Getting started programming microcontrollers

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Michael Vickers
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Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Michael Vickers » Tue May 21, 2002 7:36 pm

I was wondering if someone could give me some suggestions for books, or other resources that could help get me started programming microcontrollers. <p>I have a background in Electrical Engineering, but more in power and automation. I can also program in C and Basic, and I would be willing to learn some assembly if I needed to. <p>I'm looking to stay away from Basic Stamps, as they are somewhat costly, and would be difficult to incorporate into the application I have in mind.<p>If you could post the advice, or email me that would be fine.

hlreed
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by hlreed » Thu May 23, 2002 12:20 pm

I would dive right in and go to PIC chips. There is a large assortment and they program fairly easily. http://WWW.microchip.com
Plan on spending 200 bucks.
Harold L. Reed
Microbes got brains

Faulkner
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Faulkner » Fri May 24, 2002 7:25 pm

Take a look at the AVRs from ATmel. They only require a parellel port cable to program, and they have many good features. Order a few samples, and give them a try

Michael Vickers
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Michael Vickers » Sat May 25, 2002 6:02 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!<p>I checked out the sites, and I still feel a little in the dark. I'm trying to plug away reading the data sheets, but I was wondering if there are any books published out there that would give me a little less dry, yet informative introduction to the field. <p>I suppose if I were to sign up for a microcontroller course there would be a text book of some sort. Is there an industry standard text that would get me going? Like i said before, I am completely new to assembly level programming, stacks, registers, ALU's, etc...<p>In addition, I'm thinking of going the PIC route, yet I'm not sure what kind of programmer to purchase. Any advice?

dave8976
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by dave8976 » Sat May 25, 2002 7:30 pm

I started to get into this area myself late last year. I found two text books to be very good - they are; Projects with Microcontroller Basic Stamps by Al Williams and Programming and Customizing The Basic Stamp Computer by Scott Edwards. Also I found the Parallax site to be very good and has a lot of good introduction material. I ordered the Basic Stamp 2 kit that allows it to be connected to a breadboard. Also I have found the articles by Jon Williams in Nuts & Volts to be very worthwhile. Hopefully this helps.

craftywolf
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by craftywolf » Sun May 26, 2002 6:23 am

Transdata has a nice programmer. I think they are going out of buisness though. I bought a supply before hand. A nice programmer they do have. All windows based.

wd5gnr
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by wd5gnr » Wed May 29, 2002 8:00 am

The Basic Stamp is a great way to dip a toe in. If you are looking at PICs, be sure to check out this PIC tutorial.<p>Al Williams
AWC

Michael Vickers
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Michael Vickers » Wed May 29, 2002 4:47 pm

I did a little leg work on my own, and I came across a site:<p>http://www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/intro/pic.htm<p>I found this site very, very helpful in explaining the code. I now feel ready to dive in and lay down some cash. <p>Should I go with a Microchip brand programmer, or save a buck and go with something else? What are the advantages and diadvantages of either. Also I'd like to stick with something compatible with MPLAB.

josmith
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by josmith » Thu May 30, 2002 1:03 pm

If you want somthing less dry than textbooks try magazines. There is one called "nuts&volts" which has run construction articles on the basic stamp and others every month for the past several years. If you want somthing a little heavier try "circuit cellar"

Michael Vickers
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Michael Vickers » Thu May 30, 2002 1:42 pm

Nuts and Bolts eh? Never heard of it, but thanks anyhow.<p>Also, like I said earlier, I don't want to get into Basic Stamps.<p>(Is that a little on the rude side, for a guy asking for help!?!)

thomasng558
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by thomasng558 » Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:22 pm

There are many available microcontrollers,
and many of those will do any specific application
well. Rather than advocate a type vs. another,
I'd suggest understanding the basics.
For this, I'd suggest buying an URDA (www.udra.com) trainer SDK, for the 8055/8051.
Then I'd use a text (I don't have it right now,
check again tomorrow) to learn what people are
talking about.
It's a slow process, but don't get discouraged!

Michael Vickers
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by Michael Vickers » Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:59 pm

It seems to me that a PIC16F84 will have all the capability that I need for what I want to do. <p>I've also gone through alot of the code examples and math libraries which seem to be complete enough so that I can cut and paste most of the algorithms that I need, and I'll only need the coding prowess to fit them all together. (Are there any issues around this that I should be aware of?)<p>But the question remains!!! Do I buy my programmer from Microchip or do I save a buck and buy from a 3rd party vendor?

bodgy
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by bodgy » Tue Jun 04, 2002 4:53 pm

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Michael Vickers:
It seems to me that a PIC16F84 will have all the capability that I need for what I want to do. <p>But the question remains!!! Do I buy my programmer from Microchip or do I save a buck and buy from a 3rd party vendor?<hr></blockquote><p>Don't buy the F84 it and its successor the 84a are more or less obsolete. Start with the F627/8 totally compatible with all code and circuits for the 84s with two proviso's. The main one being that its registers start at a different place but that's no biggy.<p>Programmers well there are loads out there, the one I use is from Basic Micro - but what I would suggest is if you intend to buy a development board from someone like BasicMicro, FORED,Bubblesoft and possibly the ICD use their programmer. <p>Go for a programmer that can do all the 16 series + EEPROMS and the 18C series. You won't find too many able to do the 18F series yet even the Microchip one is still in Beta.<p>The Microchip products have been reported to have certain idiosyncrocies. See the archives for the PICLIST www.piclist.org.<p>The cheapish programmer from (damn can't remember) but it's good.<p>PICALL is the programmer available all over the place. will do some Atmel chips as well<p>colin<p>[ June 04, 2002: Message edited by: bodgy ]<p>[ June 25, 2002: Message edited by: bodgy ]</p>
On a clear disk you can seek forever.

thomasng558
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by thomasng558 » Wed Jun 05, 2002 6:42 am

Here's the data:
o Trainer Unit :
SDK-85, from urda.com
o Associated Text :
"Microprocessors and Microcontroller
Fundamentals : The 8085 and 8051 Hardware
and Software" , by William Kleitz, from
amazon.com

bwts
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Re: Getting started programming microcontrollers

Post by bwts » Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:22 am

If you can get Everyday Practical Electronics they did a DIY PIC programmer called TK3 which is the one I use its cheep to make and as easy to use as any commercial programmers that will cost you a fortune. They also ran tutorials on PIC a couple of years back you can still get them check out thier web site <p>http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/<p>Mr B
"Nothing is true, all is permitted" - Hassan i Sabbah

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