I would like to

Enter the embedded worold but where do I start? Wich hardware is best for a beginer, (I am retired, so it's only for fun??) which tools are best ( with same remarcs ) where to buy them, cost? BTW: I live in Belgium Maybe other questions, answers?? Many thanks André

Reply to
Andre
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Buy one of the development kits with lcd/switches/pots etc. They are cheap, readily available and ready to go, usually with lots of online assistance available.

The main advantage of this approach is you can get up and going easily and not get disheartened.

My personal favorite is the Microchip Pic but others have their favorites!

Microchip have heaps of online support, they're inexpensive, good support forums, a free & pretty striaght forward development environment......

Reply to
Dennis

and one of the worst achitecture ever (wella actually was good 30 years ago)...

Bye Jack

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Reply to
Jack

First of all you can use a piece of software like Proteus which emulates microcontrollers and a lot of other circuitry. After understanding the basics you can make your own development board easily. IMHO Atmel's AVR architecture is a lot easier to use than PIC for the beginner. The programmer can also be home-made like USBAsp or even using a couple resistors and wires connected to the parallel port.

The most interesting micros for hobbyists in my opinion is ST's STM32. The STM32F100C4T6 is cheaper than all the AVRs and PICs in my country. It also easily outperform any avr. To program it you need only a serial port (it has a built-in bootloader which can not be erased). There is also an open-source debugger/programmer named Versaloon. But the learning curve for STM32 is a little higher than the simple AVRs.

Reply to
Anar

Google "Arduino"

Free software, lots of examples, cheap hardware

Reply to
hamilton

Wikipedia is often a good starting point.

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Reply to
Noob

It depends. The PIC32 family is pretty good, some medium ones are decent. But I agree that the smaller devices are pretty bad.

Reply to
Arlet Ottens

True. For the 1970's. Even in the 1990's they were the fastest things we could get for the money.

But if you're working through a C compiler you don't have to care. A design called for an Internet-controlled device driver. I prototyped in C for ATMega128 and a Wiznet module. The client didn't use AVR, so they ported the program to PIC16 (I think it was, could have been PIC18.) Before production they had re-ported to PIC32 with its own TCP/IP stack. The C app went through it all unchanged, except for a few lines in specific device routines. I guess the last port was helped by the Wiznet emulating software sockets as well as it did.

Mel.

Reply to
Mel Wilson

Microchip is so interesting that way. The core sucks, but the peripherals are good, the current-drive capability of the I/O can't be beat, and the company seems to be as reliable as can be for dependable delivery and decent price.

I know that when I have my hardware-guy hat or my purchasing-guy hat on, Microchip usually wins hands down. It's only when I put on my software- guy hat that I start bitching.

(50MHz, specified to operate at 125C, a not-unreasonable instruction set for assembly-language programming -- how can we go wrong?)

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Reply to
Tim Wescott

Subscribe to Nuts & Volts, Circuit Cellar, or Elektor. Elektor is Euro, and comes in both a Dutch-language and a French-language version, so depending on which flavor of Belgian you are you can get the 'zine in the language you want to read. Or, you can get the English-language version.

Even though I'm a professional, I subscribe to Circuit Cellar. I do it mostly for the ads, because there's a lot of engineers at small-volume companies that read it, so there's a lot of useful advertising content. But the articles and columns are definitely worthwhile, too.

As far as the actual hardware and software, that depends a lot on you: do you want to do Big Embedded, little embedded, what's your technical background, etc. Certainly when I start a project one of the first tasks is selecting a suitable processor.

My top four to consider would be:

The Arduino. I've never used it, but you've heard a sample of the good things I've heard of it. I have an acquaintance in the area that does consulting who uses the Arduino routinely for little one-off jobs.

The Basic Stamp. (If you can still get it). It's a PIC that's been programmed with a Basic interpreter. You write in a Really Easy language so you get started quicker, but it's a Really Limited environment, which means that at some point you're in a clear box with no food, looking at some really enticing stuff just outside. (See my "effort vs. toolchain" post for my opinion on this).

One of the ARM Cortex M3 or M0 parts. I recommend this with trepidation because they're big and complicated, but with enthusiasm because once you get your head wrapped around them they'll do _anything_ you want, and the price differential between one of them and an 8-bit processor is modest. Yes, you'll do more screwing around trying to get something to work -- but you won't find yourself trying to shoe-horn the thing for speed or memory size.

A plain old PIC. Only 35 easy-to-learn instructions (that used to be their slogan -- hah). They called it "RISC" processor, but it's really a NHISC (Never Had an Instruction Set Computer). But -- it's not a bad processor as long as you never use a decent one.

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Reply to
Tim Wescott

DuinoMite is a BASIC Language Computer-Micro-controller for around $30. Plug in a VGA Monitor & a PS2 Keyboard. Save to uSD card. Arduino Shield also.

Runs on a PIC32, and can be programmed in BASIC, C, and can run Linux. Great user support group:

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More info:

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Top of the range:

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Cheers Don...

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Don McKenzie

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Reply to
Don McKenzie

I'd choose an MSP430 over a PIC, it has the luxury of being 16-bit, too. The AVR processors are fun, too. I've used PICs in the past, but never really gotten on with them.

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Dave
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Reply to
Dave

A 430 wouldn't be a bad choice, either.

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Reply to
Tim Wescott

What free tools are available for the MSP 430 ??

What does a debugger/programmer cost ??

A chip is one thing, working with it on hobby projects is another.

thanks

hamilton

Reply to
hamilton

That would be

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The lil'est dev kit goes for $4.30, but TI's out of stock. If you want them for real you have to pay Digikey's markup to $4.35

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Reply to
Rob Gaddi

Join the queue, and pick up a Raspberry Pi? (But I also have to add another +1 to the Arduino suggestion.)

Phil

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Reply to
Phil Carmody

Le 01/03/2012 12:19, Andre a écrit :

First let me say thanks to every body. But, I was also looking for a 'embedded system with Linux'. I could build periferals and use use such a system ( providing I can buy this ). But the arduino thing is very interesting too as are other anwers I . recieved Many Thanks again. André

Reply to
Andre

Somewhere around here, several layers down in the pile, I have a home-made parallel port MSP430 programmer that works with a Linux dev environment. Not used it for a while, and I've changed my main PC since then and never re- installed the software (but still have the hard drive, again several layers down).

Just looked and Olimex do a programmer and publish the circuit too. See

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That page also has links to how to put together a toolchain.

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Dave
Too many gadgets, too little time.
Reply to
Dave

Gnu binutils, gdb, gcc, etc.

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JTAG dongles start at $15.

Debugger and programming software is free (gdb/gdb-server, mspdebug, msp430jtag). There's even a very extensive Python library in case you want to roll your own tool of some sort:

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I think the MSP430 is ideal for hobby use. There are some very nice cheap development boards from people like Olimex (sold in the US by sparkfun.com and microcontrollershop.com). A full-featured dev board with LCD can be had for $30-$40.

If you're willing to sit through a powerpoint presentation, you can a usually get a small dev board for free from a local distributor at one of the "msp430-day" events. It's not worth it, IMO, but your tolerance for powerpoint presentations may be higher than mine. :)

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Grant
Reply to
Grant Edwards

re do I start?

n??)

If you are looking for embedded Linux, you should consider the Raspberry Pi or better (at a slightly higher cost) the BeagleBone. The BB is real and there is a Google Group providing suppot. The pi is still getting out the door.

Rick

Reply to
rickman

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