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DPRG: Chip Packages and PICStart Plus Questions

Subject: DPRG: Chip Packages and PICStart Plus Questions
From: Mike Norris miken at hic.net
Date: Mon Feb 23 19:48:02 CST 1998

   I have been using the PIC START PLUS for a couple of years now with windows
3.1 and Windows95. I have to say I agree completely with Kevin, use the PIC
START PLUS with the Microchip MPLAB (which includes a simulator) and you
should not have any problems. The PIC architecture and mnemonics are
different than what you might find on an 8051 or 68HC11 so it may take some
getting use to. Microchip made the instruction set execute very quickly
(usually 4 to 8 clock cycles and some of the new parts run up to 33MHZ) but
being a RISC processor the instruction set makes you do all the work. What I
really like about the PIC microprocessors is that you can get a wide range
of packages and functions ,8 pin DIP parts with 6 I/O lines ( even 8 pin DIP
parts with 8 bit A/D converters are now available ) to PLCC parts with 48
I/O lines. In regards to the flash or EPROM parts, the flash parts can be
erased electrically (by the PIC-START PLUS while the EPROM parts require an
ultraviolet EPROM eraser. Also, the flash memory parts typically do not have
the ROM memory capacity of some of the EPROM parts.
I hope this helps.

                                        Mike Norris

At 11:40 AM 2/23/98 -0800, you wrote:
>-----Original Message-----
>From: TimMicDet at aol.com <TimMicDet at aol.com>
>To: dprglist at dprg.org <dprglist at dprg.org>
>Date: Sunday, February 22, 1998 10:20 AM
>Subject: DPRG: Chip Packages and PICStart Plus Questions
>>    I am getting ready to buy the PICStart Plus Programmer from Digikey
>>anyone know if this is a good programmer?), and have a few questions about
>>and about PICs in general.  First of all will this programmer work with
>>Windows 95?  I just when to Microchip's web page and there it said it
>>Windows 3.1 or something like that, any ways it wasn't 95, is this true?
>>Another question I have is, what do the different type chips packages look
>>like, and which ones are the easiest to use?  Such as, what is a  Soic
>>package, a CDip, a PLCC, and a CLCC.  Which type of package do most people
>>use?  And also is there a name that tells you if a Dip package is going to
>>a wide one, vs. the more common narrow ones.  One last question I just
>>of, what is the difference between Flash memory and EEProm memory?  The
>>seems to be the better way to go, is it?
>I have a PICStart Plus, and have been quite happy with it. Yes, it does run
>on Windows/95.
>The nice thing about the PICStart Plus is that it is directly supported by
>MPLAB, and it also handles all of the PIC variations, which some of the
>others do not.
>The various packages can be confusing. For the most part, you want to use
>the CDip (Ceramic DIP). SOIC is a surface mount part, and the PLCC and CLCC
>require sockets or surface mount.
>If this is your first project with a microcontroller, I might suggest that
>you choose a different architecture. The PIC series are great little parts,
>but they are also a bit quirky to use at times. The RISC instruction set is
>only 35 instructions, so you need to have a pretty decent bag of programming
>tricks to do many operations.
>I would suggest a 68HC11 or a 8051 part instead. The 68HC11 doesn't require
>special programming hardware, and has a lot of nice features that make it
>very first timer friendly. The 8051 is also a decent enough chip, though you
>usually need a EPROM programmer or other hardware to work with them.


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