Electronics > Microcontrollers

Learning Microcontrollers

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I would like to learn how to program and use microcontrollers but I'm confused ??? I've read most of the topics here but didn't help much, I'm really starting from zero in this subject. Probably I won't never need this knowledge professionally but maybe for some personal projects like using sensors and switches to control something.

I saw some cheap development boards in ebay that seem ideal for what I want like this one:


or this one:


I'm comfortable with C language, can you give an idea of what kind of software tools I could use with these boards? Could I use the manufacturer developer tools?

Do you have any other suggestion without being much more expensive?


you can use a good programmer (usually from the manufacturer) and a breadboard if you want. It's all down to what you want to do and how much gadgetry you want

I would like something simple and cheap to start with. I don't have any particular project in mind, just want to learn how to make the program, load it to the micro and test it.
What attracted me on those boards is the fact that i have already in the pcb switches and leds to simulate an input and output.


the one with the removable chip you linked is nice. you can program an atmel and put it in another circuit. but dip only, for soic or qfp, you need an adapter for it. but can be easily build if you have the materials.
dev kit like this is a good starter as you dont need an additional programmer to program the chip. arduino ide or avrstudio with avrdude can do the job.

If you are completely new to micros, definitely check out MBED: http://mbed.org/ , their cookbook, examples and user community guarantees you will have a project up and running in a few steps, I had USB MIDI working in 5min!

The plus side is you are working with a 32bit arm micro so you have a lot of power, the down side is that if you want to build something from scratch and don't want to use their module than its a lot harder than a PIC or something.


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