[sdiy] Microchip.. for futur projects, choice to do.. PICs or Arduino

Benjamin Tremblay btremblay at me.com
Wed Feb 24 23:04:07 CET 2021


I use Teensy for anything with MIDI or fast i/o. I keep a few Arduino Unos around to test peripherals on a breadboard.
A Teensy lets me do just about anything I can imagine, from polyphonic samplers, to live effects, to driving SPI really fast. 
To me, C++ does exactly what I want unless I am working with JavaScript. However, I am getting to a point where I feel comfortable using different MCUs for different projects.
If my projects were commercial and I was concerned about the cost of my BOM, I would probably still always use 32 bit microcontrollers, like the Seed XIAO. (I want my ints, longs, floats to be like they are on my desktop.)
So far I have never encountered the need for a whole OS, be it linux or some embedded os. That could easily change, but the idea of using a linux package manager seems way too heavy to my taste. Lots of cruft.
I have learned that all those various interfaces like qwiic, grove, mikrobus, pmod are just prototyping candy. All that matters is I have the pins I need or the mux or DAC to make it work. Same goes with Arduino shields. They rarely do exactly what I need. 
I wasted a lot of money buying shields and peripheral goodies before I had the confidence to just stick a multiplexer chip on a board and talk to it directly. I guess it’s my education.
If I did modular synths I would fuss about level-shifting, 10V p2p signals, and zero to five volt control voltage signals. For the time being, I do not worry about those constraints and it’s extremely liberating. 

They way things are going, it seems someone has already done the hard work of making many different inexpensive MCUs work with your favorite language (even JavaScript) on your favorite IDE. 
I keep coming back to Teensy because I get value for my money, but the longer I use Teensy the more confidence I have in general with any of these little beasties.

> On Feb 24, 2021, at 4:19 PM, Mike Bryant <mbryant at futurehorizons.com> wrote:
> 
> I've never used PICs but was an intensive user of Atmel devices some years ago.  The Arduino system is a good bridge for prototyping but for professional development the Atmel development system based on Microsoft's Visual Studio is the usual IDE used.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org] On Behalf Of Jean-Pierre Desrochers
> Sent: 24 February 2021 21:11
> To: synth-diy at synth-diy.org
> Subject: [sdiy] Microchip.. for futur projects, choice to do.. PICs or Arduino
> 
> Hi list,
> 
> This is off synth DIY topics (but not as much..) But I'm at a crosspoint here.
> I've been a Microchip PIC user for many years so far.
> I've designed many projects around 8 bits PIC16Fxxxx devices.
> In these last years I used Microchip's development IDE MPLAB IDE then updated to MPLAB X IDE for the last years.
> These environments are well constructed to work in assembly Or (in my case C code).
> To me the weak part of Microchip environments has always been Their debuggers (ICD2-3, PicKIT3, etc..).
> I'm telling that because in the last 4 days I struggled to make my ICD3 debug a PIC16F1783 as it should without success.
> I posted my issues on Microchip's forum and had 'some' replies Like did you correctly connect your ICD ?
> or what length of ICD to board cable are you using ?
> but then... complete silence there..
> It seems that the interests are mostly aimed to 16 & 32bits PICs.
> 
> And... I remembered seeing many posts and videos about how easy it is to use Arduino as a 'bridge' to get a small project done.
> Free user interface/programming environment available.
> Final projects on Atmel micros ??
> 
> I'm stuck with Microchip unreliable debugging hardware so far.
> Maybe there are MPLAB IDE compatible hardware debuggers but I doubt it.
> So I'd like to hear you about what should I use for my future needs..
> Again I'm a 8 bits micro user programming in  C.
> If a good choice of Arduino board would help me to faster develop small projects that would interest me..
> 
> Your opinions welcomed.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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