Author Options:

Getting started with PIC's, what do I get? Answered

I have been fiddling with Arduinos for quite a while now, I would like to get some PICs, because they are WAY cheaper, and you have to do more to get them to work, not just plug 'n play. I am going to get 2 free sample 16f648a's from MicroChip for an 8x8 matrix game like this one:https://www.instructables.com/id/Christmas-card-with-inbuilt-retro-video-game-for-u/  any suggestions for other PICs to get from MicroChip? Also, what is a good cheap programmer, or one I could build?
Thanks a lot,

I am pretty good at soldering and electronics, so if anyone has ideas of other fun projects that would be cool.


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

11 years ago

 I agree with gmoon, if you have been working with arduinio then it will be easier to transition to AVR than PIC.  I started working with AVR and arduino a while ago, and I can tell you that they both use C, wheras pic uses pbasic.  So dont put yourself through the hassle of learning a whole new language.

If you choose to go with AVR:  I got the AVRISP mkII from digikey (programmer).  You could find a similar one that you could make yourself at ladyada.net (kit)
or just get the pcb there and get the parts from digikey, mouser, whatever you like.
You would first want to get through some of the basics (hello world stuff) with some LEDs.  all you need is an avr chip (I'm using the attiny25), a programmer, LED with resistor, decoupling capacitor, and a power supply.

Programming wise, AVRGCC and AVR Studio 4.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to pm me if you need any help.  I do can do programming and electronics.


11 years ago

You might search here for AVR.

They're almost as cheap as PICs, and there's a totally free "C" programming environment (AVR-GCC) which is lacking on PICs.

Plus there are simple DAPA programmer projects posted here, too--search for "ghetto programmer." And you've already started down the AVR road, anyway (the arduino.)