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P942 PIC Training and Development Course
for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and 8

(The P942 replaces the P928-X)

For absolute beginners
and for beginners with a professional interest:-

P942 PIC Training and Development Course
Teaching PIC Assembler and C,
PC Visual C# (optional)
and EASY USB (optional)
(Course updated June 2012)

P942 module can be used as a production programmer

Our PIC training and development system is a complete course which introduces PIC microcontrollers to absolute beginners.

Update to PIC16F627A
In March 2007 we completed a total revision of the course and we changed the focus away from the rather out dated PIC16F84 to the PIC16F627A.

Update to PIC16F1827
Three years later in March 2010 technology had again moved forward in leaps and bounds, and a new low cost easy to use microcontroller was just starting to roll off the production line at Microchip. These are part of the new eXtremely Low Power family of PICs. In March 2010 we completed a further update of our training course to use these very latest PICs. The course is now centered around the PIC16F1827. This offers many extra features, four times more memory, is just as easy to use, yet costs a little less than the PIC16F627A.

Easy USB extension
In March 2012 we released the Easy USB extension of the P928 course.

Quick summary of the course
The first book starts with a gentle introduction to the essential background material with all the programming in assembly language but because we use simple programming techniques the concepts are easy to understand.

The second book introduces the C programming language starting with simple programmes for the PIC16F1827, then showing how these programmes can be run in the PIC16F1936, PIC16F627A and PIC16F84. C programming for 18F PICs is also covered with seven chapters which were added in the summer of 2009.

The third book Experimenting with Serial Communication, which is optional, starts with very simple PIC experiments, gradually getting more complex, until a full digital storage oscilloscope is created. We wire a phaseshift oscillator on the plugboard using the optional components and we view the waveform using the oscilloscope software which we have created using Visual C#. This is one of the last experiments of the course. All these experiments use the programmer module as the test bed.
The course material consists of our USB or PSU powered 16F and 18F PIC programmer module, a 320 page book introducing PIC assembly language in the simplest possible way, a 314 page book which takes you slowly into the C programming language, a 294 page book which teaches serial communication between a PC and a PIC, and software comprising a PIC assembler and a C compiler.

The programmer module is used to write our programmes into the PIC so that we can test them in the real world, and it is used as a test bed for running the programmes. It is wired with light emitting diodes, push button switches and an alphanumeric liquid crystal display so the experiments can be performed without needing to wire the circuits.

The progreammer module has two USB sockets, one for control and one for experimental use. The control PIC has two modes of operation, its normal programming mode, and a USB to USART mode. The P942 uses a black multi way slide switch to select between normal and USB to USART modes. Programme your PIC in the usual way then move the white slider to the left and your PIC can use the control PIC as a serial link to your PC. All designed to make the learning process as straightforward as possible.

The programmer module can be connected to any USB port on your PC.
Price list:-

Our programmer/experimental module usually takes its power from your computer via the
USB connection, and can be connected to any USB port on your PC. Our software runs
within Windows XP, NT, 2000, Vista, 7 and 8 etc.

Order code P942:-
  1. P942 PIC Training & Development Course comprising:-
    USB or PSU powered 16F & 18F PIC programmer/experimental module
    + Book: Experimenting with PIC Microcontrollers (7th edition)
    + Book: Experimenting with PIC C (7th edition)
    + PIC Assembler and PIC C compiler software
    + PIC16F1827, PIC16F1936 and PIC18F2321 test PICs
    + USB lead.......................................................................£173.00
  2. UK postage and insurance...................................................£10.00
    (Europe postage and insurance.......£20.00. Rest of world......£30.00)

  3. Optional Serial Communications Extension comprising:-
    Book: Experimenting with Serial Communications (4th edition)
    + PIC18F2450 test PIC
    + USB lead......................................................................£ 31.00
To create your order click: Go to P931 & P942 item selection page


The programmer/experimental module usually takes its power from your computer via the USB
connection and so does not normally require a separate power supply. The programmer/
experimental module can be connected directly to any USB port on your PC.
Optional kit of components
for Experimenting with PIC C


Full set of components for
white LEDs and motors tests
in chapters 12 and 13, including
all wire links and motors wired
with connecting leads.
Plus sounder and thermistor
for chapter 10 (Freezer thaw),
and chapter 11 (temperature tests).
As listed below:-

2 off PIC16F1826/7
3 off ultra bright white LEDs
.....30000 mcd, 20mA, 15 deg
3 off low current red LEDs
1 off 100uH inductor
1 off 4v3 zener diode
2 off FDP6035AL MOSFET
2 off 1A schottky diodes
2 off small DC motors
2 off variable resistors
1 off optoisolated triac
1 off BTA16-600B triac
1 pack resistors
1 pack capacitors
1 off push button switch
1 pack trimmed wire links
1 PP3 battery lead to two pins
1 battery holder 2 x AA
1 battery holder 4 x AA

1 off 100k thermistor
1 off piezo sounder

1 pack of components
..... for phaseshift oscillator

Complete kit of parts............£31.00
Some of the experiments in "Experimenting with PIC C" require circuits to be built up on the plugboard. The components for the experiments in chapters 12 and 13 are listed above on the right and are an optional extra. If this optional kit is purchased there is no soldering involved. The links are supplied cut to the correct lengths and the motors are supplied wired with connecting leads. Full point to point wiring instructions are included in the book, and the only tools needed to construct the circuits are a pair of side cutters and a pair of pointed nose pliers. Resistors are individually bagged and the other components are grouped logically so that no previous knowledge of components is needed. As well as learning about PIC programming this is also an excellent way to learn about some complex electronic circuits.

Experimenting with PIC Microcontrollers 7th Edition

Everyone should start programming PICs using assembly language because this is the only way to fully understand what happens, but there is a general misconception that PIC assembly language is difficult. Imagine trying to teach English grammar to a child before allowing him or her to speak yet that is how most books approach a technical subject. Our first book introduces PIC assembly language programming by jumping straight in with four easy experiments. The first is explained over seven and a half pages assuming no starting knowledge of PICs. The programmes are tested using the simulator then written into the test PIC and run in the real world.

Then having gained some practical experience we study the basic principles of PIC programming, learn about the 8 bit timer, how to drive the liquid crystal display, create a real time clock, experiment with the watchdog timer, sleep mode, beeps and music, including a rendition of Beethoven's Fur Elise. Then there are two projects to work through, using a PIC as a sinewave generator and investigating the power taken by domestic appliances.

The second project requires us to measure voltages and currents. Previously we needed to change to using a more expensive PIC but an analogue to digital converter is one of the extra features contained in the PIC16F1827. Now we are able to continue using the same PIC.

Finally we learn how to adapt the experiments right through the book so the software can be run in the PIC16F627A family, PIC16F84 and PIC18F2321 family. In the space of 24 experiments, two projects and 56 exercises the book works through from absolute beginner to experienced engineer level, covering a comprehensive selection of the most up to date microcontrollers.

For most of the experiments we use the Brunning Software assembler BSPWA. But in Chapters 3M and 5M we repeat some of the previous experiments using the official Microchip assembler MPASM X. The text used for both assemblers is identical so when we repeat the experiments we simply load in the file we have already created using BSPWA. So we benefit from the simplicity of BSPWA while also learning to use MPASM X.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 322 pages.

For most programmes the Brunning Software PIC assembler BSPWA requires no setting up. Start the programme running. Click [Load Template] to create the top six lines. Start typing your programme text.

Click [Build] to create the PIC code. Click [Start Simulator] to test the code. Connect the Brunning Software programmer module to your PC and fit a test PIC into one of the ZIF sockets. Click [Write Test PIC] to write the code into the test PIC. Click [Run Test PIC] to start the programme running.

For more information about BSPWA 7.1 click here.

Experimenting with PIC C - 7th Edition

We start by typing a very simple programme in C which gets the PIC to turn on two LEDs. Then we discover how easy it is to use C to create programme loops, and we experiment with IF statements. We learn how to use C to access the 8 bit and 16 bits timers, we write messages to the LCD, and use the keypad to enter numbers.

Then its time for 25 pages of serious study where we read about some of the more complex C techniques. We are not expected to remember this, the idea being to start the process of understanding the deeper aspects of C.

As we work through chapters 9 to 14 we use a PIC to generate a siren sound, create a freezer thaw warning device, and use a thermistor connected to a PIC to measure temperature. We use the PIC as a step up switching regulator, and to control the speed of a DC motor with maximum torque still available. Then we study how to use any PIC to switch 240 volt AC supplies using an optoisolated triac driving a high current triac. We study how to use the PIC's USART. We start our USART experimenting with direct PIC to PIC serial communication. Then we expand this to experiment with PIC to PC communication using the control PIC in its USB to USART mode. For the PC side of these experiments we use a serial coms facility which is built into BSPWA to avoid needing to write a programme for the PC. (When you work through the third book you will learn how to create your own PC programmes).

Chapters 15 to 21 have been added with the 4th edition of Experimenting with PIC C published on 1st December 2009. These seven chapters introduce C for 18F PICs. We start with a very simple programme, experiment with the built in timer, write to the LCD and read the keypad. Then we make a direct comparison between 18F assembler and C by experimenting with the complex calculations needed for temperature measurement. We end by using C to write the code for 18F PIC to PC serial communication.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 304 pages.


(optional) Experimenting with Serial Communication - 4th Edition

This third stage of our PIC training course is optional. It starts with simple experiments using a PIC18F2321. We use the PIC to flash LEDs and to write text to the LCD. Then we begin our study of PC programming by using Visual C# to create simple self contained PC programmes. When we have a basic understanding of PC programming we experiment with simple PC to PIC serial communication. We use the PC to control how the PIC lights the LEDs then send text messages both ways. We use Visual C# to experiment with using the PC to display sinewaves from simple mathematics. Then we expand our PC and PIC programmes gradually until a full digital storage oscilloscope is created. The final audio oscilloscope has harmonic analysis and sophistcated triggering. For all these experiments we use the P931 programmer as our test bed. When we need the serial link to the PC we flip the red switches to put the control PIC into its USB to USART mode.

The second half of Experimenting with Serial Communications 4th Edition starts with an introduction to our Easy USB. Then we repeat some of the serial experiments but this time we use a PIC18F2450 with its own USB port which we connect directly to a USB port of your PC. We follow this with essential background study then work through a complete project to use a PIC to measure temperatures, send the raw data to the PC, and use the PC to calculate and display the temperature.

Easy USB is a perfect solution for simple and medium complexity project. For complex projects or where the timing is critical it is best to split the action between two or more PICs. In the last chapter of the book we complete the study by learning how to use the library routines to programme a PIC18F2450 as a USB to USART converter.


This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 294 pages.

The experiment with the 3 white LEDs creates a light bright enough to be used as a torch. The brightness has to be seen to be believed!

The two experiments using the PIC16F1827 to control the speed of first one and then two motors are fascinating. This PIC has two comparators built in. We are able to use these to monitor the emf so that the full torque is available even at very low speeds. The theory behind this is fully explained in the book.

Chapter 14 of Experimenting with PIC C introduces serial data communication using the PICs Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (USART). It sounds complicated but it is actually very easy to understand. We start with PIC to PIC serial communication. To do these experiments we need two PIC circuits. One PIC is fitted in the programmer module and programmed as the master. The slave circuit can be wired in the attached plugboard but it is better to wire it in a separate plugboard as shown so the two circuits can be moved apart.

When the slave circuit is fully wired its PIC can be programmed while in the circuit by running a programming lead to the 40 pin ZIF socket as shown above.

When both PICs are programmed we connect the two circuits together using a 3 way lead and then start the tests. The master PIC should be fitted in the 40 pin ZIF socket but it was left out of this photograph!
The wiring of the slave circuit with the programming lead fitted.
The same slave circuit with the serial lead fitted.

Mid range PICs Programmed

Our Windows based assembler BSPWA_16F can programme the 16F PICs listed below using our P931 programmer module:-

8 pin 18 pin 28 pin 40 pin
PIC12F629 PIC16F84 PIC16F870 PIC16F871
PIC12F675 PIC16F84A PIC16f872
PIC16F873 PIC16F874
PIC12F1822 PIC16F627 PIC16F876 PIC16F877
PIC16F628
14 pin PIC16F873A PIC15F874A
PIC16F630 PIC16F627A PIC16F876A PIC16F877A
PIC16F676 PIC16F628A
PIC16F883 PIC16F884
PIC16F1823 PIC16F88 PIC16F886 PIC16F887
     
PIC16F1826 PIC16F1933 PIC16F1934
PIC16F1827 PIC16F1936 PIC16F1937


18F PICs Programmed

Our Windows based assembler BSPWA_18F can programme the 18F PICs listed below using our P931 programmer module:-

18 pin 28 pin 40 pin
PIC18F1230 PIC18F2221 PIC18F4221
PIC18F1330 PIC18F2321 PIC18F4321
PIC18F2420 PIC18F4420
PIC18F2450 PIC18F4450
PIC18F2455 PIC18F4455
PIC18F2520 PIC18F4520
PIC18F2525 PIC18F4525
PIC18F2550 PIC18F4550
PIC18F2620 PIC18F4620
  20 pin    
PIC18F13K22 PIC18F23K22 PIC18F43K22
PIC18F14K22 PIC18F24K22 PIC18F44K22
PIC18F25K22 PIC18F45K22
PIC18F26K22 PIC18F46K22


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