Getting Started with PICs

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Getting Started with PICs

Postby aesmith » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:29 pm

Hi,

I must confess that I never even knew what a "PIC" was until I came across them here and on other RC related places. Now I have a strange urge to learn how to use and program them myself. I haven't done any coding for a long time, but I used to be quite fluent in C as well as Assembler and others. In my youth I did some projects with earlier micro controllers like the 6501 based chips whose name escapes me, and some others.

What would I need to get myself able to compile and download code into these little beasties? Also, are there online sites where I could find reference information and example implementations?

Thanks, Tony S
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Re: Getting Started with PICs

Postby RCModelReviews » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:17 pm

Check out SparkFun.com for a raft of PIC development tools.

I would recommend starting with the 18F series of PIC because they allow you to use the excellent *free* MPLAB and C18 tools from microchip.com

These provide a full IDE-based software development system, including an emulator so you can test code without even having the hardware done.

The 18F series have *heaps* of program memory and adequate levels of data RAM plus, the ability to program in C makes life a whole bunch easier. What's more, the C compiler is so good you almost never have to resort to assembler.

The hardest part of PIC programming is getting your head around the myriad of hardware registers that are used to enable/disable the various peripherals that these chips contain -- especially when you realize that in most cases a single pin on the chip can actually perform as many as four different roles, depending on those configuration bits.

There are also a raft of PIC tutorials on the Net and some other programming tools including BASIC and PASCAL compilers.
RCModelReviews.com, just the facts.
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Re: Getting Started with PICs

Postby aesmith » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:12 pm

Thanks I'll check out Sparkfun and have a general surf around. Free sounds good for the compiler and/or tools.
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Re: Getting Started with PICs

Postby aesmith » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:00 am

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