Microchip (PIC) RISC Assembler
May 15, 2008
For anyone who wants to try assembler instead of that girly BASIC stuff some folk are always raving about, this is the place.
RISC assembler programmed into PICs by In-Circuit Serial Programming using home-built programmers for under $20 is my thing.
Ask me questions.
Now, this maybe belongs under the 4 elements. Does it go under programming or electronics? Naw. I'd say it's another "system". Is anyone able or inclined to move it to that container?
What do you need?
Well, for programming you just need a programmer such as http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpics.htm which plugs into your PC serial port. (Assuming you have one of those anchient (circa 3 years ago) PCs that still has serial ports - USB/RS232 convertors don't seem to work terribly well for this type of application.)
Then you need a piece of software to drive it. I used http://www.ic-prog.com/ for years (it has a cool builtin disassembler). Then I switched to http://freenet-homepage.de/dl4yhf/winpicpr.html recently, becuase it inherently supports ALL Pics.
ICSP is dead easy. You attach /MCLR, Vdd, Vss, PC and PD on your programmer to /MCLR, Vdd, Vss, PC and PD on your PIC and press "go".
Yes. Good idea. The problem with making a walkthrough is that I don't see what's difficult. I'll try to remember what I found as the major hurdles and work from there.
1) Get an account at www.microchip.com. They will happily send you three engineering samples of any four components for free - and they even pay the postage.
2) download their EXCELLENT and FREE RISC assember IDE. It has online help, offline debugging, in-circuit serial debugging and is possibly the best development environment for any programming language EVER. I really mean it.
3) Get a 16Fxx or 16Fxxx series PIC, and attach and LED to one of te DIO lines, through a resistor to ground.
Actually... Watch this space. I will shortly recommend a PIC with an internal oscillator, give you the assembler code, recommend a programmer and a promming package and tell you how to prom it with ICSP. (If real life allows.)
There are only a few DIY programmers whcih work directly with the Microchip IDE. They have to make money SOMEHOW: they give you everything else for free! Consequently, we need to choose an external prommer and some software to drive it. I will work only with freeware and freely available prommer designs.
The first revision of the HowTo is here.
If you find it useful, contact the guy and say "thanks". He has put a LOT of effort in.
Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.