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123 PIC Microcontroller Experiments for the Evil Genius Paperback – Jun 21 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 1 edition (June 21 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071451420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071451420
  • Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 22 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #202,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Nelson on Oct. 26 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought the book, and a Pickit1 as a way to get back into microcontrollers after several years' absence, and I've had this book for over a year now.

Despite the lame, lame title and the conceit of having 123 'experiments' (... it doesn't), this book is actually a very useful primer for 8-bit PIC microcontrollers. It has about equal focus on using C and assembler, and the range of provided 'experiments' actually provide a very good cross-section of common, useful applications of small microcontrollers, including A/D, comparators, timers and PLL. About the only basic topic it doesn't cover is interrupts.

I especially liked the fact that the book is entirely based on the Pickit1 evaluation board ([...])and the two PICs provided in the kit (16F684, 12F675). This inexpensive evaluation board is both a USB programmer and modest evaluation framework. The book completely covers how to get started with this board and MicroChip's free MPLAB IDE and the (also free) PICC Lite C compiler.

Even though the author often moves the programmed PIC over to a solderless breadboard to build and run a project, I found I could also test many of the projects by simply running the PIC in place on the Pickit1, and connecting to PIC's I/O through the Pickit1's expansion connector. (By changing some port assignments, and making a couple of hardware mods, I've checked out alot of projects directly on the Pickit1)

The combination of this book and the Pickit1 is a low-cost, low-hassle, no-excuses way to get started with modern PIC 8-bit microcontrollers. Or to get reacquainted with them, as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By snowstorm on April 10 2010
Format: Paperback
This book covers a huge number of topics, it teaches you the C programming language, the PIC assembly language, introduces you to the PIC micro-controller, and shows how to program PICs to use LEDs, servo motors, infrared sensors, light sensors, etc. If you digest the information in the book and do every experiment, you WILL know how to use micro-controllers. All the development software is free. You'll need a PC (not a Mac), and a Microchip PicKit1 development board (about $40). You will also need to purchase extra parts for some experiments. Mike Predco has a clear writing style. His coverage of topics is thorough and I rarely needed to look elsewhere to clarify a point. I did some of the experiments and now use the book as a resource. It's great.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Pokluda on June 5 2007
Format: Paperback
IMPORTANT: In order to complete the projects in this book, you will need to purchase a PICKit 1 Starter Kit (Microchip Part Number: DV164101, Cost: 36.00 USD) plus some additional electronic components for the more advanced projects. The book states that the PICkit 1 Starter Kit contains TWO microcontrollers: the 8-pin PIC12F675 and 14-pin PIC16F684. However, the PICKit 1 no longer includes the PIC16F684 and you must purchase it separately (Microchip Part Number: PIC16F684-I/P, Cost: $1.39 USD). Make sure to order a PIC16F684 when you purchase your PICKit 1 or else you will pay through the nose for shipping. (Shipping to Canada from the Microchip website ([...]) is 13.00 USD plus a 5.00 USD handling charge for orders under $25). ALSO, if you use a university email address when registering an account on Microchip's website, you will save 25% off of development tools (that means you will save 9.00 USD off the PICKit 1!) Your discount should be automatically applied when you check out.

My PICKit 1 has not arrived yet, but I read through several of the experiments and was quite impressed. If you want to start programming and customizing PIC microcontrollers quickly and easily following a hands-on approach, this book is for you. Despite its title, this book will not give you any "evil" projects that you can use to play pranks on your sister or brother. It will, however, teach you how to use LCD displays and interface the microcontroller with sensors to detect sound and light (viable and infra-red), speakers, keypads, ultrasonic distance sensors, motors and other components. Not to mention, it will teach you how to program PIC microcontrollers using both C and assembly language (no previous programming experience required).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished a review of "Programming Robot Controllers" by the same author and my comments for this book are very similar for "123...". The book is twice as large as its older twin (8 1/2"x 11" for "123..." as compared to 6"x 8" for "Programming...") and thus suffers twice as much from the same problems as "Programming...". When it comes to a "how to" book for programming micro-controllers, this book falls far short. "123" is supposed to be the follow-up to "Programming...". However, Predko starts in at some of the basics. The first thing that strikes you is the rambling verbiage that goes on-and-on-and-on to the extent that, when it comes time for understanding the nuts-and-bolts, they get lost in the unnecessary commentary.

After trying to get into the meat of this book, I had to give up. I compared the layout of both books, supposedly quasi-technical how-to books - and supposedly a text for high-school students - that is supposed to make the link between the datasheet and the practical, to another kind of technical how-to book. I used my MS Access how-to books as a comparison.

The first thing that strikes you is the lack of word-smithing that wasn't done by the author and the editors. Having rambled on-and-on in "Programming...", Predko does it twice as much in "123..." The rambling detracts from the nuts and bolts of the subject to the extent that you miss the meat-and-potatoes with all of the extra verbiage. The number of pages could very easily be reduced by a third with some good, tight, technical writing.
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