Andy's PIC Project Page
Links marked 'New' are probably less than 2 weeks old.
- Car computer. I have taken up Motor Sport, and to assist on regularity sections I have built this device. It measures
current speed, elapsed time, distance travelled and average speed. Look at my other
The only problem I have with this device (apart from having only 1 byte of program memory left) is the arithmetic
division routine. It seems to produce inconsisent results when the top bit of the divisor is set.
- Magnetic card reader. Using a magstripe reader that gives raw TTL data read off the card I have written a PIC program
to decode the data and show the card number on an LCD display. Useful for reading credit card numbers and expiry dates.
- Dallas Touch Memory reader. This is 'under development', I thought it would be fun and very interesting to investigate
Touch Memories. I have a DS1990A silicon serial number and DS1994 4Kbit RAM and clock. I am grateful to Dallas
Semiconductor (UK) for arranging the supply of these samples.
The PIC16C84 is a good choice for the beginner as you can put together a development system
very cheaply, and the chip may be programmed many times by virtue of its EEPROM memory.
Other members of the PIC family have EPROM program memory, which can slow the
development cycle when you have to erase them.
My PIC16C84 development system comprises
If you want to build anything using a PIC then buy the Embedded Controller Handbook from Arizona Microchip.
There are loads of applications in it and it shows source code and circuit diagrams that really work, so
you can get an idea of what can be done, and how to do it...
- Programmer's File Editor (PFE) for editing. This was developed by Alan Phillips at Lancaster University, and I cannot praise it highly enough.
- MPALC.EXE - PIC assembler. This is obsolete, and has been superceded by MPASM, but I use it anyway.
- A programmer which connects to the parallel port. There is a circuit for one in application note AN589.
- PROG84.EXE - PIC16C84 object file downloader for Windows - I wrote this as I needed something to control the AN589 programmer. It is based on a DOS version by David Tait, who designed his own programmer and control software.
- A target system - Very easy to construct, usually a PIC, a crystal and a voltage regulator, plus displays and switches of course.
Beginner's Buying List
For developing applications on the PIC16C84 you might need the following...
Note: I believe my PIC '84 programmer (PROG84.EXE) will work under Windows '95 although I
have not tested it.
- The Embedded Controller Handbook (buy it from Maplin, Farnell and RS amongst others)
- The PIC16C84 help file from TRISYS Inc. (an up-to-date version may be found at TRISYS Inc.'s Home Page)
- PFE (free from many FTP sites, and from Alan's PFE page)
- MPASM (from Microchip's Web Page)
- MPSIM (a PIC simulator)
- Application note AN589
- PIC16C84 programmer for AN589 under Windows 3.1x
- Latest version 0.6VB programmer for AN589 under Windows 3.1x
- A PIC16C84 chip built into a target circuit (Many thanks to Steve Marchant for allowing
me to use a copy of his original test circuit.) This is also available as a PDF file from
UK PIC Meeting Place. Hopefully this page will grow as more
people want to publish job offers and exchange services. (last update 10 Oct 1996)
The BASIC Stamp
Parallax are a company who support PICs. They have developed a product called the
BASIC Stamp, which is a PIC programmed with a BASIC interpreter. You write your program in BASIC, and
it runs it for you. This is an excellent solution where you want to do fairly high-level things, like
lots of maths, and you don't want to code it in assembler. The Stamp costs about £35 and the development
system costs about £150 (in the UK). There is currently only one UK dealer: Milford Instruments, Milford House,
120 High Street, South Milford, LEEDS LS25 5AQ. Phone 01977 683665 (24hrs), FAX 01977 681465
No web page, but you can e-mail Ed Buckley there.
Parallax also do a range of PIC development tools including programmers, compilers and assemblers, and emulators.
If you know of any more good stuff then mail me and I shall put it here. This is the page for PIC users.
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This page is maintained by
Andrew Errington (firstname.lastname@example.org)