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Semi Newb Advice Request

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by alfa88, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
    I am about to ask for a B'Day gift. I am thinking of getting into Aurdino/PIC controlled things. I want to program a main chip and plug it into the device in question using a minimum amount of 'through hole' parts. 1st. project: the infamous 4X4 RGB Cube.
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    While an arduino gives you a complete (and pre-fabricated) platform, it is in my view a rather expensive way of doing the things you can do with an AVR. Buy or build a simple programmer and go for the bare chip (plus the necessary periphery). For a 4by4by4 LED cube you can use the on-board RC oscillator that some µC bring with them. If you use a real small chip, you may need a set of external latches to extend the IO capabilities. Or use a larger chip with enough IO pins.

    I only worked with small AVRs, but I'm sure the PIC series has similar capabilities. Here's a description for an 8by8by8 RGB cube. You may be able to strip that down to 4by4by4.

    By the way what's that remark about THT parts? Do you mean any external parts (not integrated into the µC) or do you truly mean THT but could live with SMD? In the latter case you have almost unlimited options today,

    Harald
     
  3. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
    I'm pretty much thinking of a uC that's in a DIP and inexpensive . I'm not stuck on Arduino especially if it's expensive.
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Don't know about AVR, but Micrcochip (PIC) has many DIP microcontrollers. You would need a programmer, the PICKit 2 or 3 is cheap and reliable. And the only solftware you need is free from Microchip (IDE, assembler, and C compilers) You can get either of the programmers with a demo board to get you started, but making your own boards is also easy. The only external componenents necessary are a 100nF capacitor and a 10K resistor, which you can also skip if you disable the MCRL (reset) pin. I put a 5 pin header on all of my boards, which allows you program the chip in circuit, which is way better than swapping it in and out every time.

    Once you have learned the tools, you will never use a 555's and logic gates again!

    Bob
     
  5. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
    For now I think to make things easy on me I'll get a kit. I found one that uses a PIC18F4620. Then a development kit afterwards.
     
  6. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Can you give me a link?

    Bob
     
  7. alfa88

    alfa88

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    Dec 1, 2010
  8. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Oh! I didn't think you meant a kit for the whole thing.

    The first link seems to be a finished retail product, it is not clear you could do anything with it except look at it. You need the source code and ability to program it, which the second one seems to include.

    Bob
     
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