Which Micro Controller to Choose?

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Zaigrith
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Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by Zaigrith » Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:18 am

I am going into my senior year of highschool and ive decided ive waited too long to buy a micro controller and programming kit. Ive been getting Nuts and Volts for some time, and from what i can tell about the different micro controllers are basicaly there are some extra functional types that are very very expensive, and some that are less functional and extremley cheap. How do i know which kind to choose, and can you please recomend a websight to buy them from. Thanks for your help. :)

hlreed
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by hlreed » Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:31 am

Harold L. Reed
Microbes got brains

bruinbear714
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by bruinbear714 » Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:40 am

I gotta vote for Microchip also... the development platform for it is CHEAP and there are tons of resources available.<p>You can get a programmer for PIC chips for under $30. You can buy those chips at digikey for about $5 a pop.<p>The only difficult part is learning how the device works and its instruction set, which is only about 30 instructions.<p>Other popular microcontrollers are the Atmel, Intel 8051's, and the Parallax.<p>If you don't want to take the time to learn how the PIC chip works, you can just go out and buy the Basic Stamp module and use the Basic language to program... however, doing this will eat up a lot of overhead on the microcontroller and leave you with simple programs.

chessman
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by chessman » Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:40 pm

I started with PICs from Microchip when I was an 8th grader...easy to learn the assembler environment (MicroASM), plus you can download the free IDE MPLAB from the microchip website.<p>*pssssst* *psssssst* order a couple 16F84 samples and a 16F877 sample ;) *pssssst*<p>Plus, PICs are so popular that you can usually get tons of help from this site whenever you need it!

bodgy
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by bodgy » Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:49 pm

Microchip or Texas MSP430<p>
If Microchip - I'd go for the 18F252 as a starter - they have an easier architecture for a complete beginner to get to grips with.<p>On the down side there is not much code out there in the public domain as yet. <p>If you want to really understand the uP you will need to understand its particular ASM instruction set along side any HLL programming language you may wish to use.<p>Colin
On a clear disk you can seek forever.

wd5gnr
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by wd5gnr » Fri Jul 11, 2003 6:05 pm

There is such wide support for the PIC it is hard to go wrong. Be sure to read http://tutor.al-williams.com for some tutorials.<p>However, as some have pointed out its architecture is a bit strange. Many people prefer AVR or other processors that are not as oddly architected. However, there is less popular support.<p>If you are looking to do things quick and easy, or you want to ease into development, don't overlook the Basic Stamp. It also has a large following and plenty of support. Not as capable as a PIC, and certainly not as cheap per unit (although if you factor starting costs in, it isn't much different for the first few projects). However, you can belt out things in a few minutes that would be a substantial PIC project.<p>Good luck!

Chris Foley
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by Chris Foley » Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:23 pm

The latest issue (July 7) of Design News (one of the best free-distribution engineering trade magazines) has an article talking about your question -- "Hands-On Review of Microcontroller Development Kits". Without giving things away, I can say that they have a lot of good things to say about both the BASIC Stamp and the Microchip PIC. You could read the article at<p>www.designnews.com<p>but you'll have to register as an engineer with an imaginary company. Couldn't do that. It would be wrong. (Anybody remember RMN and the 18-1/2 minutes here?) Another option would be to look at a library for the information.<p>I've also heard a few good things about the Picaxe, another PIC which is programmed with a simple BASIC in ROM by a British company specializing in selling to British high schools. Haven't had the time to play with one, though.<p>I think you need to ask yourself if you've done programming before, and if you've done any electronics hardware project. If you have, go the PIC route. If not, try the BASIC Stamp or a PICaxe. All three are based on PICs.<p>
Microchip PIC Website
BASIC Stamp Website
PICaxe Website<p>Happy Hunting<p>[ July 11, 2003: Message edited by: Chris Foley ]</p>

chessman
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by chessman » Sat Jul 12, 2003 11:40 pm

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr> but you'll have to register as an engineer with an imaginary company. <hr></blockquote><p>I use "Research" as my company...not like anyone ever reads those forms anyway ;)

Zaigrith
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by Zaigrith » Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:16 am

man, high school made me dumber, before it i was learning all this stuff about electronics and computers, and i wanted and still do want to be an electrical engineer, but since i started highschool i havent learned a thing...
seriosly that is really depressing.

samsmiles
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Re: Which Micro Controller to Choose?

Post by samsmiles » Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:25 am

I am at learning stage with mics and I am using Atmel AVRs. I love them. Including all available formus at avrfreaks, Like the book I got by Gadre, I have free dev. systems two one in C and one in Basic (bascom Basic for AVR) they work great inspite the limits.
Atmel is well spread in academia. Thats how Ive become hooked up on in ie at the Univeristy.<p>Cheers everyone, Sam

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