Electronics > Microcontrollers

From the Picaxe to - what?

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Jakob2803:
Hello, I've used the Picaxe for some time, starting in school and then using them at home. I would like to move on to something more advanced, like the Arduino or PIC MCUs.
So... which one is better for me? >inb4 shitstorm
With both of them I will have to program in C (or C#??), so that is the same.
How about speed-wise? The arduino has a bootloader, but wouldn't the Pic have that too, if I was going to use an ICSP? Which one of these would be the fastest? The difference is probably small but nice to know anyway.
What I am looking for is a small board, with just the necessities for programming the MCU, and some pinheaders for connecting to stuff off-board.
The Duemilanove seems like the cheapest Arduino at 15 Euros. What would be the cheapest solution, for PIC?

Plecharts:
I cannot say much about PICs, but most of the time it works the same. I would recommend you to get an Arduino, not a Duemilanove, but one of the new models, Leonardo or Uno. Arduino has really great user base, so if you encounter a problem, you can get your question answered in a few minutes on the official forums. All Arduino boards are programmed in something between C and C++, I think you can do the same with PICs.

Speed-wise, both of the platforms are more or less the same, while there are so many chips that offer so many different configurations you will surely be able to get the one you need. When using the board for development, you will probably use a bootloader, but that only adds a delay when you power-up the chip. With Arduino you can use ICSP to program the chip without using a bootloader, but it is slower and does not add that many advantages as you would think.

Jakob2803:

--- Quote from: Plecharts on March 18, 2013, 07:40:11 pm ---I cannot say much about PICs, but most of the time it works the same. I would recommend you to get an Arduino, not a Duemilanove, but one of the new models, Leonardo or Uno. Arduino has really great user base, so if you encounter a problem, you can get your question answered in a few minutes on the official forums. All Arduino boards are programmed in something between C and C++, I think you can do the same with PICs.

Speed-wise, both of the platforms are more or less the same, while there are so many chips that offer so many different configurations you will surely be able to get the one you need. When using the board for development, you will probably use a bootloader, but that only adds a delay when you power-up the chip. With Arduino you can use ICSP to program the chip without using a bootloader, but it is slower and does not add that many advantages as you would think.

--- End quote ---
Thanks for the input! :) I am looking around for some PIC boards in the same price range. Does anyone know of a PIC solution at a similar price and set-up difficulty?

AndyC_772:
Given the choice, I'd say go for the PIC every time.

The simple reason is that you can embed a PIC into any project you like. It's just a chip, and they come in all kinds of packages and pin counts. But with any kind of "...uino", you're stuck buying a complete pre-assembled board, and that's an extra cost and a load of extra space you have to find on every project you ever do with one.

The basic circuit to get a PIC up and running is literally just a power supply, the chip itself, one pull-up resistor (between MCLR and VCC - don't forget it!), a decoupling capacitor or two, and a 6 pin programming header. That's it, you can build it on a breadboard in a couple of minutes. Once you're done breadboarding, the same chip fits straight into a piece of stripboard, or you can go for as small a surface mount package as you can handle and put it on a PCB.

AndyC_772:

--- Quote from: Jakob2803 on March 18, 2013, 08:18:30 pm ---Thanks for the input! :) I am looking around for some PIC boards in the same price range. Does anyone know of a PIC solution at a similar price and set-up difficulty?

--- End quote ---

Get yourself a PICKIT 3 Debug Express and follow the tutorials. Gooligum Electronics also have some great training packages.

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