[time-nuts] Good (cheap) PIC chip choice for project?

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Sat May 25 16:14:37 EDT 2013

If you have enough software development experience then maybe you
don't need the Arduino.  It is best if you have none.  And as you say,
you need to spend $30 per project.

But you might still consider some kind of flash based chip.  These can
download new revisions of your software nearly instantly. If yu are
writing code the ability to quickly make an edit and re-test speeds up
the process.   If you have to move a chip from you project to a
programmer board, re-burn the ROM then move the chip back.  It will
take "forever".  THat is what people used to do.  But if the chip has
a boot loader and FLASH then you have a faster development cycle.
Also if you even publish the design others will not need a programmer

The chip hardly matters.  It's the development environment that
matters.  Flash-based boot loaders make for easy development and
unless you are building 100,000 units the extra $1 they add to the
chip is not worth worrying about

On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM, Jason Rabel
<jason at extremeoverclocking.com> wrote:
> My reasoning for using a PIC (or similar) is mostly two factors.
> First, simplicity... The few things I have in my head that I've wanted to do aren't complicated or require special busses. It is
> things that you could *probably* do with a whole pile of logic chips, or keep it simple with just one PIC. ;)
> Second, cost... Spending $30-$40 for a one time project is fine. But say after 10 or so, the cost savings of a $2 chip vs $30
> embedded system starts to add up.
> I agree with you that I need to figure out the project details first and what I'm trying to integrate with and work backwards. I'm
> really glad people are giving me feedback though I didn't know so many different options existed (and at so many different price
> points). If you don't ask, you will never learn. ;) Both the Arduino and TI Launchpad offerings look very intriguing.
> I'm on no deadline, so time is not an issue. I just wanted a new challenge and this is something I've wanted to dive into for a long
> time.
> Learning a programming language is not an issue. While I mostly write code in PHP, Perl, and shell scripts these days, I used to and
> am still somewhat familiar with C/C++. Most other programming languages I've used in the past are now probably considered archaic or
> defunct. ;)
> Looks like I have a lot of reading to do now. Everyone's responses have been most helpful!
> Jason
>> How did you decide to use a PIC and not one of the others such as the
>> AVR MSP or whatever?   I don't want to argue for any of the others but
>> if you can't list 5 or 6 good reasons to use a PIC and you are not
>> able to say why the oters cn't work for you then you've just selected
>> something at random without thinking.  SO as a check, see if you can
>> list pros and cons.
>> You have to decide what you are going to USE the device for first.
>> Some are bets for different purposes.  And also how much time you are
>> willing to invest in learning.   How much programming experience do
>> you have?
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Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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