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microcontroller advice

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waltonlobot

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hi, I would like to get into using something like the pic, but am extremely limited in my knowledge..

I would mostly just like to do some simple stuff, controlling motors, buzzers etc.

I have nothing, and really probably would enjoy "results" more than any sort of notion of whats best as in whats used in industry and should be learnt because of that.

Id really like to use a higher level language, java ideally. I live in Australia if that clicks anyone to good beginner products.

I guess I have heard stuff about java stamps now, which seem really like something one could get and just "play with", though I can buy off the shelf here a pic programmer kit to make for a reasonable cost.

Does this really require way more dedication to get into? Would I have fun simply buying a pic programming kit and then using, perhaps even c cos I think its available, and I could cope with very simple "for" loops and stuff just for timing things, would this easily compile into assembly without me having to get too far into this?

Or, am I far better off just sticking to something like 555 timers until I understand what I am doing more? (I would of course like to do fancier stuff on the pic or javastamp or something eventually, but will I frustrate myself now? :) )

thanks!
 

Scubasteve

New Member
Hey,

I would stick to learning C and using a compiler for a device that you are interested in. Java is not popular for microcontrollers...
There are some BASIC compilers which are super easy to use,, or you can always learn assembly language !!

I would buy a little development kit which includes switches, LEDs, connectors, LCDs?, etc.

Steve
 

waltonlobot

New Member
thanks scubasteve!

I was trying NQC for my lego robot, and that wasnt so bad, probably time I just started learning some C..

On this forum I came across (or perhaps it was the robotics forum) the xport 2. a microcontroller that plugs into a gameboy advance... This seems like a dream come true for me and a good way to get into basic programming of devices easily...

I was going to order one of these unless anybody has any warnings about them..

thanks.
 

Scubasteve

New Member
Hey,

I would not do that if I were you.. These devices are probably overpriced and have limited power compared to the stuff used in the industry. Also, do not expect a lot of documentation on these... You would also need to learn a language regardless of how your programming interface is.

Today there are some digikey AVRISP programmers which program all of AVRs 8-bit microcontrollers. It is decently priced, and I believe it comes with free software and etc.

Steve
 

waltonlobot

New Member
thanks ppl.

Its pretty hard to resist the xport just for other reasons, like as an easy way to get the gameboy hooked up to the pc and have some memory to program stuff on.

But. I heed your point for the moment..

Im glad you mentioned avr, I dont know why, they seem to appeal to me more than pic, probably just cos I know they are newer and getting popular with robotics, so may as well start there!

thanks a lot for the links, though that does bring me to THAT question, because pic seems to be everywhere... never mind, a little searching on the piclist found some beginner AVR stuff too.
 
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