedinc.com wrote :

> The details of the 3Fxxx 3-pin parts in  TO-92 package
> (Vdd, Vss, MCLR) are still sketchy.

Hi !
Have I been missing some press release lately, or is the
new piclist server also filtering emoticons now ?

:-) :-)

Reagrds,
Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\01@101539 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of TakeThisOuTolin_piclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTembedinc.com
>Sent: 01 September 2004 13:25
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [PIC:] New to Pics and PICList...Advice Please

> The details of the 3Fxxx 3-pin parts in TO-92
>package (Vdd, Vss, MCLR) are still sketchy.

Aren't Dallas releasing a one wire micro to complement the rest of their
peripherals? ;o)

Mike

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2004\09\01@111248 by Lawrence Lile

flavicon
face
This sounds like the answer is the same as I asked when I said "what tools and stock parts will I need to set up a shop?"

There are two ways to approach this:

1. The measured, sane, and slow way:  Whenever you do a project, buy about 10 times as many parts as you think you need, especially if they are really cheap. You can't buy one resistor, you can buy 10 for 10 cents each, or 200 for $2.00.   Soon, you will realize you have a great stock of parts that precisely fit the types of projects you are doing.  Organize these parts in the most organized way you can - so that you can always find them.  

2. The fun way:  Blow about $300 at Mouser on their engineer's kits for leaded ceramic capacitors, stock 1/8 watt leaded resistors, stock leaded radial electrylytic capacitors, and a half dozen PICs.  

I try to keep the following items in stock at all times:

Regulators:  5 volt T0-92 and TO-220 LM7805's
Resistors:  1K 10K 100K 1/8 watt
Caps  .1 uF ceramic, .01 uF ceramic, 22 uF 35V electrolytic, 100 uF electrolytic
PICs - 16F877's, or as Olin suggested, skip the 16F generation and move into 18F's
Proto boards - Microengineering labs proto board for whatever PIC you are using (melbas.com)

Tools:
A scope is required.  Any scope is better than no scope, and scopes expand to fill the budget available.  If you have $50 you can get an old surplus analog scope from the 1960's that still works good. If you have $5000, you can get a nice new HP megazoom digital with 18 channels.

Decent soldering iron - skip Radio shack and plan to spend at least $50
All kinds of tiny screwdrivers, needlenose pliers, tweezers, hemostats, and so on.  You will never stop buying these, so get a few now, a few later as the need arises.

A decent voltmeter.  Plan to spend at least $50.

A variable power supply.  I usually build my own, you can spend as little or as much as you like on this.


-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\01@121722 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face

>
>1. The measured, sane, and slow way:  Whenever you do a project, buy about 10 times as many parts as you think you need, especially if they are really cheap. You can't buy one resistor, you can buy 10 for 10 cents each, or 200 for $2.00.   Soon, you will realize you have a great stock of parts that precisely fit the types of projects you are doing.  Organize these parts in the most organized way you can - so that you can always find them.

An extremely good idea!
I've done this in varying degrees over the years.
The drawer cabinets you find in the hardware stores work pretty well, as long as you secure them to the wall. I had a bad incident once with 14,000 resistors, when a shelf on those common "shelf brackets" fell, because the bracket twisted.  I had to employ a couple of kids for a couple of days sorting resistors!


>2. The fun way:  Blow about $300 at Mouser on their engineer's kits for leaded ceramic capacitors, stock 1/8 watt leaded resistors, stock leaded radial electrylytic capacitors, and a half dozen PICs.  

Pricey, but makes sense at times.

I also pick up inductors when I can get them cheap.
The cores can be characterized by stripping the existing windings off the bobbins, and winding a 10 or 100 turn reference winding, then measuring the inductance.
The bobbins and clips are easy to re-use, if you're careful.

For Rs and Cs, I go heavy on the binary values,  1k, 2.2k, 4.7, and stock a few of all 5%.  Radio shack has a large resistor kit that's a good start. I've used these in the field, when I'm away from my "wall-of-parts"

>Tools:
>A scope is required.  Any scope is better than no scope, and scopes expand to fill the budget available.  

:) Certainly true.  For slow signals (battery charging) there are meters with a PC interface that will plot graphs for you. Limited, but way better than nothing.
I'm very fond of the PMD-1208LS, a USB device that you can control from visual basic. analog inputs, analog outputs, digital inputs, and digital outputs.

>Decent soldering iron - skip Radio shack and plan to spend at least $50

Don't skimp here. A metcal SP-200 can be had on ebay for less than $200.
Amazingly good. Of course if you never have to use the junk, you won't appreciate how good the metcal is.


>A decent voltmeter.  Plan to spend at least $50.

Very handy to have capacitance, inductance, and temperature measurement.

>A variable power supply.  I usually build my own, you can spend as little or as much as you like on this.

Definitely.

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View/change your membership options at
http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/piclist

2004\09\01@123825 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 06:10 PM 8/31/2004, Chris Bond wrote:
>Hi. I am new to this list. I am experienced with assembly and using chips
>such as the 8085 and Motorola 68000 and a recent graduate of electronic
>engineering. I have been reading my butt off on the topic of PICS and have a
>programmer and MPLAB and software for simulation.  My question is this: For
>the wide range of PICmicro's I might work with, what would anyone suggest
>for a good component and tool base to begin working with (crystals,
>caps..and such.)

If you want a low cost packaged starter kit, head over to your nearest
Microchip disti and ask about something called the "PICkit".  Its a low
cost programmer / development board that even has a tiny snap-off project
board that can be used by itself.  The dev board has some LEDs, a switch or
two and a pot and works with the 8 & 14 pin flash parts (comes with a 12f675).

Digikey stocks it, as does Arrow and Future.  Digikey part #
DV164101-ND  US $36.00

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <RemoveMEdwaynerspamTakeThisOuTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

Celebrating 20 years of Engineering Innovation (1984 - 2004)
 .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-.   .-
    `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'   `-'
Do NOT send unsolicited commercial email to this email address.
This message neither grants consent to receive unsolicited
commercial email nor is intended to solicit commercial email.

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2004\09\01@125602 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
>> The details of the 3Fxxx 3-pin parts in  TO-92 package
>> (Vdd, Vss, MCLR) are still sketchy.
>
> Have I been missing some press release lately, or is the
> new piclist server also filtering emoticons now ?

These new parts should be popular because they will be very cheap.  They can
run applications like Wouter's zero pin bootloader.  Their speed, program
memory, and data memory will all exceed the 10F parts.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com
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View/change your membership options at
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2004\09\01@132702 by Charles Craft

picon face
speed.sii.co.jp/pub/compo/ic/en/param_chrt.jsp?subcatID=22
High Operating Voltage CMOS Voltage Regulator S-812C series

Someone on the list pointed me to the Seiko parts when I was looking for a lower cost LM2936.
I was able to order them from Mouser for about $.50 each.
http://www.mouser.com/catalog/619/237.pdf


{Original Message removed}

2004\09\02@024305 by Wouter van Ooijen
2004\09\02@033805 by Engineering Info
2004\09\02@040522 by Russell McMahon
2004\09\02@073133 by olin_piclist
2004\09\02@082445 by M. Adam Davis
2004\09\02@102546 by Russell McMahon
2004\09\03@091602 by Peter L. Peres
2004\09\12@090143 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Charles,

On Wed, 1 Sep 2004 12:22:26 -0400 (EDT), Charles Craft wrote:

> speed.sii.co.jp/pub/compo/ic/en/param_chrt.jsp?subcatID=22
> High Operating Voltage CMOS Voltage Regulator S-812C series
>
> Someone on the list pointed me to the Seiko parts when I was looking for a lower cost LM2936.
> I was able to order them from Mouser for about $.50 each.
> http://www.mouser.com/catalog/619/237.pdf

The 812 series certainly looks interesting, but it supplies 50mA only - do you happen to know if there is a
higher-current series that's otherwise similar?

Cheers,



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View/change your membership options at
http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/piclist

2004\09\12@091525 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 11:17:29 -0500, Dave VanHorn wrote:

>...<
> >A decent voltmeter.  Plan to spend at least $50.
>
> Very handy to have capacitance, inductance, and temperature measurement.

I'd say to look at the "Atlas" range of component analysers, from Peak Electronics here in England (
http:http://www.peakelec.co.uk )  I don't know what the prices will be like Stateside but here they are worth every
penny, IMHO!  

The "Atlas DCA" Semiconductor analyser, for example: connect the three leads to a 3-terminal device, press the
"Test" button and it comes back with the type of device, the main characteristics, and the pinout!  Works with
diodes, LEDs (including 2- and 3-lead bi-colour) and so on, as well.

The "Atlas LCR" (guess what that measures? :-) is similar but with only 2 leads, and will measure passive
components without needing to know what they are.  Excellent for those fiddly little ceramic caps with
unintelligible markings...

And they run on PICs!  :-)

No connection except as a satisfied customer.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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'[PIC] new to PICs, need programming advice'
2006\07\19@214610 by Thomas Lockney
picon face
I'm new to the world of PICs (aside from having read about how great
they are for years, anyway :) and am looking for some advice on the
best way to get started. I've tried reading the FAQ, but I'm it's not
exactly clear on some things.

First, let me state that I run Linux primarily, though I do have
access to Windows (through VMware -- and, yes, this does give me
direct access to the serial and parallel ports). My preference is
towards having options to work in both environments.

So, that said, I have a handful of PICs (18F458, 16LF84A and 16LF870)
and I'm trying to figure out the simplest, barebones (if necessary)
way to get started programming them without having to buy a premade
programmer. It seems to me that I should be able to throw together
some components on a breadboard and get started with next to nothing
from what I've read, but I can't find instructions that directly tell
me so. I've seen a lot of simple programmers out there, but it seems
that a number of them require some form of bootstrapping (because they
use a PIC themselves) or they are for a specific chip that isn't one
of those listed above.

I think a lot of my confusion is likely simply misunderstanding. I'll
ask a few specific questions and then ask for some general advice:

1. Is a programmer designed to work with a 16C84 able to work for the
16LF84A or even 16LF870?
2. Is this (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/easypic.htm) just too good to be true?
3. Will the JDM design (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm) work
for any of the above PICs? Based on the one SparkFun sells it looks
like I should be able to use it with all my chips.
4. What programmer software is recommended for Linux?
5. Does anyone know of a PIC C environment that works with the Eclipse IDE?
6. What books do people recommend that are still pretty current (the
ones I've browsed at the bookstore often seem to be pretty old)?

I hope I haven't gotten too long winded, but I'm really excited to get
started and I'm just trying to sort everything out in my head.

2006\07\19@221149 by John Temples

flavicon
face
On Wed, 19 Jul 2006, Thomas Lockney wrote:

> 5. Does anyone know of a PIC C environment that works with the Eclipse IDE?

Hi-Tech's compilers run under Linux and use Eclipse.  They even have
some support for the ICD2 under Linux for a limited number of PICs.

--
John W. Temples, III

2006\07\19@223156 by Hector Martin [PIClist] n/a

flavicon
face
Thomas Lockney wrote:
> 1. Is a programmer designed to work with a 16C84 able to work for the
> 16LF84A or even 16LF870?
Not necessarily. I seem to recall the A versions use different
programming specs.
> 2. Is this (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/easypic.htm) just too good to be true?
It's totally exceeding the PIC's ratings, but it *should* work if the
moon is at the right angle and you wave a dead fish over it. I.e. I
wouldn't trust it, but if you want to use it to test a few projects or
just bootstrap yourself onto an intelligent programmer, go for it.
> 3. Will the JDM design (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm) work
> for any of the above PICs? Based on the one SparkFun sells it looks
> like I should be able to use it with all my chips.
JDMs are usually quite generic, so if the PC side can drive it, it will
program it, except for Vdd/Vpp sequence requirements or Vpp voltages,
which the JDM might not be able to control. At the very least it should
help you bootstrap yourself onto an intelligent programmer. I used to
use a JDM for most of my work, and it was pretty reliable for standalone
(not so for ICSP). I then moved to a Wisp628 and I'm happier now :)
> 4. What programmer software is recommended for Linux?
Look up odyssey, picprog, and similar. Best bet is probably to just try
and see which one works best. Even pikdev/piklab has a fairly good
embedded programmer.


--
Hector Martin (hectorEraseMEspam.....marcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/hector.asc

2006\07\19@231923 by Gaston Gagnon

face
flavicon
face
Hi Thomas,
PICALLW by Bojan Dobaj can program all the PIC models that you have mentioned.

       http://www.picallw.com

PICALLW is a windows application but click "PICALLW under LINUX" for directives to run it in Linux environment.
Version 0.16 is free since January 2005.
Click content-Hardware for the schematic of a programmer that you can put together yourself.

I can help you if you need help.
Gaston

Thomas Lockney wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\07\19@232325 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jul 19, 2006 at 06:46:08PM -0700, Thomas Lockney wrote:
> I'm new to the world of PICs (aside from having read about how great
> they are for years, anyway :) and am looking for some advice on the
> best way to get started. I've tried reading the FAQ, but I'm it's not
> exactly clear on some things.

Well welcome aboard!

> First, let me state that I run Linux primarily, though I do have
> access to Windows (through VMware -- and, yes, this does give me
> direct access to the serial and parallel ports). My preference is
> towards having options to work in both environments.

You'll most likely have two different toolchains then. Microchips
MPLAB is the gold standard for Windows. gputils is just about the
equivalent for Linux. You can get MLPAB from Microchip for the cost of
the download. gputils is located at http://gputils.sf.net

> So, that said, I have a handful of PICs (18F458, 16LF84A and 16LF870)
> and I'm trying to figure out the simplest, barebones (if necessary)
> way to get started programming them without having to buy a premade
> programmer.

You just come aboard and now you've started an argument! ;-)

Most developers in these environs believe that a programmer is a worthy
investment to get started.

I still reside in the "bootstrap it cheap" camp. However, the challenge
can be in getting your bootstrapped system going.

> It seems to me that I should be able to throw together
> some components on a breadboard and get started with next to nothing
> from what I've read, but I can't find instructions that directly tell
> me so.

Take a roam around my PIC page: http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys. It has
simple hardware and Linux based software tools that can get you going in
the right direction. I also take time to answer questions in my Forum.

> I've seen a lot of simple programmers out there, but it seems
> that a number of them require some form of bootstrapping (because they
> use a PIC themselves)

Correct. For a permanent development programmer this is a reasonable
approach. The onboard PIC is smart enough to handle the PC interface and
most of the heavy lifting of programming the target.

But of course you run into the chicken and egg problem.

My Trivial Programmers are one possible stopgap.

> or they are for a specific chip that isn't one of those listed above.

Well that's less of an issue. From an electrical interface standpoint
virtually every PIC has the same interface: MCLR, Clock, Data, Vdd,
and one of Vpp or PGM depending on if you're going high or low voltage
programming. So programming hardware will typically program a wide
variety of parts even if they are not specifically listed.

The challenge comes in finding programming software that both understands
how to drive the programmer, and has the algorithms required to program
a particualr part.

> I think a lot of my confusion is likely simply misunderstanding. I'll
> ask a few specific questions and then ask for some general advice:

Fire away.

> 1. Is a programmer designed to work with a 16C84 able to work for the
> 16LF84A or even 16LF870?

Probably. I'd suggest kicking the 16LF84A to the curb and using the
16LF870. I have a couple of posted pages on my site about why you
should consider newer parts for your designs.

> 2. Is this (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/easypic.htm) just too good to be true?

Yes. Two reasons:

1) If you have a properly functioning serial port with anything close to
RS-232 spec voltages, then the voltages to the part are out of spec. So
nothing is guaranteed.

2) Many modern serial ports do not have anything close to RS-232 spec
voltages. Many serial ports switch between 0V and 3.3V. Because of this,
there's again no guarantee that the serial port will properly drive the PIC
lines in order to program it.

> 3. Will the JDM design (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm) work
> for any of the above PICs?

JDM programmers have the same serial port issues as above, especially #2.
On some ports it works fine, on others it fails. I would suggest that you'd
use a MAX232 to ensure that both the PIC and the serial port are getting
voltages they expect.

> Based on the one SparkFun sells it looks
> like I should be able to use it with all my chips.

It's a crapshoot.

Truthfully the PC parallel port is a more stable target. Since it's always
been TTL speced you have a pretty good idea of what you're going to get out
of one. That's why my Trivial programmers are parallel port targeted.

> 4. What programmer software is recommended for Linux?

PikDev (http://pikdev.free.fr) gets high marks. Up to date on programming
algorithms and connects to a wide variety of programming hardware. Also it
still maintains a CLI interface to the programming engine in addition the
IDE that is the traditional interface.

> 5. Does anyone know of a PIC C environment that works with the Eclipse IDE?

No clue. I would suggest that you work in PIC assmebly at least until you get
a reading level understanding of PIC assembly. The reason it that outside of
assembly, PIC programming languages is quite fragmented. So assembly is often
used to bridge discussion of ideas. But if you can read it, it doesn't help
much. Program a project or three in assembly, then start thinking about higher
level languages.

> 6. What books do people recommend that are still pretty current (the
> ones I've browsed at the bookstore often seem to be pretty old)?

Google and http://www.piclist.com. Everything that's up to date is online. The
Elmer 160 tutorial by John McDonald: www.amqrp.org/elmer160/lessons/index.html
is an excellent learning resource for example.

>
> I hope I haven't gotten too long winded,

Nope.

> but I'm really excited to get
> started and I'm just trying to sort everything out in my head.

Welcome again. Come back with any more questions you may have.

BAJ

2006\07\20@011254 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/20/06, Thomas Lockney <EraseMEtlockneyspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I'm new to the world of PICs (aside from having read about how great
> they are for years, anyway :) and am looking for some advice on the
> best way to get started. I've tried reading the FAQ, but I'm it's not
> exactly clear on some things.
>
> First, let me state that I run Linux primarily, though I do have
> access to Windows (through VMware -- and, yes, this does give me
> direct access to the serial and parallel ports). My preference is
> towards having options to work in both environments.
>

I will suggest Microchip PICKit 2 as the programmer. It does not support
16C84/16LF84A/16LF870 yet. I will suggest you to get samples from
Microchip (chips like 16F684/688/690, 16F87/88, 16F876A, 18F1320).

I will say stay away from JDM but I am biased...

Under Windows, MPLAB is the standard. MPLAB 7.41 is just out.

Under Linux, I will suggest Piklab. PICKit 2 is well supported under
Linux using Piklab and pk2-2.01.

Gnupic mailing list is a good place to go for Linux related PIC questions.

gnupic: http://www.gnupic.org/
piklab: http://piklab.sourceforge.net/
pk2: http://home.pacbell.net/theposts/picmicro/

Essential tools under Linux:
gputils: http://gputils.sourceforge.net/
sdcc: http://sdcc.sourceforge.net/
gpsim: http://www.dattalo.com/gnupic/gpsim.html


Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\07\20@022009 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I'm new to the world of PICs

read http://www.voti.nl/swp
it is getting a bit dated, but IMHO still usefull for a newbie

> So, that said, I have a handful of PICs

you know Mirochips has a sampling service?

> 1. Is a programmer designed to work with a 16C84 able to work for the
> 16LF84A or even 16LF870?

yes, for the 870 checkj wether the PC software supports the chip

> 2. Is this (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/easypic.htm) just too
> good to be true?

yes. it might work, it might not work (in your particular case).

> 3. Will the JDM design (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm) work
> for any of the above PICs?

same

> 6. What books do people recommend that are still pretty current (the
> ones I've browsed at the bookstore often seem to be pretty old)?

books? get the datasheet(s)!

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\07\20@044156 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Hi Thomas,

I was just wondering if MPLAB or other PIC programmer works with WINE?

Tamas




On 20/07/06, Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterEraseMEspamEraseMEvoti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\20@045224 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/20/06, Tamas Rudnai <RemoveMEtamas.rudnaispam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

> I was just wondering if MPLAB or other PIC programmer works with WINE?
>
> Tamas
>

Microchip tools like PICKit 2 and ICD2 do not work under MPLAB using Wine.
I think PICStart+ /Promate 2/Promate 3 will not work either. Wine is not
up to the task in terms of hardware support.

I wrote a mini-howto sometime back.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=112347

It is said that USB ICD2 works under MPLAB with Vmware. I think then
PICKit 2/PS+/PM2 will work as well. Not so sure about MPLAB ICE2000/4000
and Promate 3. They might work as well.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\07\20@102539 by Jan Wagemakers

face picon face
Thomas Lockney <RemoveMEtlockneyTakeThisOuTspamspamgmail.com> schreef:

> 3. Will the JDM design (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm) work

> 4. What programmer software is recommended for Linux?

I make use of picprog <http://hyvatti.iki.fi/~jaakko/pic/picprog.html> and a
JDM-style programmer. Works for me, but YMMV.


--
Met vriendelijke groetjes         - Jan Wagemakers -

... Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square
   Was fashion the reason why they were there         --System Of A Down

2006\07\20@103638 by Jan Wagemakers

face picon face

Byron A Jeff <EraseMEbyronspamspamspamBeGonecc.gatech.edu> schreef:

> JDM programmers have the same serial port issues as above, especially #2.
> On some ports it works fine, on others it fails. I would suggest that you'd
> use a MAX232 to ensure that both the PIC and the serial port are getting
> voltages they expect.

Maybe this <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/serial_booster.htm> is
interesting for someone?

With this serial-booster I can use my JDM-style-programmer on an old laptop,
however, it only works when I run at 650Mhz.¹

I can use it at 750Mhz with a little hack from my friend Maarten.²


[1] <www.janw.dommel.be/nanoblogger/archives/2006/04/#e2006-04-01T13_24_44.txt>
[2] <www.janw.dommel.be/nanoblogger/archives/2006/04/#e2006-04-15T18_52_29.txt>
--
Met vriendelijke groetjes         - Jan Wagemakers -

... Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square
   Was fashion the reason why they were there         --System Of A Down

2006\07\20@110047 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Maybe this
> <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/seri> al_booster.htm>
> is interesting for someone?

It will probably work as far as the volatge levels are concerned, but you will still be bit-banging the serial port pins from your PC, which is not exactly what PC are made for (or what XP is made to accept).

So if you are going into this level of building effort, why not build an intelligent programmer (Wisp628, EasyProg, I think there are more around).

Wouter van Ooijen

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



2006\07\20@113605 by Wayne Topa

flavicon
face
Tamas Rudnai(RemoveMEtamas.rudnaiKILLspamspamgmail.com) is reported to have said:
> Hi Thomas,
>
> I was just wondering if MPLAB or other PIC programmer works with WINE?

I use icprog with wine and the sparkfun PIC-PG2C.  Works fine, so far.

I was suprised to find that the new JAL-V2 windows package also runs
on wine.

Linux Pikdev works as well with the Sparkfun (Olimex) programmer.

WT

2006\07\20@125509 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Yes, WINE is getting better and better, that's why I asked.

Anyway, is there any reason why you guys build a programmer instead of
buying a commercial one?
For example the usb only ICD2 is started around 118 pounds, if you buy the
usb/serial one with all the gadgets it will be 226 uk pounds all together
which is around 360 euro (I am not sure about usa dollar). But this is a
professional one with debugging capability and PSU and everything, so if you
buy only the starter kit which is ok for learning it will be around 20-40
pounds (32-64 euro). Of course MPLAB compatible, and for the 40 you get the
USB version.

How much would it cost to build your programmer like this Wisp628 or PICKit
2?

Tamas


On 20/07/06, Wayne Topa <linuxoneSTOPspamspamspam_OUTintergate.com > wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\20@140518 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> How much would it cost to build your programmer like this
> Wisp628

http://www.voti.nl/shop/p/K-Wisp628.html

> or PICKit2?

more than a Wisp628, but it is more capable. but you'd better buy the
thing itself.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\07\20@152936 by Jan Wagemakers

face picon face
Wouter van Ooijen <KILLspamwouterspamBeGonespamvoti.nl> schreef:

>> Maybe this
>> <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/serial_booster.htm>
>> is interesting for someone?
> It will probably work as far as the volatge levels are concerned, but you
> will still be bit-banging the serial port pins from your PC, which is not
> exactly what PC are made for

True, I have just post this link because I thought it could be interesting
for someone. Not because I think this is the best solution.

> (or what XP is made to accept).

I use it with GNU/Linux ;-)

> So if you are going into this level of building effort, why not build an
> intelligent programmer (Wisp628, EasyProg, I think there are more around).

In my case, I have build it just because of the fun of it. I already had a
JDM-style-programmer that works perfectly on my normal PC and my
Sparc/javastation. With this serial-booster I can also use it on this old
laptop here. And the MAX-205 I've got from the maxim-sample service.

But you are right, there are better programmers around.


--
Met vriendelijke groetjes         - Jan Wagemakers -

- Debian GNU/Linux testing/unstable -

2006\07\20@162005 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 04:36:28PM +0200, Jan Wagemakers wrote:
> Byron A Jeff <EraseMEbyronspamEraseMEcc.gatech.edu> schreef:
>
> > JDM programmers have the same serial port issues as above, especially #2.
> > On some ports it works fine, on others it fails. I would suggest that you'd
> > use a MAX232 to ensure that both the PIC and the serial port are getting
> > voltages they expect.
>
> Maybe this <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/serial_booster.htm> is
> interesting for someone?

Fundamentally the soultion I proposed above except that there are more
drivers and no caps. Now the rub: Digikey is showing the MAX205 for $16.38!

Too costly.

BAJ

2006\07\20@163503 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 05:00:44PM +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Maybe this
> > <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/seri> al_booster.htm>
> > is interesting for someone?
>

> It will probably work as far as the volatge levels are concerned, but you
>will still be bit-banging the serial port pins from your PC, which is not
>exactly what PC are made for (or what XP is made to accept).

> So if you are going into this level of building effort, why not build an
>intelligent programmer (Wisp628, EasyProg, I think there are more around).

It just starts the same round of arguments that always seem to float around
when this discussion starts. Most of the time you talk to JDM and Tait
style programmer advocates, they are looking for cheap, simple, and instant
gratification. The complexity comes in integration issues such as voltage
levels on ports.

The intelligent programmer advocates are looking to build for the long term
so none of cheap, simple or instant are as critical to this crowd.

Of course I prefer bootloaders. While it limits chip choices, I find it
gives me the most consistent environment for doing development.

They are all different and each has strengths and weaknesses.

BAJ

2006\07\20@165439 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 05:55:05PM +0100, Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> Yes, WINE is getting better and better, that's why I asked.
>
> Anyway, is there any reason why you guys build a programmer instead of
> buying a commercial one?

For me the objective isn't about programming PICs. I generally don't use
a programmer for development. Therefore it's perceived value and expectation
is lower for me than for other developers.

> For example the usb only ICD2 is started around 118 pounds, if you buy the
> usb/serial one with all the gadgets it will be 226 uk pounds all together
> which is around 360 euro (I am not sure about usa dollar).

That's a total Ouch for me!

> But this is a
> professional one with debugging capability and PSU and everything, so if you
> buy only the starter kit which is ok for learning it will be around 20-40
> pounds (32-64 euro). Of course MPLAB compatible, and for the 40 you get the
> USB version.

Again the perceived value of well over $50 USD doesn't match my expectations
for usage.

> How much would it cost to build your programmer like this Wisp628 or PICKit
> 2?

Neither of these match my expectation either. Here's my personal development
cycle:

1) Spend 10 minutes wiring one of my trivial programmers from junkbox
components.

2) Use the programmer to dump a bootloader into the target.

3) Connect the target and program it directly using the bootloader.

I know the disadvantages of bootloaders: limited to self programmable chips,
limited debugging capability, use of memory and I/O resources, somewhat
limited speed of programming. However, I personally find it the best balance
in terms of offering that capabilities I need to get projects done. Frankly
programmers get in the way of my target.

Another aspect is control, and not just cost. Then you purchase commercially
you are dependant on that manfacturer to deliver the expected product. When
you build your own, you're in control of the development/construction process.

The one thing I've figured out in all of these discussions over the years is
that nothing is cut and dried. There's no one right way to do it. And just
because someone does it differently doesn't mean that it's wrong for them,
even if their choice is wrong for you. You simply weigh the options available
and choose the one that fits your goals the best.

The OP stated that he wanted a chip, non bootstrapped, Linux capable
programmer for the parts he had on hand. My Trivial programmer virtually
fits that bill to a tee. It's not good for other situations, but it
happens to fit that one.

BAJ

2006\07\20@170121 by Jan Wagemakers

face picon face

Byron A Jeff <@spam@byron@spam@spamspam_OUTcc.gatech.edu> schreef:

>> Maybe this <http://www.qsl.net/eb4eqa/serial_booster/serial_booster.htm> is
>> interesting for someone?
> Fundamentally the soultion I proposed above except that there are more
> drivers and no caps. Now the rub: Digikey is showing the MAX205 for $16.38!
> Too costly.

Or, get a sample at <http://www.maxim-ic.com/parts.cfm/p/MAX205> ;-)


--
Met vriendelijke groetjes         - Jan Wagemakers -

... Everybody's just consuming What the media's dictating
   And they all have forgotten The joy that is to creating --L'âme Immortelle

2006\07\20@171348 by stef mientki

flavicon
face

> I know the disadvantages of bootloaders: limited to self programmable chips,
> limited debugging capability,
Isn't it possible to get almost the same debugging capabilities as ICD
(except RB6 control),
through the serial lines of the bootloader ??
I think it can be done, but I haven't found anyone who did it :-(

cheers,
Stef Mientki

2006\07\20@171838 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> It just starts the same round of arguments that always seem
> to float around
> when this discussion starts. Most of the time you talk to JDM and Tait
> style programmer advocates, they are looking for cheap,
> simple, and instant
> gratification.

Note that I am not saying that such programmers don't have their place.
If your time is cheap by all means try one or two, if they work, fine!
But if they don't drop them, and try a design that has a much higher
chance of working, but costs a little more. Adding a level booster to a
dumb programmer combines the bad aspects of both: it is still a serial
port pin wiggler with all the associated XP problems, but the complexity
approaches a Wisp628 or other simple but intelligent programmer.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\07\20@171838 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Neither of these match my expectation either. Here's my
> personal development cycle:

BAJ, there is one catch: if you want to use a new type of chip, you'll
first have to write and debug a bootloader for it!

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\07\20@191446 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/21/06, Wouter van Ooijen <spamBeGonewouterspamKILLspamvoti.nl> wrote:

> Note that I am not saying that such programmers don't have their place.
> If your time is cheap by all means try one or two, if they work, fine!
> But if they don't drop them, and try a design that has a much higher
> chance of working, but costs a little more. Adding a level booster to a
> dumb programmer combines the bad aspects of both: it is still a serial
> port pin wiggler with all the associated XP problems, but the complexity
> approaches a Wisp628 or other simple but intelligent programmer.
>

Very good summary.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\07\20@192337 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 11:18:34PM +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Neither of these match my expectation either. Here's my
> > personal development cycle:
>
> BAJ, there is one catch: if you want to use a new type of chip, you'll
> first have to write and debug a bootloader for it!

True. Especially when you have a different family (16F vs 18F vs dsPIC)

Fortunately there are enough folks interested in bootloaders that models
that can be used for templates become available.

What I've been trying to do off and on is come up with a consistent
communications architecture that can be consistent across implementations.
That way the host program doesn't have to change much, if at all, when
a new chip family comes along.

BAJ

2006\07\20@192702 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 11:18:34PM +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > It just starts the same round of arguments that always seem
> > to float around
> > when this discussion starts. Most of the time you talk to JDM and Tait
> > style programmer advocates, they are looking for cheap,
> > simple, and instant
> > gratification.
>
> Note that I am not saying that such programmers don't have their place.
> If your time is cheap by all means try one or two, if they work, fine!
> But if they don't drop them, and try a design that has a much higher
> chance of working, but costs a little more. Adding a level booster to a
> dumb programmer combines the bad aspects of both: it is still a serial
> port pin wiggler with all the associated XP problems, but the complexity
> approaches a Wisp628 or other simple but intelligent programmer.

I'm a firm non-believer in serial ports because of their varibility.
Unfortunately because of USB both serial and parallel ports are slowly
dying with no guarantees either will be available in the near future.
I'll be sorely disappointed when we get to the point where a programmer
cannot be bootstrapped simply because the interface complexity prohibits
it. Right now USB to serial converters seems to be the only type of
interface that may survive the purge. This has steered my interest in
figuring out how to bootstrap from them.

BAJ

2006\07\20@200008 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I have done several designs with USB converters. I agree, its just about
all that is left.

I realize that USB is replacing parallel ports and serial ports left and
right, but USB has proven
(to my mind) to be incredibly unreliable, at least under Windows.

The main problem with USB VCP is that there is no visibility. If there
is an error, there is almost
no ability to see what is wrong. The comm port moves all over the place,
forcing the user code to
test all available VCP ports to locate your "product". You can't
reliably bit-bang anything, the timing
is unreliable.

I've tested myriad Win2K, Win98, and  WinXP systems using USB. Win98
will gladly accept multiple
copies of the same driver. Win2K and WinXP systems are afflicted with
"Windows sickness"... it just
stops working, no idea why.

A product I am now finishing the firmware on accepts USB (VCP) ports or
a DB9 connection. The
DB9 connection is infinitely more reliable than the VCP port. Tested
with 7 different WinXP systems.

--Bob

2006\07\20@225024 by John Chung

picon face


--- Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterspam_OUTspamvoti.nl> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Building one is not that easy as Wouter pointed out.
If you are confident than try it! Take quite a bit of
time to identify the steps and solution.

John


__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

2006\07\21@014521 by Denny Esterline

picon face
> I'm a firm non-believer in serial ports because of their varibility.
> Unfortunately because of USB both serial and parallel ports are slowly
> dying with no guarantees either will be available in the near future.
> I'll be sorely disappointed when we get to the point where a programmer
> cannot be bootstrapped simply because the interface complexity prohibits
> it. Right now USB to serial converters seems to be the only type of
> interface that may survive the purge. This has steered my interest in
> figuring out how to bootstrap from them.
>
> BAJ

I just bought a couple of these http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/TTL-232R.htm for a different project. They're FTDI's FT232R chip molded into the end of a USB cable with a TTL level outputs. As you may already now the FT232R has some bit-bang modes. When I get some free time I think I'll look at using it to bootstrap a PIC.

One of the thoughts I had was using it to low-voltage program a PIC for use in an intelligent programmer. Once the programmer has been bootstrapped, it could then be moved to a different connector and used for serial programming.

-Denny



2006\07\21@023928 by stef mientki

flavicon
face

> A product I am now finishing the firmware on accepts USB (VCP) ports or
> a DB9 connection. The
> DB9 connection is infinitely more reliable than the VCP port. Tested
> with 7 different WinXP systems.
>  
If you're using FTDI devices,
you should definitely try D2XX drivers, which are real USB drivers,
instead of the VCP drivers,
and all your problems on winXP are gone !!
I've tested both drivers on numerous winXP systems.

Stef Mientki

2006\07\21@044451 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
I have never tested by myself but some people claims that IEEE1394 is much
more reliable (and of course faaaaster). As far as I know USB was designed
only to be able to produce things cheaper than that. Is anybody have some
experience with Firewire/i-Link/IEEE1394 in general? If somebody would like
to develop for firewire what chip / solution is preferred?

Tamas


On 21/07/06, Bob Axtell <TakeThisOuTengineer.....spamTakeThisOuTcotse.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\21@110542 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 09:44:51AM +0100, Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> I have never tested by myself but some people claims that IEEE1394 is much
> more reliable (and of course faaaaster).

Bit speed at the wire for Firewire isn't faster than USB 2.0 to a single
device (400 Mbps vs 480 Mbps). However it's unclear which is faster in
two situations:

1) Overall bandwidth including overhead
2) Overall bandwidth in multidevice setups. I think that Firewire
distributes better.

The final issue is getting readily available, cost effective Firewire
interfaces for the client. USB has the huge advantage of being built in
to many uCs as a client.

> As far as I know USB was designed
> only to be able to produce things cheaper than that. Is anybody have some
> experience with Firewire/i-Link/IEEE1394 in general? If somebody would like
> to develop for firewire what chip / solution is preferred?

Excellent questions. I'd love to hear the answer.

BAJ

2006\07\21@112658 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Yes, Firewire 800 (1394b) is twice as fast (800Mbps), and some people says
sometimes even the normal Firewire is faster than USB 2 on audio / video
streaming because of the things you pointed out.

Tamas



On 21/07/06, Byron A Jeff <TakeThisOuTbyronKILLspamspamspamcc.gatech.edu> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\21@115041 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 01:46:13AM -0400, Denny Esterline wrote:
> > I'm a firm non-believer in serial ports because of their varibility.
> > Unfortunately because of USB both serial and parallel ports are slowly
> > dying with no guarantees either will be available in the near future.
> > I'll be sorely disappointed when we get to the point where a programmer
> > cannot be bootstrapped simply because the interface complexity prohibits
> > it. Right now USB to serial converters seems to be the only type of
> > interface that may survive the purge. This has steered my interest in
> > figuring out how to bootstrap from them.
> >
> > BAJ
>

> I just bought a couple of these
>http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/TTL-232R.htm for a different
>project. They're FTDI's FT232R chip molded into the end of a USB cable with a
>TTL level outputs. As you may already now the FT232R has some bit-bang modes.
>When I get some free time I think I'll look at using it to bootstrap a PIC.

11 pounds is about $22/$23 USD right? A bit pricey when compared to a USB to
serial converter. However if it properly syncs bit-banging and since it has known
output values (which are CMOS compatible at 5V), it could be a winner.

> One of the thoughts I had was using it to low-voltage program a PIC for use
> in an intelligent programmer. Once the programmer has been bootstrapped, it
> could then be moved to a different connector and used for serial
> programming.  

Well that's fundamentally what I do in my bootloader setup. The only difference
is that the bootloaded PIC is the target chip instead of being the intermediary
programming chip.

I know sometimes it seems that I'm railing against intelligent programmers. I
believe that they have their place. What I really mourn is the fact that the
modern PC is becoming a barren wasteland for the DIY hobbyist. Parallel ports
are dying and serial ports will soon follow. Modern periperals that used to
utilize those ports have virtually become all USB (i.e. mice, printers, modems
etc.) So they are becoming a PC appendix with no discernable useful function.

However the parallel port is a well documented, consistent, easily accessible
interface for the hobbyist. It is fortunate that at least the current crop of
desktop MB still carry it. But I saw the writing on the wall when I got my
Dell D810 from work and it didn't have a parallel port where the D800 did.
Same sized laptop.

Serial ports are slower to disappear. However they have become non-standard
much faster than parallel ports, which were always TTL interfaced and therefore
functioned fine which 3.3V became the voltage standard for MB.

USB is the end game. And there isn't much on the landscape there. First off
the target of USB requires much more complexity in order to interface. For
example I just Googled 'bit-bang USB' and for a bunch of articles describing
how to use the FTDI FT245 chip as an interface. Then you run into the ready
availablity issue. For example Digi-Key only carries the FT232BM and they
don't have any in stock.

So you turn to readily available USB parts. USB to serial interfaces fit this
category quite well. They are inexpensive and readily available. But they are
a crapshoot. Different chipsets, different drivers, no synchronization guarantees
on modem control signals, and no promise of actually getting voltages
anywhere near the RS-232 standard. In short it's a mess, and a mess that hobbyists
are going to have to learn to live with.

I worry about the chicken and egg problem. USB becames serviceable once you hook
up a decent uC to it. But getting that uC to a useable state is the challenge.

BAJ

2006\07\21@122119 by olin piclist

face picon face
Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> Yes, Firewire 800 (1394b) is twice as fast (800Mbps), and some people
> says sometimes even the normal Firewire is faster than USB 2 on audio /
> video streaming because of the things you pointed out.

But none of this matters for a PIC, since even the 12Mbit/sec USB speed is
more than a PIC can handle.  There isn't a lot of meaningful processing a
PIC can do with a new byte every uS.  That's a new byte every 12
instructions on a 18F USB PIC running at its maximum speed of 48MHz.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\07\21@135523 by Denny Esterline

picon face
> > I just bought a couple of these
> >http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/TTL-232R.htm for a different
> >project. They're FTDI's FT232R chip molded into the end of a USB cable with a
> >TTL level outputs. As you may already now the FT232R has some bit-bang modes.
> >When I get some free time I think I'll look at using it to bootstrap a PIC.
>
> 11 pounds is about $22/$23 USD right? A bit pricey when compared to a USB to
> serial converter. However if it properly syncs bit-banging and since it has known
> output values (which are CMOS compatible at 5V), it could be a winner.

Mouser is the stocking distributor for the US, $20.00 ea.

I spent some quality time with the datasheets last night. The serial adaptor brings out four pins - TX, RX, CTS, RTS. It seems in bit bang mode these translate into D0-D3. If I understand correctly there are functions in the D2xx drivers that allow byte wide read and write to the D port. There might be some complications if the bit directions can't be controlled individualy.


>
> > One of the thoughts I had was using it to low-voltage program a PIC for use
> > in an intelligent programmer. Once the programmer has been bootstrapped, it
> > could then be moved to a different connector and used for serial
> > programming.  
>
> Well that's fundamentally what I do in my bootloader setup. The only difference
> is that the bootloaded PIC is the target chip instead of being the intermediary
> programming chip.

You commonly use LVP?

> I know sometimes it seems that I'm railing against intelligent programmers. I
> believe that they have their place. What I really mourn is the fact that the
> modern PC is becoming a barren wasteland for the DIY hobbyist. Parallel ports
> are dying and serial ports will soon follow. Modern periperals that used to
> utilize those ports have virtually become all USB (i.e. mice, printers, modems
> etc.) So they are becoming a PC appendix with no discernable useful function.

A significant part of the PIC comunity (and a market Mchip has activly sought) is hobbiests. People where time does not equal money. Some of those people will find more joy and satisfaction in doing it thierselves even if it takes longer and costs more. Then there's the "students" (I use the term very broadly), sure anyone can buy a programmer, write some code and flash a chip - but how much more does a person learn when they have to figure out all the details to build and debug thier own programmer?

-Denny


2006\07\21@142504 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 01:56:14PM -0400, Denny Esterline wrote:
> > > I just bought a couple of these
> > >http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/TTL-232R.htm for a different
> > >project. They're FTDI's FT232R chip molded into the end of a USB cable with a
> > >TTL level outputs. As you may already now the FT232R has some bit-bang modes.
> > >When I get some free time I think I'll look at using it to bootstrap a PIC.
> >
> > 11 pounds is about $22/$23 USD right? A bit pricey when compared to a USB to
> > serial converter. However if it properly syncs bit-banging and since it has known
> > output values (which are CMOS compatible at 5V), it could be a winner.
>
> Mouser is the stocking distributor for the US, $20.00 ea.

Good to know.

{Quote hidden}

Mostly for testing. LVP hurts too much because you permanently lose an I/O pin.
Even worse it's an I/O pin that's in the middle of a perfectly serviceable 8 pin
port.

But LVP can give you programmer validation very quickly. So when I lash up a
bootloader dumper, I'll often work it LVP initially to make sure everything
works.  I haev a 16VDC wall wart that I use with a junkbox LM317 and a couple
of resistors to get the 13VDC or so required for HVP programming. It's the
off schematic part of my Trivial HVP circuit here:
http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proghvp.gif

{Quote hidden}

You're speaking to the academic in me. Since I live and work with students
for a living, I strive to get them to work for a deeper understanding of the
process even though in the field a prepackaged approach certainly makes
since. For a student it's useful to understand the underlaying process even
when they move on to simply becoming a user of the process. It assists in
making choices and any debugging that may be required down the line.

BAJ

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