Let's Make Robots!

How many PIC users here

I was wondering how many PIC users are on LMR and what languages are being used.  I am currently a fan of the dsPIC33's and use C and assembly for programming.

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The (tragic?) result of my work is that I wound up with a macbook pro.

I'm not going to labour my opinions of a mac here, but when trying to find out which uC I could use, solarbotics suggested a picaxe, because it can be easily interfaced with a mac.

Having not tried anything else at this stage, I have no idea of the extent to which this is accurate, but it certainly seems to be consistent with what I see.

 I would dearly like to have the time and money to use pics - getting the interface hardware for my mac, and learning the code etc. etc., but at present, I think the picaxe is very appropriate for what I want to do.


Macbook pro tragic, never!!!  Vmware or paralles is your friend. Bootcamp would be an option as well.
I've been running OS X 10.5.7 as well for iPhone programming. I'm a windows/linux guy, but have been impressed by the latest apple stuff. You could use the gnu toolset for PIC programming on your Mac: http://gputils.sourceforge.net I use MPLAB and the C30 compiler on a Vista machine. I was going to try VMware to see if I could use my Windows tools on my Mac.

Welllll, I wanted to avoid having to use emulation software - there's something klugey about it... having a lot of sofware on my computer so it behaves like a different computer just seems ... I don't know, like i'm defeating the purpose.

But!, I must step back and see the bigger picture. Maybe tomorrow though.



I am PIC guy myself, just because I ran into it (so it's not a well founded choice).

Started with JAL (http://www.voti.nl/jal/). It's not assembly or C but closer to PASCAL. And the advantages are simple:

1) It's free
2) It was designed to teach to kids (for all parents out there: a lot of kids love it)
3) Because kids get it, I get it

I am not trying to be funny here, but a lot of us have started diving in to deep and never finished their first project. The website accompanying JAL is not sexy but contains a lot of information and examples that get kids going and will enable newbies here (or there) to flash a led, flash several leds, make traffick lights and before you know it start building cools stuff. It will take the sting of assembly out of the first phase of experimenting. 

I have not explored other options and dont want this to turn into a "war of the uC's". Just want to provide infor to people who might consider fiddling with PIC with a VERY easy entrance.

Take care,

I started off programming Basic Stamps then PICs at school through Higher and Advanced Higher Technological Studies in my final years of High School/(Secondary School to us Brits). While learning assembly at school I bought myself a PIC programmer and a few PIC16F84As and used them in a few robots. I moved to JAL as I realised assembly was slowing me down and I didn't need to be working in such a low level language for the pretty simplistic stuff I was doing. I haven't touched PICs in over 5 years (moved away from robots and tinkering with electronics until recently) and although I've quickly grown to love the Arduino Mega I've been playing with I would love to jump back to using PICs if a project came up where it would be better suited.

I just joined this website.  I use PICs and C.  I mainly use PIC16F887s, PIC16F690s and PIC12F509s.  I am no expert in them, but I am becoming more familiar with them. =)

PIC μCs are definitely my weapon of choice. The first real programming languages I learned (apart from early HTML) were C/C++ and BASIC, although I program my PICs exclusively in Assembly. Having worked with Motorolla 68HC11s and a handful of FPGAs I love how much you can get done with even the mid-range 8-bit PIC μCs, and working with Assembly helps me make the most of that. Also I'm a bit of an OC control freak, and so the minimalist and transparent nature of Assembly is very appealing.

As far as actually flashing the μC goes, I use ICSP for any μC that has more than 20 pins, or if the main PCB is reasonably large anyway. I've got a little DIY ZIF socket adaptor for any projects that are too hard to add an ICSP header to, or in rare cases don't even have a PCB at all.

Here is a general layout for the dsPIC33/PIC24 processor.  One more switch could be added to support the PICAXE 28x1.  Let me know what you think.


This is a great idea. My only suggestions would be a bootloader and PIC18F parts. I haven't looked at the dsPIC or PIC24, can they "self program" ? No matter what language you choose, the final output file will be a .HEX file. It would be nice to just send it down the serial link ( or USB ) to the board and run, just like the PICAXE does. Simple bootloaders can be written that take less than 256 bytes of memory.