Checkout the new online store! Spark Fun Electronics
(10/21/02): PCB Prototype
(10/03/02): Back Light Circuit
(8/12/02): PIC Programming II
I started with a Parallax Basic STAMP II and just went crazy with it. These things are microcontrollers that are found in your microwave, your VCR, cell phone, everything! And I love to play!
The Basic STAMP was cool, but it was too canned - too user friendly. I wanted to be able to control more. So I started playing with the parts.
My first microcontroller project was of course the blinking light. Using a 16F84-A processor, I got two LEDs to blink. Whew!
Now I've moved on to more interesting pursuits. Interrupts, RS 232 communications, I2C communications, and timers all posed problems that were eventually solved. And I do mean eventually.
I think I spent four days (~20 hours) getting Serial Interrupts to work. This is probably no big deal to the serious programmer. But for me, it took a bit of work.
The thing on the left is the ICSP (in-circuit serial programmer). Some wiring for the ocillator, the black cable is the RS232 serial comm, power capcitors, some LEDs, the serial I2C eeprom is the smaller chip, the 5v voltage regulator is on the right side. The black box is something I put together to indicate power, control on/off, program on/off, and reset push button. Lastly is the power block. I'm using the NiMH batteries out of my digital camera for now to supply an unregulated 5.8v.
I hope to get the LCD screen (the next big step) working soon.