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AVR Microcontroller

Discussion in 'AVR' started by wmmullaney, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    I want to start using microcontrollers. I'v heard of some from Atmel that are <$5, ant suggestions?

    :D
     
  2. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    Sorry, ANY suggestions.
     
  3. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    What programming experience do you have?, the most popular is the PIC, with the AVR second - but either are fine.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    Oh not much, I can program an Apple II, and a little HTML. How many $'s is a good PIC?
     
  6. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    PIC's are cheap as well - if you programmed your Apple II (6502) in assembler, I would suggest a PIC is probably better for you. If you've programmed Z80's or similar, I would suggest AVR's.

    If you've only ever programmed in BASIC, it doesn't really matter.
     
  7. nickelflippr

    nickelflippr Member

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    Here's a good Pic 16f88. The price of Pic/Avr microcontroller is the least of your worries.

    Next questions, what language, compiler, programmer, development/proto board, .....? And, how much are those?
     
  8. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    Ok, I like that, can you give me a programmer schematic?

    I have also programmed in asembly language.(simple stuff)

    I did applesoft basic.
     
  9. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    About a year ago, I was making the same choice as you. I programmed in BASIC, and 6502 assembly (Commodore 64), but that was more then ten years past (blame Windows). I wanted to stick with Assembly, since the microcontrollers only have a few K of memory. I first started downloading data sheets, and looking over the instruction sets and features. Then I went shopping to see the prices of the chips, programmers, and software. I only had USB ports unused, and didn't want to be swapping cables. Atmel came out with a USB programmer (AVR Dragon $49), which was in the price range. The AVR instruction set was most familiar, and kind of like 32 working registers, around 130 instructions. PIC has 36 instructions and one register.
    I went with the AVR chips, mostly use Tiny13 and Tiny2313 for LCD projects or just more I/O pins.

    The Assembly program went good in the beginning, but lately I've been wanting to do some timing critical stuff, and I'm a little sloppy... So just started learning Bascom AVR BASIC. It's different from the old-style BASIC, but starting to get it together.

    Pretty much any microcontroller will work as well starting out. They have similar function and features. If use a high level language, you wouldn't even notice any difference. I'd suggest searching the web for 'projects' related to various PIC or AVR chips in your price range, and see which ones you would like to eventually be building.

    I just bought 25 x Tiny13v from Digikey for $0.88 each. Pretty good 8-pin chip, rugged and reliable. I've yet to kill one, and have used (abused) a bunch learning this stuff over the past year, very forgiving chips.

    The AVR Dragon is a good programmer, but should mention that it comes at a minimal. You only get the basic board, and need to buy some header pins, jumper cables, and ISP/JTAG cables, and a ZIFF socket. A little soldering. So far, all software has been free to download, and fully functional. BASCOM AVR only has a limit on code size, but its 2k (same as the chips I actually use).
     
  10. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    I want a PIC, also I want to build my own serial programmer.
     
  11. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you mention it's for a Mac, I'm not sure which PIC programmers will work on a Mac?
     
  12. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    I'm sorry, not serial, parallel. I have an old DOS laptop I wanted to use. I don't know if the software I need will run on it...

    But, what I really need is a programmer,(something with a PIC socket and a parallel cable)to flash a PIC.
     
  13. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Ponyprog, and any AVR that is programmable via SPI. There are many for under 5 dolllars, and ponyprog's website has schematics for parallel programmers that can be made from a few discrete components easily and cheaply.
     
  14. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    The cheapest AVR I know of is the tiny11 at about 50 cents. But you can't program them via SPI, they require a high voltage programmer (a 12 volt signal is placed on the reset line to enter programming mode) I do believe there are high voltage programmer schematics for AVR's out there but I've never looked into them as I have an STK500 (programs any AVR chip) their current programming/development board is the Dragon, for around 50-60 dollars, but requires soldering on of headers.
     
  15. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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    I want PIC, will the programmer there work with one?
     
  16. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    You might try looking at the 'sticky' in the Micro-Controller forum?.
     
  17. wmmullaney

    wmmullaney New Member

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  18. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Never bought one, but the modules I've seen on sparkfun look solid. For the price it looks like a good programmer. A lot less hasle than building your own.
     
  19. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty easy to build a JDM programmer, just like the Sparkfun one.

    Did you know JDM stands for Jens Dyekjaer Madsen, here's his homepage.
    http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  20. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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  21. nickelflippr

    nickelflippr Member

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    Consider an Olimex development board to go with whatever microcontroller and programmer you choose. The higher pin ones cost the same, and will give you more "outs" (i.e. pins) when looking to add more functionality to your projects.
     

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