SP.710: REC Fall 2000 Intensive Seminar #1

Introduction to Programmable Microcontrollers

(taught by Matt Hancher, Eric Smith, and Ben "Max" Davis)

This course introduces programmable microcontrollers, digital chips that can used as the "brains" of a huge variety of electronics and robotics projects.

Assignments, schedule, syllabus:

Day 1: Intro to the PIC, wiring.
Handouts: schematic, PIC pinout
Day 2: Intro to programming the PIC. Day 3: Serial communications between a PIC and a PC.
Handouts: MAX233 pinout, serial cable pinout
Day 4: Continuation of Day 3. Day 5: More involved programming: "Simon". Day 6: Further work on Simon.
(9/25: Vacation) Day 7: Last day of work on Simon? Day 8: Timing, PWM.
Day 9: Inputs: analog sensors and the A/D ports Day 10: A/D -> PWM (dimming an LED according to a knob's position) Day 11: Outputs: Driving higher-current loads.

Other useful resources:

Datasheets of the components we use

Some sample PIC code


This course is aimed at people with little or no microcontroller experience. If you have programmed microcontrollers before, this is not the class for you ... consider one of the other REC seminars later in the semester, or even coming to REC's periodic meetings.

This seminar does not assume any electronics experience, but does assume some sort of programming experience (whether in C, BASIC, or Cobol does not matter, just familiarity with basic programming concepts).

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