Past projects include a BASIC Stamp controller built into a development system (thanks Mike!), and several CNC Controllers. Now, I am starting to learn about MicroChip's PIC controllers. They are less expensive than PARALLAX BASIC STAMPS and you can do just as much with one.
With 3 years of college (Electronics Engineering Technology) and twenty years of electronic experience, the PIC should be both fun and challenging.
The PIC I have chosen to experiment with is the 16F819 which is relatively new. I was able to get a couple of evaluation chips from MicroChip, and bought four more on eBay (thanks Randy!).
The 16F819 has the following features:
All PIC's require at least some support devices. The devices that appear to be required include, but are not limited to:
GlitchBuster.com supplied lots of my parts and info - thanks again Randy!
There is a ton of info on the PIC series of microcontrollers. To get up and running fairly quickly, I emailed Randy at GlitchBuster's and he kindly recommended the following:
Since 2003 I have found that a C compiler from CCS was better for what I wanted to do.
CYBIKO update get a 32x16 line LCD display with a full QWERTY keyboard connected to a serial port (Yep, a full fledged terminal) for about $10. Makes the debugging go so much easier!
Get a PIC, and do something with it. Busy hands get things done. You will be surprised how quickly you can make a neat gizmo and you will learn a lot along the way!