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1.  LAB X-1 Tutorial and Resource Book
06 Jan '09
This is the LAB X-1 Board made by microEngineering Labs., Inc.  If you are interested in single chip computers, it is the ideal platform to learn on.  This is the board I used to learn what I know about these fascinating logic engines and this the the board the book is all about.  You learn by learning to use all of the many features of this board.  This board is really easy to program.
The book is a detailed 190 page Owner's manual and Tutorial on the 40 pin PIC 16F877A microprocessor that fits in the main socket on this board.  The PIC 16F877A is a very powerful computer on a chip and can be intimidating for the first time user.   The tutorial provides the explanations and sample programs you need to get you started.  After going through all the exercises you should be able to design and program your own devices.

Here is an excerpt from the preface:

The workbook is not designed to make you an expert in machine language programming or to prepare you to become a technical expert on PIC microprocessors.  It is designed to give you a solid understanding of what these logical engines can do for you and how you can use them to do it.  I will cover everything in a non-mathematical even somewhat non technical format so that if you have a minimal understanding of things mechanical and electronic, you will be able to use these microcontrollers to do useful work.  With this in mind I have concentrated on using the PicBasic Pro compiler that is provided by the manufacturers of the board to generate the assembly level machine code rather than spending time on teaching you how to use the assembly language resources that are available.  The compiler uses a dialect of BASIC that is easy to use and very powerful in that it does everything that you need done in the context of programming the processors.  The code generated is both compact and fast.  There are times when assembly language subroutines can be added to the programming to make an especially critical task execute faster and if you need to do this there is ample information available on the subject.  The coverage in this workbook of assembly language is minimal and concentrates on suggesting where to use it when such programming is needed rather than actually going into how to do it. 

The workbook teaches you about microprocessors by having you do a number of software and hardware exercises and there are two types of exercises in the workbook.  Exercises of the first type are designed to be executed on the LAB X1 board provided by microEngineering Labs, Inc. so that you do not have to build anything to learn about the software aspects of understand microcontrollers and uses the hardware items that are already on the board.  The projects are designed to make you familiar with dealing with the real world of sensors like switches and potentiometers and how they can be used with microcontrollers to get the results that you want.  The second type of exercises require a few extra pieces of hardware so that you can experiment with and learn about some of the other capability of the microprocessors. 

The workbook starts out with the simple control of light emitting diodes (LEDs) on the board and continues to the control of and writing to the two line by 20 characters display that is on the experimenter board.  In later chapters we learn how to actually display information on the CRT of a computer and how the PIC microprocessors can be a very powerful and useful adjunct to your personal computer via the serial port.

$49.95   for the book only.  Order board from microEngineering Labs.
2.  Making PIC    Based Instruments and
     Controllers Book
These  web pages describe the books and provide support information on the books by Harprit Singh Sandhu.   All the  books are available from the author.

3.  Running motors with PIC microcontrollers
EncoderGeek / EncoderGeek