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Serial Programming - Part 1 (PIC16F628A)

This is the second in a series of articles describing the construction of an interface board suitable for controlling 2 motors, 2 servos and providing a collection of binary inputs and outputs (here is the previous article). The board provides limited onboard intelligence (only enough to protect the motors and servos from invalid operations) - it is designed to be controlled from an external computer through an RS232 connection. Introduction My apologies for this post being so late - a combination of illness and personal commitments contributed to the delay. It turns out there is a lot of grou…

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Microcontrollers - The PIC16F628A

This is the first in a series of articles describing the construction of an interface board suitable for controlling 2 motors, 2 servos and providing a collection of binary inputs and outputs. The board provides limited onboard intelligence (only enough to protect the motors and servos from invalid operations) - it is designed to be controlled from an external computer through an RS232 connection. Update The MPLAB X project file for this post is available here. Introduction This article provides an introduction to the microcontroller that is at the heart of the project - the PIC 16F628A. All…

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Adding Some Smarts to Projects

Being able to add a level of smartness to projects can greatly extend their usefulness (and make them more interesting). The smartness usually involves some level of electronics - today the number of options available to do that is much greater than it ever was before, and more importantly, well within the average hobbyists budget. To explore what can become possible with various levels of complexity I'm going to use the example of a display table. The general idea is a coffee table with a recessed rectanglar area covered by glass or plastic that is used to display small objects - a fossil col…

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