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Re: OT w/ Disclaimer: Hobby Microcontrollers

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  • mejeep_ferret
    ... That is a very useful resource. I found a useful article there instantly. I admit that the Atmel AVR series of microcontrollers seems to be a great
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 30, 2008
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      > > The Arduino is best suited for beginners. As it has many support
      > features built-in to let you get started right away.

      > I recently saw an alternative, which is Freeduino
      > http://www.freeduino.org/

      That is a very useful resource. I found a useful article there
      instantly. I admit that the Atmel AVR series of microcontrollers
      seems to be a great choice for learning: great user communities, open
      source tools and low cost kits (such as the AVR Butterfly) that don't
      require a JTAG or proprietory programmer.

      The Basic Stamp MIGHT be nice but it's rather expensive and there's
      the recurring cost per unit for the ROM.

      I learned the Microchip PIC-18 during a course for interfacing
      sensors, so I started with a kit with a boot-load pre-programmed into
      the flash (programmed via rs232). I bought it from Al Williams
      http://www.awce.com/ and used Microchip's free "C" compiler. I will
      eventually "graduate" to using the In Circuit Emulator for debugging
      and to program the (cheaper) totally blank chips without any boot loader.

      I can't find an active PIC community. All the Yahoo groups are dead.
      But the PIC is found in many devices, such as the PicAXE (apparently
      popular in the UK).

      To bring this back to the RETROComputing topic, you could re-discover
      the joys of the Z80 or the eZ80 (50 MHz embedded version). The
      software is sure "mature enough" but the enthusiasm is lacking. I'm
      yet to find more than a few posts about the eZ80 anywhere despite
      Circuit Cellar's contest and articles.
    • Mike Willegal
      I use AVR s. The attiny2313, in particular, as it includes a UART, enough flash and I/O to handle most of what I need to do. I did have one project where I
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 1, 2008
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        I use AVR's. The attiny2313, in particular, as it includes a UART,
        enough flash and I/O to handle most of what I need to do. I did have
        one project where I needed more I/O pins, but I simply split the
        project into two logical parts and connected the UARTs together in
        order to link the two parts. I could have easily gone to an AVR with
        more pins, but will be able to reuse one half of this project in the
        future. A serial interface is also handy to have available, if you
        need to send or receive data from a PC.

        The AVR instruction set, is easier to use, in my opinion, than the
        PICs and 8051s. Compiled C code will often not fit in a micro-
        controller's limited flash space, depending upon your application, so
        this is an important consideration. Atmel provides both in-circuit
        debugger capabilities and a simulator. Atmel's in-circuit debugger
        costs around $300. The simulator has allowed for me to debug most
        everything I've done, so I never purchased the interface for in-
        circuit debugging. The AVR software tools are free, so the cost of
        startup has been a flash programmer for around $29.00 and some AVR
        chips. The interface from the chip to the flash programmer is simple
        enough to slap together on a breadboard in a few minutes. There are
        plans on the web for building your own flash programmer, but I think
        that it is hardly worth the trouble.

        Regards,
        Mike Willegal
      • Evan Koblentz
        ... Hi Mike. Are you new here? If so, please send a hello world message to our list to introduce yourself ... Background, location, how you found us, etc.
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 1, 2008
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          >>> Regards, Mike Willegal

          Hi Mike. Are you new here? If so, please send a "hello world" message to our list to introduce yourself ... Background, location, how you found us, etc.

          Thanks,
          - Evan
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