Hi, my name is Byron Jeff. I'm a PhD candidate at Georgia Tech and a
Asst. Prof. of Computer Science at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta.
I think the mailing list is a great idea.
Anyway I just wanted to get the discussion going. After hearing about
the PIC 16C5X parts in Circuit Cellar INK, I quickly made friends with
my local Microchip Representative. I've gotten some samples of the
16C71, 16C54, and later on some 25 Mhz 17C42's.
Unfortunately I've had neither the time or the equipment to exploit
these chips yet.
I have a few areas of interest I'd like to share with you. Feel free to
send mail if you'd like to discuss it.
- Device programmers. Most of the talk on the sci.electronics newsgroup
has been about a homebrew 16C84 programmer. I can see why most folks
are attracted to the part because of the EEPROM. But while the PIC
programmers available are relatively inexpensive, there isn't a cheap
way to program all the PIC family members and adding up the costs of
the different programmers can get quit expensive. So in the small
amount of spare time I have I've been working up a design for a device
Unfortunately device programmers are usually a catch-22
situation: the best way to build a device programmer is to start with
a programmed device. So my first target is going to be the PIC 17C42.
(BTW DIGI KEY is selling the 17C42 and the new 16C64.) There was an
article in Electronics NOW for a 16C5X programmer (that used a 17C42)
and it had a small blurb about a 17C42 programmer (that used a 8749 Intel
microcontroller). It seemed way too complicated. I'm planning on
bootstrapping from a PC.
- Languages - I've seen the adds for a C compiler for the PIC 16C5X series.
Seems like going duck hunting with a bazooka. I'm teaching a class in
system software development and 2 of the projects are a simple assembler
and compiler. I've choosen the PIC platform as the target. Unfortunately
none of my students completed the whole project. But I've been working
on it the compiler on and off. The language is a simpified C syntax.
I have the scanner, parser and expression evaluator done. All that's
left is code generation.
Because of this class I also have the shell of an assembler. Not that
PIC assembly is hard to do! I know that Microchip has assemblers for
their parts but it's MSDOS only and they don't have source available.
I'm a Linux user myself so DOS based tool have no real use for me.
In fact the Microchip DOS assemblers crash my Linux DOS emulator.
For the assembler I'm planning on MICROCHIP format only (no parallax
meta stuff) and just enough so that the compiler can use it.
BTW nothing is finished. However I'm hoping to spend some time next
month finishing up.
- Applications - My main hobby is computer based music. I'm currently
designing a hardware MIDI sequencer that's going to use PIC's for
IO processors for devices such as the keyboard/mouse, LCD display,
and MIDI serial ports. The main processor is a Motorola 68340 board
I put together last year.
Anyway just wanted to get the ball rolling on the mailing list. Tell us
about what you're trying to do with PIC parts.
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