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'Recommended Programmer, etc ?'
1999\01\24@053246 by Vaso Bovan

picon face
I'm a near-beginner in programming microcontrollers, though I'm an
electrical engineer by training.  I'll be following the Benson books and
the Predko book to learn the PIC family.

First problem is to decide which programmer and prototype boards to buy.
For the very beginning Benson experiments, I understand MicroEngineering
Labs has a ready made board. Is this a good board to get ?

Second problem is to decide on a programmer. I see there are dozens
available, but it appears two good choices are the MicroChip PICSTART Plus
and the DonTronics SimmStick programmer and system.  I'm looking for advice
from experienced PIC people: which programmer (and board system ?)  should
I buy ?

Lastly, I'm from the Fortran days. What's the best book to get up to speed
on C++ for microcontrollers ?

-Vaso

1999\01\24@073948 by Brian Gracia

picon face
At 04:20 AM 1/24/99 , you wrote:
>I'm a near-beginner in programming microcontrollers, though I'm an
>electrical engineer by training.  I'll be following the Benson books and
>the Predko book to learn the PIC family.
>
>First problem is to decide which programmer and prototype boards to buy.
>For the very beginning Benson experiments, I understand MicroEngineering
>Labs has a ready made board. Is this a good board to get ?
>
>Second problem is to decide on a programmer. I see there are dozens
>available, but it appears two good choices are the MicroChip PICSTART Plus
>and the DonTronics SimmStick programmer and system.  I'm looking for advice
>from experienced PIC people: which programmer (and board system ?)  should
>I buy ?
>
>Lastly, I'm from the Fortran days. What's the best book to get up to speed
>on C++ for microcontrollers ?
>
>-Vaso
>

Vaso,

I would reccomend the Propic2.  You can build it yourself, or Octavio can
supply you with one already built.  It is very cheap to build and runs
under windows.  Check out his website at http://www.propic2.com for more info.

As far as other languages for pics, there are several compilers out there
that use basic, C and I believe pascal as well.  The problem with them is
they all convert the output to an assembly language format for the pics to
use.  You really need to learn there native language in order to use them
effectively.  Also, the above mentioned languages may not optimize the code
effectively enough to squeeze in that program or to meet critical time
requirements of some circuit designs.  You would have to optimize the code
manually.

For another tool to learn these critters, go to Microchips website and get
mplab.

Brian

1999\01\24@125902 by Scott Shidel...

flavicon
face
On Sun, 24 Jan 1999, Vaso Bovan wrote:
>
> First problem is to decide which programmer and prototype boards to buy.
> For the very beginning Benson experiments, I understand MicroEngineering
> Labs has a ready made board. Is this a good board to get ?
>
I have the ME Labs board and I am more than happy with it.  They sell it
un assmbled(just the board and softare) for like 27 dollars, which I felt
was reasonable.  Be aware though that if you donot have a decent
electronics supply house around, it uses a 7407 TTL chip that I found to
be a total pain to locate.  Closest one I could find was 50 miles away
until I found out my boss had some..So if you decide to go with the kit,
see if you can get the 7407 from ME labs while you're at it.  I kinda
preferred the kit since I was able to get a ZIF equipped board for the
same price as the assembled version with a non ZIF socket.
It seems to work fine. Has read, write, windows based, etc.


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1999\01\24@181415 by Michael J. Ghormley

flavicon
face
Scott Shidel... wrote:

> I have the ME Labs board and I am more than happy with it.  They sell it
> un assmbled(just the board and softare) for like 27 dollars, which I felt
> was reasonable.  Be aware though that if you donot have a decent
> electronics supply house around, it uses a 7407 TTL chip that I found to
> be a total pain to locate.  Closest one I could find was 50 miles away
> until I found out my boss had some..So if you decide to go with the kit,
> see if you can get the 7407 from ME labs while you're at it.  I kinda
> preferred the kit since I was able to get a ZIF equipped board for the
> same price as the assembled version with a non ZIF socket.
> It seems to work fine. Has read, write, windows based, etc.

While their products usually work OK, I have found MEL to be unresponsive to
my problems in the past.  Others have not had my experience, but I would
hesitate to buy from them again.

Also be aware that their Windows-based software doesn't program all the chips
that their DOS-based software does -- or at least that was the case a few weeks
ago.  If you buy the Windows-based S/W it will cost you an (admittedly
modest) upgrade fee to program some PIC's later.

Octavio's programmer (mentioned in an earlier post) looks like a good choice.
He *is* responsive and seems to have all of his faculties.  Which is something
that you cannot say about some of the folks pushing their products on this
list.  <VBG>

A word to the wise...

Michael

PS.
I am looking at:
       http://www.gbar.dtu.dk/~c888600/newpic.htm
for a project for some college-level classes.  It does PIC12C5XX, 12C67X,
24CXX, 16C55X, 16C61, 16C62X, 16C71, 16C71X, 16C8X, 16F8X and will do ISP as
well.  I haven't actually made one and used it, so my recommendation (yeah or
nay) must be reserved till then.

* TAKE THE '.NOSPAM' OUT OF MY ADDRESS TO REPLY
**********************************************
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too hard to read anyway!
                                 Groucho Marx
**********************************************

1999\01\24@182040 by Eric Borcherding

picon face
Vaso,

Hey welcome to the PICLIST, PICSTER, PICBUDDY club or whatever....

In response to your question...  For < 300$ your can get the PICSTART
PLUS (new version now)  for 12C51x  67X series with E^2.   Another VERY
usefull tool for me was the entry level C compiler made by Custom Computer
Services Inc.   CCS C compilers (DOS versions are cheaper) the PCB is for
the 12b cores and the PCM is for the 14b cores in trhe PICs.   You can check
http://www.ccsinfo.com for these.   The MPLAB4.0 can be downloaded from
microchip.com - it interfaces well with the CCS C packages.  I have found
this combination and a good review of most of the Application Notes on the
Microchip sites to be the best lowest cost best learning entry in the last two
years...  Both C and PIC ASM will come to you by this; a fellow E. Engr...

Eric Borcherding

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