We often come across a problem where an understanding of Intel Hex file format will help in solving a programming issue or technical point. Intel Hex format is a standard layout for files produced by assemblers or C compilers when they compile your source code. It is used by device programmers to program the target microcontroller with your code.
This is a question we are often asked. I want a genuine Atmel AVR ISP MKII (ATAVRISP2) not a Chinese clone, can you supply it? Unfortunately the answer is no as Atmel have stopped manufacturing their ATAVRISP2 programmer.
Microchip PIC microcontrollers come in a wide variety of types from very old PIC16C family through to the latest PIC16F and PIC18F devices, with several other less common types as well. Apart from some very old chips, they are all In Circuit Serial Programmable, which means that they can be programmed in circuit using a PIC ICSP programmer.
We are all familiar with short range Bluetooth wireless communication as it is commonly used by our smart phones to transfer data or to connect to headphones etc. Computers also use it for communicating with the mouse, speakers or headsets. These are all short range applications but can Bluetooth wireless be used for longer range transfers?
ISP or In System Programming is the best way to program AVR microcontrollers as it allows them to be programmed in circuit. This is easier for development, production and most importantly, for updating the firmware later in the field. The tool used for this is an AVR ISP.
The Wellon VP-290 Universal Programmer is one of the cheapest universal programmers on the market but its build quality and reliability are excellent. It only has a 40-pin ZIF socket unlike other Wellon programmers that have 48-pin ZIF sockets. This means it is really only suitable for devices with 40 pins are less. The only exception is chips in 44 PLCC packages, such as AVR microcontrollers, which are supported by the VP-290.
Microcontrollers are in everything nowadays from simple items like dimmer switches to complex systems such as your mobile phone. Learning microcontroller programming allows you to create a huge range of embedded projects only limited by your imagination.
Kanda have become distributors for Waveshare who manufacture low cost but high quality products. As well as a range of Arduino boards and shields, Waveshare make AVR microcontroller tools, Bluetooth, WiFi and Zigbee modules and FPGA development kits and programmers.
The PIC16F877A (and earlier PIC16F877) are microntrollers supplied by Microchip. It is just one device among many PIC microcontrollers and it is a veteran chip compared with many others. There are lots of articles, projects and circuit diagrams available on the web that use the PIC16F877A so it seems to make sense to use it but should you still use this chip?
Arduino is officially an open source electronic prototyping system, which is sold with the slogan “So easy, my granny can use it”. It is not quite as simple as that but it is pretty easy to buy a successful project and implement it quickly. So if your idea has already been done, Arduino makes it straightforward to carry it out.