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Thread: Electronics gurus - Cheap PICs - which ones?

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    Flower Child stytagm's Avatar
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    Electronics gurus - Cheap PICs - which ones?

    Hi All,

    I've been re-inspired by bsodmike's electronic's to tinker with chips and motors for fun, and fancied trying out some cheap microcontrolers. I've found these Picaxe chips, which are supremely cheap and need almost no hardware (You can chop up a serial cable, and that's it!), but you program them in Basic.

    Now this might sound stupid, But my basic's a bit shoddy, but I use C family languages every day, so I'd much prefer one that had a C compiler, but I really like the not having to buy £50 of hardware to program the things. Can anyone reccomend me a good PIC? Cheap (per chip) cheap setup (not too much cash for programming hardware and software), and a C compiler (or better C++). Oh yes, and the world on a plate, with chips.

    The plan is to resurrect my GCSE electronics project of nearly 9 years ago (I'm getting old ) by swapping all the 4000 logic chip thingies for a single groovy little microcontroller. (Oh yes, and solving the little problem that meant I had to chase it with a can of freezer spray to keep the transistors cool)

    Thanks Muchly, Andrew.

    PS Mods, please shift the thread if you think it's mis-filed, ta
    They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

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    hexus.monkey monkeyville's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I would definatly recommend Micochip for all your PIC needs. All the things you mention are covered and implemented at very little cost. To summarize:

    Free Chips (Sample orders but just don try take the piss as they catch on)
    Free Software (C or assembly programing)
    Programable via Hacked serial cables. Parallel cables, or USB (gimmme a shout if you need the schematics i think i have them somewhere)

    Good luck with your project and from my personl experiance a PIC18F452 has enough support for most things and is a great starter chip. Have fun

    Edit: Sorry forgot to add the software is called MPLab and the c compiler can be found by gooogling 'C18 Compiler'. The C compiler is only a trial version after 30 days but the only thing that changes is that the code optimizer is disabled. This is not too important especially at the level you are starting at and it can always be got around by reinstalling if you need it.
    Last edited by monkeyville; 11-04-2006 at 01:35 AM.
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    If it's just a taster your after there is a complete Z80[or Z8] eval kit available around £25 which is cheaper than i have seen pic stuff..I almost bought a C167 eval kit from hitex some years ago, intending on making a fuel injection ecu with it, they were dirt cheap at the time, but i think it was a special offer.. If your interested in the Zilog board pm or mail me it's in the bookmarks on my laptop.

    I have a keil compiler, hitex give away an eval version[code limit] but the bloke at hitex said if you use 'templates'[?] not a c programmer my self you can get around the code limit, he also gave me a few other names of free compilers..
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