RF Communication Between Microcontrollers – Part I

In many situations a communication link between to devices becomes essential. This communication can be wired or wireless. If two devices are close to each other (like a MCU and a Memory) a wired link is preferred. How ever in many situations two devices are reasonably far apart. In that case a wireless link is preferred. Two popular wireless communication technologies are IR Communications Used in IrDA, and Remote controls Short Range Requires two devices to be in line of sight. There should be no Opaque Obstacle in between the devices. Easy and low cost to implement RF Communication Widely used, including Bluetooth,Radios,Cell phones, Satellite etc Wide range, from few meters to millions of kilometers (Can be Used to control Robots in Mars) Does not requires two devices to be in line of sight. Can cross many obstacles Circuits can be complicated and costly. In this tutorial we will learn how to practically implement a wireless link between two MCUs. This link will be used to send and receive digital data. We will create a Radio Frequency link. How ever as I said the RF circuits are little complicated so we will use ready made RF Modules. These are easily available and low cost. What is a RF Module ? A RF Module is a small circuit pre built and […]

AVR Project – Digital Stop Watch with ATmega8

Hello Friends, In this tutorial we will make a "Digital Stop Watch" using an AVR ATmega8 Microcontroller. This will help you learn many concepts like Multiplexed Seven Segment Display Interfacing Using AVR Timers Using Interrupts And many others too. The code is written in C language for avr-gcc (WinAVR) . Fig.: Digital Stop Watch Prototype Steps to Build the "Digital Stop Watch" using AVR ATmega8 MCU Make the circuit according to the schematic on general purpose PCB or a BreadBoard. Make a project in AVR Studio and add a new file to the project. Copy/paste the "c" code. Set optimization as "o2" and CPU frequency as 16000000Hz. Save and Build the project. You will get a HEX file. Burn this HEX file to an ATmega8 MCU using a tool such as eXtreme Burner AVR. Set High Fuse = C9(Hex) Low Fuse = FF(Hex). How to do this depends on you programmer software. I have use a xBoard MINI development board for fast and easy prototyping. The Displays+Transistors+Key are on the Veroboard while the Core CPU unit + power supply is in the xBoard MINI. It can be programmed "In System" over USB Port using eXtreme Burner – AVR software toolkit. Fig.: Digital Stop Watch made using xBoard MINI   How to Use the "Digital Stop Watch" When initially powered up […]

PIC Development Board – Expansion of Board

The PIC Development board from eXtreme Electronics has the feature of connecting add-on boards, like user interface board or a motor controller board. You can also make your own expansion board. Actually the board has the ability to connect a prototyping area where you can create your project specific circuit while the "basic" environment for PIC resides on the Development board. Fig.: Replaceable Prototyping Area   In this way many project can be created and kept for future use. Each project resides in its own board when you need that simply pair it with development board and the project is up and running! No messy wiring! Preparing a Veroboard for connection Take a general purpose PCB (veroboard) and solder a 40 PIN right angled burg strip connector in one end. Fig.: Replaceable Prototyping Area Now the it is ready to plug into the Development Board. Fig.: Replaceable Prototyping Area   After you connect your prototyping area to the Dev Board all PORTs of PIC MCU and Power Supply becomes available in the veroboard. Here you can connect all sort of components required by your project. It is very easy to remove the prototyping are and replace it with a fresh new one for another project. Thus a single development board can be used for many different projects. The 40 PIN […]

PIC Development Board – Hello World Project

Hello friends, welcome to this exciting tutorial were we will begin our journey with latest PIC18F micros from Microchip Technologies. This tutorial will give you information on what software/hardware you will require and basic steps on how to get, install, configure and use them. After going through this tutorial you will have a complete setup and knowledge to experiment with these powerful chips !           What you will learn ? MPLab as a powerful IDE. HI-TECH C for PIC18 MCUs as a powerful C Compiler. Creating a new HI-TECH C project in MPLab. Write a C Code to blink LED and compile it to get a HEX code. Configure the MCU for proper oscillator selection. Basic Use for PIC development board from eXtreme Electronics Burn the HEX code to MCU using eXtreme Burner PIC from eXtreme Electronics. Use the programmed MCU to actually blink the LED ! So lets get started !!! First get these stuffs Microchip’s MPLab IDE or Integrated development Environment. This is the central tool from where you can access most of other tools, like the C Compiler. This also lets you create and edit program files and projects. Download this from Microchips Web site and Install it in your computer. Download MPLAB IDE Free. HI-TECH C Pro for PIC18 MCUs – This […]

PIC Development Board – Programming

The PIC Development Board can be easily programmed INCircuit by using our eXtreme Burner – PIC, a PIC Programmer with USB Connectivity. The firmware of a Microcontroller is normally stored in HEX files. This HEX file is generated by an assembler or a Compiler. In this section we will show you how you can transfer a HEX file from your PC to the Microcontroller. NOTE: It is assumed that eXtreme Burner – PIC (hardware) is installed as described in its documentation. It is assumed that eXtreme Burner – PIC (software) is installed as described in its documentation. Connect the PIC development board with the programmer using a six pin female to female cable as shown below. Power on both development board and the burner. Fig. Six pin female to female cable for ICSP.   Fig. 6 PIN ICSP of Development Board.   Fig. 6 PIN ICSP of eXtreme Burner – PIC. Launch eXtreme Burner – PIC from Windows Desktop or Start Menu. Fig.: eXtreme Burner – PIC, Main Screen.   The software is easy to use. First you need to load the HEX file which you want to burn to the MCU. So select Open from File Menu or From the Toolbar. Then select the hex file. Now the HEX file will be loaded and the contents (FLASH,EEPROM,Chip Settings) will […]

PIC Development Board – Introduction

Thanks for selecting PIC development board from eXtreme Electronics. Now lets get familiar with this powerful and easy to use system. Introduction This board will help you build and test any project with PIC microcontroller quickly and easily. It can be used to work with any 40 PIN PIC micros. The board provides the basic environment for the PIC to run. The great advantage of the design is replaceable prototyping area. All ports and power supply is available on 40 PIN female connecter. You can easily attach a normal veroboard with help of 40 PIN male headers. Now all PORTs of MCU is available on the veroboard where you can design the rest of your project. In this way you can create many different project with same development board, you just need a blank veroboard. By using this technique the "rest" of your project and the development board are paired firmly, both electrically and physically, yet flexibly separable! Features Incircuit Serially Programmable with eXtreme Burner – PIC. PIC 18F4550 Included USB 2.0 Support Running @ 48 MHz (12MIPS) with 20 MHz crystal. (Using on chip PLL) Inbuilt 5V regulator with reverse voltage protection Power Switch (on/off) Power LED Reset Button RS232 Interface with DB9 male connector. 2 x Extra 5v Out All ports on linear 40 pin female connector. Replaceable […]

extreme_burner_avr

GUI Software for USBasp based USB AVR Programmers.

When I started using USBasp (a great programmer for AVRs), I soon realized that the avrdude (the software for driving USBasp) is not much usable. Sometimes it irritates me a lots because of its command line interface. Also the avrdude-gui is not much helpful as it was just calling the avrdude in background. It cannot write/read the fuse bytes easily and reading the chip content was impossible. I made many changes to the software to make it more useful but Finally I decided to write a fresh new software from scratch and eXtreme Burner – AVR was born! The eXtreme Burner- AVR has full graphical user interface (GUI) and can be used much more easily. Screen shots Fig.: GUI Software for USBasp   Fig.: GUI Software for USBasp – Burn Progress.   Fig.: GUI Software for USBasp – Task Complete ! Easy AVR Clock Source Configuration AVR series of MCU supports several types of clock sources for various applications. For example a cheap RC Oscillator or a perfect high speed crystal oscillator. You can select from the following clock sources easily using a drop down menu. External Clock. Calibrated Internal RC Oscillator. (DEFAULT) External RC Oscillator. External Low Frequency Crystal. External Crystal/Ceramic Resonator. Fig.: Selecting AVR Clock Source Fig.: Selecting Clock Option Linux Version ! Finally the much awaited Linux […]

General Purpose Digital IO with PIC Microcontrollers.

GPIO( General Purpose IO) is the most basic method of communication between MCU and external world. These are done with what is called a PORT. Ports are nothing but a set of bits physically connected to PINs of Microcontroller and available outside the chip. As we are working on PIC micros and they are 8 bits so the maximum size of a PORT is 8 bits. Some PORTs have fewer than 8 bits. You can turn each bit in a PORT on and off under program control. The bits which you set as 1 becomes HIGH and the physical PIN of Micro is at Vcc(supply voltage, usually 3.3v or 5v). And the PINs which you clear (=0) becomes low and physical level is 0v(GND). Fig.: PIC IO Port example, PORTB.   Fig.: PIC IO Port example, Using PORTB, Turning BITs on and off. You can test the operation of an IO port by using LEDs as shown below. Fig.: When the bit is set to 0 the LED remains off. When you write a value 1 to corresponding bit the LED starts glowing. Fig.: When the bit is set to 1 the LED starts glowing. PORTs are Named like PORTA,PORTB,PORTC etc. The PIC we are using PIC4550 has the following PORTs PORTA(8bit wide) PORTB(8bit wide) PORTC(7bit wide) PORTD(8bit wide) PORTE(4bit […]

Hello World Project With PIC Microcontroller – Part II

Hello Friends, Welcome back. In the last tutorial we started working with MPLab and HI-TECH C Compiler and written our first C program to blink LED. After compiling the program we got the HEX file. Now, in this tutorial we will see how to transfer(burn) the hex file to our Microcontroller chip and then power it up to actually blink the LED. We will use eXtreme Burner – PIC , which is a easy to use GUI programmer for PIC18 MCUs. The burner supports USB connectivity with PC so it is very easy to install and use. Launch eXtreme Burner – PIC from Windows Desktop or Start Menu.   Fig.: eXtreme Burner – PIC, Main Screen.   The software is easy to use. First you need to load the HEX file which was generated by MPLAB+HI-TECH C in previous tutorial. So select Open from File Menu or From the Toolbar. Then select the hex file. Now the HEX file will be loaded and the contents (FLASH,EEPROM,Chip Settings) will be available. Now connect the programmer with your PC by using standard USB Cable the programmer will be automatically detected by software (provided drivers are installed previously) . Apply power to programmer using a 12v DC adaptor. Place a PIC18F4550 chip in the ZIF socket and lock it.   Fig.: eXtreme Burner […]

Hello World Project With PIC Microcontroller – Part I

Hello friends, welcome to this exciting tutorial were we will begin our journey with latest PIC18F micros from Microchip Technologies. This tutorial will give you information on what software/hardware you will require and basic steps on how to get, install, configure and use them. After going through this tutorial you will have a complete setup and knowledge to experiment with these powerful chips !         What you will learn ? MPLab as a powerful IDE. HI-TECH C for PIC18 MCUs as a powerful C Compiler. Creating a new HI-TECH C project in MPLab. Write a C Code to blink LED and compile it to get a HEX code. Configure the MCU for proper oscillator selection. Burn the HEX code to MCU using eXtreme Burner PIC from eXtreme Electronics. Use the programmed MCU to actually blink the LED ! So lets get started !!! First get these stuffs Microchip’s MPLab IDE or Integrated development Environment. This is the central tool from where you can access most of other tools, like the C Compiler. This also lets you create and edit program files and projects. Download this from Microchips Web site and Install it in your computer. Download MPLAB IDE Free. HI-TECH C Pro for PIC18 MCUs – This is will compile the high level human readable programs (in […]

USB PIC Microcontroller Programmer.

Good News for PIC lovers ! Presenting eXtreme Burner PIC, USB Programmer for PIC18FXXXX/PIC18LFXXXX/PIC16FXXXA/PIC16LFXXXA series MCUs. This easy to use programmer with USB connectivity and GUI software can program more than 52 chips of PIC18F/PIC16F family. This programmer support both ZIF socket and ICSP based programming. eXtreme Burner – PIC   Software eXtreme Burner PIC – Main Screen.   eXtreme Burner PIC – Write Device Screen.   eXtreme Burner PIC – PIC Programming Success !   About Microchip PIC18F Series MCUs These are high performance MCUs of popular PIC range of MCUs from Microchip. Main features are high performance CPU core (up to 12 MIPS),hardware multiplier, C language optimized architecture, with Modern peripherals such as USB. See Microchip’s Official PIC18F web page. Getting Started with PIC Microcontrollers. See Also eXtreme Burner 51 – USB Programmer for 89S51/89S52 MCUs. For any queries write to sales@extremeelectronics.co.in or Call 09939369624 (Avinash). More Info | Buy Now

Making a Simple PIC Programmer.

In this tutorial we will make a simple serial port based programmer for PIC microcontrollers. I have tried several easy to make programmers and software, and here I a presenting the programmer that worked the best. The design is based on JDM. The software we will use is PICPgm by Christian Stadler. I liked the performance of the software, its fast and easy to use. The programmer will make uses the COM port of Computer for communication. Components required. S.No Item Value/Part No Qty 01 Transistor BC337-40 or BC337-25 2 02 Capacitor Electrolytic 100uF 16VDC 2 03 Zener Diode 5.1v 0.5Watt 1 04 Zener Diode 6.2v 0.5Watt 1 05 Diode 1N4148 4 06 Resistor 1.5K 1 07 Resistor 10K 1 08 LED RED Colour 1 09 DB9 Female Connector with Cover – 1 10 6 PIN Female Connector with Wire – 1 11 Veroboard, Wires etc – - Circuit Diagram Now assemble the circuit as shown below in a piece of veroboard. Fig. : Simple Serial Port Based PIC Programmer. So our PIC programmer will have two interface A Serial Interface for Connecting it with PC A 6 PIN ICSP Connecter – This will be connected to our PIC which will sit in our project (say in a Breadboard). Fig. : Simple Serial Port Based PIC Programmer.   The technique […]