Suggest microcontroller and compiler

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Martin Wells, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Martin Wells

    Martin Wells Guest

    I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    microcontroller and C compiler combination?

    Martin
    Martin Wells, Sep 20, 2007
    #1
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  2. Martin Wells

    Chris Hills Guest

    In article <>,
    Martin Wells <> writes
    >
    >I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >microcontroller and C compiler combination?



    Hi,

    TI MSP430 is a good place to start for battery powered/portable stuff.
    At least that is for industrial use. Try them though.

    PIC, AVR and 8051 are all common with good tools, boards and support
    for students. Also it is usually easy for students to get samples and
    tools for them.

    My *personal* preference wound be 8051, AVR and PIC in that order but
    that is the order of my experience and the tools I have. Others will put
    them in a different order.

    So really it is what ever you can get local support for. I.e if. you
    have some one who can lend you ARM11 or 68K kit, tools and help out
    use that :)

    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    /\/\/ www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
    Chris Hills, Sep 20, 2007
    #2
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  3. On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 04:32:55 -0700,
    Martin Wells <> wrote:
    >
    > I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    > portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    > and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    > microcontroller and C compiler combination?


    Start here:

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/microcontroller-faq/primer/

    I suggest comp.arch.embedded as probably a better place to discuss the
    pros and cons of microcontrollers and their compilers, if the FAQ
    doesn't give you enough information.

    Martien
    --
    |
    Martien Verbruggen | Computers in the future may weigh no more
    | than 1.5 tons. -- Popular Mechanics, 1949
    |
    Martien verbruggen, Sep 20, 2007
    #3
  4. Martin Wells wrote:
    > I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    > portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    > and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    > microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >

    http://www.arduino.cc/

    Open source hardware, large toolset, active community for assistance,
    and cheap, cheap, cheap.
    --
    clvrmnky <mailto:>

    Direct replies will be blacklisted. Replace "spamtrap" with my name to
    contact me directly.
    Clever Monkey, Sep 20, 2007
    #4
  5. Martin Wells

    Chris Hills Guest

    In article <lwvIi.26609$!nnrp1.uunet.ca>, Clever
    Monkey <> writes
    >Martin Wells wrote:
    >> I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >> portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >> and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >> microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >>

    >http://www.arduino.cc/
    >
    >Open source hardware, large toolset, active community for assistance,
    >and cheap, cheap, cheap.


    " cheap, cheap, cheap." is hardly a technical recommendation.

    There are plenty of similar systems out there


    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    /\/\/ www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
    Chris Hills, Sep 20, 2007
    #5
  6. Martin Wells

    Al Balmer Guest

    On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 04:32:55 -0700, Martin Wells <>
    wrote:

    >
    >I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >

    No, but I can tell you where to ask: comp.arch.embedded. It's off
    topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    --
    Al Balmer
    Sun City, AZ
    Al Balmer, Sep 20, 2007
    #6
  7. Chris Hills wrote:
    > In article <lwvIi.26609$!nnrp1.uunet.ca>, Clever
    > Monkey <> writes
    >> Martin Wells wrote:
    >>> I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >>> portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >>> and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >>> microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >>>

    >> http://www.arduino.cc/
    >>
    >> Open source hardware, large toolset, active community for assistance,
    >> and cheap, cheap, cheap.

    >
    > " cheap, cheap, cheap." is hardly a technical recommendation.
    >

    The request was not exclusively about "technical" recommendations. The
    criteria I see above are things like "simple" and "decent", with an
    interest in a robust toolset.

    > There are plenty of similar systems out there
    >

    Yes, and therefore, since the query as written implied that the OP was
    interested in opinions and suggestions based on some general criteria, I
    made a suggestion. Whether or not there are similar choices is hardly
    the point.

    My suggestions fit nicely with the stated requirements of being a
    college project. Since we have no idea how much lab fees are going to
    be, it may be that this is an out-of-pocket expense. Therefore, that
    the device family is designed to be as accessible as possible, in terms
    of price and toolchain, makes it a reasonable suggestion to me.

    The only clear criteria we have is that this is for a school project. I
    stand by my suggestion that my link points to an apropos choice for a
    school project.

    I have no idea why we are having this discussion.
    --
    clvrmnky <mailto:>

    Direct replies will be blacklisted. Replace "spamtrap" with my name to
    contact me directly.
    Clever Monkey, Sep 20, 2007
    #7
  8. Martin Wells

    Thad Smith Guest

    Chris Hills wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Martin Wells <> writes
    >> I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >> portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >> and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >> microcontroller and C compiler combination?


    > So really it is what ever you can get local support for. I.e if. you
    > have some one who can lend you ARM11 or 68K kit, tools and help out
    > use that :)


    I agree: use what you can get easy in-person support for, normally what
    lots of other folks locally use.

    --
    Thad
    Thad Smith, Sep 21, 2007
    #8
  9. Martin Wells

    CBFalconer Guest

    Thad Smith wrote:
    > Chris Hills wrote:
    >> Martin Wells <> writes
    >>
    >>> I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm
    >>> making a portable device that will take input in the form of
    >>> simple switches, and give output in the form of LED's. Can you
    >>> please suggest a decent microcontroller and C compiler
    >>> combination?

    >
    >> So really it is what ever you can get local support for. I.e
    >> if. you have some one who can lend you ARM11 or 68K kit, tools
    >> and help out use that :)

    >
    > I agree: use what you can get easy in-person support for,
    > normally what lots of other folks locally use.


    What's the problem? For each switch, connect to +5V through a
    resistor and LED, and the other contact goes to ground. Now you
    can prepare any pattern. No microcontroller or C compiler is
    remotely needed. :)

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>



    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    CBFalconer, Sep 21, 2007
    #9
  10. Martin Wells

    Martin Wells Guest

    Al:

    > It's off topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.



    I disagree, and I'd guess that a lot of other people disagree too.

    I'd go to the bother of drawing an analogy or explaining my reasoning,
    but I think this one is a no-brainer. I mean who better to ask about
    what tools to use for programming in C, than C programmers.

    Martin
    Martin Wells, Sep 24, 2007
    #10
  11. Martin Wells

    Chris Hills Guest

    In article <>, Al Balmer
    <> writes
    >On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 04:32:55 -0700, Martin Wells <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >>portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >>and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >>microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >>

    >No, but I can tell you where to ask: comp.arch.embedded. It's off
    >topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.


    It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.

    What is OT here is the constant OT whining from a small group.
    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    /\/\/ www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
    Chris Hills, Sep 24, 2007
    #11
  12. Martin Wells

    Al Balmer Guest

    On Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:43:24 -0700, Martin Wells <>
    wrote:

    >Al:
    >
    >> It's off topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    >
    >
    >I disagree, and I'd guess that a lot of other people disagree too.
    >
    >I'd go to the bother of drawing an analogy or explaining my reasoning,
    >but I think this one is a no-brainer. I mean who better to ask about
    >what tools to use for programming in C, than C programmers.
    >

    Proper construction of replies is marginally on-topic. I have no idea
    what you're responding to.

    --
    Al Balmer
    Sun City, AZ
    Al Balmer, Sep 24, 2007
    #12
  13. Martin Wells

    Al Balmer Guest

    On Mon, 24 Sep 2007 20:02:23 +0100, Chris Hills <>
    wrote:

    >In article <>, Al Balmer
    ><> writes
    >>On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 04:32:55 -0700, Martin Wells <>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>>I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    >>>portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    >>>and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    >>>microcontroller and C compiler combination?
    >>>

    >>No, but I can tell you where to ask: comp.arch.embedded. It's off
    >>topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    >
    >It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.


    A microcontroller? Not part of my tool chain.

    I should think that even you would recognize that c.a.e is not only a
    more appropriate venue, but likely to provide better information. Are
    you afraid that someone there might contradict your advice?
    >
    >What is OT here is the constant OT whining from a small group.


    The whining I find objectionable is the small group of people who are
    constantly trying to put this NG off track by insisting that if
    something is spelled with a "c", it's topical here.

    --
    Al Balmer
    Sun City, AZ
    Al Balmer, Sep 24, 2007
    #13
  14. Martin Wells <> writes:
    > Al:
    >
    >> It's off topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    >
    >
    > I disagree, and I'd guess that a lot of other people disagree too.
    >
    > I'd go to the bother of drawing an analogy or explaining my reasoning,
    > but I think this one is a no-brainer. I mean who better to ask about
    > what tools to use for programming in C, than C programmers.


    Perhaps people who program for embedded systems.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
    Keith Thompson, Sep 24, 2007
    #14
  15. Martin Wells

    CBFalconer Guest

    Chris Hills wrote:
    > Al Balmer <> writes
    >> Martin Wells <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm
    >>> making a portable device that will take input in the form of
    >>> simple switches, and give output in the form of LED's. Can you
    >>> please suggest a decent microcontroller and C compiler
    >>> combination?

    >>
    >> No, but I can tell you where to ask: comp.arch.embedded. It's
    >> off topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    >
    > It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.
    >
    > What is OT here is the constant OT whining from a small group.


    No it isn't. It is better suited to comp.arch.embedded. What is
    off-topic is your continuous attempts to derail c.l.c from its
    subject.

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>


    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    CBFalconer, Sep 25, 2007
    #15
  16. Martin Wells

    Old Wolf Guest

    On Sep 25, 7:02 am, Chris Hills <> wrote:
    >
    > It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.


    This NG isn't "anything to do with C". There are several
    C newsgroups. This particular one is "the C language as
    defined by the C standard", or something like that.
    The NG for "programming a microcontroller" is comp.arch.embedded.
    Old Wolf, Sep 25, 2007
    #16
  17. Martin Wells

    user923005 Guest

    On Sep 24, 12:02 pm, Chris Hills <> wrote:
    > In article <>, Al Balmer
    > <> writes
    >
    > >On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 04:32:55 -0700, Martin Wells <>
    > >wrote:

    >
    > >>I'm doing an embedded systems college project this year. I'm making a
    > >>portable device that will take input in the form of simple switches,
    > >>and give output in the form of LED's. Can you please suggest a decent
    > >>microcontroller and C compiler combination?

    >
    > >No, but I can tell you where to ask: comp.arch.embedded. It's off
    > >topic here, even if you intend to program the device in C.

    >
    > It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.


    I agree that if there were not a better place to discuss it, then
    news:comp.lang.c would be the place to discuss it.

    Don't you think that the embedded programming group will give the best
    advice about embedded programming?

    > What is OT here is the constant OT whining from a small group.


    This group does go "over the top" from time to time when it comes to
    topicality. But I think that is better than letting topicality
    include the universe.

    I think that the heavy handed response to things perceived as not
    topical is a function of a few different things:
    1. Long standing general consensus by regular netizens of c.l.c
    2. A reaction to a rising tide of net pests
    3. Nostalgia for 'the good old days' (But -- of course -- they were
    just like today)

    Personally, as long as a friendly redirection is included I think that
    a response aiming the OP to a superior forum (more focused on his/her
    topic) is the best possible response.

    Any given newsgroup should keep the subject matter as focused as
    possible on the main content of the newsgroup (but not so focused that
    it becomes 'unreasonable'). I consider 'unreasonable' when you turn
    someone away but there is no place that is better to go.

    Since news:comp.lang.c is not a moderated newsgroup, any subject
    matter is *possible* as far as postings go. The maintenance of
    topicality is (therefore) up to the discretion of the participants.
    Generally speaking, some sort of consensus is reached by 'the
    regulars' of a group who try to keep the conversations focused on
    topical matters. In those groups which do not have that sort of
    effort, in a short time they become completely unreadable.

    IMO-YMMV.
    user923005, Sep 25, 2007
    #17
  18. On Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:41:04 -0700, in comp.lang.c , user923005
    <> wrote:

    >On Sep 24, 12:02 pm, Chris Hills <> wrote:
    >
    >> It is on topic here.. He is looking for tools to program in C.

    >
    >I agree that if there were not a better place to discuss it, then
    >news:comp.lang.c would be the place to discuss it.


    This doesn't necessarily follow - AFAIK there's no better place to
    discuss my neighbour's problems with ingrown toenails, but that
    doesn't make clc the place to discuss it.
    --
    Mark McIntyre

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
    by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
    --Brian Kernighan
    Mark McIntyre, Sep 25, 2007
    #18
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