By Cliff Powlesland, G8CQZ
The PIC series of microcomputer chips are one of the most useful innovations for anyone interested in home construction of electronic devices. PIC Basics is a straightforward guide to the use and programming of the PIC and is aimed at those with little or no experience in programming computers.
The reader is taken from "What is a PIC?" with basic descriptions and discussions of programming languages and techniques. Then the book goes on to describe PIC processors in much more detail, right down to register level. This isn't as daunting as it seems - the author manages to keep a potentially baffling section at a very readable level. The following chapter treats the various PICs built-in peripherals in a similarly approachable manner.
There are also chapters on the various compilers and hardware programming techniques and details of projects you can make. The projects are quite diverse, but are generally shack-friendly. They include a Morse key, an automatic Morse generator, a Morse decoder with LCD display, two-tone audio generator, 30MHz frequency counter, digital voltmeter, and a PC-based audio recorder which uses a PIC as the front end. The book provides all the steps needed to put together these projects along with full listings of what is needed for each project.
There are a large number of PIC devices available, each with differing characteristics and PIC Basics contains some hints on how to choose and use the right PIC for your own project, and where to get additional information to turn your ideas into a reality.
This book provides a great introduction to PICs, both in terms of the hardware and the programming techniques which can be employed.
© RSGB 2006, ISBN 1-905086-18-0 size 240x174mm 208 pages