Connect with us

Recommendation for a noob.

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by Martaine2005, Dec 21, 2019.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,717
    734
    May 12, 2015
    Hi all, I have been lucky recently and been given boxes of electronics. From test equipment to components. It is all a little dated but nonetheless nice to have.
    Serial port Pico scopes etc probably not worth keeping but to my question... In the boxes I found several PicKit 2 and 3 programmers. I am seriously looking into studying some kind of programming for micro controllers but have no idea which would be easier. Arduino with readily available sketches and large forums or PicKit which I know zero about.
    I have looked on Youtube for both but being a complete novice, neither really made much sense.
    The Arduino uses Atmega (as far as I know). That can be programmed via uploading a sketch?. The Picket is uploaded via Mlab and downloaded to a specific micro controller?. Are they compatible?. Can a program be uploaded to PicKet and downloaded to Arduino board?. Sorry for the silly questions but I have never played with micros. Is one better than the other?. What would you recommend I start with?
    Thanks for any information you can give and a very merry xmas to you all.

    Martin
     
  2. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    668
    234
    Nov 8, 2019
    Martaine2005 likes this.
  3. Bluejets

    Bluejets

    4,046
    844
    Oct 5, 2014
    I've done both and tend to stick to Arduino.
    I've found Mplab tends to screw with one's head but I'm sure if it was explained it would seem fairly straight forward.
    Thing is I like to get on with the job at hand rather than being shovelled off on a tangent for days at a time.

    Plenty of programs out there for Arduino which suit just about any application you can think of.
    Load up the free IDE which has included basic programs so you can get a feel for whatever.
    With most Arduino, open the program you require,plug in a usb lead, select your particular board, upload.

    For most projects I do here, I find the small size of the Arduino pro mini an advantage.
    Only difference is one plugs in a usb/ttl converter to program. Once uploaded and tested there is no further need for it so it is disconnected.
    Clone boards are fine to use and much cheaper, never had a problem with them. e.g. clone pro mini around $3.00 posted to your door.
    [​IMG]

    Usb/ttl unit $3.00, just make sure it has a DTR pin same as in photo below.
    You can get some with a jumper for programming both 3v3 and 5v arduino boards.

    [​IMG]

    Gazillions of sensors, displays, relay boards, input devices etc. etc. available on Ebay or whatever for a couple of dollars each.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FT232RL...hash=item3d6fe38472:m:m4jEnLYJYNEMYqOTDJJebcw

    Arduino pro mini with Atmega 328 @5v

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pro-Min...d2d9db307942668243d88e3066bcd7&frcectupt=true
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  4. Bluejets

    Bluejets

    4,046
    844
    Oct 5, 2014
    Main Arduino forum, although full of very experienced people, they will guide you and advise but will not write programs for you. Sometimes they can be a little abrupt so one has to have a bit of a thick skin in that respect.

    Video tutorials are all over, some good, many rubbish.
    This is one of the good ones.....

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Ob-HnnmhlgSv5Vs_i32TQ/videos
     
  5. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,717
    734
    May 12, 2015
    Excellent info thank you. Just what I needed.
    I wasn’t being lazy asking here. I did view lots of videos and read quite a bit. It’s just better to get feedback from people who have experience. I bought a few pro minis and megas. Also a starter kit with lots of modules to get me going. And yes, there are gazillions of add-ons. Julian Ilett built an arduino with TH components. I might breadboard it tomorrow.
    I will try both PicKit and arduino, but Arduino does seem quite a bit easier.

    Martin
     
  6. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    668
    234
    Nov 8, 2019
    Hello,

    The arduino's use a kind of scripting language, like sketch or use C to program them.
    The PIC's use C or assembly to program them.
    I must say that the PIC's come in many variants and have a lot of hardware aboard if needed.
    There are even dsPIC's that can be used for audio processing.

    Bertus
     
  7. Bluejets

    Bluejets

    4,046
    844
    Oct 5, 2014
    No worries.
    Glad to help. You may notice that some of the pro's on the Arduino forum can be a bit short both on info and manners but if you follow their guidelines they can provide much needed guidance.
    Have seen a lot of Julian Iilett stuff, just that Ralph Bacon tends to concentrate mainly on Arduino and add on gear for the same.

    There is also a series of step by step online youtube tutorials from Jeremy Blum as well, 16 in total I believe.
    Started here...


    One of my designs......The Arduino ProMini in this has been programmed and tested and yet to be finally soldered into place.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
    Martaine2005 likes this.
  8. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,717
    734
    May 12, 2015
    Thanks @Bluejets, I have been watching Jeremy Blum from your recommendations in other threads. There are also plenty of websites with free sketches and on youtube too. I have downloaded lots from youtube and plan to use them. Then tinker with timings, brightness, switching etc by simply altering values in the sketches and see what happens. That should give me plenty of new year play and an understanding of what’s going on.
    Thanks too @bertus I am slowly trawling through micro-examples. Although so far Arduino software loads on Win7 and 10 no
    Problem while mplab gives errors straight away. I will investigate the errors ‘one day’. I don’t like to solve problems in order to use software. Clearly I just need an older revision of mplab or newer PicKits. I will continue with Arduino and see how I get on.

    Martin
     
  9. Bluejets

    Bluejets

    4,046
    844
    Oct 5, 2014
    Are you saying Arduino ide will not work on windows 10..??
    If so, first I've heard of it.

    Did you get the software from here...???
    https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  10. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    2,717
    734
    May 12, 2015
    No no, I said “the Arduino software loads no problem on Win7 and 10”. While Mplab gives errors.

    Martin
     
  11. Nanren888

    Nanren888

    245
    49
    Nov 8, 2015
    Just a side note for the future.
    Arduino sketches are almost C. If you get up to speed on arduino using the environment, it's fast, plentiful examples, but remember that is is a somewhat simplified C language, not having traditional header files and such. For you to gain protability as a C programmer, you;ll need to use proper C at some point.
    The arduino IDE environment will also get you access to the ESP series devices that tend to have Wifi and Bluetooth included in a small package, when you want small and connected.
    There are also a few software arduino simulators about.
    If you outgrow the arduino programming environment the arduino and clone boards are still a a cheap source of programmable controller hardware, even if you use other methods for programming.
    .
    Sorry, no personal experience of PICs, so can't comment, except that I do know others at work who have used them often tend to call the "pricks" rather than "pics" when it comes to programming some aspects.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-