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P955H PIC Training Course £259 inc UK carriage
Training for 8, 16 and 32 bit PICs

Imagine trying to teach English grammar to a child before allowing him or her to speak!. That is how most books approach a technical subject but we know better. We know that practical experience makes learning the theory an interesting proposition. The success has been proven with time. We have been selling PIC training courses for 20 years and trading for 35 years.      Click Which computer language should we study     

32 bit PICs are massive in all respects. Huge amounts of programme memory, huge amounts of temporary storage memory (RAM), huge amounts of input/outputs, and very fast processing speeds. And fortunately for us experimenters Microchip have included a dual in line version.

The problem is that 32 bit PICs are far too complex for absolute beginners. So the P955 training circuit has been designed to work with both 32 bit and 8 bit PICs. The idea is to start learning about PICs using assembler with 8 bit PICs. Then learn C with 8 bit PICs, study serial communications using 8 bit PICs, and finally study C programming using 32 bit PICs. It is a simple approach to a subject that has no limit to its ultimate complexity.

P955H PIC Training Course
For absolute beginners
and beginners with a professional interest

For Windows 7, 8, 10 etc
(New course July 2015, updated March 2022)

We start by learning to use a relatively simple 8 bit PIC microcontroller. We make our connections directly to the input and output pins of the chip and we have full control of the internal facilities of the chip. We work at the grass roots level.

The first book starts by assuming you know nothing about PICs but instead of wading into the theory we jump straight in with four easy experiments. Then having gained some experience we study the basic principles of PIC programming., learn about the 8 bit timer, how to drive the alphanumeric liquid crystal display, create a real time clock, experiment with the watchdog timer, sleep mode, beeps and music. Then there are two projects to work through. In the space of 24 experiments two project and 56 exercises we work through from absolute beginner to experienced engineer level using the latest 16F and 18F PICs.

The second book introduces the C programming language in very simple terms. The third book Experimenting with Serial Communications teaches Visual C# programming for the PC (not PIC) so that we can create PC programmes to control PIC circuits.

In the fourth book we learn to programme 32 bit MX PICs using fundamental C instructions. Most of the code is the same as already used with the 8 bit PICs so the same experiments are easily adapted. Then life gets more complex as we delve into serial communications with the final task being to create an audio oscilloscope with advanced triggering and adjustable scan rate.

The course material consists of our USB powered 8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit training circuit, 4 books 240x170mm (1200 pages total), CD of software, 6 PIC microcontrollers, 2 USB to PC leads (the extra one is needed for the serial experiments), and pack of components including two small motors, LEDs and triacs. To programme 16 or 32 bit PICs you will need to plug on a PICkit3 or PICkit4 which you need to buy from Microchip, Farnell or RS for 38.

The control PIC of the P955H training circuit has two modes of operation, its normal 8 bit programming mode, and a USB to USART mode. Programme your PIC in the usual way then flip the red switches and your 8 bit or 32 bit test PIC can use the control PIC as a serial link to your PC. All designed to make the learning process as straightforward as possible.

The programmer is powered from your PC via the USB cable and can be connected to any USB port on your PC.
Price list:-

Our programmer/experimental module takes its power from your computer via the USB
connection, and can be connected to any USB port on your PC. The software for this
course requires a PC with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

Order code P955H:-

P955H complete...£249.00 + carriage
        (items 1, 3, 4 & 5)
  1. P955H PIC Training & Development Course comprising:-
    USB powered 8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit PIC training module
    + Book 1: Experimenting with PIC Microcontrollers (7th edition)
    + Book 2: Experimenting with PIC C (8th edition)
    + CD with 8 bit PIC assembler software and example programmes text
    (If you require software on memory stick send us an email request)
    + PIC16F1827, PIC16F1936, and PIC18F25K22 test PICs
    + USB lead....................................................£165.00
  2. UK postage and insurance...........................£10.00

  3. Optional Serial Communications Extension comprising:-
    Book 3: Experimenting with Serial Communications (5th edition)
    + PIC18F2450 test PIC
    + USB lead...................................................£ 31.00

  4. Optional 16 bit + 32 bit Extension comprising:-
    Book 4: Experimenting with 32 bit PIC C (2nd edition)
    + PIC24FV08KM202 16 bit test PIC
    + PIC32MX150F128B 32 bit test PIC...........£ 31.00

    To programme 16 bit or 32 bit PICs you will need to plug on
    a PICkit 4 which you can buy from Microchip for £80.
    or a PICkit 3 which you can buy from aliexpress.com for £30

  5. Pack of components as listed below.........£ 33.00
P955H complete...£249.00 + carriage
        (items 1, 3, 4 & 5)

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Kit of components
for Experimenting with PIC C

Full set of components for white LEDs and motor tests
in chapters 12 and 13, including all wire links and
motors wired with connecting leads. Plus sounder
and thermistor for chapter 10 (Freezer thaw), and
chapter 11 (temperature tests).
As listed below:-

2 off PIC16F1827
3 off ultra bright white LEDs 30000 mcd, 20mA, 15 deg
3 off low current red LEDs
1 off 100uH inductor
1 off 4v3 zener diode
2 off FDP6035AL MOSFET
2 off 1A schottky diodes
2 off small DC motors
2 off variable resistors
1 off optoisolated triac
1 off BTA16-600B triac
1 pack resistors
1 pack capacitors
1 off push button switch
1 pack trimmed wire links
1 PP3 battery lead to two pins
1 battery holder 2 x AA
1 battery holder 4 x AA

1 off 100k thermistor
1 off piezo sounder

1 pack of components for phaseshift oscillator

Complete kit of parts......£ 33.00
Some of the experiments in "Experimenting with PIC C" require circuits to be built up on the plugboard. The components for the experiments in chapters 12 and 13 are listed above on the right and are included in the standard price. There is no soldering involved, the links are supplied cut to the correct lengths, and the motors are supplied wired with connecting leads. The book has full point to point wiring instructions, and the only tools needed to construct the circuits are a pair of side cutters and a pair of pointed nose pliers. Resistors are individually bagged and the other components are grouped logically so that no previous knowledge of components is needed. As well as learning about PIC programming this is also an excellent way to learn about some complex electronic circuits.

Book 1: Experimenting with PIC Microcontrollers 7th Edition P955H

Everyone should start programming PICs using assembly language because this is the only way to fully understand what happens, but there is a general misconception that PIC assembly language is difficult. Imagine trying to teach English grammar to a child before allowing him or her to speak yet that is how most books approach a technical subject. Our first book introduces PIC assembly language programming by jumping straight in with four easy experiments. The first is explained over seven and a half pages assuming no starting knowledge of PICs. The programmes are tested using the simulator then written into the test PIC and run in the real world.

Then having gained some practical experience we study the basic principles of PIC programming, learn about the 8 bit timer, how to drive the liquid crystal display, create a real time clock, experiment with the watchdog timer, sleep mode, beeps and music, including a rendition of Beethoven's Fur Elise. Then there are two projects to work through, using a PIC as a sinewave generator and investigating the power taken by domestic appliances.

The second project requires us to measure voltages and currents. Previously we needed to change to using a more expensive PIC but an analogue to digital converter is one of the extra features contained in the PIC16F1827. Now we are able to continue using the same PIC.

Finally we learn how to adapt the experiments right through the book so the software can be run in the PIC16F627A family, and PIC18F25K22 family. In the space of 24 experiments, two projects and 56 exercises the book works through from absolute beginner to experienced engineer level, covering a comprehensive selection of up to date microcontrollers.

For most of the experiments we use the Brunning Software assembler BSPWA. But in Chapters 3M and 5M we repeat some of the previous experiments using the official Microchip assembler MPASM X. The text used for both assemblers is identical so when we repeat the experiments we simply load in the file we have already created using BSPWA. So we benefit from the simplicity of BSPWA while also learning to use MPASM X.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 320 pages.

For most programmes the Brunning Software PIC assembler BSPWA requires no setting up. Start the programme running. Click [Load Template] to create the top six lines. Start typing your programme text.

Click [Build] to create the PIC code. Click [Start Simulator] to test the code. Connect the Brunning Software programmer module to your PC and fit a test PIC into one of the ZIF sockets. Click [Write Test PIC] to write the code into the test PIC. Click [Run Test PIC] to start the programme running.

For more information about BSPWA 7.1 click here.

Book 2: Experimenting with PIC C - 8th Edition P955H

This 8th edition is for use with the latest Microchip free XC8 compiler version 2.00 or later.

We start by typing a very simple programme in C which gets the PIC to turn on two LEDs. Then we discover how easy it is to use C to create programme loops, and we experiment with IF statements. We learn how to use C to access the 8 bit and 16 bits timers, we write messages to the LCD, and use the keypad to enter numbers.

Then its time for 25 pages of serious study where we read about some of the more complex C techniques. We are not expected to remember this, the idea being to start the process of understanding the deeper aspects of C.

As we work through chapters 9 to 14 we use a PIC to generate a siren sound, create a freezer thaw warning device, and use a thermistor connected to a PIC to measure temperature. We use the PIC as a step up switching regulator, and to control the speed of a DC motor with maximum torque still available. Then we study how to use any PIC to switch 240 volt AC supplies using an optoisolated triac driving a high current triac. We study how to use the PIC's USART. We start our USART experimenting with direct PIC to PIC serial communication. Then we expand this to experiment with PIC to PC communication using the control PIC in its USB to USART mode. For the PC side of these experiments we write the programme using Visual C#. If you have never used Visual C# you should put this section on hold until you have worked through the first part of book 3 of this training course.

Chapters 15 to 21 introduce C for 18F PICs. The XC8 complier uses a large amount of memory when the mathematics functions are included so for these chapters we use the PIC18F25K22. We start with a very simple programme, experiment with the built in timer, write to the LCD and read the keypad. Then we make a direct comparison between 18F assembler and C by experimenting with the complex calculations needed for temperature measurement. We end by using C to write the code for 18F PIC to PC serial communication.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 306 pages.

Book 3: Experimenting with Serial Communication - 5th Edition P955

This third stage of our PIC training course starts with simple experiments using a PIC18F25K22. We use the PIC to flash LEDs and to write text to the LCD. Then we begin our study of PC programming by using Visual C# to create simple self contained PC programmes. When we have a basic understanding of PC programming we experiment with simple PC to PIC serial communication. We use the PC to control how the PIC lights the LEDs then send text messages both ways. We use Visual C# to experiment with using the PC to display sinewaves from simple mathematics. Then we expand our PC and PIC programmes gradually until a full digital storage oscilloscope is created. The final audio oscilloscope has harmonic analysis and sophisticated triggering. For all these experiments we use the P955 training circuit as our test bed. When we need the serial link to the PC we flip the red switches to put the control PIC into its USB to USART mode.

The second half of Experimenting with Serial Communications 5th Edition starts with an introduction to our Easy USB. Then we repeat some of the serial experiments but this time we use a PIC18F2450 with its own USB port which we connect directly to a USB port of your PC. We follow this with essential background study then work through a complete project to use a PIC to measure temperatures, send the raw data to the PC, and use the PC to calculate and display the temperature.

Easy USB is a perfect solution for simple and medium complexity project. For complex projects or where the timing is critical it is best to split the action between two or more PICs. In the last chapter of the book we complete the study by learning how to use the library routines to programme a PIC18F2450 as a USB to USART converter.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 302 pages.

Book 4: Experimenting with 32 bit PIC C - 2nd Edition

This book starts with a concise two page introduction to the ideas behind the writing of this book. Then chapter 2 gives a six page overview of 28 pin 32 bit PICs. The configuration information may seem rather daunting but it is important to remember that the ideas are only being introduced, and at this stage it is not necessary to fully understand these requirements.
Then we return to the easy life with a simple programme to flash two LEDs. We experiment with loops and push button control, learn to use the 16 bit and 32 bit timers, write to the liquid crystal display, and use the keypad to enter numbers. All these programmes use almost exactly the same main text as we used with 8 bit PICs.

Then we experiment with PC to PIC serial communication using the 8 bit P955 programmer in its USB to USART mode. The setting of the USART of the 32 bit PIC is done using low level C which makes it much easier to understand. For the PC end of the serial coms we use the serial coms buttons of BSPWA as we do when using 8 bit PICs. This similarity helps with the understanding of the more complex 32 bit requirements.

The analogue to digital converter in 32 bit PICs has a maximum conversion rate of one million samples per second which is much faster than the ADC in 8 bit PICs. We start our experiments with the ADC by programming a simple temperature measurement system. Then we start a sequence of experiments to create a digital storage oscilloscope with variable scan rate and advanced triggering.

This book finishes with three chapters repeating some of the experiments using 24F 16 bit PICs.

This book is wirobound to open flat, 240mm x 170mm, 282 pages.

In Experimenting with PIC C (book 2) the experiment with the 3 white LEDs creates a light bright enough to be used as a torch. The brightness has to be seen to be believed!

The two experiments using the PIC16F1827 to control the speed of first one and then two motors are fascinating. This PIC has two comparators built in. We are able to use these to monitor the emf so that the full torque is available even at very low speeds. The theory behind this is fully explained in the book.

Chapter 14 of Experimenting with PIC C introduces serial data communication using the PICs Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (USART). It sounds complicated but it is actually very easy to understand. We start with PIC to PIC serial communication. To do these experiments we need two PIC circuits. One PIC is fitted in the programmer module and programmed as the master. The slave circuit can be wired in the attached plugboard but it is better to wire it in a separate plugboard as shown so the two circuits can be moved apart.

When the slave circuit is fully wired its PIC can be programmed while in the circuit by running a programming lead to the 40 pin ZIF socket as shown above.

When both PICs are programmed we connect the two circuits together using a 3 way lead and then start the tests. The master PIC should be fitted in the 40 pin ZIF socket but it was left out of this photograph!
The wiring of the slave circuit with the programming lead fitted.
The same slave circuit with the serial lead fitted.

Mid range PICs Programmed

Our Windows based assembler BSPWA_16F can programme the 16F PICs listed below using our 8 bit P955H programmer:-

8 pin 18 pin 28 pin 40 pin
PIC12F629 PIC16F84 PIC16F870 PIC16F871
PIC12F675 PIC16F84A PIC16f872
PIC16F873 PIC16F874
PIC12F1822 PIC16F627 PIC16F876 PIC16F877
14 pin PIC16F873A PIC15F874A
PIC16F630 PIC16F627A PIC16F876A PIC16F877A
PIC16F676 PIC16F628A
PIC16F883 PIC16F884
PIC16F1823 PIC16F88 PIC16F886 PIC16F887
PIC16F1826 PIC16F1933 PIC16F1934
PIC16F1827 PIC16F1936 PIC16F1937

18F PICs Programmed

Our Windows based assembler BSPWA_18F can programme the 18F PICs listed below using our 8 bit P955H programmer:-

18 pin 28 pin 40 pin
PIC18F1230 PIC18F2221 PIC18F4221
PIC18F1330 PIC18F2321 PIC18F4321
PIC18F2420 PIC18F4420
PIC18F2450 PIC18F4450
PIC18F2455 PIC18F4455
PIC18F2520 PIC18F4520
PIC18F2525 PIC18F4525
PIC18F2550 PIC18F4550
PIC18F2620 PIC18F4620
  20 pin    
PIC18F13K22 PIC18F23K22 PIC18F43K22
PIC18F14K22 PIC18F24K22 PIC18F44K22
PIC18F25K22 PIC18F45K22
PIC18F26K22 PIC18F46K22

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