Electronics > Microcontrollers

Which mcu for beginner??

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jackbob:
So I'm looking to start getting more into mcu's and have not a clue where to start. I can say that I have an arduino UNO and it has been great. I will gladly purchase another arduino as they are so handy as far as having everything on one board and slots for inputs and outputs. I don't want to be one of those who just sticks with one mcu and nothing else so I want to expand to something else. I'm thinking a pic kit but I'm not sure how the program works. The arduino program has not let me down and I like it so far. I don't have much experience with c programming so it's frustrating at times, but that's how I learn. Are pics easy to program and use?? What language do pics use? Thanks,

Jacob.

EEVblog:
PIC's, including almost every other microcontroller have C compilers, and that is what most people use.
The difference between an Arduino and a "raw" microcontroller is that the Auduino environment takes care of the all the "low level" stuff like setting up registers to get your program working.
PIC, AVR, MSP430, etc etc are all essentially the same in terms of programming difficultly in C, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a nitpicking fanboy  ::)

Dave.

Chet T16:
I got one of those MSP430 dev boards and it was such a pain to try and get and install the necessary software that i threw it in one of the storage boxes and forgot about it

vtl:

--- Quote from: Chet T16 on October 17, 2011, 08:21:50 am ---I got one of those MSP430 dev boards and it was such a pain to try and get and install the necessary software that i threw it in one of the storage boxes and forgot about it

--- End quote ---
I didn't have any such problems, pressed the install button and it worked.

The MSP board is great because you can also use it as a programmer for any of the larger chips. For example I did a project with the MSP430F5437 chip in a qfp80 package and programmed it with the launchpad board. You can just have jumper wires for the 2 programming pins from the dev board to your project board.

I always cringe when I see a project where they're using a development board for an entire project. A $40 board to do some trivial embedded task is just retarded so its always nice to just program a cheap MCU and stick it into a perfboard or custom pcb

mikeselectricstuff:

--- Quote from: vtl on October 17, 2011, 08:35:50 am ---I always cringe when I see a project where they're using a development board for an entire project. A $40 board to do some trivial embedded task is just retarded so its always nice to just program a cheap MCU and stick it into a perfboard or custom pcb

--- End quote ---
For a beginner (or an experienced user learning a new part), starting with a devboard can save a lot of time, as you eliminate a large proportion of possible errors that prevent a first program working - power reset, programing, oscillator etc.
Unless you value your time very cheaply, the material cost is not very significant compared to time saved.

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