Electronics Forum

Electronics Circuits & Projects discussion forum. Get help with electronics.


Good & cheap microcontroller

New to electronics? Don't know where to start. No problem! Post your questions here.

Moderator: pebe

Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby geekyworld » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:18 am

Dear friends,

I'm a self taught electronics enthusiast. It is not my profession and I've never received any formal training in it. I can program in almost all programming languages.

I'm very interested in fooling around with microcontrollers but cannot decide which one to buy. The variety available is truly mind boggling.

I'm looking for a general purpose uC which should also be cheap. I'll be very grateful for your suggestions.

Thanks.
geekyworld
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:43 am

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby pebe » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:24 pm

Most hobbyists tend to use either the PIC range (by MicroChip) or the Arduino range. Of those, I have only used PICs and these are some of its advantages. No doubt, other members can advise you about Arduinos

1. All PICs have an inbuilt oscillator, so you can make many programs just using the stand-alone PIC.
2. The range goes from a simple version with 6 pins and 4 in/out ports, to multiple 8bit ports.
3. Any version from 8pin upwards can have:-
a) On-board eeprom to save data into.
b) One or more D/A converters and comparators.
c) Ports capable of driving LEDs (20mA max).
d) An optional external oscillator.
4. All sizes now have 'flash' erasing and programming (no need for UV erasers).

There is a free programming editor from MicroChip that covers all PICs and allows for programming in Assembly or in 'C' language. There are many inexpensive 'programming' devices on Ebay that enable you to transfer your written program into the PIC chip. These cover most or all of the PIC variants you use. So once you have downloaded the free software from MicroChip and bought a programmer, all you need is one or more PIC chips to play with.

There are many tutorials on-line that talk you through the process of making simple circuits.

I hope that has helped you.
pebe
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Ellon, Scotland

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby KMoffett » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:14 pm

You also might consider PICAXE. BASIC programming language...8-pin to 40-pin versions...PICAXE-08M2 is about $3. Was original designed for Educational Curriculum. Programing software with simulator is free. There is a very active, helpful, and civil forum. Only requires a three wire serial cable (+USB adapter if no serial port) to program. Because they use interpreted BASIC they are not fast as bare PICs, but for 99% of my projects that is no issue.

http://www.picaxe.com/

Ken
KMoffett
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Minnesota USA

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby pebe » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:37 pm

Thanks for the information, Ken.

I had seen PICaxe advertised, but assumed it was a Basic language interface to program a PIC. I hadn't realized that it had built-in bootstrap firmware. Does that take up programming space or is it in extra Rom?

I like the on-screen simulation capability.
pebe
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Ellon, Scotland

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby KMoffett » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:55 pm

Having not worked with PIC's, I can't answer that. There is a list of PICAXE's vs their raw PIC chips in the manual:
http://www.picaxe.com/docs/picaxe_manual1.pdf

Ken
KMoffett
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Minnesota USA

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby geekyworld » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:50 am

Thanks a lot pebe and Ken for your detailed replies.

I'm surprised no one recommended Arduino. I think I'll go for Arduino Nano with ATmega328. There are cheap Chinese clones available even in my country, India. PICs are good and cheap too, but require separate programming boards. Arduino I think scores on the convenience front.
geekyworld
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:43 am

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby KMoffett » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:43 pm

I like the PICAXE 8-pin for small projects. Same footprint as the ubiquitous LM555, only with a lot more options. Started with a Basic Stamp... :shock:...couldn't afford it for simple projects. Arduino is more than "I" need. Comes down to what "you" need.

Ken
KMoffett
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Minnesota USA

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby geekyworld » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:52 am

Oops...I spoke too soon! Picaxe is indeed the best one for me. I did not quite realize how easy it is to program picaxe. All you need is a home-made cable & a couple of resistors. No board of any kind required!

For friends who don't know how it's done, watch this video:
How to program the Picaxe 08, 08m, or 08m2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4MSPeDeDoY

Thanks Ken for pointing me in the right direction.
geekyworld
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:43 am

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby KMoffett » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:03 pm

You're welcome.

I should add that since serial ports have disappeared from most new computers, the homemade serial cable needs help. You may have to add a USB-to-Serial adapter to you startup purchases.

Ken
KMoffett
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Minnesota USA

Re: Good & cheap microcontroller

Postby PradeepKumar » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:29 am

Pinguino PIC32, STM32 Discovery, MSP430 LaunchPad are some of the best microcontrollers you can go about with.
PradeepKumar
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:48 am
Location: Bangalore


Return to Electronics newbies



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

40KHz Ultrasonic Cavitation RF Radio Frequency Vacuum Body Slimming Face Machine
$199.0
40KHz Ultrasonic Cavitation RF Radio Frequency Vacuum Body Slimming Face Machine picture40K 5in1 Ultrasonic Cavitation Vacuum RF Radio Frequency Slim Fat Burn Machine
$277.05
40K 5in1 Ultrasonic Cavitation Vacuum RF Radio Frequency Slim Fat Burn Machine picture9in1 Ultrasonic Cavitation Radio Frequency Vacuum Cellulite Machine Weight Loss
$470.0
9in1 Ultrasonic Cavitation Radio Frequency Vacuum Cellulite Machine Weight Loss picture8 IN1 40K Cavitation Ultrasonic RF Radio Frequency Multipolar Vacuum Machine
$319.0
8 IN1 40K Cavitation Ultrasonic RF Radio Frequency Multipolar Vacuum Machine picture


cron