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PIC - Recommendation for a first time user

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Aug 30, 2008.

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  1. Guest

    Thank you everyone for your input to my earlier thread for my need of
    a one chip solution that directed my application to using a PIC.

    As a new PIC learner can you give me a PIC choice & part # (kit) that
    has the flexibility I need for my application? Also a good webpage for
    PIC projects would also be helpful. I have several years of old
    experience, covered in cob webs, in the use of 8080 Assembly & Basic
    programming languages which hopefully will allow me to grasp the PIC
    language quickly.

    Webpage link to my application need:

    My need in the ideal PIC (AFC) application:

    A PIC samples its Input every 10 minutes from a manually activated &
    conditioned Update Pulse. The Input is sampled for a 200 Hz frequency
    in a 1/2 sec timing window and compared to 100. It has a possible
    count value above or below a 100.

    PIC INPUT = 1 Volt p-p AC @ 50 Hz - 300 Hz

    PIC OUPUT = 5v to 6v DC @ 1 ma with a resolution of 100 increments.

    PIC features:
    OP Amp

    * * *
    Below is a first attempt not knowing any PIC language using some past
    terms for crude logic in my Automatic Frequency Control. I will refine
    the logic when I get a specific PIC for my application.

    Dim vInput_count %, vOutput_V%

    vOutput_V = 5.5v
    PIC_Output = vOutput_V ' set PIC Output to 5.5 volts


    If Terminate_ Pressed then End

    vInput_count = PIC_Input '1/2 second PIC frequency Input sample"

    If vInput_count > 100 then
    vOutput_V = vOutput_V - .01 'minus .01 volts from PIC Output
    'lowers the frequency at the PIC Input.
    PIC_Output = vOutput_V

    Goto label1


    If vInput_count < 100 then
    vOutput_v = vOutput_V + .01 'adding .01 volts to Output raises
    'the frequency at the PIC Input.

    PIC_Output = vOutput_V

    Goto label1

    End if 'Program proceeds when Input_count = 100

    Do until Update pressed 'Wait for 10 minute signal to Update
    'sample at the PIC Input.

    Goto Label1


    * * * *


    Temecula CA.USA
  2. RD

    RD Guest

    I don't have any direct experience with the
    dsPIC's (the ones with the built-in DAC
    output), but I'm fairly certain they provide
    a steady output voltage level between 0 and 5

    You'd have to provide a DC offset somehow to
    reach your 5-6 volt range.

    On the plus side, since the DAC is 16-bit,
    your one volt range would have a resolution
    of 2^16 * 0.2 = 13,107 increments. :)

    You mention an Op-Amp as a feature of your
    'ideal' PIC; many PIC's have an on-board
    Comparator, although you'd have to read up on
    how it's used on your specific PIC. It
    may or may not be what you want.
    Use a high-gain transistor to convert your
    signal to a square wave and get your PIC to
    count the number of 1->0 transitions in your
    1/2 second window:

    | | 10k
    | |
    |----- PIC digital input
    Audio |
    In || _R_ |/
    || |>

  3. Look at:
    for an intro using PICs.

    You find that even some small PICs have A/D on board. Some with eight, some
    with ten bits. Using them at frequencies as low as 200Hz will be no problem
    at all.

    But.... This is about measuring and keeping a voltage. If you want to
    measure frequency, you will need no A/D-conversion at all. Every PIC I know
    about has one or more counters to help measuring frequencies. An - 8 pins -
    PIC12F629 for instance, also has build in comparators to make nice digital
    pulses from your AC input. If you need more output pins a PIC16F684 (14
    pins) will do.

    The D/A is not that easy.
    The most simple solution will be PWM. You'll need a very good low pass
    filter to get rid of the sample frequency which in turn will make output
    changes slow.
    A good and rock-stable way is an R/2R network. You'll need 14 resistors and
    7 output pins to achive 100 (128 to be excact) step resolution. Both are
    described in:
    A more attractive way is using a D/A-convertor. A TC1320 for instance is a
    good choice. But the 8-pins chip uses an I2C interface which will be hard to
    inplement for a beginner. You can however find example code at Microchips.
    For the PIC a PIC12f629 will do.
    In all solutions described above you will need an amplifier if you need an
    output voltage >5.5V.

    petrus bitbyter
  4. I would suggest a PIC16F684. These is a simple 14 pin part that can be
    programmed with the Microchip PICkit1 or PICkit2, and it has several ADCs
    and a PWM module that can be used for a DAC. The F-V can be accomplished by
    using a circuit as suggested by RD, where you can count the number of
    pulses in a 500 mSec window and convert that to frequency (150 pulses = 300
    Hz). If you use his circuit, add a reverse diode and resistor from base to

    I found interesting web pages on theremin projects:

    I found a web site with a lot of circuits:

    They have a theremin controller:

    None of these really addresses exactly what you are trying to do, but might
    be helpful for ideas.

    Good luck.

  5. I agree with your recommendations, but I found that it is possible to make
    a voltage doubler with the PWM output that can be programmed for a range of
    about 4 VDC to 6 VDC. It requires only two capacitors, two resistors, and
    a diode. It might need to be monitored by one of the ADCs and trimmed, or
    if the load is stable, you could make a table of PWM values and output
    voltages. The LTspice ASCII for the circuit is at the end. The simulated
    outputs with a 10 kHz PWM into a 5 kOhm load after 100 mSec are as follows:

    0% 4.07 VDC
    5% 4.24 VDC
    10% 4.40 VDC
    20% 4.72 VDC
    30% 5.04 VDC
    40% 5.33 VDC
    50% 5.62 VDC
    60% 5.86 VDC
    70% 6.05 VDC
    80% 6.09 VDC
    85% 5.98 VDC
    90% 5.64 VDC



    Version 4
    SHEET 1 880 680
    WIRE -32 16 -64 16
    WIRE 160 16 32 16
    WIRE 80 80 32 80
    WIRE 160 80 160 16
    WIRE 160 80 144 80
    WIRE 256 80 160 80
    WIRE 544 80 336 80
    WIRE 608 80 544 80
    WIRE 608 128 608 80
    WIRE -64 144 -64 16
    WIRE 32 144 32 80
    WIRE 544 144 544 80
    WIRE -64 256 -64 224
    WIRE 32 256 32 224
    WIRE 32 256 -64 256
    WIRE 80 256 32 256
    WIRE 544 256 544 208
    WIRE 544 256 80 256
    WIRE 608 256 608 208
    WIRE 608 256 544 256
    WIRE 80 304 80 256
    FLAG 80 304 0
    SYMBOL voltage 32 128 R0
    WINDOW 3 13 107 Left 0
    WINDOW 123 0 0 Left 0
    WINDOW 39 37 52 Left 0
    SYMATTR InstName V1
    SYMATTR Value PULSE(0 5 100n 100n 100n 80u 100u 2000)
    SYMATTR SpiceLine Rser=200
    SYMBOL cap 144 64 R90
    WINDOW 0 0 32 VBottom 0
    WINDOW 3 32 32 VTop 0
    SYMATTR InstName C1
    SYMATTR Value 1µ
    SYMBOL cap 560 208 R180
    WINDOW 0 24 64 Left 0
    WINDOW 3 24 8 Left 0
    SYMATTR InstName C2
    SYMATTR Value 10µ
    SYMBOL schottky -32 32 R270
    WINDOW 0 32 32 VTop 0
    WINDOW 3 0 32 VBottom 0
    SYMATTR InstName D1
    SYMATTR Value 1N5818
    SYMATTR Description Diode
    SYMATTR Type diode
    SYMBOL res 592 112 R0
    SYMATTR InstName R1
    SYMATTR Value 5k
    SYMBOL voltage -64 128 R0
    WINDOW 123 0 0 Left 0
    WINDOW 39 0 0 Left 0
    SYMATTR InstName V2
    SYMATTR Value 5
    SYMBOL res 352 64 R90
    WINDOW 0 0 56 VBottom 0
    WINDOW 3 32 56 VTop 0
    SYMATTR InstName R2
    SYMATTR Value 1k
    TEXT 118 280 Left 0 !.tran 200m startup
  6. <snip spice list>

    Think this comes very close to the OPs requirements. It'll be a challenge to
    keep the voltage stable while measuring the frequency but even a 12F629 has
    two timers available so it wil not be that hard. There's no need to drive a
    PIC to its limits by using 5.5V power. Ordinary stabilized 5V will do. Where
    did you got this idea from?

    petrus bitbyter
  7. Guest

    I am really learning a lot from all of you and your experience. Being
    a designer from scratch, my projects allows me great flexibility.

    I can use a PIC Output voltage range of 4.1v to 5.1v now that I
    understand that it is more acceptable by the PIC chip.

    With processor control other ideas come to mind that would also
    enhance what I am attempting do. The idea of controlling the sequence
    of which circuit board turns on first and a final un-mute the sound
    command is interesting.

    Making that final decision of which processor to go with is
    challenging but you have given me some part #'s to research.

    Thank you all for you continued support.

    * * * *


    Temecula CA.USA
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