Let's Make Robots!


I got a pic 16F84A as a free sample.  so far i've just hooked it up to a 7 segment display and it counts up to 9 and back down to 0 and repeats.  I've also hooke it up to some leds and flashed some basic patterns.  I think i'm ready to try something else now.  I ordered some tracks and motors to play with.  hopefully i can figure out how to get a range finder working too.  

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
He feels like that kinda guy... You might just have a buddy here, BOA!
I'd really like to do all my work in linux since mplab works nearly flawlessly under wine but I made the mistake of buying a cheep programmer for the pic from ebay.  the programmer works well but only in windows.  the software appears to work in wine but the driver it needs doesn't seem to do anything installed in wine.  I suppose I could try to make my own programmer but i'd rather not spend my time on that. 
YOu can buy a PicKit2 clone on eBay for around $25. Money well spent. I dunno if it works under Linux, though.

Let me first say I second Chris the Carpenter in congradulating you on gertting the 7 Segment LED to work. It sounds like you are well on your way to bigger and better things now. This is definately the place to get your questions answered.

You might want to spend some time looking into the bootloaders. If you get an 18F device, or even a 16F88, you only need your programmer once to install the bootloader. Then you can simply program your device from the serial port. Microchip will send you free samples, so have a look on their website and pick the device you like the best. I would recommend the 18F1320 or 18F4620 since they are loaded with extras and you can put a bootloader in them.

If your using Linux, you could also check out gputils. This is a free group of programs that was written for Linux, but you can get Windows versions as well. There is no IDE, it's all command line, but that's what Linux is anyways. You get an assembler, linker, debugger, simulator, and some other goodies too.

thanks for the suggestions on what pic to try next.  I orgiginally got the 18f84A because there appeared to be a lot of projects people have used them for.  this pic is a good basic pic but i'd really like something a little better.  I'm looking at the pic 18F4620.  it seems to have a lot of features.  I'm not sure if i'll load a bootloader since I don't have any serial ports. 

I don't 'really' have any serial ports either. I bought a USB to RS232 converter from Pololu.


It says it has drivers for Linux. I don't have much Linux experience, but this has worked well for me on Windows XP. Usually you will want to communicate to your robot somehow, and most of the time it's through some kind of RS232 serial port.

I am using the 18F4620 on my own project and at work, so if you run into any problems, just ask.

These converters will probably work well for bootloaders. Just bear in mind that if you DO decide to build your own serial port programmer, the USB / RS232 thingies WILL NOT drive a LUDIPIPO type programmer such as the JDM.
eventually I'll probably look into that but for now i'm content with using the usb programmer i bought since i'm still developing my circuits on a breadboard. If I ever decided to solder it all toghether i'd probably look into the bootloader and programming it that way. 

The other chip I got as a sample is a 18F1220.  I was reading abotu pwm and thought it would something to try out wile i'm waiting on some parts.
Like you've already done, I suggest start small and try to control the brightnes of an LED under PWM!
Are you using RISC assembler? Tell me you're using RISC assembler.