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What programming software do you recommend?

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Karkas

Member
Hi, I have no experience with microcontrollers, haven't got to the subject that covers that yet, but I'm starting by reading tutorials and books about microcontrollers fundamentals, and I've seen that some PIC microcontrollers books are about one specific programming software, which one (s) do you recommend me to learn? I know about MPLAB, visual basic, C (have some experience with it), but which one has been better (in your experience) for your projects?

By the way I'm starting with Microcontrollers fundamental by Steven Barret & Daniel Pack.

Thanks.
 

Smartie

Member
ok well, MPLAB is made by the same company that makes PIC micro controllers, MPLAB uses ASM which is simple but hard to learn. you can get different compilers for MPLAB that enable you to use BASIC, c,c++ and so on.

If you prefer basic to any other language, you can look at PICAXE which are based on PICs but use their own boot loader and are good for beginners.

So for recommenced software, there is C18, a plug in for MPLAB that allows you to program c/c++, designed for 18F series micro controllers and above its free but after 60 days, code optimization gets turned off.

There is cc5x which is free-ish that is also a plugin for MPLAB, it lets you program in c for 16F series microchips and below but have a program size limitation for the free version.

so either way, you will be using MPLAB for most of your PIC related stuff

Cheers
Roman
 
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smanches

New Member
One quick correction. No C++ on microcontrollers usually (there are a few very expensive compilers.) Just straight C.

Your language choices are C, ASM, or a couple different flavors of BASIC. The development environment you use can be anything really, although there are IDEs written specifically for microcontrollers. (MPLab, Hi-Tech's IDE, etc.)
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I use MPLAB and the C/C++ compilers from SourceBoost which have a free student edition. They also do a Basic compiler but I haven't used it.

Mike.
 

Karkas

Member
Ok, thanks to everyone for your replies.
So, if MPLAB is free I guess I can download it directly from the microchip website, haven't checked it yet. You recommend me not to start with ASM? I looked up some information about it, it is another compiler right?
I have to check and learn how to get different compilers for it, it is on the information about MPLAB? or do I need someone to explain how to do it?

Thanks.
 

kchriste

New Member
Forum Supporter
The ASseMbler for PICs comes with MPLAB. I would highly recommend learning PIC assembler if you want an in depth knowledge of PICs. Even if you use a high level language, you'll still need to figure out the peripherals and a prior knowledge of ASM helps. If you choose to use the 18F series of PICs, Microchip has the free C18 compiler available too. For the 24F, 30F and 33F there is the C30 compiler also. Both integrate nicely with MPLAB.
 
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Karkas

Member
Thanks again.
I'll take your word, I will learn ASM. Why is it sometimes called assembler and other times assembly?
Is that or I've got confused?
 

kchriste

New Member
Forum Supporter
It is called assembly language. The assembler is the program which converts the mnemonics to binary code. Sometimes people get it wrong or slip up like I just did. ;)
 
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Karkas

Member
Thank you very much. I'll keep it in mind.
 
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