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'stupid newbie'
1997\10\08@001002 by Jonathan M. Newport

flavicon
face
Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like doing
this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're probably
thinking I should have some socializing to do or something, but...well you
get the point.  I have purchased a basic stamp and constructed the
programming mechanism for it and have built several of the application
note projects as well as some of my own.  This included the serial A/D
which I was very proud of because I interfaced it to my calculator (HP
48G) (sorry about that, I just had to tell someone about that who might
somewhat appreciate it).  Anyway, I have been looking at other
microcontolers, and I have been thinking about purchasing a pic
programmer.  If I do get one, what would you guys (and gals, gotta be
P.C.) recommend
that I get, I have been searching around web sites, and I found some good
stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer that
claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive one
that doesn't program
those exotic ones like the 14000 and what-not ($50).  Any hoo, I was also
wondering, do all of the pics have a serial out command (like pbasic's
serout), because if I get the cheaper one, it will only program 18 pin
chips, which according to Digi-Key, none of them include these serial
features. I HAVE to have that feature.  Digi-Key is real vague with some
of these things if you know what I mean.  Then once I get a programmer,
what pic should I use?  I am somewhat attracted to the ones with the
A/D converters on them just because I use a lot of sensors in my
projects (I.E. hall effect transducers, mics, this neat-o thing
called a pulse amplifier, I rigged up one of the school's pH probe
to my calc set up, etc.). Well, as seasoned picers I'm sure you
might have a little advice and I would appreciate any of it.

sicerely

Jonathan

1997\10\08@012132 by John Payson

flavicon
face
> Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like doing
> this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're probably
> thinking I should have some socializing to do or something, but...well you
> get the point.

Yeah, I get the point.  I should have had some socializing to do when _I_
was 16, but the Commodore 64 seemed like so much more fun...  My advice:
do the socializing now, otherwise you'll get too hooked on micros/comp-
uters and never figure out girls/women.  [half-kidding]

>                 I have purchased a basic stamp and constructed the
> programming mechanism for it and have built several of the application
> note projects as well as some of my own.  This included the serial A/D
> which I was very proud of because I interfaced it to my calculator (HP
> 48G) (sorry about that, I just had to tell someone about that who might
> somewhat appreciate it).

Cool.

>                           Anyway, I have been looking at other
> microcontolers, and I have been thinking about purchasing a pic
> programmer.  If I do get one, what would you guys (and gals, gotta be
> P.C.) recommend
> that I get, I have been searching around web sites, and I found some good
> stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer that
> claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive one
> that doesn't program
> those exotic ones like the 14000 and what-not ($50).

Well, I personally like the 16C84/16F84 [latter essentially replaces the
former] as an easy development machine.  What I did when I was starting
out with PICs was to build a small protoboard with a 16C84 and the stuff
necessary to program it (the programming part is pretty easy).  I then
wrote software on the PC to burn it (though you could probably use someone
else's I've always used my own).

I highly recommend this approach, because it allows the PIC to be
reprogrammed time after time without swapping chips, moving cables, UV
erasing, or any of that nonsense.  Just hit a key in my editor to save the
file, run the assembler, and burn the chip.  Or, when I was trying to
interface it with some PC software (written in C), assemble the PIC code
(if needed), compile the PC code (if needed), and finally run the PC code
which would burn the chip (if needed) and then talk to it.

>                                                       Any hoo, I was also
> wondering, do all of the pics have a serial out command (like pbasic's
> serout), because if I get the cheaper one, it will only program 18 pin
> chips, which according to Digi-Key, none of them include these serial
> features. I HAVE to have that feature.  Digi-Key is real vague with some
> of these things if you know what I mean.

The 16F84 hardware consists of the following and essentially nothing
else:

 - 1Kw of EEPROM code memory

 - 68 general-purpose registers (i.e. 68 bytes of RAM)

 - 64 bytes of data EEPROM (memory which holds its contents without
   power, and which may be written--albeit slowly--under software
   control).

 - An 8-bit counter/timer which simply counts 0-255 over and over again

 - An 18ms "watchdog" timer, independent of CPU clock speed, which will
   reset the chip if too much time elapses without the CPU executing a
   CLRWDT instruction.

 - An 8-bit "prescalar" which may be used EITHER to increase the watchdog
   time by any power of 2 from 1 to 128, OR to slow the timer down by any
   power of 2 from 2 to 256.

 - Twelve I/O pins which can be set individually to output a very strong
   "high" signal (20mA from VDD), an even stronger "low" signal (25mA
   to VSS), or no signal (i.e. they float); all 12 of these I/O pins have
   standard CMOS inputs.  [Eight of these pins form "Port B"; the other 4
   form part of "Port A"]

 - A thirteenth I/O pin which can't output a "high" signal but can either
   be floated or pulled low.  This pin may safely handle voltages up to
   14 volts.  [This pin is the last pin on "Port A"]

 - Interrupt-control logic that can trigger an interrupt when bit 0 of
   PORTB changes, when any of bits 4-7 on PORTB change, or when the
   timer/counter module overflows.

 - Sleep logic that can wake the CPU when any of the interrupt-causing
   pins triggers an interrupt, when the watchdog times out, or when the
   chip is reset.  [Note that the timer is stopped when the chip is put
   to sleep, so a timer interrupt cannot wake the CPU].

 - Execution logic to handle the PIC's instruction set, along with the
   dedicated registers like W, STATUS, FSR, etc.

Not a whole lot there; certainly no serial port.  Do not despair, however:
it's fairly easy to output data at 2400 baud via the following simple
procedure:

       set the output low
       wait 416us [1/2400 second]
       set the output to the value of data bit 0
       wait 416us
       set the output to the value of data bit 1
       wait 416us
       ...
       set the output to the value of data bit 7
       wait 416us
       set the output high
       wait at least 416us before setting output low again.

The following simple procedure does the above:

; To output a byte of data, call this procedure with the data in OutVal.
; OutVal and C will be trashed; all other registers unaffected.

; Written from memory--untested

OutByte:
       bcf     PORTB,1         ; Assuming this is the output port
       bsf     C
OutLoop:
       call    Delay410        ; Procedure to wait about 410us; must preserve
                               ; all registers!
       rrf     OutVal
       btfss   C
        bcf    PORTB,1
       btfsc   C
        bsf    PORTB,1
       bcf     C
       movf    OutVal,f        ; Just test if it's zero; don't trash W
       btfss   Z
        goto   OutLoop
       ;call   Delay410        ; See below
       return

; Once OutByte is called, the firmware must wait at least 416us becore
; calling it again.  This may either be done by including the "call
; Delay410" indicated above, or by performing 410us or more worth of
; useful processing.

Even though the PIC doesn't have a UART in hardware, the above code will
allow serial data to be transmitted fairly easily.  If it's necessary that
data be sent or received while the PIC does other things (or sent and
received simultaneously) then the code will need to run from an interrupt
routine and will be more complicated; nonetheless, serial communications
can be done quite adequately on a PIC despite the lack of specialized
hardware.

>                                           Then once I get a programmer,
> what pic should I use?  I am somewhat attracted to the ones with the
> A/D converters on them just because I use a lot of sensors in my
> projects (I.E. hall effect transducers, mics, this neat-o thing
> called a pulse amplifier, I rigged up one of the school's pH probe
> to my calc set up, etc.). Well, as seasoned picers I'm sure you
> might have a little advice and I would appreciate any of it.

As I said above, I *really* like the 16C84/16F84, especially for beginning
projects.  Hopefully Microchip will be coming out with the other
EEPROM-based parts sometime and you'll have a wider range of processors to
choose from, but the 16C84/16F84 is really the way to go for a number of
reasons:

[1] Cheaper than windowed EEPROM parts; you can get started PIC'ing for
less than $10, including the stuff you need for an in-circuit programming.

[2] Impossible to destroy through errant programming.  PICs are generally
quite rugged devices (I've only destroyed two in application circuits: one
had a port pin driven with raw rectified AC120 [the rest of the chip
worked fine, but a 16C84 with a blown RB6 isn't too useful], and the
other was accidentally powered off 8 volts [the odd thing about this one
is that it *WORKED FINE* when I was feeding it 8 volts, but now it won't
run with "only" 5]).  However, glitches or mistakes in programming can
easily destroy any of the OTP or window PICs.

[3] In-circuit programming is *incredibly* convenient.

Others may like different parts, but if you're looking to get started with
PICs I'd say the 16F84 can't be beat.

1997\10\08@015026 by Andrew Warren

face
flavicon
face
Jonathan M. Newport <spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> I have been looking at other microcontolers, and I have been
> thinking about purchasing a pic programmer.  If I do get one, what
> would you guys (and gals, gotta be P.C.) recommend that I get

   Jonathan:

   I'd probably recommend Microchip's Picstart Plus... It programs
   all the PICs (although you need an adapter if you want to program
   the surface-mount packages) and only costs about $150-$200,
   depending on whether Microchip's running a sale these days.

   The Picstart Plus runs under Microchip's Windows-based MPLAB
   environment, which includes an editor (more or less), a really
   excellent macro assembler, and a solid-but-somewhat-slow
   simulator.  MPLAB is free; you can download it from Microchip's
   web site at:

       http://www.microchip.com

> do all of the pics have a serial out command (like pbasic's
> serout), because if I get the cheaper one, it will only program 18
> pin chips, which according to Digi-Key, none of them include these
> serial features. I HAVE to have that feature.

   None of the PICs have a serial-out "command" that's as easy to
   use as the Stamp's; the more-expensive ones include a hardware
   UART, but you still need to write a little bit of code to use
   it.

   Even on the very low-end PICs, though, you can write (or find) a
   serial-out routine that fits in just over a dozen bytes.  Mike
   Harrison wrote one that requires only 15 words of program space
   and transmits at 9600 baud... If you want a copy, just let me
   know and I'll send it to you.

> Once I get a programmer, what pic should I use?  I am somewhat
> attracted to the ones with the A/D converters on them

   Most hobbyists find the 16F84 to be the most convenient, because
   they have EEPROM program memories and so can be erased and
   reprogrammed quickly, without the need for a UV eraser.

   If you want A/D, though, the cheapest currently-available parts
   are the 16C710 and 16C711.  Both of those have EPROM memories, so
   if you're planning to erase and reuse them, you need to buy
   windowed ("-JW" suffix) parts and also pick up a UV eraser... For
   your purposes, I'd recommend the Datarase II eraser, available
   from Digi-Key and others for around $30-40.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren - .....fastfwdKILLspamspam@spam@ix.netcom.com
=== Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

1997\10\08@021908 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
   Any hoo, I was also wondering, do all of the pics have a serial out
   command (like pbasic's serout), because if I get the cheaper one, it
   will only program 18 pin chips, which according to Digi-Key, none of
   them include these serial features. I HAVE to have that feature.

NONE of the PICs have a "serial out" command.  Some of them have an
internal peripheral called a UART that makes it somewhat easier and
potentially less "cpu intensive" to implement such a function, and ALL
of the PICs can have routines equivilent to "serial out" WRITTEN for
them in assembler or (compiled) C or Basic or whatever.  There's a
sample routine in the PIC applications guide, and there have been
several such routines posted here in the past.  Some compilers may
already provide such a function.

IMHO, Parallax pushed the embedded world in a new direction when they
allowed SEROUT to work on any pin of the stamp.  Previously, async
serial peripherals (1 wire + GND) were next to unheard of.  Now all
sorts of interesting devices are popping up all over - LCD displays,
memorys, sensors, servo drivers, etc, etc, etc.  Neat stuff, especially
since it allows quite a bit of new flexability on LARGER computers
(Wanna guess how much it would cost to put a simple LCD display on a
PC-type platform before products like the PIC-based "serial backpacks"
came along?)


   Then once I get a programmer, what pic should I use?  I am somewhat
   attracted to the ones with the A/D converters on them just because I use
   a lot of sensors in my projects (I.E. hall effect transducers, mics,
   this neat-o thing called a pulse amplifier, I rigged up one of the
   school's pH probe to my calc set up, etc.).

The flash based parts are the only ones that are inexpensive in their
reprogrammable versions.  While they don't have built-in A-D converters,
you can use algorithms similar to those used in the basic stamp to do
some sorts of A-D measurements.  It sounds like some of the stuff you
are interested in might require more sensitive/accurate A-Ds anyway, not
to mention carefully designed analog circuitry...

BillW

1997\10\08@114553 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
At 10:59 PM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like doing
>this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're probably
>thinking I should have some socializing to do or something, but...well you
>get the point.

Hey, I'm only 17 and I've been involved with electronics for several years.
Been an amateur radio operator since I was 11. Glad to see more people my
age on the piclist. For me, the piclist has been an invaluable resource.
Since being on the piclist (abt 1 year) I have learned more electronics
than in the previous two years. Socializing can wait, read the piclist and
build fun stuff :-) (The Nerd's Creed)

> I have purchased a basic stamp and constructed the
>programming mechanism for it and have built several of the application
>note projects as well as some of my own.  This included the serial A/D
>which I was very proud of because I interfaced it to my calculator (HP
>48G) (sorry about that, I just had to tell someone about that who might
>somewhat appreciate it).

Sounds like a really interesting project.

> Anyway, I have been looking at other
>microcontolers, and I have been thinking about purchasing a pic
>programmer.  If I do get one, what would you guys (and gals, gotta be
>P.C.) recommend
>that I get, I have been searching around web sites, and I found some good
>stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer that
>claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive one
>that doesn't program
>those exotic ones like the 14000 and what-not ($50).

I like the advice given by the others on the list. I have a little $50
programmer that will do most of the 16xxx series pics but since I have
wanted to experiment with the 17xxx and 14xxx seriesl, as well as the
16c5xx so I wished that I had a more universal progammer. If you want to go
the route of the cheap programmer, I would think that you ought to build
one. You obviously have the necessary experience and I have a friend who
built one for about $2 and it does most of the PICs($2 because he had some
parts in his junk box, about $15 from scratch)

{Quote hidden}

No, you need to implement your own serial output, but it is seriously not
that hard, besides, we nerds like to do things ourselves, not use other
people's designs, right ? :)

The 16C71 is a nice little pic with 4 channel A/D. Only problem is that u
need an eprom eraser (Like the datarase II sold by digikey for $40). If you
have got an eraser, using a pic like this in not that difficult or painful.
You will need to buy the -JW suffix part for the windowed(non OTP) part.

I would say that for many types of sensors, if only rough accuracy is
necessary, you could somehow turn the signal into a digital signal and
therefore use just a 16C/F84

One example is using a capacitor and resistor on a 18F84 input pin to
create an A/D converter. The cap will take a different amount of time to
charge depending upon the current, which depends upon the voltage because
of the resistor. This is not that accurate(temperature variability, etc.)
and requires an internal logarithmic algorithm to get the optimum accuracy,
but it is a cheap, neat little solution. Other examples would be a circuit
to rectify,filter, amplify, and limit the output of a mic so that a PIC
could tell if someone was talking or not. The moral of the story: most of
the time an A/D is not needed and you can use a 16C/F84

Good luck and looking forward to hearing more from you on the list,

Sean


Sean Breheny,KA3YXM
Electrical Engineering Student

1997\10\08@120849 by tjaart

flavicon
face
Sean Breheny wrote:
>
> At 10:59 PM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:

> The 16C71 is a nice little pic with 4 channel A/D. Only problem is that u
> need an eprom eraser (Like the datarase II sold by digikey for $40). If you
> have got an eraser, using a pic like this in not that difficult or painful.
> You will need to buy the -JW suffix part for the windowed(non OTP) part.

I've been using a 6W Philips UVB tube for about 2 years. The tube cost
about
$8.5 and the ballast & starter cost about $4.5 It erases a PIC in under
3
minutes. Like you said - making your own is more fun. (and us geeks need
all
the fun we need)

--
Friendly Regards

Tjaart van der Walt
tjaartspamKILLspamwasp.co.za
_____________________________________________________________
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1997\10\08@122515 by Mike Keitz

picon face
On Tue, 7 Oct 1997 22:59:54 -0500 "Jonathan M. Newport"
<.....jnewportKILLspamspam.....MAIL.ORION.ORG> writes:
>  I have purchased a basic stamp and constructed the
>programming mechanism for it and have built several of the application
>note projects as well as some of my own.  This included the serial A/D
>which I was very proud of because I interfaced it to my calculator (HP
>48G) (sorry about that, I just had to tell someone about that who
>might
>somewhat appreciate it).  Anyway, I have been looking at other
>microcontolers, and I have been thinking about purchasing a pic
>programmer.  If I do get one, what would you guys (and gals, gotta be
>P.C.) recommend
>that I get, I have been searching around web sites, and I found some
>good
>stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer
>that
>claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive
>one
>that doesn't program
>those exotic ones like the 14000 and what-not ($50).

I have a PICSTART Plus.  If your budget allows it it is a good unit;
programs any PIC (other than the 68-pin ones) no fuss.  But, if you're
just getting started, keep the $149.99 in your pocket and go with
PIC16F84's.  Build one of the simple and free PC-driven programmers
available on the Internet.  Most of these only work with the PIC16F84 (or
the mostly obsoltete C84)  But, the 16F84 is the least expensive reusable
PIC at $5.00 or less each, and it has enough features to do some
impressive projects.

Any hoo, I was
>also
>wondering, do all of the pics have a serial out command (like pbasic's
>serout), because if I get the cheaper one, it will only program 18 pin
>chips, which according to Digi-Key, none of them include these serial
>features. I HAVE to have that feature.

Serial output, especially send-only, is easy to do with software.  That's
how it works in pbasic, you just don't see it directly.  Some of the
other PICs have serial hardware which makes it easier to do things like
send and receive at the same time, or do a lot of processing while
sending and receiving.  But, all of these PICs are 28 pins or larger, and
must be UV erased.

 Digi-Key is real vague with
>some
>of these things if you know what I mean.  Then once I get a
>programmer,
>what pic should I use?

Go to http://www.microchip.com and download the data book pdf's.  This will tell
you exactly what each chip can and can't do.  I think the F84 would be
the best choice for getting started in PIC assembler projects.

If you use any of the other PICs, besides there not being a lot of
public-domain programmers for them, you'll need a UV eraser to erase
them.  These cost about $30.  The 16C74 is about the most feature-laden
of the 14-bit PICs.  It has an advanced timer, 8-bit ADC, lots of
parallel I/O pins (40 pin package) and two serial ports, one of which can
send and receive asynchronous.  Keep a few windowed C74's around to try
various ideas with these peripherals, once the design is finalized you
can order the chip which has exactly the features needed.

>I am somewhat attracted to the ones with the
>A/D converters on them just because I use a lot of sensors in my
>projects (I.E. hall effect transducers, mics, this neat-o thing
>called a pulse amplifier, I rigged up one of the school's pH probe
>to my calc set up, etc.).

The ADC built into PIC's like the 7x is just 8 bits; though useful, it's
not really precise enough for a lot of scientific applications.  But it
is (barely) fast enough to digitize audio, so that may be of some
interest to you.  Any PIC can control external ADC chips or slope ADC
logic; I assume that's what you did with the pH probe project.

1997\10\08@123616 by Ricardo Seixas

flavicon
face
At 22:59 07/10/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like doing
>this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're probably
>thinking I should have some socializing to do or something, but...well you
>get the point.

       Hmmm, I've already saw this movie before... ME :)
       Once you've played with electronics it's become a point of no return...
       You can do socializing WITH electronics, a science fair is a good
starting point (build a Love-O-Matic). :)

>which I was very proud of because I interfaced it to my calculator (HP
>48G) (sorry about that, I just had to tell someone about that who might
>somewhat appreciate it).
       I have a 48SX, great machine.

>that I get, I have been searching around web sites, and I found some good
>stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer that
>claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive one
>that doesn't program

       Warp3 programs all 16C 12C and 14000 BUT do not program 17C, with
a little more you can buy a Picstart Plus that program 16C,12C,14000 AND 17C.
       But since you're starting with PICs I recommend that you start with
the easy part to work with, the 16F84, it doesn't need to be UV erased and can
be "in circuit programmed", cutting a lot of development time.
       You need serial out (or in) no problem, you can mimic it on code
(like the basic stamp do).
       You need ADC,use the PIC16C71 or use an ADC8031, it's easy to
interface with the 16F84.
       You can use cheaper programmers like PIC-1a from Itutech that can be
sold as Kit ($39 if my NV memory is good :) .
       Take a look also on Microchip Web Site (http://www.microchip.com) and
download the 16F84 datasheet if you're convinced enough.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ricardo Seixas
Mechanical Engineer
EraseMErseixasspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTciclone.com.br

... Smile, tomorrow will be worst ...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1997\10\08@125133 by Keith Dowsett

flavicon
face
At 11:42 08/10/97 -0400, you wrote:
<snip>

>I like the advice given by the others on the list. I have a little $50
>programmer that will do most of the 16xxx series pics but since I have
>wanted to experiment with the 17xxx and 14xxx seriesl, as well as the
>16c5xx so I wished that I had a more universal progammer.

Hi Sean,

  I've been thinking about designing a parallel programmer for 17Cxx for a
while. It would be easy enough to add a socket for serial programming of
other PICs too.

I don't have time at present, but here's the idea. All it needs is to
74LS299 shift registers, two transistors and couple of voltage regulators.
You could hang the whole lot on the parallel port.

Two port pins control the 5V and 12V supplies through transistors. You shift
data into the shift register with two port pins, and one other pin to handle
the load/shift signal.  The other end of the shift register is connected to
one of the inputs of the printer port so you can read data back. Connect PA0
and PA1 to two port pins and off you go.

The software has to read a hex file, and program each byte in turn. Probably
quite feasible in VB.

If you're interested drop me a line I'll send you a schematic of my idea
(partly pilfered from lots of other people.)

Keith.
------------------------------------------------------------
Keith Dowsett         "Variables won't; constants aren't."

E-mail: kdowsettspamspam_OUTrpms.ac.uk  or @spam@kdowsettKILLspamspamgeocities.com

WWW: http://kd.rpms.ac.uk/index.htm
    www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/8979

1997\10\08@130745 by Norm Cramer

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Jonathan,

At 10:59 PM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like doing
>this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're probably
>thinking I should have some socializing to do or something, but...

Don't worry about the socilization, just keep having fun!  The best time to
learn is while you are still young.

>I have been searching around web sites, and I found some good
>stuff at ITU technologies, one of them being a "Warp 3" programmer that
>claims to program everything (for around $130) and a less expensive one
>that doesn't program
>those exotic ones like the 14000 and what-not ($50).

I have the ITU PIC-1 (predicesor to the PIC-1a)  It is a very simple
circuit and can program 18 pin devices in the programmer and any number of
pin PIC devices in circuit.  I added a simple 28 pin addapter for about
$5.00 including the ZIF socket.  The PIC-1a is available in kit form for
$39.00.  There are some schematics on the net to build your own programmer
too.  I bought the PIC-1 to save time getting started with PICs.  If you
want a cheap way to get started fast, get thier kit.  I built the kit in
about 1 hour.  Thier software is DOS based but runs fine in a Win95 DOS
window.  I am very happy with mine.  If you have specific questions feel
free to e-mail me directly.

Hope this helps

Norm

1997\10\08@165808 by Adi

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> One example is using a capacitor and resistor on a 18F84 input pin to
> create an A/D converter. The cap will take a different amount of time to
> charge depending upon the current, which depends upon the voltage because
> of the resistor. This is not that accurate(temperature variability, etc.)
> and requires an internal logarithmic algorithm to get the optimum
accuracy,
> but it is a cheap, neat little solution. Other examples would be a
circuit
> to rectify,filter, amplify, and limit the output of a mic so that a PIC
> could tell if someone was talking or not. The moral of the story: most of
> the time an A/D is not needed and you can use a 16C/F84

I'm working on connecting temp probesto a 16C84.  One idea is to use a
voltage controller oscillator and connect it to an I/O pin and determine
the timing. Use an analog switch to multiplex the input and go through
timing a high and low reference voltage to compensate for any temperature
drift, etc. Perhaps there is an integrated A/D converter out there doing
all the already?

Regards,
Adi

1997\10\09@102800 by Louis Marquette

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Sean Breheny wrote:

> At 10:59 PM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:
> >Ok, I am looking into the world of electronics and I really like
> doing
> >this sort of stuff.  Let me warn you...I'm only 16 and you're
> probably
> >thinking I should have some socializing to do or something,
> but...well you
> >get the point.
>

There's no reason why you can't do both. I'm 18 and have been in
electronics for abt 4 years. I Design and build all sorts of projects
and program during the week and during the day on weekends, but on Fri
and Sat nights and sometimes during the week, I hang out with my
friends.

{Quote hidden}

I think Sean Is talking about me here. Oh, and Sean I made an adapter
for it to program 17Cxx without using lots of wire and  a breadboard.
:-)  If you look around, there are alot of sites, well, a lew at least,
that have schematics for PIC programmers. Most are fairly simple, since
the pc does most the work, the programmer just applies + voltage and
programming voltake and is an interface since you obviously have the
connect the pic somehow the che pc, and you cant just pic some random
empty place on your motherboard.

> >called a pulse amplifier, I rigged up one of the school's pH probe
>

Do THEY know this??? :-)

Hey, just do whatever and HAVE FUN.

Louis Marquette

1997\10\09@104014 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Tjaart, for more `geek fun', replace that `energy hog' ballast with
a solid state unit ;-)

  There has been a lot of amusing, to say the least, suggestions for
erasing EPROM devices. I still think the Dataerase II is the best buy
for both engineering prototypes and hobbyist. A few years ago I called
them about ordering a replacement UV tube should mine fail. He laughed,
saying it's cheaper to send it back and they will fix it for $12
including shipping. He went on to say, the tubes rarely fail. I can back
that up with years of use and `abuse'. It costs less than $50.

  "Arc welders", heh, heh, `gawd'... ;-)

  - Tom

{Quote hidden}

1997\10\09@111048 by ERIC SCHLAEPFER

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    Hi Jonathan,

    Seems like everyone has to leap on your questions, doesn't it?

    I too have started using the PIC recently, and so far here is what I
    have learned:

    1. Get a programmer
       Either a PICSTART or a homebrew programmer will work just fine. I
    am using one I built for $8 so I am a little biased. If you are
    interested in the homebrew one I can send you schematics+downloader
    program.

    2. Get an assembler
       This is a program that allows you write programs in a more
    understandable format than entering direct machine code numbers (only
    for macho PICers) The Microchip Assembler, available from the
    company's web site, "http://www.microchip.com", is a good choice. After I
    worked with x86 assembly, the PIC assembly was a pleasant surprise. It
    only has 30 sumthin' instructions, and the are all pretty easy to
    remember.

    3. Get the data sheet
       The data sheet will tell you the pinouts and what clock input to
    use, etc. The oscillator section is pretty confusing; I recommend
    getting a 4Mhz Ceramic oscillator *with* capacitor from DIGI-KEY. Just
    wire the outer two wires to the PIC osc. pins, and the middle one goes
    to ground. Never had a problem with my setup.

    4. Get the Applications Handbook!
       This is a _very_ useful and interesting book you can get from
    DIGI-KEY. Lots of cool projects and stuff.

    5. Buy a PIC.
       The good PIC to start with is the 16F84. I get mine from DIGI-KEY,
    although I think I am getting ripped off because the chip costs $8. Be
    sure to get the 16F84 *without* the "I" in the part number. The "I"
    means the chip works at an increased temp range and voltage, but it
    also increases the size of the dent in your wallet.

    6. Build your first PIC circuit
       I don't know about the rest of the PICLISTERS, but my first circuit
    was the PIC connected through RB1 to an LED. The program made it blink
    at various rates.

    7. Thank the PICLISTERS.
       You are very lucky to have found the list so soon. I started out
    without this cool (although sometimes wacky) resource.


    The 16F84 is a very nice and sturdy part. I have only blown one of
    them, when I gave the chip ~9V at reverse polarity. After that, it
    acted like it lost its mind. In fact, I even put one of those in the
    programmer *backwards*; with 12V coursing through one of the I/O
    ports, it heated the whole chip. But, after reorienting it and
    reprogramming it, the thing working fine. Amazing.

    Good luck with your PIC adventures!

    Later,

    Eric

    (A 15-year old PICer with still enough time to "socialize." Next
    project: The "Socio-matic" ;-)  )

1997\10\11@175815 by Christof

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On  8 Oct 97 at 0:28, John Payson wrote:

> As I said above, I *really* like the 16C84/16F84, especially for beginning
> projects.

Your description is really good and to the point!

> Hopefully Microchip will be coming out with the other EEPROM-based
> parts sometime and you'll have a wider range of processors to choose from,

See the "Future Products Catalogue" on Microchip's Web site.

> [2] Impossible to destroy through errant programming.  PICs are generally
> quite rugged devices (I've only destroyed two in application circuits: one
> had a port pin driven with raw rectified AC120 [the rest of the chip
> worked fine, but a 16C84 with a blown RB6 isn't too useful], and the
> other was accidentally powered off 8 volts [the odd thing about this one
> is that it *WORKED FINE* when I was feeding it 8 volts, but now it won't
> run with "only" 5]).  However, glitches or mistakes in programming can
> easily destroy any of the OTP or window PICs.
>

I recently heard a story that some user had a PIC (windowed EPROM though) and
placed a dead short through one of the ports. The PIC started to glow! After
letting the chip cool down he erased it and reprogrammed - it worked!! (He did
not tell me if it worked to full functionality).

Christof  :-)
__________________________________________________

Christof Tolken
FAE, PACE South Africa
Tel:  +27 (011) 974 1211
FAX:  +27 (011) 974 1271
Cell: 083 227 3546
KILLspamctolkenKILLspamspampixie.co.za
__________________________________________________

1997\10\12@064816 by Alec Myers

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>
>I recently heard a story that some user had a PIC (windowed EPROM though) and
>placed a dead short through one of the ports. The PIC started to glow! After
>letting the chip cool down he erased it and reprogrammed - it worked!! (He did
>not tell me if it worked to full functionality).

OK, I confess. I too have done/seen this, with a 16C61JW. I was running it
from a Lithium Thionyl Chloride cell (3.6V, high current) and I'd plugged it in
backwards. The thing lit up in a most impressive manner. When I put it in the
socket the right way round, it worked fine. Didn't need erasing or anything.

At the time I thought it was a deliberate protection device - and I haven't
repeated it since.

So next time you need to build a microcontroller-based flashlight (you
know, the
one with three buttons?) you can even omit the bulb.


Alec

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