ME labs product bundles/ starter kits

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Im trying to get started with microcontrollers. I have been involved in
electronics as a hobby for a few years and would like to advance into
microcontrollers. I have a good working knowledge of linear and digital
electronics but have never written code before. My computer experience
is limited to using the computer for the, ebay....I
keep some work files on here....nothing involving actually manipulating
programs etc.
I would like to begin learning about microcontrollers and have been
reading various websites and looking for books on PICs and programming
in basic.

My question is....Are the product bundles at

a decent place to start... I would like to purchase the needed items,
harware and software needed in one package if possible to avoid any
compatability issues that might arise due to my ignorance...while I
understand that it is more expensive usually to buy like this..Im
willing and able to shell out a few extra bucks....its a hobby
Can anyone make any recomendations on these starter kits or on any
other places that sell the basic neccesities in a package type

At the moment Im not interested in any particular controlling
applications...though eventually I would like to use pics for
temperature control, pwm, and servo control

Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits

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Software for programming in assembler (MPLAB) can be downloaded at the
microchip website :

this is a simulator i  like and it has a build in basic compiler  its not
expensive at all

for some boards and programmers you can check out these link,i have good
experiences with them.

Hope it helps you a bit.


Bas Laurier

Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits


I have used melabs stuff.  I think it is decent, very good as a matter of
fact.  I'm currently using PicBasic Pro and their in-circuit programmer.
I don't think there is any thing wrong with not cobbling together a
package from various places.  I think their package is a great place to
start.  Go for it.

I don't work for those guys...  I just use their stuff.

Later - Robert

 aaron writes:

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Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits

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What do you want to use for writing pic programs ?

Basic , c or assembly ?

The price on the bundles seems a bit to expensive.

For a cheaper  way to go but not using a pic.

bascom avr  (can start with the free demo version) and an avr board
like the marvic2B  from /
There is a yahoo group for the mavaric boards for getting help.

bascom avr the free demo version here

Some other cheap boards

These are cheaper that a lot of others but if you run in to trouble
you are on your own.

For c
microchip has a free student version of their compiler for the 18f pics.

avr - avrgcc or winavr free compilers


Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits

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I've gotten to really like some of Zilog's new products.
The $49 developemnt kits come with a full C compiler, IDE, application notes &

Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits


I use and would recommend the following:

Crownhill at /
The have Proton Development Suite (PDS) which is an complete programming
envornment in Basic.  You write code, compile and can test in a virtual
circuit using Proteus electronic simulation software.  So you do not need to
do a real hardware you can simulate it first.

Labcenter Electronics at /
This is a electronic circuit design and simulation.  It has PIC
microcontroller so you can build the circuit write the code with MPLAB in
assembler or PDS in basic.  Load in to the controller and 'see' it really
work, or not 8-)).  If you get PDS you have a shareware version of Proteus
called ISIS, this is what I started with but so impressed I upgraded to the
full version at a special price.

Both these software package are brilliant in their own right but when used
together you have the perfect system.

Crowhill also do a dev board at this is the top model which
I use and when you write your code in PDS then compile it, if this  board is
connected it downloads the hex and runs the programme.  All in one easy

I highly recommend this system it has got me  going and is easy to programme
my PICS.  Also both these link and work with MPLAB Microchips development
envornment so you can learn assembler  and basic all in one.  PDS lets you
work in assembler also.


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Re: ME labs product bundles/ starter kits

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Specifically, is it the proto boards that attract you?
To me, it doesn't appear particularly easy to connect the
peripheral devices on that perfboard.

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