These days I was thinking about a better PIC programmer that can work with Microchip MPLAB IDE software so that I can write my own programs or edit someone else’s programs. I found that there are numerous versions of the famous Microchip PICkit 2 on the web.
Some of them are using the original schematic published by Microchip and some are lite versions – with different parts or simplified schematics. None of them satisfied my requirements. So I got the original schematic, removed the memory chips and the input ICSP connector (which I didn’t plan to use anyway) and made a new single sided PCB. I used mostly SMD parts.
Original PICKIT-2 microcontroller programmer - [Link]
Here is another piece of laboratory equipment – LC meter. This type of meter, especially L meter is hard to find in cheap commercial multimeters.
Schematic of this one came from this web page: https://sites.google.com/site/vk3bhr/home/index2-html
It uses PIC microcontroller 16F628A, and because I recently acquired a PIC programmer, I decided to test it with this project. Following the above link you will find the original schematic, PCB, source and HEX files for programing the microcontroller and detailed description.
Simple PIC LC meter - [Link]
This project provides some lighting effect by the blinking pattern of the bulbs connected at its output. Up to 8 Bulbs can be connected in between connector CN2 to CN9 and AC power to control them should be connected at Connector CN10. DC Power should be applied at Connector CN11 in accordance with the polarity marked on this connector. Care should be taken while using this it as it contains Main Power on the board.
Microcontroller based running light controller - [Link]
by Benabadji Noureddine @ edn.com:
Several previously published Design Ideas and appnotes [1-4] show how to use many pushbuttons with a minimum number of inputs. They require an RC circuit where the timing can be measured to identify which pushbutton has been pressed, or an ADC input, with resistors forming a divider for each pushbutton pressed.
The following Design Idea shows another simple way to use up to 15 pushbuttons with only one I/O. The microcontroller chosen must contain an internal comparator with selectable values for the internal voltage reference VREF.
Monitor 15 contacts with one PIC input - [Link]
With the Bolymin BE635 graphic embedded module it´s possible to focus only on software development – hardware is done.
A possibility to interactively adjust various parameters and at the same time to see a “result” of our settings (for example a status of a given device) considerably increases safety and reliability in various industry sectors. That´s probably one of reasons why a graphic output becomes a standard even in devices, where they were recently used very rarely so far.
From the development point of view, one of the key deciding factors is a platform, on which a given system is built (processor, OS).
PIC32 family certainly belongs to popular microcontrollers (32 bit RISC CPU), that´s why the new graphic embedded module Bolymin BE635 addresses all, who know PIC32, or they want to become familiar with it. For everyone, who´ve ever worked with PIC32 family, a development of application will be much easier with BE635, as practically all necessary hardware is on one board and at the same time we get a support in a form of various drivers for communication as well as graphic output. For programming purposes a new Microchip PICkit3 is suitable and SW development can be done in the known environment Microchip MPLAB IDE. BE635 is designed as a universal module, where only a designer decides, how much computing power of a processor will use on which activity (displaying, data processing, external HW control, communication, …), that´s why possibilities of its usage are really very wide.
Compact module (93x67x15mm) with a 3,5“ TFT LCD display (320x240px) is equipped sufficiently, to become attractive. For example:
- built-in 512kB ISP flash/ 64 kB SRAM/ 16 kB EEPROM
- support of microSD
- 1x RS232, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
- selectable 1x RS232/422/485/USB (depending on a version)
- 1x 10bit ADC, 12x GPIO
- libraries for successful programming, drivers for interfaces and a touch panel
BE635 is available in 4 versions, differing by an additional RS232/485/422/USB port. Single supply 5V and easy mechanical assembly by means of a metal frame with mounting holes also belong to pluses of a new BE635. Soon, there will be available also other similar modules with the same functionality but with bigger displays, for example BE657 with a 5,7“ (640x480px) display, thus an application for BE635 will be usable for the BE657 alike.
Bolymin BE635 – for all PIC32 lovers - [Link]
The old resistor decade boxes consisted of a bunch of rotary switches which make them little bulky and expensive. Stynus has built this microcontroller-based resistor decade box that uses one rotary encoder and 16 relay switches to switch on the various resistances. The microcontroller used in this project is PIC16F84A.
PIC Microcontroller based resistor decade box - [Link]
xristost blogged about the frequency counter module he made:
First of all I wanted a PIC microcontroller to do the whole job without any additional ICs. Also I wanted to use the the familiar 16F628A, but because one of the portA pins (RA5) can be used only as input I was short of outputs to do the job. Driving 6 digit 7-segment multiplexed display requires 7 + 6 = 13 outputs. The 16F628A has 16 IO pins, two of which are used for the crystal oscillator, one is for the signal input and other one can be used only for input, that leaves us with only 12 useful IO pins. The solution was to drive one of the common cathodes with a transistor, which opens when all other digits are switched off.
Frequency counter with PIC16F628A - [Link]
This DIY digital clock plus thermometer is designed by Joe Farr and is based on PIC18F25K22 microcontroller. The complete construction details of this project including circuit diagrams, PCB layouts and PIC firmware are posted in his website. He developed his firmware using Proton PIC BASIC compiler, which is available for download for free for this particular PIC microcontroller. He uses DS1302 RTC for timekeeping and DS18B20 for temperature measurement. The temperature and time are displayed on four 2″ seven segment LED displays.
Another PIC-based digital thermometer and clock - [Link]
Anticipating the need for secure communications for the next level of device connectivity Microchip have integrated a complete hardware crypto engine into their PIC24F family of microcontrollers. Computers normally use software routines to carry out data encryption number crunching but for low power microcontrollers this method will generally use up too much of the processor’s resources and be too slow.
Microchip have integrated several security features into the PIC24F family of microcontrollers (identified by their ‘GB2’ suffix) to protect embedded data. The fully featured hardware crypto engine supports the AES, DES and 3DES standards to reduce software overheads, lower power consumption and enable faster throughput. A Random Number Generator is also implemented which can be used to create random keys for data encryption, decryption and authentication to provide a high level of security. For additional protection the One-Time-Programmable (OTP) key storage prevents the encryption key from being read or overwritten.
Microchip PICs with Integrated Crypto Engine - [Link]