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PIC emulator software

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by CDRIVE, Jan 3, 2015.

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  1. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Some months ago I posted that I was going to attempt to lessen my dependency on Picaxe and move over to PicBasic. Since that time and after reading copious amounts of PIC articles I decided to bypass Basic, C, C++ or any other language in favor of ASM.

    It wasn't long before I came to the conclusion that I would love to have some PIC simulator software to aid in my learning curve. That's were I fell into the SourceForge quicksand. First I found this tutorial that's part of the SourceForge network.
    http://www.pcbheaven.com/picpages/

    My fun started when I registered with them so I could post in the Pic Tutorial Book section. I think it's been nearly a week and I have two posts sitting in a "Awaiting Approval" Que. I don't think anyone is home there! There's never any contact info at the download or in the download. You're always on your own.

    My second fun encounter was when I downloaded this...
    https://sourceforge.net/projects/picdev/

    This looked clean and simple but throws the same installation error when loaded on XP or W7. I thought maybe the licensing info didn't get downloaded with the .zip so I clicked on the GNU link which takes you to ?????. I've included the error as a JPG attachment.

    FYI, this is not the first time I've downloaded something from them but this download had the same thing in common with the those. They didn't work either. I guess I'm slow to learn.

    Now I know that many of you are going to suggest downloading the free copy of MPLAB. Well, don't bother to suggest it because I already have. I find it to be WAY too bloated. I want to learn PIC programming in ASM and not spending all my time familiarizing myself with such a MASSIVE app. Every time I run it it tells me I need another ToolChain or plugin,... and they're typically another 90+ MB download.

    I'm burnt out and going for a long bike ride!

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

  2. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    I hope the bike ride was therapeutic! It is a gorgeous day out!! I spent it working on my farmer's tan taking down Christmas decorations :D
    Sourceforge is like a dropbox for developers, you will have to email the author directly for assistance. This link takes you to page where you can contact him. You will have to sign into sourceforge. I downloaded the program and it looks pretty cool, but I have a feeling the author probably abandoned the project. There are two versions, last one from 2007, even though it says something was last updated 2014, that could just mean the author accessed the file last year. Let me know if you get any response, I too am trying to learn PIC programming and am interested in any and all methods. Thanks!
     
  3. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Hey, I just got back from my ride and it did me good. Thanks for the link! I emailed him immediately.

    Yeah, if I can get it working it looks to be a nice clean app. I managed to open some of the files within the studio and the interface looks sweet.


    Chris
    World record holder.
    68 year old guy peddles beach cruiser 11,000 miles.
     
  4. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    OK, here's an update. After Googling "JAVAW" it turns out to be JAVA. That PIC app requires JAVA to be installed on the system. I've already done that on my old XP machine and despite the warnings at the start of the install (that this version of JAVA is not designed for XP 32b), it installed without a hitch. I then reinstalled the PIC Development Studio and it runs great!.

    I will post screen shots soon.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
    chopnhack likes this.
  5. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    Please do, I can learn vicariously!!
     
  6. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Do to the lame title I've given this topic I'm going to create another one and post the screen shots there. I want to play with the app a bit more before I start that new topic. This way I'll know some its quirks and possibly be able to answer questions if there are any.

    When I post the new title I'll post the link to it here.

    On another note... My two posts in the PB Heaven Pic Tutorial forum is still sitting in a holding cell. They must be on a permanent siesta in Greece!??

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  7. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

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    We can change the thread title Chris. Just let me know what you want to call it.
     
  8. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Kris, that sounds good to me and thanks for offering. How does "PIC Emulator Software" sound?

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  9. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

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    No problem.
     
  10. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
  11. BobK

    BobK

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    The free MPLAB or MPLAB X from Microchip has an excellent simulator built in.

    My theory on tools for micros is that the manufacturer has much more interest in making them work for everyone than any 3rd party supplier would.

    Bob
     
  12. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Thanks Kris. I appreciate that.
    Yes, I like Mikrobasic. I have a copy of the 'Basic' software. They're very well documented and their graphics are outstanding.

    Hi Bob,

    Yes, I can't argue those points. I just found the latest version to be a bit overwhelming when struggling through learning ASM. Fortunately MP has a download page that provides simpler, less cluttered, versions going back to 16bit versions.
    http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en-us/devtools/dev-tools-parts.html
    I downloaded V8.92 which I will use for a while. Hopefully the learning curve won't be too steep. Then I'll fire up the MPLABX 1.95 IDE, which I also have.

    Bob, when you say it has a simulator built in, are you referring to the Debug windows or is there a graphical app in there?

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  13. BobK

    BobK

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    No graphical app, just a simulator than you can run the debugger in. It allows you to step through your program one instruction at a time and look at all of the registers and memory. It also lets you create stimuli on the input pins at specific times.

    What would you expect a graphical app to do?

    Bob
     
  14. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    A graphical app would make it easier for novices like me to understand quickly what is going on. I'm a visual learner ;-)
     
  15. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Yes, I believe that ASM nubes (that's me too) would benefit greatly with the addition of an animated chip. This is simply a graphic of the chip that changes pin color as the pin state changes. Most spice apps do this. The software that triggered this thread is an example.

    I'm still working out the in's, out's and quirks of this software but here's two screen shots as I promised. Pds7SegDisplay1 and Pds7SegDisplay2 are the same sample program that's included with the download. Display1 has the 7 seg display and the BCD decoder animation disabled while Display2 has them enabled.

    While this program runs the student can visually see the pin states change while simultaneously viewing code execution and all register values.

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  16. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    OK, after hours upon hours of frustrating myself I've concluded that using this app as a learning tool is about as as fruitful as shoveling sh!t against an incoming tide.

    IMHO this app is not useful for anything other than running the developer's included examples. The help files describe how to create a new project but the project wizard does not produce the "New" project windows that he shows in screen shots.

    I've attempted every possible method of getting an ASM file into a project app (.PDS) to no avail. When all else failed I copied and pasted (known working) asm code but the debugger always throws errors.

    First of all the developer's software doesn't use or require the .INC file that Microchip's MPASM as well as most other software require. Instead this app generates an ASM Template that I assume we're supposed to add our ASM code to. That would be only moderately acceptable if it worked but I'm either dumb as a box of rocks or the software is seriously flawed.

    I will also note that clicking the "Help" button within the app doesn't work properly either. There is no way to navigate back to the main page (or to any other page for that matter) without closing the entire app and reopening it; though I have accessed the HTML based help files externally. Doing it this way you can navigate to the few pages provided.

    On another note:

    I thought it was finally clear to me exactly what part of the PIC programming sequence uses or requires the .INC file. I thought it was MPASM but now I'm not sure. Is it MPLAB too? I don't believe it's the PIC itself.

    Chris
     
  17. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    Thanks Chris, I won't waste my time with it if its incomplete.
     
  18. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Well that wasn't the only software that I downloaded. I also went to PlanetSourceCode and downloaded the VB app seen in the attachment. The VB developer that wrote it evidently didn't believe in using white space or code indentation. This has made it exceedingly difficult to read. I've spent hours reformatting it so it's readable and I'm now editing it to suit my liking.

    The developer states that he wrote this program as a (PIC Instruction Set) teaching aid for himself. I believe it will be a useful tool.

    His app works by selecting a delay in seconds and then selecting the 7 Seg.ASM program or RunningLeds.ASM program. One of the things I'm adding is a "Step" function so I can analyze each register value as long as I like.

    As you can see from the image the user can also punch in PIC Instructions manually.

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

    chopnhack likes this.
  19. chopnhack

    chopnhack

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    It looks good Chris. I am currently reading PCBHeaven's tutorial on pic's and have sent an email to the site owner to see if he needs assistance in rewording sentences. Some of the sentences are not clear - the content is there, but the format is not. For instance:
    <<
    Before we begin with the learning, i will make you a list for the things that you need to have, in order to follow succesivelly the next pages.
    >>

    We get the point, but it can be clearer. There may be passages in the future where concise language is more important. I hope the author is available and willing to make the corrections, I would love to be able to give back a bit for the resource. Have you heard back from him?
     
  20. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Ha, good luck with that! The two posts that I made there are still sitting in the "Awaiting Approval" bin. I fully expect them to stay there for eternity. That said I do appreciate the efforts that were made there. It just seems like it was some time ago and the board activity and book completion are in a coma.

    Here's one that I think you'll really like . .. I do. It's good stuff from down under.....
    http://users.tpg.com.au/users/talking/index_of_chapters.html

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
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