Electronics > Electronics

Setting up a Microcontroller

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ejohns85:
Hello,

I'm currently building my first robot, and I have decided to use a PIC microcontroller. Am I right in thinking that together with the little black chip itself, which only costs a couple of $, I will need to buy a crystal oscillator to provide a clock signal, and voltage regulator, and other things, or are these included within the chip? I already have a voltage regulator for the rest of my circuitry, so could I use that?

I also need to get a programming board, that will program the microcontroller via a cable from a PC, right? I'm interested in building one myself, are there any tutorials on doing this?

Thanks!

Admin:
Typical microcontrollers already come with an internal oscillator (check datasheets), but if you want speeds about 4x higher, or require better accuracy, then you should use a crystal. You also need two capacitors to go with the crystal. If you are just building a basic robot you can skip the oscillator, as I doubt you would need it.

You also need MAX232 IC with all supporting capacitors and a db9 connector so your PIC has a serial connection. This serial connector would then, yes, connect to a programmer and your PC.

The first time you do this it can be a little overwhelming. Unfortunately I do not have any tutorials yet for this, but I might have one in 2-3 months from now. I will have schematics, code, and a parts list, hence the long delay . . . Working on it now . . .

I do however have other stuff you may immediately need, such as schematics for robot power:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/schematics_powerregulation.shtml

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