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10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcontroll

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aghazi

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basic stamp knight rider

Hi All,

Just wanted to know if you guys can help me out. I have first hand experience of software development and for over 10 years working in IT sector. Lot of experience in VB, C, Java & .Net. Right now I have my own software house and just found that I have some free time to explore the world of hardware (electronics) as well. I was always interested in electronics and wanted to built stuff myself but couldn’t do so mainly because of busy schedule. Another main reason was that I could not find something so much useful as this great EDABoard.com.

A week ago while browsing the net I found this forum. Now I wish I found it earlier! I have been reading the forum for a week now and I am sure you guys can help me out. So here is what I want.

Goal : To learn everything about microcontroller and to implement projects myself.

Current Experience in electronics: Same as any of non-electronic guy! But I like gadgets, have lot of them and first thing I do with them is open up and look inside how they work! Once fried a wifi router during the process!

Required:

1- From where I should start? Any books for me (taking account my profile)? Tutorials, Lessons, Online help etc.
2- Any starter Kits for people like me?
3- What is learning curve?

Hope this is not too much.

Thanks in Advance

Regards,
AG
 

RICKYLO

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

Hi There,

Try this site. They have a very good development board and tutorial for beginners.

http://www.brunningsoftware.co.uk/index.htm

They have a very good training system on microcontrollers.

Cheers, Rickylo
 

bobsanjose

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Hi AG,
first of all, welcom to the exciting world of uCs, hope you will like it!
There is a nice book giving an introduction into the ARM microcontrollers that can be downloaded from Hitx in the UK: http://www.hitex.co.uk/arm/lpc2000book/index.html
To use this book the best way you would combine it with an Evaluation Board from Keil
www.keil.com/mcb2100
Lower cost evaluation boards would be e.g. from www.embeddedartists.com

One thing that was a significant issue between embedded developers and programmers coming from IT postitions is: Memory is limited and does cost money in the embedded world (at least if you design for higher volume applications).
Wisdom #2
The most expensive tools are those that you don't have or that don't work when you need them to finish your project.

Have fun in the embedded world! Bob
 

eng_ahmed22

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

hi ALL
i strongly recommend the Embedded C by Michael J. Pont
it is so easy for beginners specialy who have experience in c programming. it full by examples.
it use the 8051 µc and the keil software.
it is great for beginners.
you will find it in the books forum.

hope u enjoy with µc world.
bye
 

Jos Brink

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

bobsanjose said:
Hi AG,
first of all, welcom to the exciting world of uCs, hope you will like it!
There is a nice book giving an introduction into the ARM microcontrollers that can be downloaded from Hitx in the UK: h**p://www.hitex.co.uk/arm/lpc2000book/index.html
To use this book the best way you would combine it with an Evaluation Board from ke*il
www.ke*il.com/mcb2100
Lower cost evaluation boards would be e.g. from www.embeddedartists.com

One thing that was a significant issue between embedded developers and programmers coming from IT postitions is: Memory is limited and does cost money in the embedded world (at least if you design for higher volume applications).
Wisdom #2
The most expensive tools are those that you don't have or that don't work when you need them to finish your project.

Have fun in the embedded world! Bob
uhum, you want to let him start with ARM? i am a embedded programmer and i do not think that ARM is a good start for beginners.
If you have no experience of electronics, try to start easy. begin using prebuild boards like basicstamp.
I personaly started on the STK200 demo board from atmel and learned everything about uC's, not by just hitting some easy C code but i tried to understand every instruction in ASM of my program.

hint: take it slow and enjoy your first led's flashing.

Greetzz

jOS bRINK
 

aghazi

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

Thank you all for your help.

Currently i am reading Electronics for Dummies. On parallel i am also going through PIC microcontrollers online book from mikroElektronika.

AG
 

bobsanjose

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Jos,

AG has a lot of higher level software experience. Starting with an ARM might (just might) be easier than diving into the world of 8-bit.
You got a point though, for somebody without any programming experience an 8-bit micro is easier to understand.

Bob
 

aghazi

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Are these ARM processor same as those found in PDAs?

AG
 

bobsanjose

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Let's call them subsets in regards to the CPU and supersets in regards to some peripherals. The CPU in PDAs are usually based on ARM9 or XScale ARM processors. Code that is written for an ARM7 (which was my proposal) runs on an ARM9 but ARM9 code could use instructions unknown to an ARM7, therefore subset in the ARM7.
Peripherals are different. In a PDA, the ARM might have a LCD controller and high speed USB, the devices I recommended have several UARTs, SPI, I2C, ADCs and more timers than the higher end ARMs. Also, the high end ARMs need external memory to perform theirs tasks in a PDA, for embedded control, the 512 kBytes Flash in a microcontroller such as the LPC2138 are sufficient in many cases.

Bob
 

MSGHP

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if u want to work with AVRs have a look at http://www.avrfreaks.com it could be usefull.
also Proteus is a very good simulation software for microconrollers.
 

Code Warrior

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You can migrate from IT to EMBEDDED. But remember one thing the grow in embedded is slow and it takes time to master the microcontroller. Since embedded is a combination of hardware and software.
 

aghazi

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So bobsanjose adviced me to go for ARM, thuvu & MSGHP for AVRs. No one mentioned PICs. Are these obsolete or not good for beginners?
 

Code Warrior

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PIC are not obsolete it is still here around us. Microchip coming up with new devices also.
 

    aghazi

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Jos Brink

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

aghazi said:
So bobsanjose adviced me to go for ARM, thuvu & MSGHP for AVRs. No one mentioned PICs. Are these obsolete or not good for beginners?
I have one experience with microchip. it was a project for school. A simple simple "knight-rider" scanner with leds, toke me a full week to program. maybe i'm spoiled with ARV's 130 instructions. That PIC had only 13 instructions. to compare a 8bit char i had to write my own compare functions based on overflow bits. The smallest AVR has already about 100 powerfull RISC instructions.
And what is it with those pins of PIC.. Why would you like your reset pin in the middle of a 8bit bus???? Why do some of those pins only act as inputs.. DAmn.. no thank you.. i think that my way of thinking doesnt matches the ideas of microchip.

They have this MPLAB ide.. I think that enviroment is ok, but simulating ports sucks big time.

When the project was done. I toke the PIC's data sheet and hardware and gave it an one-way ticket to the shredder.

this may all sound kinda negative. but this is the way i see it.

Grreetszz and good luck with your choice..

Jos Brink
 

Code Warrior

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Start with any microcontroller. When you master one then it is very easy to take any other.
 

sunish

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

hai
i thinkthat you should start with 8051 based microcontrollers.
thay are the basic microcontrollers and very easy to learn.they are cheap also

sunish
 

Jos Brink

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

Jep, alot of the ucontrollers nowadays still have a good old 51 core. you can find m in al kind of sizes and with different peripherials (?)
But a good (free) compiler and programmer is hard to find.

Thats one of the reasons i started with atmel AVR's
If you want to start cheap. start on CodevisionAVR C compiler (100€) or the free AVR studio of course. but that is in Assembly. use these together with a STK demo board (100€) and you have al the tools you need including a programmer simulator and debugger.

goodluck!

sorry for my english.
 

narccizzo

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

I'VE BEEN WORKED WITH SOME 68HC11, 8051, AND PIC'S I RECOMMEND YOU START WITH PIC'S BECAUSE THE PIC'S INSTRUCTION SET IS VERY SIMPLE TO LEARN, THERE ARE FREE SAMPLES ON THE MICROCHIP WEB PAGE, A LOT OF SIMPLE, CHEAP AND POWERFULL PROGRAMMERS AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.. THE THOUSANDS OF INFO IN THE WEB. I HOPE YOU SELECT THE PIC'S.. YOU WILL NOT REPENT.
THIS IS ONE PROJECT WITH I START WITH PIC'S A FEW YEARS AGO.
HOPE YOU CAN MAKE THIS PROJECT
 

    aghazi

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ElecThai

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Re: 10yrs of IT experience & now want to play with µcont

I think use start learn basic microcontroller with microchip and solfware you CCS
complier related link WWW.microchip.com & WWW.CCSinfo.com
and i think pic have example very much
 

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