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How do i program microcontrollers? Answered

I have never done work with microcontrollers so i really need help here. 

-What supplies do i need?
-Do i need any software?
-are there any guides out there?



Best Answer 9 years ago

All you ned to know can be found at htt'://www.picaxe.com - manuals are PDF files for free and the set up come in a little cheaper than the opposition or a LOT cheaper than some although for some high speed applications you may need to select carefully, in general their product is suitable for most things.

I do not work for them or have any contact but have used their product for over 10 years very happily.

Great support forum as well.


9 years ago

Easiest is to start with one of the prototyping boards which combines a microcontroller with some support hardware and the software development environment you need. The Arduino family of cards is popular, which means there are a lot of tutorials (and Instructables) based on them. There are others, of course.


9 years ago

There are 2 families of uC out there: more 'development' based systems, and then 'production' systems. Dev kits are more expensive per unit and often include a programming tool 'free'ish (often limited). Production is for after you've designed and programmed, and want to make a bajillion of something.

For a quick and simple one-off there's not much easier than Arduino to learn (www.arduino.cc)  They will run you between 15 (built it yourself) and 40 dollars (fully assembled and ready to prototype).  They're a little more idiot-proof and the learning curve is much more gentle.

If you raelly want to get into designing some heavy duty stuff, each manufacturer is slightly different.  Among these are AT, PIC, TI, basic stamp etc.  Most require
  1. the chips themselves
  2. a circuit for them to live in.  some can be programmed in circuit, others require being programmed in a separate programmer
  3. programmer hardware -- often usb and acts as a serial interface for the software to tell the chip what to do
  4. the software.  Most chips are programmed in C, but this is not a hard rule, the compiler can usually spit out the compiled code from a lot of languages.

if you search here on instructables, you'll find a LOT of information on programming microcontrollers.