PIC Elmer 160

Course Lessons

 

Archive of course lessons and associated software

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Intro PIC-EL Kit Tools Software Lessons FAQ QRP-L Discussion

Course Instructor:
   
John McDonough, WB8RCR wb8rcr@arrl.net 

Course Lessons
(See the latest lesson at bottom of page)

Lesson #1:  Overview of the PIC microcontroller from a software perspective. 

Lesson #2:  Download and installation of the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment.

Lesson #3:  First MPLAB project to validate that the installation is working correctly. 

Lesson #4:  Here are some experiments using a few basic instructions in the PIC that manipulate 
                   the working register (W) and the file register (F).

Lesson #5:  In the previous lesson we saw some of the simpler instructions in the PIC. Many of the 
                  more interesting instructions affect a special register called the status register. In this lesson 
                  we explore those instructions. (Right-click to download Lesson5a.asm)

Lesson #6:  "Subroutines: -- Often we have logic we wish to use several places in our programs. The subroutine
                  provides a way to do this effectively. In this section, we will review subroutines, and
look at delay
              timers, which is one example of where we may use subroutines. Right-click to download Lesson6b.asm
                 
or to download Lesson6c.asm code. Downloading these files will save you some time in typing
                  the examples used in this lesson.

Lesson #7:  The PIC stores data as 8-bit bytes. Up until now, we have only used values of 8 bits or less. 
                   What if we have a greater range of values? In this section we examine addition and subtraction 
                   of larger numbers.

Lesson #8:  Up until now all of our programs have lived within the simulator. In this lesson we examine how the 
                   PIC can sense its environment and how it can influence the circuit where it lives.

Lesson #9:  In this lesson we cover assembler directives not covered elsewhere in the course: number formats 
                   (binary, octal, ascii, decimal, hex), radix, #define, ifdef-else-endif, erorlevel, mssg, listing interpretation, 
                   page, title, subtitle and list.

Lesson #10:  Here's where we describe how to install software called "FPP" onto your PC that communicates 
                    with the PIC-EL board.  FPP gives you the ability to burn new software into the onboard PIC.

Lesson #11:  In this lesson we use the FPP program to load our code into a PIC.

Lesson #12:  In this lesson we write a small program to exercise our hardware, and learn how using macros can 
                    simplify our code. Right-click to download Lesson12a.asm, Lesson12b.asm and Lesson12c.asm code.
                    Downloading these source files will save you some time in typing the examples used in this lesson.

Lesson #13:  Timer register, TMR0 is the focus of this lesson. TMR0 can, among other things, be used to manage 
                    performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Right-click to download
Lesson13a.asm, Lesson13b.asm
                   
and Lesson13c.asm code. Downloading these source files will save you some time in typing the 
                    examples used in this lesson.

Lesson #14:  Frequently, an application needs some sort of table. There are several ways of implementing tables 
                    depending on the application requirements. In this chapter we examine some of the more common 
                    approaches.  Right-click to download
Lesson14a.asm, Lesson14b.asm, Lesson14c.asm, Lesson14d.asm,
                   
and Lesson14e.asm. Downloading these source files will save you some time in typing the 
                    examples used in this lesson.

Lesson #15:  Have you noticed how many of the microcontroller projects available these days use a rotary encoder to 
                    control functions, dial frequency, and more?  In this lesson we will examine the types of encoders available 
                    and how to deal with
them programmatically.  Right-click to download Lesson15a.asm, Lesson15b.asm,
                    Lesson15c.asm,
and Lesson15d.asm. Downloading these source files will save you some
                    time in typing the examples used in this lesson.

Lesson #16:  Trying to use code from previous projects can be very tedious with the absolute code model discussed so 
                    far. Relocatable code helps with these issues.  Right-click to download
Lesson16code.zip. Once downloaded
                    to a new folder on your computer, double-click on the file to unzip it and extract all files to that same folder.
                    You'll then have access to all the source assembler and library files for this lesson.

Lesson #17:  Most PIC projects seem to involve no more than some sort of input conditioning and a liquid crystal display. 
                    In this lesson, we examine how to control an LCD module.  Right-click to download
Lesson17code.zip
                    Once downloaded to a new folder on your computer, double-click on the file to unzip it and extract all files 
                    to that same folder.  You'll then have access to all the source assembler and library files for this lesson.

Lesson #18:  In the previous lesson we saw how to display ASCII text to the liquid crystal display. Frequently we want to
                    display the result of a calculation or sensor. However, rarely is this data already in the ASCII format needed 
                    for the LCD. Some sort of conversion is frequently needed. In this lesson we will discuss methods of preparing
                    data for display. Right-click to download
Lesson18code.zipOnce downloaded to a new folder on your computer,
                    double-click on the file to unzip it and extract all files to that same folder.  You'll then have access to all the
                    source assembler and library files for this lesson.


Lesson #19:  When the designer makes a new circuit, there is often some time spent in developing the software for that circuit.
                    Removing the PIC from the circuit and inserting it into a programmer, then reversing the process for each change
                soon gets tedious. Programming the PIC while still in the target circuit certainly speeds up debugging (and
                    reduces wear and tear on the PIC's pins.). However, allowance for in-circuit programming needs to be made when
                    designing the target circuit. In this lesson, we will examine the requirements for designing circuits including PICs,
                    and look at special considerations required if we wish to program the PIC in-circuit. We will use our demonstration
                    circuit as an excuse to explore two peripherals lacking in the 16F84A, the analog input and the pulse width
                    modulation output. Right-click to download
Lesson19code.zipOnce downloaded to a new folder on your
                    computer, double-click on the file to unzip it and extract all files to that same folder.  You'll then have access to
                    all the source assembler and library files for this lesson.

Lesson #20:  In many applications we want the PIC to “walk and chew gum” at the same time. By periodically polling
                    inputs or polling timers, the PIC can appear to carry out multiple tasks. However to be responsive to rapidly
                    occurring events, the polling must be done very frequently. But more frequent polling means fewer compute
                    cycles available for the "background" task. Using interrupts allows fast response to external events without
                    wasting compute time on polling.
Right-click to download Lesson20.zipOnce downloaded to a new folder
                    on your computer, double-click on the file to unzip it and extract all files to that same folder.  You'll then have
                    access to all the source assembler and library files for this lesson.  [NOTE:
This lesson is a tad different in that
                    the zip file not only contains the necessary sources and library, but also a library for those using newer versions
                    of MPLAB, and a library and makefile for those using gputils.]

Appendix "A":  "Other PICs" -- This one is an appendix that students can read at any time.  
                    In it we examine the wide array of PIC microcontrollers and try to give the hobbyist some 
                    help in selecting a microcontroller for future projects.

Appendix "B":  How to design a circuit to support In-circuit Serial Programming (ICSP™).

  Appendix "C":   In Lesson 16, we discussed relocatable code, and how to use a library. In this appendix, we review the mechanics of constructing a library.

  Appendix "D":  In Lesson 16, we mentioned that there were times when we might want to edit the linker script file. In this appendix we examine the linker script and discuss how we might want to change it.

 Library File for Latest MPLAB 7.21Although we started the PIC Elmer series on MPLAB 6.30, and all lessons have been tested with 6.30, some students have downloaded more recent versions of MPLAB, either due to starting late, getting new PCs, or needing support for some new part.  This has not been a problem until recently, as a new version of the linker around MPLAB 7.21 introduced a new library format.

The symptom shows up as an error of the form: "Error - Coff file format for xxxx.o is out of date"

Please download the new library file to resolve that issue.  This is only for users of MPLAB >7.21, and for any lessons that require the LCD (17 and 19). Users of earlier versions of MPLAB should continue to to use the LCDlib distributed with the lesson.  Future lessons will include both.

 

 

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Page last updated:  July 20, 2007