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About vloki

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  1. In the ivory tower of the university price is not that important. If you build less than 10 devices even a difference of 5$/€ for each would not be worth to waste 1h of work 😉 For he student board I linked above which is sold a few hundred times it is a little bit more important to keep the price for all the components in the range of 10€ to make it attractive for them to get and build their own. (let them handle and solder the different sized components is one additional intention) A 18F2xK22 is is for sure not the cheapest uC you can get, but in 2013 it was one of the most feature rich in the 8-Bit PIC range that is relative easy to understand with all of its peripherals for beginners in mikrocontroller programming. Of course the presence of lots of tools like PICkit3 and knowledge of the MPLAB IDE and PIC18 at the side of the tutors in the labs was influencing the choice. 😉 I think the tools are very important especially if you do it not solely work with them or if you want to use them for teaching. At the moment there is another subject where Python will be used as a fist programming language for our students. A small part of this subject should be about embedded programming too. So we play around with circuitPython and microPhyton to see if it is easy enough to get an insight in just two or three lessons. Therefore we bought some tiny boards with SAMD21 and ESP32 controllers. Maybe some day we will build our own circuit/micropython board as we did with the PIC one but for the beginning it es more easy to use such controllers with huge libraries already available for them.
  2. Forgot to mention: If there are people in Europe who really think they want to have outdated PICs. I have a bunch of them (~20 PIC16F877 or 877a; 10+ 18F452; all DIP40 and about 1kg of 16F688 in SO14) Come and get them for free 😉
  3. I have to admit, that we used this compiler too in our labs untill maybe 2 years ago. It worked, was installed on the computers and if you have a comprehensive script it is quite some work to keep everything at a recent level. Another reason to stay with C18 as long as possible was the output from the first free versions of XC8. Found it really horrible and unusable for education. It is much better now 😉 https://www.microchip.com/forums/FindPost/668751 About the ancient PICs: We started with PICDEM2 (2002 version) boards coming with 16F877 or 18F452. Used 18f452 and ICD2 as programmer/debugger. When the 4520 comes out with internal oscillator we assembled the boards with this one. Later we took out the 4520 and replaced it with a 45K22 and the ICD2 got replaced with PICkit3. ~2013 we switched to our own board. Students can buy a construction kit and build them by themselves. Looks like these http://www.hs-ulm.de/nocache/wir/Personal/PersonalSaSchr/vschilli/Mikrocontroller/uCQ/ Maybe the 2xK22 will be replaced by a 2xK42... About the software breakpoints: Jason Kajita posted this some years ago: https://www.microchip.com/forums/FindPost/434136
  4. Yep, looked at these XPRESS boards some time ago and missed the debug feature too. Wouldn't it be nice to have PICkit on board feature?
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