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PICList Thread
'code for 16c57 capacitance meter 2nd request'
1998\03\06@202053 by WIL REEDER

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I have built a circuit (poptronics & PE Jan 96) by Robert Gotchall. the asm
file from gernsback has errors
mostly due to a missing include file that is different from the std
microchip file that was not in the download.
There are also errors such as portb defined as port_b etc. and some
registers that are not defined. Does anyone have one of these working and
can supply the error free code?? or any other solution?? such as Robert
Gotchall are you out there???
The project I am doing is an autoranging  cap tester that uses a pic 16c57
as its main
component
I can't believe the mess gernsback is in. there are always PAGES of error
corrections for
the prev. issue projects and articles and when you try to use the links on
their home pages to
contact them they either go to some poor stranger who has no idea what you
are on about or
they are returned undeliverable. Anybody else have the same problem??
I however, have elected build this project and the code with some 300+
errors is beyond my scope to repair

Thanks

Wil Reeder
Vancouver Canada
spam_OUTteachtechTakeThisOuTspambc.sympatico.ca

1998\03\08@192434 by myke predko

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Hi Wil,

I downloaded the same code and gave up as soon as I saw all those errors.  I
don't know what assembler he used.  You should note that there is a series
of kits available (Programmed PIC, Programmed PIC and Bare Board, and
Complete kit) that you can buy that would make the creation of the project
easier.

I've been getting increasingly annoyed at the hobbyist magazines because
they only publish circuits by companies that if you want them to work, you
have to buy their kits.  The problems lie in the code not being available,
non-standard parts are used (and the only source seems to be the author),
like this one, the source code presented can't be assembled or the author
won't respond to queries.  This has been a problem for me for years as I've
tried to build the projects in magazines (book author's seem to have more
integrity  ;^)  ).

Two years ago, I spent three months trying to get an I/R remote controlled
robot that was presented in Electronics Now! to work.  When I finally got it
working, I used literally nothing from the author's design (and learned just
about nothing from it).  I never got the code to work in MPLAB, the Sony I/R
codes presented in the article were inaccurate (both in terms of timing and
values) and the transistors specified for the H-Bridge couldn't be found
anywhere (including Future/Active, Digi-Key, Newark and Marshall).  The
author was selling a kit for $130 (USD).

In a recent issue of Nuts 'n Volts, somebody noted that there was three PIC
projects in the magazine.  If you had looked through them, you would have
seen that for two of the projects, programmed PICs were available from the
author, with no source code available.

To be fair, these might be the only people willing to offer articles for
publication (because the pay is so low to reimbursed for publishing the
article you have to sell the kit).  As well, the authors may not want to
support people who are trying to replicate their designs but don't know what
they are doing.

After reading an article and I'm interested in the project, the first thing
I do is check the Bill of Material and if it says "Programmed PIC available
from" and no source for the code, I forget about trying to build it.

The capacitance meter was interesting for me for the self-calibrating LC
tank circuit.  Which is why I tried to download the code; I found it just
about incomprehensible and a lot of work to modify to get it working under
MPASM.

I've been thinking about writing a letter to Gernsbeck and Nuts 'n Volts
(although I had a run in with a Circuit Cellar project last year) asking
that before publishing an article:

1.  They see working hardware/software.

2.  The author makes all source code available and somebody at the magazine
assembles/compiles it on standard development tools (ie MPLAB for PICs) to
make sure it works.  Source code should be available on the web.

3.  That the Bill of Material is checked and all parts can be found in
standard catalogs (or, ideally, Radio Shack).

4.  Gerbers, Aperature files and Drill files for bare boards should be
available on the web as well, so readers can make (or have made) their own
raw cards.

5.  If kits or parts are available, then for article readers, they are
available at some reasonable mark up above cost (say no more than $5).

6.  Author's are held responsible for answering reader's questions.  This
should be done preferably on the web.

7.  Payments to authors is increased to a reasonable level ($500 for an
article just isn't worth the time) - Ideally based on a reader feedback
system in which well received articles result in more money.

I think if these requirements were followed, then everybody would benefit.

Any comments?

myke

{Quote hidden}

"If people don't know what you're doing, they don't know what you're doing
wrong." - Sir Humphrey Appleby K.C.B

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