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Hi:

 

There sure are alot of uC's out there these days! I had an 8085 class in 1979 and an 8088 class in 1985 or so.

 

I have a project to repair a miniature electronic instrument whose tiny meter movement died. The meter is viewed optically, kind of like an SLR camera. New ones are out of my economic realm.

 

So, basically I need to measure a sensor voltage, scale it to proper units and display it (possibly backward) on a digital display.

 

I can either assume I have some experience long ago or not a have a clue where to start. I looked at Silicon Labs 8051 (F300 family), got a $20 TI '430 USB stick, and remembered hearing good things about PIC's.

 

I chose one, a 16F688 and a Maxim Charlieplex display interface chip. I chose the 16F688 because, uh, kid in a candy store, I guess. I picked an 8-bit part with about the most memory I could find because I didn't expect my programming to be very efficient. I also hope to add features some day.

 

I downloaded Either BoostBasic or a package that included it (not installed yet).

 

I would like to approach this with DIY hardware. It looks like it doesn't need a sophisticated hardware kit. Unfortunately I have been down the path of buying development kits a number of times & not doing a doggone thing with them (68HCx05, Z8000, goodbye, both gone now).

 

I like what I have read her on this forum so far. Impressive knowledge base, etc.

 

Obviously, I need to know how to get started with basics. After getting a couple 16F688's, I realized how little info I found on them on forums.

 

So now I have to figure out how to get started. I think I found MPLAB too, or something like that. Maybe I'll learn C soon. I have a co-worker who knows C and AVR's. He's half-interested in PIC's & already is changing his bias from looking at the '688 data sheet.

 

I would like to use a basic DIY programming interface like Byron Jeff's or I guess I could spring for a USB interface because it WOULD cut the cable headaches. But I did choose the SOIC (I can solder little stuff)..might need a SOIC-DIP adapter board.

 

There is alot of basic beginner stuff on the web, even with the 1998 dead links etc. I would rather not go back to a 16?84 & just learn on the platform I chose, unless it's a really weird one I chose for all the wrong reasons.

 

So, what is the simplest hardware programming interface you recommend?

 

Is there a feature in BoostBasic that 'plays' with programming, or is there another software stage to look for?

 

Hopefully some day I will be able to contribute something here.

 

Thank you.

 

Murray/Michigan

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I dont understand how to you use this, I which to create a bootloader for a 18F4321 -can you help, I read & re-read the documents posted on Claudius web page - but dont get it ?

 

Phil

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Hi,

 

I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I have a PIC16F689 and I am trying to compile the RSA Ansi C library from http://www.di-mgt.com.au/bigdigits.html.

My compiler build fails since it can not find the : "assert.h" file. I looked in the BostSource installation folder and could not find it.

Does anyone knows where can I download additional header files for my PIC?

 

Thanks,

Ed.

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Hi Murray,

 

(So, you can't just drop another meter movement into this broken instrument?)

 

Like you, my path is littered with microcontrollers learned, used briefly, then forgotten... yes 68HC05, also 8051... I decided to take up PICs a little over 2 years ago, I've stuck with it, and even built a few things. I've invested modestly in some MicroChip dev boards and tools. And I'm reasonably happy with the sourceboost tools and C compiler.

 

Before going further, there's a bit more to your choice than just a microcontroller... you really are choosing an ecosystem. Are you going to become a microcontroller whiz, or are you just seeking a microcontroller platform to solve some problems, like your instrumentation example? PIC is a good choice because of its popularity, hence many tools and applications already developed and available. Rather than just a part number, perhaps you should seek out a board or prototyping system that is closest to meeting your requirement, to speed up your delivery. AVR is also a good choice, particularly as used in the open-source Arduino platform. Just some stuff to consider.

 

So, what is the simplest hardware programming interface you recommend?

 

Hands-down, the PICkit2 or PICkit3 programmers. Either will program your 16F688. I have a PICKit2.They support ICSP programming of just about all the popular PICs, they are USB, great supporting applications, real easy to use. They are available as clones (ebay), but the brand-name MicroChip ones aren't that much to begin with, and MicroChip has a pretty good replacement warranty (not that you'll need it).

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