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New to modifying electronics in general...

 
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Pseudomotive
Newbie


Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Storrs, CT

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: New to modifying electronics in general... Reply with quote

Hi, I'm a computer engineering student at Uconn, and I'm brand new to the forums. I have done some simple work in digital logic design (very basic stuff - and/or/nand gate kinda stuff) and basic circuit theory (some of which was difficult to grasp and first and I haven't entirely caught on). I'm looking to get my feet wet in modifying my own electronics. I have a good idea of how much there is to understand and how much I don't (which is a lot) but I was wondering if any of the forum members had any advice on how to get started with PIC modification and programming hardware...good resources for learning like guides online or books that ease me into this field. As I hope to be doing this with my future and career I definately think it's time to get into the real thing. I was never on a robotics team or anything in highschool (regrettably - now) so again I really don't know what's going on. Suggestions for good first projects are SO welcome.

Thanks for any help you can offer
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Alan
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1399
Location: Winnipeg, MB

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: New to modifying electronics in general... Reply with quote

Pseudomotive wrote:
Hi, I'm a computer engineering student at Uconn, and I'm brand new to the forums. I have done some simple work in digital logic design (very basic stuff - and/or/nand gate kinda stuff) and basic circuit theory (some of which was difficult to grasp and first and I haven't entirely caught on). I'm looking to get my feet wet in modifying my own electronics. I have a good idea of how much there is to understand and how much I don't (which is a lot) but I was wondering if any of the forum members had any advice on how to get started with PIC modification and programming hardware...good resources for learning like guides online or books that ease me into this field. As I hope to be doing this with my future and career I definately think it's time to get into the real thing. I was never on a robotics team or anything in highschool (regrettably - now) so again I really don't know what's going on. Suggestions for good first projects are SO welcome.

Thanks for any help you can offer


Hi Pseudomotive,

There are lots of great resources on the Net that will get your feet wet. Read some of these.
http://forum.hackedgadgets.com/viewforum.php?f=15

If you find some others that help you later please add to the list Cool
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BronzeG3
HG Master


Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How you start working with PICs depends on a couple of things. If you are on a budget, there are cheap programmers you can make. One such programmer is the "No-parts" programmer http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/noppp/. The only problem with the cheap programmers is they only support a select few PIC uCs (microcontrollers). If you have a bit more money to throw around, there is the PICkit 2 that microchip sells for about $50. I haven't used it, but the create of the no-parts programmer recommends it. I use a serial programmer from MicroEngineering Labs www.melabs.com. It has been able to program every chip I've needed, and supports programming the uC without removing it from the circuit I'm using it in.

Once you have selected a programmer, find out what uCs it supports, and look for a tutorial on that chip. The web is full of PIC information. http://www.mstracey.btinternet.co.uk/pictutorial/picmain.htm
http://www.rentron.com/pic.htm

Another way to start is to just sample a few uCs from Microchip, and start messing around with them. I would reccomend getting the 18f2525 uC. It has the ability to be programmed using either assembly language, or C. Microchip has a C compiler that is free for student use.

If you need any other info, just ask.

If I may ask, how do you like being a Computer Engineer @ Uconn? I am a CpE senior at Virginia Tech, and it has been good in some ways, and a bit frustrating in others.
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Alan
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1399
Location: Winnipeg, MB

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BronzeG3 wrote:
If you need any other info, just ask.

If I may ask, how do you like being a Computer Engineer @ Uconn? I am a CpE senior at Virginia Tech, and it has been good in some ways, and a bit frustrating in others.


Great advice Smile , I have added that link into the microcontroller resources section.

I should also add that Microchip gives free samples of most of their devices.
http://sample.microchip.com/

I have never played with the 18f2525, but the 16f628A and the 16f88 are also great chips to start with.

Alan
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