Experiences with microcontrollers?

I'm planning on getting my hands dirty and messing around with microcontrollers. Wondering if anyone here has done any projects involving microcontrollers? What was the project and what kind of microcontroller was it?

I have done plenty of projects using Microchip's PIC12, PIC16 and PIC18 micro-controllers. I prefer C compilers over assembly. You can use MikroC (free for up to 2kbyte code) or Hitech C (expensive). Alternatively, there are a couple free compilers but I haven't explored that option much.

If you want to go assembly, use Microchip's free MPLAB IDE and compiler suite.

I have admittedly not dabbled into Atmel's line-up beyond the uni era use of 89c51/89c52... or was that 89s51/89s52? Dunno...

I was thinking I might try working with ARM. It seems to be extremely popular and I've heard good things about it.

As for the language, definitely C. I'm not too fond of assembly given that it can get frustratingly annoying to work with. I've seen some embedded C++ tools floating around and will look into it if I can find it.

ARM? Standalone? I think it is mostly used alongside some other processor or DSP chip.

You can always look into getting familiar with FPGAs, or even the newer TI Sitara processors. However, it all depends on intended use in your particular application.

What you actually intend to make using microcontroller..??

Any project..??

check this out very basic projects using PIC microcontroller

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDZvjhAeLsM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47cNW-NcTPk

Regards

Engr ASad Hameed

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What you actually intend to make using microcontroller…??

Any project…??

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I don’t have anything very specific in mind. Looking for inspiration!

^ First project: Blinking LEDs.... :P

Kinda the 'Hello World!' of the micro-controller world. ;)

^ Very nice. You have truly inspired me! :P

^ You have to start from somwhere. Or is this going to be Sheikh Chilli's* khayali pulao?

* - You know which one. ;)

^ Haha. I'm sure I will be starting with something like that. But I'll look into projects and try to do something more substantive. The last time I worked with something like this was in school for my OS course project. We had to write an RTX kernel for a Coldfire board.

I'm also gonna get my hands dirty with microcontrollers, right after my sessionals end, which will be on tuesday.

I have already worked on FPGAs (Xilinx Spartan 3), and I'm going to implement a VGA controller with it soon.

about the microcontrollers I'm going to start with the 89c51 (which is very easily available from labs in uni)

Hopefully I'm soon going to make use of the microcontroller in a maze solver robot....will share my experience then

^ 89c51 is crap compared to newer offerings from Microchip. If you want to start from scratch, you could start off with 16F877A or preferably 16F887. The latter one has internal oscillator so that reduces the component count some. They have lots of useful peripherals including ADCs, UART, I2C/SPI, etc. Read the datasheet to get an idea of the available options.

hmmm...now that you have suggested I will try to start from 16F877A

89c51 is crap, but that is easily available, and very common so it would be easier to get help..... I will probably be using Atmel AVR kit, that has ATMega16....it has Internal oscillators, timers, UART, SPI, pull-up resistors, pulse width modulation, ADC, analog comparator and ISP too.

the PIC kits available in our uni are BIG in size, and when making robots size is an issue.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

hmmm…now that you have suggested I will try to start from 16F877A

89c51 is crap, but that is easily available, and very common so it would be easier to get help… I will probably be using Atmel AVR kit, that has ATMega16…it has Internal oscillators, timers, UART, SPI, pull-up resistors, pulse width modulation, ADC, analog comparator and ISP too.

the PIC kits available in our uni are BIG in size, and when making robots size is an issue.

[/quote]

PIC controllers have all the same features and more depending on the specific controller being used.

Why are you using PIC kits? Make your own circuit using only the components you need to keep the size down.

If I make my own circuit then I'll have to make a PCB for it, and I'm not sure if microcontrollers work with breadboard and veroboard, because from what I know breadboards and veroboard cause problems when working on high frequencies

and uC usually work on atleast 8Mhz

can we use them on breadboard ?

Microcontollers work fine with veroboards. Use IC sockets (40 pin for 877A).

Forget breadboards. That is kid stuff.

What exactly are you planning to do to worry about frequency? It shouldn't be a problem for the majority of applications. The controllers I mentioned work fine on veroboards. 8MHz is nothing. You can even run it fine on 20MHz. :/

:o, After searching a bit I figured out, What I used to call veroboard is actually a perfboard. I never knew about veroboards. Even all my friends and all my batch calls perfboard a veroboard....

anyways, microcontroller wont work with perfboards right ?

^ Why not? Microcontrollers can work with veroboards, perfboard and breadboards. Your choice what to use but breadboards sometimes do have intermittent connection issues.

Hello Friends, is there a meeting place or some Electronic Enthusiast / hobbyist Club in Karachi (Pakistan)

If not :( lets make one..... please share ideas

Thank you for your attention .... Engineers and Gurus