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'Suggestions for a new PIC person'
1996\06\05@181533 by T.Nelson

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Been subscribed for a few days now - haven't seen anything for someone
just starting out programming PICs - so I thought I'd post a few questions.

First, I purchased the PIC Hobbyist Kit from Parallax.  Don't know what
to think of this.  I got a nice board - but the documentation is really
poor and the assembler doesn't support macros (at least from what I can
see).

       Is there a better, reasonably priced assembler out there?

By reasonable - I paid $100 for the stuff I got from Parallax.  Would be
nice if I could use the same programer board - just use a 'better' assembler.

       Is there a good source for a PIC assembler manual?

If the source had actual working examples - that would be nice too.  The
Parallax stuff I got has all its examples for the 16C5x - I purchased the
16C71 to get A/D capability - but these two micros are not compatible
from what I can tell (at least the examples I've typed in, assembled, and
downloaded don't work).

The simulator that I got from Parallax seems ok - but would be intersted
in feedback on simulators also.

Finally - if someone is using the 16C71 and has a simple program (like
blinking an LED) they would email - I would sure appreciate it.  I'm
trying to get an LED to blink and finding the process humbling.  My
program is only about 20 lines long - so including it in the email
message would also be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

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1996\06\05@210649 by Steve Hardy

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This is the way I started:

Saw PICs mentioned in favourite electronics rag.  Saw other micros - HC11 etc.
Decided to standardise on PICs (don't have the money to try everything!).

Used netscape to download Microchip datasheets to my heart's content.
Also downloaded their free assembler and simulator (MPASM, MPSIM) from
the same site.  MPASM supports macros.  I don't know about the
Parallax assembler but I would be surprised if you couldn't use
macros with it.  Anyway, 'free' is a reasonable price (good onya Mchip).

Printed the datasheets and read them a couple of times.  Already had
plenty of assembler experience e.g. Z80, IBM S/370, MC68000 etc.; if
you are coming straight down from basic etc. then you have my
sympathy.

Purchased programmer and 16C84.  Have PIC, will program.

I could write you an LED blinker, but don't have MPSIM available to
prove its correctness (since I'm not on a DOS machine at the moment).
Would hate to lead you up the garden path; however it's hard to go wrong.
The only tricky part is setting all the options correctly when your program
starts up.

Regards,
SJH
Canberra, Australia

1996\06\05@220927 by fastfwd

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Steve Hardy <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> MPASM supports macros.  I don't know about the Parallax assembler
> but I would be surprised if you couldn't use macros with it.

BE surprised, Steve... Parallax's assemblers don't support macros
(or many other features that MPASM users take for granted).

-Andy

Andrew Warren - fastfwdspamKILLspamix.netcom.com
Fast Forward Engineering, Vista, California
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

1996\06\05@221820 by Mark K Sullivan

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For what it's worth, I want to strongly DIScourage newcomers from using the
Parallax 8051-style assembler language.  You really miss the RISC flavor and
simplicity of the PIC when it is hidden under the 8051 equivalents.  Go ahead
and learn it right!

The "hello world" of the PIC is to blink an LED tied to a pin.  I have watched
several people implement this and have one warning:
If you can't see the LED blinking, check with a 'scope.  PICs aren't very good
at wasting time! The LED may be blinking faster than you can see it.

- Mark Sullivan -

1996\06\05@222840 by John Payson
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> The "hello world" of the PIC is to blink an LED tied to a pin.  I have watched
> several people implement this and have one warning:
> If you can't see the LED blinking, check with a 'scope.  PICs aren't very good
> at wasting time! The LED may be blinking faster than you can see it.

I would suggest an easy remedy to this is to use a bipolar LED (one of
the two-lead red/green types, available at Radio Shack or any mail-order
electronics house) connected as shown:

Gnd----[220ohm]---+---[220ohm]----+5
                 |
                 +---[LED]------- Port pin

Although this circuit will waste 10 mils when idle [there are ways around
that] it will provide a clear indication whether the port is solid high,
solid low, tri-stated, or switching between two of those states.  Note too
that this can be a useful trick for driving more than one "independently-
controlled" LED from a port pin.

1996\06\06@061836 by Conny Andersson

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On Thu, 6 Jun 1996 11:09:02 EST, Steve Hardy wrote:
>This is the way I started:

 Ooops, lost the remaining message... Oh well, here's my short story:

 Back in March -94, I read an article in an electronics magazine and
 sort of 'fell in love' with the PIC:s. I called the magazine and
 found out who the local reseller was and immediately ordered a
 DATABOOK, read it, read it again and finally downloaded all the
 software (well, not everything) from the BBS.

 Stupid as I was, I built the programmer featured in the magazine and
 got into deep trouble (programming became a random job) so the best
 solution was to buy a PICSTART and use the bad programmer as
 spare components for future projects.

 About MPLAB: It could be the ultimate development tool for
 all of us and it probably will if we continue to tell MicroChip how
 we would like it.

 Two things for MPLAB/MPSIM (according to version 2.99):
 * I would like to have a function key to set a BREAKPOINT at the
   current instruction location.
 * I also would like a GOTO INSTRUCTION function, place the cursor
   over one instruction and press some function key to get there and
   start simulation from that point (skip all previous instructions).

 About MPASM: Ok, but a bit slow. Have you ever thought of automatic
 background assembly while you write the code?

 I think MicroChip has the right attitude towards all of us, beginners,
 amateurs, professionals etc - everyone is important.

/ Conny
.........................................................................
Conny Andersson                   :  Currently listening to:
.....conanKILLspamspam.....atvidaberg.se               :  Tangerine Dream - Dream Mixes
http://www.atvidaberg.se/~conan   :  Vangelis - Voices
Engineer, Webmaster and more ...  :  Heart - Heart 1985
.........................................................................

1996\06\06@061840 by S.D.Coopland

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On Wed, 5 Jun 1996, Troy Nelson wrote:

> Finally - if someone is using the 16C71 and has a simple program (like
> blinking an LED) they would email - I would sure appreciate it.  I'm
> trying to get an LED to blink and finding the process humbling.  My
> program is only about 20 lines long - so including it in the email

Hi,
       Like you I'm just starting out on using these 'wonderful' PIC
Chips, and also started off using the 16C71 to blink an LED and, yes you've
guessed it, It didn't work either. Well after hours of looking through the
data sheets and nearly throwing the whole thing in the bin, I found the
answer(I think).
       Because the 16C71 has the A/D on board, it uses the port pins as
inputs, so you have to tell it to use them as digital I/O, As far as I
can tell you do this by accessing register 88H as follows.

       BSF     3H,5H           ;Select page
       MOVLW   B'00000011'     ;Set bits for digital I/O
       MOVWF   88H             ;Set register
       BCF     3H,5H

       I've tried this code in my program and it seems to work. Hope
this helps a little bit, and good luck with future programs, I think we
may both need it.

Cheers
       Steve.

1996\06\07@030138 by Jattie van der Linde

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Mark K Sullivan wrote:
>
> For what it's worth, I want to strongly DIScourage newcomers from using the
> Parallax 8051-style assembler language.  You really miss the RISC flavor and
> simplicity of the PIC when it is hidden under the 8051 equivalents.  Go ahead
> and learn it right!
>
> The "hello world" of the PIC is to blink an LED tied to a pin.  I have watched
> several people implement this and have one warning:
> If you can't see the LED blinking, check with a 'scope.  PICs aren't very good
> at wasting time! The LED may be blinking faster than you can see it.
>
> - Mark Sullivan -

I was struggling with the same question. Should I use an Assembler and
ICE that support that feature or not. Keep to Microchips Softwware?.

Can I get some Comments on this Issue ?

Jattie.

1996\06\07@144655 by Scott Stephens

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At 09:16 PM 6/5/96 -0500, you wrote:
>For what it's worth, I want to strongly DIScourage newcomers from using the
>Parallax 8051-style assembler language.  You really miss the RISC flavor and
>simplicity of the PIC when it is hidden under the 8051 equivalents.  Go ahead
>and learn it right!

I agree with that. I bought the Parallax programer a few years back. I
decided to use the Parallax macro's because it was much more familiar, with
the Intel assembly language I was used to. But I regreted it when I began to
count instruction cycles to control program timing. And when I mixed
Parallax macro's with Microchip assembly I sometimes 'jumped' or skiped' in
the middle of a Parallax Macro-mine and crashed. That can't happen if you
stick to Microchip. It's not that hard to learn.

Having said that, I think the Parallax programmer works great, and the
manual, materials, and BBS/Ftp support is great too.

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