Let's Make Robots!

How to connect microcontroller to PC and program? (microchip.com)


So I'm thinking of getting a new microcontroller, 28 pins, but I'm struggling with how to connect it to my PC and program it. I checked this page http://letsmakerobots.com/node/33335 but couldn't find too much information (except for Picaxe). All I got now (equipment) is the LMR Starter Kit, with the PICAXE board, so I assume it won't work on that one. I saw some sort of Velleman kit that allows programming and testing microcontrollers (serial only, not USB), but I'm hoping it is possible in a cheaper and easier way, like buying a solderless bread board and some wires (and a component to connect the microcontroller to the PC)? Do I have to make my own print plates (I'm a newb)?

Thanks in advance!




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(i put it in reply, can i delete this one lol?)

yet. :)

I'm programming some pics (16f690) using the pickit2 wich can be used in circuit .

i can recommend it.

Not sure if I understand you correctly but if your asking about starting to program pic microcontrollers then this is the best start.
Even though the pickit3 has been available for some time now I still recommend getting the pickit2 for a start. It has a simple logic analyser in it that you can use with the standalone pickit2 software. It does a lot of the older more common and simpler parts. For 50 bucks it is a good start.
It comes with a demo board and 12 lesson tutorial how to get started with pics.

When you've done them then go to gooligum electronics and study their tutorials. After completing the 12 lessons with the pickit2 and the gooligum tutorials you should have a good idea how to program pics.
Oh and download the datasheet for each pic you have and study them till you are familiar with their style.

On the other hand if you have a picaxe board have you exhausted the capability you have there with it?

would suggest a PICkit2. Some here will suggest the PICkit3. There is another option that is a clone of the PICkit2; icp-02, I believe.

Hey Bird I would only recommend the pickit3 to somebody who already had experience with mplab and pics. Since it is designed to program more recent pics then any bundle with demo board will also include the newer pics which are so feature rich they could swamp a novice with the details.
Microchip have a habit of initialising with peripheral features enabled which causes problems for beginners. And then you've got the massive number of register banks in newer parts to cause even greater confusion.

@merser:"Do you realise the pic16F505 is a 14 pin device"

You're right, I made a mistake there by being a little rushed and catching the wrong microcontroller ^^

It seems like the pickit2 and the pic16f690 are recommended by more people, so that'll be my try!

@merser: "On the other hand if you have a picaxe board have you exhausted the capability you have there with it?"

I have experimented a little with it, made a small alarm clock (without display yet) and had some fun with it, so I understand how it works. But for my new project I'll need 2 microcontrollers, so I'll still need that board, I just needed an extra one, but wanted to experiment with something else than picaxe now :)

Thanks for the quick responses everyone, really appreciate it!