20 Feb 2004 Grit   » (Journeyer)

I put up a web page with pictures of my pitiful, pointless electronics projects. Oh, well, at least I'm having fun.

I have gained an amazing amount of respect for capacitance. Virtually every problem I've had has been solved by adding more capacitors.

I'm looking for a good microcontroller to start playing around with. I've been thinking of Microchip's PIC12F629/675 series, since they're (1) flash-programmable, (2) dirt cheap, and (3) have an inexpensive programmer: the PICkit "flash starter kit" ($36). I love living in the future--- who would have predicted you could get a 5 MIPS, 8-pin computer for under $2.00?

But, I would need to buy quite a bunch of them for the project I have in mind and link them together, which is a nontrivial exercise. Or maybe I'm just a wimpy, cushioned C++ programmer who just can't handle having only 64 bytes of RAM. :)

I have a couple of samples of the Dallas Semiconductor DS80C400, but no eval board. I really like this chip--- it's got onboard Ethernet, although it needs an external PHY and transformer which I don't have yet. It can net boot, which is my ideal in terms of programmability. (This is probably not a reasonable possibility, since I don't want to have to solder the LQFP package, unless I buy one of the pre-made modules.)

Any Advogatans have experience to share with either of these, or can suggest a favorite which doesn't require large up-front costs?

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