Newbie seeks help with microcontroller and electronics

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I want to use a microcontroller for several projects that will
basically need to accept commands from a PC and drive stepper motors
based on those commands.  I've played around with AVRStudio from
ATMEL, and based on the simulator that it provides, I think I can
handle the software side of it without a problem, but I need some
hardware help.

Here's what I was thinking about:

For the microcontroller either a ATMEL with the STK500, or a PIC with
??? to program it?, or the Zilog Z8 Encore development kit.  Comments?

Also, what items would you recommend for someone on a tight budget to
experiment around with?  Can you think of a handful of chips, or
components that I could get that would give me a good feel for putting
circuits together and testing them?  I just want to get a good
assortment of goodies to play with and try to understand the basics
before I move on.

thanks,
art

Re: Newbie seeks help with microcontroller and electronics
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http://www.dontronics.com/auto.html
and
http://www.dontronics.com/dt006.html
may help


--
Don McKenzie  E-mail:    http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html
              Home Page: http://www.dontronics.com

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Re: Newbie seeks help with microcontroller and electronics
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Maybe it's too late now, but I offer a low cost ATmega128 based development
board, either as bare pcb or a complete kit. I offer ATmega128 cpus or cpu
kits as well. A tiny ATmega128 based module will come up soon. See
www.lins.de/avr for details. The schematics and layouts are also freely
available for download (for self etching purposes).

Cheers,
ER!K

---
LINS Technologies
http://www.lins.de




Re: Newbie seeks help with microcontroller and electronics
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Comments?

Take a look at the Z8 Encore Development kit (Z8F64200100KIT) for
$39.95.  There is a C compiler included with the kit.  I think that
the Z8ENCORE000ZCO has more stuff on it but the i/o is only 3.3V.  The
Z8F64200100KIT is 3.3V with 5V tolerant I/O.  The new versions of the
eZ8 are all going to be 3.3V with 5V tolerant I/O.

Zilog has a serveral example programs on the CD and web site.  There
is also a Yahoo user group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z8encore /
that has some files and other help.

Bradley

Re: Newbie seeks help with microcontroller and electronics
As for PIC, I bought an ICD2 (simple debugger/programmer module) and the
PICDEM2 board. The PICDEM2 came with a PIC16F877A and an PIC18F452. The PICDEM2
board comes with a buzzer, some push buttons, LEDs, temperature sensor, pot
(for ADC), and a 2-line LCD. There are different size DIP sockets for other
PICs.

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