Maker Pro
Maker Pro

Getting started



Jan 1, 1970
It all depends on your knowledge, both software and hardware. Do you
have a lot of experience with electronics in general, and digital
electronics in particular, or are you really just getting started?

The Pictstart Plus is a good system, but to put the chips to use after
you program them you will need to build something. Are you up to that?

If you'be built PC boards before, hopefully with some digital logic,
then go for it. If you're really a beginner, I would suggest starting
with something like the Basic Stamp from Parallax. They have a few
options, like a basic stamp, programming software and a solderless
breadboard and a handful of parts to get you started, prices are
reasonable and some come with introductory manuals that will jump-start you.


Jan 1, 1970
I want to start playing with microcontrollers.
Is this what I want?

If you just want to start playing with them a little, seeing what they can
do, etc, and don't have your employer/university/whatever paying for your
gear, I'd recommend this:

The PIC Kit 2 Debug Express let's you work with their introductory range
of microcontrollers, and it's 1/4 of the price. It's also nice to have it
running via USB. It is also capable of powering the included demo board
entirely via the USB connection. The downside is that it does not support
their full range of products, but it is good value for your money. Best of



Jan 1, 1970
It all depends on your knowledge, both software and hardware.

I got my degree in electrical engineering in 1990.
I never did any design...actually I never did any electrical

I'm good in BASIC, and I'm working on my soldering skills.

I want to introduce my kids to electronics, so I want to start from
the very basics.

I like making gadgets for Halloween, and I'd like to use
microcontrollers for things like this:

I just got the Parallax "What's a Microcontroller" kit.
It's great! It uses BASIC, so I don't need a separate compiler.

So it's working out well as an intro, but I eventually want to be able
to flash a PIC and use it in a standalone circuit/project.

I was reading about MPLab, and how PICBASIC can now be used with it.

Is that a good way to go if I don't want to learn C (or re-learn