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Author Topic: Need help choosing microcontroler  (Read 2994 times)

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Offline 555 timer chip guyTopic starter

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Need help choosing microcontroler
« on: March 28, 2007, 10:24:35 AM »
I am just starting to get into microcontrolers and I am thinking about starting with the BASIC stamp 2 because I can buy it in a kit that explains how to use it. Dos any one have any ether ideas on what to start on.

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 05:13:48 PM »
It really kind of depends. I think there are microcontrollers for Software Enginners, Electrical Engineers, and Enthusiasts.
Where are you and what do you want to learn is the most appropriate question to ask your self.

Generally this is the way it breaks down:
If you write code for the microcontrollers in C, then it's better for Software Enginners.
If Assembly, better for Electrical engineers.
Basic or other proprietary language, then Enthusiasts.

Not to say that some one who in an Enthusiast can't program in Assembly or C. It's just that the Basic and other proprietary languages and development model are designed to be easy to learn and use. But they can also be more limiting.

Personally I would never get a Basic Stamp, but if you have never programed any thing before, I don't think it's too bad of an idea.

Offline nanob0t

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 11:21:14 AM »
I use PIC chips for my robots.  I have an inline debugger and programmer, which are the most expensive pieces.  After you purchase those parts, everything else is available.   

If you constuct robots and have a general idea what kind of requirements you have, you can usually go onto the microchip website and get 'samples' of your parts for free.  They're free microcontrollers, and they're expandable to whatever you can think of.  Microchip most likely has them in stock.  If you can't get them for free, they generally cost under $10.

My friend owns a BASIC stamp 2, but they tend to cost quite a bit more.  They are better for beginners, because they have all the required support electronics on board.

It also depends what programming language you are working in.  If you know C well, go for the PICs.  If you know BASIC better, go for the stamps. 


Also like JesseWelling said, it depends on applications you plan to use it for.

Offline 555 timer chip guyTopic starter

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2007, 12:00:12 PM »
Thanks that really helped  :)

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2007, 04:03:47 PM »
I would also argue that if you know C your're better of with an AVR or ARM because Pic compilers arn't free for most of the chips. But if you 'Pic' the right one you get to use the C compiler in MPLAB

Offline nanob0t

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 04:17:11 AM »
That's what I use.  If you see my avatar thing or whatever they're called, I'm actually programming that into a medical service robot with a PIC.  You can get a big number for free though, although not all.  If you can't sample what you want, then PICs are still quite inexpensive. 

Yes, MPLAB IDE is in C, that's what I use to program.  You should do some tutorials if you go this direction in order to learn the program.  I tried for a month to get the thing to work after installing the program and I ran into some pretty big problems.     

I also recommend a  BASIC Atom Pro.  They are specifically designed for robot creation, but the chips are quite pricy.

Offline 555 timer chip guyTopic starter

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Re: Need help choosing microcontroler
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 09:23:44 AM »
OK sounds good :)

 


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