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Are PICs still being used

Protoboard

Apr 24, 2014
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Hello,

About 8 years ago I used PIC microcontrollers on almost every project I worked on. Many years have passed since those days and right now I want to get into microcontrollers again.

Are PICs still being used for hobby projects or do people prefer other microcontrollers like Arduino (or any other Atmel or Atmel-based one)?
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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PICs are still very popular. I use them.

Bob
 

kpatz

Feb 24, 2014
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I use PICs extensively too. I cut my teeth on 'em. Check out the enhanced mid-range line, they have some nice features over the older midrange parts.
 

kelvinmead

Nov 22, 2011
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i found pics very hard to get into.

i bought pickit2, and some pics with reference to 2 learning books.

out of the 15 pics i bought for the 2 books, only 1 would be compatible with the pickit2, and made both the books redundant unless i purchased a £250 programmer.

i swapped to arduino and i can use a £30 full price arduino or a £5 programmer.

porta portb | || / too confusing, and well pretentious when the book says "easy"

that annoyed me more than anything!
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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i found pics very hard to get into.

i bought pickit2, and some pics with reference to 2 learning books.

out of the 15 pics i bought for the 2 books, only 1 would be compatible with the pickit2, and made both the books redundant unless i purchased a £250 programmer.

i swapped to arduino and i can use a £30 full price arduino or a £5 programmer.

porta portb | || / too confusing, and well pretentious when the book says "easy"

that annoyed me more than anything!
I don't understand this. As far as I know, all PICs can be programmed by the PICKIT 2. Not all are capable of using the real-time debugger, and not all can be programmed from MPLAB, but the stand alone app will program all of them.

Can you tell us what PICs were not compatible?

Bob
 

hexreader

Apr 21, 2011
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IMHO....

If you used to like PICs 8 years ago, then you will like them even more now.

Newer PICs are more impressive and as popular as ever.

Atmel processors do much the same thing as PIC, but no huge difference, and I see nothing to make changing worth the bother. (I play with both)

Arduino would be a disappointment if you already worked with PIC. It is simple and easy to start with ... but limited.

My guess is that you should continue with PIC and enjoy.


.... EDIT: oh... and PICs are not just popular for hobbyists (like me), but are still used in huge quantities in commercial end-user products.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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The major difference between AVR and PIC processors (from my perspective) is that there is a wider variety of peripheral devices built in to PICs and that these can often be accessed directly from the pins (e.g. counters/dividers/comparators).

The other side of this is that every PIC is different, and those differences can be extremely varied. It does allow you to pick a chip with (almost) any combination of things you want) but it can also mean you need to check very carefully exactly what your chip actually supports.
 

kpatz

Feb 24, 2014
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One thing I like about PICs is, for a given pin count, many of them have the same pinouts. I've had a couple one-off projects where I used a lower-end PIC I had on hand, then down the road decided I needed a faster one or some peripheral the chip I was using didn't have. In both cases I found a pin-compatible higher-end chip that I could just plug in and go.

I have no experience with AVRs, but I've heard they don't have as many varieties of them.
 

shumifan50

Jan 16, 2014
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For most of the PICs that do not support interactice debugging directly, you can buy a in-circuit emulator that extends even 8 pin PICs to have ICSP(In Circuit Serial Programming) and debugging. These are fairly inexpensive.
 

shumifan50

Jan 16, 2014
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Just found a really nice 8 pin PIC 12F1840 pin compatible with 12F675 etc BUT
It has PWM, ADC, DAC, USART, SPI and I2C and more importantly 3K flash and 256 bytes RAM and can run at 32MHz internal clock.
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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Yep, I bought 10 of these a while ago and have just designed a IR interrupter alarm using 3 of them. It's my favorite little PIC! For this project, you can think of it as a really fancy multiple 555 replacement.

Bob
 
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