Pic 16F84A Programming

All right, I don't know much about electronics so try to bear with me here. I got all the stuff I need to program a Pic hardware wise, but I swear to god I have had it with the programs. CDLite and Epicwin and all that stuff basically sucks. Everything costs money, or is a crappy trial and all I want to do is program a damn Pic in Picbasic. Every program I get is missing files or is for the wrong OS (I'm on XP). I don't know C, C+ or anything but I do know how to work in DOS well. Is there hope for me? Can anybody help me out?

Thanks, Nick

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Well, you could drop picbasic and use assembler. The PIC only has 33 opcodes, and the architecture is pretty simple. The free tools from microchip are sufficient for this. There are flash tutorials on their site to teach you how to do this, not to mention lots of patient folks and code samples on

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If you really can't get this far, then you can go for the stamp architecture, which has everything layed out for you, at a price.

-- Regards, Bob Monsen

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Robert Monsen


Here's a definitely 'non-crappy' trial PIC simulation and programming package which will cost you a mere USD-19 if you can spare it.

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IMHO, they don't come much better than this at the price. FREE is nice but you can spend half your life looking for it. Just like a motorist driving from petrol station to petrol station looking for the cheapest fuel. Cheers - Joe

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Joe McElvenney


First, you have to get yourself a programmer, that means the device wich will program your PIC and the software that controls it. I suggest you to take a look at this web site :

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. This software is great. On the page you will find many low cost programmer hadware schematics that you can build yourself if you're willing to do some soldering (or prototyping). Personnaly, I use the free Microchip MPLAB IDE available on their website
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. This software supports asm and picbasic (I think). There is also a simulator included in this software.

Once your .hex is builded with mplab, you use ic-prog and the programmer you've built to upload your program in the PIC.

Do some googleing about pic programming, you'll find a lot of information on the web.


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Nick, it sounds to me like you're in the right state of mind for moving to full machine code. Take total control and feel the raw power of these chips. Download the MPLAB assembler from Microchip and use that. There's about 30 native PIC machine code instructions to play with. They've not really a great difference from the Basic Commands you want to prog' with anyway. The resulting quality of your prog' will be entirely down to you and not some third parties, naff, buggy software. (BTW, the good 'ole 16F84 is now little used. The similar but much enhanced

16F628 version, is the starter chip of choice). regards john
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john jardine

I understand your frustration.

For what it is worth, I chose, a couple of years ago, to opt to purchase the MatrixMultimedia PIC development board plus the C programming package. I should add that I was familiar with the C language. Total cost ran about $200. After playing around with the system and running through the tutorial I put it aside. Anyway, a couple of months ago I dusted it off and I started on a couple of ambitious projects, one of which is a PIC controlled electronic ignition system. Programming in a High Level language (HOL) like C has enabled me to develop programs quickly and effectively.

Using a HOL I was able to make program changes, load the latest version on the PIC, pop the PIC out of the ZIF socket and into the engine controller and test it out in a rapid development mode. I believe that the $200 was very well spent.

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I am so glad I came across your post. I have PICBasic (not the pro version), and I needed a better way to get started on a project involving an LCD readout. I demoed and then bought Vladimir's simulator program, and it is worth much more than the $19. Not only is it a great simulation, but the built in BASIC compiler includes LCD instructions.

Cheers, Ted

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