Ever worked with microcontrollers?

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

16 Replies - 6930 Views - Last Post: 28 July 2014 - 04:17 PM

#1 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Post icon  Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:53 PM

*
POPULAR

I just started working with Netduino and managed to get my first mini-project up and running in a matter of minutes - a simple clock:

Attached Image

Written with .NET Micro Framework.

That's a custom LED matrix shield, by the way. Currently working on some more fun stuff.

Any of you ever tried to work with microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino, Freeduino, etc.)? What were your experiences and what projects were you working on?

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 5
  • +

Replies To: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

#2 Martyn.Rae  Icon User is offline

  • The programming dinosaur
  • member icon

Reputation: 540
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,406
  • Joined: 22-August 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:16 PM

Yup, I have worked with the Advanced Micro Devices 2900 microprogram sequencers, controllers, latches and line drivers (Albeit some 30 years ago), also micro programmed an instruction on the PDP 11/60. You know you have arrived in programming when you start messing with stuff at that level :bigsmile:
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#3 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:19 PM

What's cool about these things is that most of the "convenient" programming elements (e.g. helper libraries) don't work and the developer needs to code a lot of stuff from scratch. Makes you think about the problem on a completely different level.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#4 Martyn.Rae  Icon User is offline

  • The programming dinosaur
  • member icon

Reputation: 540
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,406
  • Joined: 22-August 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:26 PM

What is your microcode bit-width?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Codebug  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 31
  • View blog
  • Posts: 244
  • Joined: 11-October 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:35 PM

I actually just finished a course completely dedicated to programming microcontrollers and interfacing them with external hardware such as keypads, LCD screens, external RAM, etc. It has been without a doubt, the funnest, most interesting, and most rewarding class I have taken during my college career. The microcontroller I used in the class was a Texas Instruments DSP. I'm not sure I agree with this choice of processor for an intro microcontroller class because the DSP is pretty complicated and it can do WAY more stuff than we even needed in the class. Also, setting up various things was sort of a pain because there were ALOT of different registers that needed to be set up. I had to set up probably 7 to 8 different registers, if my memory serves, in order to use interrupts.

Also, assembly was a requirement for the duration of the class. Even for the last 2 labs, which were very long and pretty complicated, we could only use assembly. We were not allowed to use C at all.

I would absolutely recommend a class like this to the people who are more of a "software guy/girl". I have learned so much about hardware software interaction, and I have gained some insight into what is actually going on under the higher level code.
Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#6 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:43 PM

View PostMartyn.Rae, on 28 April 2011 - 07:26 AM, said:

What is your microcode bit-width?


32-bit. Speaking of which, here are the tech specs for the controller:
http://netduino.com/netduino/specs.htm
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 Martyn.Rae  Icon User is offline

  • The programming dinosaur
  • member icon

Reputation: 540
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,406
  • Joined: 22-August 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:58 PM

OK, 32-bits would be relatively straight forward to get your head round ... I was microprogramming 512 and 1024 bit wide systems. Fortunately, most of the microcode compilers I used did not require you specify all microcode bits for each step, so you could concentrate on those control bits that changed from one step to the next.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#8 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:33 PM

I am yet to get to the level of working with ASM on this. I need to figure out how to go beyond the runtime. Pretty sure it is possible, since the bootloader works on a much lower level and there is dev access to it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Louisda16th  Icon User is offline

  • dream.in.assembly.code
  • member icon

Reputation: 15
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,967
  • Joined: 03-August 06

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:53 PM

I've used the good old 8051 since we learned to in college. I've built a robot with it. Also worked with atmega (8 and 16) series. Planning to buy an Arduino board soon. :)

Also, I'm learning to use a PSoC - 3. It has an 8051 core controlling it so its quite simple. The starter kit is neat :).
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#10 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Technophile
  • member icon

Reputation: 343
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,286
  • Joined: 06-December 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:07 PM

This is exactly the thing I want to try, sadly playing about with hardware is fairly expensive... so have not yet been able to afford to get anything!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:11 PM

It's relatively cheap. You can buy the microcontroller itself for $35 (the basic version) and then either buy shields for it (price varies from $1 to $100+, depending on the shield) or build them by yourself.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 gunslnger  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 04-March 09

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:17 AM

View PostCore, on 27 April 2011 - 09:53 PM, said:

Any of you ever tried to work with microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino, Freeduino, etc.)? What were your experiences and what projects were you working on?


I've worked on a bunch of devices using microcontrollers. I prefer Atmel's AVR chips, but I've used 8051's and Microchip's PICs and once an AMD 80186. Some of the devices were a dental camera, a mouse shocker box, an audio splitter/controller, and a high voltage/current tester.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 marinus  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 135
  • View blog
  • Posts: 575
  • Joined: 14-April 10

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:59 AM

No , i haven't .

If im lucky ,

there is an work assignment coming up for fingerprint scanners written in C++ ,

which i can work on if its gonna happen..

That will be a new challenge for me to work on and maintain such a project.

Greetings
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 TomJoad  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 12
  • View blog
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 01-December 10

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:03 AM

How would one get started on this? Are there online resources (I'm sure there are, everything is online these days)? I already graduated from college (social science degree, and what a mistake), but recently picked up programming as a hobby to keep me entertained and challenged, so taking classes isn't a practical option at this point.

If I had a car to spare, I would want to mess with its on-board computer.

This post has been edited by TomJoad: 28 April 2011 - 08:05 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 Core  Icon User is offline

  • using System.Linq;
  • member icon

Reputation: 774
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,097
  • Joined: 08-December 08

Re: Ever worked with microcontrollers?

Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:07 PM

If you are particularly interested in Netduino, here are some resources worth checking:

(Really) Getting Started with the Netduino
Netduino projects
First Experiences with Netduino and the .NET Micro Framework
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2