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Friday, November 24, 2006

PIC... what is PIC??




PIC ? What is PIC???

PIC stands for Peripheral Interface Controller. However, General Instruments' original acronym for the PIC1650 was "Programmable Inteligent Computer".

PIC is a family of RISC microcontrollers made by Microchip Technology, derived from the PIC1650 originally developed by General Instruments Microelectronics Division.
Nowadays, PIC is regarded as Peripheral Interface Controller or PIC or PIC microcontroller.

I have been searching over the internet for information and online tutorial on how to programm these interesting microcontrollers. If one knows how to program this controllers, he or she can make a good practical circuits that uses minimal components that is capable of doing measurements, calculation, display results through LCD or LED displays.

Before one can programm the controller, a knowledge in basic electronics and digital electronics.
This is beacuse the controllers only communicate and process in digital. We will be speaking like 0101011100110011... worry not!

There is an easy way of doing this. Microchip provide a free software called MPLAB IDE. The software is used to write a program then convert it to HEX code that is understood by the controllers.

However, even with MPLAB, we still need to leard the programming language. There are few types used... C Language, Assembly Language & BASIC, unless there is more that I dont know.
Anyway, I have no knowledge with any of the programming language mentioned above. I am still in the process of learning.

The good news that I want to share with you guys is, if you are live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there is people who offers to conduct a short course on how to programming the PIC microcontrollers. It's a short course and please dont expect you'll become an expert overnight.

I have asked around and the price range differs. Some is asking for RM980/person for 3 days lesson (with study material and hands on training), RM950/person for 3 days lesson ( Study material and a robot kit - Basic STAMP).

Then, I came accross with this one... Institut Kojadi that offers RM450/person for 6 lesson(3hrs/lesson, 1 lesson/week). Minimum participant is 6 person. This is good!! but a recent phone call to them revealed that they may discontinued the course since there is lack of response. I think, if any of the hobbyist here is interested, they may accept our request to get the course started again.

If any of my fellow Amateurs is interested, you may contact Institut Kojadi at 03-2166 8211 and ask for Mr. Eddie for further info and register your name so can see how many people is interested.

At the mean time, I'll just continue reading the tutorial from the internet. This PIC is really interesting!! Visit the AmQRP website!

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