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New to PIC'S and programming???

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by shaneshane1, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    Hi

    Im new to PIC'S and programming, meaning i have no clue at all how this stuff operates :confused:

    I want to start of with something really simply and cheap :eek:
    eg: getting a LED to flash in a timed sequence .

    And for the programming software, i hear that BASIC is the easiest?

    If anyone has any suggestions, it would be great to know, Thanks

    and i have windows XP Home Edition (Note Book) if that helps at all?
     
  2. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Why not try the demo versions of the Oshonsoft PIC simulators. You can flash a virtual LED for free :)
     
  3. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    sounds great, i googled Oshonsoft PIC simulators, and found the page, but i dont understand what to do because i know nothing about this subject
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. bryan

    bryan Member

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    Look through Nigels tutorials.
     
  6. Leftyretro

    Leftyretro New Member

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    Well the simplest and cheapest solution would be the Picaxe 08M chip. It uses Basic programming. You could probably get started for under $20 including Comm cable and LED and power source.

    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8308

    Software to program the chip from a windows PC is free for downloading and uses a simple Basic language. No hardware programmer is required, just a comm cable and two resistors. This Pic chip can drive a Led directly, so it's truly a one chip solution, plus LED and a battery or power supply of course.

    Lefty
     
  7. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    Leftyretro

    Thanks i looked through the link you supplied, and it sounds great for what i want, there's just one problem, im from australia NSW, and im not sure where to buy the kit from, the best electronics store around is Jaycar (www.jaycar.com) other than that i dont want to order something i should be able to obtain here.

    Jaycar might have it, but i checked there website and couldnt find any relation to the kit.
     
  8. futz

    futz Active Member

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    Here's a Picaxe dealer in Australia :)

    Also look here at their Distributors link.
     
  9. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    Futz

    thanks, but i dont want to have to order things at all when i have a electronics store down the road, is there anything else that jaycar might stock that is similar, that also uses the same BASIC program as i am new to this i have know idea what to ask or look for?
     
  10. futz

    futz Active Member

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    I just had a speedy buzz thru Jaycar's site and it appears they don't have squat for microcontrollers. They're mostly consumer electronics and toys. Nothing much interesting there at all (that I could find in my fairly brief search). They have some electronics components, so that'll be handy for you. But for MCU's you'll have to order from somewhere else.

    EDIT: Found em! Can't give a link because their site is screwed up for that. What a difficult site to use and search! They don't seem to have much, but you get there by searching "Other Components/Microcontrollers and PICs".

    Anyway, it seems like Jaycar is kind of an Aus version of Radio Shack. Nothing very interesting there for microcontroller nuts.

    Dontronics has some dev boards and lots of PIC and AVR chips you could start out with. They sell the Olimex line of products as well as many others.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
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  11. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    futz

    Thanks for the info, i found the page you posted, and theres not much there, i dont want to have to order something every time i need it.

    there was 1 thing i found though, and that was the Valleman PIC Programmer/Checker Module, is that the sort of thing i need?

    and do you know if it runs of the BASIC program language, the catalogue number is XC-4402

    i know its expensive but if its versatile i can deal with the price

    $119 :eek: :eek:
     
  12. futz

    futz Active Member

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    Get used to it. It's the way many people do it. I live in a "major" city and I mail-order everything. Easier that way. Just put in the order and a couple days or maybe a week later I have what I want. No ugly traffic and stores that don't have what I want and don't have useable web-sites to check before driving all the way there.

    Hmm... Looks pretty savage. Very short list of PICs there too. And the high price... I don't know much about Velleman or that particular programmer, but I wouldn't buy that thing. Looks like it doesn't do ICSP either, which you WANT.

    EDIT: Looked it up. It is sort of a dev board. But it's a clunker. Get a more modern programmer that will work with MPLAB, which is Microchip's free IDE/assembler development package. The PICkit2 and Junebug (below) do work with it.

    I recommend either a genuine Microchip PICkit 2 or a Blueroom Electronics Junebug, available from Creatron's new Ebay store for $45 kit or $55 assembled.

    I really recommend the Junebug over the PICkit 2, as it comes with a PIC 18F1320 tutor onboard with the programmer. The tutor has switches, potentiometers and an IR detector that you can program for and learn from. And there's lots of Junebug users here to assist you.

    The programmer doesn't run any language that you can use or access. It's a programmer. It programs PICs. It's not a dev board.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  13. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    :confused: then how do you let it know what you want it to do?

    sorry for the noob additude
     
  14. futz

    futz Active Member

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    You write the program in the language of your choice, compile it and then send it to the programmer, which puts it in the chip (programs it). :D
     
  15. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

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    To clarify Futz's comment, you give the programmer the *.HEX file created by whatever PIC compiler or assembler you are using. The PIC only understands machine code which the HEX file contains.
     
  16. futz

    futz Active Member

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    Thanks kchriste.

    Hey shaneshane1, if you've never programmed before and never done microcontrollers before, and you're mail-ordering anyway, that Picaxe kit might be a much kinder, gentler intro to all this technology. You can always move up to the "real thing" after you have a handle on the basic concepts.

    I started with a Basic Stamp 2 (like a mega-expensive Picaxe) many years ago. It taught me a lot.

    I actually just ordered a Picaxe chip (18X), just to see what they're like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  17. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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  18. futz

    futz Active Member

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    If I was in your place, I would go here and order the AXE002/030U --- PICAXE-18A Starter Pack - USB.

    Get your feet wet. See if this hobby is "for you". If you become a rabid enthusiast, you'll soon be wanting more speed and more power and more peripherals. If you lose interest you're not out too much $$.

    You can do a lot with that chip, some components (LEDs, transistors, LCD's, you name it), a solderless breadboard and some wire.

    Have fun! :D
     
  19. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    futz

    what are the odds that that places po box is about 20mins from my house, that sounds like what i will do, i will get that soon, thanks for the help, and will i need anything else when i get it? do i write in BASIC or what?
     
  20. futz

    futz Active Member

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    Looks like the kit is fairly complete. Like I just said, you'll (at least eventually) want 22-24 gauge wire, a breadboard, various components - stuff like that.

    Yes, you program the thing in BASIC. The software (PC side) is free. You just download it and install. Write your program and program it to the chip. Your first program (like all newbs) will be to blink an LED.

    Keep at it for a few days/weeks and next thing you know you'll be building a robot so your chip can drive around the house, bangin into things (or not, if you program it right). :D
     
  21. shaneshane1

    shaneshane1 New Member

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    thanks for all the help, i have 22-44 guage wire and breadboard, and inuf electronics experiance using IC'S and all the rest that goes with it

    so i think its time for me to step it up a bit

    once again thanks for all the help
     

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