chipKIT® Development Platform

Inspired by Arduino™

Problems with ChipKit microcontroller

Created Thu, 08 Mar 2012 23:15:42 +0000 by poriet


Thu, 08 Mar 2012 23:15:42 +0000

Hello, This title may be slightly misleading: I want to get a ChipKit inpreference to the Arduino because I favour the PIC range of processors. But I see a not inconsiderable problem: I would have thought that the general idea would bve to use the module with the processor and associated hardware to program the chip-in situ, and then remove it and put it in whatever device you had in mind. For example, I want to build a device which sits at the top of a tree; has a motor with a long cable and miniature winch; at the end of the cable is a tiny bucket. The tree would be in some woodland where there are squirrels. Every morning, you come along, send a radio signal to the device, which lowers the bucket so you can fill it with monkey-nuts and then, crucially, rewind it so that the food is high up and out of reach of vandals. The power would derive from some Li-ion cells which would be recharged (hopefully ) from asolar panel, also up the tree. Now, this is just one of a number of projects I have in mind. I want to be able to program the micro, and then transfer it. You can do this with the Arduino or the Amicus18, but not the Chipkit, since the PIC is an smd with dozens ofpins. Comments, please.


Sal Ammoniac

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 01:18:06 +0000

I don't see an issue here. If you have access to the hardware to the point where you can remove the MCU and plug in another one, you can just as easily (easier, in my opinion), include an in-circuit programming port on the board and re-flash the firmware. Just install your development tools on a laptop and you have a portable solution you can take out into the woods with you.


Fri, 09 Mar 2012 02:11:05 +0000

If size and cost are issues, an option could be a micro-controller like the :arrow: MSP430.


Sat, 10 Mar 2012 05:20:37 +0000

You can develop you project on the ChipKit32 , then you can buy the PIC32MX795F512 or PIC32MX320F128 chip, get a SchmartBoard or similar to make installing them on your pcb easier, and use an in-circuit programmer to program them.

This gives you the best of both worlds.


Sat, 10 Mar 2012 07:59:47 +0000

Thanks for your input, everybody. Sal ammoniac: I fear you used too much jargeon and I didnt understand what you were saying. However, my thanks to the chap who put me onto Texas Instruments: I didnt know they are making their 'own-brand' micros. And jolly clever they are, too. Better still, they sell a development board with a series of micros which are DIL types and so you can easily remove them and transfer them to another board. Theres no compatibility with Arduino, but I guess you cant have everything. And I would surmise the Forum on TI will be awash with clever ideas. I've ordered the board from TI and we'll how it goes!