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more confused than ever!!

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ghostman11

Well-Known Member
i am just starting out learning electronics with the eventual goal of being able to design and build thermostats and other equipment for our rare breed chicken farm, at the mo i am getting together equipment and components, as well as learning therory. It has become apparent that in order to reach our end goal then at some point i am going to have to get to grips with pics!!
this is where the problem is............ having read the sticky on this forum and digging around for many hours on the net and on here i am now totaly lost as to wich proggramer etc it would be best to get, i dont want something that i find will outgrow my eventual needs nor do i want something that has a learning curve so steep it puts me off. i would also like one that would be able to handle proggraming a reasonable range of chips in both terms of there size and capabillity. my preff at this stage would be something that would also give me the option to begin in a language resembaling BASIC, with a view to moving onto a more powerful language at a later stage. all this i need to achieve by the end of feb/ beginning march :D any help thoughts on the best controller etc for my needs or any help picking one would be appreciated. i have a budget of approx £60-£70 although if i was able to get something that matched what i wanted perfectly then i would find the extra cash :D (there gors the wifes birthday present :D:D)
 

be80be

Well-Known Member
I would get a pickit2 or a junebug there both good programmers and a some 18f1320 chips to get wet with.

And if you get epe they have a deal on the pickit2 that is if you live in the right part of the world.

But for sure get some 18fXXX chips and swordfish basic It's by far the best basic that you can use for free with the 18fXXX chips
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
thanks :D i have vague recolections of the mag back in the 80'3!! shame its only online now :(.
what is the opinions on picaxe??
 

captainhannes

New Member
Ghost,

check out my tutorials at:

AVR programmer:
Atmel AVR ATmega16 / ATmega32 Programmer - Cheap Parallel Port Programmer

As for programming (I only do C for AVRs - assembler
has been done back in the 80s and 90s when I worked on
8031/8032 etc.) just google - C is rather easy.
For some simple starters visit eg.:
Atmel ATmega (ATmega16 / ATmega32) Serial Port Example Schematic and C program

Having that said, you're able to build a programmer and
a simple development board with much less than your
70 pounds estimated.

Cheers!
 

be80be

Well-Known Member
If you want to get up and running fast it would make a chip to learn with.
But you can do the same with a pic but it cost a little more up front but in the long run you'll save more. And you have full control.
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
full control and future scaleabillity mater to me. whats the main diff between the diff types of chips and why do pics seem more popular?
 

captainhannes

New Member
If you want to get up and running fast it would make a chip to learn with.
But you can do the same with a pic but it cost a little more up front but in the long run you'll save more. And you have full control.

be80be,

"up and running fast", yes, agreed, my solution might not
be the best for beginners, but on the long run I found that
the AVR solution with the el-cheapo programmer,
programmable with GCC on LINUX is (at least my) way to go
as that is a cheap solution (hardware and free software wise).

Cheers!
 

captainhannes

New Member
full control and future scaleabillity mater to me. whats the main diff between the diff types of chips and why do pics seem more popular?

Ghost,

I too see some bias for a certain type of uCs for people...
As for me, for other chips e.g. for analog stuff, I prefer
AD and Maxim.

For all: I prefer OSS (open source software) and since
the GNU C compiler is available on Solaris, Windows,
Linux and this compiler supports the AVRs, I just love that :)

Cheers! :)
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
i am having second thoughts on useing basic, have had a better look at assembly and found a web site tutorial written in a way i can follow :D so i will probally go with assembly as it dosnt seem as daunting as i first thought. still cant decide on the boards etc
 

captainhannes

New Member
i am having second thoughts on useing basic, have had a better look at assembly and found a web site tutorial written in a way i can follow :D so i will probally go with assembly as it dosnt seem as daunting as i first thought. still cant decide on the boards etc

Ghost, which .asm TUT?
I remember my first steps in programming, now that was
something :)
First I did BASIC on the FAMOUS Amiga500, then I did
assembler on the A500, and that was a big challenge for
me (OK, I was not even close being a teen back than
when the net was not public and only BBS ... ya know :)
and when was doing stuff on err...a windoze machine
I switched to C and C++ but when I moved to Solaris
and Linux machines I discovered the possibilities.

OK, what I'd suggest is this:
Try to make your way to C - this is what I love best
except ... ;-)
 

AtomSoft

Well-Known Member
Ok i was in your spot before i chose pics and im glad... PIC micros have one of the best IDEs (MPLAB) and also lot and lots of support all around. AVRs are growing here also.

ARM is a must if you need SPEED, SPACE and LOTS of IO Pins. But its less programmer friendly heh...

The bottom line is try a PIC first. Its about $60 USD

Junebug PIC Laboratory PICkit 2 & Tutor Assembled - eBay (item 320196084341 end time Dec-02-09 07:10:42 PST)

Its great!!!! really. Contains a 18F1320 on board. Which is great to start with. Can be used as a programmer For all 5v Pics i think..

Also has a tutor side where you can learn IR, LED (Multiplexing), ADC, Buttons and more depends on what you can think of heh

I own one and also a pickit 2. The pickit 2 is my mani programmer now mainly because i can program more pics with it and i got it cheap online lol

With PICs you have a lot of compilers and prorgamming choices:

ASM (FREE)
C (many different companys have free student/lite editions)
BASIC (Many lite editions)


Here most use C and ASM but many also use BASIC....

To start i suggest ASM just enough to get you into PICs then C when you need to make large managed and portable code.
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
thanks for the info atom, i am going to have a good read up on the pro's and cons of each. eventualy more pins will be of use as i have alot of control equipment i want to build and doing it all on one unit would be a advantage
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
i am leaning towards a pickit 2 or a "june" do both of theese take diff size chips as i would like a programmer that can handle various number of pins and diff chips, or am i being greedy :D i think one of the things that appeals about theese programmers is the number of people on here who use them. so it makes sense to buy something that others can answer my noob questions on :D
 

AtomSoft

Well-Known Member
Yes both can handle most all pics. Goto microchip.com for more in. Search pickit 2. I would for u but I'm typing this from my iPod right now... With a pickit u can handle so many pics it's not funny. Just remember u need a breadboArds or zig socket to program then or you can use icsp which is in circuit serial programming which is kinda like a Utah where u program the ic while it's in circuit.
 

ghostman11

Well-Known Member
ok cheers atom i will go look and come back with questions later lol :D thanks for all the help. so many variables picking the right controller its a bit overwelming for a noob
 

AtomSoft

Well-Known Member
heh yeah i tried 3 types: ARM , AVR, PIC i Choose PICs heh... They have such a large selection too its kinda fun picking them out. Anyway... ill let you look around.
 
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