PCB Heaven

Books => Learning the PIC micro-controller @ PCB Heaven - On line book discussion => Topic started by: CDRIVE on December 30, 2014, 16:59:50 PM

Title: PIC Tut.. Mired In Quicksand
Post by: CDRIVE on December 30, 2014, 16:59:50 PM
Hi, new member here.

Initially I was very excited when I found your tutorial but the proverbial monkey wrench keeps getting thrown into the gears. Besides the issue of using acronyms without definitions, that forces the student to stop and Google the term, I was then stopped cold when I reached the MPLAB page. My version is MPLAB X (V1.95) which looks nothing like your screen shots. After searching I've concluded that the MPLAB version in the tutorial is MPLAB 8.

So I guess my first post here will be to ask... Do I download MPLAB 8 or use my MPLAB X?

One of the most frustrating things about internet based information regards dates. I never know when the information was uploaded or updated. I constantly read webpages where the author fails to display how current their information is.

Use of acronyms:
It sure would be nice to have acronyms displayed as active text. This way if you failed to define its meaning the student could just hover the mouse over the text to return its definition.

Thanks for listening,

Title: Re: PIC Tut.. Mired In Quicksand
Post by: kam on January 04, 2015, 12:48:23 PM
Hello Chris,

I know exactly what you mean, I've faced these complaints before. That is why i decided to re-write the BJT transistor and also convert it into a free-downloadable PDF (http://www.pcbheaven.com/forum/index.php?topic=1773.0). And this is precisely what i plan to do with the PIC theory. Last year I got this big (and so time consuming) job that I had to carry out. Hopefully this year will have a bit more free time to work on this project.

As for the MPLAB, when I wrote the tutorial the -X wasn't released. Right now microchip promotes the -X version. Maybe the book will be on the -X version. Nevertheless you're right about the missing date...

One of the most common complaints though is that people want to learn C rather than Assembly. Which i totally understand. In assembly, one needs to spend hours and hours to make a program. C is generally much much easier and faster. Nevertheless, I think that I will stick in asm for the first book. I thought it over and over and over again and decided to go this way. The reason is simple: If one wants to learn C microcontroller programming and escalate it into seriously pro levels, no matter what, one day he will definitely face a situation in which C will simply not be enough. Here is an example:

I was once hired to design a door-bell touch button (already on the shelves). I had to follow two main guidelines for me design to go into production: One was the limited size, and the other was the low price. Low price means that I could not use exotic touch chips neither over-killing microcontroller with enhanced touch sensors and tons of memory. The only solution was to use a small PIC. Actually, I used the smallest PIC possible for this application. My minimum requirements: At least one comparator and one A/D channel (for the touch sensor) and internal oscillator at 4/8MHz (to limit the parts count). The PIC16F527 was my choice. This has 1024 words memory size, which means that the program can only have 1024 instructions. My assembly listing used more than half of the available memory. With C, it would just not be possible to fit.

So, what do you think? Should I give up assembly for the coming book version of the PIC book or should I stick with asm?
And of course, thanks for commenting