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Would you like to write a PIC book with me?

Discussion in 'Electronic Books' started by blueroomelectronics, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for PIC enthusiasts who would like to assist in writing yet another PIC book.
    Here's the idea.
    It's a book that can be downloaded free for personal use, commercial use would be asked to make a donation.
    A dynamic book that can grow as new chapters / ideas are added.
    Most PIC books are somewhat outdated (16F84 books) or very expensive like Embedded Design with the PIC18F452 $93

    The sort of PICs and projects I'd like to use initially, well the list could change but mostly 16F & 18F series parts that include debug support, I personally belive the debugger is such an important tool for learning I'd like the projects to be able to use it. Of course projects that use any of my kits would be preferred as I've designed them for student, learning use.

    What I need from you...
    Ideas, programs in ASM, BASIC or C. Must be the free or student editions. Even just a working program.

    What do I / we (the editors) do

    I'll attempt to make all the chapters have the same look and feel, I can also draw schematics, design PCBs and do 3D illustrations if needed.

    What's in it for you? Your name in lights and serous contributors will be considered for the "PCB samples" list :rolleyes:
    Your project, source code, demo whatever will have your name on it.

    How will the collaboration work...
    Using Google Docs of course :) A basic word processor that will allow both editing and viewing.

    If you're interested in such an endeavor RSVP in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  2. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Active Member

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    I can't say I can contribute anything, but i think its an awsome idea. I would certinlty like to read it.

    Just wondering, would it be written more for somone with some programming experiance, or would it be geared more toward folks just starting to learn to use microcontrollers?
     
  3. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Well since the idea is an online book it could cover quite the range of topics. Perhaps more than one book or a series of chapters.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Active Member

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    The reason I mentioned it is I have had a very hard time trying to understand how the registers, file addresses, config fuses, ect of a pic work. Basicly the nitty gritty of how they work and how to set them up.
    I can modify some simple program scorce codes I have found online, but I am still lost on writing one of my own from scratch. And that what I really would like to be able to do.

    I don't know if thats normal for starting with programming or not. I have seen many PIC Tutorials on the web, but I have yet to find one that really sinks in. Alot are outdated like you mentioned, and alot seem to jump in to things way over my head.

    It would be cool if you do the book, if you had a section that started out assuming the reader knows nothing about any sort of programming language. Somthing that moves nice and slow, so the reader feels excited and not discouraged that alot of what he is reading isn't making sense.

    Is this just me? Or are there some other PIC newcomers here that feel the same way?
     
  6. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Hmm good point, problem is which PIC to start with.
    My personal favourite is the 16F88 for hardware but I cut my teeth on the simple but very old 16C54. *Actually the 18F1320 is fast becoming my favourite over the 16F88 as the bane of bank switching is reduced.

    The sheer simplicity of the 16C54 made it easy to learn; in many ways it's very similar to the 16F84. But the 16F84 is covered by scads of books and I'd like to leave it behind.

    If you're just starting out it can be overwhelming to learn any microcontroller.

    Well lets pick a PIC and start with that. Perhaps jumping head first into the 18F1320 might be the way to go, beware it's probably harder to go back to the 16 series once you've worked with the 18 series.

    Best tool the MPLAB Simulator (free) but the real fun begins when you flash your first LED.

    The beauty of microcontrollers is there is always something new to learn.

    I'll see what I can put to print as a sample.
     
  7. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Active Member

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    Really? Jump to the 18F series before I have mastered 16F? The only chip I have had any luck with is the 16F628A.

    Flashing my first LED was awsome! lol I built your inchworm and then tried to program some ancient PIC I ordered not knowing anything. lol You fixed my code so it worked.

    I think I will really enjoy micocontroller programming as I learn more.

    I'll look into getting some 18F1320's to play with:)
     
  8. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

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    I agree with Andy. I think you should start with a very common 16F series chip such as the 16F628A or maybe something similar but with an ADC. Then you can start with the very basics of programming in assembler, using MPLAB SIM etc, PIC architecture and basic PIC hardware setups.
    From there, you can move to the 18F series chips and introduce the user to C18 etc, but I would almost save that for a 2nd book.
    Probably the best thing to do is create a table of contents for the book so contributors can select a chapter to write. That way each contributor can focus on their own area of expertise and not get overwhelmed by the size of the project.
     
  9. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    The thing is there are so many 12bit and 14bit core PIC books out there.
    The're good chips but long in the tooth, the 16bit core PICs (18F still an 8 bit chip) are such a pleasure to use. Sort of like comparing an 8051 to an 8088, same roots but very different beasts.

    The 18F don't have the wee 6 & 8pin versions, an the 16F917 is a specialized PIC (LCD control) So it's impossible to ignore them.

    Well the beauty of an active document is it's pretty easy to add chapters / books.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  10. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

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    That is an awesome idea bill! Go for it! If I knew anything I would contribute it :p

    I really enjoy the 18F1320. I have no problems with it, so I would definitely pick that chip over anything else.
     
  11. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Well it's ideas & feedback I need. I'll work on a sample page or two to test the concept.
     
  12. chesart1

    chesart1 New Member

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    Hi,

    The introduction should state what the reader should know before reading the book. It should also state the goal of the book and a brief tour of the book.

    The beginning of each chapter should summarize the content of the chapter.
    The end of each chapter should contain a summary of the important points in the chapter.

    The first chapter will introduce the reader to the PIC and explain the guts of the PIC. It would include definitions of a port, a register, etc. The first chapter should also tell the reader what equipment might be needed to perform the projects described in the book.

    The second chapter should give a description of the circuit the PIC is in. The reader may want to build this circuit. The book would have to give the reader the part numbers, manufacturers and where the parts can be purchased. Oops! I just realized you are using a simulator. Hobbyists like to build things. Think about it.

    The third chapter should contain a brief review of programming principles for the language the programs are written in. You might chose one language and write all programs in that language. This would make it easier for the reader.

    The fourth chapter should include a step by step tutorial on how to design, compile and implement the program in the circuit. This might include burning a PROM.

    Each subsequent chapter should have two sections: 1) Explanation of a concept and 2) program illustrating the concept.

    A glossary containing definitions of technical terms and programming terminology should be included in the book.

    An index should also be at the end of the book.

    The specifications for the PIC should be included in the book. I think you may need permission from the PIC manufacturer to include the specifications.

    I hope these ideas help you. Feel free to email me anytime. Please put "PIC book" in the heading of the email.

    chesart1@aol.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  13. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi Bill,
    Sounds good to me, as you say a number of text books are dated, also many of the programs dont work or are just program fragments.

    I would agree with Andy, the 16F series would be the best place to start.

    It would be an advantage if we/you could decide on a free assembler package say, MPLAB IDE 7.xx and 'C' and Basic Compliers.

    Keep me posted , I would like to participate.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  14. Wingmax

    Wingmax New Member

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    Hi Bill,

    I am more than happy to participate if I could. If I can contribute anything at all, please let me know. :)
     
  15. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Well why not, just no 16F84 please :)
    16F628A good, 16F88 better (debug support and A/D) There are so many 16F books out there but few 18F.

    I really want to emphasize how the debugger makes learning PICs and is so affordable.
     
  16. Wingmax

    Wingmax New Member

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    F84 was not my goal at all. It's only used as a brief introduction in my previous post.

    I also agree with Andy and Eric, the 16F series would be good place to start.
    and of course, no 16F84. :)
     
  17. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Am I the only one having problems with Google Docs?

    It seems that I have little luck with web based applications like Google Docs. I think the main problem is that if the app is any good the servers get overloaded.

    When I insert a .png image into the document the rest of the text goes away. Tried it twice.

    At times the auto save takes way too long. I just upgraded from a 750MHz box to a dual core 2.8MHz box and using this app makes it feel like a turtle.

    In the short run I am going to use open office to create doument files.
     
  18. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Open office is fine, are the documents Word compatible?
     
  19. Omar.M

    Omar.M Member

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    Bill,
    Yes, Open Office is compatible with Microsoft Office files.
    -Omar
     
  20. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    The more I think about it the more I would like to focus on the 18F PICs and leave the 16F series behind. Information on the 12 & 14 bit core PICs is abundant but the 16bit core 18F series is lacking.
    The 18F addresses pretty much everything that people didn't like about the 16F PICs.
    • very little bank switching
    • tables
    • larger memory space
    • high clock speeds available (PLL too)
    • faster A/D available
    • hardware multiply
    • more I/O (but in non hobbyiest friendly packaging TQFP)
    • more peripherals available (USB, Ethernet)
    • compare x to y instructions
    • access to all memory including configuration
    • all have debug support
    • C friendly (an IMO assembly friendly) instruction set
    • Free C18 SE compiler
    • often pin compatable upgrade from 16F version
    Disadvantages: Slightly more costly than 16F, no 8pin versions.
     
  21. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    I agree.

    Neither the cost or the lack of an 8 pin version is a problem.

    The slight cost diff should be a problem for very few people.

    The lack of 8 pin parts is sort of a good thing. They are a bad choice for learning due to lack of debug support.

    After learning the 18F the people who need to work with 16 bit parts can switch to the 16F.
     

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