View Full Version : Need some more help deciding.

21st November 2009, 16:21

I've been reading posts here for a while and had a few super-noob questions. I've been programming in Visual Basic for years and have some small electronics background but I am completely clueless when it comes to embedded programming. I almost pulled the trigger on MikroBasic until I found this site. It seems that users here are doing much more complicated projects than over at Mikroe. I am still unsure as to weather Pic is even the way to go to achieve my goals, which are -

I need to create a device that can play many different pre-recorded Hi-Quality voice prompts, and some music. The format is unimportant (MP3, WAV) but I need several minutes worth of these files. I also want to place these files on some sort of memory chips on the perfboard (Not SD cards, or readers). Would I use eeproms for that? if not, what kind of memory chip can I play these from?

Also, I need to be able to do other things, simultaneously, while the prompts are playing like flash LED's, and wait for user input via buttons, mic, etc.

I know that I will need to build an opamp etc, but I just want to know if this is possible with PDS and the Pic platform? I also had some other questions. It seems there is no viable solution over at Mikroe to be able to communicate via USB with a PC. I noticed there seems to be more USB functions in PDS. How is it and how capable is it? I'm seeing posts about RS232 and Serial but I haven't had a PC with a serial port like that in 4 years!

Finally, Will PDS run on Windows 7? And I was a bit disheartened when I saw a post that said the developer was not interested in expanding the supported devices, or support the Pic24 family. How does future development look?

Thanks, I know this may be a lot at once but I really would appreciate all your comments.

Jay :)

21st November 2009, 22:08
You should have a look at Norm's iPod Wave Player: http://www.picbasic.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10662

This does use an SD card, though. For several minutes of HQ wav audio (I doubt a PIC has the power to decode MP3), you are looking at quite a lot of space. You would probably be better off just building the SD card and socket in, unless you are going to production. Note that if space is an issue, the microSD cards are tiny and can be interfaced in exactly the same way.

PDS does run on Windows 7, but to do that you will need to download the latest drivers for the USB dongle.

There have been plenty of rumours about the support for 16 bit PICs. Currently it looks doubtful, although support for new 8 bit PICs is always being added.

As for USB, in Proton you can implement HID or CDC class communication, bearing in mind the PIC can only be a slave device, not a host (limitation of the 8 bit PICs, not the compiler.)

21st November 2009, 22:20
There are 2 aspects to using a compiler

1 How good it is and how reliable. Proton has been around a long time and is stable. It gets updated all the time although the latest is out as pre-release its a little over due going public. It produces the most compact (fastest code) of any basic compiler. Remember though that it has no functions etc. However remember that it is only a little Pic and adding all the overheads that functions and parameter passing add's lots to the code size.

2 The support you get when you need help. Proton users on this forum are pretty seasoned and not only understand the compiler but are a fantastic help with everything else.

How many other forums would you be able to get help with Dung based batteries? :D

No 16 bit Proton for a while I fear.