Programming PIC microcontrollers using Arduino code style isn’t something new. We are already familiar with ChipKit development boards from Digilent and their Arduino like development environment called mpide. Tom Kibalo suggests using MPLAB IDE to develop and use Arduino code for PIC32 microcontrollers. He has been developing Arduino library code for PIC32.
Most agree that Arduino IDE environment sucks for making more serious projects, so different options are always welcome. For instance by using MPLAB X IDE you can be way more productive with all tools it provides. Arduino library for PIC provides most of Arduino specific functions and there fore most of Arduino code can be executed on PIC same way using simple wrapper code.
If you want constantly to keep an eye on computer resources, then you should consider having resource monitor. Software based are easy to set up, but in order to view the info you need to activate the window. In most cases this isn’t convenient as it requires action every time you want to look. It is better to have all info in front of you what ever you are doing near PC. So Ivan started experiments with various set ups.
First of all he thought to have a tachometer based CPU LED bar. But eventually monitor evolved in to compact and very informative display. And so, resource monitor is driven by PIC32 microcontroller which connects to computer via USB port. It drives RGB 8×8 LED matrix where each column indicates different resource: total CPU, CPU by user, RAM, HDD read/write, HDD space, network upload/download. Ivan put a paper sticker with letters on top of LED matrix that gives instant clue on whats going on. Follow more detail log here.
PIC microcontrollers are great choice but there is always a problem when choosing compiler. The weak side of PIC is lack of open source C compiler. What if you aren’t doing commercial projects and down want pay a penny just for trying things out. The best choice is to use trial or limited version like CCS. Anyway there is a bit change here with PIC32 microcontrollers. Microchip has announced a free version of MPLAB XC32++ compiler with no time or code size limitations.
Compiler supports all 32-bit PIC microcontrollers for C++ or mixed C/C++ projects. Free version has no best-in-class optimization or server license, but for most hobby and even commercial projects works fine.
Earth, our lovely homeland, is a very beautiful and mystery place. It covers with assorted natural resources and elements. Most of the elements can only be traced, if you’re having a hypersensitive equipment, such as the Radioisotope Analyzer.
The radioisotope analyzer is a handheld instrument, which is used for identifying and studying sources of ionizing radiation. Basically, it processes the signal from a sensor named, “scintillation probe”.
The scintillation probe is often being used to analyze, store the data and produce a graphic output known as an “energy spectrum”. The users can identify the radioisotope, based on the location and amplitude of peaks within the spectrum of one component.
Frankly, this radioisotope analyzer can allow the complete system to be built in a handheld device. It includes the latest data analysis tools, the back-propagation neural network. This feature is for modeling unknown samples and comparing the measured samples!
In addition, the system equipped with the following components, such as:
A graphical display (graphics PICtail),
Buttons for the user interface,
An SD flash card socket (It responsible for storage of spectrum data).
The design is based on a high-voltage low-current power supply. It main purpose is to drive the probe and control by the PIC32 via PWM.