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Searching for a PIC dev board

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by foTONICS, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. foTONICS

    foTONICS

    332
    9
    Sep 30, 2011
    Hey all,

    So I'm searching for a dev board to enhance my studies while at school. I've done a little searching but nothing really comes up that seems right. I'm a bit of a PIC fanboy, I want some LED's attached to the board so I can see if a program works, and I want to code in assembly. Ones that seems nice were a little out of my price range (I'm trying to stick to about a $100) and I'm not very familiar with arduino's. Also the IDE, are they usually free or do they come with the purchase of a dev board?

    -Thanks for the help!
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,497
    2,838
    Jan 21, 2010
    There are almost always free IDEs out there. You may find that third parties have better compilers that do optimization better (etc.) and for which they charge money.

    Google "Free PIC ide" and you'll get a heap of hits.
     
  3. foTONICS

    foTONICS

    332
    9
    Sep 30, 2011
    Thanks steve, I'm definitely going to look into that!
     
  4. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    There are a ton of pic developer boards, but when you only need to give it power and maybe a capacitor across the supply to get an internal OSC version to run it's not like it's hard to prototype...

    Personally I find the developer boards from mikroe to be worth every penny, yeah they cost more then you wanted to spend but you not only get a full featured developer board that has a TON of plug in modules that you can plug in... Basically you can fully develop a vast majority of your projects on this board, but you also get a pretty nice programmer on board as well...

    I replaced several of the normal sockets with ZIF socket so I can unplug and plug chips with ease this makes it every bit a stand alone programmer if you choose...

    As for the IDE, mikroe ones are OK and offer you a choice of languages for an OK price for what you get...

    But, many will suggest that you go with microchip programmer supported IDE systems, IMO it's really up to you... I have done just fine never using microchip supported programmers and IDE systems...

    Do note that there isn't a fully universal developer board/IDE/compiler system in place, you generally have to choose your purchase based on what you plan to use... And in this regard may I suggest you pick a language and find a compiler before you invest too much in a developer board... But, even not integrated is fine if you want to go that way, I can plug any PIC into the the above developer board and flip a few switches and get it fired up with blinking lights and working switches and test run things, but I won't necessarily have the integrated development features...
     
  5. foTONICS

    foTONICS

    332
    9
    Sep 30, 2011
    ya that's pretty much exactly what I was looking at:

    http://www.mikroe.com/easypic/?gclid=CLeOn9WAq7UCFYZcMgodUzcASQ

    I just didn't want to go overboard since I'm still new and figuring out what direction I want to go, but one of these is looking better and better each time I look at it (especially the one with the LCD and other extra peripherals)

    When I first started, maybe a year ago, I got my feet wet with MPLAB since it was installed on my school's computers. Now in my microcontroller class we are using asmIDE (not sure of the publisher) in conjunction with the HSC12 from motorola.

    I've been back and forth with what type of language to use. I've found that depending on the professor the student is either taught one of two languages, either ASM or C. Through research I've come to find that the norm is C, but I enjoy ASM, it allows me to better understand what is going on at a fundamental level. Would I be wasting time pursuing ASM on an advanced level?
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    ASM is the king of languages if you want to optimize code in every detail, it's never a waste but you will likely find that you can develop a vast majority of your firmware in a higher language like C much faster and it's 'good enough' for most applications...

    At the end of the day having a background in Assembly is a big asset, and if you are looking to sell yourself to a potential client it should be a big positive mark in your favor over someone who just knows C...
     
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