Why has been made?

Because there ase so many training and development board, which are all good products, but every one of them has its own limits and faults. Some of them are very simple but rather obsolete, some others are very easy to use but pretty useless for professional purposes. Some others are far too complicated, some others don't have free development tools, or if they have it, they are far too complicated to use.
As a result, we decided to make a simple and economical board, with a powerful microcontroller, which can be used with well-made development tools, which can support standard programming languages (like C and assembly), in order to learn something useful and easily develop your own project.

For whom was it made?

was designed for anyone interested in microcontroller programming, for anyone who don't want to lose time with annoying pseudo-languages, and for anyone interested in achieving a valuable experience, useful to approach a large class of microcontrollers. Excellent also for teaching microcontroller programming at school, or vice versa for anyone who already works with similar microcontrollers and wants a quick solution to integrate this microcontroller in his own application.
The board is not useful for anyone interested in using it as a toy, giving the impression of knowing a lot about microcontrollers! Whoever is searching for a turn-key product, without putting some effort to use it properly, it's better to avoid this board at all! The web is full of toys, if you want one just search and go for it.

Who is behind ?

Behind the project lies the community, a large community of electronic professionals, hobbysts, teachers and engineers with a strong passion, who spend part of their precious time to help anyone who needs to learn.
In this particular case, they can help anyone involved in microcontroller system design, for anyone who is studying microcontrollers at school, and for anyone who is struggling to achieve experience and make his own way in microcontroller programming as a job in the future.

How much does cost, and how can I obtain it?

The price is intentionally low, to avoid it being a problem (especially for young players). The woftware is completely free and multi-platform compatible. If you have some experience in electronics, you can even build the board by your own,You can buy it completely assembed and tested, or buy just the blank PCB. A breadboard prototype can work like a charm as well!
For any info, write an email to SANGON.

What can you do with ?

The powerful microcontroller on board allows basically any application, from the simplest circuits with displays, sensors, LEDs, switches and serial lines, or measurement systems, up to PLC simulation, domotic systems, robotics, USB devices development, like USB pen drives, gaming devices, PC accessories. The only limit is your fantasy.
Probably it is not so good just if you are approaching an automatic space ship pilot system, or particular application where 32-bit machines are for sure way more powerful!

What should I know in order to use it?

Some basic electronics is essential, even just to turn it on and plug it into a breadboard. A further step would be some knowledge in microcontroller programming, in Assembly language, or, even better, in C. If then you already know something about electronics and programming, you'll find an easy way to go!

What if I know NOTHING about electronics?

The same people behind actively join forum, which includes engineers, professionals, teachers and authentic gurus on electronics design, programming, industrial automation, mathematics and physics. It's the right place to begin with electronics, to have the right advices and even to have some help with studying. A lot of university students actually keep it as a reference source.

Are there specific tutorials available?

here are a lot of existing tutorials dealing with the primary stuff, like how to turn on the first projects, how to use the software, how to connect with the PC, up to the most complex applications. The idea behind is to provide a complete scalability of the project, offering a wide variety of tutorials, from the most basics up to the highest.

Do easier-to-use boards than this exist?

Yes, as said before there are a lot of ready-to-use boards, intended to have results on almost zero time. Unfortunately the training content of those boards is very poor, and is strictly linked to the specific board and its accessories. With PIERIN PIC18 instead, the platform is shared with the largest diffused standards, so it is far from being a toy or a bottom-level basic tool.

What is the advantage in using ?

The main advantage is not coming from te board itself, but mainly from the community behind it and the contributions coming from anyone working on it. The board is only intended as a physical support for the soft work, the reference for all the developent programs, especially the educational ones.

Can it be useful for my job?

Certainly! The purpouse of the project, especially for the ones who have poor knowledge on microcontrollers, is to provide useful information starting in the right way, in order to develop all the most important skills required by the working environment nowadays. Your wealth of knowledge can grow up, and we all know that knowledge is a synonim for opportunity.

What should I do to begin using it by now?

Just visit the How to kick off. section. You will find there all the useful information to start up your experience with .

I do not have PICKIT3 but just PICKIT2, can I use it anyway?

Unfortunatly PICKIT2 doesn't supports the PIC18F47J53. Maybe, in future, Microchip will release a new firmware. More information can be found on the PicKit2 official Microchip website page.

Why PIC18F47J53 has been chosen?

The microcontroller choose is essential. There are millions of different microcontrollers out there, and we struggled to find the one which could offer the best machine both for the beginner and the professional user, a microcontroller which can be supported by the best known and free tools, which can integrate a large number of integrated peripherals, and which could be programmed both in Assembly and C. The PIC18F47J53 was chosen for the following reasons:
  • It is an 8-bit machine, so it is easy to program in C and Assembly. To properly learn how to deal with microcontrollers, you absolutely need some basics in Assembly programming. Powerful and complex microcontrollers are hard to program in Assembly, and therefore they are not the best to learn the basics. C language is an authentic resource, and its knowledge is a must. We believe that it is important to avoid ad-hoc languages, useful to obtain immediate resultsm but giving no teaching for long-term knowledge.
  • A lot of different developement tools can be used, most of them are for free. The availability of such tools avoids major difficulties, and makes easier to approach programming.
  • 1128 KB of FLASH memory are so large, letting you to implement large complexity applications. This is actually the major limit of a lot of available systems, which therefore limits the space of your program; this large memory microcontroller allows you to fit easily almost any program you are going to write.
  • A lot of powerful, eas-to-use integrated peripherals. UART, SPI, I2C, timers, PWM and a lot more, allow you to make some experience with this kind of peripherals, which ar widely used among all the families of microcontrollers.
  • Integrated USB 2.0 interface, useful for a lot of applications. If you want to begin your experience with USB, this is the non-plus device.
  • A lot of available examples from Microchip Library for ApplicationA lot of examples and applications are provided from Microchip, giving a strong support for any project, from training material up to advanced topics, useful for product-release programming.
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