Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Programming PIC and simulating them (for people that can't afford)

No, you won't have to use warez. I am using several tools to program PIC in C and they are all free.

[BTW, I am the sort of person that although thinking that software prices are very expensive, I simply do not use warez tools]

First of all, get MPLAB from Microchip:

http://www.microchip.com


Next, get PICC Lite compiler. This is a freeware tool version of a commercial C compiler for PIC with restrictions. You can only program a few models, but for broken people like me it is enough.

http://www.htsoft.com/

Their documentation is pretty good although quite large and complex, but if you check this other fantastic web site, you will enjoy to notice that they have thousands of line codes to help you:

http://www.microchicpc.com

Next either you choose the standard MPLAB way of simulation, which won't allow real world applications or you please check the amazing freeware software designed by Nicolas Colombain named MicroDev:

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/udev/index.htm

With uDev you can add serial analysers, oscilloscopes, leds, displays, logic gates and a huge variety of interfaces. You simply design the circuit and next load the program HEX file to the uC and starts the simulation.

I find the Harvard archictetures a bit more easy and natural for embed systems as you will notice comparing 8051 or HCXX to PIC. PICs are also a little easier to program and to interface.

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