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Good to start with?

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by Marks256, May 16, 2007.

  1. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    I feel no need to discuss the merits of various prototyping methods. What works works.

    A lot of students bend a pin or two along the line. You can not expect people who are just leaning to be as skillful as you are. I have noticed that some high school students do not have much in the way of dextarity, esp the motor skills needed to solder etc.

    If the processor is soldered in place you can only use a bootloader, or ICSP via a connector or clip to reprogram the processor. Processors witout sockets seems to be where we are headed.
     
  2. bloody-orc

    bloody-orc New Member

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    This is actually the very reason why ISP was "invented" probably ;) pins got bent ;). Actually for prototyping I suggest you to make your own little board (if using that white solderles and students). Make a board with a chip on it and those 0.8mm gold plated pin headers down from both sides. try to bend that!
    And a ISP header on the edge or somewhere. also add a capacitor for noise reduction and if needed the ACD power circuit also (inductors, capacitors etc). Protection zener also to protect from accidental reverse -/ over voltage.
    I'm starting to make some boards like that for myself if I get through my exams. one for IrDa, one for USB, one for RX232, maybe one for ETHERNET etc. no need for the board chips though. Experienced enough to avoid pin bending ;) most of the times at least :p (And I can spare 4$ of my pocket money to get me a new chip if needed).

    anyway good luck ;)
     
  3. hotrodhed120

    hotrodhed120 Member

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    Hey all! Being new to PICing myself and spending way to much money on my first programmer (picstart plus- it just sounds like a great beginners tool...right!? NOT!! I purchased it before I found this site.) I would like to say go for something with a usb icd. I recently aquired an easypic 4 which is much better for me to use because with a usb programmer I can take it anywhere I take my laptop (the box is only 10X8X3), the demo board lets me program it, test the inputs/outputs, modifiy the program, and reprogram all in under 30 secs(or at least pretty dang quick)! I don't even have to take it out of the box. I still use the MPLAB to create the hex file and simulate and then use the PICflash to program the PIC. The PICflash just pops up like another window while in MPLAB and once you load the hex the first time it just takes one click to reload after modifing the program. I haven't ever used any of the other ICD's mentioned above but all the extras with the easypic 4 like adding LCD's, GLCD'S, and assorted other odds and ends for easy future expansion are what sold me on it. PICBASIC is still greek to me but with the ability move a hex from MPLAB to PICflash who needs it! (Lightening strikes) lol! jk! But the cost is a little more. $195 with lcd, glcd, easyconnect adpt., easy input adpt., and shipping from circuit ed. You could probably make the ad ons yourself cheaper but for someone like me wanting to save the solder time for the PLANNED project I think it was worth the extra couple bucks. For me, myself I think it was a good investment. Like I said I'm just a beginner and theres my 2 cents.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    I never have, and i don't think i ever will, but i would rather cut out the possibility of it happening... Also i think ZIF sockets look cool... :D
     
  6. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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  7. evandude

    evandude New Member

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    It looks to be yet another ICD2 clone, in which case it looks like a good plan, so long as it works fully with MPLAB and all (which I would assume it does, given the 100% positive feedback ratings on 2000+ sales that that seller has)

    The price seems very good, too, especially considering it comes with the ZIF adapter board, and even a case.

    Too bad it uses a completely non-standard USB A-to-A cable... Oh well, I wouldn't call that a deal-breaker...
     
  8. Peter_wadley

    Peter_wadley New Member

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    Hey marks,

    I just bought my programmer from this seller Jane-White..

    I honestly have got to say that you wont find a better eBay seller out there.

    The programmer arrived in 2 buisness days,very fast.

    You cant go wrong with this guy.. very nice chap!

    take care
     
  9. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    If I were buying readymade ICD2 today I would buy the pickit2.
    Others have said that Microchip is very good about replacing failed units, even out of warrenty. I have a dead full speed USB ICD2 clone (EBAY) and an olimex(sp?) tiny ICD2 that I will sell you very cheap. The USB lasted just past the warrenty period.

    After looking at the board I am not convinced that the person who designed it understood what he was doing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  10. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    Yes, i am a bit thick-headed... :D


    So you are saying buy one from directly from microchip? Ok... Do you know if they take check/money-order?
     
  11. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Looks like the only do credit cards.
     
  12. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Have given any serious consideration to Atmels AVR's, like I've suggested multiple times? =)

    That ICD2 programmer is 49 bucks plus 10 dollars shipping.

    Look at what I just ran into on Digikey.
    http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Criteria?Ref=346918&Site=US&Cat=34407113

    That's both the Dragon (USB Based) and the STK500 (serial but with more easy to use out of the box onboard stuff like LED's, buttons and standardized I/O connectors, in one package for 49 dollars, and even COD shipping is only 9 dollars UPS. I would snap this up if I didn't already have an STK500, and just had to do a 400 dollar brake repair on my car =O
    Seriously, ask me any questions about AVR's you want, or better yet go check out the AVRfreaks.net web site. Another forum, less on the general electronics more on AVR's and digital/analog micro controller applications. They don't hate pics but if you go over there asking questions the gents should give you some tips on why to chose AVR vs PIC for starting in the micro controller world, especially on the cheap.
     
  13. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Of course my Inchworm+ ICD2 clone is cheap. And if USB is important it combos nicely with Unicorn (Unicorn can also be used as a project with LCD/GLCD) And if it breaks both are easy to fix.
     
  14. Peter_wadley

    Peter_wadley New Member

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    nothing like selling out on a forum... but then again why not? Inchworm+ ICD2 is a great setup. Im beginning to see how unreliable ebay programmers are.. mine works and then it doesnt and then it works and then it doesnt!

    I would just get one from microchip or one from a respectable builder.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  15. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    PIC's are by far the most popular, and very easy to use - to be honest ANY micro-controller will usually do the job, but PIC's have probably the best support available, with much more info available on the net.

    Nothing wrong with AVR's, it was a blatent attempt by Atmel to capture some of the PIC market, even down to copying a three letter name :D but I don't think they have done as well as they hoped?.
     
  16. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    If Bill was just here to peddle stuff I would agree. But he has been very good about supporting people who buy his kits and the ones who build the projects without his kits.
     
  17. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Bill actually does very little in the way of 'selling' on these forums, he promotes his projects and tells you where you can buy kits or boards - and that's it. His actual posts about the development of the boards are VERY informative, and by asking people what they would like we all learn, plus get projects tailored to out requirements.

    I've NEVER for a moment considered Bill's posts in any way objectionable, if I did he would have been warned, and unless he stopped he would have been banned - others have been through this procedure! - but they were all pure advertisers (and most didn't even get the warning!), and didn't contribute to the forums in any way.

    So I've no problem with Bill's posts in any way - and, incidently, I've NEVER had anyone report having a problem with his posts (not even the chief 'reporter', who probably knows who he is? :D )
     
  18. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Nigel defniitly most popular by numbers, but that doesn't mean everything. Even the little I know about PIC architecture, the register banking, the clock division. Especially for ASM equvilant code for an AVR and PIC the AVR usually will win out on readability and simplicity to someone that hasn't learned the complexity of a pics architecture. AVR's can get complex, but their core architecture was developed after PIC's and it has many advantages to the newbie, and trust me. I have NO problems finding information on the net about AVR's between AVRfreaks and general googling there are just as many informative resources. Most popular does not always mean most efficient or most easily understood. That's why I recommend AVR's to newcomers to strongly, the initial learning curve is a LOT less steep, especially for ASM programming.
     
  19. nickelflippr

    nickelflippr Member

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    Have been very happy with the Pickit2 programmer, its fast with very nice packaging, didn't realize it was so small. Could not contemplate programming without ICSP. Mostly because of trying to pound bad code (i.e. square peg) into a successful project (i.e. round hole). Would recommend buying the programmer only, and using any extra money for pic(s), breadboard etc.

    The mentioned Digikey bundle on the Atmel stk500 and Dragon is a really good deal (giveaway really). They also include two 40 pin devices with the stk500, an atmega16 and an atmega8515 (thats $10-12 alone). Sold the Dragon for $40 on Ebay, so that makes for a very low cost setup.

    Either way, you will be satisfied.
     
  20. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    It really depends on your previous programming experience (6502/6800 or Z80/8080), your personal preference is for the Atmel, mine is for the PIC - I consider PIC assembler far easier, as it's RISC architecture is so simple. While there is AVR information out there, it's only a tiny percentage of the information and help available for the PIC.

    You pay your money, you take your choice! - but generally ANY micro-controller will be more than capable of most jobs.
     
  21. bloody-orc

    bloody-orc New Member

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    omg Nigel! you have over 18k posts! Jesas...
    As for the AVR vs PIC war... well I have seen more AVR chips in devices than i have seen PICs for some unknown reason. Maybe I don't know where to look...
     

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