Archives for January, 2013
This is a Getting Started with MPLAB X IDE and XC8 compiler tutorial. MPLAB® X IDE is the new Microchip IDE and it runs on a PC with Windows®, Mac OS® or Linux® to develop applications for PIC microcontrollers and replaces all MPLAB® C and HI-TECH compilers. XC8 is the new C compiler for PIC10, PIC12, PIC14, PIC16 and PIC18 microcontrollers. Learn how to start a new project with MPLAB X IDE, configure your PIC fuses and oscillator, write a simple Blink LED code and simulate the code with Proteus.
An LED is a semiconductor light source, when forward biased, it emits light. LEDs are used mainly to indicate the status of electronic circuits, for example to indicate that power is on or off but nowadays they are used in many applications including lighting and beam detection. In this article we will learn how to connect and switch on and off various LEDs to a microcontroller using XC8 Compiler. This is the simplest project a beginner in embedded programming can start with before attempting any complex projects as we have learned from the Introduction to XC8 Compiler article.
Switches are digital inputs and are widely used in electroninc projects as most systems need to respond to user commands or sensors. Reading a switch is very useful because a switch is widely used and can also represent a wide range of digital devices in real world like limit sensors, level switches, proximity switches, keypads (a combination of switches) etc. Connecting a switch to a microcontroller is straight forward, all we need is a pull-up or pull-down resistor.
In any electronic products or projects there is always a source of power for the system to work. This is called a power supply. The source of this power can come from different sources like the mains AC voltage, a battery or even from a renewable power source like a solar panel wind turbine or fuel cell to name just a few. The most common source of power is usually the mains AC, with this power, we need a transformer to convert the 220V 50Hz mains or the 120V 60Hz if you are living in the United States of America to a lower voltage required by the electronic circuit, this can be typically between 6V and 12V when 5V regulated DC is needed. In this article we are going to design a simple 5V DC power supply that can be used to power your Microcontroler projects using the 7805 voltage regulator.
For many hobbyists and students interested in programming PIC Microcontrollers, the high cost of a programmer can really be a huge obstacle. The programmer described in this article is very easy and cheap to build. It can cost you less than R 100 ($10) to build it and all the software used to program the PIC luckily are also free. You can use MPLAB X IDE with XC8, XC16 or XC32 compilers from Microchip Technology Inc that can be used to write and debug code for a PIC Microcontroller. You can download a free copy of MPLAB® X IDE and XC8 Compiler from Microchip website. They are also other compilers that you can use depending on your preference, like Mikroelekronika compilers where you can download a free 2Kb limited demo compiler on their website.
Temperature sensors are very important in many projects especially in temperature logging devices and alarms. In this article we are going to design a digital thermometer using MikroC Pro for PIC compiler. This digital thermometer is built around the LM35 which is a precision integrated-circuit temperature sensor whose output voltage is linearly proportional to the Celsius (Centigrade) temperature. Its output changes by 10 mV per °C so there is no need for calibration. It can measure a wide range of temperature from −55 to +150°C
The MPX4115A is an atmospheric pressure sensor powered by 5V and delivers and output from ~0.25V to ~4.75V based on the pressure detected at room temperature (25°C). The device provides a linear output based on pressure. It can measure pressures between 15kPa and 115kPa. Note that 1 atmosphere of pressure at sea level is equal to 101,325 Pa or 101 kPa. This sensor is ideal for microcontroller based barometer, altimeter, data logger or weather station applications. In this article, we're gonna create a simple Digital Barometer using mikroC Pro for PIC compiler.