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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Goodbye

    Just wanted to say goodbye and thank all the people who helped me with PBP the last 10 years. I'm pulling the plug on it and PIC microprocessors and going over to the t other side: Arduino hell.

    Someone has really missed the mark regarding PBP and PICs. My PBP and Mecanique IDE are the best, most powerful, and easiest software to use, which I have been doing with my Lab x1 development system. I had a MikroElektronica system as well but used PBP for development instead of Mikro Basic. I sold the Mikro board when I saw the writing on the wall. I also got rid of my stock of about 1000 ICs: TTL and CMOS, and all my 555 and 556 chips.

    I tried to find something that would allow me to program Arduino family MCUs (I'm talking boards like UNO, Leonardo, DUE, etc) using PBP and/or the IDE but no one has facilitated this operation. MELabs says nothing is in development. Too bad: there's a ton of money to be made if someone could make the link. Instead I had to learn that crappy C++ language, spending 3/4 of my time fixing typos or trying to figure out what the cryptic error message is telling me.

    Why did I change? Because I like the idea of writing code and downloading to a development board that will also be the controller board. With PBP and PICS, I could do the development but didn't have a board to run: I had to MAKE that board. I did this a number of times and all boards eventually worked but all this took time to do. With Arduino for example, I can blink an LED 2 minutes after hooking up a board, then take the board and put it into service somewhere.

    I had tons of inventory of PIC MCUs and 6 large binders for the 6 MCUs I used. They were heavily noted and had lots of stickies in them (like the PBP manual) because in 10 years I did a lot of crap!!! I threw out all the documentation, including all the laminated cheat sheets I made for processors.

    Arduino has a large following of users. There is an application for everything under the sun. eBay sells a 37 sensor kit for Arduino (just plug in), for about $15. I now have more Arduino parts (sensors, relays, motors, LEDs, etc) and Arduino MCU boards than ever. I have 10 UNO's, a bunch of Leonardos, a dozen Minis, a Due. Some robotic kits I bought all had Arduino boards and "shields" (I have a bunch of shields too).

    I looked at the Amicus product by Crownhill and that is EXACTLY what I talking about. THIS is what could have taken Arduino on if the price and availability would have been better. Meanwhile I've been churning out projects like crazy with Arduino, despite it's terrible front end (you can't even print from the IDE!).

    So. No more PICs. No more PBP. (I'll keep it on my computer so I can show others how it great it was). I'll get rid of my LabX1 and programmer and other related hardware and cables I made up. I'll give away all my PIC chips (over 100 of them).

    See ya. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    Why did I change? Because I like the idea of writing code and downloading to a development board that will also be the controller board. With PBP and PICS, I could do the development but didn't have a board to run: I had to MAKE that board. I did this a number of times and all boards eventually worked but all this took time to do. With Arduino for example, I can blink an LED 2 minutes after hooking up a board, then take the board and put it into service somewhere.
    in 10 years you never heard of icsp or bootloaders or even curiosity boards ? all of which do exactly that .
    This is more entertaining than Free to Air TV

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Northeast
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    312

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Since you had to learn the new C-based language anyways, you could have learned XC8 and taken advantage of all the features MPLABX offers, which probably blows Arduino away (from what I know about both). Plus, like Richard said, Microchip (and 3rd party suppliers) offer demo boards, development boards, and other cool tools to help. I like PIC because I CAN put it on any PCB board I develop. I'm not tied to integrating an entire module, just the processor. Good luck with your new endeavors, I hope Arduino serves you well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default Re: Goodbye

    You mention that you make your board.
    So just make ones that are compatible with arduino. It should be really easy, I think eagle have library with board layout and connectors.
    So just put your favorite pic in middle, fanout pins, add 7805 or what ever vreg you want.
    And you can get best from both world...
    Anyway, good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Cambridge - UK
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    903

    Default Re: Goodbye

    I looked at the Amicus product by Crownhill and that is EXACTLY what I talking about. THIS is what could have taken Arduino on if the price and availability would have been better.
    We had support for Amicus from Microchip (UK) on the marketing and I spent a crap load of money on the Amicus. What little interest there was has dropped off. I'm about to dump the lot.

    Sad times, but even i've moved to Linux Single Board computers now. Ive done only 1 PIC based board in the last 12 months.

    Lester
    Lester - Forum Administrator
    -----------------------------------
    www.crownhill.co.uk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Commerce Michigan USA
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    1,199

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Lester, Please keep me in mind if you are going to UNLOAD any of the current Amicus boards. I heard talk of you maybe laying out a new one. I have been using the few I have purchased at work the last few months and have incorporated them into a few test systems. I currently load them with PIC18F27K40's running PBP3.1 with a boot loader. Beats the heck out of Arduino's. I also like the way you layed out the board with the ports. I sure beats the PICAXE layout. Thanks for all you do....
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    EN82fn

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    @Lester:

    Does the Amicus web site work? It says that it does not work.
    Availability and price is a serious factor for a product success. If one has to pay, say 20 euros for the product and 30 to get it by post or courier, I doubt it that orders will come. Unfortunately, China is to far away in this.

    @queenidog:

    With PBP or Proton Basic, you do things really fast and easy. And they can be used for professional projects too. With Arduino this is not true, as many of the libraries are made by hobbists and may crash or work but with errors.

    True that it has a wide base with a lot of lib's and many really cheap shields especially from China, but the question is, can you trust all these things? Other than the easy of use and programming.

    Ioannis

  8. #8

    Default Re: Goodbye

    You all miss the real point.

    PBP is dying not because there is no interest from the people, but because of major personalities left. Those personalities were helping in here with coding, examples and most of the times, they have spend many hours to explain to newbies and hobbyist the basics. That was the selling point for PBP.

    Now i feel like there are only 2 or 3 persons would really like to help, and all the others are looking to make money.

    If i had to start now with microcontrolllers, i would go to Arduino, because as a hobbyist i need to do what i ask for in a matter of short of time and fast as hell.

    PBP offers the simplicity with a wonderful IDE.

    I have no choice to leave or stay. I do not make leaving out of this.

    This is only my opinion and as i feel like a hobbyist. I do make simple things for my home, and for my kinds.

    If the developers were smart enough to understand the money income from the hobbyist market, i think PBP would be the top of the line IDE of all times.

    There are little documented and categorized examples, and all the others are here and there with broken information.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    This is not fair.

    Have you checked this: http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/content.php?r=5

    and this: http://dt.picbasic.co.uk/

    Many good examples and a lot of info.

    Ioannis

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    It's not running an interpreter but compiled/assembled code from the Arduino IDE (which I believe is built upon the gcc compiler). You can download the bootloader and flash it into a blank microcontroller using a device programmer (which can actually be another Arduino) and it "becomes" an Arduino.
    that's pretty right but if you step away from the Arduino standards things get interesting.
    I made a prototype pid based damper controller to regulate room temp on woodheaters all good on Arduino board uno atmega328 . for production I thought I would power it from 3.3v and use int osc to save components . turns out atmega328 won't run at 16mhz at that voltage had to drop back to 8mhz . then the boot loader needs to be replaced
    . then could not get reliable loads using int osc , so I had to buy a programmer . then I thought what am I gaining over the pic environment , exactly nothing
    xc8 and mcc is just lovely
    ps. nearly forgot
    when the load fails some times the config fuses get corrupted and the chips have to reprogrammed with a hv programmer they cannot be flashed by an other Arduino
    I binned a few till I discovered that little gem
    Last edited by richard; - 28th August 2018 at 03:57.
    This is more entertaining than Free to Air TV

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sweden
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    3,264

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Not just any AVR MCU you like I think. Only those supported.
    Yes, of course. I didn't mean it could be any 8-bit ATMEL just that the original Arduino is based on an 8-bit ATMEL processor. Obviously you need to use a microcontroller for which support exists in the Arduino environment. The cool thing of course is that "anyone" can add support for devices to the environment which I believe is why you now can program the ESP8266 directly from the Arduino IDE.

    I've not used an Arduino for anything. All I've ever done with the IDE is flashing an Openlog blackbox with its firmware.

    Of course there are limitation, problems, issues and bugs - as is always the case :-)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Ioannis, taking into cosideration the economic and technical aspects of my decision, please read the technical features of raspberry pi 0 w

    2835 SOC @ 1GHz
    1GHz
    512MB of RAM
    On-board Wireless LAN - 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n (BCM43438)
    On-board Bluetooth 4.1 + HS Low-energy (BLE) (BCM43438)
    micro-SD
    mini-HDMI
    micro-B USB for data
    micro-B USB for power
    CSI camera connector
    Unpopulated 40-pin GPIO connector

    All this already assembled on a nice tiny board for only 11 euros! How can I remain with pbp3 and pics?

    Alberto
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    I agree, the specs are no near anything in PIC or even Arduino world.

    But, will you trust such a board for a professional application? I know you are doing it for hobby, but others will be more skeptic using it.

    Still, very tempting!

    Ioannis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    432

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Thanks Guys,

    Just downloaded and installed XC8 and also found a copy of the C Programming Language in PDF format and downloaded that. Need to buy a tree now for the printer so I can get hard copies of the manuals to read in my luch break at work.

    Keith
    Keith

    www.diyha.co.uk
    www.kat5.tv

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    I for one, am a guy that started with Basic and found it very difficult to jump over to C.

    Tried many times but seems too difficult...

    Especially the beast called MPLAB-X.

    Ioannis

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Northeast
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    I work with Visual Studio's Visual "Basic", which is a blend of Basic & C. That is helping me learn XC8.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by Ioannis View Post
    I agree, the specs are no near anything in PIC or even Arduino world.

    But, will you trust such a board for a professional application? I know you are doing it for hobby, but others will be more skeptic using it.

    Still, very tempting!

    Ioannis
    I respect your views, but whilst watching this video the guy did a "whats inside" to discover that the product is based around a Pi



    Companies website http://vinylvideo.supersense.com/

    So the developers must have confidence in using such devices in a commercial environment.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    Never said anything about the hardware, which by the way is very impressive, having WiFi, Bluetooth etc on a low price board. A really dream board, either Pi or other flavors.

    My concern is about the libraries that someone, somewhere made with usually no documentation.

    Ioannis

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Commerce Michigan USA
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    Default Re: Goodbye

    I also don't want to decipher someone elses code with out documentation. That's a waste the time? It seems to get you off track of the REAL project at hand. I have found that most Libraries aimed for the Arduino system lack documentation. Most designers of the Arduino systems are just PLUG and PLAY type people. If it doesn't work they are on to a new project or modifying someone else's code to make it work for there purpose and NOT documenting it....

    IMHO,
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    EN82fn

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