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'Getting started??'
1999\06\02@181815 by David Knaack

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<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>Greetings all,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after
doing</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than
before.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I could buy a basic stamp II for about 50 bux, hack together a
cable</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>and do my project.&nbsp; The problem is, once that project is
done, I'll</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>have to spend another 50 bux to get another stamp, which,
IMO</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>is FAR more than the whole thing ought to cost.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I think I can save some money in the long run buy buying a
programmer</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>and PIC or AVR chips and components separately, but all the
internet</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>resources I can find assume you know what everything does and
what</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>you need, which I don't yet.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>I understand that I need basically two
things:</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>1) a PIC, board to put it on, and supporting
</FONT><FONT size=2>parts</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>2) A programmer with which to program the PIC</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>There are so many choices for these things I
don't know what to get.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT><FONT size=2>What PIC would be simple to
start with?&nbsp; What programmer can I</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>use with it?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>Obviously the application will have some bearing
on the answers there.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT><FONT size=2>I'm not picky, I just need
something to start with, so I can read and write</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>some I/O lines, flash some lights, etc.&nbsp; Eventually I'm
hoping to maybe</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>put together some X10 stuff ($100 for an X10 4 relay
controller, please :),</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>but that isn't likely to happen soon.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Price is of course a consideration, I'd prefer not to have to
spend much</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>over $50 for a programmer and PIC.&nbsp; I'm proficient with
soldering, so</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>anything I can put together myself to save money is
good.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>A BASIC language would be nice, but I can handle programming
in</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>asm if necessary.&nbsp; I won't pay for a BASIC language
compiler/interpreter.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>I know a guy who is always pushing the AVR, are
there reasons I</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT><FONT size=2>should or should not give
them a try first?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>Can someone help get me pointed in the right
direction?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Any advice is much appreciated!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>DK</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>In article &lt;<A
href="spam_OUT4dpnqb$.....9n7KILLspamspam@spam@news.computek.net">4dpnqb$9n7spamKILLspamnews.computek.net</A>&gt;,
Steve&nbsp; wrote:<BR>&gt;IBM says its AS/400 mainframe is UNHACKABLE!! Is this
true?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>You miss the AS/400. You miss the AS/400.
--More--<BR>You miss the AS/400. The AS/400 hits. --More--<BR>You miss the
AS/400. You miss the AS/400.<BR>Apparently so.<BR>&nbsp;-- David
'Gotterdammerung' Damerell, in
rec.games.roguelike.nethack<BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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1999\06\02@183103 by Bob Puckett

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You could take a look at my pages at:
www.kbob.com/Sections/Technology/Microcontrollers/index.htm
http://www.kbob.com/KBCZ/index.htm
http://www.kbob.com/KBCZ/pics_.htm
www.kbob.com/KBCZ/simmstick_development.htm
and hunt around on the site for more.
Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: David Knaack <.....dknaackKILLspamspam.....RDTECH.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 1999 5:07 PM
To: EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Getting started??


Greetings all,

I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.

1999\06\02@194227 by Eric Oliver

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David,

I've been playing with PICs for about six months now.  On one hand, I think
if I knew then what I know now, I would go with the AVRs, they seem to be
cheaper, faster, and have more features than a similar PIC. However, I have
no experience with the AVR, at the moment, I'm stuck using PICs because
that's what I invested in.

On the other hand, there are loads of PIC related resources, this list
being one of the best.

It's hard to say which way to go. You might find the learning curve shorter
for the PIC because of all the information available, but in the long run
wish you had chosen the AVR.

I do know that Atmel offers a programmer for about $50 so getting into the
AVR wouldn't be too much over your target price.  There are many free PIC
programmers on the Net but you'll have to buy the components and build it
yourself.  That was more than I wanted to take on when I got started.

I don't know of any free high level languages for the AVR ( there are a few
for the PIC ) so you may be stuck using ASM if you go with the AVR.
ImageCraft ( http://www.imagecraft.com ) has a C compiler for the AVR that I
looked at and may buy when the time comes, but it runs about $200 bucks.

More confused than before ? <g>

Eric

1999\06\02@205730 by Ross Bencina

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   David Knaack wrote:
   >I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
   >some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.

   I wen't through this about three months ago, here's what I know...

   The PIC16F84 is the most common "hobbyist" PIC. It's main advantage is
that it has Flash based program rom/ram(?) (that's what the F stands for).
Which means that you can program it without erasing it with a UV eraser, and
you can reprogram it a large (1000+) times. There are about a gazilion
designs for PIC16F84 programmers that hang off a PC paralell port (free and
cheap programming software is also available), I think most of them are
derived from a design (TOPIC?) by David Tait. I'm using one based on the "No
Parts PIC Programmer" that I bought as a kit for $30 Australian - but you
could build one yourself from designs on the net without any problems.
Microchip give away the asm development environment - lookup 'JAL' as a high
level alternative to asm.

   What you don't get with a 16F84 is a UART (for highspeed or asyncronous
serial comms) or an ADC (for sampling analog signals) plus other things that
I can't explain well enough to mention. I don't know the details of X-10 but
I'd be surprised If you couldn't build that relay box with an 16F84 and a
few transistors.

   To get a 16F84 circuit up and running you need a 5v regulated supply (eg
a few capacitors and a 5v regulator), a crystal (4 or 10MHz depending on
which F84 you get), a couple of ~22pf bypass capacitors for the crystal...
um thats it.

   I invested my hobby budget in PIC land, and now I'm wondering about AVRs
too. The issue for me is that the really cool AVRs require a less cheap
programmer (?), just like the better PICs do - so it's a moot point when
you're setting up shop for under $50 bucks.

   Just my 10cents worth...

   Ross.

1999\06\02@233034 by Ernie Murphy

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Re Getting Started:

 I'm fairly new to microcontrollers myself, having started employing them
just last year (but with a decade or two of PC controller apps under my
belt). I started with Microchip and I am quite happy with my choice. My
advice to you is go look at the Microchip website (http://www.microchip.com) and
get yopurself a DigiKey catalog.

 At Planet Microchip you will find a great deal of support, including an
ASM compiler and device simulator free. They also have tons of sample
designs to let you see how other people have solved problems very simply
with this device. It's going to be harder to program in ASM then in basic,
but of cource it will be faster. The simulator will let you check out what
the program actually does.

 Digikey is a good choice for small fast orders ($25 min order). They have
many Microchip devices and support products listed.

 For a device programmer, it is quite possible to build one yourelf. There
are numerous places you can get schematics and programs. (Numerous means,
of course, I don't know the links offhand). However, I guarntee you will
hit the day you are unsure if its your chip, program, or device programmer
that isn't working. Buying a complete programmer will remove 1 variable
from this mess. I started with my own design programmer, and after it quit
I bought the Parallax one and am quite happy with it. Parallax no longer
makes this, so you may have to act fast while Digikey still has em on the
shelf. (I have since upgraded it with the Tech Tools serial interface and
am even happier).

 So, if your junk box is well stuffed, you can get a start for around $75
bucks for a couple of windowed devices and an EPROM UV eraser. Add $100 for
the Parallax programmer.

 Enjoy!

1999\06\02@234833 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Ross Bencina wrote:
>
>     David Knaack wrote:
>     >I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
>     >some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.
>
>     I wen't through this about three months ago, here's what I know...
>
>     The PIC16F84 is the most common "hobbyist" PIC. It's main advantage is
> that it has Flash based program rom/ram(?) (that's what the F stands for).
...and I thought it stood for the level of code protection security ;)

>     I invested my hobby budget in PIC land, and now I'm wondering about AVRs
> too. The issue for me is that the really cool AVRs require a less cheap
> programmer (?), just like the better PICs do - so it's a moot point when
> you're setting up shop for under $50 bucks.

There is a design for a zero-component AVR programmer
somewhere on the net. The TinyICE will be released soon.
You don't need a shitload of expensive probes to emulate
any AVR. It really is tiny too.

--
Friendly Regards          /"\
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tjaartspamspam_OUTwasp.co.za  / \ AGAINST HTML MAIL
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|               Voice: +27-(0)11 2545100           |
|--------------------------------------------------|

1999\06\03@005302 by Dave VanHorn

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> There is a design for a zero-component AVR programmer
> somewhere on the net. The TinyICE will be released soon.
> You don't need a shitload of expensive probes to emulate
> any AVR. It really is tiny too.


The atmel police are going to come after you :)

I'm starting another project (three concurrently) using that ICE, it's nice!
(still some annoying bugs though.)

1999\06\03@033844 by Benjamin Petersen

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Ross Bencina
> Sent: Thursday, June 03, 1999 2:45 AM
> To: KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: Getting started??

<SNIP>

> Parts PIC Programmer" that I bought as a kit for $30
> Australian - but you
> could build one yourself from designs on the net without any problems.
> Microchip give away the asm development environment - lookup
> 'JAL' as a high level alternative to asm.

JAL can be found at : http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/jal/
And the JAL-List (like this PIC-list) can be joined by sending
a mail to : RemoveMEjallist-subscribeTakeThisOuTspamegroups.com

BTW: I use both my self..

Regards
Benjamin Petersen

1999\06\03@043538 by Russ Miller

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x-html> Hi David,

You might also consider the Scenix SX - there are a couple of free programmer designs around, or the Parallax SX-Blitz programmer is built and tested for $59 with a sample SX28 chip (2k flash, 50 MHz).  Pavel Baranov has free C and Pascal compilers that work directly with the Blitz, and $35 versions with more features.

Regards,
Russ Miller
Parallax, Inc.
916-933-9724


Greetings all,
 
I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.
 
I could buy a basic stamp II for about 50 bux, hack together a cable
and do my project.  The problem is, once that project is done, I'll
have to spend another 50 bux to get another stamp, which, IMO
is FAR more than the whole thing ought to cost.
 
I think I can save some money in the long run buy buying a programmer
and PIC or AVR chips and components separately, but all the internet
resources I can find assume you know what everything does and what
you need, which I don't yet.
 
I understand that I need basically two things:
1) a PIC, board to put it on, and supporting parts
2) A programmer with which to program the PIC
 
There are so many choices for these things I don't know what to get.
What PIC would be simple to start with?  What programmer can I
use with it?
 
Obviously the application will have some bearing on the answers there.
I'm not picky, I just need something to start with, so I can read and write
some I/O lines, flash some lights, etc.  Eventually I'm hoping to maybe
put together some X10 stuff ($100 for an X10 4 relay controller, please :),
but that isn't likely to happen soon.
 
Price is of course a consideration, I'd prefer not to have to spend much
over $50 for a programmer and PIC.  I'm proficient with soldering, so
anything I can put together myself to save money is good.
 
A BASIC language would be nice, but I can handle programming in
asm if necessary.  I won't pay for a BASIC language compiler/interpreter.
 
I know a guy who is always pushing the AVR, are there reasons I
should or should not give them a try first?
 
Can someone help get me pointed in the right direction?
 
Any advice is much appreciated!
DK

1999\06\03@045615 by Benjamin Petersen

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1999\06\03@063918 by Caisson

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Van: David Knaack <spamBeGonedknaackspamBeGonespamRDTECH.COM>
Aan: TakeThisOuTPICLISTEraseMEspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Onderwerp: Getting started??
Datum: donderdag 3 juni 1999 0:06

Hello David,

> Greetings all,

> I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
> some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.

[Snip]

> There are so many choices for these things I don't know what to get.
> What PIC would be simple to start with?  What programmer can I
> use with it?

A good choice would be the 16F84.  It has got 1K-word EEPROM code-memory
(no need for UV erasure), 68 bytes of ram and 64 bytes of data-EEPROM.

The programmer can be minimal (my home-brew version has got: a 78L12, a
78L05, a BC337, a LED, 3 caps and a few diodes and resistors.  Software:
Homebrew Assembly :-).

Assemblers are readily available (free at Micro-chips site), and
C-compilers are available (other vendors) too.

[Snip]

> I know a guy who is always pushing the AVR, are there reasons I
> should or should not give them a try first?
>
> Can someone help get me pointed in the right direction?

There is no "right" direction here.  Some feel more at ease with PIC,
others with AVR.  One thing is to be said for the AVR, You've got someone
near you who knows a lot (I hope) about them ...

Greetz,
 Rudy Wieser

1999\06\03@092115 by chuck

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--- David Knaack <RemoveMEdknaackspamTakeThisOuTRDTECH.COM> wrote:
> Greetings all,
>
> I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
> some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.
>
> I could buy a basic stamp II for about 50 bux, hack together a cable
> and do my project.  The problem is, once that project is done, I'll
> have to spend another 50 bux to get another stamp, which, IMO
> is FAR more than the whole thing ought to cost.
>
> I think I can save some money in the long run buy buying a programmer
> and PIC or AVR chips and components separately, but all the internet
> resources I can find assume you know what everything does and what
> you need, which I don't yet.
>
> I understand that I need basically two things:
> 1) a PIC, board to put it on, and supporting parts
> 2) A programmer with which to program the PIC
>
David,
I sell a low cost package for getting started with PICs and PicBasic.
It includes a fully assembled EPIC pic programmer with software to
program most of the PICs (not 5X). It also includes a 16F84 PicBasic
compiler which uses the same command set as the Basic Stamps. Cables,
batteries and a 16F84 are all part of the package. Price $115.95.
You can see it at:
http://www.elproducts.com

===
Chuck Hellebuyck
Electronic Products
chuckEraseMEspam.....elproducts.com
*****Program PICs in BASIC Special!*********
Complete 16F84 package for only $115.95
Includes: Compiler, EPIC Programmer, 16F84 PIC, Cable & Batteries
http://www.elproducts.com
_________________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

1999\06\03@095605 by w. v. ooijen / f. hanneman

picon face
Hi David

> I'm attempting to get started with microcontrollers, and after doing
> some searching on the internet I'm even more confused than before.

My adivice is: buy a 16f84, build one of the ultra cheap programmers
from a design available on the web.

If you like assembly get MPASM, (free from uChip)
or you can try one of the simple free HLL's.
Benjamin has already mentioned my JAL.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/jal

I also have a set of assignments for
beginners that might be interesting.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/djo/e_index.html

Wouter.

1999\06\03@160956 by David Knaack

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Howdy,

Thanks to all who replied with suggestions, I'm still reviewing information.

The basic stamps have an option for reading analog inputs, how would
I go about that with a PIC?

Thanks
DK

We taxied for so long, I was sure we'd accidentally landed at San Jose.
 -- L. Phobos, on the San Francisco airport

1999\06\03@172044 by paulb

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David Knaack wrote:

> The basic stamps have an option for reading analog inputs, how would
> I go about that with a PIC?

 http://www.dontronics.com/see.html#pot
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\06\03@232159 by chuck

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--- David Knaack <EraseMEdknaackspamRDTECH.COM> wrote:
> The basic stamps have an option for reading analog inputs, how would
> I go about that with a PIC?

The Basic Stamps rely on measuring the time it takes to charge or
discharge a cap. It allows you to measure an analog signal with a
standard port. It's not too accurate though.
If you wanted to stick with Basic you can do the same thing the Stamps
do or you can use the PICs actual A/D ports by using one of the
PicBasic compilers. You have two choices of compiler.
This first example is with PBC, the standard PicBasic compiler($89.95).
The second example is with PicBasic Pro which offers direct access to
all the PIC registers without the PEEK and POKE commands amongst other
features ($239.95).

EXAMPLE 1
***********************************************************
* Access PIC16C71 A/D using Peek and Poke commands in PBC.
* Using Peek and Poke allows access to all PIC registers.
***********************************************************
Symbol  ADCON0 = 8                 ' A/D Configuration Register 0
Symbol  ADRES = 9                  ' A/D Result
Symbol  ADCON1 = $88               ' A/D Configuration Register 1
Symbol  SO = 0                     ' Serial Output

       poke ADCON1, 0             ' Set PortA 0-3 to analog inputs
       poke ADCON0, $41           ' Set A/D to Fosc/8, Channel 0, On
       pause 1                    ' Wait for channel setup
Loop:   poke ADCON0, $45           ' Start A/D Conversion
       pause 1                    ' Wait 1ms for conversion
       peek ADRES, B0             ' Get A/D Result to variable B0
       serout SO,N9600,(#B0,10)   ' Send result to serial
                                  ' display or PC
       goto Loop

EXAMPLE 2
***********************************************************
* Access PIC16C71 A/D using PBPro and send the result
* serially out a standard I/O pin.
***********************************************************
SO      con     0             ' Define serial output pin

       ADCON1 = 0            ' Set PortA 0-3 to analog inputs
       ADCON0 = $41          ' Set A/D to Fosc/8, Channel 0, On
       Pause 1               ' Wait for channel to setup
loop:   ADCON0 = $45          ' Start A/D conversion
       Pause 1               ' Wait for conversion
       Serout SO,6,[#ADRES,10]   ' Send result serially at 9600 baud

       Goto loop
===
Chuck Hellebuyck
Electronic Products
RemoveMEchuckEraseMEspamEraseMEelproducts.com
*****Program PICs in BASIC Special!*********
Complete 16F84 package for only $115.95
Includes: Compiler, EPIC Programmer, 16F84 PIC, Cable & Batteries
http://www.elproducts.com
_________________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

1999\06\03@233420 by Thomas Brandon

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picon face
<SNIP>
> The Basic Stamps rely on measuring the time it takes to charge or
> discharge a cap. It allows you to measure an analog signal with a
> standard port. It's not too accurate though.
<SNIP>

Is there another way to do ADC. I know PICs use capacitors for their ADC and
the method you described is the same one used in a PC joystick port.

Thomas Brandon.

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