View Full Version : [SOLVED !] Why should I buy Proton and VSM?

john burke
30th June 2005, 01:41
I work for a gas safety products manufacturer who would like me to be more productive. I program Pic chips using MPlab, and use PowerBasic and C for other projects. Next year we will be using Java as well.

We purchased Picbasic Pro and are dissapointed with it. We are looking for a product that at least acts as a single entity and is quick and easy to get up to speed with.

I have downloaded the lite version of the compiler which looks quite nice, but do the Proton suite of programs with VSM ,and the boards supplied by crownhill offere us an edge over other products.

Although i do not pay for the products that we buy, my choices are accepted by the company and i must make the products pay for themselves.

Any advice from forum members would be gratefully received.

30th June 2005, 06:53
Hello John

Well, the PDS is a good package in my opinion, it has served me well.

It has a good GUI, its an 'all in one' package, i.e. you write , compile and program device from the same screen.

It comes with a USB dongle, that has advantages and disadvantages.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards


30th June 2005, 07:38
For rapid development you will find PDS hard to beat, it's not a procedural language so no elaborate setting up is required, just start writing.

If I were in your position I would look at doing the job properly. Purchase PDS then look very seriously at buying a VSM package. Start with by all means using the dev boards but remember that there free boards and while you can do a hell of a lot with them you can't alter the hardware.

Where you will ultimately get the savings is in the debugging time. I have one board with 3 pics on it, to debug that would be a real pain, but what I do is have them on the screen at once and can see the timing interaction between them, generally you will have some idea where the bug is so you can place a break around that section and single step to see whats happening, I could never do that with any debugger not even an ICD2.

Les wrote the Toshiba GLCD routines entirely in a VSM and only tested them on the real thing once he had it all going just to prove it works.

As your used to ASM you will love the clean code generated and how you can dip in and out of asm with out having to add @ or asm around it.

Unlike other compiler writers Les makes a living writing code using his compiler, he can write in Pic C, Pascal etc but he uses what makes his life easiest. The ultimate developer!

I could go on about the differences between Proton and the rest but I'm tired of it now but if you do a search for Pbpro you will know doubt find a load of posts where I do make the comparison.

30th June 2005, 16:40
Hi John,

I agree with Tim.

PDS is a truly great product.

My boss can't believe the speed with which I develop applications using the Proton Development Suite.
I work in the Engineering Design Services group of a very large multinational company (over 100,000+ employees).
PDS has helped me immensely.
Just this month one of our sales guys approached us with a problem.
We had a potential $200,000 sale, but the customer required a feature that we didn't offer.
And, although our competitor's product was not near as good as ours for core functionality, it did have this one feature.
So, it was my job to prove that we could provide what the customer was looking for.
Within one week I had a prototype built, programmed, and shipped to the customer.

If we do get the sale, PDS will have paid for itself many times over.

In the fall, I will start playing around with dsPICs and I will be programming in C, which I actually prefer for that particular architecture.

However, if I'm programming PIC10/12/16 or 18F devices, I couldn't imagine using anything else but PDS.

Also, the support, if you haven't noticed, is just awesome!


Mark Rodgers
30th June 2005, 18:42
I developed a product that uses RS232 comms to control a radio, the software and hardware were totally developed in Proton and the VSM, the VSM has a virtual port that uses the PC RS232 to talk to the radio and the PC simulates the PIC and all the hardware in the VSM, no prototype to build.


If you do not buy it, you will officially be bonkers!!!

30th June 2005, 20:25
Well, put it this way John.

I am by no means a good programmer, I am a small player more of a hobbyist, but even for me it has paid me many time over!

I have bought 2 licenses for my self! one for notebook and one for my permenantly sitting at a desk , go nowhere, back up, desktop machine, so that I never ever loose the USB key ... :)

IT is certainly worth every penny..

(I hope I get me commission now! LOL) j/k

1st July 2005, 12:30
Ok as far as I know if you get VSM to use with Proton you'll have no problems with developing very effectively once you learn how to use it. but it will depend on which form you want to use. You are better off talking with VSM support about this.

Now if you want to program a large number of different PIC's you'll need the licences keys for each type such as pic 16, pic18 and so on. PIC 16 is about $900 + AU so it not cheap

john burke
7th July 2005, 17:46
To all who replied to this post, thank you for the advice. We have purchased the Proton+ IDE along with the VSM bundle and the Pikprog programmer and some boards etc. Hopefully we will have something to show for it soon.

28th December 2005, 01:26
To John Burke,

Welcome aboard! I personally agree with every comment above and you have made the right decision...

Perhaps just step back and look at the responses you received...'users of a product who get nothing out of replying to messages but believe in the product' intresting isn't it? You can see that this forum along with all the help sites (User site and the new Proton Geek) are just one happy family all jumping over themselves to help and share infomation...

My last 2 cents worth: I brought PDS because of the support through the forum and from the Proton Develop team - although the IDE is great and functionallity is better than I could wish for - a great ,helpful forum and fello users is what gives PDS is real power and magic...just look at some of the user plugin's summitted for free! or code snippets! or complete projects! or anything else you come across! and the best part...it's only just beginning - every month heaps more gets added - what more could any User wish for?

If you are out there using the Demo and thinking about purchasing PDS then take the jump - the waters fine - you wont regret it -