help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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I am looking for a micro-controller to use for my varsity project (ham
radio).  I am not a great expert in micro-controllers and am not quite
sure what uC's I should considering.  My priorities with choosing the
uC are as follows:

- General: Reliable and some sort of support available for the uC
  would be great.  Relatively affordable.

- Hardware:
  Code Memory - 16-32K
  Internal RAM - >256 bytes
  UART - At least one
  Preferably SPI (in-system programmable)
  Preferably DIP version available
  Preferably low voltage (5-10V ?)
  Preferably >15 I/O pins

  The code memory is because I intend to use C and am not yet sure
  about the potential length of my  program could  come to,
  whereas the RAM is to store packets that may be larger than 256
  bytes that can be dealt with in memory as fast as possible.  At
  least one UART should be present, though more than one would be
  great.  An onboard FSK 1200 baud modem chip would be super but
  not absolutely needed.  A reasonable amount of I/O lines would
  be great.

- Programming :in C (for free):  This is a must. Maybe I'll
  consider other medium-level languages like Visual Basic/etc,
  but not assembly.  I am familiar with assembly before and I'd
  definitely prefer C in any case, probably using assembly only
  in certain routines.  I'm also looking for a free C compiler
  since varsity won't be assisting financially and I'm not exactly
  loaded with cash.  The PIC would have been a great choice in this
  aspect but I won't be using the PIC and 8051 for my project
  (regulations).

- Other:  A programmer.  I'm not highly familiar with uC's, and
  for the 8051 and PIC there are lots of programmers available.
  What happens when the uC is new/with not a lot of support?  Does
  the user have to try and design one him/herself?  I would like
  to choose a uC that has a programmer (schematic) already
  available.

I really need to make sure that I chose a reliable microcontroller that
I would be happy with.  I would like to look at all possible
uC's available with regard to the above criteria.

Help would be highly appreciated.
Renjith


Re: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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Well,

Have a look at the Atmel site.
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/datasheets.asp?family_id60%7
The ATmega8 for instance seems to fullfill all your needs. Programming
circuits can be found easily and you can also find a GNU C-compiler for
free.

You can also find similar PIC and 8051 controllers so what strange
regulations make you have to look for others?

petrus bitbyter


Re: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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...


Because the teacher said so.

Cheers!
Rich


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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(ham
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quite

Many microcontrollers suit your needs. But I would recommend the
ATmega32. Plenty of flash and RAM for you, DIP package, ISP etc. The
board is supported by numerous free programmers, or you can buy the
official development board (STK500) which is <US$80. C compiler
(avrgcc) is free. I've done several contract projects using exactly
this combination and I'm very happy with it.

BTW, 5V is considered a high-voltage part these days.


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
When did ham radio get to be HAM radio?  "Ham" is not an abbreviation.

VY 73
N4TMI

P.S. I know the story about H.A.M. standing for the names of 3 ships, and I
know that it's pure fiction.



Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
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How about the story of messrs. Hyman, Almy and Murray?

73!

--

Tauno Voipio, OH2UG
tauno voipio (at) iki fi


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
Thanks a lot petrus and l..., I took a look at the
ATMega series and many of the uC's there seem highly
suitable for my needs.  However could you also mention
a list of other possible uC's just for information sake
if you dont mind ?  Someone suggested the Motorola 68xxx series
to me which I've also looked at and seem promising but I haven't heard
anyone else mention about it.  Thanks a lot for your suggestions and
I'd really appreciate any other feedback.


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
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If you are wanting to compare microcontrollers, you could always look at
the Motorola HC08 series. A table of features is at:

http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/taxonomy.jsp?nodeId01%6246844976638634

Simon.

--
Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP      
Microsoft: The Standard Oil Company of the 21st century

Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
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You will find plenty of more information on the AVR on the www.avrfreaks.net
website.
Tools:

* AVR Studio       - Assembler/Debugger/Simulator/ICE Frontend.
* STK500             - Development Kit/includes an In System Programmer
* JTAGICE Mk II - Low cost emulator, allows you to download code, run, set
breaks and singlstep.
* WinAVR            - gcc compiler for the AVR

Some commercial compilers
* IAR
* Imagecraft (Hi Richard!)
* Codevision


--
Best Regards,
Ulf Samuelsson
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Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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Here is that story:

http://www.w8eup.org/orgin_of_word_ham.cfm

Interesting, I had no idea where it came from before.


--
Roger J.

Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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Apparently that's an urban legend.

http://www.ac6v.com/hamlid.htm

"Unfortunately for this story, none of it checks out. A past president
of the ARRL did extensive research in an attempt to confirm this
story. There is nothing in the Congressional record about little station
HAM. There is nothing in contemporary press records. And there
is no record of a Hyman, Almay, or Murray at Harvard at the time
this supposedly happened. This story first surfaced in an amateur
publication in 1948, and doesn't seem likely to die. But it appears
to have no factual basis."


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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Maybe it's just an abbreviation of "hammerchewer"

--
Then there's duct tape ...
              (Garrison Keillor)


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points


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Right, it's an acronym.  AIUI, Home Amateur Mechanic was a real magazine
that ran real articles about building your own amateur radios.


Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points


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I second that ..

I'm using the Atmel AVR Series because of the free development tools
(AvrStudio the free debugger/simulator/assembler from Atmel) , AvrGCC
the free GNU C compilder (WinAVR is the windows version , on
sourcefourge) , and the great support on www.avrfreaks.net

http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=index

Click on Maximize in the forum to get a better view



Well and the obvious , its a great MCU with a lot of different types
to suit every need , and it beats the he.. out if most Pic's
speedwise, with the abillity to run 16 MIPS.


The Mega32 fits fine in this little board , costs ~15$ , and i think
www.sparkfun.com  is US distro.
http://www.olimex.com/dev/avr-p40b-8535.html

I use this one as programmer , with PonyProg ~10$
http://www.olimex.com/dev/avr-pg1b.html

You can build your own system on a breadboard with just a 7805 , the
Mega32 comes with internal Oscillator if low clock accuracy is ok.

A nice"Build your own starterkit on a  breadboard" link..
http://homepage.sunrise.ch/mysunrise/peterfleury/avr-starterkit.html
Ohh...  if you are using the new ATmega series.
You dont need the "Xtal and Ceramic Capacitors , if you run off the
internal oscillator. And dont need the Reset chip , its build into the
Mega series.


Have a look at the site in general
http://homepage.sunrise.ch/mysunrise/peterfleury/index.html


Regards
Carsten

Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
Hi,
Try to "search" the Internet for projects similar to your project.
There are many HAM radio projects utilizing different microcontrollers.
Some use PIC microcontrollers, some AVR, some '51, some ...
A small collection of pages that I have in my "bookmarks" :
    http://homepages.compuserve.de/WoBuescher/DL4YHF/pic_key.html
    http://www.qsl.net/zl1bpu/micro /
    http://www.myplace.nu/avr/minidds/index.htm
    http://www.qsl.net/zl1bpu/micro/SIGGEN/Siggen.htm
    http://www.commlinx.com.au/microcontroller.htm
    http://www.qsl.net/ok2tej/elbug/elbuge.html

Best regards,
Jacek.

Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points

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I would recommend the 8051 and its variants. Philips make a good range with
various sizes of code and data spaces and all have ISP. There are many free
simulators available and many of the major IDE vendors have evaluation
versions with a 2K or 4K code limit to get you going in C. For bigger
programs you can use the free C compiler SDCC.

Ian
--
Ian Bell

Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
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One often overlooked microcontroller is the Zilog Encore Z8. It is a
3.3V process, comes in DIP, supports C (they have a compiler for it,
it's not GCC) and supports source level debugging through a debug pin.
Look at the website. They usually have eval kits (I got one a few years
ago for less than $100) which comes with a processor, some peripherals,
a couple of RS232 ports (one for debugging, one for talking to the thing
through the UART).

I found it quite nice, until I discovered PICs. The main advantage I
find with PICs are that they come in 8 pin, internal clock packages.
Thus, they are that they are incredibly simple to prototype with.

--
Regards,
   Robert Monsen

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Re: help: Choosing a MicroController (HAM radio) and some other points
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  So do the Z8 Flash parts ? ( but only recently )
-jg


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